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Blueshrike

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  1. @d000hg: salaries might be slightly higher but certainly not $100k on average - and then you're talking Salary, not freelance. Salaries typically include benefits. The average salary I believe is $30-40k here in the states. For a family with both working, I believe avg. family income is around $60k (don't quote me). @eelco: appreciate the medical advice derived from insurance costs, but that's silly right? You have sick kids, you go to the doctor, maybe not every time but it definitely adds up. It's not always just "the cold", it's ear infections that need antibiotics, etc., that can get worse. @way2lazy2care: thanks for the link. I took a look and if I make under a certain amount, I can qualify for Healthy NY (as mentioned below), which is about $700/mo with prescriptions, but I believe that $55k and over is the cut off. I'll do some more delving into the healthcare reform but not sure that it's really doing anything to promote competition and lower premium costs - it seems like it's just forcing them to take people with pre-existings, etc. But again, I will have to look. Any advice from those in the same boat? Freelancer, ~$50k+ year, what do you do for affordable health insurance?
  2. Appreciate the feedback, but unfortunately it doesn't help me and I'd prefer not to turn this into a political debate on policy. Anyone with ideas? There has to be freelancers who are making it ok on $50k and have somewhat affordable health care, even in NY.
  3. Hi BeanDog, not sure where you live, but in Western, NY it brought up exactly one plan under "GHI" for $1292/mo. This is by choosing All Plans. How did you find one for $150/month? That sounds insanely low. Who are you under? Then I looked at the coverage and it doesn't even cover doctor visits. So, every time one of my sons feels sick (and they do several times per year, especially this time of year) we end up paying $100+ for a visit. Feedback on the plan wasn't too great either, not that it has to be. But one choice for that high and no doctor's visits? There has to be something else. I find it hard to believe that a family can't survive on $50k year with health ins., even in these hard times - question is *how* can we? @ChurchSkiz, thanks but not quite the answer I was hoping to hear, and I can't accept that I'm screwed - it's not in my nature. So, what is the "HSA deal"? Do you mean health spending account? Any info on what plan you could get for $500? Guessing it might not be in my area but who knows. What about IGDA? Does anyone have a plan through them? How about business plans - what creative things are people doing to cut costs?
  4. As a matter of fact it is possible (wife is Canadian and job is actually in Canada - I'm here on a work visa) but we are pretty enmeshed in a little area in Western NY that is great for raising kids, own a house, kids in school, etc. It's really only the health insurance issue that's scaring us more than anything. PS: I'm *hoping* for $1000, but individual family plans if you are not employed can run upwards of $2500+ per month and more. But this is with the big companies if you call them (Independent Health, Aetna, Blue Cross, etc.). I'll add that if you make LESS than $4500/month with a family of four you qualify for a plan (Healthy NY) that is less than $1000/month but I'm hoping that we make more than $4500 and so...
  5. Hi thanks for the reply, but it's kind of vague and I'm hoping for anything more explicit that might help us and others who have this kind of problem. I also heard that the reform stuff wasn't kicking in until 2014.
  6. Hi all, I'm in NY, currently employed (game designer) but may strike out on a freelance basis and am terrified of potential health insurance costs for my family. Have a wife and two small children and cannot afford to pay too much for doctor's visits. I know this is a problem that *many* face and I'm wondering how others have gotten by on say, $50k a year while paying family coverage. Has anyone tried the IGDA plan, and how is it working? What are your rates if you don't mind? Would there be any sense in say, starting a business with me and my wife (she does freelance stuff too) and any potential breaks there? How are people coping and if you don't mind, what plans are you in? Is there anything for around $1k or less/month? Have been looking and thus far stymied... but have really only just begun in earnest! Sure hoping that more people are in the same boat here and have overcome this most important thing for a family. Thanks much for any thoughts & experiences--
  7. Anonymous: Quote:My bad, I thought Mario was the first side *scrolling* game... I thought I had read it somewhere. You're right, Pitfall didn't actually *smoothly* scroll... but panned every screen. Never really made that distinction before. Not sure what was the first smoothly side-scrolling game, but some prior smoothly horizontally scrolling games were Kung Fu Master, Defender, Super Cobra, and can't think of any more off the top of my head.
