August 01, 2015

MacBook Users: A Tip for Playing Our Games

from A Shareware Life

Do you use a MacBook?

I do, and have for years.  One of the things that has always frustrated me when playing my solitaire games on a MacBook is how hard it is to right-click.  I've been using the Control-click method of right-clicking for years.

Recently I discovered a better way.  Open System Preferences and go to TrackPad.


Check the box Secondary Click and set it to Click in bottom right corner.  Then when you tap the trackpad in the lower right corner, it will act as a right click.  I can't believe I hadn't discovered this before.

Voila!  Suddenly playing Pretty Good Solitaire or our online games is much easier!

You're welcome.


July 31, 2015

Witche's Legacy: The Dark Throne

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Witche's Legacy: The Dark Throne Your wife Lynn thought she was safe following the destruction of the witch queen Morgana, but one night she's swept away into the darkness of the Other World, and you'll have to use all your skills as a former Witch Hunter to save her in this gorgeous hidden-object adventure... that is, if she wants to be saved at all... Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, bigfishgames, casual, demo, download, elefungames, game, hiddenobject, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-y, windows

Cube Escape: Case 23

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Flash — Cube Escape: Case 23 Called in to investigate a murder of a very familiar looking young woman, a hunt for evidence in a strange house leads you on an unexpected and surreal adventure in this next big installment of Rusty Lake's wildly popular point-and-click series, also free for Android and iOS! Tagged as: adventure, android, browser, flash, free, game, horror, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mobile, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-r, rustylake, surreal

Play SpiderCells Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


Play SpiderCells solitaire online.  SpiderCells is a cross between FreeCell and Spider.

Monkey GO Happy Madness

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Monkey GO Happy Madness Your monkeys are in a rut once more, and it's up to you to solve 27 increasingly weird puzzles to turn their frowns upside down in this latest installment of the popular kid-friendly Monkey GO Happy games from PencilKids! Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, monkeygohappy, playthis, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g

Play One Cell Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


Another new game today - play One Cell Solitaire online for free.  One Cell is FreeCell with just one cell.

July 30, 2015

Play Two Cells Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


New today, play Two Cells Solitaire online.  Two Cells is FreeCell with only 2 cells.

Five Nights at Freddy’s Creator Has Constructive Criticism for His Critics

from GBGames

In a post on the Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 Steam page, Scott Cawthon asked his more hateful critics to focus on something more productive.

After previous unsuccessful games, Cawthon has found a cult hit in his series about terrifying animatronics in a kid’s themed restaurant. And when you get some success, there will always be critics.

They’ll tell you that there are problems with the games. They are too simple, or the designs are imperfect. That’s fine. Feedback about games means someone is going to hate what someone else loves, and maybe some of that feedback will give you an idea for how to improve things next time.

But some people get personal, accusing Cawthon of milking his success and they spew plenty of vitriol as they do so. Success unfortunately also comes with people ready to tear you down lest you get too proud or comfortable.

Cawthon patted them on the head and dismissed them while simultaneously imploring them to do something with their lives.

But something more important that I want to convey to all of you, is that you should never listen to people who criticize success simply because it’s success. Being good at something is something to strive for, not something to demonize.

“Haters gonna hate.” –as they say, but I want you to know that focusing on someone else’s failure or success is the wrong way to live. People who make videos bashing other people are like people who run into a public square and scream into a pillow. They’ll get attention, but they won’t change anything. If you strive to be like them, then you’ll spend your life screaming into a pillow as well, and your life won’t mean anything.

He asked people to go out and make their own games, to contribute, rather than to spend their time putting down others.

Now that’s a role model.

Five Nights at Freddy’s Creator Has Constructive Criticism for His Critics is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development

Play Three Cells Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


New today, play Three Cells, FreeCell with 3 cells, online for free.

Finite Moves

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Finite Moves Elio Landa returns with another simple but beautifully designed little puzzle game. Enjoy zen-like atmosphere and carefully crafted levels as you slide blocks around with a limited number of moves to cover all glowing spots on the field. Tagged as: browser, elanda, flash, free, game, math, playthis, puzzle, rating-g, simpleidea

You’ve Decided to Make a Game; Enjoy the Process

from GBGames

You made the decision.

You’re going to make a game. You’re going to create a piece of entertainment of your own, whether it’s just something for you and your friends to enjoy or something you intend to publish and make available for a wider audience.

It’s easy to get stressed. Even the simplest games can be a major undertaking.

But you’ve made the decision. It’s going to happen. You are going to finish a game.

And since the end result is known, there’s no point in stressing about it.

