We often hear of Posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD, especially associated with combat veterans and difficulties they face returning home, but did you know there is a positive version of PTSD called Posttraumatic Growth? Game designer Jane McGonigal and author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How they Can Change the World found herself in a troubling situation. After a sever injury to her head, she began having suicidal thoughts! Her solution was to gamify her recovery! The game is called SuperBetter!
She gave a Ted Talk about the experience: Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
An extremely interesting article has been published in The New Yorker this week: THE OPEN-OFFICE TRAP
I think this is a very important read. It has a lot of reasons why the conventional wisdom that open offices and cubes are good for productivity are wrong. Here are two excerpts that really got my attention (I added the bold emphasis) :
… found that as the number of people working in a single room went up, the number of employees who took sick leave increased apace. Workers in two-person offices took an average of fifty per cent more sick leave than those in single offices, while those who worked in fully open offices were out an average of sixty-two per cent more.
What’s more, Evans and Johnson discovered that people in noisy environments made fewer ergonomic adjustments than they would in private, causing increased physical strain. The subjects subsequently attempted to solve fewer puzzles than they had after working in a quiet environment; in other words, they became less motivated and less creative.
Here’s a wonderful webcomic about sustainable creativity by Stephen McCraine. It has some great insight and perspective on procrastination and finishing projects.
Start From the Beginning
How to Fight Procrastination
How to Deal with Failure
How to Move Towards Big Goals
Also, he’s doing a Kickstarter to make a physical book version: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stephenmccranie/brick-by-brick
I’m happy to report that the Greenlight page for Iron Roads went live last night!
Please, show your support by Voting for the project!
PS In case you missed it Iron Roads has it own website now too: http://www.IronRoads.net
The DC chapter of IGDA is doing a Text Adventure gamejam this weekend at the Westwood college:http://sjklevine.com/igda_dc/textjam/
I no longer live in DC, but I thought I’d jam along with them! If you want to join me, I setup a Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/611843362194465/
Recommendations for tools:
(dev wiki) http://choicescriptdev.wikia.com/wiki/ChoiceScript_Wiki
(dev tutorial) http://www.choiceofgames.com/make-your-own-games/choicescript-intro/
(gamasutra article) http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DanCox/20130304/187702/Learning_Inform_7_Part_1.php
An alternative for those who think text games might be too boring, and want a meatier game experience while still fitting the theme of the jam, would be to try an “Idle” game:
(candy box) http://candies.aniwey.net/
(a firelit room) http://adarkroom.doublespeakgames.com/
This was my best GDC yet. I had some great business cards, my resume and something to talk about: founding and running the Washington DC Area Unity3D Users’ Group. I had a wonderful time, did the most networking of my life and came home very inspired! I even got to meet and chat with Matthew Davis one of the creators of FTL. (WHAT! You haven’t played FTL!! GO BUY IT NOW!!! )
One, bit of fun that happen was Cart Life won the IGF Nuovo award. Cart Life’s creator Richard Hofmeier decided to deface the award sign and hand the booth over to howling dogs by Propentine.
On the last day of the trip, I decided to go to the Dutch Game Garden at their consult. I met of Maarten Wiedenh of Reus which he is playing in the picture above. It’s a cool game about Gods and planet building, its worth getting. On the way, a monk approached me and gave me the “Work Smoothly” medal pictured above. It struck me as smart way to think about working , “Work Smoothly.” It’s become a sort of motto now, whenever I get harried or out of sorts I remind myself to get collected and work smoothly.
[Yes, another HORRIBLY late post, cut me some slack!]
I went to PAX East! My first PAX. It was overwhelming and I had a great time. I was so busy going to panels and meeting people I didn’t really do much else. I meet a lot of awesome indie developers including Michael Carriere from Boston Indies. DC’s own, the wonderful, Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows the writer behind Strange Loves: Vampire Boyfriends was on the panel Foreplay: Romance in Games.
I pitched Iron Roads to a lot of people and the feedback helped me evolved my vision for the game. I even made my pitched to the Pitch Panel the last day: Here I am pitching the game to Kris Straub, Jeff Kalles and Eric Neustadter at PAX East 2013. They didn’t like the idea but several people emailed me and Tweeted that they thought the idea was grand. That gave me a lot of encouragement and a small prod to start a Facebook page for the game https://www.facebook.com/IronRoads
[Yes, I know this post is HORRIBLY late, but once I catch up it'll all make sense, stay tuned.]
I participated in the Global Game Jam this year. It was my second appearence, the first time being in 2010 on Space Exodus.
Here are my brainstorming notes (on right) and pitch (on left):
Heart QWOP Concept
Essentially I wanted to make a QWOP style game about moving blood through the heart to the brain. I was thinking that if you didn’t do it well enough the brain would loose oxygen and then the letters you need to press would change. Sadly, no one wanted to join my team.
Instead I joined the Heart Trampoline team.
Play Heart Trampoline. Be sure to check out the credits, one of our talented artist did portraits of all the team members.
Also, Heart Trampoline is my January entry in the One Game A Month Jam/Challenge.
This is a question I hear a lot and here’s what I’ve learned:
See a game missing? Email me the name and citation, thanks.
This evening I worked on basic boiler plate stuff. I put some stuff up on github including Futile QuickStart I even made a pull request for Futile.
I pretty much spent the rest of evening fighting my font code. Fonts took way too long because I though I was running the latest version of Futile, but it turned out I wasn’t. I got confused about my github pull and which package I imported. Exactly, one of those things that bugs me about the way github’s and Unity’s idiosyncrasies interact. Anyway, once I figuring that out, Futile gave me a useful error that nicely explained what the problem was, oh hum.