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Technology, My Nemesis01:21 PM -- Wed May 25, 2011

Here are a list of the ways in which technology has viciously assaulted me in the past week:

- My internet connection is turning to dust. Slow, sure, but also several super-brief disconnects every minute. Uploading new builds of Mia was torture last night, retrying over and over to upload the one-megabyte file.

- My iPod Touch no longer can make noise, except through headphones (been that way about a month). Then shortly after that, the headphone jack got bad, so I have to jiggle headphones to make them work in it, and most of the time I'm only listening through one ear. And now it's crashing often.

- My wife's iPhone won't charge anymore, unless the charger is plugged in perfectly right and not jiggled the tiniest bit after you get it right. Sometimes the wind undoes it. Sometimes we can't get it right to begin with. Much like my iPod, the problem is clearly in the device, as we tried many different cords. It seems our apple devices are on the way out, but we can't afford replacements.

- My video card completely died, in a very harsh way. Luckily, this computer has a built-in video card too, so I am switched to that. But now my screen is actually blurry, and the color smears. It's not pretty. And I had to turn my WoW settings way down! That is a true first-world problem.

- Mia's Happy Day has one of those bugs. The kind that have nothing to do with my actual code, and it works fine running locally, but whe uploaded to the web, suddenly you can't load levels anymore. So I have to figure out the secret dance you have to do to make that happen. That's the kind of bug that is near-impossible to fix, and once you finally do, you have no sense of joy. You just finally stumbled across a website mentioning the exact issue (or changed some random number in a last desperate attempt) and tweaked something you don't even understand the reason for, and now it works. Worst kind of bugs.

- We tried to watch a DVD last night (since we can't watch Netflix in our internet's condition!) and it had no sound! It was a special DVD sent by a survey company, we are supposed to watch and judge, but I judge it very quiet.

On the plus side, all of these technological woes are just interfering with my ability to utilize technology I'm trying to utilize, so it's not like my life would be better without the technology. Or maybe it would. But then I'd need a new job. Anyway, the point is that it's not actually hampering me in any way other than in technology itself. Sadly, that's my life. Wait, that's sad in two ways!
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Testers Ahoy04:36 PM -- Mon May 23, 2011

I just let everybody who successfully met the sign up challenge be a tester, so there are a bunch of testers. Are you one? Well, you probably know if you signed up right, so yes, you are. But you can look on the forum to be sure. On the downside, I am super busy today, so you won't be getting a copy of the game to try until tomorrow! Thanks for helping out!
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Mia's Happy Testers03:57 PM -- Fri May 20, 2011

Mia's Happy Day is almost ready to go! I'm looking for a few good testers. If you are considering whether to apply, let me tell you that this is a Tony Hawk type of game (pretty much exactly, which is something I've always wanted to do) - you hop around trying to make big combos by combining tricks without hitting the ground. It's all about dexterity, no thinking or leveling up or adventures. In each level, you get two minutes to score all you can. There are also some side goals you can do, like finding the Cookieball, but the basic goal is to maximize your score. You don't have to be a Tony Hawk fan or player to understand this game, but if you are, you will appreciate it!

I will choose testers on Monday from people who do this:

1. Send me an email saying you want to test.

2. Don't send me something other than an email saying so.

3. Don't have tested my last game (what, that makes sense!).

So, sign up if you're interested!
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The Maze Of More Ludicrosity!03:14 PM -- Sat May 14, 2011

There seems to be popular demand for resetting the Maze of Ludicrosity (erasing all the rooms and starting it from scratch). So everybody posting on the forum about this has said "reset it!" Which is good... but I thought I'd put this post up in the big public eye to ask you this: Is there anybody who out there who definitely does not want to lose what is there?

Keeping the old and starting anew as well is not an option... it's either all new, or all old. Anybody attached to the old?
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Mia's Happy Day Draws Closer05:38 PM -- Thu May 12, 2011

I can't even remember the last time I made even a tiny change to the gameplay of this game. But BOY have I been working on menus and online stuff for weeks. I feel like the work I'm doing is very relevant to any future games I want to do... I hope. At long last, it can most definitely load and save user-made levels, get high scores on them, keep your progress, and you can rate the levels. You can also play official levels instead of custom levels (of which there is one at the moment: Tutorial Lane), and look at the empty award page of awards you can't earn. It really feels like it's close to the finish line now.

