Monthly Archives: July 2010

Here’s How iPhone 4 Can Increase Your Productivity (Even When You Don’t Own It)

2 Easy step (you’ll save tons of time and can be much more productive if you do this):

  • Stop reading blog posts, flame wars, comments, reviews, expert opinions, consumer reports, apple blog or anything that even hints anything about iPhone 4.
  • Stop laughing at the issues they are having and mocking/defending iPhone (it doesn’t get you anywhere and just proves you are jealous/sheep). If you aren’t jealous, then let the god damn machine do what it does – it doesn’t hurt you. If you keep defending, you are a sheep. Wolves don’t defend. They eat the sheeps at night time and poo on farmers land. (Not really certain where this analogy is going, but the point is – there’s no point in trying to defend iPhone).

Laughing at iPhone (when you don’t even own the bloody thing) does you no good. What you try to prove? That Apple was wrong? Check the Apple stocks rating and revenues – they happen to know quite a bit of this biz thing, so maybe we should just shut up.

Defending iPhone is waste of time. If you know it’s a good piece of work, you can – you know – like focus on using it. Everybody and their mom knows that there’s flaws/inconveniences in iPhone (like what product wouldn’t have?). You know it too. There’s no point trying to deny something that exists or try the “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature” approach. I’ve been coding stuff for ages. Some more buggy than other. Denying this is like eating my own leg. And wolves don’t do that (except when they are really hungry).

Anyone commenting in this blog post mentioning word “but”, “my iPhone” or “you realize that..” or anything similar deserves a large trout slap.

(I trust you guys to get your trouts ready.)

Doing Pixel Art Is Fun (You Like It Too?)

I read some tutorials about pixel art and got my mouse ready to do some painting in Gimp. After spending this day to draw some stuff, I must say that I kind of like doing this stuff. It takes ages to draw, and I have no clue about how to get the stuff look neater… but it’s bloody fun.

Here’s first arctic scientist (don’t know how much time this took… 30 minutes? Hour? Who knows, lost track of time)

After reading some more, and attempting doing bit more detailed stuff, I managed to get this done (in maybe about 90 minutes, including some web browsing in pixel art gallery):


The larger version is bit blurry, depends on your browser capabilities. Okay, scaled these in Gimp.

Next step me thinks is to try and see if I can somehow animate one of these poor bastards. I intend to first try drawing the animation as explained in this tutorial and see how much time that takes.

I believe this will be sufficient at least for the prototype.

Anyone else like to do pixel pushing? I enjoyed this.

Flickr/Yahoo People, Be Warned! I’m About To Use Crossbow to Shoot Somebody in The Knee

Alrighty, this post probably has zero value when it comes to doing any game development (well, I suppose some browser MMO’s could find this useful on how not to handle a forgot password system), but it could be relatively useful for some folks.

I had created a Flickr account and for some unknown reason I hadn’t typed the username and password for the account. Well, certainly I would be able to get my password back – all these systems offer the “forgot password” option, right?

Well, here’s what happened
I tried logging in to Flickr and realized that I didn’t remember the account info. I knew that username was probably “gameproducer” (since I could access to my gameproducer page) and tried using the “forgot password” option.

  • I clicked it, typed my username and wrote the spam prevention security code and clicked next.
  • I expected to get password sent to the email address that’s tied to my username, but heck I was wrong.
  • I saw this screen: “please provide your alternative email”
  • I was like: “O_o”

I mean, how hard can it be to (1) “let people tell their username OR email” and (2) send their password.

Okay, I bravely continued:

  • I chose “I can’t access any of the above” and clicked next
  • I was asked “Where did you [security question]?”
  • I typed several answers trying to figure out the letters but no luck.
  • I tried clicking yahoo id forgot password but there I couldn’t remember the yahoo id. I tried using the system again guessing my alternative email but no luck.
  • I started thinking: maybe I should just register a new account. That might be tons of faster.
  • I though I’d contact Flickr support and see what happens.