In the meantime, enjoy the process of getting there.

You are participating in the powerful act of creation. It won’t necessarily be easy, and there will be a lot of detailed decisions that you’ll make along the way. It might take longer than you expect. You might get sick of it before you’re done. Game development is real work.

But try to have fun with it. You know you’ll get to the end result eventually if you keep moving in the right direction, so makes sure you enjoy the journey.

Then make sure to tell us all about it. B-)

You’ve Decided to Make a Game; Enjoy the Process is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development

Episode 393: Pepper II Paul

from Casual Gamer Chick

No Gravatar

Paul’s not in this episode due to sickness, so it’s just Jonah and Scott, the former who berates the latter for the lack of any listener feedback. There is a Gaming Flashback this time, with the classic 80’s arcade game Pepper II.

The news includes:

  • China ending restrictions on gaming console sales
  • Capcom is sorry about the Street Fighter V beta
  • Video gaming organization to start testing gamers for drugs
  • Not even “a s—load” of Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Editions is enough for the world

The Question of the Week: “What makes a good expansion?”

Paul’s not in this episode due to sickness, so it’s just Jonah and Scott, the former who berates the latter for the lack of any listener feedback. There is a Gaming Flashback this time, with the classic 80’s arcade game Pepper II. The news includes: China ending restrictions on gaming console sales Capcom is sorry about the Street Fighter V beta Video gaming organization to start testing gamers for drugs Not even “a s—load” of Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Editions is enough for the world The Question of the Week: “What makes a good expansion?”

Play ForeCell Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


Play ForeCell solitaire online.

July 29, 2015

Room 8

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Room 8 Why you'd possibly want to escape from this sunny, relaxing room set up by Ichima is beyond me, but finding your way out is perfectly pleasant thanks to tidy design and some crafty, clever puzzles that don't overstay their welcome. Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, ichima, japanese, playthis, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g

Works in Windows 10 - Pretty Good Solitaire

from A Shareware Life

Today is the official release day for Windows 10.

I'm happy to say that Pretty Good Solitaire works in Windows 10.


Actually, it is a little more than that.  Not only does Pretty Good Solitaire work in Windows 10, it works great in Windows 10.  I'm not sure how or why, but the animation seems snappier and the game just plays smoother in Windows 10.

This is extra great given the recent news that Microsoft is charging to remove ads in the solitaire game in Windows 10.

Personally, I rather like Windows 10.  It is a huge improvement over Windows 8 and seems a bit better than Windows 7.  It definitely feels like Windows 7 with the start button returned. 

So if you are thinking of updating to Windows 10, have no fear about your favorite solitaire game.  It will work.

Note: if you are upgrading a machine from an earlier version of Windows, I would recommend backing up the game's data folder first.  This is the

C:\users\[Windows User name]\AppData\Roaming\Goodsol\Pretty Good Solitaire

folder in Windows 7 or 8.  After updating Windows, you will need to run the setup installation file to reinstall the game, then copy back the data folder, which is in the same place in Windows 10 (but Microsoft hides the AppData folder, so you will need to go to the View menu in Windows Explorer and check the "Hidden Items" box to see the folder).




Update:  Here is a really quick way to go the Application Data folder in Windows 10 (this is where the Goodsol data folder is located):

Type this in the "Search the web and Windows" box in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen:  %appdata%

Don't forget the weird % at the beginning and end.  This will pop up a Windows Explorer window with the AppData folder.  If you have installed Pretty Good Solitaire, you should see the Goodsol folder there.  If not, that is where you want to copy it to from your old computer/installation.


Duke Dashington

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Flash — Duke Dashington Duke Dashington is a gentlemanly explorer in need of some treasure in this fast-paced game of reflexes, also available on iOS and Android. Dash your way through each collapsing temple to collect the treasure, but be warned: when you launch Duke in any direction, he won't stop until he hits something. Spikes, lava, water flows and more bar your way towards treasure and glory. Get dashing! Tagged as: action, adventureislands, android, browser, flash, free, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mobile, puzzle, rating-g, reflex, retro, tablet

What Do Your Game Designs Say On Your Behalf?

from GBGames

It’s easy to see someone’s writing as representative of his/her views. The words are right there expressing ideas in a very direct way.

Similarly, a movie can have a certain message buried in it. Sometimes the message is a bit more obvious because it hits you over the head.

Games are no different. The verbs inherent in a game tell you what the designers thought were important.

Some games aren’t saying much. It’s hard to get political with Pong or Angry Birds.

But other games say a lot.

Why are women almost always portrayed as damsels in distress? Why are they seen often as rewards for the player? What does it say about the designers’ view of women?

