Writer’s block

Writer’s block

I just experienced, and conquered, my first “writer’s block.” Much has been written about the phenomenon, but I thought I could add my own experience and thoughts about it. Some writers will tell you that writer’s block doesn’t exist. This is in fact very good advice, because it encourages writers to stop focusing on the problem, and instead focus on the solution. Writer’s block does, in my opinion, exist, however. But it may not be what you think it is. Many people think writer’s block is this thing where the writer suddenly doesn’t know what to write. They’re stuck. But I’m an outliner. My whole plot has been written–not to a huge amount of detail, but the basics are there. I know what to write, for...

Revising on Kindle

Revising on Kindle

When you’re writing the first draft of your novel, there are a few schools of thought out there regarding revising. Many authors recommend not revising at all, instead plowing through your entire first draft from beginning to end. This, they argue, ensures you get the whole story out. Other writers advocate revising as you go—as long as you don’t get bogged down in it endlessly. I’ve found myself in the second camp. I like to write a scene, then go back and revise it immediately two or three times. These initial in-the-moment revisions happen in Scrivener right after I’ve finished the scene. Usually I’ll correct sentence flow, extend things if needed, and correct structural issues in the scene. Usually my raw first attempt at a scene...

Platformer first playable content

Platformer first playable content

I’m currently developing the technology and level design building blocks for a side-scrolling platformer targeting next-gen consoles at first (PS4, Xbox One) and PC. This is being built in Unity. I’ve got a pretty heavy playable build available at the link below. This is a Unity Web Player build, about 200 MB. Since I’m targeting next-gen consoles, all my builds will require pretty good graphics cards. Playable Demo In lieu of playing the demo, you can also watch a two-minute video here: Update 6/28/2014: This project has been put on hold for...

HockeyApp: still the best thing since sliced pizza

HockeyApp: still the best thing since sliced pizza

Sliced bread is good, but pizza is where it’s at. It’s the same with HockeyApp: once you try it, you’ll be hooked for life. I previously wrote about HockeyApp as part of a crash reporter mini-showdown. If you haven’t read that yet, you probably should. Since then, I’ve been using HockeyApp extensively for alpha and beta testing, and it seriously kicked my testing process up to a whole new level. What in the heck is a Hockey App? Yes, the name is a bit weird. Apparently it’s a play on words based on the concept of an “ad hoc” build. You can read some info about the company’s team here. HockeyApp is two things: a service to enable beta testing of apps on iOS/Android/MAS, and a service to acquire crash reports...

Monitoring your app using a dashboard

Monitoring your app using a dashboard

Last year I posted a thumbnail image of part of my in-house dashboard, which I use to monitor my games and apps. Someone asked for more details, and I’m finally getting around to writing something up. Before I dig in, let’s take a look at a full-size, unaltered screenshot of my War of Words Apocalypse dashboard, as it stands today. This is how it looks at the conclusion of my beta test, so obviously most of the numbers are pretty low. (Click on the thumbnail for the full-size version. It’s a very tall image, but not a large download.) Why have a dashboard? All of my apps include some form of server-side component. In the case of the War of Words series, this is a fairly involved infrastructure (albeit quite standard as these things go). I wanted...