Monday, November 19, 2018

Gaming Laptop Keyboards (Or not even gaming laptop keyboards ... just laptop keyboards)

My one big gripe with gaming laptop keyboards is that companies want to sacrifice either the size of the shift key or the arrow keys to make things fit (and they can keep a rectangular design). Both shift keys should be large, rectangular and consistent on both sides. Arrow keys need to be large and square shape with all four directions being consistent in size!

The only non-compromised gaming laptop keyboard I can seem to find is Alienware (Dell) - and that's really unfortunate. Please don't sacrifice the integrity of the shift key, arrow keys, or any other commonly used key. Our niche audience needs you!

Current Toshiba Qosmio laptop. Most of the keyboard is good but they put some keys into really weird locations. (Print Screen requiring FN key). Toshiba has left the market for good laptops so replacement parts and repairs get worse as time goes on

Also small arrow keys.

Studio touch screen laptop for big mobile game demonstrations. What's up with that arrow key design, HP?

Forgive the dust, this is a really old retired Toshiba laptop from college

Full keyboard, no compromise in key sizes. The important keys have their own keys. Arrow keys decent size. Shift key and numeric keys aren't compromised

All I ask is for some consistency and care when designing keyboards for laptops and test popular and commonly used keys before trying to design a good layout.

I'm not getting into the debate between gaming laptops and gaming desktops. Please save that for a different discussion. There are many reasons why I don't have a Desktop including but not limited to: Game jams, IGDA meetings, game dev meetups, and back and forth between California and Nevada every two weeks. Just because I travel a lot does not mean I shouldn't have to deal with poorly thought out laptop keyboard designs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Get yourself out there

I just got out of a 2-hour conversation with a female friend of mine who is frustrated that she cannot get anyone to date her.

It frustrates her when I tell her she's not doing enough to put herself out there to find anyone, but I honestly feel like she's not putting enough effort in. Go to meetups, converse with people, get to know them. Go on dating sites, lower your standards. Find what you like and don't like.

If you want someone to date, there is someone out there for everyone. I don't understand how she finds it to be difficult.

Go vote.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rant about weight and self-image

I really don't consider myself to be overweight. I commissioned my friend to do art for me holding a Nintendo Switch and being angry (showing fake gamer rage) but he made my face look completely round and my body all pudgy -- I didn't think it looked like me at all.

When another friend drew me, it looked far closer to me. Maybe my friend thinks I look fatter than I am? I'm not sure. It's kind of a motivation to work out and lose some pounds, but I don't believe in dieting. If I eat something unhealthy, then I balance it out later in the evening by eating something healthy. Simple as that.

I was going to say more, but I think I got that off my chest. Go vote tomorrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #48

Hey all, back with the 48th development log for the studio! I've admittedly been slacking on regular updates and not posting them as often as I should have been, but that's not to say we haven't been making great progress for the studio.

The Dastardly Dairy Debacle

We finally released our game "The Dastardly Dairy Debacle" (DDD) for Android devices. You can download the game for $1 on or Google Play. A big thanks to the team members who helped with development of the project and seeing it through.

Programmer/Designer: Matthew Hawkins
Artist: Jessica M. Jacuinde
Story: Ryan Homme
Composer/Sound Effects: Christopher "H2o" Nuño
Additional Programming: Timothy Blanchet
Executive Producers:
Paul Vela, Matthew Estrada
Testers: Jasmine Flores Baro, Kevin Flores
Special Thanks: Edwin Baranov

Also a special thanks to Dustin Adair who I reached out to help with some of the build issues we were having.

DDD was our first successful attempt at adapting an incomplete prototype and securing the rights and seeing it to the end as a complete game. I may follow up with a post-mortem with what went well and what didn't. As of the writing in this blog entry, I'm still talking to some team members for their feedback. 

Some final screenshots of the finished game.


For Selatria, we have been making some significant progress. We have an additional battle system designer - Matt Hawkins, who is joining from the Dastardly Dairy Debacle team to join with expediting the process. While I don't plan on releasing the exact date of release that we have in mind other than the 2019 date we talked about, I'm happy to say we're ahead of schedule.

Don Alfieri who took over developing full main scenario cutscenes for our remaining chapters has really taken off and made significant progress on Chapter 4. Here's a tease of what's to come!

Just a note, what you see in the video above is not the final draft. I wanted to cut out spoilers from the scene, and I've since made some adjustments which you'll see in the final release.

With the current progress, we're averaging a new cutscene being done about every 1-2 weeks. I then go through it and make sure everything is smooth.

With that being said, I would like to say we have our production pipeline working pretty well.

Shadoe makes sure the voices are edited and cut to the proper volume. Leigh-anna takes the voice files and matches them with the implmented text and scenes.  Don takes the the text/scene instructions him or I have implemented into the game and makes character movements. Jon and now Matt Hawkins take the boss battle designs from our google doc and implement them. Tim works on coming up with new quirky features that we were planning on postponing to after release. And I am involved with all of the above and do final checks on everything to make sure it's implemented and working correctly and make adjustments as needed.

In the next development log, which will probably be the final development for 2018, I'm going to delve-deep into what may be cut from Selatria in order to make our target release date.

Until next time!


Thursday, October 25, 2018

My thoughts on 10/24 Wed attack

Early Wednesday morning on the news there were reports of suspicious package with explosives sent to the houses of prominent Democratic families as well as CNN, and most of these were places that President Trump has attacked in the past with his comments.

The political landscape has gotten so vitriolic that there needs to be changes. Please vote in the upcoming elections. Hopefully as blue. This far-right rhetoric is getting too violent and unbalanced and unhinged. People are willing to blindly follow someone if it means they get a little of what they want, and that's extremely dangerous.

That's my thoughts on that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Why won't they take my indie game development advice, man?

Artist: No to exposure! Pay your artists.

Game Programmer: No to just ideas! Start implementing something.

Indie Game Producer: No to self-funding! I want others to fund my projects!

One of those three has to give. If you don't invest in your own games first and foremost, how can you expect others to? No one will ever care about your video game project more than you do.

 [Based off my frustration trying to give advice online.]

In several instances in the past week, it seems like my advice and suggestions for working on indie games is falling on deaf ears. No one wants to work on projects for free unless they feel they can get something out of it. Indie game developers and producers I've met seem to think everyone cares (or should care) about the project as much as they do. Even the two co-founders of Whim Indie don't care about Selatria as much as I do. Please pay them or agree upon some kind of stake to the game that respects the amount of effort they put into it.

If you can't afford art, make a game with default assets and save up money. If you can't save up money or don't have any money, get a job to be able to get money. Make the best game you can. Even if artists or voiceovers agree to work on a cheaper indie rate, putting your own money to kickstart a project says a lot about your own dedication to it. If you're not invested in your project, why should others be?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Fixing my coding/programming skill faults and going back to the basics

I am really dissatisfied with my lack of coding knowledge. During my first years of university for Computer Science, I was going through a depression and I couldn't focus on my studies during the crucial levels of university. It hurt me later on and now I'm not confident in my programming abilities.

Some team members of mine are having to fix my spaghetti code later on and spruce it up, and I can't continue to lie in mediocrity so I went back and am fixing my issues and faults for my programming language knowledge.

I purchased this book a few months ago Beginning C++ with Game Programming which uses gamification techniques to teach C++ and programming/object-oriented programming concepts.

During downtimes at work, I'm fiddling with C++ to be able to get back up to speed with what I feel like concepts that went through one ear and out the other during my university.

It's a really good book. Even if you don't know any programming, it's written so you can learn and get up to speed.