Why are many games about violence? What does it say about the designers’ position on how best to handle conflict?

You could argue, “But they’re just games!”

But I think games are important, and I think they can have a great impact.

I’m not saying that playing games can turn you into a mass murderer.

But I am saying that the message of games can influence someone’s thinking in a subtle way.

Maybe the next time you bump into someone you’ll see it as an act of aggression to be responded to in kind instead of the accident it was. Maybe you’ll be more inclined to scream obscenities at someone when you’re angry instead of discussing your differences. Maybe you’ll be more interested in winning an argument than in finding common ground with your spouse.

Or maybe you’ll be more inclined to cooperate with your coworkers. Maybe you’ll value puzzle-solving over brute-force. Maybe you’ll see people as equals instead of as resources in your quest.

The messages of your game designs can say a lot about your worldviews. Are you being careful with the messages your games send on your behalf?

What Do Your Game Designs Say On Your Behalf? is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development

Weekday Escape N°86

from Jay Is Games

Weekday Escape N°86 Games featured this week: Chicks Hide and Seek Escape 23; Find the Five Bears!; Escape from the Strange Dining Room 2 — This week on your Weekday Escape... Yuuri returns with fluffy baby chicks hidden all over a tranquil park, Hottategoya locks you up in a dining room with puzzles rather than food, and Vitamin Hana takes teddy bear security VERY seriously. Tagged as: blog, browser, escape, free, game, hottategoya, vitaminhana, weekday-escape, yuuri

Tough Love Machine

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Tough Love Machine Part machine, part matchmaker, all heart! Use your cartoonishly robotic limbs to bring hearts - and love! - together in this surreal analogue phuzzle equivalent of Tindr. Go, go gadget cupid! Tagged as: amorrish, browser, flash, free, game, ludumdare, physics, puzzle, rating-y, retro, simpleidea

Play Antares Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


Play Antares Solitaire online.  Antares is a FreeCell/Scorpion cross that I invented.

July 28, 2015

Catch of the Week: Mystery Trackers: Silent Hollow Only $2.99!

from Casual Game Guides

This week's Big Fish Games Catch of the Week is the hidden object adventure game Mystery Trackers: Silent Hollow! That means for this week only, you can get this game for only $2.99! With a overall rating of 4 stars, this is a great addition for your gaming collection.

» Mystery Trackers: Silent Hollow Walkthrough & Forum

» Mystery Trackers: Silent Hollow Free Trial & Related Games

Microsoft Will Charge to Remove Ads from Solitaire in Windows 10

from A Shareware Life

I have been making solitaire games for 20 years.

In that time, one of the biggest drivers of my business has been people playing the solitaire game(s) that come with Windows, then getting frustrated with them and going out and looking for better solitaire games.

This started with the basic solitaire game (which is the game called Klondike), which has been in Windows since 1990.  They added FreeCell in 1995 and Spider in 2001.  Each of these additions popularized those games and sent people to the internet looking for better versions.  

Then in Windows 7 Microsoft removed the solitaire games from the default Windows installation.  There is no doubt this caused fewer people to play solitaire.

Now Windows 10 will be released this week and solitaire is back.

But there is a catch.

Microsoft wants $1.49 a month to remove the ads it shows inside Solitaire on Windows 10

They have created a "Premium Membership" for solitaire.  It will cost $1.49 a month (or $9.99 a year) to remove ads from the Windows solitaire game.


Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be more awesome for me than this.

I sell solitaire games for Windows for prices ranging from $9.99 to $24.95, depending on how many games are in the bundle.  Note it's a one time fee, not a monthly charge. My games have many more features than the Microsoft games, and many more games.

It will not take very long for people to figure out that my one time fee is a lot cheaper than Microsoft's monthly (or yearly) charge over time.

These games, included in Windows once again, but with ads and a charge to remove them, are going to send masses of people searching the internet for better, cheaper solitaire games.

I can't wait.

For the record, my game Pretty Good Solitaire has 870 different solitaire games for $24.95.

Goodsol Solitaire 101 has 101 different games for $19.95.

Most Popular Solitaire has 30 of the most popular solitaire games for $16.95.

FreeCell Plus has FreeCell and several other FreeCell type games for $9.95.

All of them have 30 day free trials so that you can try before you buy.

And I have Mac solitaire games and iPad solitaire games too, and a new free site with some solitaire games you can play online in your browser (with limited features, but still good).