I guess what remains is: creating the official levels, making the awards gettable (and drawing their icons, how I hate that!), and the instructions, and a page I have been dreading making. I think you'll know what page that is when you play the game. There's also an issue of user accounts... right now you just type in a name, but a Hamumu version could use your Dumb Account, a Kongregate version could use your Kong info, and so on. I haven't thought enough about those rules. Just typing in any name you like is a wee bit insecure, but what's to secure? I don't know, much thinking to do, and I think that has been stopping me from getting things done.
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I've got a game idea!08:30 AM -- Sun May 8, 2011

That's something you hear from people a lot. Even if I go to a party, when people find out I make games, about half the time (really!) they'll say "Oh, I have this great idea for a game about [whatever my particular field of work is]!" and depending on how entrepeneurial their spirit, they'll tell me how we could team up by me making their idea and them taking half the money.

I feel dirty posting a meme pic.
But if I didn't, somebody would just link it in the comments.

Of course, I also get these things sent via email. I thought I'd share my reply to the latest one here, because I think it's something that's good to get out there publicly. And I definitely don't mean this to belittle the latest person (of many) to email me about it. It's a misconception just about everybody seems to have until they actually try creating for themselves. I bet if you did an RSS feed of every indie game developer on earth, you'd see this exact same post crop up once a month at least. Well, now it's my turn to provide it, probably not for the first time, but it's at least been a long time. Here goes:

It's great to have game ideas, but the real challenge is implementing them! The reason I have my own game company instead of working for somebody else (for a whole lot more money) is that I want the freedom to create my own ideas instead of somebody else's. And all the other freedom I get by working for myself. That's why I'm not looking for ideas from anybody else. I have literally thousands of full game ideas that I desperately want to make, and there's just not enough time to make them all.

You should look into the Making Dumb Games forum on our site, where lots of forum members are working on games of their own. You could do the same. It's not at all easy (most threads in there are abandoned projects), and there's years of learning involved, but if you want to see your ideas come to life, that's the only path to make it happen!

You might also find people there or on game development sites who would team up with you on making your game, but I can tell you that if all you all you want to do is provide ideas, they won't want to. Making up ideas is the fun part, turning them into a game is the work! So if you want to see your game become real, you have to learn some part of how to do that - art, code, sound, etc. And to be honest, code is by far the hardest*, and it's the coders who usually get to decide what the game is. In a large corporation, there are actual "game designers" who do that part, but getting that job, once again, requires you to learn code, art, etc. And you aren't going to be making your own ideas until you run the company - you'll be expanding on somebody else's, or just making levels, or quests. And even the work that game designers do isn't just coming up with ideas and sharing them, it's much more complex, like scripting levels (simplified code) and writing up complex technical designs.

Making games is extremely hard work, but it's obviously a lot of fun. If it's what you want to do in your life, then learn! It can be done, and it's far easier today than it ever was in the past. Not to mention, free. In my day, you had to buy books to learn things, and programs to compile or edit things. Now there are incredibly powerful free versions of anything you could need on the internet.

Books, by the way, are these things like web pages, but on a bunch of pieces of paper all stuck in a row. Like a paper Kindle?

* Sorry, artists, but your pictures don't CRASH.
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Hamumu Live!02:05 PM -- Wed May 4, 2011

So, for those of you that showed up... what did you think of Livestreamed game development? There weren't a ton of people, so it wasn't super crazy chatting, but it was a lot of fun for me. And I got SpaceManiac debugging my game for me live! That helped.
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LD20: Complete!06:27 PM -- Sun May 1, 2011

Why waste your time with another screenshot? The game's done, you can see it live and in person by clicking here! It turned out interesting... it's quite polished, but I have no idea if it's fun or balanced or fair. I just didn't have time to actually play it for any length of time. I'm sure there are tons of changes I'd make after trying it out some. And that's what I will be doing after release, probably! Oops, I need to share source too before I'm done...
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LD20: Sunday Mornin'12:13 PM -- Sun May 1, 2011

There's a lot more new than you see here... clearly these are scary sharks that turn red and charge at you if they see you. You can also now die, including by drowning, and buy a bunch of items in the store which upgrade your abilities. Next I think you need something to help you handle those sharks. There's also a title screen now, and a rather odd title. Who knows what it could be!? Livestream watchers do.
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