OneTwenty events

I helped Minh a little bit today with some events organisation.

Those in the Perth “scene” will know that IGDA and PIGMI have run most of the games industry social events over the last year. There’s generally some sort of event every 3-4 months and it’s always great to catch up with people.

Aside from these social events, there are also more interactive events such as GameJam and Nullarbor, and commercial events such as GO3 Expo. I’d imagine there’s also a fair demographic overlap with other geek culture events such as WaiCon and Supanova.

Unfortunately, even with all this events action in Perth, there’s still no “same place, same time” sort of social event. To fill that gap, we (OneTwenty) will be organising regular meetups for people in the games industry: every other Tuesday at the Velvet Lounge.

We would like to coordinate with other organisations (especially IGDA and PIGMI) as much as possible, and we are happy to have events run (at the same venue) before or after these regular meetups. We’ll also working with GameTraders Carillon to run larger events at other venues.

Watch our for details on the first event (Tuesday, April 14) soon. It will be advertised in various places (including Xpress magazine) and we need at least 40 people to make it worthwhile (that shouldn’t be a problem right?!).

Let’s Make Games and the Cult of Done

I hit into a bit of a roadblock moving forward with the Let’s Make Games community profile document (summarising results of the recent survey) and website.

Basically, I was spending too much time trying to get all the visuals just right and it was compromising my timeline. On top of that, I had other things to work on and my timeboxes were all starting to be affected.

Here’s a quick mosaic of a few of the different variations for the community profile document (thanks to Simon for a bunch of the vector art and design number 4, and sorry for bothering you will endless creative changes!):


Um… ignore the last one. I probably could have stopped at number 3, or even just been more measured early on.

I felt myself on the verge of throwing way more time into this cover and then writing a new WordPress theme for the homepage. Neither of these activities are really necessary, and would both take a fair amount of time.

This reminded me of the Cult of Done Manifesto by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark and I decided to just get on with it (and other things). I just need a little reminder every now and then as it’s easy to fall into bad habits.

I’ve generally been pretty good at just “getting things done” regularly (as my blogging probably attests). It feels great! 😀

Dreamhost mail server down for over 24 hours

The Dreamhost mail server I’m assigned to has been down for over 24 hours… and it’s still down! Luckily, I have mail forwarding setup so that everything is mirrored to my gmail account (and that is still working).

It seems that every time I setup a new service on Dreamhost, it mysteriously goes down. When I initially setup, the webserver went down for a few hours. This time I had just setup a new email address.

Rather than saying “I hope it’s not me“, I’ll stick with “I hope this doesn’t happen again“. It make me disinclined to use shared hosting.

Update: Almost 36 hours and no resolution!

Update: Finally working after approximately 39 hours!

Sony funding for PSN exclusives

At last week’s Game Developers’ Conference (GDC), Chris Eden from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announced the Sony “Pub Fund”, a scheme in which Sony will guarantee royalties to match the development budget for Playstation Network (PSN) exclusive games.

The first company to benefit from this program is doublesix for their new title, Burn Zombie Burn.

This is apparantly a global scheme aimed at increasing the number of titles on PSN and it looks like great news for consumers and developers (provided the game downloads don’t use too much bandwidth). Personally, I’m a big fan of the Playstation platform, and I prefer downloadable games over games on physical media.

Game developers can request more information by contacting Sony’s development relations team at:

So, has anyone from Perth contacted them yet? I’m going to send an email later this week.

Information via, IGN, and various other sources.

Warm Tips

Heidi and I just returned from dinner with her family and I’m feeling rather content. After dinner we gave Heidi’s old laptop to her niece and nephew, and they were very appreciative. I also showed my RockVomit prototype to Heidi’s brother, and his immense glee was very rewarding.

I’d spent a while setting up the laptop; I reinstalled Windows (after toying with Linux) so that Heidi’s sister and her husband could administer it, created accounts with limited access, and set their default homepages to ABC Kids. We even installed some additional RAM (I’ll talk about this more towards the end).

It was all time well spent though as they were absolutely estatic. I think that the stand-out comment was:

It’s absolutely lovely!

I thought that was a very grown-up expression for a 5-year-old girl! Aside from just being happy, it was good to see Heidi’s 7-year-old nephew so engaged and focused as we worked through the initial wireless network problems and configured the internet connection.

Anyhow, onto the RAM upgrade. I’ve always been fairly wary of RAM upgrades for notebook computers (they always seem inordinately expensive due to compatability issues) and also about buying things from China via ebay.

Since the machine only had 128MB of RAM, I knew that an additional 256MB would drammatically improve performance. It would be very expensive (over $AU80 to get the RAM locally) so I figured why not give China via ebay a shot (with prices of less than AU$20).

Postage was free, the RAM arrived within a week, it worked perfectly, and there was a nice note in the envelope:


I was initially confused by the “Warm Tips” title until Heidi mentioned that they must be like “Hot Tips” but less effusive. I can highly recommend memory_superman and their super ebay store.

Weekend videos

Three random videos:

1. The new trailer for Spike Jonze‘s film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are reminds me of childhood:

Found via VideoSift.

