Take a break

Just give it a rest will you

Weekends? Time off? What? I’m self-employed, I don’t need breaks, right?

I’ve been working on the same project for around 7 months.

My game is called Corpus Inedia I and it’s a non-conventional 18+ point and click adventure game. Right now it barely has any gameplay. Why? Because I’ve been fucking around with the inventory system for half of this time. I’m at my third.

This happened because I was not open minded about things, and, I believe, I could not get a different view on the game. I always had an idea, I thought it through and then I worked hard on implementing it. And then I took a break, unwillingly.

Some health problems appeared and I had to take a break. After I resumed work, I couldn’t believe I was the one that wrote that shit. So I deleted everything and I started working on a 2nd inventory system. And then I had to take a break again. Came back, realized everything was crap and deleted it.

Tunnel vision

My point is that I strongly believe that due to the lack of breaks I develop a tunnel vision. As much as I think I considered the issues beforehand, they always bite me in the ass.

Recently I took a 3 day pause, something very rare. Usually my breaks are less than an average person’s weekend, and not that often either. After I resumed work I found that my efficiency was really high in the first few days. It was amazing! I found solutions to problems I’ve been dealing with for weeks! In one day I had done work worth of 5. The ideas on how to solve problems just naturally came to me. Not to mention that I could concentrate much better on the tasks at hand and not get side tracked.

Facebook post from a person asking how much time people spend working on their projects.

Working Hours

Don’t be like this. It’s not efficient unless your project is to carry rocks all day.

Working efficient

“But this worked for me” or you just didn’t realize how inefficient you were. Or you’re not working in a creative field Mr. Bob The Builder.

Sure, it can work for you to stare at the same thing for 8-10 hours a day, 7 days a week for a longer time. But the question is: do you want to work a lot or work efficient?

The website has been redesigned and moved to www.jefawk.com Feel free to take a peek :)

MOTION SENSORED BATHROOM

Art by Elin Pettersson
Art by Elin Pettersson

It was my first week at a new workplace and I went to the toilet. As I bent over to uhh you know…use the toilet paper I heard a loud click and the bloody lights went out!

From the shock of suddenly not seeing anything I closed the “doors” and stood up. Several seconds passed and I came to realize that I didn’t become blind but the lights were off.
I was amazed. It was unbelievable. I pulled out the toilet paper out of my ass as it got kinda stuck when I got scared and well…you know. Remembering that loud click made me realize that the room must have had a movement sensor or some thing. Frustrated I yelled “hey” just to recall that it’s a MOVEMENT sensor. What to do, what to do? I blindly grabbed a big pile of paper and threw it over the walls (movement I though). Sadly it did not work.

I was now getting more frustrated by the moment when I finally get the nerves to exit the toilet stall. The next second the lights turn on and in the mirror I see a half naked guy with his pants down and paper at his feet. I looked so pathetic it was incredible.

That fucking toilet managed to humiliate me more than anything in my life and I constantly took revenge by giving it shit…at least until I moved to my third job.

P.S: no phone on me to use the flashlight

5 advantages and disadvantages for HTML5

HTML5, Flash or just Word document exported as a website?

A short list of obvious and less obvious advantages and disadvantages for using HTML5.

Advantages Disadvantages
Language built around WebApps, small focused applications that can be run inside a web browser or as a mobile application. HTML5 contains new features compared to its predecessors such as offline storage and the ability to handle data when the device is not connected to the Internet. Another great feature is geo-location, which is the ability to detect and use the user’s location; having such data can translate for the common user into application having the function of GPS’ and for businesses into better advertising by localizing the ads. The main problem with HTML5 is that not all the browsers are 100% compatible, especially the older mobile phone’s ones. Another example would be Internet Explorer that started using the HTML5 standard only with version 9. Compared to other web browsers, this being integrated in the operating system doesn’t give too much of a choice to users except to get a 3rd party application that can handle the new standard.
The initial goal of HTML was to develop a language that could describe a document’s structure. As the Internet got more and more popular, developers realized that most of the time the same element was described using different tags that were working in the same manner. HTML5 incorporates these elements into the language with new tags for such type of content. Although HTML5 is considered standardized, the language itself is still work in progress. This means that some tags could change at any time but thankfully it’s mostly the deprecated elements that are getting revised.
The biggest improvement is the development if rich media elements such as <audio> and <video>. Combine this with JavaScript programming and these tags can offer great content while using not much effort to set up. Due to licensing issues, rich media has to be compressed in numerous formats for it to be compatible with different browsers. This has a toll on the quality the user sees.
Mobile applications can be deployed as a local web application but can also be viewed in browsers. This is an important feature that allows developers to create games using their favorite HTML5 Engine and then integrated it in the app while allowing some of the native platform specific usage. Developers work in language which are not native to the platforms and must use workarounds to get some of the functionality. Usually the workarounds affect the performance so a balance must be considered.
Applications developed in HTML5 are not restricted by the window’s frames and thus can be run in full screen mode. The HTML5 standard was evolved in a rather short period and produced discrepancies in the implementation of HTML tags, JavaScript APIs and CSS attributes. These are bound to get fixed sooner or later.

