Thursday, 15 November 2012

What I've been working on recently

Here's a clip I just uploaded to youtube.

Still at early stages, no gameplay to it yet, but it's nearly there.

Currently it's just a crappy DK clone, but it's something to build upon.

What it currently features is infinite terrain, AI that can build rooms, minons that do tasks and fight.



Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The cake is no lie!

Had a wonderful birthday!

Here's a picture of the cake Katie made for me:


It's my character from a game I'm currently playing (Guild Wars 2). Fits in nicely with halloween though!

And tastes wonderful.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Even more videos!

A couple more videos I uploaded the other day.









I've been bogged down a bit at the moment with some unrelated code I'm working on so no new updates :P

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

AI that does stuff! Just not very intelligently

Now with objectives, and slightly smarter units that can ignore enemies and head straight for goals, and will only chase a certain distance away from what they're defending before turning around and heading back.


Next I'm working on giving them some awareness of what's around so they can decide not to suicide into a big blog.



My plans?

So @BuddaT_ just asked me on Twitter what plans I had, and whether he could use something I've done as inspiration.

The short version is: GO FOR IT!

As long as people don't start complaining that mines too similar to their similar thing I'm not worried!

There's not really to much to my 'game' so far, and my plans aren't exactly set in stone.... and I'm not planning on charging for it anyway (current plan = game becomes massive, people shower me in monies for no reason).

Anyway my plan defined in games is something like:

Battlefield 1942 + Guild Wars 2 + Dungeon Keeper + Torchlight

.... Yeah.


I want something with the epic feel of battles in 1942, where you felt like you made a difference, yet were part of a big battle, and didn't feel like you were running around putting out fires.

Guild Wars 2 I want the simple yet complicated combat system (5 main buttons, 5 extra buttons).

Dungeon Keeper I want the feel and life.... it's moving somewhat away from this currently, I think in my head this was going to be a 3rd person hack and slash tower defense rts.....thingy.

Torchlight for view, drops and mostly 3rd person feel.

Oh, and some Dungeon Defenders style combat too.....

So anyway, I'm not too concerned if you make something similar, even if you then charge money for it. If you feel like you based it on something I did....then just name drop me :D

Also if you want to know how I did anything just ask :P

I plan on making little posts about bits of code I've used, mostly because I struggled so much to find some stuff.

Also, if you read this... leave a comment! Comments make me happy.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Now with pathfinding!

Made a few changes today.

AI currently tracks where it's units are, and where recent deaths have been (graphics down the bottom right).

It also sends units out in 'patrol' mode to try reach the other side, but they stop if they notice an enemy nearby.

Units now track whether or not they're hitting their target. If they miss too much they will pathfind towards their target.

Units also give up on chasing earlier, switching to closer targets if there are any.


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Another video

Another video showing what it's like now :D

 I spent a long time on collisions, which I then decided I didn't like and got rid of.

There was a while there where the game wasn't fun to watch, which was probably a good thing as I then did more programming.

Now as I'm about to head off to bed, it's far too interesting! Anyway, here's a quick clip.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Trying out YouTube

Made a little recording of what I'm currently working on, using VLC.

Couldn't get audio working but that's probably a good thing!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Shadow Volumes with LWJGL

 I've had a frustrating few days trying to get shadow volumes working in LWJGL, mostly through my inability to cope with math these days, but also the lack of resources available.

As always I came across lots of forum posting asking for help but few answers.

The main resource was: NeHe Lesson 27

There is a link to a LWJGL port down the bottom, but this doesn't work.

After some searching I came across some fixes by Fool Running in the LWJGL forums: Forum post

However this still didn't get it working, so a few hundred web pages and a lot of attempted fixes later I stumbled across a small change:

        Display.create();

Becomes:

        Display.create(new PixelFormat(8,8,8));

This is what is should look like in the end.


The fixed source can be found here:  http://www.flyingkakapo.co.nz/Code/Lesson27Fixed.java

And the rest of the required files (Some object text files) can be found at the bottom of the NeHe page, as past of the LWJGL zip.

If you have any trouble getting it going leave a comment here and I'll probably be of no use! :P

Monday, 8 October 2012

A little piece of woodturning

We headed out to Katie's parents place the other day, so Katie could help out around the property. Apart from being social over lunch and dinner I spent my time down by the river, where my lathe still lives.

