Archive for October, 2010

Future Schedule Thoughts

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

It’s now half way through the month, and progress on my “October Game” is minimal to say the least. I suppose that was to be expected, since I did have several things to finish this month. My week-days have been filled with various tasks, leaving only weekends to work on this new thing. Next week I’ll be busy with my “1 more thing”, leaving me the last week of October for a final crunch. Then on to November for “the next” Smiles thing.

*sigh*… Something has to change.

I’m clearly a victim of my willingness to consider every noteworthy Smiles related opportunity I find. If I keep going as is, I could easily fill another year with Smiles stuff. Six months from now, I would probably still have another year lined up.

I don’t really follow a schedule. Rather, what I do is note important dates, and simply prioritize what needs to be done by when, giving priority to what’s easy or more lucrative. I’m practically working every day (or half working, watching the e-mailbox). It is fine, and I enjoy what and how I do it, but I didn’t quit mainstream game development and start my own company to eternally develop Smiles.

This was one of my motivations for declaring the October Challenge. Phil and I have both been developing and supporting our respected games for the past couple years (him even longer than me). And we’d be silly to ignore any serious new market or opportunity that comes up, but it really is time to move on.

So, starting in November, I’m going to try sticking to a new weekly schedule. 1 day a week on Smiles related stuff, 1 day a week on New Stuff (required), then 3 days shared between the two. I’ve been talking a bit about my plan with some friends. Here’s roughly what my new week looks like:

Sunday: Day off (possibly “gone dark” too)
Monday: No Obligation Day (like a day off, but checking e-mail)
Tuesday: Work (Smiles Day) **
Wednesday: Work (Smiles Day)
Thursday: Work
Friday: Work (New Game Day)
Saturday: Work (New Game Day) **

It’s been an observation of mine that Monday’s aren’t very interesting. I don’t mean that in the classic job sense, but really, I rarely get interesting e-mails or requests bright and early Monday morning. Tuesday on the other hand, that’s when the week really begins.

To contrast, Friday’s get less and less interesting as the day goes on. Important e-mails usually stop rolling in by 3 PM, Engadget and other news sources start to dry up around the same time, you’ve already read your webcomics for the week by then, and so on. Fridays are boring. Then comes Saturday where there is no news. Normal people at normal jobs are enjoying their weekends. In a sense, it’s the perfect time to work without interruption (and distraction). And I still need a real day off in there somewhere, hence Sunday.

This past month I’ve been practically following this schedule already, which is how I came up with it. The bottom line is new game developments can’t wait anymore. I’ve decided I’m not actually starting until November, since I’m planning to break the schedule during the final week of October (no Smiles stuff… at least no scheduled work). As it stands, I have some concerns about my October game, but that’s for a different post.

Smiles in the Zune/WP7 Marketplace

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I'll have to make sure I fix/change the spacing when I do an update. Words got crammed.

I quite like the aesthetics of the Zune WP7 Marketplace. It’s hard to see, but the background is this large panoramic image I whipped up. The panorama looks pretty sweet on the phone. Whomever was responsible for the Zune and WP7 phone graphic design, it’s some fine work. Hats off to you sir.

Smiles for WP7, the PR so far

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Since the summer I’ve been chatting with Microsoft about bringing Smiles to Windows Phone 7.

In early September, I was invited to an event “Windows Phone 7 Blogger Night” in Toronto.

Typical me, blurry and in motion. Here I am demoing Smiles on the TV (all of the touch-screen PC's were taken). Also, note to self: don't wear shorts to press events... you stand out too much in the after event photography.

More photos can be found here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdndevs/…/toronto.aspx

* * *

In addition, I make a brief appearance in this video.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdndevs/…/canadian-windows-phone-developers.aspx

Heh, this might be one of my worst appearances on video (Mr. Shiny forehead), but fortunately it’s very quick. 😉

* * *

A couple weeks ago I sent a playable to my Microsoft rep, and it was to make an appearance at Ottawa Coffee and Code event.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdndevs/…/coffee_and_code.aspx

And from today, here’s that gameplay video.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdndevs/…/smiles-for-windows-phone-7.aspx

* * *

Elsewhere on the internet:

Best WP7 Games: http://www.bestwp7games.com/windows-phone-7-smiles-gameplay-video.html

WPCentral: http://www.wpcentral.com/smiles-coming-windows-phone-7

PocketGamer UK: http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Windows+Phone+7/Smiles/video.asp?c=24247

Mobility Digest: http://windowsphone.mobilitydigest.com/wp7-new-apps-new-videos/

Smart Keitai: http://www.smartkeitai.com/smiles-puzzle-game-for-windows-phone-7-demoed/

Soft Design: http://softdesign.ca/Blog/post/Canadian-WP7-Apps-showoff-in-Toronto.aspx

Smiles – Coming to Windows Phone 7

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

So here’s that news: Smiles is coming to Windows Phone 7!

Here’s proof.

And here’s a snap of the game running on a completely different Windows Phone device, an LG.

Photo by Joey... I think he's in a Starbucks

Photo by Joey... I think he's in a Starbucks

I love it when code runs on many different devices. 🙂

October Game – Week 2 (more like day++)

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Busy busy. I didn’t get to put much time in to the October game this week, but their certainly was progress.

Before:

Map is getting dizzy

and after… some element are mocked up (character and outlining):

Zoomed in to what I assume will be more what the real zoom will be... will try 1 more.

For the full transformation, hit the jump.

(more…)

October Game – Week 1 (more like Weekend 1)

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I’ve been doing my daily logs over at the Ludum Dare site, to try and encourage more people to participate there. I’ve really only worked on the game for 2 days, despite my plans to start early. Today I was busy with something else, so this week’s update will be light.

This “week” was about getting the foundation of editor up and running. Currently it works on a 2 button mouse (right click to erase), but the editing interface will support a touch screen (tile zero is the eraser). There’s currently no UI, but I can cycle tiles with the mouse wheel. It auto saves/loads the map to a specific file.

It started out looking like this:

I don't know what it is, but in tile editors I always want to draw H's

Then by the end of the night Saturday, it looked like this:

Dirt Fortress

If you’re interested at all in the process from A to B, hit the jump for more.

I was going to do some work today (Sunday), but there’s so little time left, I’m calling it a night early.

(more…)