Thursday, December 31, 2009

"There's no I in team"

That phrase has always bugged me. I've finally figured out the reply to expose it's BS.

"There's no I in team"
"Really? Who said that"
"I did"
"But there's no I in team..."

It's the pupper mastery - the perscribed assumption that it's a group thing - by the very person who is not acting as part of some harmoginised group, but instead driving it like people drive cars.

It's like another joke I have
"Things are better when you collaborate to tell a story.
BTW, if your not doing as I say, it's not collaborating"

By appealing to a sort of group concept, but then strictly as an individual manipulating the definition of those group words, you control the others. It appears at first glance a group thing, but it's puppet mastery.

Symantics are powerful. Don't let your guard down.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Self Moderation Vs Consenting to be Moderated

There's some discussion about self moderation on the forge here.
There is a difference between moderating yourself and consenting to be moderated.  Even when that consent is ongoing, they are experientially very different.

I was going to add the following but thought I'd wait so as not to take over the thread (too much?)

Yes, there is a difference between someone who, when going on a drinking bender, mails his car keys to himself and someone who simply relies willpower not to take up their car keys while drinking.

But in the end I call them both self moderation. Though I'll grant one is probably alot more effective than the other.

Oh, and on a different subject I made a hub on hub pages about how to make something that fends off snails from seedlings. It might seem a stretch, but I think of gardening in a game like aspect (and given the number of mmorpgs which have plant gathering in them (and that farmville game), I think in general culture it's taken to have game aspects.

Here's the link:

Oh even more: I've been meaning to pimp R Scott Bakkers 'The darkness that comes before' as it's called epic fantasy, but I think of it as education on philosophy. But haven't gotten around to it and I'm thinking of making it a kind of signature thing anyway

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Who succeeded?

Just a quick thought...

There's not much point winning, if to win you change into a different person than the person who set out to win to begin with.

That person is no longer there to win. They cannot win for the not existing.

It's something to consider in the pursuit of money.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Giant Zombie Invaders: Work in Progress

New work in progress - really I like to think the core game play is there. But then people would go 'where's the X or the Y' and I'd go 'Can't ya see the vision! Can't ya see the core gameplay!'. It's as if I presented them with a car and they want one with, like, seats and metal covering the machinery and a muffler and...oh wait, that makes sense. Damn analogy!

Anyway. Zombies. Shoot 'em in the head. And they still. might. not. die!

And I realised I have no idea what to call the metal skin of a's not the duco, that's on the metal. The metal itself...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New program/art piece 'Mindless Certainty'

I've coded a new program. It is an experiential art piece, engaging visuals, avoidance and ideas in words.

It engages the idea of being able to make an innocent mistake using objects that are capable of killing.

((This is 10% game, 90% experiential art. It's more moving artwork or commentary, 90% more, than it is game))

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Blizzard Authenticator - A rip off in itself

I saw an article on mmocrunch about world of warcraft authenticators. The little device that generates a second code needed to log in (you don't have the device, you can't log in, even if you've hacked the regular password). I wrote the following:

I am surprised how people are so excited to spend money on these if they are so necessary to play the game.

If it’s a necessary part of the game, why doesn’t it come with the game – or atleast after X amount of subscription time they send you one?

It’s like you guys rented a house, then your real excited to buy a lock and key for the front door – the house should come with one.

I mean, if the game didn't come with a password field at all and you 'only' had to pay $6.50 to get one, would you think that's great? No, you'd insist it should come with a password field. You'd say it's absolutely necessary to have one.

And yet you say the Blizz authenticator is absolutely necessary as well.

Quick entry...

I kind of think it's funny that my last title was 'who loves zombies', and right underneath the advert keeps showing Pamela Anderson...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Who loves zombies!?

Everyone <3 zombies! Some teaser shots for the current game I'm developing.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The psychology of nano returns game design

Because of a certain revenue stream particularities, I've been considering whether it's possible to engage that revenue without exploiting myself or being exploited.

What were looking at from the outset is getting something like 5 cents or so for hours of development from posting your game on a certain hosting site*. Which is absurdly exploitative from first glance.