I was quite rusty in my skill, and despite my attempts to make a similar size bowl to some of my previous efforts things didn't go quite to plan. I kept making more and more mistakes, catching my tool quite often and even sending the bowl flying past me, which made me stop and sit for a while.
I even picked up a few ouches.

In the end though I left with a little bowl, quite nicely shaped (even if I do say so myself).


And one day I might even release my much anticipated (by atleast 2 people!) new game.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

New Releases!

My Apps

Been below the weather, thus the lack of posts, sorry about that!

I have released two more apps tho, one is simply the casual half of Flying Kakapo, ad supported.


The other is Charades, one of the first apps I made and one we enjoyed playing during the holidays.

The saddest thing about these is no one has downloaded them, not even the free one! This makes me a sad panda, but what can you do.

Hopefully when I finish the snowboarding game it will bring in a little more interest.

People have been asking about the simulation game, not much has been happening on that front. I'm working on adding the jobs process currently, so soon it should get to a more interesting stage where villages start forming.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Group VS Induhviduals

It's been slow progress on the simulation game as I've been busy releasing a free game for Android called Gravity Pong which you should all go download now, as this makes me happy (Currently at 6 downloads and $0.05 income from AdMob).

I've also been putting some time into my next mobile game, which will be a snowboarding game built on the Box2D framework (which I'm accessing through the useful Libgdx framework).


It's very much in the beginning phase but I've been enjoying working on the pixel art.

As I've been away from my computer I've been forced to think about programming, as opposed to just blindly forging ahead. This has lead me towards some changes in my approach.

Groups Versus Individuals

Currently in my simulation game every entity is treated individually. It searches the area around itself and makes decisions based on what's there (not through a very complicated decision making process though!) A wolf may have a pack which it is connected with, but it's main goals are always what it comes up with.

I was thinking this way because I want my game to have that individual feel to it, where characters pick their next move based on how they feel, rather than just being a small part of a larger machine.

However this leads to very inefficient programming as each entity covers the same ground with its searches.

Take for example the concept of a herd of deer grazing in a clearing when a wolf approaches.

Relatively simple in concept but harder in process.

If I treat every deer seperately I have to check each of them to see if they notice the wolf, or if they're too busy eating, then check to see if they notice other deer running away etc. As each deer checks these facts they cover a lot of the same area and repeat a lot of the same checks.

What I am considering changing it to is to have groups, and I update a group which then updates it's members making it simpler to share information.

I can then check for a predator overall, then figure out who notices using only one instance of all the data.

If ideally implemented the behaviour shouldn't differ from when they are behaving entirely autonomously but will be a lot faster and simpler to implement. It also lends itself quite easily to having a leader in charge, whether an alpha male or a human with leadership skills which is something I'm looking forward to implementing.

It also makes more sense having a pack know it's den rather than having each wolf have a link to the den etc
It keeps things more compartmental, and more easily changed later.

Obviously this is a somewhat forced instance but it helps explain how I'm feeling currently about implementing this.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Gravity Bounce

My new game for Android, free to play!

Gravity Bounce!


 It's not the most complicated game currently (duh! It's 'a simple game where you hit a ball back and forth').

I am looking forward to improving it with feedback though, so please do post and give your thoughts and complaints.

Friday, 6 April 2012

World Generation

I got bored with working in a big square so I've now added fairly basic world generation.

I've done this using Perlin noise, which I've implemented using a mix of code from several locations but mainly:
http://www.koders.com/java/fid4C0DF87533C6764D9A354792A97F7C75A11BE8CD.aspx?s=Fog

and the Simplex Noise paper by Stefan Gustavson.

I got the links from Stack Overflow where I've also posted my first question and got the scholar and student badges :P

So I could view the world gen I added a map view, where each tile is represented by one pixel of that colour.



It's not the most efficient but it works well enough.

The downside of having the map drawn is I'm not having to deal with updating the whole thing at once which is leading my down the optimisation route. I find that reasonably fun though.

I have added a rudimentary human, but he doesn't do much, I need to start working on user stories (something I've always disdained in the past) but they seem like a good idea for this sort of thing, because the scope is so large.

Here's a screen with creatures enabled: All the white spots are Deer, red are dead Deer...


Apparently I need to tweak their breeding now they have room and a tendency to spread!