Harvest Defender

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Harvest Defender When the evil Goblin Lord's garden fails this veggie nut sends his minions to steals his neighbors harvest. But this little rabbit isn't going to let his hard work go with out a fight in this defense/shooter hybrid packed with upgrades. Tagged as: action, browser, defense, flash, free, game, ottomoto, rating-y, shooter, upgrades

What Do You Wish You Knew More About?

from GBGames

As a child, I consumed information around me. When I discovered a topic existed, such as the Pacific Theater of World War II or how to create your own pop-up books, I wanted to learn everything about it. I read books, watched the History Channel back when they actually showed history (oh, the History Channel is this generations’ MTV, isn’t it?), asked questions, and pretty much did whatever I could to feed my passion for learning.

As I got older, I found I had to be more selective with my attention. I had more demands on my time. I couldn’t immerse myself in a single topic unless it was for school or work.

Or at least, I felt that way.

I have friends, grown-up friends, who I can say are still passionate about things I used to love. A few of them geek out when NASA or the ESA publicize their latest successful missions. Another loves all things dinosaurs.

And I realize how much I have missed about being passionate about a topic to the point of becoming an amateur scientist or historian.

The cool thing? I can immerse myself in something now, and I’m old enough to understand it a lot more than when I was a child. And we know so much more today than we did just 10 or 20 years ago, so there’s more to learn.

And even cooler, we’re still learning. We now know what Pluto looks like, and soon we’ll know more about the makeup of Jupiter. We found a regaliceratops in Canada last month when we didn’t even know it existed before.

Do you wish you knew more about theatre? About movie-making? About the lives of authors? How to start a business? Weigh-lifting and nutrition? Sustainable gardening? Game design and development?

Did you ever wonder what was in the ocean, whether here on Earth or on Neptune? Or have you ever thought about how thinking actually works?

And did you ignore the curiosity, or did you let it lead you to answers and more questions?

What Do You Wish You Knew More About? is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development

Magic Heroes: Save Our Park launched for Android in Google Play store!

from Anawiki

Magic Heroes: Save Our Park - Android Google Play gamePlease welcome our first Android game in Google Play store – Magic Heroes: Save Our Park

A mysterious but well-loved old lady everyone just calls “Granny” has been living in the park for longer than anyone can remember. Now, the park has fallen into disarray and the city has decided to sell the land off to a greedy real estate developer to be turned into condos. Poor Granny is going to lose her home, and the neighborhood is going to lose its park… unless you can help.

Download Magic Heroes for Android!

Read more about Magic Heroes: Save Our Park. The game is also available for PC Windows, Mac OS X and iOS.

July 27, 2015

Regency Solitaire Mac version for Steam released

from Grey Alien Games

We’re happy to announce that Regency Solitaire is now available for Mac users on Steam.

To celebrate, we’re offering a 25% discount to both PC and Mac customers who buy Regency Solitaire on Steam this week (offer ends 3rd August, 2015).

Customers will enjoy our latest, updated version of the game, V1.16, which includes widescreen support.


from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Ruffian! In Broken Pixel's stylish, tongue-in-cheek, old-timey projectile puzzler, you're a most vile criminal indeed, whose deadly eye and deadlier pistol can take down men, women, and children alike with only a few shots... provided you know where to place them! Tagged as: brokenpixel, browser, flash, free, game, playthis, projectile, puzzle, rating-y

Play Double FreeCell Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


FreeCell Week begins today on the online games site.  New today is the 2 deck FreeCell type game Double FreeCell.  Play Double FreeCell Solitaire online.

Gummy Drop! Walkthrough

from Casual Game Guides

Travel the sweet candy coated world using our Gummy Drop Walkthrough. Our helpful hints and screen caps will give you tips and strategies to complete your trek across the globe collecting resources, building landmarks and recreating the world map. This multi-level resource and time management match 3 game will be sure to satisfy your craving for a sweet adventure!

» Gummy Drop! Walkthrough & Forum

» Gummy Drop! Free Trial & Related Games

Newton's Law

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Newton's Law Newton isn't your average mall cop, he's a SPACE mall cop, and this isn't your average day. Criminals have invaded and shut off the gravity, so you'll need to use your gun to propel yourself around randomly shuffled levels to save shoppers, blast baddies, and more. Tagged as: action, browser, flash, free, game, justwo, physics, playthis, rating-o, shooter, upgrades

Can Games Address the Vocabulary Gap?

from GBGames

I didn’t know that vocabulary is hugely important in someone’s development. Children from poorer families tend to know fewer words than children from wealthier families.

And according to the 1995 study by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risly called The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap, it’s an enormous difference that would take a lot of time and effort to address.

