Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Never Stop Learning

August 31, 2015

So school is back in session for most students again, and one term comes to mind: learning. It is how we are able to do the things we do now on our own, including walking, eating, bathing, and many others. Without learning, we would not be able to even communicate to each other without any sort of understanding as to what each other is saying. Just imagine if everyone was like that. It would be extremely difficult to get things done, that’s for sure!

Frustration

We as a society have declined in physical activity due to all of our technological advances, which is to be expected, but certainly don’t decline on learning! Whether that learning is a new programming language, a new spoken language, or anything else, just keep striving to learn more and more about your passion. You’ll be very surprised at the results! That passion has put me in a good place right now, and I couldn’t be ever more grateful for my blessings, but that doesn’t mean I should stop learning either.

For example, for those of you who talk with me on a pretty consistent basis, you have probably noticed that I have become a little lazier than usual lately. I missed posting on Thursday, didn’t really do a whole lot programmatically, and just really didn’t feel like doing anything. It happens, I’m human. However, that kind of laziness can also have an impact on the learning process. There’s just so much to learn, and without learning those new things, you won’t be able to reach your full potential!

Is there hope left for us in this technological age to continue to learn? Well, yes! The job market is slowly changing; however, there are many adult students at colleges and universities striving to learn a new field or gain more knowledge in their current field, which is a great glimmer of hope for us to continue to learn and grow.

So, whatever passion(s) you have (except those of which that are illegal – those are wrong), continue to strive to learn more. You will never know what you can do unless you give it your absolute best effort, and you cannot give your best effort if you do not continue to learn more.

For those of you in programming and/or development, what are your strategies for learning a new language?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Backup Plans!

August 24, 2015

So, this past week, I’ve been sick: fever, headaches, chills, nasty cough, losing my voice…the works. I missed work for a day, but I was out of really doing much of anything else until today. Yes, I am a person, things happen.

At any rate, I was not able to put up a post on Thursday making it seem like I was just N/A or forgetful. It doesn’t give you a good impression when you’re simply just not responsive. These kind of things can happen for any person, so let me ask you this: if you suddenly got sick and could not manage the game for a few days, what is your backup plan?

Do you have a backup plan? Will the game continue to function without you there? I have seen games where the owner was N/A for a little while, so the game just died off. It happens, and you have to be prepared for someone to take over in your absence. The game won’t just run itself!

Backup plans are something that quite frankly you cannot just be without. Do you have a backup plan if the server your game is on gets corrupted? What about if your house gets destroyed by fire, wind, or a flood? Do you have an emergency kit in case your power goes out?

There are just so many factors when it comes to everything of which we have that we cannot simply just go without any sort of backup plan.

Something to also ponder: do you run any backups of your game?

You never know what will happen, so why take such a huge risk with your game? All of that time and money invested into the game..you don’t want that to go to waste!

What are your backup plan(s) for your game, or for any situation?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Networking – Important?

August 17, 2015

Networking…you have probably heard this term before, and no, this is not about connecting wires together in order to setup a proper Internet connection.

This is a different type of networking. This is social networking.

What is it?

Well, in case you don’t know what this is, according to Merrian-Webster, it means: “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”. Basically, it is a way to gain some more contacts whether that is for business, employment, or otherwise. In this case, for game owners, this would be for your game, which is in fact a business.

Is this important? You betcha it is. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs were found through networking. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

To note, networking isn’t just for jobs. You should be networking all the time. You never know when an opportunity may arise!

So, with this in mind, how do you go about networking?

Truth be told, this question daunted me when I first started college. I was (and still am to a degree) shy and am afraid of giving off the wrong impression to people. Does networking mean to walk up to people all the time? No, it really doesn’t. There are many opportunities to network, and many of them do not involve this kind of approach.

  1. Join a club – I put the scariest one (for me) first – joining a club. I do like to join clubs, but to go to meetings with a bunch of new people? That still scares me. This is the classic “join a club you’re interested in and you’ll meet new people”, which is fine, but there are many other ways to accomplish this without all kinds of fear.
  2. Join a forum – Due to the Internet age, there are many forum sites out there for every interest imaginable. I personally am joined to a couple of forum sites (shout out to Make Web Games (http://www.makewebgames.com) and Game Makers Forums (http://gamemakersforums.com)). As long as you’re active on such a forum, you will meet and interact with a lot of new people who have the same interest as you. Pretty neat, right?
  3. Explore the job floor – If you have a job, meet other people at your place of work. You’ll be surprised at how many different personalities exist at a place of business. You’re bound to meet at least one person who you may become lifelong friends with.
  4. Talk to your users – I saved the easiest for last – talk to your own game’s users! I have seen this happen all the time – game owners who are ghosts. I have been guilty of this from time to time, and it really puts a damper on your overall game’s growth.