How do you think gameplay should go?

Currently I'm planning on controlling being somewhere between Age of Empires, Dwarf Fortress and Sims. Where you say something needs to be done, but you don't give particular commands to particular units. We'll see!

Hopefully I'll get some form of interaction going soon, then I can post a version on my website for people to try and give feedback.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

SettlerCraftFortressCitylisation!

 I've spent the last while doing programming on a personal project, rather than something that might turn a profit. It gives me something fun to work on as a break though.

I talked about it a few times on my old blog (All Evil Laughter) but I've started from scratch rather than continue with that code base. Though I am taking little pieces of code when it's useful.

The game is a mix of several styles but it's mostly about building a civilisation. This will be complicated by what will hopefully be emergent gameplay.

As you play, your civilisation will slowly advance through tech trees, but through inventions by your civilisation, not what you choose. So a lot of luck will be involved and hopefully it will deal well with situations where you don't discover the wheel etc.

Currently however the game is very simple and is only a simulation rather than a game.


There is grass, it grows and spreads, there are trees, they grow and spread.
There are deer, they trample and eat the grass, and eat saplings.
Grass gets trampled down to dirt, and if that gets trampled enough it can turn into packed dirt which grass won't grow on.

There are also wolves who eat deer (and other dead wolves).

Deer and wolves breed etc, wolves hunt down and eat deer.

And there is of course water which animals need to drink to survive.

Currently there's a bit of a problem as the wolves eventually kill all the deer, then slowly die out.

Alternatively the wolves are stupid and don't stay close enough together to breed, leaving a final world where the deer have taken over.

I'll be adding herding behaviour to creatures to lower the chance of this happening.

Next on the list is adding the first humans, and making more interesting world generation, fortunately I still remember the useful resources from last time, such as:
http://simblob.blogspot.co.nz/
http://www.nolithius.com/

Instead of Flash and C# I'll be going with Java, as that's what I've been using these days. With the initial part based off the Libgdx library I may even have mobile support to a certain extent!





Graphics are currently just someones mod of the original IBM PC character set. I'll slowly replace it with my own tiles like last time, while keeping ascii for debug.




Anyway I always enjoy feedback, and when this actually gets some gameplay I'll be uploading the jar file to here so you can mess around with it.


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Busking and a question

Last Saturday we went out busking again and had a much more successful time.
We found a nice quiet corner where people had room to sit and listen, and perhaps we were much improved after practicing most days. The Vodafone store was nice enough to let us play right outside and even popped outside a few times to give us money!
The nearby coffee stall offered us free coffee.
We went away with $43.30 from 1:45 hours of playing :) I was astounded I though we'd made about $18 which I was more than happy with.

I don't have any pictures of us busking so here's the picture from the newspaper article we were in a few weeks ago.



Katie has a plan that we will do 'gigs' (conferences etc). Basically just background noise for receptions etc. She's been working on a flyer people can take away so we can advertise as we busk.

However we're struggling with a price to put.
We were thinking:
For Katie solo $50 for the first hour and $40 for each hour afterwards.
For duo $70 for the first hour and $60 for each hour afterwards.

Obviously it needs to cover some travel time etc but we're really not sure what people would pay.


So my question to those who come to this blog, what price would you think is reasonable for a solo violinist or violin/ukulele duo?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

More Woodturning

Hasn't been a very productive week, been setting up the new computer but the speed of the internet out here has made that a bit of a task. I did do some woodturning while waiting though!

Here's the results of what I did last time:
 
The first one was the best, it's the one I had pictures of last time.
But the foot was rather a mess after being gripped in the chuck, so I turned up a small piece of wood and glued some sandpaper to it, creating a small sanding disc.
I then ground away the foot with that, wasn't perfect but was better than what it was.

I then turned the offcut from that into this little cup as practice. It didn't turn out too badly, the walls are nice and thin.
  
I then turned another piece of firewood into this bowl:
  
The piece was absolutely horrible to turn for some reason, took me a long time to get it to a nice round surface. Also I didn't have any lights down there so I couldn't see what was going on down the bottom, I ended up cutting it a little close as you can see from the picture below. The internal chuck split the wood and there's also a loose knot right in the center.
Here's how my wood collection is going, pillaged from various stacks of firewood around the place:
  
 I wasn't feeling very artistic the other day,  and as the computer was busy downloading I headed down to turn some branches to cylinders. You can see my little sanding disc in the corner of this image:
 
 As I was thinking of making some toilet roll holders,  I decided to try turn a base.