What’s more, the exposure to words by children in poverty tends to be negative in nature. Silence means you aren’t in trouble, but it also means you aren’t growing your vocabulary.

As you can imagine, being behind by millions of words means you can’t build upon those words. You don’t read as much, which means you don’t grow your vocabulary on your own time. Advanced lessons can essentially become meaningless gibberish, and you fall further behind your peers as you get older.

Education Week recently published an article that mentioned the benefits of technology regarding vocabulary skills:

With the right technology, struggling students can gain not only more word experiences per unit of time than they can from traditional instruction; they can also gain the right word experiences to prevent them from falling behind, giving them a real shot at excelling and achieving their potential.

Games are all about learning. I recall playing Lemonade Stand and learning the word “advertising”. I didn’t know it, and then I encountered it in the context of the game, and I had to learn what it meant in order to play. Today’s games can feature positive audio and speech, and speech-recognition means the player can talk to someone in-game in a safe environment.

But I was also privileged to have a computer in my home, as well as a dictionary and the know-how to look it up. Not everyone has access to smartphones and tablets and consoles and computers.

Many schools are trying to address the technology gap by ensuring there are computers in the classroom, and some schools have programs to assign a laptop or tablet to each student. But is it enough to address the technology gap?

And where children have access to such technology, do they have the games geared towards helping them with their vocabulary, and as a result, the trajectory of their lives?

Can Games Address the Vocabulary Gap? is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development

July 26, 2015

Big Fish Games Collector's Edition BOGO Sale!

from Casual Game Guides

Don't miss a Big Fish Games Sale today! Buy ONE Collector’s Edition and get ONE for $1.99! Just use code DOGDAYS at checkout. Offer ends July 26, 2015.

Regency Solitaire V116 Update Released

from Grey Alien Games

Widescreen mode!

We just released a big update for Regency Solitaire (PC/Mac). The current version on our site was V1.06 and the new version is V1.16.

The main changes are:

- Various fixes and stability enhancements.
- Decent Widescreen support. The game will now use player’s desktop resolution in Full Screen mode.

How to get it

If you bought the game through our website, simply go to your original BMT Micro order receipt and click on the download link. It should download the updated version. If you have any problems, just email us using the email address on our contact page.

We’ll also be releasing this update on Steam on Monday 27th July 2016 at 5pm GMT along with a Mac version!

We’ve also sent it to the major portals who will hopefully update their versions too.

Detailed change list:

- Changed framework to use a more reliable Windows API call to get the dynamic data folder which also supports Unicode characters in the path.

- Fix for game starting in windowed mode with no profile after a crash/invalid exit.

- Fixed bug where final chapter’s gold wasn’t stored in player profile.
- Fixed bug where finishing with a perfect during a combo didn’t show the correct multiplier value.

- Fixed bug where pressing Space during a combo would block further user input.
- Clicking anywhere on the Hand Complete screen will no longer move onto the next hand.

- Steam update only.

- Made game default to windowed mode on first run and after incorrect shutdown.
- Various localised version fixes.

- Fixed bug where sometimes a shuffle could result in a Regal lock being impossible to unlock.

- Added an underline on 6 and 9 plain cards to help indicate which way up they are.

- Game now uses desktop resolution in full screen mode. Everything should look a bit nicer on screens over 768 pixels tall.
- Added wallpaper side borders to full screen mode on widescreen monitors.

- Stopped these tips from showing if Show Tips is unchecked in Options: Stock pile, undo button, got wildcard/joker.
- Fixed Phoenix powerup bug where sometimes you couldn’t click on the stock pile after using it.
- Fixed Bella’s fan in the intro movie to not have spikes!
- Bella will appear in her full outfit on Chapter 20 instead of her normal one.

And that’s it. Thanks to everyone who helped us find and solve these issues.


Fruit Kitchens No. 24: Papaya Yellow

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Fruit Kitchens No. 24: Papaya Yellow Need a sunny way to escape from your day for a few minutes? Funkyland's light and perky game is definitely of the short and sweet variety as you hunt for seven papayas before you're allowed to leave this wonderfully kitschy kitchen. Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, funkyland, game, playthis, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g

Dealing with Game Designer’s Block

from GBGames

You’re working on your game, and you are struggling to get it to come together.

Maybe it’s taking a long time to implement. Maybe you are in the middle of a large project and you’re getting sick of it. Maybe partway through you realize you haven’t even decided what experience you’re aiming for yet.

Maybe it’s time to take a short break to design a simpler game.

