Success isn’t a Switch

I love this graphic, I have had it as a cell phone wallpaper, computer wallpaper, and I have even printed it and tacked it to my wall. For many years I believed I knew exactly what this graphic meant, work hard and eventually you will breath through to success. But the more and more I look at it, I realize the flaws in my thinking that this type of graphic creates. So many times we imagine ourselves in places of success, either with our personal lives, health, jobs and financially. We see these changes as a switch that eventually we will get to, turn on and everything will be just as we dreamed. The problem is, rarely does it ever work this way. The graphic below is nothing more than hitting the lottery.

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Lets think about the guy in the graphic. This graphic only shows a small amount of this person’s life, digging. But to get to this point of ALMOST reaching your goal it probably took more effort than the actual digging. Lets think about all of the steps this person had to go though to get to the point of almost making it.

  1. He had to realize what he wanted to do with his life, with the graphic he wanted to find diamonds. Which meant he needed to do research and study mining and how to actually extract the diamonds out of the rock, this alone would  have taken years and thousands of dollars in schooling and research time.
  2. He would  have had to research and find an excellent piece of land to mine, this in and of itself would have taken years and thousands of dollars to achieve. Then he would need to get the necessary permits to dig on the land and run a mining operation, this is no cheap task.
  3. He would need to have the capital to purchase mining equipment for at least himself and set up the operation.
  4. He would also have to deal with everything else in his life that didn’t directly contribute to his dream of mining, for some this is where the dream ends… and the daily grind of life takes over.

At the point the he started to dig, this would be the easy part and the part that most people think of when they see this graphic, or with their dreams in their own life. I just need to dig a few more feet to find success. But what you need to realize is success is a slow burn, it is actions, upon actions, upon actions over many years. Eventually you will find yourself doing more and more and at the point when you finally make it you will be so busy that you will not have time to even realize it. Becoming successful in what ever you want to do isn’t like winning the lottery, or a light switch. Becoming successful is a spectrum.

Look at the colors below, can you pick out the point in which the blue becomes red? This is what success looks like for 99% of the people who obtain it in their life.

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We imagine ourselves to do great things and we think about what our lives would be like in that moment of time, but rarely do we imagine what our lives would be like when we are halfway there, or a quarter of the way there. Our thoughts are in absolutes when it comes to our dreams and hopes, and a vast majority of people’s dreams stay as unrealized potential and they never make the transition to greatness.

It wasn’t a month ago that I began to work for myself, it took almost a week into working for myself to realize that I had accomplished something I had always dreamed about. I also realized how much of a big deal it ISN’T. I can remember thinking about not having a boss, working from wherever in the world I could plug an Ethernet cable into and spending my days making myself rich and not someone else. My point to this is when you are thinking about your dreams and goals, remember that it takes effort everyday. That effort has to be second nature to you, to the point you don’t even think about it as actual effort, it’s just something you do… like sleep, or breathing.

We all have the potential to do great things and I firmly believe there isn’t anything you can’t do if you put your mind to it.  That is why now I believe the guy walking away from the diamonds on the bottom is the actual successful one, he isn’t quitting… he is just leaving for the day, one of many long days of realizing his dream. Because that man knows how much effort and time he has into his dream and nothing will ever stop him, he is tried, but digging is second nature to him. Make your goals and dreams second nature and nothing will ever stop you from achieving them.

Prototyping in Adobe XD for games

So I’ve been working on a game called VoidState for the better part of a year now. I am always extremely busy with my business, but I’ve decided to dedicate almost all of my free time to making video games. VoidState will be a free text based adventure game, it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before honestly, but my ultimate goal is to eventually build this into something that will be on the Oculus Go. I want to recreate the feeling and environment of what it was like to play old school adventure games in the 80’s to early 90s in the dark, in your room and alone. I think VR is where this game will truly shine and is my ultimate goal with this.

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I’ve been looking for different options to prototype my creations and as I am a graphic designer I just realized I had Adobe XD with my subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. After using Adobe XD for the first time today I was able to prototype out a very small section of my game in less then 20 minutes. Music and effects were added in using mp3 files playing outside of the program and played during the recording. All of this was to just get the vibe of what was in my head the past year or so and I am extremely happy with what I have here. I am a very visual person, which is why I am terrible at coding… and writing, but seeing all the elements of this together and somewhat functional is very cool.