This is where I finished for the day, you see that is was dark and raining, not the most pleasant of days. That piece is still sitting on the lathe as I haven't been down since then, been trying to do some programming.





Tuesday, 6 March 2012

First go at woodturning

Spent a few hours setting up my lathe and having a go at turning a piece of firewood (fairly sure it's macrocarpa).



Will probably do some more tomorrow, try and finish it off. Now to research different finishes for wooden bowls.

P.S. VERY EXCITING!!! Turning on my own lathe wewt!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Update Time: Lathelathelathelathelathe

Well, it's been a busy week, but not much computer time going on.

Biggest news is I have a lathe! And it's purty!


I bought it off Trade Me from a member the Nelson Woodturning Club who is moving overseas.
Thanks Bjorn and Renee!


They were very kind, and threw in all these tools for free.  Sometimes you get lucky :) I'm still grinning.


Here's where I'll be working, under shelter but outside, with a nice view of the river (and lots of sandflies to keep me company).


So where do things stand now?

Programming: -$168 previously, -$2179 computer plus extras, +$2.07 from Flying Kakapo Sales (thanks Mum!) Now: -$2344.93
So yeah, not a millionaire yet, but there's still time!

Woodworking: +$1,150 NZD previously, -$800 Lathe, -$970 Bench Grinder, Drill Press, Hand drill plus small tools. Now: -$640
Today was an expensive day, with stops at Placemakers, Mitre10 and Bunnings. I did some research last week finding the cheapest places and today we went and spent the money. Big thanks to my Uncle Michael and Auntie Raewyn for the voucher they gave me last birthday, and to Aunt Liz for the money recently which went towards buying these tools.
I'll be thankful each time I use them!
I also picked up a fan and some pantyhose to use to make my dust extraction system. I'll post more once I complete it, using some good old number 8 wire :)
On the safety line I grabbed an RCD and a fire extinguisher.
Now the woodworking starts in earnest, hopefully I'll be posting some pictures of my beginning attempts soon.

Music: +$0 previously. Now: +$8
I mentioned previously that we'd been out busking, we were lucky enough to be interviewed by the Nelson Mail!
You can see us at Nelson Mail: Highs-and-lows-of-busking.
That's us on the video loading screen, and there's a couple of seconds of us playing :) Not bad for one week in the city.
Hopefully there'll be plenty more busking trips. We were planning on going last weekend but were stopped by a storm. If you want any of those promised youtube clips you'd best post and bug me with a request. Although Katie put a lid on my plans to buy a $1,500 camera for making videos... something about needing to make money first, I didn't understand it.

Currently music is winning by a long ways!

That's all for now, time to get back to work on updating Flying Kakapo (I'm such a slacker).

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Getting started with Java MIDI

This post is about getting started with the Java MIDI Api.

I'll try and step through creating a simple class that will let you add notes to a track, then let you play that track. This will allow most

If you want in depth information about everything, this site is great:

http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/sound/MIDI-synth.html

First things first, create a MusicPlayer class:


import javax.sound.midi.Track;
import javax.sound.midi.Sequence;
import javax.sound.midi.Sequencer;

public class MusicPlayer {

        public Sequence currentSong;
        public Track currentTrack;
        public Sequencer player;

        public MusicPlayer()
        {
                currentSong = null;
                currentTrack = null;
                player = null;
        }
}



The second thing is learn how to write code on blogger....

No, the second thing is to add a method to create the sequencer we will use to play the music.
If you're looking for more information about the sequencer timing thing:
http://docs.oracle.com/javase/1.4.2/docs/api/javax/sound/midi/Sequence.html


    public Sequencer createPlayer()
    {
            Sequencer cPlayer = null;
           try
           {
                   cPlayer = MidiSystem.getSequencer();
                   cPlayer.open();
                    // 16 counts per quarter note, so 4/4 = 64 counts;
                   Sequence seq = new Sequence(Sequence.PPQ, 16);
                   currentSong = seq;
                   currentTrack = currentSong.createTrack();
           }
           catch (Exception e)
           {
                   e.printStackTrace();
            }
           return cPlayer;
    }