 

Following the standards

The important thing is that if you plan on making something with HTML5, please try to follow the standards to try and get more out of the advantages than disadvantages. You can find them at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) website or directly here.

While you are developing the website/app/whatever, you can use HTML5 validators to check your work.

How many standards did you comply with?

Want to be an indie game developer?

Everyone wants to work from home.

I’m writing this in a day of Sunday at 4:26 AM after some odd requests from here. Do you want to know what I did all day? I woke up at … 11:30 PM like a boss … right? Wrong! Last night I was doing marketing at 5 AM.

I woke up and had a “surprise” regarding my girlfriend (yeah she’s still here…jerk -.-).

Mini heart attack

 

Ate some ate cereals and started working. Until I had to eat again, and I ate in front of the computer. What? Cereals.

At 8 PM and 1 AM I took a break of 3 hours in total.

“Yeah but you stay home and you can do whatever you want” – aha…ok? Yeah it’s true, not all days are like this, sometimes I don’t even take breaks. Combine that with the financial insecurity and you have something that’s called passion. That’s the only reason why.

I always wanted to do it, I was mesmerized by others doing it and I didn’t wait for the opportunity to arrive, I created it myself. Because I was passionate about it.

So before you close this webpage and sign your resignation paper try to think about it…do you really have that passion? Are you really going to ignore the risks you are taking and the impact this will have on your future miserable life? Or is your life already so miserable that you don’t give a fuck or two anymore? There’s always room for worse.

Well?

If you’re still reading this, you’re obsessed, and obsession is considered a mental disorder YAY!

Why you can be considered mentally ill?

Because you are not normal, and normal means to be like the majority of the population…so there you go, you’re special! You’re special by being reckless and doing something you might regret several years to come…but at least you got the balls to follow your dream, possibly soon to become nightmare.

Are you perseverant? Do you know how to use a game engine to create a mediocre game? (don’t worry, your first ones will be mediocre at best) Do you have 2 backup plans? Know that quality art costs? Know how to code? Will you have a place to live while doing all this?

If the answers are yes, then go to www.google.com and search for a sexually abused game engine. If you know a lot of programming I suggest you try out Unity2Douches. Otherwise check out Castrate 2 or Game Something.

Aw, one more thing…those breaks I was talking about, well I’m writing this while taking one.

It’s 5 AM again…fck.Late

 

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How to add a frame to your website’s content

Say you have a game…and you want it to be shown in a nice mobile phone frame to help the user notice the scale of…things.

Phone frame for Drug Jump
Phone frame for Drug Jump
  1. First thing’s first, you need a frame, and one the size of whatever content you want to put in. Preferably a vector since those can be resized without any loss of quality.
  2. You put the game in a different folder from the place where you want it to appear; that location will only have the index.html page and the style.css.

    index.html content

  3. For this example I will use the path /game/index.html where the game files are located; the content below is from the index.html, page located where you want the frame to appear, same location as with the second file – style.css.

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">
    </head>
    <body>
    <div id="game">
    <iframe src="/game/embedded/index.html">
    </div>
    </body>
    </html>

    style.css content

  4. The style.css will contain the tag #game so that the index.html will know what to apply at div id=”game”. Inside it will be the frame you wish to put as the background-image. The size of this must be big enough so that the content will be inside it without overlapping anything. In this example (the picture at the top) I needed the height to be 870px and the width 525px to fit the iframe(where the content will be shown) which had the height of 7 20px and width 480px.

    #game
    {
    background-image: url("http://www.your-website-here/border-location/border-name.extension(usually png is best)");
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    height: 870px;
    width: 525px;
    margin-left:auto;
    margin-right:auto;
    position:inherit;
    }
    iframe
    {
    height: 720px;
    width: 480px;
    position: relative;
    margin: 60px 0px 0px 20px;
    border: none;
    }
    body
    {
    background: #000000;
    }

In the end this is how the folder which will host the frame will look like:

LocationWithFrame

 

 

 

Commercial free frames you can use:

451x882
451 x 882

Frame1[433x770]
433 x 770
Frame2[514x869]
514 x 869

How I became an indie game dev

Windows Phone

I had the idea that I could make a living by developing Windows Phone apps after seeing some extremely rare examples of people doing so. I started by trying to make something that would be of use to me – a password manager.
As I realized it won’t really work, I changed my focus towards a World of Warcraft Vanilla talent calculator.
Had an attempt at a movie blooper game and ended up putting it on hold for an unknown time.

My first published app

Starflow was my first app and as first things go for me I usually take my time to make them…well… absolutely great! I mean … Just check how it looks!

Assets © Chucklefish LTD

As the description says: Do you play Starbound? Want to find out about the next character wipe? You know how important the official news are, so why not read them in a game like theme?

Ran a lot of performance tests and documented most of the stuff on the official Starbound forum. Looked really professional… as it was actually.

