Category Archives: Review

Foxhole: A War Simulation Game

Last year I stumbled across a game just as it released on Steam through one of the streamers I occasionally watch on Twitch.
That game was Foxhole and it is awesome.

Quick Summary

Foxhole is a war simulation from a kind of isometric top down perspective. It is an extremely team focused game that ranges from 20 vs 20 to 70 vs 70 games (possibly more in the future). Every weapon, tool, defensive structure, vehicle and round of ammo in the game is created by players (except the pistol and hammer you spawn with). The game is set in a separate world from ours but uses technology from the World War 2 ish era with a conflict of the Wardens vs the Colonials.

You play a single soldier on one side of a conflict in a war that can last anywhere from several days to several weeks. You get to choose your role and what you do for your team whether that is logistics creating and transporting resources, combat engineer building defenses on the front and advancing your lines, scout locating and probing enemy defenses, partisan causing havoc behind enemy lines, front line grunt smashing against enemy defenses to push them back, or any other job you can come up with.

The game goes on until one side captures all of the towns on a map. The campaign is won when one team wins all of the maps.

The Production Cycle

There are 4 basic resources in the game: scrap, components, fuel, and sulfur. There is an additional resource that you get randomly and is used to tech up called tech parts.

Scrap can be gathered with the basic hammer that you spawn with. It turns into Basic Materials, or bmats in game shorthand, and is what the war runs on. You can build quite a lot from the basic materials from rifle and grenades to trucks and pillboxes.

Fuel is what all the vehicles run on. No fuel in your truck, your stuck. This can also be gathered with the basic hammer.

Components require a sledge hammer which requires a little teching up. They turn into Refined Materials, or rmats, and are used to make more advanced vehicles and structures, think tanks and pillboxes that are harder to destroy.

Sulfur is used to create Explosive Material, or emats. This lets you create more advanced ammunition such as artillery, mortar, and tank shells. Because the weapons it makes are more powerful, it is slower to gather so use wisely.

Each of these resources gets mined from a resource node then has to be transported to a refinery (except fuel) to become its useful version. Good luck getting it there without a truck. If your character has too much in his backpack he becomes encumbered and moves super slow. If you get fully encumbered, your character will collapse to the ground after a short sprint and need to recover.

Combat

You do not have a health bar. Individual soldiers are pretty fragile. A couple of rifle shots and you are on the ground either dead or dying. There is some visual indication of damage, if you are close to dying your character will be bloodied up. Also you can be in a bleeding state where little spurts of red come from your character. This means you should find a medic soon or apply a bandage if you have one.

There are 2 main things you fight in Foxhole, other players and static defenses.

The primary static defense is a foxhole (where the game gets its name). Defenses will shoot at you if you come into their visual range. However there are 4 ways of keeping yourself from dying in the meat grinder as you clear them out.

If you are with a squad of players, most defenses can be suppressed. By keeping up a steady stream of fire, either from an automatic weapon or several semi-auto weapons, the defenses rate of fire will drop down to almost zero. Then you run up and throw grenades at it.

If you are alone, you can throw a smoke grenade to obscure the vision of the defense. This will keep it from seeing your and firing at you as you lob your grenades at it.

Another option is long range artillery. Usually a mortar. Using binoculars to find the range and direction of the target, you set your mortar and fire, safely behind your own defenses.

One of the more fun options is using combat vehicles, especially tanks, to roll up and blow holes in the enemy defensive line. Careful though as there are anti-vehicle turrets that will turn your tank into swiss cheese as well as anti-tank mines that can leave you with a busted engine. Always bring some infantry support to scout ahead for you.

Recent Updates

An update this past fall brought water vehicles and features to the game. You can now stage your own D-Day style landings with a swarm of amphibious troop transports or bombard enemy defenses from your gunboat. You can even swim a short distance.

A training ground was added for people to jump in and experiment with movement, building, etc, without impacting the war effort of a team.

Even more recently there have been changes to scouting, watchtowers, and radios with more updates to come.

The development team has been listening closely to the community for feedback on features and improvements and it shows. Catch one of their streams every other Tuesday on Twitch to find out more.