However, another avenue of looking at it is if you go for a walk each day or every few days - what if you were to find 1 cent on the ground as you walked along? You already have a natural tendency to excercise and go for that walk.

The thing here is that if your staying inside of your normal exercise pattern, it's something you were going to do anyway. It's when you go outside of your normal pattern of exercise FOR the money, then it's starting to simply exploit yourself. It's certainly not worth it for the money.

It's drawing a line between what is your normal pattern of exercise and what is work, that's vital here. You don't want to go over that line.

Also one of the key elements here is that if you go for a walk and it's unpleasant, then maybe you go for fewer walks. You don't force yourself through it. While with developing, there's the habit of forcing oneself through a difficult part. That has to go as well - difficult parts are making the exercise unpleasant. If you feel like doing less exercise development because it's become unpleasant, then do less. Otherwise again, your exploiting yourself. Sometimes that line slides toward doing nothing, because things are unpleasant. This makes sense - you don't do unpleasant things for nothing. Or more to the point, if you start doing so you'll get a martyr fetish going on.

In terms of making money from such a nano income stream, there really is no room for innovation and going outside the box. It only makes sense to stay inside that exercise line.

Another factor that lead me to write this is that I'm thinking about reward feedback. For example, if every time you walked for half an hour you found 1 cent, that's nice. But here it isn't even like that - you wont be getting 1 cent for every half hour of development. If your game takes 2 and a half hours, you'll get your 5 cents after that (assuming something like a five cent return).

This leads to an awkward short term sense of getting nothing, then getting something for nothing. Since you get nothing during development, but once uploaded your doing nothing yet money trickles in. The short term reward cycle is one of the most important ones to consider when developing your own capacities. That's a blog entry in itself, really.

How to forfil the short term reward cycle, when there's no way to change the returns pattern?

Well, I guess you can change the returns pattern somewhat, by posting it as a WIP after having done half an hours work. But for myself, I don't feel this is right for me, anyway.

For myself it seems each half hour of 'exercise' development still needs to be logged. And...I'm not sure if the logging/recognition is enough. It's kind of like writing down a token of the work as the valuable thing found, then when some money is earned latter on, self reinforcing the connection.

Anyway, as you can see, sometimes you take a walk, sometimes you type alot. There's a fair bit of effort in this document, yet it's part of my natural exercising desire. But if I were to do more than is natural to me, for just a few cents, that'd be exploiting myself.

* Not mentioning in this document because I'm not sure I agree with their policy of how they deal with developers enough to promote them. But if you look around this blog, it wouldn't be hard to figure out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reading the emotions of the zeitgeist

I just found the google trends page. Yeah, I know, I'm slow.

But reading that little line chart, it's like reading the emotions on the face of some massive zeitgeist. I'm looking at one now where there's this low murmer of search for some time like people are looking, looking, concern then OMGWTFBBQ the zeitgeist gets really excited about the whole thing.

In others there's like this explosion of interest like a wave of people saw it, checked it out but let it go, but then maybe mentioned it to someone and EXPLOSION!

Just that little line tracing all those responces...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I happened to read a bit on Ayn Rand Objectivism

...the proper moral purpose of one's life...

To me it stumbles right there - not only asserting the assumption that there is any proper moral purpose, but then going on to act upon the assumption without questioning the assumption.

It seems once again a reflection of so many religions certainty that they can act upon you because they have a 'proper moral purpose' and in this case it's the idea they can act upon you with 'pure laissez faire capitalism'.

You want my moral reflection? I don't know if there is any moral principles in existance, ever, or if there were any, I don't know whether anything I do happens to match such principles.

All I know is that rather than drop limp where I formerly stood and cease breathing or breathe yet lie there till I starve/dehydrate (a bit like the people on that planet in the movie Serenity), I instead feel urge and hunger welling up in me. As intellect I can see this, see the urges coming, and my intellect is powered by these things that well up (you might think of it that these hungers and urges grant intellect a budget...and if they pull the budget, no intellect).

And unlike most people through history who feel such things and pronounce them right and morally just, I have reached the conclusion I can reach no conclusion about whether they are right or morally just or anything.

Anything I do may be monsterous somehow. I do not know.

