Tuesday, 27 November 2012


So I was just reading this article about the twitter hash tag #1reasonwhy which was a topic spawned from the simple question "Why are there so few lady game creators?" and I felt the need to add my 2 cents but to get there I first need to go off in a little tangent so bear with me.

I don't know if this is just me but I have a strong feeling that this next bold statement will make most male developers nod their heads and probably offend most female ones but here it is, girls are attracted to dick heads. Granted I hope this is not the case for women, being only 23 I don't feel its my place to comment, but growing up as a guy its a sad truth. Being the sweet, dependably, smart or sensible guy gets you no where other than the friend zone and I think this is something that gamer, especially developer, guys can relate to most keenly. I think this stems from the very nature of being a developer where in order to endure the crazy hours and steep learning curves you have to be passionate about games which means you probably spent most of your teenage years playing games rather than speaking to girls. Granted this doesn't necessarily suggest developers are sweet growing up however I have noticed, and personally feel, most students who plan to attend university tend to be sensible enough to realise being 'a dick' is more hassle than its worth.

Now to help reinforce my next point and bring the conversation back to a more mature level I will propose an experiment, one most of you will not need to test yourselves since I have no doubt most will already know the outcome. Join any online game then instead of playing, just watch the chat channels and try to pick out the patterns of who is speaking. If the conversation is dead as soon as someone with a suggestively female username starts to speak the conversation immediately picks up. If it appears there are no girls online the conversation dies. My point, gamer guys crave female attention so much so they will forget about what they are doing, even playing games, to speak to a potential girl despite knowing nothing about who they are, what they look like or even where they live. Include actually hearing a female voice online and it goes even further. I know of a good few girls that love to play the latest Halo's or Call of Duty's but won't ever use a headset because they get spammed and even stalked all too often just from speaking.

My point from all of this is simple. Mention girls to gamers and heads will turn more than most other demographics and I don't think I am alone in noticing this. I am attempting to develop for the XBLIG marketplace where some of its most successful titles are things like 'Don't Die Dateless, Dummy!' 'Dont B Nervous Talking 2 Girls' and 'So Many Girls So Little Time'.

Unfortunately for most gamers, girls are usually a massive distraction and I think most employers know this all too well, although to be fair to both sides I also feel this is a reason less women even apply to games positions in the first place. I can't imagine being 'hit on' or flirted with every day being a positive experience when you are just trying to be taken seriously and do a good job, although granted there will be a few that will crave the extra attention but that is obviously an undesirable distraction in the workplace anyway.

As a final point I would like to show that although I strongly believe this to be true I also think it is a tragedy. I am attempting to start a company that currently consists of two male programmers, including myself, and a male artist yet I would love the next position to be filled be a female artist to add some diversity to our team and ideas.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

OK so its pretty obvious at this point that we didn't hit our massively ambitious deadline of finishing by the end of the week (11th) but in my defence I have been tied up since then still supporting a project that should have been finished months ago.

None the less I have had a few testers over to play the first boss sector and give us feedback, which so far has been really good although it has reinforced that we need to make things a bit more intuitive as not everything is instantly obvious to players. Once that is done I can get back to balancing the rest of the first half of the game and once its done I will be submitting it to peer review, which reminds me...

M$ (Microsoft) has really been driving me crazy this week and further fuelled my hatred for them (ironic since I have chosen to develop on Xbox). Turns out they don't care about the XBLIG sector at all and have thus removed any support which considering we pay $100 a year for membership is really not cool. Since I cannot login to the site with my main account(been like this for a year) I have to make a new account and pay the $100 again in order to submit the game, sure I could hopefully get a refund in the future but since the support team seem to have vanished in favour of W8 and WP7 but if people are struggling to get responses just to look into their account settings I can't even imagine the hassle I will go through to get a refund.

Forum posts if anyone is interested in the lack of support here

Friday, 9 November 2012

Over the past couple of days we have been working to promote our Facebook page and decided to promote it with an advert which made things pretty exciting. We got close to 30, 000 'reach' by the second day and over 40 new likes which was understandably exciting but we started to notice some patterns. Firstly the likes where coming in too consistently, every few minutes and then a break every half an hour or so, the likes where irrelevant of any specific counties we had targeted and worst of all it looks like the 'people' where either bots or are getting paid to like pages. These 'people' would have sometimes over six thousand likes and be consistently liking pages once every minute or so, clearly not enough time to actually read them, supported by the number of people viewing our individual posts which never improved for the new likes.

We have edited the advert to not care about people liking the page and just effect reach instead which has instantly stopped the flow of random people liking the page. Hopefully this means anyone new is genuinely interested in our content but this experience has left us very dis-heartened and ruined any chances of salvaging real marketing statistics from the ad.

Sure its great we now have a more respectable number of likes for the page but our verdict. Avoid Facebook advertising at all costs.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Yesterday we had a productive day and managed to concept a complete rework of the weapons management screen which I have spent yesterday and today implementing. Not been easy but it should be done soon!

Just putting in some finishing touches and then I'll be able to go and play with our shiny new video capture card so we should Hopefully have some proper HD videos to show off soon.

Matt also managed to finish the concepts for the shield and carrier ships, just in time for us to decide to not include the carrier I might add. If you want to check them out they are on our facebook page:


Sunday, 4 November 2012

So this week I have braved 8 hours of weekend traffic (more like 8 hours of being stuck behind tractors and caravans) to visit Matt and Marina to dedicate a solid week to getting S.D.G.T in shape for a release. So stay tuned as we will no doubt have lots of news each day in the lead up to what will hopefully be our first release!