Caveats, Warnings, and Other Thoughts

This game requires some patience. It is designed to last multiple days or weeks. Ten to twenty minutes is not going to do much. Try for longer play sessions.

While there are roles you can perform playing as a solo that will help your team, you will not get much done by your self. It is specifically designed to be a team game and require cooperation for success.

It is best if you can find a group of at least 3-4 people, preferably on a regular basis, to make a bigger impact on the war.

This game is still technically in Alpha/Early Release. It has bugs and is unfinished. But like I mentioned before, the dev team is working hard and listening to community feedback. Also, it plays really well.

The whole cooperation for success aspect of the design is one of the things that makes this game stand out, along with the massive size of the teams. For example, you can’t do much with a tank by yourself. You need at least a driver and a gunner and it is even better when you have a commander sticking out the hatch with binoculars doing some spotting and a group of infantry keeping enemy soldiers with grenades from attacking you from the flank.

I love this game and hope it continues to be successful.

Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.

Win Bigly: A Review

We as human beings like to think of each of us is rational most of the time. But what if we aren’t?

In Win Bigly, Scott Adams takes you through how persuasion works and why we make decisions. His primary example throughout the book is the largely unexpected win of Donald Trump in the recent election. But if Scott is to be believed, he was pretty certain Trump would win from the get.

The book is a great read and has tons of value in it. I will just briefly talk about some of the points I found both memorable and interesting.

Techniques that Stuck

The whole book is fascinating, as well as each of the persuasion tools. But some of them stuck out and lodged in my brain.

Anchoring: starting off with an extreme or unreasonable request. If you want negotiations to land on your side of the middle, start with a valuation strongly in your favor. This will influence people to believe that the middle is closer to your anchor value. One of the reasons this tool stood out is I had heard of it before. It is a negotiating tool I learned about in Never Split the Difference, a great read on how to become a better negotiator.

High Ground Maneuver: when you take a problem out of the details and generalize it to something everyone agrees on, you both take away specific targets and make people who want to take it back down to the details look petty. The example in the book was how Steve Jobs handled a problem with the iPhone 4.

If you don’t remember, there was a problem where when you held the phone in a specific way (the way most people held the phone) you ended up covering the cell antenna with your thumb and it would drop calls. Did Jobs come out and apologize? No way. He came out and said that all phones have problem and they wanted to keep there customers happy. The High Ground Maneuver. One of the reasons this stuck is because it seems practical in daily disagreements and debates.

Two Ways to Win, No Way to Lose: if you can come up with a strategy that has positive outcomes whether it succeeds or fails, you can persuade people to use that strategy. Who doesn’t want to do things that only have upside? One of the reasons this stuck with me is a key to success is having this mindset about almost everything. If you “fail” at a job or a business, you still win because you learned.

Interesting Bits

The following list is of other parts of the book that I found thought provoking and entertaining:

  • Cognitive Dissonance and Confirmation Bias
  • Hypnotism
  • The Persuasion Stack
  • How to tell if you are living in a simulation

Further Reading

If you want more information from scholarly sources on whether or not people are rational and how they are persuaded, you might try Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely or perhaps Robert Cialdini’s books Influence and Pre-Suasion.

Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.

Books I Read in 2017

This may or may not be a complete list as I did not keep perfect track of my reading last year but I will definitely highlight some of my favorites and add to the list as I remember them.

This is mostly in order of the ones I remembered strongly and that had an impact on me.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big – Scott Adams

Not only is this book an entertaining read, it contains solid practical advice as well. Scott Adams breaks down some of his personal beliefs and habits that have led to his success. The main theme being, your goal should actually be to build systems that will guarantee success over and over rather than some end result (like a million dollars). He has an interesting point that often you can combine enough skills you are just OK at to make a powerful skill stack, in his example writing, drawing, humor, and knowledge of the corporate world.

Win Bigly – Scott Adams

To give you a sense of how good this book was, I got it for Christmas and finished it in less than a week. Win Bigly is a dive into persuasion, primarily the persuasion used during the recent election. If you are still scratching your head as to how someone so socially unpopular became elected president, this is definitely worth a read. It will arm you with a new perspective about the way people act.