Getting over it

Up until now, Starflow accumulated 196 downloads and the app has been live from April 2014.
My second app, Computer Helper has 443 downloads and it’s using adDuplex too.

Now how the fuck am I supposed to make a living out of this? I can’t, so I must leave Windows Phone apps behind and move forward. Forward to games, to big and cluttered markets; forward to engines compared to programming languages.

This is forward.

Sleep is for the weak

Art by Elin Pettersson
Art by Elin Pettersson

“Everyman” sleep cycle

I am writing this at 4 AM. I woken up 30 minutes ago and will go back to sleep at 7 AM, then at 7:40 AM I will wake up again!

Along with deciding that quitting my job is great move in my life, I also decided to try out a different sleep cycle. After a little documentation, the Everyman one seemed to be the easiest to follow since it provides so much room for error and wow was that space needed or what!

I never believed that you can fall asleep in less than 20 seconds

My previous 4-5h sleep schedule was not that great. I was sleeping the whole time in 1 go and I was having huge energy drops, as huge as it got me to fall asleep on random objects at home sometimes in less than 20 seconds.

I was falling asleep at work, in the subway, on the toilet, everywhere there was nothing interesting to do. At work, once, I fell asleep and unconsciously slammed my mouse on the desk while yelling “Brrrrrrrrr”. Then I woke up but didn’t dare to look around. Everybody was probably staring at me. I even had dreams while falling asleep at work – going into R.E.M. almost instantly, and those dreams were about co-workers. Imaging how confused I was when I was waking up to find a different reality from the one in my dream where everyone was a nutcase.

And you know what? It didn’t work!

There was always a time when we (my girlfriend tried it too to support me) didn’t wake up to the 3 alarms while not remembering afterwards what happened. On top of that we were feeling like turds that just hit the floor: headaches, depression, lack of sex drive and overall tiredness. So fuck that!

Instead of sleeping 5 hours throughout the day I went to my old working schedule which was sleeping 5 a night + coffee. The only difference is that now, being “unemployed” I can do all sorts of interesting things that will keep me awake as long as I need to.

 

Quitting my job

Best thing ever…I hope?

 

Art by Elin Pettersson
Art by Elin Pettersson
  • 8 years in elementary school – general knowledge
  • 4 years in IT high school – a very few good friends
  • 4 years in IT faculty – 1 very good friend
  • 1.5 years as analyst programmer at a bank – my own projects, some SQL
  • 4 months as software developer – ??? what the heck happened here?
  • freelancer – free at last!

I took the decision to leave my current job and to try as hard as possible to stay away from companies. The further away, the better.

Up until now I was doing everything the right way, step by step. I knew that in order to achieve X, I have to go through the whole alphabet first and I knew this due to how I was raised. My parents did the same in life and they got it pretty good. They are used to the old times, times when you had to have a stable job, to be married when you were 23, kids at 25, 8 hours a day sleep, etc. This lifestyle however is no longer valid; people are more dynamic now. Sure…Romania is still kinda old fashioned mainly due to the communistic period but I don’t see why that should stop me.

Why my education was pretty much useless

I’m pretty sure this story applies to most people. My elementary school was boring and useless, I had to learn a lot of things by heart and take everything for granted, no questions asked. High school was part disappointing; in the IT classes we used Turbo Pascal, the blue screen version. Why not Java? Because people are stupid. Next came the IT faculty, one of the best in the whole country. HUGE disappointment! I found most of the teachers ignorant, and almost all the classes useless.
At the bank I was supposed to learn a lot of new things blabla, the usual crap they tell you at the interview. If I didn’t take any action on my own I would have copied files from servers all day long. I developed some applications that would do that automatically which greatly improved my coding and design skills and gave me a lot of free time. Aw yea…I had a bit of exposure to SQL so at least I got that going for me but the dress code and the stiffness everywhere was pretty damn hard to bear.

The period in which I was employed at the bank had changed me quite a lot. I started ignoring what I’ve known till then. I started sleeping 3 to 4 hours in the weekday, I started drinking a lot…A LOT of coffee and with a friend’s help I realized that most people are usually stupid and that it’s OK to be disgusted of them.

Something similar to the bank happened at the company I worked for as a software developer. I start off really excited and proud of myself but ended up depressed. I had to either search for hidden code in a 10 years old application or to copy-paste pieces from one function to another without really understand what was happening and why. I continued my rebellion against what I was taught. It was good for me and it got me really far. I had some side projects which boosted my confidence as I was acknowledging that there are simply a lot of stupid people in world. It’s a bitter-sweet feeling. Obviously to the smarter bunch, I’m quite retarded myself, but at least I’m smart enough to realize this.

Knowing when to stop

After a long debate with my girlfriend I decided to stop. To stop being employed, to stop being told what to do and what not, to stop going from one side of the city to the other. To stop and to start all over. I believe I have enough life … and Internet experience to manage a decent life while being free, because this is freedom for me, to kiss her when I want to, to do whatever the heck I want because I can. The only problem I had to deal with was that I won’t be making as much money for some time and that I must feel OK with that.

I have her full support which is the reason why you are reading this.