1. The Way Home - iOS game about time travel is finally out

    10 months? 1600 hours? Less? Or was it more? Somehow I lost track of the time spent on developing this little time travel game for iOS. The Way Home surely took longer than originally anticipated, but the result is quite satisfying.

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    The Quantum Leap TV series was the inspiration, when Bleau and I embarked in this adventure. We both grew up with this show and were fascinated by all the trouble Sam Beckett got into. Quantum Leap had a good diversity of topics, that few TV shows touch upon these days.

    Fast forward a few years and our minds were set on making an iOS game. Our second one. Throw in a few other ingredients: iOS development experience, Cocos2D experince, knowing a thing or two about visual design, marketing experience, curiosity, dedication, personal savings and more creative ideas than King Kong can handle and our humble game studios was ready to start the development of a new time travel themed iOS game.

    As independent game developers we both wore many hats to ensure a smooth proccess. One of the central tools of our arsenal is Trello, which allows us to structure and keep track of the huge number of tasks and ideas that come up.

    While The Way Home was in the App Store for quite a while, our biggest milestone is marked by the launch of the hardcore levels, where Dex is the main protagonist. Dex is Will’s best friend and both of them are to blame for playing with a time machine, sparking the domino of adventures in which Will is stuck and must solve to get back home, in his own time line.

    "Use the force, Lu..! Erm, use the Slow Powerup, Will!"

    "Grab that Time Pill!”

    "Quick, dodge the angry mob!"

    "E=mc…what was it? Sounds so familiar!"

    "Becoming a taxi driver in New York City is no walk in the park.”

    These are only a few of the lines which appear in the stories from The Way Home. I giggled everytime Bleau showed me a new episode he wrote and I hope people will fancy playing the adventures as much as we did creating them.

    Not matter how many or how few games you have installed on your iPhone, iPad or iPod, do give The Way Home a shot and don’t forget to share it with your friends if you enjoyed it.

    If the picture I sketched above is still unclear, download the game or check out a trailer to see some action:

  2. New iOS app launched - Betfair Experience

    Betfair iOS App

    With all the football fever in the air this summer, I’ve had the great pleasure to work on a wonderful app which is tangent to the footbal topic. A few days before the World Cup started the Betfair Experience app was launched and I was lucky enough to be part of the hard-working team behind the universal iOS version of the app.

    In a full fledged Agile setup and a solid grasp of iOS architecture patterns, the app started slowly coming to life, in harmony with the detailed wireframes and well-spec’ed visual designs.

    Read More

  3. Handling piracy

    James Vaughan form Ndemic Creations creator of Plague Inc., expressed a very interesting point of view on piracy, with which I wholeheartedly agree:

    "Plague Inc. has a piracy rate of about 30-35 percent, which equals millions and millions of copies, but I don’t consider piracy to be a problem; it is simply a fact of life and I don’t get too worked up about it. Piracy is a byproduct of success and I choose to focus on the success which has resulted in piracy rather than the piracy itself. (The best way to stop your game from being pirated is to make a crap game!) I focus on continually improving and updating Plague Inc. which makes the game even more valuable to the people who have bought it (and encourages pirates to buy it as well)."

    Source

  4. Monday Story

    Today was Monday, the day I allocate to finances, book keeping and other tedious, but neccesary, paperwork. Hats! Hats! Many hats!

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    While flipping through documents, this insightful TED playlist poped up. Stoytelling is one topic that always fascinated me, mostly from the position of the listener. Listening to people who have a natural talent at telling attention grabbing stories. Since going full-time indie game dev (over at moWOW), the “how do they work?” aspect of stories interested me more and more. How can games with no written story (or very little) still be expressive and engaging?

    Book keeping hat, on; TED playlist, play.

  5. 14:24 2nd Mar 2014

    Reblogged from nevver

    nevver:

Steven Soderberg

Let’s not do that.

    nevver:

    Steven Soderberg

    Let’s not do that.

  6. For the first time I’ve met a person who thinks like me…on youtube, at least.

  7. Introducing CoVim – Collaborative Editing for Vim

    fredkschott:

    Header Image

    Today we’re announcing CoVim, a plugin that adds multi-user, real-time collaboration to your favorite (or least favorite) text editor. CoVim allows you to remotely code, write, edit, and collaborate, all within your custom Vim configuration. Originally started as a senior capstone project for Tufts University, we’re now open-sourcing it to give the world one of Vim’s most requested features. Think Google Docs for Vim.