The ONE Thing – Gary Keller

If you have more than one priority, then you have no priorities. The ONE Thing gives a simple but powerful question to help determine what that priority should be. The question is “What is the ONE thing that by doing it, make everything else easier or unnecessary?” When you answer this, you have your very next action to take. Then ask the question again. You may be thinking, “Why do you need a whole book about that sentence? Seems pretty straightforward.” I might agree but I read the book and it contains a lot of other valuable information to go along with this powerful principle to help you answer that question. It also provides 7 different areas of life in which to apply the question. If you only read one book this year, I can recommend it be the ONE Thing.

Sell or Be Sold – Grant Cardone

While it is definitely directed toward salespeople and the sales profession, this book has a great foundation in a positive and empowering life philosophy. Grant’s theory is that just about everything is sales and we are always selling, so why not be good at it. Whether you are selling yourself to your boss for a promotion, to a new company to hire you, looking for a spouse, or actually selling a product to a customer, the principles and ideas in this book will help you get there.

The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide – John Sonmez

If you are a software developer, are in school for anything related to software, or even considering going into any computer related field, you should read this book. Stuffed with valuable advice and information about basically everything you need to know when getting into software development. The title says it all. Might recommend this on on kindle though as it is incredibly thick (796 pages). Could also recommend the audio version that John narrates himself.

Fiction

I always enjoy a good story and as someone who is aspiring to be a great game designer, I think a good fiction base is essential for world building in games. If you are looking to become a game designer, make sure to include some good stories in your reading to help you become a better story teller.

The Tawny Man Trilogy – Robin Hobb

I was introduced to Robin Hobb’s books by a friend several years ago and enjoyed them immensely. So when I spotted the first 2 books of this trilogy on the shelf at my local goodwill I grabbed them to see if they were any good. Turns out they were and I bought the final part of the trilogy on Amazon to finish it up. This set ties up the story began in the Farseer Trilogy also by Robin Hobb. If you are looking for a fun little fantasy adventure, look no further.

The Silmarillion – J. R. R. Tolkien

To be perfectly honest, my bookmark is only halfway through this one. It is a tough read. For perspective there is a 40 page list of names at the back for reference. But for world building, it is an excellent source as Tolkien draws on the mythology of countless cultures to piece together the creation of Middle Earth and the beloved realm of Lord of the Rings.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction – Seventeenth Annual Collection

I found an anthology of curated science fiction at a Goodwill a few years ago and really enjoyed the odd and entertaining short stories in it. I found another one last year and picked it up as well. Ton of good stories in it.

Again this is not a complete list of everything I read but definitely some of the better stuff, and any of them would make a great read. There are at least 5 books sitting nearby with bookmarks partially the way through them that I will ideally finish this year.

Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.

2017 Year in Review

One of the most valuable things you can do at the end or beginning of a year is to review the previous year to see how you did. This is also a valuable activity at the end of a day, or a week, or a month. Take a little time and review

Writing

This past year I did a lot less public writing, but picked up journaling. And I couldn’t recommend it more. For the first part of the year I was very consistent about journaling every day and ended up with 250 pages of journal entries at the end of the year.

Journaling is helpful for capturing valuable ideas that you find to help solidify your understanding and memory of them. It also helps to record commitments, plans, and challenges that you have faced and overcome.

Reading

My reading amount was down but I did read quite a few books with some very powerful ideas. I may do a review later this month of some of my favorites and at least try to list out the books I read. Particularly enjoyed a couple of books from Scott Adams.

Coding

I did not do much game programming at all in 2017. A little at the beginning of the year working on a Monkey-X tutorial and I spent a small amount of time looking into Unreal Engine.
However I did begin working with a small startup in addition to my day job. This has taken over most of my programming time outside of work as it is in a technology stack that I previously did not have a large amount of experience with.

Things are going well and I expect to be using it as the topic of a lot of my writing in 2018.

Video

Document, preferably with video. One of the lessons I am taking from Gary Vaynerchuk. One of the most interesting things you can do for content creation is document what you are going though.

