Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Blahg, now with more video.


A wild CEO appears!

Yep. Tyler made it. There are now three of us living in Estonia, enjoying the lovely weather… oh that’s right, it’s been raining and near freezing all week. At least the people are nice (except the Russian grocery lady who we’re pretty sure hates our english speaking guts.)

Week 3. Well, yet again a whirlwind of action. The week started off with a slew of new mentors who were all extremely helpful. We got notes about marketing strategies, release plans, App Engine Optimization (S.E.O. for app stores, who knew…), and of course the now broken record, Test Test Test.

Oh. One of the mentors, Sonja Ängeslevä, also set me up to speak at IGDA Finland on October 8th about Unity. I guess that’s kind of cool; if you are into that whole amazing opportunity & awesome experience thing. (You can read about it HERE)

The middle of the week was spent actually making the game! Woo I wrote some code! Starting on Wednesday & finishing Thursday night, I rewrote the game. Yes for what feels like the 19th time, I started again. It’s a process, some of the old code was converted but a lot of it was scrapped. That’s just the way of life. It’s running a lot smoother, it’s a lot cleaner, and most importantly it will do what I want with the new changes coming soon.

Zak made us some temporary art for the playtest, so I’m not going to show it to you. But I promise I’ll lock him in a box, there will be something to show by next week. No matter what, I’ll upload something…

So the playtest. Another mentor brought about 15 high-schoolers out to test the teams games. None of them had done this before & it was an interesting experience for everyone. Our focus was to improve how easy it is for players to understand the game. The idea being, if I hand you the game, how long does it take you to figure it out without any prompting from us. Halfway through the test we made a slight change, just a simple texture swap. We immediately saw a 20% decrease in ‘start-up’ time. This was awesome to see & it has me excited to test new strategies, luckily there are playtests every two weeks!

Mentors & Playtesting, that was most of the week. However on Thursday there was one other very useful event. Pitch Practice. Each of the eight teams got up and basically presented their team. The general idea is you are practicing a pitch you would give to an investor or a publisher, so you have to come off professional & sell your company in about six minutes. We didn’t have any visuals prepared but I think we did fine.

There is something to mention here. The inherent advantage of being a native English speaker is more & more apparent every day. Some of these teams have members that barely speak the language, let alone possess the mastery to perform public speaking. Between Zak, Tyler, & myself we really have a wealth of experience it’s obvious these other teams don’t.

Pitch day happens once a week, every Thursday. So while I’m working on my talk for IGDA Finnland, Tyler & Zak will be preparing to knock everyone's socks off. The practice & feedback received in these sessions is going to be hugely valuable in the long run.

As a bonus this week we have a video! Word on the street was some people wanted to know more about our day to day. So we have tours of the office & flat for you. Enjoy.

WARNING: Zak is in charge of the Vlahg, not me. I am not responsible for the lack of professionalism that follows.

Seriously not my fault... Also for the record, the first 30 seconds of that video are 100% real. They certainly didn't make anything up at all, that would be irresponsible & borderline slander. Anyone who knows Zak could tell you he is the most truthful person on the planet,  nothing but facts & good advice come out of his mouth...

Looking forward, this week is about presentations. We still have mentor meetings & seminars but we’re going to be working our public speaking chops as often as we can. The next blog will feature new art (right Zak?), some thoughts from Tyler (right boss?), and a little bit of my prep for the presentation!



PS: Meet Snappy the Snail. They block the bike path so cars don’t murder children, how cool is that?

1 comment:

  1. LOVE Snappy ... so simple & yet so brilliant!!!!