Here’s the Flickr support email discussion in a nutshell:

  • Juuso: “I don’t remember my email, here’s my account info URL & username”
  • Flick support person #1: “please tell Date of birth and Postal Code & Country”
  • Juuso: “here you go… [birthday + postal code]”

At this point, somebody else contacted me:

  • Flickr support person #2: “Where did you [security question 1]” and “Where did you [security question 2]?”
  • Juuso: “uh… probably these: [my answers]”

Now, at this point I got a third person to reply me (isn’t that sweet):

  • Flickr support person #3: “To log in, you need yahoo username [which is *this*]. If you are having trouble logging in, you can use the “Forgot
    your ID or password” link, on the sign in page”.
  • At that point I was like: “O_o”

Now I was thinking of using crossbow to shoot somebody in the knee, and seriously thought that “I should have just created a new account right in the first place”, but then I thought that writing a blog post about shooting somebody in the knee would be less illegal.

So, I decided to take the last final attempt and see if I could get my password. I went to that page mentioned… and following took place. First I saw the “forgot password” link:

  • I clicked it, typed my username and wrote the security code and clicked next.
  • I was slightly expecting to perhapsget password sent to the email address that’s tied to my username, but heck I was wrong.
  • I saw this screen: “please provide your alternative email”
  • I was like: “O_o”

Talk about deja vu. I realized I was right in the place where I started.

I’d have a totally 100% free tip for Yahoo / Filckr
I mean seriously. Their forgot password system uses something like this:

  • Ask people to type their username and security code
  • If they succeed, ask them for alternative email
  • When they fail, ask them to provide birthday and shit
  • When they succeed, raise the challenge, and ask some mysterious questions that will be certain to go wrong.
  • Have evil laughter after checking the stats of “another poor bastard who cannot login”

What if they would have like this:

  • Ask people to type their username (or email – either one would be accepted) and a spam prevention security code
  • Send the password to the email that’s tied in the username

Bonus tip:
Oh, and you are wrong when you say to me: “Looks like you had trouble reading the security code (9100)”. To me it looks like you guys are having trouble giving readable security codes. What if you’d think this that way? 9101.

Or what if I just type down my login info and shut up.

Oh, and since shooting crossbow arrows to knee is illegal in some countries, I just might use a large trout slap instead.

Any Tips For Drawing 2D Animations?

I got my first piece of game art up & running for The Infected traitor game, and now there’s just one thing. I would like to hear some tips on how to animate stuff (in 2D). I googled for this stuff, but there was surprisingly little information on this subject. Here’s some that I found:

I found the Anime Studio to be quite interesting, and it has a free trial demo for learning.

If you have some good resources or tips to add, throw them here please.

I’m Slightly Amazed About Steam Popularity

About a week ago I launched The Infected game blog. This is the blog for my traitor game in development. I decided to start three different groups for community building, and cross-promoted each one (and mainly mentioned these in my newsletter). I was slightly surprised to see how easily Steam group got members.

Here’s the current member counts:

  • steam group – 57 members (+me). This is the group from where I planned to get help in testing networking stuff. These guys were specifically told that they could test the game at some point.
  • facebook page – it got 59 people to “like this” (+me). This group was told to join “so that I can get page URL” (after getting 25 “likes”). Not so targeted I’d say.
  • Last is twitter account, with 41 followers (+me).

I must say that I’m slightly surprised that the Steam group got so big number compared to others. I didn’t expect Steam group to grow as big (and bigger) than other medias. While these numbers are very low for now, I feel good about this. I’ve hardly even mentioned this stuff anywhere and got people ready to test and give ideas for the game, so the signs are good.

Anyway, for me, Steam is definitely something I don’t want to miss.

When I get more game art (and perhaps a video), I’ve planned to proceed with press releases and see how big these groups can grow. This was just the “pre-start” of building community so to speak.

Options For 2D

I admit it, I’m new to 2D. I’ve been doing 3D gaming stuff for years now and somehow thought that 2D would be simpler. For some parts it can be (art pipeline for example *can* be easier, but not necessarily).

Idea #1
I first was thinking of getting somebody to draw me sidescrolling (pixel) art. This is still viable option, although I can drop the “pixel” part too if necessary.