I did a few videos this past year, not to document what I was doing necessarily but to document my mindset before I get to a higher level of success. To me it will make more sense if I am going to help someone else become successful to point to the documentation of my time before I was to teach them how.

I plan on doing more videos this year in addition to my writing. Not all will be published immediately.

Plans for 2018

I have come up with several challenges for myself in 2018, especially to start out the year, such as writing every day for the first 30 days.

Looking forward to a great year.

Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.

October 2016 Goal Review

Just realized that I did not write a review of my goal progression for October last month so here is a quick breakdown.

Goals

  1. Write 3 Blog Posts Per Week and Publish 2 – Wrote 6 so average is up. Less focused on monthly totals at the end of the year as I have a series I am trying to write as a tutorial on making your first game using Monkey-X.
  2. 1 Game Designed, Created, and Released Per Quarter – Drone Tournament (Game #2 of 2016) was progressed even more. The multiplayer server was basically finalized and released to Heroku as a first step to releasing the game.
  3. 1 Book Read Every 2 Months on Game Design – Finished the book on PhaserJS. Started reading through the online version of Game Programming Patterns. Great stuff, you should check it out.
  4. 1 Article Read Or 1 Video Watched About Game Design/Creation Per Week – I was planning on keeping a list of what I read or watched on game design and creation but I did not and cannot remember what I read. I did watch some videos from Extra Credits on Youtube. I have mentioned their videos before because they are really valuable. Check them out.
  5. Get 100 People Reading Evolving Developer Per Month – Got around 30 – 50 people’s eyes on the blog in October. Was not a focus this month as my primary focus in on wrapping up Drone Tournament and writing the tutorial series.

What Went Right

Still making progress. Got the multiplayer server into a stable build and pushed out to Heroku and starting to focus on making the interface better. Got the first couple parts of the tutorial series I want to turn into a book written. More people than the first 75% of the year were looking at something that I wrote.

What Is Not Perfect Yet

Although I am clarifying what I want to write about, the volume is still not there. Also did not do as much study on game design and creation that I wanted to.

Corrective Measures

Sleep schedule. It has been changing with the Sun going down earlier and coming up later and with the horrid daylight savings time changes. I need to get my sleep schedule back on track so I can put the time in where I want it.

Late review so I forgot some stuff. Now need to review November.

August 2016 End of Month Goal Review

And It is September, home stretch of the year.

Goals

  1. Write 3 Blog Posts Per Week and Publish 2 – Got the same number of posts in August as I did in July, 5. The writing goal was 12 and the publishing goals was 8. Still not hitting my writing goals, but I am pivoting a bit on my writing format. Additional goal is to create a series of posts that end up being a solid tutorial (and maybe even a book) on making games with Monkey-X.
  2. 1 Game Designed, Created, and Released Per Quarter – I got some good ideas for the card game from creating some mock cards and writing out factions and races that will exist in the game. Drone Tournament (Game #2 of 2016) programming is still progressing steadily. The final parts are straight uphill. Definitely interesting challenges with the simultaneous turns.
  3. 1 Book Read Every 2 Months on Game Design – Completely finished reading Clean Code and it has already had an impact on the way I am organizing and writing my code, for the better. New book I am reading is a book on making games with Phaser JS. I will be doing a separate post about the new book.
  4. 1 Article Read Or 1 Video Watched About Game Design/Creation Per Week – In August, I over corrected just a bit. I read dozens of articles on game design and creation. A majority were on a blog I stumbled upon by Ralph Koster. A goldmine of good stuff. Additionally he wrote a book called “The Theory of Fun” which I will probably be checking out later on.
  5. Get 100 People Reading Evolving Developer Per Month – Progress = 0%. When I get a few articles into the tutorial I will be posting it into the forums on the Monkey-X website.

What Went Right

I definitely hit my goal of reading 1 article on game design per week. Found a lot of great information on game design and balance. Big bonus, Monkey-X Pro dropped its price down to $40 (from $99) so I purchased it which will eventually allow me to build to mobile and desktop. Final big bonus was I got a logo created for the site on Fiverr which turned out looking great and was a great deal. Small bonus is that I have several cards designed for game #3 of 2016.

