In 2010 I will…

15 01 2010

It’s mid January so one can say it’s a bit late for New Year Resolutions. Actually I was very surprised when I checked Indie Gamer Forums on Jan 2nd and found out 24 posts already. Maybe most people fail to keep their New Year Resolution because they don’t put enough time to think about them, about what’s possible and what’s not.

Anyway, my list is short this year:

1. I will play more games
2. I will release a game every 2-3 months

The first one is quite easy to achieve, just needs a bit of balancing. You can’t play too much because you won’t be so productive anymore. And if you don’t play enough you just miss on all those great ideas that come to your head when playing others games (and a lot of relax).

The second point sounds a bit crazy. It takes usually more than 3 months to create a decent game. So how I want to achieve that? It’s possible because I want to finish 2 games I started in previous years (and one is 3 years old, but luckily the art is still up to date). But that’s just two games, so only 6 months out of 12. For the other 6 months I plan to be very uncreative. I was quite creative for the last 3 years and it didn’t pay out that much, so I am going to create a bunch of clones. Or spin offs of our own games. This way I can save a lot of development time and probably some in development budget.

Will I see 4 more games in my portfolio by the end of 2010? Time will tell, but I strongly hope so. I started to believe that I can’t risk 9-12 months projects that don’t sell well.

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The worst year ever?

14 08 2009

We all heart it – recession. But has it affected our sales? I don’t know and that’s why I’m making this post. You tell me this time.

My sales have dropped, but that’s not surprising to me. I focused on development on a new game and completely abandoned marketing and if you do so your revenue must drop. Still it didn’t drop so much. Even portal sales hold still and are still above the level I expected them to be after a year of my game release.

My sales dropped by expect them to recover once I make a new release. The question is, will that be enough at this current state of the market? I would say so. I play at stock exchange and stock markets keep recovering since February so I would be surprised if casual games don’t recover soon. Still all those price wars, etc. make me wonder.

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My new PC rocks

10 08 2009

After probably seven years since buying my old PC I decided to get a new one. I really don’t like to put money into hardware, but since my HDD started to report bugs every time I turned on my PC it was probably the final moment before loosing some critical data like source codes.

Before I went to the shop I browsed hundreds of reviews. I didn’t want to buy high end stuff, but I also didn’t want to buy crap, and I didn’t want to pay for power that I won’t need. And it had to be silent!

Finally I decided to buy AMD Phenom II X3 720 processor with GeForce 250 GTS, 4GB of RAM, 300 GB HDD. I also got Be-Quiet DarkPower power-supply. Processor came with box cooler, but it was too noisy and I decided to replace it with Scythe Ninja II. It is a huge monster and can operate in fan-less mode. After replacing processor cooler the next noisiest thing was gfx card… it had built in dynamic speed cooler, but even at the lowest speed it was too noisy for me. I replaced it with the one that came with Ninja cooler (12 cm).

Now the noisiest element is HDD… but only when it’s reading or writing stuff ¬†and it doesn’t do it often :)

It probably wouldn’t be worth investing 1000$ only to get more quiet working space, so let’s talk about performance. How does 10 times faster ¬†sounds to you? It exceeded my expectations. I was killing myself developing Pony World Deluxe with over 10 minutes compilation times in debug mode and now it’s less than a minute. I hesitated to add music to my games because decoding ogg’s took to much time when loading the game 100 a day, now I don’t care.

Will it help me sell more games? I don’t know, but for sure I increased comfort and performance of my workplace.

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The hard life of paying customers

12 06 2009

There’s constant debate about piracy on forums. It’s hardly moving us forward, but there is an argument worth discussing and it applies not only to software. It’s about how hard it is to get software legaly vs stealing it.

Stealing is always easier option and it doesn’t matter if we talk about software or phisical goods. Suprised? Well, keep in mind that if you want to buy something you need to either earn enough money before you can buy it or you need to worry about your credit score, fill out all the papers, agreements, blah, blah. For some goods like cars you need to wait couple of months before they arrive… and you’re paying customer… wtf? You could just walk out of your house and break in to the car of your choice. That’s just 30s job if you got some experience in it.

Just because thiefs have easier life doesn’t mean you have to steal. I don’t say we should make the life of paying customers harder, but it will always be harder to aquire goods legal way than stealing them.

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