Pivot Time

I’ve been “dark” much longer than planned, but we’re still plugging along undaunted! August doesn’t seem that long ago… We are still definitely on track for the OUYA launch next year. The dev consoles are “in the mail”. They might be here in time for Mayan Doomsday. Woohoo! That’s the “time” part of this post.

In the meantime, we’ve added a couple people to the staff to work on another project. The “pivot” part of this post is adjusting our motto. My two oldest children convinced me that we can do more than just make games to make better people. We have pivoted to include entertainment of all kinds produced by Glacier Peak. We’d always aspired to include old-school paper-and-pencil roleplaying games, novels and animated video content, so I guess we’re just making that official.

To that end, Glacier Peak will be publishing its first product in the form of a book on Mayan Doomsday. The book is a collection of short stories by the three of us (Alia, Suleiman and David) all inspired by the same title. Many of these stories will foreshadow games and other entertainment coming soon from Glacier Peak.

Watch for the book “No Tomorrow” at Amazon (and eventually iTunes) on Friday 21 December 2012!!

The kanban board is going up!

One of the things that we came to a decision about during our retrospective after sprint zero is that we’re happier with a highly visible workload management tool. During our between sprint planning, we’ve elected to adopt some of the kanban practices that I picked up during my time at Microsoft.

Having physical cards to move across the board helps to maintain the momentum cycle and makes it very easy to visually keep score. Both of which are very important, as we’ve come to accept that we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. No pun intended.

In the spirit of “pix or it didn’t happen”, I’ll be posting occasional pix of the board as soon as we have it hung, striped and loaded with work.

EDA Sprint 0 is complete!

The number one question we get is, “What game are you working on? When I can play it?” The answer is, “Real soon now!” Heh.

"Talk is cheap. I go to a lot of gaming events, and people come up to me and say ‘I’ve got this great idea for a game’, and I’m like ‘Yeah, that’s great – I want to see your game.’"

Gamasutra – News – Tin Man Games’ Ben Britten: Why ‘Failure is Awesome’

Message received. We’ve driven the requirements spike. We’ve done lots of imaginary playthroughs of the first four “scenarios”. We’ve got the concept art. We have acquired all of the tools and all the toys to launch us into a successful Sprint 1. We’ve done the retrospective and will make some adjustments to our process for future sprints. Perhaps I’ll blog about those more in the future.

We are ready to roll!

How bad do we want it?

At the risk of paraphrasing Tim McGraw, we want it bad. Blood, sweat, tears and lost sleep bad.

Together with our partner, Sychey Games, we had a lunch meeting yesterday with a hugely successful game studio cum publisher who shall remain nameless. It was an education, as every quality endeavor should be, even though the answer was “Maybe not, but it’s an interesting approach and a different idea, so let’s talk about it some more when you know the answers to [insert obvious questions here].”

In fact, I learned a new application for an interview question that I figured out was an absolute must to ask of anybody who wanted to come work for me a decade or more ago. It felt weird, a little déjà vu, to sit on the other side of that question over a business lunch. Lesson learned!

I also had validated what I’ve always believed one of the secrets that every game studio who wants to achieve cosmic levels of success should be engaged in. Great confirmation! (Yes, I’m referring to testing.)

Didier and I chatted some about our next steps and talked about how to improve the pitch before we take it back to the same publisher and to our next prospective publisher or partner. I’m sure we’ll do more such navel-gazing as the next lunch meeting approaches. It’s hard to remember that the lack of a resounding “YES!” at the end of a meeting is not a “No” – even a “No” isn’t a “No” until I decide it’s a “No”. Heh. As one of my idols, Dave Ramsey, is wont to say, "Success is a pile of failure that you are standing on." I’m working on building up my own pile!

Seth reminded me of the same again during my lunchtime blog read today.

A single blog post is an example of poking the box.

Sticking with a blog for seven years is pushing through the Dip.

Seth’s Blog: Failures and the dip

I will also take it to heart as a reminder that I’m not coding, writing, modeling, recording or blogging nearly enough. I do love the new Cintiq 24HD, though, and I definitely need to give it some love every single day.