More to come… have a look at what I created in about 20 minutes:

In the final game I do plan on fulling adding in my own synth music 😀

Check out this cat for some really awesome synth music killing it on that Moog Mother…. pretty sweet stuff.

Game Design Videos

Various videos of games I have worked on over the years

 

Ghosties – Liked doing the art for this one, still a work in progress, don’t really have much game play or a game yet.

 

Unicorn Apocalypse  – GameSalad game jam, was my offering to the jam I was an unofficial 2nd place for this. It was for Samsung and their Unicorn Apocalypse promotion, Samsung owns the rights to this game… which is unfortunate because it is probably the best game I have built so far.

 

Three Little Pigs – Interactive Ebook iPad – Released 2012 – Something I would love to get back to is the combination of games and children’s books.

 

Declicked – Mostly game artwork, was a good game idea but never went anywhere, as you can probably tell the artwork part I have down, it’s the whole game design side that I’m not too great at 😛

 

INFLAMES – Was my attempt at a shooter game, cool concept and one of my better ideas, the problem was the engine just couldn’t do what I wanted to at the time. I don’t know how much GameSalad has changed, but back in 2013 it struggled.

 

RetroDaze – IOS release 2013 – Wasn’t a great game at all, boring, art wasn’t anything to write home about, looking back I shouldn’t have released this game, it didn’t do well even as a free game.

 

The Transmission – My shooter game above sorta morphed into what this was going to be, just sorta always liked the artwork.

 

Byte – The very first game I started to work on, it was a break out game with a twist, unfortunately GameSalad and my iphone 3 could not handle that twist… 😛

 

RGB – This was a game jam game for Ludum Dare I was first place for artwork and graphics. The original version of the game I built in GameSalad and was delivered in Gamesalad. This version I made with Unity, it was only half done as I didn’t know unity that well back then.

 

Plocks – Released IOS 2012 This version was something I was messing with in Unity, the original version of the game was an Ipad only game built in Gamesalad. The game was simple built for children. Looking back wasn’t a great game

 

Putting this list together of old video surprised me, while I don’t yet have a game out in any capacity that I can truly be proud of (that is coming soon) but I am surprised at how much I have done over the years.

Remember anything worth doing is hard, otherwise everyone would do it.

I’ll leave this with you folks 🙂

Another Monday

I seem to always look forward to Mondays now that I am away from the rat race that is waking up and going to a 9-5 job. It’s that time to get back to work and make things happen!

Today I’m working on more of the story logic/tree for my text based adventure game. It’s going to be an EXTREMELY simple proof of concept that I’ll release on here or on my main blog if I ever get the time to put that up with a proper URL. I can say that working on all three versions of the game is really helping me a lot to think about certain things I can add to one version, that the other might not have. Obviously the 8-bit style will not be able to have all the bells and whistles that the VT version has, but I’m going to try my best to make something very similar. Also if I can I’d love to put the Atari version of the game in the VR game as a like a bonus, maybe there would be a TV in the corner that you can unlock.

Well happy Monday peeps! Get out there and create something awesome 😀

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Your Monday inspiration music!!

Coming Back to Game Design

So over the last 4 years or so I have successfully pulled off one of the biggest things I have wanted to do in my life, work for myself. I run two websites the biggest being an online book design site. I am very thankful that I am able to have awesome clients and a steady flow of work. While this is worlds better then were I was 10 years ago, at job I hated, despised and that almost made me run away from everything in my life.

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Artwork for Ghosties

I have felt a creative void though in my life over the past couple of years. While I love what I do, I am creating designs for other people and I feel like I am wasting my talents and artwork that helps others make money. I’ve put some awesome covers on some really bad books, granted… not all the books are bad, but I assume a good deal are.

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48 Hour Ludum Dare Campo – Winner Best Artwork Design

Recently I have begun development on a very simple text based game, I’m not trying to sell any of these creations, these are purely for enjoyment. My plan has three steps, build a very simple text based adventure with a twist (there is always a twist right…?) with Atari/Nintendo style 8-bit graphics.

