What Building a Gate Taught Me About Game Development

Well, pretty much nothing, but at least this wooden black gate looks bloody awesome and keeps the dogs in the yard so gotta be happy about that.

Well, there was some things: my own estimate was 1 day for the gate and fence and all, but eventually the project day count rises to 3… so in that way the project schedule was similar to any game project estimate. This was mainly due needing to wait for the paint to dry in separate days, and of course the usual “it’s almost finished, just one more thing that I need to do” things that occurred. It’s worth adding that when you have a baby to take care in the house “things don’t always go as planned”.

Also: there’s always bugs that you cannot get rid of no matter what.

Here’s How I Use Twitter (All My Tweets Are Belong To You)

First, a gentle reminder: whenever I create a new blog post here, a tweet will be created in Twitter. Basically meaning: if you want to get notified about new blog posts, follow me.

It’s strange how things change. When I first started this whole twitter thing, I was like thinking “whadda hell is wrong in the world – people follow other people talking about useless shite”. In some extent it’s still worth thinking that (whenever you see tweets like “going to take a shower”, “took a shover”, “gotta eat something”, “ate something” and so on).

Here’s how I use Twitter:

  • I use Tweetdeck client. It (or some other client) is a must. Otherwise Twitter makes no sense. You absolutely definitely most positively need to have a client. Get one.
  • I do my best to think of the followers: When I do a tweet, I try (and usually do) think if the tweet is worth to do. Right now I feel that Twitter makes it almost too easy to spam people, so I’m thinking that’s it a good thing to try reduce the noise. Of course people have different interests, so naturally we cannot please everybody all the time. Anyways, I try post quality stuff there.
  • I announce new blog posts: whenever I write new stuff in my blog, an automatic tweet is sent. I use a wordpress plugin called Twitter Tools, which is simply excellent.
  • I also retweet some stuff I find interesting: Not so much, but something. Something I feel it’s worth re-sharing.
  • I tweet some fun/cool/interesting/crazy stuff that’s too little for blogging: I don’t do this so much, but if I see some fun pic or hear some cool stuff (or simply have an interesting dilemma), I just might create a tweet about it.
  • I follow bunch of industry people: I keep my follow list less than 100. I get all the news I need and will stay in touch with indie gaming scene.
  • I keep in touch with people: Twitter is easy thing to use for sending messages to people around the globe. It’s easy to create that tiny message and approach people. It’s good for networking.

Those are my main reasons for having a my Twitter account. You have some other “best practices” to add to this list? How you use Twitter?

And if you are not using Twitter, care to share why not?

When Was The Last Time You Donated Some Money?

About close to 28 years of my life I’ve not donated money to software stuff. Within the last year, I’ve started giving small tips to people ($10). For example, recently I activated WP Super Cache and decided to donate to the chap. I saw some great stuff & got some great feedback from some people at couple of pixel forums and donated there too. I only put like 10 bucks or whatever – not a huge sum of money – but enough to make me (and quite possibly the other party too) feel good.

I feel I’m somehow supporting the whole gaming (and any related) industry by putting some donuts to work.

So, when was the last time you donated something to people (who are in this gaming industry doing good stuff)?

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.

Have You Decorated Your Coding Environment?

For the last 10 years or so I’ve never cared how my coding environment looks: all I’ve needed is table for computer and something to sit on. Today, since I have this mini-office, I want to make it look nice. I have this tiny room and I’m planning to paint one wall orange (something like this orange, maybe somewhat less-red though). I’ve never painted anything indoors (except miniature figures), but having one big orange wall and one big orange carpet (at least big when compared to the room size) should make this room look a tiny bit more inspiring.

I’d also want more light, since currently this room is 70% underground and has only tiny window (which happens to have the sort of glass that somehow manages to keep the light outside), but at summertime it feels bit silly to even consider keeping the lights on. I did research for “self glowing paint” but the green alien colored paint looks too sci-fi for my taste.

Anyway, with orange wall paint, some paintings on the wall (note to self: I gotta do some game art and print that stuff in the wall too!) and things should look more fun.

Do you care about your coding environment? Are you doing something to ensure it’s inspiring and fun place? Or does it matter at all?

Speeding Up Windows Vista… (Yeah, Right)

I tested that it took about 3 minutes 40 second for windows to boot in such shape that there was several programs running, without the timer (Tweetdeck, MSN, Explorer, Mail, Firefox were my test candidates).

I took pretty much the whole day (except little bbq and child caring in the middle ;) to clean my computer. I removed programs that I don’t use, I deleted useless downloads from the harddrive, I disabled certain services (according to these tips), and run the defragment analyzing (“no need to defragment”), and then got rid of some startup programs.

After this, the boot took over 4 minutes (maybe even more than 5 minutes, but I don’t know since I threw away the watch around that 4 minute mark). After second boot, it was 2-3 minutes, so bit faster.

Yes. Cleaning my Windows actually increased the load time. I didn’t mess anything. That’s a promise. (Maybe next boot will go faster – who knows what kind of post-setup-defragment-hidden-install-something the Windows did).

For this, I considered different options on how to handle this:

  • Clean registry (that’s something I prefer not to mess with).
  • Install linux, Ubuntu boots so fast (I would, but Blide isn’t working on Linux so I’m stuck on Windows)
  • Get SSD drive (they are fast… but bit on the expensive side, for example a 64GB SSD thing costs 200ish EUR)
  • Buy & Install Windows 7: costs either 160 EUR (oem) or 270 EUR. This kind of sucks since (1) I already have Vista business version that I’d like to upgrade and (2) Windows 8 is scheduled for year 2011 if I remember correctly.
  • Consider getting more memory: I have 32 bit Vista, but this probably wouldn’t do much since there’s already quite a bit of free memory (I got 3 Gigs in use).
  • Hibernate more often. The computer. It’s supposed to help with this.

I’m sort of slightly not satisfied with my Vista purchase. I mean… I get this superfancy fast computer. I get Vista. End result is: Vista eventually gets slow. I want to upgrade and they say to me “sorry, you gotta buy this new Windows 7″.

I feel bit stupid to even consider spending additional 160 euros (not to mention 270 euros) to get my bloody OS to boot in such time that I don’t need to order pizzas while waiting.

Blog Updated To WordPress 3.0 (And Built a Map “Editor” While Waiting…)

I just update this blog to WordPress 3.0 and the core update went smoothly, but the plugin updates caused the site to pretty much freeze. I recommend doing manual updates for those plugins.

Let me know if this thing still works, thanks.

I just coded the coolest map editor ever. In simplicity, it’s “map.dat” file with “1000100100002000000000100001″ stuff inside. After all, this update took only about 7 minutes…