So here's the scoop. Like I said in one of my previous entries, months ago, this was a lazy summer for me. It was a nice summer, working like 9-11 hours a week and just chilling and playing video games... man it's been a while since I could actually play video games, haha. Even got to go on a few road trips to PA. All in all good times. Time for relaxation's over tho - summer's definetly on its way out, as my dual layers of clothing at nite on the bike will attest. So here's what's happening.
Executive Producer - GameDev.net
in case you missed the press release, I am now the new EP here at the fabulous GDnet. Dave and Kevin's jobs have become more demanding of late, not to mention personal life, and so their ability to manage and maintain the site has slackened over the last few months. They remain dedicated however, and I'm here now too in greater capacity to help carry out tasks they once performed in order to lighten their load and make it easier for them to contribute more significantly to this website they helped to create. I just want to make it absolutely clear that I am replacing nobody.
Hopefully you've already noticed some improvements. There are two new reviews on the front page, and we've added an extra column with which to feature articles. Three new books have also been added to the Resources section. We'll also be posting new articles regularily every Monday and Thursday, and actively adding new books as well as they are released. We also have many other projects in the works, like a revamp of the Articles & Resources section - adding new article links, culling outdated articles, etc. I'm always open to suggestions, so please feel free to email me, PM me or post something the Suggestions forum!
Merchandise and Live Events at Game Institute
Now that we've finally released the new Video Game Console Design course, we can return our attention to the suspened Live Events program over at Game Institute. The hold up is a result of some back-end development that was put on hold to push out the new course - hopefully this month we'll once again be able to offer up free 30-90 minute online live seminars for registered users and enrolled students.
To keep me occupied while the Live Events program was suspended, I've been working on a Cafe Press store for GI. It will be opening shortly as well.
Contracting and Partnering at Blade Edge Software
I do beleive I've found a nice chap to work with on Galaxy Conquest. Besides the fact that lately I've felt stagnant working alone, having another programmer will help motivate me better and let me offset some tasks now that I'm doing so many other things. We're still just talking - he's a professional CPP software developer and familiar with scripting languages, but he still has to become aquanted with Torque Game Builder and TorqueScript. Hopefully we'll be able to start working together on code soon.
Last month I was contacted by a local developer who had heard of my work with TGB from a fellow developer. Just another example of how it's not what you know but who you know, and it's not who you know, but who knows you. He's interested in using TGB for a 2D casual game based on a licensed property, one that I've been interested in since childhood, so that's really cool! We're still waiting to hear back from the publisher on the initial design, but if all goes well he's interested in a long-term relationship for after this game and finally I'll have some much-needed funding for Blade Edge.
Fire Breathing and Technical Work at Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest
One of my fellow cast members from the Batman show at Great Adventure re-worked his fire show from last year's Fright Fest and made it into a bigger production, with 4 cast members now instead of 2 and while it's still performed mainly for people waiting in the stadium queue line for the Hayride, we now are able to have people sitting in the stands watching as well. It's also about 7 minutes longer. Offically I'm just the show technician - I take care of the set and manage the show's audio and lighting. But I'm getting paid as a performer, so every now and then I like to jump into a show and breathe a bit of fire. It's also an excuse to get under makeup, which is something I didn't do when I teched the show last year. It's great being able to walk around the park at night and scare the shit out of people. Girls and even some guys'll see you walking towards them and scream and run away, but the best are the people who aren't really paying attention, and they don't see you until you're just walking past them, and they jump like 5 feet in the air and grab their chest and go "ohmygod!"
Besides having fun at the fire show, earlier in the day on Sundays I'm going to be a technician for a kiddie pirate show. I just have to, again, look after the set and manage the audio and sound effects on the 360 effects board (same kind we used and I operated occassionally for the Batman show). Looking to be a fun month of fright.
Coaching and... Coaching
So I got a substantial raise this year as well as health benefits, which is nice because I did have a one-year gap in coverage after my parent's plan dropped me last year because I was too old. My hours are pretty much the same, although I have started teaching a few private classes, which pay more. I'm also probably going to help re-start our trampoline team, which has slowly shrunk over the past two years as our kids grew up and moved on. I need to remember to type up a flyer to pass out to classes so we can start recruiting some talented 6-7 years olds. My fellow coach Ed and I are lookin to send more kids to Nationals. more gold, baby [smile]
Commercials and Stuntwork
It's been quiet on the stunwork/commercial front since that SpikeTV job I did back in February (which never aired, unfortunately - but I still got paid). But this past month I've gotten two calls, though neither panned out. The second one was interesting though in that it was direct from SpikeTV, not from the NYC agency that landed me my first gig with them. I hope to get more calls direct from them, it would take out the agency's 20% cut they get on jobs they book me. I haven't been too active in getting my name out and stuff for stuntwork, mainly because of all the other stuff I'm doing. The good thing about stuntwork though is that it pays real real well, so it would be better to be able to take jobs that happen by every few weeks or 2-3 months or so rather than keep turning people away every week and start to no longer get calls because of it. So I'm not complaining about the lack of activity.
My Personal Project
I doubt this will progress very fast as it's pretty much on the bottom of my priority list, but it is something I've been wanting to do for a few years. I've been writing short stories since I was a kid, and I've always wanted to publish stuff online. At first I wanted to just write and publish a novel, chapter by chapter. Like a chapter at day. But then I dedcided I wanted to do a series, a story I could release episode by episode over a few months and build up a community around. My newest iteration takes into account the fact that the internet can be interactive, so why not make my stories interactive? It's not a complex interactivity either, well - technically at least. I was a big fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid, and so I wanted to do something along that line, but different. So I decided to make the choice not directly about plot, but about character, and therefore the choice you make about the character both affects the character and the plot. So there will be times that the reader is asked to choose whether a character will do something Good or Evil. The more times they pick Evil, the more evil the character will become and the more the story will differ from the Good version, and vice-versa. Alternating enough between Evil and Good will lead to a third ending as well.
Yea, it's complicated, but that's what makes it fun to do!
So that's pretty much it for the highlights of my life right now. In short, life is good. Having a blast. Now that I'm back to being busy for good, expect further updates along the various veins mentioned above.