All I do is at least make sure I'm the sort of monster, if monster I be, that I set out to be. To make sure I'm the monster I decided on, rather than something else that may be equally monsterous AND is not something I decided on.

Then again I don't think souls are for free.

Is there a name used in any particular culture for that?

Paying off hosting of content way before paying off the content

I'm starting to wonder if artists hire managers A: Because they just don't think in a way that lets them see when they are being ripped off and B: The entertainment industry is actually about ripping them off, and a manager knows this and their job is to make sure they are ripped off in a sustainable fashion.

I'm pretty sure of my math on the 70/30 split at game jolt. But try and describe it and no one engages numbers, they just say it's faaaaiirrrr.

Anyway, I'll list my math here in case my game jolt blog gets deleted or something ludicrous

CAVEAT: Since I've tried to explain this and no one seems to grasp it, it seems a human perceptual blind spot. If I try to explain to someone what's happening and yet they still jump in and call it great, I'm not against setting up such a system myself in some way.

Have a look if you want, see if it adds up to you

It's pretty easy to layout:
Week 1
You work on a game for five hours and submit it
The webhost does five hours of work on providing the service over the week
The game makes ten cents by the end of the week, you split it 70/30.
You get 3 cents for 5 hours work.

Webhost gets 7 cents for 5 hours work that week. 1.4 cents per hour.

Week 2
You work five hours on another game and submit it. You now have two games uploaded.
The webhost does five hours of work on providing the service over the week
Each game makes ten cents by the end of the week, you split it 70/30.
You get 6 cents for a total of 10 hours work.

Webhost gets 14 cents for 5 hours work that week. 3 cents per hour.

Uploading games means the webhost is working no more than before
Week 3
You work five hours on another game and submit it. You now have three games uploaded.
The webhost does five hours of work on providing the service over the week
Each game makes ten cents by the end of the week, you split it 70/30.
You get 9 cents from a total of 15 hours work.

Webhost gets 21 cents for 5 hours work that week. 4.2 cents per hour.

As you can see, the webhosts income per hour for providing the service goes up pretty rapidly.

Now, totally granted, it's not at a fair wage amount per hour yet. But clearly, if you can do the math when multiplied over dozens of developers, once it gets to a fair wage, it will quickly slip right past a fair wage and go higher and higher.

Based on hours of game design by developers that have not been paid off at a fair wage. It's a sky rocketing wage based on paying off game designers work hours at a minute rate.

Monday, December 7, 2009

New game - Invaders from Space!!!1!

Hi! Welcome to my blog if you have only just visited! :)

Here's the funny take on space invaders...let's just say there might be a bit of a twist in the game...
Play link:

Made this in one day. In fact, in roughly 1 hour and 49 minutes.

And the rest of the blog contains thought provoking articles as well!

In terms of dependable income, game design isn't really fair

Think about it - when someone sells an orange, for example, the other person buys the orange, eats it, then buys another orange exactly like it. They don't expect the next orange to have better graphics or a new feature. They will keep buying the same thing.

This leads to an amount of certainty for the orange seller, since that demand is always there.

But with game design, once you've released something, it's released forever. You can't make space invaders again, it always has to be space invaders with some new twist or graphics upgrade or whatever.

And I'm not sure that's fair. Or I'm starting to think for my own paradigm, it isn't. Sure it's fun to invent new things, but when you look at it as some sort of income for your life, it's just a life of quiet desperation and uncertainty. That's not right?

What's the solution?

I'm not sure. Is there some way to make space invaders again, as an example, and people play it without going 'Hey, that's just space invaders, so I'll wash my hands of this straight away (and thus remove any certainty of income for you)'.

Perhaps some vector like newspaper columnists do, as while columnists also do make new stuff all the time, it's often based around the same principles of real life human concerns and so has repeating elements that can be sold again and again. So perhaps if you take your space invaders clone but plug in some text to it's gameplay about current events, that might give you a more dependable structure of income instead of the 'New! NEW! NEW!' culture of desperation we have now?

I think it'd suit me to try this as an experiment.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Review quickie - Borderlands

A quick review! Borderlands manages to mix the short term, instant gratification of a first person shooter (ie, the fun of shooting big guns at people alot!) and the long term pursuit of greater power through money and levels/experience.

