Survey Closed: Thank you for your input!

The Modernity Cover Concepts survey closed on Friday as planned, but since the weekend was busy with preparing for NerdvanaCon this coming Saturday (plus unplanned teenage family drama) and a new Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) group full of teenage girls (actually not the source of the family drama, if you can believe it). The new FAE group includes some wackiness I couldn’t’ve dreamed up (High Concepts) for the members of the band “Power Outage”:

  • Merman Musician on a Motorcycle
  • Backup Bard with a Dream
  • Concert Fashion Designer
  • Dwarf Wizard in Oversized Robes
  • Des Bus-ito (think Transformers-style tour bus)
  • Knight with a Loaded Mind

Anyway, that’s why I’m just now wading through the survey responses and aggregating the numbers to get a better picture (pardon the put) of your thoughts on the four concepts. Some things that I’ve already observed:

  1. Some of you are very, very “honest” with your feedback. I asked for your unvarnished opinions, and boy howdy did y’all deliver! (I think I can tell who the reddit respondents are by the tone of their input. Heh.)
  2. There seems to be a very consistent preference for one style in particular, but there are some outliers who love the others. Have to ponder on that.
  3. It’s clear from the feedback that I’ve still got work to do to improve even the most popular style of the four. Roger that!
  4. I could be wrong, but there seems to be a little hold-over bias based on the original Modernity art style. Not sure how to account for that, but I’ll keep thinking about it.
  5. Some of you offered to engage in a discussion via email, and I definitely plan to take you up on the offer. Thank you double!

I’ll be getting out the analog random number generators of the percentile variety this evening to determine who the winner of the DriveThruRPG gift certificate is. If all goes as planned, I’ll be announcing that winner later this week and sending fifty of my own dollars ($50!) to that lucky person.

Again, thank you all of your input!

More great game dev advice (not great English). . .but still great advice.

Yeah, it was published two years ago. I know. I just now got around to reading it. So sue me.

We’ve never met, but I choose to believe Jesús Fabre wrote 5 lessons I learned while developing our first game: Flat Kingdom. just for me.

  1. Lesson 1. Think About The Final Product From The Beginning.
  2. Lesson 2. Think Of Performance And Optimize Your Game Through The Whole Process.
  3. Lesson 3. Always Be Aware Of The Time Needed To Code And Test Every New Feature.
  4. Lesson 4. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel, If It Is Going To Save You Some Time, Use Plugins.
  5. Lesson 5. Always Test Your Game With Your Target Audience.

I’m putting this here mostly as a reminder to myself for later (as in early 2018). Hope it helps you, too.

Unite Austin 2017 recap

Bear in mind, this is my perspective as an indie looking to invade the mobile gamespace in 2018. I’ve been cyberstalking Unity 3D and lurking around their booths at other game conventions for years and fiddled with the tools, but now it’s wave-or-salute time. From that perspective, this was my first in-person all-Unity event.

tldr; They did well. Not perfect, mind you, and a little smaller than I expected, but one of the better organized and funded game dev conventions that I’ve been to. I think they’re finally ready for me to jump in, and they’re still planning to go lots of cool places.

Training Day

Monday was a hands-on, newbie developer orientation day. The project assets were provided by Cybernetic Walrus (based on their new game Antigraviator) and the training by Unity staff. Although it had more than couple glitches, the demo level provided was full-featured and interesting to play with. The 13 introductory steps (most broken down into several subtasks) took most of the day at the trainers’ planned pace. The training (obviously) glossed over the modeling aspects of 3D game development and focused on the gameplay, camera management with the new version of Cinemachine (very sexy) and the new version of Timeline (very cool). They promised to provide the slideware, a completed (and enhanced) version of the project. I hope to get that next week and fiddle with it some more. [I was pretty happy with how my Surface Book handled the day. I think the i7 and SSD zoomed nicely through the work.]

Keynote & Kickoff

Since I was there for Training Day, it felt weird to have all day Tuesday to myself until the keynote that started at 6 pm, but I guess they’re trying to accommodate everybody else’s busy travel schedule. The keynote was well orchestrated and well rehearsed. There weren’t any significant fumbles, and they did a good job hyping the upcoming sessions for the next two days. Since I’m not the partying sort, I wandered through the kickoff mixer and hiked back to my hotel.

Hotel

My one huge strategic error was not booking a hotel when I first signed up. By the time I talked myself out of driving back and forth from San Antonio to Austin every day, they’d already sold out the low-priced Unity block, and I wound up at the Double Tree a mile and a half away. Needless to say, I got my exercise hiking back and forth, since I’m too cheap to pay for parking downtown Austin. Punishment deserved and delivered.

Sessions

These are the sessions I went to and the number of stars I’d give each:

  • 2D World Building in Unity (4/5)
  • OctaneRender for Unity (4/5)
  • Creative Scripting of Timeline (5/5)
  • Disruptive Virtual Cinematography on a Budget (2/5)
  • Unity Labs Behavioral AI Research (5/5)
  • Get Paid on Mobile (4/5)
  • Expansive Storyworlds (3/5)
  • Cinemachine for Games and Interactive (4/5)
  • Buil the Multiplatform Games of Your Dreams with UWP (1/5)
  • Neill Blomkamp’s Short Film Screening and Q&A (3/5)
  • Testing for Sanity (5/5)
  • Insights to Action (5/5)
  • High Performance C# Scripting With the C# Job System and the Entity Component System (5/5)
  • Massive Battle in Spellsouls Universe with Upcoming Unity Tech (4/5)
  • Trivia! Unity by the Numbers (3/5)
  • S.O.L.I.D. Unity (2/5)

There are several more that I wanted to go to, but there were conflicts. Overall, the presentations by Unity staff were more polished than the guest speakers. I was bummed that the recordings weren’t available to buy on a flash drive like other conferences do, but I’m hoping they’ll get them up on YouTube or something soon.

Outcome

Unity has grown quite a bit since I bought a 4.x version of it almost a decade ago. I’m impressed with how far they’ve come. I’ve made the command decision to try my hand at free-to-play mobile game next year (2018). The convention inspired me to begin writing the design doc and thinking through the gameplay and the freemium monetization model. (Daddy’s got bills to pay!) Since you didn’t ask, I’ll tell you anyway that the game will be set in the Starcrossed universe. Be thinkin’ about where you want to take your own personal starship. . .

Pick your favorite and maybe score some free RPGs

I’ve been banging away at the next revision of Modernity for a while now. It’s reach the point where I’d like your input on the cover style. Bear in mind that Modernity is a contemporary occult noir (some might say urban fantasy).

These are all prototype concepts, so be honest. It’s for posterity, you know. (Brutality isn’t required, but if that’s your jam, I can take it. Masochism comes with the territory.)

Give me your opinions on each of the options, and you could win a $50 gift certificate from DriveThruRPG. It’s just a few quick questions for you and a couple of minutes. . .

The survey is HERE.

If you’d like to be entered in the drawing by yours truly for a $50 DriveThruRPG gift certificate (spend it however you like), you’ll have to provide your name and email address at the end of the survey above. The winner will be selected after the survey closes and will be notified at the email address provided. Yes, you must provide your valid email address to be eligible to win. Sorry, but I have to have some way to contact you if you win. . .

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