What Is Not Perfect Yet

Writing volume is still low. I have not gotten a consistent schedule yet. Ran into some difficult programming bits while working on Drone Tournament and it is not finished yet. Had to travel for a week in August and did not do as much programming and writing during the trip as I needed to.

Corrective Measures

The only one I can think of is currently is to be more consistent with my morning routine. Get up at a more consistent time and make sure that I do the most important things first. Additionally, I will be attempting to capitalize on my free time a bit more to focus on finishing Drone Trounament.

Read All the Articles.

July 2016 End of Month Goal Review

It’s August already. Where has this year gone? Lets take a look at how I did in on my goals in July.

Goals

  1. Write 3 Blog Posts Per Week and Publish 2 – I wrote and published exactly 5 posts in July. The writing goal was 12 and the publishing goals was 8. This is why it is important to check the numbers every so often. I am clearly not hitting my writing goals.
  2. 1 Game Designed, Created, and Released Per Quarter – The rough draft of a card game was made (Design) but no further work has been done on it. I have been steadily working to finish multiplayer for Drone Tournament (Game #2 of 2016) instead, and I have been making good progress. Some of the server side code could be cleaner but it is almost an MVP for play testing.
  3. 1 Book Read Every 2 Months on Game Design – Still making my way through Clean Code, in fact I just read a few pages before writing this. On page 340 out of about 460 pages so 75% done. Making good progress actually and the principles in it have been invaluable in improving my code for my games and also for my day job.
  4. 1 Article Read Or 1 Video Watched About Game Design/Creation Per Week – I don’t actually remember July that well as far as this subject goes. I do remember listening to some podcast episodes on a new podcast I found, but other than that not much.
  5. Get 100 People Reading Evolving Developer Per Month – I have noticed a couple people have followed links from a forum post I did linking to a tutorial on how to handle a certain camera interaction. Maybe more of these kinds of tutorial posts that teach something useful and actionable and that deal with specific problems are what I need to be doing.

What Went Right

Drone Tournament multiplayer is coming along steadily and is almost done. My code is getting cleaner and I am on track to finish reading book #2 of 2016 on the schedule I set for myself. I am getting a tiny, tiny bit of traffic to a certain article that solves a specific problem. Bonus thing that went right is that Monkey-X full version dropped its price to about $40 instead of $100. I was already thinking about getting it and this makes it an even easier decision.

What Is Not Perfect Yet

My writing volume was at less than half of my stated goal per week for July and my publishing of that writing was only slightly better than half. Game #2 was not released on time and is not yet finished. I did not keep track of the articles and videos I watched on games and game design so I don’t remember if I hit my goal or not. And still don’t have even 1 daily visitor to my blog.

Corrective Measures

In order to keep writing volume up, instead of starting every day with coding on the current game for the quarter, I will start everyday with at least 15 minutes of writing. In order to get Game #2 finished, the writing will be followed by at least an hour of designing and coding the finishing touches on the game. I start keeping a list of every article that I read and video that I watch on game design in Evernote to refer back to later to see how I am doing. And finally, I will begin writing more tutorial type posts and sharing them in the Monkey-X forums for people to use.

More Progress Mixed With Difficulty

10 Things Analysis: Texas Hold’em

It’s been a while since I did a game analysis and since Game #3 for 2016 is going to be a card game, I decided to take a look at one of the many card games I enjoy, one that is been around for a while and played worldwide. The game I chose is Poker, specifically the Texas Hold’em style.

How I Know the Game

I had seen some Texas Hold’em played before on TV during the World Series of Poker (WSOP, which incidentally has been going on for the past few weeks), but had never played it myself and didn’t really understand it until a couple years ago.

Some guys at work where having a little home poker tournament and a friend of mine invited me to come play. I didn’t know the rules so he taught me the basic rules and then I proceeded to watch the coverage of the prior 2 years of WSOP on Youtube before the tournament to prepare.

I didn’t do all that well. And although I lasted longer than my friend, I did not have a strategy for how to win.