  8. Sorry Falkon, don't know much about infringements other than what I've written which is pretty general, but I'd guess that you are just fine and shouldn't worry. I don't work for the Tetris Company but they are our parent company and we are responsible for new Tetris's coming out (making sure rules comply, developing new designs and whatnot).
  9. Nice joke design. Sounds like the kind of stuff my friends and I used to come up with. I have a game called "walking man" where you get to control all the main parts of the body as he walks down a grey sidewalk with repeating city backgrounds for hours on end. Imagine! He gets to jump over the cracks, bend down to interact with the bugs he finds, pick up trash, put it away if he wants (in which case he's energized and can run for a time), etc. It's the ultimate in reality simulation and environmental awareness, and never gets boring.
  10. Sounds great, good luck. BTW, I'm a designer for the company responsible for Tetris, and it is basically the "theme" that is infringing... though I'll have to find out the details. Shouldn't keep you from doing what you're doing though, we typically only go after those that are trying to make a profit and/or those that make Tetris look bad (if any do... there are tons of clones out there).
  11. Music is not necessary. However, music can make any game at least one level better: i.e. from good to great or from average to good, or from bad to average. It is therefore very important when you want to make the best game possible. The very best game cannot exist IMO without great music.
  12. Quote:Is the game style copyrighted or are you talking about the name? Because if it's the whole falling-blocks-and-destroy-lines that is copyrighted doesn't every side scrolling game an infringement on the Mario Bros. games? It's the "4 blocks = the Tetrimino shape and using the shapes to clear lines" theme as far as I know. The game's name doesn't really matter unless it's got the word Tetris in it. BTW, a side scrolling game isn't quite as specific as say, if you were to have a side scroller that featured a plumber protagonist that looked suspiciously like Mario, magic mushrooms, dragons and captive princesses. Then Nintendo might be able to do something. However, there are lots of side scrollers before that one. The first one I can think of is Pitfall for the 2600 but I'm sure they were there before that.
  13. It's a great idea to add missions, and like someone said it's been thought about and done in the past. Interestingly, an official Tetris game coming out in the near future has a mission mode... BTW, be careful of making a Tetris game to sell. The Tetris Company looks at these as infringements which of course they are.
  14. For me, I'd probably still stay up late and play (even after my design job) if I didn't have a wife and small son. In fact, I actually still buy games at an alarming rate... way more than I have the time for. Which ends up with me playing most of them for less than 3 hours on average apiece. At least it's enough to get the gist of the gameplay and novelty (which is my main motivation for buying them).
  15. Quote:While a good player could beat any character with any other character, certain characters were definitely stronger. Ryu/Ken were easily the best You must not have played in a large city. Ryu and Ken were not the best in the original. Dhalsim was. :) If you find yourself saying, "what, no way, I've seen Ken/Ryu players destroy Dhalsim players" I would understand - many feel that way... but you'd have not seen a great Dhalsim player. I've won two tournaments, played competitively in a large city (mastering Dhalsim/Guile/Ryu/Ken), and also went to tournaments near Capcom (Sunnyvale, CA) where several of the best players played. I'm only talking about the original SFII... in Champion and beyond, each game was rebalanced (Dhalsim being nearly horrible in Champ. Ed.). By the way, the best thing about SFII and what makes it still today the best balanced fighter (IMHO.. well, actually Hyper Fighting Edition over the original), was that every attack (EVERY) could be blocked, and luck was almost no factor... the way 3D fighters now have low/mid/high blocks/counters and it's more of a guessing game with the odds in the other's favor (if on defense). The way this was accomplished was that if your character blocked low, they would block both low and high attacks. That made it crucial for you to goad the other into a weakness or attacking at the wrong moment, opening them up for a counter attack. This all changed the moment Ryu got his "cheap" mid attack that a low block could not block. Suddenly what was an always defensible position became a 50/50 split. Probably TMI. :)