Gamecraft

This blog is all about the craft of making games, and in particular, computer games. Gamecraft involves a broad range of topics, including design, development, quality control, packaging, marketing, management, and life experience.

Name: Gregg Seelhoff
Location: East Lansing, Michigan, United States

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Global Game Jam Detroit

Local developers participate in this international game event tomorrow.

At 5:00pm tomorrow [Friday, January 30, 2009], the Global Game Jam begins. It will last 48 hours, ending at the same time on Sunday (all times local). Since the event is worldwide, it covers many different time zones, and the first jams, in New Zealand, will begin in just over half a day from now.

The IGDA Detroit is providing/sponsoring one location for the Global Game Jam. Dozens of developers will converge on TechTown in Detroit to participate. These will be some of the more than 1750 people who will take part at one of 53 locations in 23 countries around the world.

There is still room available at Global Game Jam Detroit 2009, and it is open to everyone. The cost to participate is only $25 (to defray food costs); click the link for details.

What is a Game Jam?
In a Game Jam, participants come together to make video games. Each participant works in a small team on a complete game project over the course of a limited time period, usually over a weekend. With such a small time frame, the games tend to be innovative and experimental. The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the first of its kind: a game Jam that takes place in the same 48 hours all over the world! The global Game Jam will start at 5:00PM Friday, January 30, 2009 through 5:00PM Sunday, February 1, 2009, (all times local). All participants in the Global Game Jam will be constrained by the same rules and limitations, with each time zone having one distinct constraint.


In addition to the start of the GGJ, there will be a chapter meeting for IGDA Detroit from 5:00pm to 8:00pm (also at TechTown, 440 Burroughs St., Detroit). Even if you are not planning to participate in the game jam, come hang out a while (for free) with other game developers. I plan to be there; how about you?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

I think that this finally brings the 2009 New Year celebrations to an end.

It is time to really get 2009 started properly now. One way to help one focus on goals is to make those goals public, so here goes:

  • Increase product development significantly (by rearranging priorities),
  • Develop at least three major products/updates for Goodsol Development (for Windows and Mac),
  • Release three more projects that have been in development (for several years) internally,
  • Establish baseline marketing and measurement techniques (on which to build), and
  • Move business operations toward a paperless office environment.
Yes, these five goals are quite ambitious but also realistically attainable. One major release every two months (on average) will keep us very busy, but the roadmap for these is already established. Our development projects are all very different and should be enlightening. The Goodsol projects are building on the technological improvements of last year. Finally, the marketing and business plans have internal support and should, ultimately, improve operational efficiency.

By the way, we could still use a few more beta testers for the upcoming version of Pretty Good Solitaire Mac Edition. Anyone interested can email me directly at beta@sophsoft.com, and I will forward your information.

On the personal side, I will keep my exact goals to myself, but I have been playing competitive soccer and am pleased to be back ice racing again this year. I am currently second in points (in class A1) after having a disappointing day in which I suffered not one, but two DNFs (Did Not Finish) due to peeling tires off of the wheels. It has been a nearly perfect year for ice, so I will be repaired and back up in Chippewa Lake this coming weekend for eight more exciting races.

More ice racing pictures should be forthcoming.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mac!

The Apple Macintosh is 25(ish) today.

On this date back in 1984, Apple Computer "introduced" the Macintosh to the public with its famous "1984" television commercial, aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII.

Although this 60-second spot, directed by Ridley Scott, only ran once (OK, twice), officially, it is considered an advertising masterpiece and is probably one of the most viewed commercials in history. For more information, see its page on Wikipedia.

You can also watch the commercial itself on YouTube.

The Apple Macintosh was actually introduced on January 24 (two days later), but on Saturday I will be ice racing with MIRA (Michigan Ice Racing Association), so we celebrate earlier. (My car this year, a green Ford Contour, is so fast that a camera could not keep up. Yes, that is really me.)

By the way, in Super Bowl XVIII, the underdog LA Raiders (still sounds wrong) defeated the Washington Redskins by a score of 38-9, so the Mac ad was somewhat more exciting than the game.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Brand New Day

The theme of this Inauguration Day is change for the better.

At this moment, President Barack Obama has just taken the oath of office to become the 44th President of the United States. This historical moment really ushers in 2009, so it is an appropriate first post for this year.

Note that the new President now officially works from a home office (the most famous one in the world), as I and many independent software developers do.

For my part, I have worked to change my priorities and schedule to further reduce the number of distractions and focus primarily on actual development tasks. I am now setting aside two days per week during which I only do development, barring emergencies. Of course, through today, there have been more minor emergencies than not, but I will persist nevertheless.

I am looking forward and aspiring to great things in the coming months and years.