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Collected web clippings, ramblings, and scribblings from me to you.

Friday: July 15, 2011

App of the Week: Game Dev Story

Rarely does an iPhone game catch my attention let alone force me to become so addicted to it that I abandon posting to my newly launched website for an entire two days. That's exactly what happened when a friend suggested I try out Game Dev Story for iPhone. The concept is pretty simple, you are President of a game development studio. You make video games. You watch them sell (hopefully like hotcakes), make money, become famous. Along the way you'll also need to hire employees with various skill sets (everything ranging from writers to sound engineers) and even take your advertising dollar spend into account.

The game has some interesting play concepts. In order to make a video game you'll need to pair up given types of video games along with matching a genre to that type which may or may not be the best fit. For example, you can choose to make a racing game and have the genre be about robots. On the other hand, you can make a video game with conflicting styles like RPG and... trivia. You can also choose what platform you want to develop for your video game for. Each platform has it's audience and the game type you choose may play a part in that. In order to play with some of the bigger platforms you'll need to get a license (of which you'll need some serious cash in some instances). Based on how well the type, genre, and platform of your desired game match your staff will work on it and try to make a game to the best of their given abilities. Those abilities can also be leveled up through research data (think experience points) or you can also send them to training, which also will cost you your hard-earned money. If you're unhappy with the performance of a given employee can choose to fire them and hire some new ones. At some point, you'll even be able to design your own platform/console. As of writing, I have not gotten that far yet. 

The visual design of the game looks like something you'd see right out of the classic Super Nintendo days of gaming. The graphics are cute and at times huggable, especially when you see your team do very well on a game. It's very much reminiscent of SimCity but obviously with a different setting and environment. But the game does take some direct cues from SimCity and will throw some curveballs at you every now and again. For example, when your team is working hard on your latest video game the electricity may go out. This causes the development to suffer and sets back your team.  Some of your employees may ask if they can work to improve a game, when they fail your game's bug count goes up. However, if they succeed your game gets better. You can also purchase boosts and products for your employees to add polish to your games, but it'll cost you.

The strangest part about this for me is that for the life of me I could not seem to put this game down. I found myself playing it on the Subway, walking from the Subway, walking home, during dinner, etc etc. There was something very satisfying about creating a mock video game (they even let you name it) and then see how well your idea takes in terms of sales and overall popularity. I was never into the whole Tamogatchi Virtual Pets thing when they were popular back in the day, this seems to be the virtual pet that was custom-tailored for me and my video game aspirations.

Game Dev Story was created by the folks over at Kairo Park. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices and will set you back $1.99. Enjoy and best of luck in your video game creation endeavors.

Posted to Verbose filed in Video Games @ 10:24 AM | Tags (8) | addicting | app | appoftheweek | gamedev | gaming | iphone | verbose | videogames |  | Discuss (1) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Thursday: July 7, 2011

App of the Week: Instantbird

InstantbirdLately I've noticed that I've somehow found myself on a great deal of sites that have their own form of instant messaging clients.  Facebook has one, Google has one, and then there's that ancient AIM account that I can never seem to let go of. The problem is that it can be more than a little annoying having to be logged into each respective utility to do something as simple as instant messaging.  Enter Instantbird. I gave this a whirl last week and I've liked it thus far. Instantbird takes all of these IM clients and puts them into one easy to use app. You can finally see a list of your Facebook friends along with your AIM friends, it works almost a little too well. After adding my Facebook list I was overwhelmed by the number of items on my typically small AIM list.

According to the Instantbird website they currently support the following clients by default: AIM, Facebook Chat, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, Groupwise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, MySpaceIM, Netsoul, QQ, Simple, Twitter, XMPP, Yahoo and Yahoo JAPAN. That's a pretty big list of clients.

Under the hood is a lot of code from the Mozilla project. As such there are add-ons and familiar settings panes for those who are well-versed in the art of Firefox (you'll notice some similarities mainly in the control panel section). So far I've only tried the app on Windows but there is a Mac version as well. I like that the software is minimal and for the most part stays out of your way.  For those of you can't live without tabs you can have tabbed chats.  For those who are maniacal single window fans (for purposes of IM, I fall into this category) you can turn it off. Lastly, you can also theme your IM conversations with a couple different variations. Overall I reccomend giving this app a try if you like me, you grew tired of having to log in here and log into that. Consolidation of your instant messaging is a good thing. 

You can download Instantbird from their website: http://instantbird.com/.

Posted to Verbose filed in Apps @ 12:27 PM | Tags (13) | aim | appoftheweek | apps | facebook | instant | instantbird | mac | messaging | mozilla | review | twitter | verbose | windows |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 4 Clicks | Posted by Vin


New York City Street View circa 1982.New York City Street View circa 1982.

This is an awesome project and it makes for a glorious way to pass the time. Case in point: I am currently taking a stroll down Lexington Avenue in the year 1982 while actually sitting in an office on Lexington Avenue in 2011. My brain may very well implode any minute. Big kudos to the creator Dan Weeks for putting this together. Wow.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Artsy @ 9:31 AM | Tags (10) | 1982 | art | artsy | danweeks | lexington | manhattan | nyc | streets | streetview | timemachine |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 18 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: February 22, 2010

No, Google does not make you stupid according to recently conducted survey.No, Google does not make you stupid according to recently conducted survey.

The impetus for the survey apparently came from a summer 2009 article in the Atlantic Monthly, in which author Nicholas Carr suggested that the ease of browsing and searching on the Web was steadily degrading people’s ability to concentrate and think.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Google @ 6:47 AM | Tags (9) | browsing | concentration | eweek | google | interwebs | skimming | stupid | survey | web |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 11 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: February 8, 2010

Google will probably make over a billion via online advertising this year.Google will probably make over a billion via online advertising this year.

