Where Has All The Time Gone? (A 15 Month Recap)

If you used to follow my blog then please allow me to apologize. I may have just been through the busiest year of my life, but I have something to show for it so allow me to get everyone caught up with this post and then I am going to make some efforts to keep things a little more current going forward. It's amazing, when you're really in to a project or multiple projects as my case usually is, how fast time starts to slide by. I'm always stretched thin these days but I have managed to crank out a few things so here it goes...

1. BatteryTech SDK and Engine 2.0
If you haven't already noticed, this is pretty much the biggest thing I've ever produced in my life. It's not just another game engine and it's not a small piece of software anymore. It's the real deal, it works really well and it's one of the few pieces of software that I love working with and get really excited to add new features to. I basically took this approach when designing it: What's the best way I could have something work for me? Ok, I'll make it work like that.. Let me tell you - that approach works. I call it API-driven design, and it's how I approach the vast majority of the software I deal with now. The features in this thing are great, the usability is great, the portability is great... There are like 20 things I want to add still, but in good time they'll get in there. For now, it's great, I'm happy with it and I hope lots of other people are too.

2. Beginning Android Games 2nd Ed
So Mario Zechner and I took a stab at the book that he wrote originally and gave it a little facelift. We modernized most of it, adding some relevant marketing and Android NDK content in and touched up any area that we previously didn't like. It took much more work than we were hoping for, but in the end I feel like we have a great book (perhaps the best) for Android game development. We approach everything very holistically and teach some very good fundamentals. I even still pull it out as a reference now and then.

3. The Digits: Fraction Blast
This is a cool educational project that BPG did for FUN-da in Portland OR. At first, we thought this was going to be a cakewalk. It turns out that really doing a good job syncing up 45 minutes of video content with interactive content that works well and makes sense and then dealing with all of the technical issues that layered video and opengl bring to mobile really is an X factor. I think we spent twice as long on that project as we ever thought we would, largely due to 3rd party systems integration and issues with various devices, Apple's changing some APIs between versions right before release and other such things.

4. Slyon Ball
I always love working with Slyon Studios and we have had a good relationship from the start. Slyon Ball was originally supposed to be a simple brick breaker game, nothing too fancy. While developing, we kept coming up with ways to make it cooler or better or graphically more interesting. Overall it took up a lot of my year, but I think it's a pretty nice little game now that it's mostly done.

5. Bowling
I got way into bowling in the pat year. Before my son was born, I was able to practice quite a bit and I've improved from a 145 average to about a 190 average. My goal is still that 220 that I hear people get. I don't have time to practice much any more but maybe if things go well with BPG in the next year I'll get a little more of it. Is anyone interested in some blogging about the trials and tribulations of learning to bowl better? Let me know, I'd be happy to post what I've found out and what resources I've come across that have helped me.

There is much more, but those are some of the big ones this year. Every space moment I've had I have worked on BatteryTech, so releasing it yesterday was a gigantic sigh of relief. I've wanted to work on so many games... We have so many ideas floating around in the office right now it's really killing me that I don't have time to dig in to any of them, but right now it's all about paying the bills and building the future of the company so I'm going to stay on that course and I'll check in with all of you later!

Cheers