About 8 months later I happened across a Twitch streamer named Jason Summerville who was streaming poker of all varieties every evening and I began to watch and listen. After a couple months of watching him and about a year after my first time playing Poker, the guys at work scheduled another tournament.

Again I watched WSOP, continued to watch Jason, and played some practice games with a Poker app or 2 on my phone. This time I ended up coming in 2nd place out of about 20 guys after some real close calls. It was often and I am smiling now just thinking about it.

On to Analysis

Many of these things will actually apply to all kinds of Poker but I am mainly looking at the Texas Hold’em, tournament style.

Goal

The goal of the game is simple, win all the chips. In a tournament, typically all the players will start with a similar number of chips and if you lose all of your chips you are out.

Rules

You play the game with a standard deck of playing cards. You can play as long or as short as you want and in a tournament this is usually until one player has all of the chips. The game is played in hands and each hands has several rounds of betting. Whoever wins the hand gets the chips that where bet by the various players.

You can find a more detailed description of the rules here.

Interaction

Players have 2 basic ways to interact with each other. The most obvious is through betting. When you bet it forces your opponents to make a choice of whether to fold (let you win), call (match your bet to continue playing), or reraise (force you into this decision by putting more chips in). Also the size of your bet gives your opponents information about how strong you think your hand is, or how strong you want them to think it is.

The other less obvious methods of interaction is through table talk and nonverbal communication. Good players can read body language fairly well and can even fake body language giving their opponents false information.

Catchup

One of the things about poker is that you can come from behind and win. This is usually done from “doubling up” or doubling the amount of chips you have by going “all in” and betting all of your chips that you will win. However like all catchup features, it has risk. If you lose the hand when going all in, you are out of the game.

Inertia

Each hand has 2 blinds, a big blind and a small blind. These players have to bet certain amounts each hand. This responsibility rotates around the table by one seat after each hand. The blind is also usually the minimum amount of chips you have to raise by if you want to raise. Most tournaments have the blinds increase every so often to move the game towards completion.

Surprise

Poker is full of surprises. This comes with any game that has randomness and hidden information. For Texas Hold’em you are surprised by the cards that are revealed each round and by the cards your opponents have.

Strategy

Despite the randomness inherent in a game like poker, it is full of strategy. How else you several people consistently make a living at it? Most of the strategy comes down to playing the odds and playing the other players. There are books and websites dedicated to how to play poker well. One of the great things about poker is that it is unlikely that you will ever be able to play perfectly.

Fun

There is a ton of fun in poker. Every time you put the pieces together of whether you can beat your opponent or not based on the limited information you have it is awesome. It is like one puzzle after another and can be kinda rewarding.

Flavor

This one is tough. I am not sure that poker has a flavor and that is OK.

A Hook

In a word, money. This is what gets most people into any sort of gambling game to begin with. It is a powerful hook and can lead some people into spending too much money on the game.

Final Thoughts

There is actually an interesting crossover between people who play Poker and people who play Magic the Gathering (like me). And like MTG, Poker is a very fun game and there is a lot of strategy to be found in it. It has most of the elements of our 10 things list and is not surprisingly very popular. If you have never played before, I recommend giving it a shot. Although I will add that you probably should not play for real money (at least not at first and never more than you can afford to lose).

Have fun making games that stay popular like Poker.

June 2016 End of Month Goal Review

June was actually pretty good.

Goals

  1. Write 3 Blog Posts Per Week and Publish 2 – After getting a list of post ideas written down, it was much easier to get post written ahead of time. Additionally I started the habit of writing down ideas as I get them to keep building the list. Still not up to 3 per week but 2 has gotten much more consistent.
  2. 1 Game Designed, Created, and Released Per Quarter – Game #2 for 2016, which is tentatively titled Drone Tournament, is nearing a working multiplayer state. A basic single player version is done (needs polish) and the gameplay seems kinda fun. I am going to finish the coding for the multiplayer version as I work on the design for game #3.
  3. 1 Book Read Every 2 Months on Game Design – Selected Clean Code as the next book. It has already been useful in laying out the code for the current game. Making good progress in reading it and should finish it by the end of July.
  4. 1 Article Read Or 1 Video Watched About Game Design/Creation Per Week – June article reading and video watching was primarily focused on generic programming improvement. I don’t remember actually watching any videos focused on game creation and design but I did watch some games that were new to me be played on Twitch and got some ideas from the design of the games.
  5. Get 100 People Reading Evolving Developer Per Month – Well at least 20 other people have now heard about Evolving Developer. Consistently getting traffic is still not happening (that I know of) but I did hear some interesting advice that it might take 2 years of blogging consistently to gain traction.

