Holy smack! The holiday season is here and Christmas is right around the corner. And what have I been doing this whole time since my last post? Hmph! Well, I’ll tell you.
Busy Busy Bee
I’ve been gone for quite some time, eh? So without getting into too much details here’s a summary of what has been keeping me busy. So busy in fact that I couldn’t spend an ounce of time on board game development AND post notes here. Lies. I’ve been working on board game dev, just not posting it here. I’m always working on game design and dev.
Busy Bee To-Do List
- Moved on August 10th
- Set up computer in studio end of August
- Tidy up house, yard work, maintenance most of September
- Website launches (work work) all of September
- Kitchen reno all of October
- Closet reno in October
- Running errands every weekend since the move
- Trying to keep in touch with friends and family, always!
- Move office boxes to studio in October
- Set up bookcases, TV and entertainment in November
- More Kitchen reno in November
- Unpack half my boxes: Shelf books and board games late November
- Doing freelance work after hours EVERY month til now
Which brings me to December. Yeah. I’ve been busy. And no real excuse but I’m tired. Drained and mentally exhausted to even bother with updating my sites or socials. Totally my bad. But yeah, let’s keep this train going. 2017 proves to have a lot in store over the horizon. CnC Tees & Novelties is getting a reboot and board game design never really died. ADLi vlog and AutoVlog is just around the corner as well. I’ve had to piecemeal so many things I think I might burst. Time to let loose. Just looking to playtest some more and get demos out to game jams. The holiday season doesn’t help either, but I will embrace my 9 days after the 25th so I’m amping myself up to get a lot of things done. Whomever may be reading this, I hope to see you there. On with the game dev.
Next time I’ll try to keep the ranting posts on here to a minimum. To all my friends, family, and followers, have a Merry Merry and a Happy Happy. Drink, eat and be gay. Be safe and have fun.
If you’ve been following my Facebook or Tumblr or Twitter you may have seen some posts recently. Over the last 20-40 days though there haven’t been much in the way of updates to ADLi. I still have KS Campaign posts to draft and edit, a few other ideas and game community things I’ve written and some new additions to the site that will hopefully have you very excited.
What I’ve been doing recently in my everyday life is finishing my basement. The long and short of it is I’m at the finishing stages of the renovation. All the big painting is done so all that’s left is clean up the floors, remove all the protective sheeting around the baseboards and cut in on the ceiling in areas there were a little overlap. Oh, also paint the sides of the casing (as the contractor put in all the casing before any of the painting was done. I also learned the hard way why not to use painter’s tape on any wall that hasn’t had 14 days minimum to fully cure.
Looking forward I have a good amount of updates in pending status. Time to proof read and add media is where I’m falling short. From work to the basement, to the bed, to work, and repeat. It really can take a lot out of a person and what ever little time is freed up I’m basically spending it with family, so personal time is on time out.
My game library update is still on hold BUT my game design list had been updated recently. I had a moment at work to tackle a few things and during a lunch period I just burned the whole hour drafting up posts for Inside 7 and my G.I.P. (Games in Progress) List. Take a quick readiloo. It even blew my mind a little.
Moving forward I’m going to try and keep a regularly … and I mean irregularly regular schedule and produce 2-3 posts a week. More thank likely this will start in mid to late Octorber. I know that’s ambitious considering my track record but it’s necessary to keep the juices flowing out of mind and onto this site. Creative stifling is not pretty nor conducive to my progress.
Back in January TYL members and I purchased a mobile game development tool called APG (AppGameKit). Version 2 had just been publically released on Steam and we jumped on the opportunity of getting in on the ground floor. It was something I’ve always said I’d try if I had the resources, and darn it, the price for a 4-pack bundle was an opportunity one can’t miss. After being on Steam for a good month or so I had familiarized myself with a lot of their game dev tools and developers. At that time I came across a piece of software called Articy. Out of the box it was the most amazing creative management tool I’ve found to date. Robust, flexible, modular and heavily supported by the developers. I had linked my way through to the videos they posted on YouTube and came across some comments that just rubbed me the wrong way. Now, if you don’t know me they you will soon enough. I dispise those that bash others as a result of their own shortcomings or insecurities. I normally let that slide because it almost always has nothing to do with me, but this instance was different. I felt some type of connect with the developers of this tool and think it’s highly appropriate for those in the industry. Something needed to be said on behalf of Nevigo and other game developers that understand the value of their investment in software. Free comes with limitations. I thought I’d drop a little love on these and future posters who feel $100 is expensive for software of this caliber. I went a little overboard, but that’s me — to the bare metal.
Disclaimer: Excuse the small rant but this is important for those serious about story and game design management.
If your work is worth your time, and your time is worth money, The $100 price tag is nothing. Most of us will spend upwards of $1000 for a computer but can’t break $100 for software? You say, “Well, I can buy a $400 computer and do the same thing.” And my reply would be “Yes you can, but not as efficient IF you are going to be doing highly robust and CPU-heavy work.” I can drive a $12K car or I can drive a $120K car. Both get me from A-B, but what I have at my disposal varies greatly, and this is where my point of view lies.
Trying not to sound elitist but people who want to compete with industry standards pay good money for good tools. Cost should be the least of your worries if the tool/service justifies the means. I understand that there are those that love a tool like this but don’t have the project depth, the bank, and/or monetizing structure to justify the cost, but don’t knock the price. There are a lot of project management tools but almost no creative management tools. It’s well worth it’s weight in gold.
Yes, I can write a script in NotePad, WordPad, TextPad, Notes, whatever, but it’s a little easier in MS Word (which costs money). It’s a lot easier in Final Draft (which costs more money) but I get a lot of the functions automated and a feature list that saves me time and frustrations. The efficiency alone that you gain is almost worth the cost itself, let alone the amount of additional tools, plugins and features that come with it. Makes writing faster, and you worry less about formatting and more about feelings. I’d rather use a hammer than a stone to build a barn out of wood. You get the gist.
Same goes for these story boarding, mind mapping software. Yes, you could possibly do what Articy:Draft does with FreeHand and MindMup (free tools for mind mapping that I still use for all my story boarding), or Mindjet Manager (which cost money). But what the demo of this app shows and all the reviews on youtube show is that it’s a LOT MORE than just a mind mapping and story boarding tool. It’s a creative management tool. I’m still going through my trial and can’t learn enough. For those individuals or groups looking for a tool to take their story boarding, game planning, and scripting management to the next level, this is the tool. Hope this personal review help. Cheers to Nevigo on a wonderfully simple yet robust piece of software.
A big, heartfelt appreciation goes out to all FanExpo visitors who stopped by to chat a little with me during the show. For anyone who chose to stick around while I rambled about my game crafting and decided to Like and follow and subscribe to my feeds leave me doubly blessed. All in all it was a fantastic show, again, for ADLi and my expectations were superseeded by the presence and test play from avid chess players. StormGate did fairly better than it did last year. Word-a-about again astonished me by drawing in the most attention, gathering interest with both Scrabble and non-Scrabble fans. Imperial Court, though presented late in the show, held it’s own but as to be expected held very little attention due to it being so new and a straight forward to play.
Victor, the gentleman that I was sharing the table with, had come up with a game idea at the show in which we shared the first playtest with two unsuspecting patrons. They liked it, and we worked out the kinks on the fly. It was great. Expect another title to be published here through ADLi.
There are more updates to come which will be posted on the Facebook Page and other downloadable stuff, including game info and Print & Play copies of the games I’ve demoed at the show. I’d like to hear from you. Your feedback is important to development of these games and we hope to share the full production version of the game with you in the near future.