I’m very keen to see this film (and to make a similar wolf suit), especially if it’s anywhere near as good as Being John Malkovich.

2. Prototype looks like it could be good if you can stomach the ultraviolence. I find ultraviolence in real-world, modern-day settings more upsetting (when compared to say, violence in ancient Greece):

Found via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Maybe it’s unsettling because it looks like the protagonist is killing innocent civilians.

3. Finally, a nice song by The White Stripes: We’re Going to be Friends.

Also via VideoSift.

Copying isn’t theft

Let’s contrast two videos concerning copying media.

The first is an Australian Government advertisement targeted at young people and equating downloading movies to physical property crime:

Here are the words that appear during the video (copied from the YouTube page):

You wouldn’t steal a car,
you wouldn’t steal a handbag,
you wouldn’t steal a television,
you wouldn’t steal a movie.

Downloading pirated films is stealing,
stealing is against the law,

Here’s a video of Jonathan Mann (of geek-culture videos fame) singing Nina Paley’s (creator of Sita Sings the Blues, an animated film that won’t get released because it uses compositions from the 1920s which are controlled under Intellectual Property laws) “The Copyright Song”:

Here are the lyrics to that song (and a link to the Nina’s original video):

Copying isn’t theft.
Stealing a thing leaves one less left.
Copying it makes one thing more.
That’s what copying’s for.
Copying isn’t theft.
If I copy yours, you have it too.
One for me and one for you.
That’s what copies can do.
If I steal your bicycle, you have to take the bus.
But if I just copy it, there’s one for each of us.
Making more of a thing, that is what we call copying.
Sharing ideas with everyone.
That’s why copying is fun.

Sounds a lot less sensationalist and fear-mongering to me. Maybe the Australian Government should run a more reasonable campaign aimed at proponents of restrictive copyright laws. They can use the following text with their original video (I won’t sue them for copying it):

You can’t copy a car,
You can’t copy a handbag,
You can’t copy a television,
You can copy a movie,

Downloading pirated films creates a copy of a video while keeping the original completely intact,
We need to reform our laws so that they appreciate the difference between stealing and copying and don’t criminalise the general population,

If you are interested in reading more about Nina Paley’s current legal problems with Sita Sings the Blues, QuestionCopyright has a long interview with Nina Paley. They also have a YouTube channel with other small videos.

Piracy is a complex issue that can’t be simply reduced to “stealing” and “protecting intellectual property”. We need to reasonably weigh economic considerations against freedoms (to create and share).

Here is a set of questions worth considering:

  • Should piracy for personal use be decriminalised if the majority of the population generally feel that it’s “okay”?
  • Is it ethical for news corporations to regulate, moderate, and censor the spread of information?
  • If you could copy a car for personal use, should the automotive industry be allowed to stop you?
  • If the poor could copy food as easily as you could copy music, would it be ethical for the farming industry to stop them?

Copying of digital material is cheap and easy. With new technologies, copying of physical objects will eventually become the same. At that point, copyright holders will be looking at digital copyright laws (that we are yet to write) to determine if people can copy “real” things. I hope we get these laws right.

Let’s Make Games website

The Let’s Make Games website is now live. 😀


Here’s a blurb from the introductory post over there:

“Let’s Make Games” is an initiative to foster the growing game development community and industry in Perth, Western Australia.

At Let’s Make Games, we want to do whatever we can to ensure that the local industry continues to grow and innovate. These are exciting and fun times!

Thanks to Simon for the cool logo.

RockVomit revisited

With a little more time to work on personal projects, I’m revisting unfinished projects from the previous year. First on the list is RockVomit, which is a game that I was working on with Simon and Jim for last November’s Game Jam.

Here are some screenshots of a flash prototype I put together:



Aesthetically, RockVomit started as a very different game, but the basic premise of the game is unchanged: you listen to music and create a dance. You can then show this dance off to other people, and they can dance along.

To me, the game is meant as a sort of response to modern music games that make you perform something predetermined (hit the right note at the right time). I wanted to create something that allows you to be the choreographer, rather than just a technical dancer.

Mad props to Simon for the awesome art and post-golf discussions that led to a this fantastic representation of a rather basic concept! Hopefully we can look forward to more dancers soon! 😉

Australian Interzone Futebol website live!

The Australian Interzone Futebol website is now live and the first announcement is that a local Closed Beta is just about to start.


Having been part of managing Interzone‘s development studio for around 18 months, I’ve know what’s gone into making this game and what the entire process has meant for so many local game developers here in Perth.

I also know that the game is much further along that one might usually expect when they see the term “Closed Beta”. Far beyond the game being stable and playable, there are heaps of features that you won’t find in any other online soccer game.

By participating in this Closed Beta, not only you will be one the first people who gets to play the latest and greatest version of this game, but you will also be supporting the Perth games industry. So be sure to sign up!

Here’s a gameplay trailer from the Interzone Futebol YouTube channel.

Every player on the pitch is a real person. How awesome is that!? Anyhow, enough plugging…

You can stay up-to-date on the Closed Beta by subscribing to the blog feed or following Interzone Games on twitter.