    Read More

  8. List of Development Podcasts

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    Listening to Podcasts is a fairly recently discovered habit, that keeps me in the zone while working. Here’s what my iTunes is downloading and playing every week:

    NSBrief
    This is one of my favourite. “A brief Podcast for Cocoa Developers, discussing interesting developer-y topics.” as the podcast’s creator (Saul Mora) describes it. Every episode interviews a guest, which is highly respected in the community and discussions revolve around various aspects of development of either apps or libraries.
    Podcast URL: http://feeds.nsbrief.com/nsbrief

    Giant Bomb
    The gamers at Giant Bomb go all out in this >2 hours long podcast. Most of the times they are utterly hilarious, but be warned: ranting is often.
    Podcast URL: http://www.giantbomb.com/podcast-xml/

    Kwalee
    From the heart of UK, the Kwalee guys maintain this podcast about (most of the times) games on mobile devices. As a disclosure, they are also a game development studio, so self promo is sure to be found in there, but I don’t consider that a problem at all. The casual style and british humor is worth listening to every second. Unfortunately the podcast is no longer weekly.
    Podcast URL: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/13849232-kwalee/tracks

    EdgeCases
    Another software development weekly podcast, mostly related to Apple stuff. Most of the times Andrew Pontious and Wolf Rentzsch get in quite deep details covering app and how apps are built.
    Podcast URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/EdgeCases

    Developing Perspective
    You guessed it, this podcast is about iOS development again. Developing Perspective is usually 15 minutes long and it delivers the gist of the episode’s topic pretty clearly.
    Podcast URL: http://developingperspective.com/feed/podcast/

    NSNorth
    Ramping up for the conference with the same name, NSNorth presents interviews with the speakers.
    Podcast URL: http://nsnorth.ca/podcast.xml

    Critial Path
    This podcast looks at the mobile market from a higher perspective, not diving in the tech details. Good for keeping a birds eye view.
    Podcast URL: http://feeds.5by5.tv/criticalpath

    Back to Work
    The last podcast on my list comes from the 5by5 network again. Their tagline sums their topics very well: “discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more.” Add a dash of humour and I present you my second favourite podcast on this list.
    Podcast URL: http://feeds.5by5.tv/b2w

    Most of them are good for getting in the “get stuff done” mood, that’s why I usually listen to them while coding. If you have any other suggestion, please share.

  9. 11:56 14th Jan 2013

    Reblogged from seanbonner

    Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.
  10. [REVIEW] Jacked

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    Few games have had a greater social impact than the Grand Theft Auto series. David Kushner presents the history and decisions that made this franchise come to a very fruitful life. Jacked is a result of many hours of interviewing all the parties that had an impact on this pop culture phenomenon.

    From the highly productive teach team in Edinburgh, lead by Dave Jones, to the Def Jam admiring Sam Houser, to the highly conservative lawyer-shark Jack Thompson, Jacked covers the major details. The narrative style is a good combination of factual non-fiction and well built storylines.

    As in many success stories, ups and downs are present. The biggest decline was close to destroy Rockstar, mostly because of conservative points of view imposed by various politicians. A hidden sex mini-game made its way into the public version of the game, which was considered unacceptable, regardless of the fact that the game needed to be hacked to enable it. There goes logical thinking out the window!

    “Video game development is a highly collaborative work in progress, with constant feedback along the way.”

    The above quote is true for every game. Add to that an inspiring and ambitious co-founder (Sam Houser), a generation that considered video games as suited only for children, overprotective lawyers, an America which has a volatile definition of freedom and some sparks are bound to happen. Luckily these sparks ended up in breaking sales records and solidifying video games as an art.

    GTA was always about game play and Sam Houser’s crew took every detail very seriously: professional actors for voice-overs, sun-shy programmers sent on the streets of New York and Los Angeles for inspiration, endless hours of playing, gaming conventions, carefully hand picked soundtracks, clever PR.

    Even though GTA deserves full respect, it seems like this is only an effect, while the root cause being the company culture nurtured by Rockstar. Even though “work hard, party harder” might sound like a cliché, David Kushner’s Jacked exposes some of the details in which this goal can become real.

    The book achieves a secondary goal: it urges the reader to download GTA and enjoy the virtual freedom. On top of that I’d like to add that the soundtrack is worth listening to and here is a GTA playlist I discovered on Spotify: spoti.fi/NovDL1

    The only negative aspect I saw in this book is that it was too short. The book could have had double the number of pages and it would still be too short. That could be mostly because of hunger for details on how Rockstar achieved success and empathy with the main characters.