What kind of networking experiences have you had?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

Teledildonics

August 13, 2015

This post is rated PG-13 as it does contain some suggestive content. Please keep this in mind when reading.

Pretty interesting title for this post, right? Teledildonics. What does that mean? Well, the definition for this word is: describes internet-enabled sex toys that allow partners to remotely pleasure one another. Yeah, I know, I usually try to keep this PG, but for this post, I think its importance will supersede its obvious sexual nature.

Anyways, what does this post have to do with that? Well, this technology is subject to patent trolls, which are companies whose sole purpose is to get patents for vague technology in order to turn around and sue companies who are using such technology in order to get profit. John Oliver (host of Last Week Tonight) did a great segment on patent trolls, which you can watch below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bxcc3SM_KA

So, to keep this in perspective, patent trolls are essentially ceasing technological advances that could very much give those couples who are not living together and cannot physically be near each other at that point in time a way to please one another. Just think about that kind of technology..would that be something that you would be interested in?

It’s okay, you don’t have to answer that on a public blog, but just a thought. 🙂

But regardless, patent trolls are companies who really should be more transparent, be forced to pay if they lose, and quite frankly, shouldn’t be companies at all.

What are your thoughts on patent trolls?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Money Isn’t Everything

August 10, 2015

I have been pretty terrible the past few weeks with updating this blog. Why you may ask? Well, I decided a few weeks ago to take on another big project. That project I will keep nameless for this post despite the urges I have to expose them for what I have encountered here…

For this project, I was involved in making many small updates (as well as adding some new features) to a game that was getting ready to go live. The site just started in beta at the point in time that I began this project, so I thought “okay, that’s not too bad, I can work with this” as I decided after a couple of weeks of negotiations to take the plunge with making some extra money on top of what I already make doing my regular job and project(s). I have some pretty large purchases coming up in the next month, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to not only make some extra money, but also help others out (as I wasn’t getting paid much at all).

However, I discovered within the first week that this owner was more interested in making some money than actually getting the game to a point of launch. The owner launched the game quickly after I began working on this project. The site was not fully ready, and bugs started to flow in. As they came in, I did quite a few fixes in order to keep things together.

While the fixes were getting put in place, I was asked to make a new feature. The owner started with a list of things this feature should be able to do, which is fair. I was working on this, giving the owner a very agile timeline (within a few days) to do this.

I actually finished this feature within 24 hours. I felt pretty accomplished and impressed with myself of such a quick turnaround.

However, after I was completely done with it, the file was renamed (effectively removing it from being linked anywhere on the game), and was sent the following message:

“For feature X, try get it to look and function like this one: — linked image –“

That link was to another game.

Now, let me remind you, I just completed the feature. It was completed, ready to be live. Having it done just like what was on that site would not only require me to start over from scratch, but I would effectively feel like I was ripping off somebody else off if a feature worked exactly like someone else’s feature without any sort of compensation (especially since I was using that particular site as a reference).

On top of this, when I asked them about the code I had on the feature I made (as they seemed to struggle with the simplest code), I get the “Yeah I get it” response, which seems to be a common theme for them when I ask them technical questions that, judging by their script, they really don’t know (the code was ALL over the place, lots of hard coding, and extremely inconsistent). Speaking of which, it’s not a bad thing if you don’t know what your own script does…just admit that, don’t put yourself in denial and then ask others to fix it!

I’ve had a sour taste in my mouth since then regarding this project. My gut was right on this one: this owner was out for only the $$ and doesn’t care what I do nor how I do it (legal or otherwise). Heck, I even found out that the design itself is completely ripped from another game. There has to be something wrong with that picture.

I have since abandoned this project and will not accept any project from this owner in the future.

This endeavor reminded me that morality is much more important than monetary gain. Money is nice to have, yes, but not at the expense of your moral code and ethics. There is that old saying: “Do good and good will come back to you.” So, hopefully this means that there will be some kind of compensation headed to those people who have ever given a cent to someone like this.

However, there also is the saying: “Karma is a B” (you know what the ‘B’ stands for, trying to keep it PG here). I’m fairly certain one day this owner will end up paying a large fine by a corporation they decide to rip stuff from, or even worse, jail time.

Have you ever encountered an experience like this before?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470