import javax.sound.midi.InvalidMidiDataException;
import javax.sound.midi.MidiEvent;
import javax.sound.midi.MidiSystem;
import javax.sound.midi.MidiUnavailableException;
import javax.sound.midi.Sequence;
import javax.sound.midi.Sequencer;
import javax.sound.midi.ShortMessage;
import javax.sound.midi.Track;

public class MusicPlayer {
   
    public Sequence currentSong;
    public Track currentTrack;
    public Sequencer player;

    public MusicPlayer()
    {
            currentSong = null;
            currentTrack = null;
            player = createPlayer();
    }
   
    public void play()
    {
            if(currentSong != null)
            {
                   try
                    {
                            player.setSequence(currentSong);
                            player.start();
                    }
                    catch (Exception e) {
                            e.printStackTrace();
                    }
            }
    }
   
    public void addNote(int pitch, int volume, int time, int duration)
    {
            try {
                    if(duration < 1)
                    {
                            duration = 1;
                    }
                    ShortMessage a = new ShortMessage();
                    // First part is what you want to happen, the 4 is channel (instrument pretty much)
                    // Pitch is which note (60 for middle C, 61 C#, 62 D etc)
                    // Volume is how loud (relatively) the note should be played.
                    a.setMessage(ShortMessage.NOTE_ON, 4, pitch, volume);
                    MidiEvent noteOn = new MidiEvent (a, time);
                    currentTrack.add(noteOn);
                    ShortMessage b = new ShortMessage();
                    b.setMessage(ShortMessage.NOTE_OFF, 4, pitch, volume);
                    MidiEvent noteOff = new MidiEvent (b, time + duration);
                    currentTrack.add(noteOff);
           } catch (InvalidMidiDataException e) {
                    e.printStackTrace();
            }
    }
   
    // If I was smart this would be an actual song rather than bad noise!
    public void createDemoSong()
    {
            // Pitch, Volume, StartTime, Duration
            // StartTime is in the same time scheme as the sequencer
            // So 0 starts beginning first bar, 64 seconds, 128 third etc
            // Because our sequencer is set to 64 counts a bar
            this.addNote(60, 60, 0, 16);
            this.addNote(50, 60, 16, 16);
            this.addNote(62, 60, 32, 32);
            this.addNote(54, 60, 64, 16);
            this.addNote(56, 60, 80, 16);
            this.addNote(44, 60, 96, 16);
            this.addNote(76, 60, 112, 16);
            this.addNote(47, 60, 128, 16);
            this.addNote(48, 60, 144, 32);
    }
   
    public Sequencer createPlayer()
    {
            Sequencer cPlayer = null;
            try
            {
                    cPlayer = MidiSystem.getSequencer();
                    cPlayer.open();
                    // 16 counts per quarter note, so 4/4 = 64 counts;
                    Sequence seq = new Sequence(Sequence.PPQ, 16);
                    currentSong = seq;
                    currentTrack = currentSong.createTrack();
            }
            catch (Exception e)
            {
                    e.printStackTrace();
            }
            return cPlayer;
    }
}

Not a game update

Time for an update:
(I may be doing this update instead of working on that update of the game I promised, whoops)

Flying Kakapo: The Game currently has 2 sales, and 3 of those are still installed according to Google, so that's confusing, but atleast I don't have to panic about lots of people having trouble with it not working on their phone.
The sales aren't even family members! (but they are friends hehe)

The update I'm currently working on will fix a couple of bugs, and add Arcade Mode. It's a shorter, sharper experience, for when you don't have half an hour available to get those big scores...

Katie and I went busking yesterday, and had a great time. We made only $8 from our hour twenty playing, but got great responses from everyone. Half the money earned was people impressed with the hats we were wearing (hats Katie made!) so that was nice :)

Katie's been taking photos of her hats to post so they should be visible soon.

I also wandered around the Nelson Saturday Market and got an idea of prices for woodworking, and spoke to some very friendly locals who've invited me to come along to a meeting of the Nelson Woodturners Club. I'll be going hopefully, I need advice about which lathe to buy as I'm keen to get started.

In the programming side of things, I have way to many projects going.