What Went Right

  1. Writing was more consistent and had some good ideas for posts.
  2. Picked up some good programming habits to keep my code clean and make my games better.
  3. Found Book #2 for the year.
  4. Game #2 is fun and multiplayer is coming along.
  5. I got my blog in front of several people.
  6. I started some good disciplines to help me be successful.
  7. Got an idea for a new game.

What Is Not Perfect Yet

  1. Multiplayer for Game #2 is not done and the game is not as polished as it should be.
  2. Writing volume is still well below what I would like it to be.
  3. Need to find an game artist and sound artist or find somewhere to purchase these assets.

Corrective Measures

Get a little more consistent with my daily habits for writing and programming. Find game development forums and such where artists and sound engineers might frequent and listen in. Find some asset stores where I can get graphics and sound inexpensively for my games.

Question to ask yourself

“How much value do you create for others?”

April 2016 End Of Month Goal Review

Time to review how we did on our goals in April. Spoiler alert, it’s not pretty.

Goals

  1. Write 3 Blog Posts Per Week and Publish 2 – Completely fell on my face on this one for the month of April. Part of this is just not making it a priority and part of it is I spent 4 weekends each doing a 14+ hour drive. A couple of those hours are the ones I usually spend doing my writing. This is not something I will be doing the rest of the year and is something I was hoping to cover by having a buffer of posts built up. So the real let down is the lack of buffer to cover for times like this.
  2. 1 Game Designed, Created, and Released Per Quarter – Much more fun to talk about this particular area. I did get the first game of 2016 deployed to a server on Digital Ocean, but did not keep it out there as the game itself is not really fun and needs more work. I also began work on game #2 and have been having fun working on movement basics and thinking of ideas. More on this later.
  3. 1 Book Read Every 2 Months on Game Design – Not much reading has been going on recently. I did get a few more chapters through the Art of Game Design and am will finish it this month. Only 70 pages left at the time of this writing.
  4. 1 Article Read Or 1 Video Watched About Game Design/Creation Per Week – I spent some time on Lost Garden reading some blog posts but have not taken any notes. I may discuss some of my thoughts on one of the post regarding multiplayer since I hope to make successful multiplayer games in the not too distant future.
  5. Get 100 People Reading Evolving Developer Per Month – Well I did not tell anyone about Evolving Developer in April, but I plan on telling at least 20 people at OSCON in a couple weeks (maybe more than 20, who knows). Not the best audience but last year I attended a couple sessions on games and game design so I know there are at least a few like minded people attending.

What Went Right

I made a successful deployment to Digital Ocean of game #1. This went much smoother than I expected thanks largely to an awesome tool for doing MeteorJS deploys. Game #2 has started with development already going at a much faster pace than game #1. This is partly due to a higher level of excitement about the overall game design and partly the decision to switch back to Monkey-X which is designed to be used to create games and surprisingly easy to be productive in.

What Is Not Perfect Yet

Too much travel which could not be avoided. So really, no buffer of writing built up for times when I can’t write because of other important life things happen. This was mostly avoidable and could be prevented by a little more effort. Additionally, still no progress after 4 months of getting a readership for this blog. Frankly it is scary to even write these things in a public space where people might stumble across it, let alone point them to it.

Corrective Measures

Better planning. I realized when I had a long list of blog topics I wrote more consistently. The list has shrunk since it only covered W1 (from January to the end of March). I need to make a new list for Q2. Also I need to follow the advice I read and start showing of my writing and games as publicly as possible and have a little tough skin to take any criticism constructively.

More Fail, But I Won’t Stop