So, after much time and coffee, Growing is nearly complete! For now, I’m just waiting to integrate changes from my teammates, and working on the landing page. Stay tuned for the update with the finished build.
In the meantime though, I gave my not-quite-retrospective this past Monday at the March meeting of our local IGDA chapter (IGDA PHX baby!)
I’ll link the talk and slides below. Basically, the talk was a history of my game development process, the techniques I used (or should have used) to keep myself motivated, the motivational pitfalls I landed in and how I learned to avoid them.
It gets a tad personal at times, but I tried to keep the advice as general as possible. It got some good feedback! In typical terrified-public-speaker style, I linked all my statements together with lots of ‘ums’ and ‘likes’… feeling more inspired than ever to attend some local Toastmasters sessions. Maybe after GDC! Any Phoenix locals want to get in on this with me?
In any case, here are the links! I published the slides, but the talk itself was recorded at UAT and it’s available now on ustream. Check them out!
If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to contact me at my IGDA email: email@example.com
And check back soon for the finished (or nearly finished) build!
In an effort to be more visible during development, I wanted to post up some of my latest art on my work-in-progress, Growing:
Check it out! This is the final spritesheet for all the plants in the game and their various stages of growth. Do any of them strike you as representative of certain character traits?
Here’s a concept piece of the final character at the end of the game. I might have gone a little bit overboard with the level of detail, but it does have gameplay significance!
I didn’t realize this at the start of the project, but as I continue drawing I can see myself improve, and there becomes a marked difference between my earliest assets and the most recent ones. In art more than anything, the game has been a continuous struggle against my inner perfectionist. It’s similar to my urge to refactor code, but there I find it easier to adopt the “as long as it works” mentality. Art is just out there for everyone to see, mistakes and all. I think I’ve hit upon the danger of working without deadlines.
I have more to say about the development of this game, including my strategies for finding a balance between full-time and indie. But this is a “show, not tell” kinda post, and so for now I’ll leave it at that!
This time however, we have a formidable new ally in our midst, form of… DAN, THE FOOD PROCESSOR! (We didn’t really name him Dan.)
Having a food processor cuts down hugely on prep time, which means I’m free to experiment with a relatively low cost of failure. AND when the experiments turn out successful, as you’ve probably guessed: they’ll be here! And so, ladies and gents, I present to you…
What you DO:
This year, as you upload Christmas photos to your Facebook/Tumblr/Flickr, send cheery well-wishes to friends over Twitter, listen to your favorite Christmas tunes on Spotify and Youtube, please take a moment to remember the ever-growing threat that will annihilate every last one of these services (and many more).
The “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) CAN and therefore WILL destroy the Internet if we don’t speak up about it. This legislation is actively being reviewed RIGHT NOW in Congress, and at this pace it will very likely become a reality as soon as they are back in session from winter recess.
You know something is horrifyingly wrong with an Internet-regulatory bill when the very people who created the Internet speak out against it, while even the legislation’s staunchest Congressional supporters confess that they know next to nothing about the subject. How many of the companies supporting SOPA are intimately familiar with the underlying structure and workings of the Internet? (hint: that number is rapidly approaching 0.)
Finally, this is a selfish plea… I’m a creative. Most of my friends are creatives. Artists. Musicians. Filmmakers. Game Developers. Writers. Web Developers. Bloggers. This bill would effectively be career suicide for all of us and the numerous industries we represent. The thought of its potential economic repercussions evokes a visceral shudder from all of us.
Please, just take a moment to research more on the subject, write or call a representative, sign a petition, contribute to a filibuster, or even just help spread the word. Time’s running out and those who hold the critical opinions on the subject aren’t there in Congress to represent us. The voices of those most passionate about the subject are getting lost entirely as the fate of the Internet is decided by a group of people who by their own admission understand nothing of it.
To see this bill dismissed would be the most incredible gift I could receive. Thank you, and Merry Christmas, everyone.
Happy November, everyone!
So yesterday, my boyfriend Kyle and I wrapped up our adventures in an interesting paleo diet derivative: the Whole30, named for the 30 days you are supposed to follow this stricter version of paleo as a sort of “hard reset” to your body’s food response.
My understanding of this is that you are training your body not to have insulin spikes as a result of food intake. One thing we noticed is that we NEVER got food comas while eating Whole30, not even once, which is probably a good measure that we were doing it right
You can read about Whole30 on its official site, but for a quick definition: no sugar or sweeteners (even honey), no processed foods, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no alcohol, no white potatoes (a somewhat arbitrary measure by their own admission), limited fruits, and generally a focus on low GI foods and a healthy protein/good fats/carbs ratio (veggies are crucial, as the main source of carbs).
That certainly sounds like a lot of ‘no’s, but if you’re committed to putting in the time and effort to maintain this diet, it’s not that hard. Sugar cravings subside fairly quickly, believe it or not, and there’s no limit on how much food you eat as long as it’s approved! You have to be willing to cook a lot, but fortunately there are a lot of resources on the web related to delicious paleo and Whole30 recipes. We used thefoodee pretty extensively for this, it has some nifty features like dynamically generated shopping lists that really simplify the process.
Here are a few favorite recipes from around the web:
Snacks (not all are recipes):
Generally, our strategy was to reserve one night every 5 days or so for a “cooking marathon”: make as many of these recipes as possible all at once, and then eat the leftovers as meals for the next few days. This seems to work really well, although if you’re not planning carefully you’ll occasionally run into a night where you’re all out of options and need a meal on the spot. I used Chipotle as an emergency reserve. There’s a very limited menu that’s completely Whole30-approved, but luckily they list the ingredients in all their components right on the site!
Speaking of restaurants, eating out is generally very difficult, as restaurant cooks and servers aren’t used to thinking of food in “paleo” terms. Most places I went to, the waiters were fascinated and had never heard of this diet before. I think Kyle and I have had one possible slip each, and both times it was from a restaurant entrée where we suspect they might have misunderstood our order (of course, at restaurants it’s really hard to tell). I’ve had better luck with steakhouses than anywhere else: you can generally sub vegetables for their side dishes if you ask nicely, and make sure you order your sauce “on the side.” Still, it seems like the best approach is to avoid dining out as much as possible.
Kyle and I have been following this throughout the month of October (technically making it a “Whole31” for us). We’ve been as exact on these guidelines as possible to be totally scientific about it. We’ve even stayed off the scale at their recommendation, though that one seems to just be about defining clear “before” and “after” states. Obviously, this is all completely anecdotal, but I’ve tried my best to remain objective.
Here are my observations: (more…)
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