So your continually playing it at two levels. Sure, you might be side stepping and shooting a skag real good with your gat, but your also thinking about how good it would have been and how good it will be when you auto gun turrent power had killed it. While healing you. And making you fresh ammo.

More information below

Essentially they grant you some awesome FPS fun, and have made a leveling system that hands out more awesome FPS fun over time that you actually want. I've played alot of games which give you powers and...while they may be nifty, it doesn't feel like you needed them. It just feels like its for show. While with this game what it hands out, you feel you have a good use in mind for it (and it's cool fireworks to boot!).

And spitscreen on console play is great - was really looking for something else split screen, since weve played time splitters and army of two a million times.

However, on the flip side, you get a thin smear of a game world. Not that I think that's important to develop further, but I think this game was modeled somewhat on fallout. And that sense of a rich kind of muted. It's not absent, it's just doesn't have the centre stage.

And a couple of little things that bug me is that the game insists, when you find a more damaging weapon, to switch your current gun for it. There seems to be no way to turn this off, and it doesn't work out that this is a better gun in terms of the job. And the loading screen shows a cool picture - then snaps it in two and seperates them...then shows it again and repeats, over and over. That's just painful! Clearly not huge issues, but worth noting incase somehow in some magical way that helps it get cleared up next time.

I really recommend buying this game. Like some books are a bit of a classic (not absolute classics, just a bit), this game is a classic. Like a book can capture a certain spirit, this game has captured it's own particular spirit. That and go shoot shoot now now!!!1!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Vampire Exile: Development Entry

The indie game in development now!

A work in progress.

Download / Quickplay :

Design notes: My goal was to have a game where there's always something you can do to improve your position. It's not meant to be complex gameplay, but it is meant to be highly engaging. I think I suceeded at that.

Future ideas are to have equipment and special codes so you don't just play the game, but his gear and name will be listed on my blog and will either give bonuses in latter games, or become part of the story itself.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Grouping isn't always healthy

Augh! Just reading Tobolds blog and I find the attitude in one entry kind of sick. I'll quote my responce for context

Augh, Tobold, your position sounds like a kind of sickness? You want people to make friends, not because they actually like the other person, but because they can't have fun with the product they bought if they don't.

That's a terrible reason to make friends! That's not even making friends, it's just finding people to use.

If people like other people, they'll make friends and group with them even if there's a bunch of NPC's to group with. This whole article seems to be tainted with some idea that it's not important whether people want to do things with each other.

What you need is some mechanism to help people come in contact more, so they actually know what other people are like in order to have a chance at making friends
I mean honestly, it goes back to the worst of the worst table top roleplay habits, where people who would have absolutely nothing to do with each other outside of roleplay, would indeed roleplay together so they could get their game fix. It's an incredibly unhealthy attitude, but here we have the same perpetuation of the idea the game should force people together not because they like each other, but because they want their mmorpg fix.

What you need is some system by which players can get to know each other. This was done, retardedly, by forcing people to group or they get nowhere. You just need a system which gets them in contact without such a blunt instrument involved.

And it's not hard to knit together a bunch of reward systems for entering in details of what you like, then more rewards for browsing other players. And no, I don't mean holding back part of the game like loot and seeing the insides of certain dungeons - I mean handing out some gold or such. Which will mean social gamers are richer, but that's not gimping the main content for any soloer.

Honestly, the fact that mmorpg design kind of fell together into a retarded block content unless you group model is excusable since it fell together. But to perpetuate a culture of people finding other people, not because they like them, but because they want to use them to get at a game they've already paid for? It's unhealthy.

Borderlands - is that a chainsword in your pocket?

What can I say? I've got boarder lands on the mind and only my friend has a copy (I'd buy it for my comp, but it'd probably have crap framerate on my rig...and that's no good in a FPS).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Borderlands - the funny thing about guns

Ever wonder something like that - who makes all these guns? It kind of doesn't matter, yet I think I'd dig it if I saw some production going on somewhere, atleast. Or the players making some.

Great game, BTW. Really enjoying split screen on my friends PS3.