In display advertising, Google lags behind Yahoo!, which had revenue of $6.5 billion in 2009 that was generated largely from its display ads. Google has tried to catch up in part through acquisitions. Two of the biggest were aimed at the display ad market.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Google @ 6:48 AM | Tags (10) | ads | advertising | billions | businessweek | digital | google | money | online | revenue | yahoo |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 8 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: January 5, 2010

Google will most likely pull the curtain back on their very own Android smartphone today.Google will most likely pull the curtain back on their very own Android smartphone today.

Creating its own handset reflects Google’s effort to expand advertising sales on mobile devices, a market that may grow to between $2 billion and $3 billion in the U.S. by 2013, up from less than $1 billion now, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Google @ 6:31 AM | Tags (9) | google | phone | smart | nexus | one | android | event | press | businessweek |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 15 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: October 21, 2009

Daily Grind: Hoarse

Name: Vin (aka house of flu)
How Vin feels today: Hoarse @ 7:04:00 PM
What Vin really wants today: Continue loading up on various vitamins and anti-flu type medicines. Remind self to get flu shot prior to flu season actually starting next year.

Music Stuck in Head: Stomp the House / The Fresh Beat Band
Thank you Nick Jr. Who can I flog for putting this show in the face of my three year old?

Stuff to do today:

  • Apologize for limited posting of weekdaily links, influenza has taken hold of my entire family
  • Be better prepared next season, actually get flu shot
  • Launch various work projects from home
  • Check out some of the latest and greatest gadgets whilst I've been sick
  • That new Apple mouse looks even more ergonomically uncomfortable than the previous version
  • On the other hand, that Barnes and Noble e-reader is quite enticing
  • Note that above product actually requires desire to read publications with more than thirty pages
  • Give up, continue flu detox program

Posted to Daily Grind filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 8:04 PM | Tags (8) | apology | dailygrind | flu | geeklikeme | limited | postings | shots | weekdaily |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin


Friday: September 25, 2009

Daily Grind: Great

Name: Vin (aka alt nothing)
How Vin feels today: Great @ 1:58:00 PM
What Vin really wants today: Finish up remaining work tasks and attempt to enjoy a nice Fall weekend.

Music Stuck in Head: Lounge Act / Nirvana
It's an alternative kind of day so far.

Stuff to do today:

  • Replay Brutal Legend demo for Xbox 360
  • Yea, it was that good
  • ...and it was just a demo
  • Pre-order full game when Rocktober comes along
  • Pat self on back for actually posting a dailygrind every day this week
  • Reward self with cookie

Posted to Daily Grind filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 2:58 PM | Tags (6) | brutallegend | dailygrind | demo | videogames | weekend | work |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin


Monday: August 31, 2009

Ten tips for using Google Chrome that you may not have previously known about.Ten tips for using Google Chrome that you may not have previously known about.

Covers a variety of fun Chrome tips and tricks ranging from tab and window restoration to searching specific sites using the 'omnibox' (which is actually kinda cool).

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Google @ 2:53 PM | Tags (5) | chrome | google | tips | tricks | eweek |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 33 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Thursday: August 20, 2009

Five things that you can probably learn from being offline for a week.Five things that you can probably learn from being offline for a week.

After checking email and responding to the important ones and doing whatever online business like bill paying that needed to be done, there wasn’t a heck of a lot that really grabbed me. YouTube of guy teaching a poodle to rollerskate? Nah.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Life @ 8:10 AM | Tags (4) | learn | life | offline | week |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 20 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: August 5, 2009

Daily Grind: Stupendous

Name: Vin (aka slappy cromwell)
How Vin feels today: Stupendous @ 11:10:00 AM
What Vin really wants today: Fix bothersome server issues and shake off headache from playing Prototype until wee hours of the morning.

Music Stuck in Head: Tequila / The Champs
Shoot me.

Stuff to do today:

  • Drink additional cup of coffee to fend off drowsiness
  • Celebrate today's 20,000th weekdaily post
  • Play triumphant music, buy cake, get party favors
  • Wish Alpha an enjoyable trip on vacation back to Hawaii
  • Daydream about making plans to book trip to Hawaii for 2010
  • Attempt to actually make plans to book trip instead
  • Going to Maui? GLM reccomends this hotel

Posted to Daily Grind filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 12:10 PM | Tags (5) | 20k | dailygrind | hawaii | wailea | weekdaily |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin


You are officially reading the 20,000th weekdaily link posted to GLM.You are officially reading the 20,000th weekdaily link posted to GLM.

Here's to another 20,000 more! More fun stats are at the bottom right of this page.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 7:28 AM | Tags (3) | 20k | glm | weekdaily |  | Discuss (5) |  | facebook | twitter | 14 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Thursday: July 2, 2009

Daily Grind: Less Pain

Name: Vin (aka mancomb seepgood)
How Vin feels today: Less Pain @ 12:01:00 PM
What Vin really wants today: To go home and start enjoying the extended weekend and then take additional Motrin for continued neck pain.

Music Stuck in Head: Air Conditioning Unit Whirl
For some reason, this sound is all I need today.

Stuff to do today:

  • Apologize for late start at posting links today
  • Do some house cleaning on the Facebook GLM fan page
  • Remind readers that GLM actually has a Facebook fan page
  • Find time to replay Curse of Monkey Island this weekend
  • Watch some more play through videos on Justin.tv

Posted to Daily Grind filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 1:01 PM | Tags (6) | extended | holiday | life | movies | pain | weekend |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin


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