Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trying something new

Today I have decided to dive into Garageband. I like it but now I want to get Logic. This sound thing is starting to get under my skin in a big way.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Grandma Jenkins UNCENSORED from TalkTones

And here for your viewing pleasure. Talk Tones. 15 all together but this one is my favorite. It's so dirty.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

work work work

Well it has been a fun couple of weeks so far.

I am in Ottawa for the next couple of weeks doing a consulting gig for a start up game studio. At the same time I did post on a series of 15 shorts for an ad campaign. Made for a long week last week but very rewarding all around.
The game studio is really cool and doing some very innovative stuff. I feel proud to be part of it.
The videos were great fun to work on as well. It sucks when these things overlap mind you. This was a 110 hour week!

I hope to be able to link to the work at some point.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

One of those weeks.

Feeling a little down in the dumps. The bottom end of the manic phase I think....

Trying to focus my manic energy on doing something creative.

Maybe it has something to do with sun spots.. Or just Wednesdays...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Casual Connect

A personal opinion

I spent last week in the wonderful city of Seattle for the Casual Connect conference.
It was my first time going. I tried to keep my wonder lust to a minimum and just experience the talks and people as best I could.
It was quite the mix of excited hope for the future of the social game space and the fear that the social game bubble has burst.
If you only listened to the big players in the space then you would have walked away feeling somewhat disheartened that the future of social games has been locked up and that there was little point in even trying to get into this market.  Companies like Zynga and Playdom had some discussions about what they expect to happen in the coming months. The words “Viral is dead” were thrown around a lot as well as it is all about “retention of players” now. I would agree that this would be the case for studios that have seen massive growth in this area for the past couple of years. When you start a game with a small team and a few players then balloon to 80+ million players in a year, only to see 20 million leave in a couple of months, you are going to want to focus your future on keeping everyone you can.
I see companies falling into the Hollywood model of success.  The big folks don’t want to take the risk of coming up with something completely new and having it fail. They have too much to lose, at least that may be what they are thinking. When we see a hit movie come up and make loads of cash there follows a rash of copycats and similar films that try to capitalize on the success on the original. This works well enough and has been a model for games as well over the years, either through sequels or similar types of games. How many “Ville” games are out there now?  I wouldn’t consider this a bad thing. What can be bad is when companies feel there is no room for risk taking at all and if you believed the discussions at Casual Connect, this seemed to be the case.
I still think there is room for small studios to make an impact in this space. You may not get to be as big as some of the others but if you focus on creating something that people will want to play then even a couple of million players can give you a return on investment.
Paying attention to the lessons of the past is a good place to start. Entertainment has evolved quite a lot over the years. TV shows, movies and games that we enjoyed, as kids don’t always hold up to our memories.  Technology plays a role in this. So does our collective desire to be surprised by what we see or play. Creatively we are always trying to push to the edge of what is enjoyable. Sometimes it can be too extreme and other times too familiar to be seen as a true hit. In TV, Lost and 24 have changed how we are entertained and have spawned a large number of similar styles of story construction. In film The Blair Witch Project helped change our perception of what made a good film, (I’m not a fan but I can see how it affected the industry), I suspect that JJ. Abrams film Cloverfield owes some its success to that earlier film.
Casual games are still very much in their infancy and I think evolving much faster than other forms of entertainment.  Its growth, in many ways, is unlike any other before. Its evolution will most likely be as fast.
I live in excited hope for what ever comes next!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Imaginary world

Is a very detailed place in my house. My three Daughters have made a very complex world indeed. A summer camp for dolls that my youngest has made now includes special badges for various achievements.

1. First day badge for, you know, the first day. Plus it has the camp maskot on it.
2. First night badge. Get this when you successfully sleep at camp for the first time.
3. First day at camp in winter badge. Pretty self explanatory.
4. One week without help,(the independence badge). A good badge to have!
5. "5th badge", badge. Given to you after the fourth badge. This one was explained to me with a very serious face. It is my favorite badge ever.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dive right in

Yesterday, after a couple of months of telling myself that I really didn't have enough time to try or that I really wasn't smart enough, I decided to say F**k it and dive into the deep end. If I fail, so be it.

I have given myself 30 days (give or take a day) to learn Action Script 3. The code language for Flash.

There are a few people that have inspired me to give it a try. The most influential being Shane Neville of Ninja Robot Dinosaur and Andy Moore of Steambirds fame.

Shane has collected an amazing list of resources to get started. He went down this road a while ago and is living his dream!
Yesterday I did lesson 1 of AS3 101 from his list. I feel like I got it and did have the lesson completed in a couple of hours without too much problem. Today I will do a quick review of what I did and move on to number 2. I must spend no less than 2 hours a day-no matter what-doing a lesson of some sort.
I don't expect to become some sort of code guru by the end of the month but I do hope to be able to get immersed in the language of flash game making. I know the language of film pretty well, or at least I like to think I do, so knowing the game language from the ground up only makes sense to me.
If you can immerse yourself into a process so that it can become intuitive then innovation and creativity can be released.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Post Jalloo

That was a fun week.
I tried to post while the conference was going on but realized quite quickly that I didn't even have enough time to sleep.

Some highlights for me was going to the State of the game industry panel. Listening to knowledgeable folks talking about Flash games in particular was great!
I was also asked by Canadian Animation Resources ( Mike Valiquette )to jump in on the panel about animation in Canada. It was a well received panel!

The Wednesday night party was fun as always with a huge lobster feed. I didn't eat as many this year as last but had a good feed regardless.

I was involved in a 24 hour game jam where I was able to help create a flash game with Gene Fowler, Andy Moore and Steph Arseneaul. The four of us had a great time! We put up the game on Flash Game License to see if someone would buy it.  I will let you know if it happens!

This was only the third year for the festival. I love being in on the start of little things like this. Every year they find excellent speakers and bring it up a notch with content from across the country. I expect that this will become a major event in the next couple of years. There really isn't anything else like it in the Atlantic Provinces and it is a well put together show.

I am inspired to do great things this week!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


First day of the Jalloo festival here in town.
I am having a good time meeting new folks and touching base with old friends!

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