Idea #2
Switch to top-down view. This makes some things much simpler (animations & perhaps character details).

Idea #3
I’ve also considered extending idea #1 so that instead of getting somebody to do me art, I’d draw stuff myself. This will require time so that’s a bit of an issue.

Idea #4
Pre-rendered 3D. I’m quite familiar with 3D but then of course I’d still need to find a way to get this 3D stuff.

Idea #5
One artist suggested hand-drawn backgrounds (2D) and then pre-rendered 3D characters and items. I’m not sure if I’m fan of this style, but idea is worth considering nevertheless.

And of course a mix of these ideas is possible.

I’m not fan of many ideas to be honest. I don’t want to “leave many door opens so I have tons of options”. Makes life more complicated. Next step: picking 2-3 doors and checking what’s behind them. Then going from one for now and being happy about it.

Right now I need something visual for my game.

Nobody Told Me Getting 2D Artist Would Be This Big Challenge

I have several ways to proceed, ranging from top-down view, to sidescroller to silhouette style to retro pixel graphics and different combinations of these. I thought drawing in this retro style (I really like that art) would get me potential artists sooner.

I guess I need to get a good list of art I want to get done and then keep hunting. (I have some artists with whom I’ve talked already and discussed different options)

Huge Progress Yesterday (Didn’t Write a Line of Code)

Yesterday, I worked on The Infected traitor game design document and the “bare bones plan”. Earlier I had about a dozen different documents about gameplay, networking code, design ideas, some links, todos and everything. I had several documents since I was just using these files to write my things down, unorganized.

Yesterday I organized my thoughts, wrote a plan and made a clearer looking design document. I keep it bloody simple, and definitely don’t mark everything possible in the doc, only the essentials. Writing down this thing made everything so much clearer to me. I have a very clear idea about the upcoming next steps and things I plan to finish in the upcoming couple of weeks (guesstimation, I have no written-in-stone schedules). It also helped me thing about IGF submission and what I might be able to provide there.

I made huge progress yesterday. Didn’t write a single line of code. Just draw the route to the goal.

Now I’m running towards it.

Fast.

Syncing Passwords?

I’m using Dropbox for syncing certain stuff between machines, but I wonder what kind of systems you guys use to get access to passwords while on different computers? What about mobile phones that nowadays are more like mini-computers in many ways (except my cellphone, which resembles ancient tombstone or something).

I’ve been asking for network backup drive, which potentially could help in this issue, but thought to ask anyway in case you guys already have good solutions on this.

13 Easy Ways For Making Your Very Own Collection Of Bugs

We programmers are nice folks. Instead of calling things “error that I made” we’ve found this nice little word “bug” to represent our mistakes. It’s hard to admit making a mistake or an error (especially when it’s “Windows error, not my bug”), but admitting making a bug is bit more likely (at least for those who stop saying “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”)

Anyway. Here’s some of my favorite ways of creating bugs in games:

  1. Don’t use functions (or objects and classes, or anything that sounds “too big for my current small challenge right now”)
  2. Use tons of IFs.
  3. Copy & paste code.
  4. Use principle of adding “special cases just to deal this situation” to your code.
  5. Edit the wrong files.
  6. Add tons of changes and then test all them once (instead of testing each new update after the change is done).
  7. Try coding 3 to 7 different issues simultaneously (instead of one)
  8. Change some parts of code for testing “just for a while” and then don’t document why you did this.
  9. Forget testing in Release mode, Debug mode will be enough. (Not exactly helping to create a bug, but will help spotting some)
  10. Leave parts of code open (and of course undocumented) and take a 2 week break
  11. Start something big just before you are about to end for the day (and you will find yourself spending the next morning figuring out what was going on)
  12. Use some of your previously created code in your current game (and notice how many bugs there lies)
  13. Use the shortest possible variable names (“c, cc, i, h, hiryb” instead of count, creditCard, i, height, heIsRockingYourBoat). Always.

You agree, disagree? How about adding your favorite ways for creating bugs?