Simple Board Game

Brenda Romero’s introductory game design exercise is ideal in these situations. Instead of trying to create a completely unique and commercially-viable game, solving all of the various subproblems you find there, this exercise gives you a simple framework to build around while still giving you a chance to stretch your game design muscles.

Create a race-to-the-end board game, and iteratively build up a complete game. It doesn’t have to be something you can sell. It just has needs to be something you can point to and say, “I made it” and could be something you might whip together in a short period of time.

Doing these kinds of exercises is the equivalent of an artist sketching a quick drawing in a notebook with a pencil. It might not be lead to anything more, but it’s a way to actively engage your mind while also resting it for your main work.

Dealing with Game Designer’s Block is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development

July 25, 2015

Play Hypotenuse Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


Klondike week ends with Hypotenuse, a 2 deck Klondike type game.  Play Hypotenuse solitaire online.

Don't Escape 3

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Don't Escape 3 Waking up with a pounding headache stinks. Waking up with a pounding headache in a starship's airlock and discovering everyone else is dead? You must be in one of ScriptWelder's fantastically creepy anti-escape games! Investigate the ship and discover the truth, but you're working on borrowed time, and you may not be alone. Tagged as: adventure, browser, flash, free, game, horror, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-o, scifi, scriptwelder

You Have to Actually Do the Work to Claim You Can Do It

from GBGames

Yesterday at the day job, a coworker and I were discussing coding challenges. He was talking about how he came across one that, even though he knows how he would approach it, it would still be fun to do.

He said at one point, “I’ve never actually written a program to solve Sudoku.”

Another coworker chimed in to say, “Yeah, but you know you could write one.”

First coworker: “True, but while I know I could, I never have.”

And they went back and forth for a bit, with one arguing that he’s more interested in tackling the unsolved problems of the world rather than work on problems he knows he can solve.

I thought about his position, and I have concluded that he’s wrong.

I agree with the desire to work on something worthwhile. Writing your own Sudoku solver when others already exist isn’t likely to result in any significant, lasting impact. Solving engineering problems such as aiming NASA’s New Horizons at Pluto accurately over the course of almost a decade? That’s gratifying work.

But there’s a difference between knowing you could write a “Hello, World” program and being able to say you’ve done it, and it’s not just about bragging rights.

Here’s a “Hello, World” in C++ that took me a mere moment to write just now:

#include <iostream>

int main()
   std::cout << "Hello, World!" << std::endl;
   return 0;

I’m confident I don’t need to run it through a compiler to make sure I wrote it correctly. I write C++ code often enough that something this simple usually works just fine the first time, although feel free to tell me I made a mistake if you spot one.

But it wasn’t always this easy for me. Before I wrote code regularly, I’d make mistakes that would seem boneheaded to me today.

For instance, I might forget to include the iostream header in the first place. Coming from a QBasic background, where PRINT was a built-in command, it was odd to have to include a separate header to do something so basic as output text.

Another example is forgetting which way the streaming operators go for output versus input. << or >>? When I wasn’t writing code daily, I would have a hard time writing new code that used cin or cout because of this issue.

I had no idea there was a need to flush the output when I first started coding in C++, so I might leave off the std::endl, probably because I didn’t know it existed at first. I would wonder why my program wouldn’t spit out the text I expected to see, or why only part of the text seemed to make it and the rest was missing.

And of course, I might accidentally forget a semicolon or two.

That’s a lot of potential mistakes for a “Hello, World” program, and I am sure I ran into every single one and possibly more.

Before I was considered an expert C++ programmer, I could argue that I know how to write a “Hello, World” program. In general, that is. I knew the trick was to use some command to output a specific string, just like most programming languages.

Boooooooriiiiing! I’m above this. I want to do something more interesting!

I remember feeling this way, but I also remember the feeling the first time I tried to read some source code I found on the Internet. I couldn’t follow it! Everything was more complicated than it needed to be, and they used “advanced” things such as std::vector.

It was around this time that I found a good C++ book and followed the exercises in the chapters. I used to skip them because I thought, “Yeah, I get the gist.”

But actually doing the work helped me internalize the lessons. I didn’t have a vague, general understanding of the code. I KNEW the code.

It’s like the difference between being told about a majestic view of the mountains are and seeing it for yourself. One is story, and the other is experience.

“Hello, World” is pretty easy to master, but writing the code to handle input correctly and spit out appropriate output builds upon the knowledge you have for doing this easy work. And the new code will have its own common pitfalls that experts don’t run into anymore but that trip people up when they first encounter it. Did your stream try to convert the user’s input into an integer and fail? Are you handling this situation correctly?

Yeah, you might get the general idea and know you COULD write the code, but until you do, you don’t get to claim expertise in writing such code. Knowing the mechanics of diving isn’t the same as knowing how to dive. Knowing how to use color to simulate shadows and lighting doesn’t mean you know how to paint a bowl of fruit.

I would love to be involved in a worthwhile, complex, never-before-solved project, but it’s hard to demonstrate competence when I’m struggling with common mistakes in the solved problems.

You have to put in the work. Until then, you’re untested.

You Have to Actually Do the Work to Claim You Can Do It is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development


from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android — Splendor There's no fast way to build a gem empire from the ground up, but everyone's gotta start somewhere, fishing for shiny rocks in the mines. In Splendor, the mobile port of the board game of the same name, you've got to take that handful of gems to buy cards from the tableau, which let you buy bigger and more expensive cards, building up your roster of workers and nobles until you're practically swimming in diamonds and rubies. Aside from all the sharp edges, doesn't that sound like fun? Tagged as: android, board, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, kindle, mobile, puzzle, rating-g, spacecowboys, strategy, tablet

July 24, 2015

Doodle God Blitz

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Flash — Doodle God Blitz JoyBits' newest incarnation of their mobile spin on the Doodle God element-creating puzzle game series comes to your browser, with flashier visuals and quests, though some frustrating ads and a slew of (optional) in-game purchases may not win everyone over. Tagged as: android, browser, doodlegod, flash, free, freetoplay, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, joybits, microtransactions, mobile, playthis, puzzle

Play Flower Garden Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


Today's new online solitaire game is Flower Garden.  Play Flower Garden solitaire online.

Avalon Legends Solitaire 2 launched on iPhone and iPad!

from Anawiki

Avalon Legends Solitaire 2We have a great news for iPad and iPhone (or iPod touch) users. Avalon Legends Solitaire 2 just launched in the App Store and is available for download for free. You can play a set of levels before you decide if you like the game enough to buy it.

With his kingdom under threat by the goblin army, King Arthur turns to the Druids for assistance. Camelot lies in ruins and it’s up to you, the Royal Druid, to use the magic cards to unlock the power of nature and rebuild the kingdom. Do you have what it takes to save Avalon?

Download Avalon Legends Solitaire 2 for iOS now!

Creative Commons Has a Kickstarter Project to Create a Book About Open Business Models

from GBGames

There are always debates about business models. Years ago, everyone was saying that you should focus on Flash. Anyone who suggested Java was perfectly fine to use got pushback. When asked to justify Java for game development, people would say, “Look at how successful Runescape is!” and the Flash proponents would say, “But that’s the exception!”

Minecraft would come later.

Similarly, I recall talking to someone about a business model for making open source games, and I was told that you couldn’t make a living from it. I pointed out games such as Second Life and was told, “But that doesn’t count!”

Counterexamples in these kinds of arguments are always exceptions that don’t count for some reason.

Creative Commons, the nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools, decided to write a book on open business models to show how exceptional they really are.

We want to show the world the full spectrum of open business models made using Creative Commons. Our goal is to begin to answer what we consider one of the most important questions of the digital age: how do creators make money to sustain what they do when they are letting the world reuse their work?

As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign has 20 days left and is almost halfway to its funding goal.

For the last couple of decades, people have questioned how you can make a living by giving away what has traditionally been protected by copyright, patent, and trademark law. And some of these people get animatedly threatened by the idea, as if it somehow smells too politically threatening.

While some websites have tried to list open business models in the past, I think an entire book on the topic would fill a void in the debate.

Creative Commons Has a Kickstarter Project to Create a Book About Open Business Models is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development


from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — BLOCnog Get yourself into a bit of a sticky situation with a sliding block game all about sticking other blocks to yourself! As a smiling, orange block, slide around the playing field. Any other orange blocks you touch will stick to you and become part of your body. But if you get too big, you might have to rely on spikes and bombs to carve yourself down to size! Become the right shape to fit on top of the red-and-yellow goal! Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, gameshot, puzzle, rating-g, slidingblock, sokoban

Episode 392: And Introducing…

from Casual Gamer Chick

No Gravatar

Yes, it seems strange that we skipped Episode 391, but it was recorded, but some issues prevented it from being posted. Instead, it’ll come out sometime later this year. For now, Episode 392 features the debut of Scott Dirk, aka Alphashard, as a co-host. There are some audio issues, so be warned.

The news includes:

  • Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata passes away at 55
  • Kojima’s name removed from Metal Gear Solid V cover
  • Fallout 4 is about “freedom“, not being the “best looking game,” says Bethesda
  • Shenmue 3 breaks Kickstarter video game record
  • Over 50% of parents worry about their children playing video games online

No Listener Feedback this week – write in!