I've gained permission to use some images for a New Zealand Sign Language quiz I'm working on, so hopefully I'll be getting that out soon. It's just the alphabet to start with, but Katie and I are having fun using it to communicate when I'm hiding behind my headphones. It will of course be free!

A fun project that isn't very pratical is my attempts to write a program that will write music for me. I've been learning about the Java Midi api. I'm also working on a post explaining how to get going with the api as I'm likely to forget...
Hopefully it will end up being useful to someone.
Katie isn't very impressed by it's output so far, she thinks she can do better :P


Another game I'm working on is a language learning game, I should do a post about that soon too. Yeah, I will, trust me! At the moment I'm thinking of it like the original Pokemon games, but where you have to learn a language as you go, it should be interesting :)

As always, leave a comment or twit at me on twitter!

Random fact: The country with the third most views on this blog is the Czech Republic (if you read this, leave a comment I'm curious!).

Monday, 20 February 2012

Flying Kakapo: The Game


Well I've finally released the game I started working on two weeks ago.

You can check it out here: Flying Kakapo: The Game

This game was concieved when working on my as yet unreleased Charades game, all it had in it was one movie, Gone With The Wind. When you clicked next it added a number that increased everytime you tapped the screen. I remember getting up to 180 before I realised what I was doing.
It's amazing how something so simple can be addictive.

This game initially started as just tapping the screen and seeing how high you could get it, well, before you got bored I guess. You can see it looks a little more developed than that. Lots of creep.

I added an object with Box2D that you could move around by tapping. Then made it fall. Then made a little bird graphic for it.

Now the game contains combos for tapping it numerous times in a row without missing, falling items to collect and a combo reset for smacking him into walls.

Altogether quite a fun game and fits well within the 'chocolate bar' market of $0.99 games.

Not expecting it to be an amazing seller, but certainly a game I'm happy with and a good learning experience.

I'll be blogging all details about it's experience out there in the world as time passes.



And so it begins

Well, the move has been completed.

Here I am in sunny Nelson, for which there is a severe weather warning for the next few days!

For a while now I've been telling myself that everything starts once I get to Nelson.
Yesterday (Monday) I went to the gym and set everything up, then went to work fixing bugs and getting my first mobile app ready for release.

Some might have viewed this as procrastinating on my blog post, and they might be right.

It seems a bit silly to post my first post on my second day of work but atleast I'm posting today! (ignoring the fact it is now 7pm as I write this).

So where do I stand?

Programming: -$168 NZD
I'm currently at -$138 from buying a web address and hosting, then another -$30 from registering as an Android Dev. Hopefully I'll start digging my way back up to break even when I release my game, even if just really slowly.

Woodworking: +$1,150 NZD
Currently at $1,150 NZD for woodworking, that looks pretty good right? Unfortunately that includes a $1,000 loan from my parents (which my father is trying to make into a gift, as parents like to do, should I allow this? Hmmmmm). $100 is from my godmother (Thanks Liz!) and $50 from my Uncle and Aunt for my birthday last year. So depending on how you look at it I'm either at positive $1,150 or negative $850. I prefer the first.

Soon as I can get some time in town (currently living 16km out of town) I'll look at buying some tools. First on my list are a router, jigsaw and drill. I'm planning on making some childrens rocking chairs first, to sell at the local market. You can see one in the background behind the chess table on my woodworking page.

Music: $0
Currently sitting at $0 for music, and I was going to say it's not likely to change anytime soon, but Katie has threatened to drag me out busking this weekend in the hopes of collecting the end of the tourist section. She seems quite serious as she had us practicing this afternoon (one reason why this post is so late).

We have been out busking once before, at christmas, and made $11 which we promptly spent on icecream at Penguinos which may or may not be the entire reason I moved to Nelson. The icecream is so good my sister once drove 5 hours to try and get some, only to find it didn't open til later in the day, and then had to drive 5 hours home.

So that's where things sit currently, and this is where I sit!




Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My Evil Plan

The move is progressing slowly, done some calling around and found it would cost around $650 to move our stuff to Nelson (bed, bikes, couple of chairs etc). A problem is that Katie's place is fairly rural, involving a small bridge so lots of stress and complications.

After some discussing (and perhaps some guilting) my sister and her husband are going to drive up with us, with a trailer full of our stuff, then take the trailer back down the next day, saving us $200 of relocation fee for the trailer.

