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Working to build games that gamers want to play

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Website Updated

Well tried a nice website template from Arcsin offered through the Creative Commons. A bit dark, but nice. The polygon lend's itself to the Z Axis concept I think.. Right now I'm using NVU to edit and publish. Simple but powerful tool but I still need to resolve getting a blog tool working on the web-site.

As it's been over a decade since I messed around with web publishing, I think I might have erred by choosing a Microsoft based hosting package. Seems most of the good tools like WordPress make use of a Linux webserver. Anyway no rush, and any feedback or advice is appreciated.

I'm working my way through O'Reilly's C# Head First book and I'm currently refreshing methods & classes. I'm still a bit unsure on some topics regarding the calls however by the end of next week I'm expecting to do the first large programming exercise. It's programming a simple Window's Form 2D adventure RPG. I have plans on heavily modifying the suggested code and giving it some unique 'twists' and spice up the plot quite a bit.

We'll see.




Z Axis Launched

I took the small financial plunge and registered Z Axis Games via 1 And 1 hosting. Long Live Z Axis Games!

Decided on 1 And 1 as their introductory pricing was extremely cheap, free domain registration with 6 months paid. Plus they've been in the business for quite a while.

I also applied for a Federal EIN as I plan to start business ASAP. I plan to start paying my team right from the start. This is to provide incentive and to retain sole ownership on any Intellectual Property on anything we create. My main role will be Game designer so most of the game ideas, abstracts, and mechanics will be developed by yours truly.

Anyway hit snafu with getting an automated EIN online with the IRS. Got an error that might be tied into the fact that I already have one EIN tax number for my wireless networking/PC installation business, Uplink Technologies.

Now for website design--as my last web site design was in the late 90's using MS Front Page I need to refresh, doubt if I'll use MS Front Page though.
Gotta remember simple but elegant. Make it easy and intuitive for the visitor..

Anyone got any recommendations for free web design/publishing tools?




Z-Axis Games?

Journal title has been changed to reflect the tentative name of the development company I'm putting together. Staff so far are Me, myself and I. Almost like the three stooges..I have made contact with some good resources in my area and I'm keeping an eye for candidates in several forums, GameDev.net the foremost.

Anyway I thought it was too premature to hype Sublime our planned MMO while its still primarily in concept development--thus the journal name change. Feedback would be greatly appreciated on the company name. I'll be registering the name as a sole-proprieter owned entity in state of NJ and file with IRS.

First project:I'm thinking a small RPG, with a rich text component as the first goal for Z-Axis. I'm working on what type of budget number I'd apply to the project and what I would offer compensation-wise to potential team members. My resources are extremely tight however I believe offering a small cash compensation attracts a larger pool of candidates. In game credits are a given. A proportional percentage of sales, if any might be a possibility..

Anyway, please feel free to constructively comment on the game company name.




Quick Update

Okies, real concise update

For Valentine's day we hired a babysitter for the twins and hit a small cabaret club on Christopher street called The Duplex . The cabaret group was quite comical, they did parodies on bitter love songs and some stand-up. The wife and I had a blast, small cabarets in NYC are just great.

Programming, I'm starting to get a handle on Windows forms programming. I'm expecting to knock out a few decent forms based games in the next few weeks.
From what I see MS Visual C# 2008 is definitely a powerful tool and it appears Windows forms is an excellent substitute for the dos prompt console, however I'm also practicing console programming.




MS Visual C# Express + O'Reilly Head First C#

I shelved good old Bloodshed's Dev-C++ IDE and am now fully engaged in getting a handle on using Microsoft's Visual C# 2008 Express package. So far I love it. Ease of use and online documentation is excellent.

The real gem in getting started with MSVC# 2008 Express is working with O'Reilly's Head First C# text . Although I'm only 60 page in, I find the book amazing and it's gotten me using the tools right away. The book had a good chapter on developing windows forms and linking to an SQL database. I worked concurrently with the book however to make the most of it I substituted my own project in place of the books example. I created a New Customer registration form and database for Sublime. It was a fairly decent rough draft. The project also helped demystify SQL database linking.

I'm focusing on efficiency -- concurrently working on the development as I learn/self-train. Taking an opportunity to convert a learning/training example to something tangible to my game development is a big bonus.
So far I'm also getting quick and adequate programming experience while editing C# code after the repetitive bulk has been built via the toolboxes.

Overall I'm buzzing with enthusiasm for the development project and especially pleased with my choices in literature/development direction so far.




Programing Language Switch =C# !C++

Based on feedback from GameDev.Net Forums I've switched over to C# to get a better handle on development time.Also reviewing the current crop of students at Steven's Institute of Technology for potential recruits to my start-up.

I'm considering using my old PC and wireless networking service business, Uplink Technologies as the front business for the Indie development house.Using Uplink would help reduce start-up costs as:

My sister in-law did some really kick ass graphics which I still have loaded in various foramts

All the legal and financial structure for the business is in place, I would just need to convert from Sole Proprietor to a LL Corp

Uplink already has some good relationships with local businesses

Anyway, feedback on the pros and cons is appreciated




Self-taught C++

Alright, although the plan is to cultivate the programming talent of others, I am teaching myself C++ through an excellent book that focuses on the game side of programming.

My basic plan is to be familiar enough with C++, JAVA and other languages to understand and contribute to my future development team. My primary job description for my Company is still to be written, but I know I need to be fairly active in all aspects of the business development.

It's a lot to learn, as my past experience in programming is very limited to a few classes of Fortran 77 in college about 17 years ago. I passed but didn't do too well in Fortran, but I belive part of it was that there were some external interfering factors involved.

So I'm learning and practicing C++ coding while gradually conceptualizing Sublime. Schedule-wise we expect to bring one or two others to the team in several months.




Sublime MMO

I've embarked on the tenacious journey of developing a Java-based (or C++?) MMORPG. I have a few diamond-in-the-rough concepts that should prove conducive to an addictive, subscription based role playing game. It should be playable on most state-of the art mobile devices as well as in a web browser window.

Setting: post modern tech-type world.

Primary game mechanics:
Loot = accumulate fame, fortune, and data
Leveling = an approx factor of the amount of the three gained plus experiencing incidents/encounters within the gameworld

Graphics on par with or slightly superior to Runescape

The carrot--Tangible game rewards attainable with-in just a few minutes of play

The stick, keeps 'em playing---Character obsolescence is possible if not character is not logged-in on a routine basis. Gameworld is constantly evolving



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