Yes, it seems strange that we skipped Episode 391, but it was recorded, but some issues prevented it from being posted. Instead, it’ll come out sometime later this year. For now, Episode 392 features the debut of Scott Dirk, aka Alphashard, as a co-host. There are some audio issues, so be warned. The news includes: Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata passes away at 55 Kojima’s name removed from Metal Gear Solid V cover Fallout 4 is about “freedom“, not being the “best looking game,” says Bethesda Shenmue 3 breaks Kickstarter video game record Over 50% of parents worry about their children playing video games online No Listener Feedback this week – write in!

July 23, 2015


from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — DELETE? Trapped in a robotics lab and with no memories a young boy named Zai sets out to find a way to restore his past. Teaming up with the only other living thing there, a strange girl named simply 04, he sets out to explore his surroundings, find a way to gather information on who and what he is in this free indie adventure game. Tagged as: adventure, download, free, game, indie, jestereir, narrative, puzzle, rating-o, scifi, windows

Play Moving Left Solitaire Online!

from A Shareware Life


Play Moving Left solitaire online.  Moving Left is a unique Klondike type game.


Bouncy and Monsto

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Bouncy and Monsto Buddies Monsto and Bouncy love being together, so when they get separated when Bouncy chases after stars, you'll need to manipulate your environment to bring them back together in this simple yet bright and cheery, kid-friendly physics puzzle game from Crayon Hero. Tagged as: browser, crayonhero, flash, free, game, physics, playthis, puzzle, rating-g

The Great Gatsby Was a Flop; How’s Your Game?

from GBGames

Yesterday while listening to an audiobook, I learned that F. Scott Fitzgerald died thinking that his greatest work was a failure.

He earned just $2,000 from The Great Gatsby. In today’s money, it represents a bit more, and he was in the top 1% of income earners in his time, but this was his major novel. He put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it, but he got paid the same as or less than he did for his short stories. How depressing!

Now, there are different definitions of success, and financial success isn’t everything. But Fitzgerald expected Gatsby to be a huge financial success and was disappointed.

Today, the work is taught in schools, which is how I became familiar with it. I had to write a paper on the novel as part of my high school English class, and I remember someone saying, “Hah, good luck! That’s the teacher’s favorite book.”

So I made sure to do my research well. I even read the book twice before writing my paper early enough to be able to edit it instead of trying to get it all done on the last day. I got an A, and I found I quite enjoyed the book as well.

Incidentally, I learned that The Great Gatsby is still not in the public domain, despite the author having been dead for three-quarters of a century.

The audiobook mentioned a number of Fitzgerald’s peers who are widely recognized today as geniuses as well, but when they actively published, they experienced modest financial success. The very financially successful literature was apparently kind of terrible and written by authors who are all but forgotten, but people couldn’t get enough of them.

So what’s the lesson here as an indie game developer?

No one has it easy. Fitzgerald was a popular figure, and his greatest work still couldn’t find traction with the public in his lifetime, despite the praise he got from fellow writers.

Most people look to the great successes for inspiration. What was Howard Schultz’s secret to success for Starbucks? How did Mark Zuckerberg make Facebook the juggernaut it is? See what Notch did with Minecraft?

They are all human. They all failed somewhere. Some found great financial success, while others didn’t.

We don’t often hear about the failures of successful people. We forget about the struggle and look for the glamorous.

Then we look at our own results and worry we don’t measure up. We think we’ll never be great ourselves, because we don’t recognize that our failures are exactly the same kinds of failures that the successful people had.

When you publish a game, it’s entirely possible that no one will find out about it. You pour your heart and soul into a game for months or years, and it could flop. Meanwhile, you see other games take over the world and hear that the developers made them in a few weeks in their spare time.

You see huge and successful indie games, games that get all the press and sales, and you compare your efforts to what you perceive as someone’s effortless genius. It can be heartbreaking and frustrating.

Some of us stop bothering to try.

But failure is part of the process of succeeding.

Ideally, you get to success while you can still enjoy it. You just need to make the attempt and get past the failure first.

The Great Gatsby Was a Flop; How’s Your Game? is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development

July 22, 2015

Fun in the Sun

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Fun in the Sun Think you have problems? If Andrew doesn't come up with five grand, not only will his inn be shut down forever, but he'll be thrown into a volcano, in this strange and silly point-and-click puzzle adventure from Carmel Games. Tagged as: adventure, browser, carmelgames, flash, free, game, playthis, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g