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Atari Style

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2D non-3d version of the game, more complex, but same game

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Full VR experience

I’ve starting to script out the game the first version is just a proof of concept, but will have all the text based elements working, the next version will feature better graphics and translating those text elements along with animations, to a version I can be more proud of.  The last and final version will be something hopefully that could see release on Oculus Go for free.

All in all I am very excited to be back at doing something artistic and getting dirty with some coding 😀

Below is an awesome video, just because 😉

Is Virtual Reality TOO Expensive?

So I have to admit that I was an early adopter of virtual reality. I bought into the hype with an Oculus Rift DK2 for about $389 with shipping. At the time when I purchased a DK2 I figured I was paying top dollar for technology that wasn’t out yet. Had I known the Oculus release version would be almost double that I would have bought the DK2 a lot sooner, just to make sure I had a “cheap” version. While I haven’t had a chance to use the release version it seems like the specs are mostly the same as the DK2 despite being more comfortable.

So is virtual reality too expensive? Seeing has how the three major headsets are going to cost between $600-$1000 while requiring a computer that cost at least $800 at minimum. Dropping $1500-$2000 just play play some demos doesn’t seem worth it. This worries me because I can see how awesome this technology is going to be in the future and is right now. As much as I am an advocate for virtual reality I don’t know if I would spend the $700 on the current line of headsets coming out. This is partly because I know what there is to play currently… and its really not much of anything.

So far the best experience I have had with my DK2 is Elite Dangerous and while I am much to busy to pour time into this game the way I want to, just getting inside my space ship and flying around the galaxy for an hour is one of the most immersive experiences I have had with gaming in my entire life. When you are inside of the Oculus Rift while docking your ship inside of the HUGE space stations the sense of scale is absolutely amazing. You really feel as if you are inside of a spaceship that you are in control of.

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But this experience is the only one that I come back to on occasion. Yes there are the one off games that are fun once, but then like a ride at a theme park they lose their fun and element of surprise after the first ride.

My hope is these prices don’t kill off an amazing new step in video game technology or just technology in general. There is so much we are going to be able to do with virtual reality in the future that its hard to even see where it could go. If you have a chance to try out any of these headsets I 100% recommend it if you have never done it as it will change the way you see video games and reality forever.

This video below is awesome because it lets you see peoples reactions to a scary game. This is also the first game I make people play in virtual reality at my house 😀

 

Side note, I just read that the Valve Vive has sold 15,000 pre-orders in 10 minutes… 🙂 I guess the price really wasn’t much of an obstacle.

Fiverr Fast Track

I really can’t wait to have this finished. I realized a few days ago that 70ish pages in a word doc is like 100+ when formatted for a 6×9 book. I am still trying to decide how much design I am going to put on the interior pages, I am very visual so I feel like graphics would help.

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Not Good Enough

I recently found one of the talks I watched at GDC called Game Feel: Why Your Death Animation Sucks. Before I saw this talk I would have never thought to put so much information into character design. Because I am self-taught some things are a tad harder for me to really grasp and while I see these small elements of game design as I am playing a game as a whole, I never once thought about them individually until after seeing this.

What is so interesting and valuable to me is the fact that this adds SOO MUCH to the over all feel of the game. When you watch the video (posted below) you can see step by step how spicing up the different layers of effects just adds so much more to the gameplay and the feedback to the players. When I watched this initially I thought about the games I have made and how they could have VASTLY benefited from adding this type of pop to them.

The first game I ever made called Plocks had virtually no sound design what so ever besides the background music. The blocks would topple over to land on a pedestal in 100% silence. Looking back there is so much that could have been added to that game to make it better, just in the sound department. Then when you add on what could have been added for the gameplay, you take a game that wasn’t very good at all (despite what my mom says) and make it into something that could have been quite good if not great.

If you are a developer and are interested in making your games better I would suggest the video below.

Here is my first game Plocks I released on iPad about 4 years ago, it wasn’t that good. SO much more could have been done with this it kinda makes me sad.