This is something I am much more comfortable with, less stress! I've offered them the difference in costs so it might not be cheaper but lessss stressssssssssssssssssssssss. (And now I'm a snake...)

My grand plan for this year:

1): Earn $10,000 income (not profit) between now and new years.
2): Release 10 Mobile Apps that get atleast 1000 downloads and $1,000 income over the 12 months following their release
3): Enjoy myself!

I think $10,000 is too low of a target, and Katie thinks it's too high, so we settled on it. I'm guessing at this point 90% of the income will come from programming, 10% from woodworking, and 0.000001% from music.

The mobile apps will be interesting, I have a list of 30 odd apps to work on, I'm sure I will release more than 10, but most of them probably won't do very well. Only having to get 1,000 total downloads shouldn't be too hard, it'll just involve a lot of guilting people I know (and you, my dear readers!).

Enjoying myself shouldn't be too hard either, that's why I have three different things to concentrate on, if I'm not enjoying programming, I'll do woodworking, or music. And if I'm enjoying none of them, I'll play games :D

So I feel fairly optimistic at the moment and I'm looking forward til after the move so I can throw myself fully into this. I'll hopefully cover more of my plans in my next posts.

For now, a preview of what I've been working on the last two days:

Friday, 3 February 2012

A Little Background

So time for a little background.

Well I'm currently twenty five going on seventeen, I have a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Computer Science and I live in New Zealand.

I've been living in Christchurch for the last 8 years, since I moved down here to attend University.

I went to uni to get a degree in physics. Over a period of five years I did a various assortment of courses from astrophysics to philosophy. In the end I got my degree in computer science when the University decided my philosophy of religion course counted as science credits.

And so there I was with a shiney new degree in hand and not much of a clue what to do with it.

So I did what any young person would do, spent a year sitting about the flat playing computer games and burning through what little savings I had. I did eventually get around to applying at one talent agency and for one job. Neither of which I heard back from if I recall correctly.

At that new years I finally made a resolution to do something, so I did some googling and found a local company I'd heard a friend talk about that made computer games.
I wandered through the door there about as soon as they opened after the holiday period. It turned out they were having a problem with their internet, so the boss didn't have much to do and was able to interview me.
I got a call back later that day asking if I would be keen to help them with some game testing.
It wasn't really a job in most senses of the word, as I didn't actually get paid for a good two months. But such is the life in the gaming industry, and I was enjoying what I did.
Thus began my work as a games tester, programmer and designer.
(I actually have my name in the credits as a game tester for Kung Fu Funk and Doc Clock).

Once I got bumped up to programming I spent most of my time working on Crystalink for Facebook which I quite enjoyed.
After a year and a half I found I wasn't enjoying myself as much, and was beginning to dread work each day. So I took the leap and handing in my resignation, staying on untl the next project milestone. I then did something totally random and took a six month carpentry Furniture and Joinery course.

It was a massive change to go from lounging in a chair all day spaced out as I dealt with some problem to working all day on my feet with whirling blades of death attached to everything.
I can't say I was any good at it, but I enjoyed my time in the course, and managed to get through with all fingers still attached, though I had a good go at melting my thumb on the last day. and left behind a fair bit of skin and blood in various amounts.


Then an opening came for Katie to help her brother back in her home city of Nelson, and as we weren't doing anything much we decided it was a good time to move.

So we're about to move to sunny Nelson (which recently suffered serious floodings just before we were there for christmas, I'm fairly sure the sunny thing is a con, as it always rains when I'm there). It seems kinda wierd to have stayed here through the aftershocks, only moving when they've mostly died down.

Mostly it's just time for a change.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Jamie's Journalistic Journey towards Financial Freedom!

This year I'm going to try out being self-employed, earning my existence through woodworking, programming for mobile phones and music.

A big step but now seems like a good time to try it, my girlfriend (Katie) and I are moving cities. At the moment I'm actually on holiday in the Queen Charlotte Sounds, but once we get back the move beings in earnest.

And through this blog I'm going to cover all the nitty gritty details of my efforts. I find blogs that post actual information about how they're getting by, and how much money they're making fascinating, so this is going to be my attempt.

So let us hope I make something to talk about!

Over the next short while I'll be messing around with my website (http://www.flyingkakapo.co.nz) and adding some information to this blog.

Meanwhile here's what I'm enjoying: