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Doug Hill
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Doug Hill

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Today, a lot of my friends lost their jobs here. They are awesome, talented people who were just on the wrong side of this situation. And it sucks.

So, if your game company is in need of programmers, designers, artists, producers, or anything like that, please let me know so I can get the word out to them. Help find jobs for my friends.
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Ryan Lee's profile photoMalte Kosian's profile photoTom Pepe''s profile photo
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We have a couple of programming positions in Springfield Missouri.  It's medical software C# 4.5 ASP REST and desktop development mySQL and MSSQL db.  Have them contact me on gmail or linkedin.  Thanks
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Doug Hill

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Lots of great openings at Disney Interactive! If you're interested, please ping me!
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Brad Voth's profile photoDoug Hill's profile photo
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Sure. What kind of info would you like?
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Doug Hill

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Hey D&D Players: Any recommendations for D&D 4th Edition Character Sheet apps for iOS?
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Enrico Bianco's profile photoKristal B's profile photoDoug Hill's profile photoBhroam Mann's profile photo
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Oh, to answer your question, I was considering trying http://cdistiller.com/.  It's a web page that stores your character.  It imports from DDI, but it isn't required.  I never got around to trying it because I found the google drive doc easier
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Doug Hill

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It seems I've been included in a circle that's going around. I don't mind, of course, but I'm curious where everyone is coming from...
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Luke Norman's profile photoMatt Zulawski's profile photoDoug Hill's profile photo
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Ahh, mystery solved. Welcome aboard!
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Doug Hill

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These are words I have been waiting to say for a year now - Disney Playdom's Armies of Magic is LIVE! (on Facebook.)

I hope you enjoy it. We've been working on it like crazy. I can't believe I got to be Lead Designer on such an awesome game.
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, post...
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Ryan Lee's profile photoMalte Kosian's profile photo
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Congrats!
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Doug Hill

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Decided to re-share this as it wasn't posted at the best time for visibility. (Or it could be that no one cared. *shrug*)
Doug Hill originally shared:
 
A few days ago,+Tami Baribeau wrote a heartfelt concession that Facebook games are an unsustainable business strategy. You can find her blog post here: http://tamibaribeau.com/?p=504

While I definitely respect Tami's opinion along with her years of experience in social games (compared to my half-year at this point), I still don't agree with her assessment. At least not fully. My primary disagreement is when she says: "Don't make your game too complex, because this new breed of social game player can't handle deep game mechanics."

Yet. This new breed of social game player can't handle deep game mechanics yet.

In +Raph Koster's "A Theory of Fun," we are taught that games are learning experiences for the players, and that when players fully discern all of a game's patterns (therefore mastering the game) they tend to stop playing and move on. If a game is composed of simple patterns and little deviation, the game is likely to have a short life. All that's left then is the tail of content that keeps an ever-decreasing amount of players interested in the game. This is why, in my opinion. so many social games have had such a short shelf life.

But the social game player is getting smarter, and they are learning games faster. You can look at the 'Ville series to understand that. Farmville's primary mechanic, and for awhile one of its only mechanic, was the Crop Loop. Plant-wait-harvest-repeat. If you wait too long, your crops die and you lose your investment. It's a simple but effective mechanic designed to both simulate the actual growth of crops in accelerated real time while also creating a strong mechanic to make sure players return to play the game more.

The Crop Loop still persists in every 'Ville game since then. FrontierVille, CityVille, and CastleVille all have a nearly unchanged Crop Loop. However, these games don't rely on crops themselves as the primary mechanic. Instead, it is just a subset of the features that players have access to. The Crop Loop is just one of the patterns to these games, and it gives players a mechanic they can immediately understand while they try to discern new patterns. They're learning.

As players grow more experienced in these types of games, their tolerance for games made out of the same patterns with a new 'coat of paint' will shrink. Looking at Tami's list of games that shut down, I can't help but notice how many of them are similar to each other or to other games that already exist in the social games space.

We've seen these kinds of crashes before in the console world during pretty much every era. The 8-bit side-scrolling adventure. The 16-bit 2D fighter. The 32-bit.. well, there were a lot of me-too genres in that era. It goes on and on. Companies see success and they try and mimic it, when a large amount of the time players are looking for something new. Sometimes interesting content or a neat twist on a feature will allow a me-too to overcome, but most of the time they simply fall flat.

So what has rescued the console era each time? Innovation. We're already seeing some of this. We at Playdom married a traditional ISO city builder with a hidden object game to create Gardens of Time. Playfish modified The Sims into a a game with unique twists on the players' social relationships in The Sims Social. More and more short-session social games are finding success such as Zuma Blitz and the Bubble Saga games. We're diversifying the market.

I do agree that it will be hard to come from indies, but we said the same thing for years in traditional video games space.. but we're in the middle of an indie revolution of epic proportions there. It's an argument for another time, and I have quite literally argued for both sides. One thing I DO know is that the social games space is too new for any of us to feel comfortable in NOT taking risks. We've got to keep trying new things, and that will likely mean digging into deeper gameplay experiences.

Hopefully soon we'll start to hit on some ideas that have more long term sustainability. Games where players haven't grown weary of the content nor have they learned all of the patterns. We've got to learn from game sequels, expansion packs, and always-updating MMOs on what they bring to the table to sustain their user bases. We've got to try and do better at not short-selling our long term vision for the quick payout.

Don't count social network games out yet. We're still learning and we're going to try new things. Some won't work, and others may even be ahead of their time. I'm sure that a few of them will rise above the rest and once again captivate the Facebook games audience. And these games just might last longer this time too.
1
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Doug Hill

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Disney Interactive is hiring ENGINEERS!!! If you or someone you know is interested in any of the following positions, please contact me!

* 129459BR Principal Engineer http://bit.ly/12MowHf

* 112766BR Sr. Mobile Engineer http://bit.ly/15hmgeQ

* 123220BR Sr. Software Engineer http://bit.ly/185fVz9

* 120602BR Principal Mobile Engineer http://bit.ly/15kPylW

* 129461BR Sr. Software Engineer, Mobile http://bit.ly/17mT5mF

* 123336BR Sr. Software Engineer, Mobile http://bit.ly/1fjZMJ0

* 120601BR Sr. Software Engineer, Mobile http://bit.ly/154W0ye

* 114587BR Sr. Mobile Engineer http://bit.ly/14ErNJR

* 114588BR Sr. Mobile Engineer http://bit.ly/18lH5Rc

* 121774BR Lead Mobile Engineer http://bit.ly/185oUQM
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Doug Hill

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The key flaw in socialism is that it assumes all of its citizens do an equal amount of work to balance the equal amount of the distributed wealth. This is, of course, impossible and untrue. The amount of effort can never be properly measured, and the amount of work will never be balanced.

Further, it is proven that personal ownership drives people to work much harder as they can benefit the rewards -- whether they share those benefits or not.

But...

The key flaw in capitalism is that the value of work is a direct measure of the amount of revenue it directly creates and takes very little else into account. For instance, building a house takes a huge amount of work from those involved, but the skill set for building a house is common so the work is undervalued. Further, if you have no personal stake in the house, there's little chance you will gain much financial reward.

Sound fair?

What about a teacher? What if we found out that the students taught by a particular teacher did better than others? Even if we use the crude base measurement of revenue generated, would that teacher be rewarded? I'd like to think so, but as that teacher is not DIRECTLY generating revenue, I'm sure it would be a fight. That money has to come from somewhere.

And that's a loose connection. Think of other jobs where there isn't, or at least should not be, revenue generation. Police officers. Fire fighters. Mail carriers. Soldiers fighting overseas. I'm sure there's more.

My point is this: I don't think anyone believes socialism will work BUT there are inherent flaws in capitalism that need to be balanced. A lot of people are doing a lot of hard work and being unfairly under-rewarded for it, while many of those who benefit from that work are rewarding themselves entirely too much.

I'm not in favor of a complete wealth re-distribution, but we need to better balance this out or we're going to eventually have a class-based revolution on our hands. History repeats itself -- we need to learn from it.
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Sander van Rossen's profile photoDoug Hill's profile photoTed Reed's profile photoDane Wallinga's profile photo
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Socialism generally goes with "to each according to their contribution", and so no assumption is made of equal work, nor is equal wealth provided regardless of contribution. "He who does not work, does not eat" was a common slogan among socialists. Once you get to communism, you have the whole "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs", which does suggest equal distribution of wealth, but also, you'll notice still does not assume equal contribution. The advent of communism was meant to be tied to advances in the means of production, and it all kind of assumes that it'll come alongside a post-scarcity society.
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Doug Hill

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Send me a message if you're interested in any of these positions!
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Giovanni Lucio Colì's profile photoAlisha ...'s profile photo
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I know someone who's interested in some of those game design positions.
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Doug Hill

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Disney Playdom is hiring! There's tons of awesome jobs for everyone here!

Sr. Manager, Business Development (Disney Interactive, PA)
Game Design Lead (Eugene, OR)
Game Design Lead (Bellevue, WA)
Sr. Producer (Playdom South, Solana Beach)
Sr. Producer (Labs, Palo Alto)
Engineering Manager (Bellevue, WA)
Sr. Product Manager (Disney Mobile, Glendale)
Sr. Designer (Disney Mobile, Glendale)
Mobile Engineer (Disney Mobile, Glendale)
Lead Engineer, Mobile Dev (Disney Mobile, Glendale)
Lead Artist (Disney Mobile, PA)
Financial Analyst (Disney Interactive, PA)
Sr. QA Analyst (Playdom, PA)
Front End Developer (Playdom, PA)
Sr. Software Engineer (Playdom, PA)
Sr. Software Engineer (Playdom, PA)
It Analyst (Playdom, PA)
It Analyst (Network) (Playdom, PA)
User Acquisition Analyst or Manager (Disney Interactive, PA)
Principal Architect (Disney Interactive, PA)
Sr. UI Designer (Playdom, PA)
Mobile Producer or PM (Playdom, PA)
Sr. IOS Engineer (Disney Mobile, PA)

Send me a message if any of these strike your fancy!
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jarrett blumenschein's profile photoDoug Hill's profile photo
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Not that I am aware of. Just the list. Go ahead and submit a resume through the Disney Interactive website to be sure.
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Doug Hill

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Hey Google+, how's it been? Sorry I haven't been around much, Google+. You're a great platform, but...

You know how it is when you're in a committed relationship. I'd love to hang out on you more, but Facebook really takes up all of my time. Heck, my new game will even be on Facebook soon. Yes, Facebook is carrying my baby. I can't ignore it right now.

That doesn't mean I don't miss being with you, Google+. I do, seriously. It's just... you know how it is. Maybe once things settle down, we can stream a movie or play some cards. I know we haven't had one of those long, intellectual conversations we used to have. I miss those too. I've just got to prioritize.

I hope you're still here when I get back. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get a chance to bring the baby over. Maybe when he gets older. I bet you'd really like him.

Take care! I'll try to be back soon...
1
Malte Kosian's profile photoRyan Lee's profile photoDoug Hill's profile photo
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Things are great up here. My game's release is getting very close. I've been wanting to head down your way and see the sights, but things have just been too crazy. Yeah, Ikea is in "East" Palo Alto (kind of a slum) but I'm sitting in Palo Alto right now (definitely not a slum.)

Loving the Bay Area. Lots to do and tons of geeks to hang out and play games with. It's the good life!
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Doug Hill

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A few days ago,+Tami Baribeau wrote a heartfelt concession that Facebook games are an unsustainable business strategy. You can find her blog post here: http://tamibaribeau.com/?p=504

While I definitely respect Tami's opinion along with her years of experience in social games (compared to my half-year at this point), I still don't agree with her assessment. At least not fully. My primary disagreement is when she says: "Don't make your game too complex, because this new breed of social game player can't handle deep game mechanics."

Yet. This new breed of social game player can't handle deep game mechanics yet.

In +Raph Koster's "A Theory of Fun," we are taught that games are learning experiences for the players, and that when players fully discern all of a game's patterns (therefore mastering the game) they tend to stop playing and move on. If a game is composed of simple patterns and little deviation, the game is likely to have a short life. All that's left then is the tail of content that keeps an ever-decreasing amount of players interested in the game. This is why, in my opinion. so many social games have had such a short shelf life.

But the social game player is getting smarter, and they are learning games faster. You can look at the 'Ville series to understand that. Farmville's primary mechanic, and for awhile one of its only mechanic, was the Crop Loop. Plant-wait-harvest-repeat. If you wait too long, your crops die and you lose your investment. It's a simple but effective mechanic designed to both simulate the actual growth of crops in accelerated real time while also creating a strong mechanic to make sure players return to play the game more.

The Crop Loop still persists in every 'Ville game since then. FrontierVille, CityVille, and CastleVille all have a nearly unchanged Crop Loop. However, these games don't rely on crops themselves as the primary mechanic. Instead, it is just a subset of the features that players have access to. The Crop Loop is just one of the patterns to these games, and it gives players a mechanic they can immediately understand while they try to discern new patterns. They're learning.

As players grow more experienced in these types of games, their tolerance for games made out of the same patterns with a new 'coat of paint' will shrink. Looking at Tami's list of games that shut down, I can't help but notice how many of them are similar to each other or to other games that already exist in the social games space.

We've seen these kinds of crashes before in the console world during pretty much every era. The 8-bit side-scrolling adventure. The 16-bit 2D fighter. The 32-bit.. well, there were a lot of me-too genres in that era. It goes on and on. Companies see success and they try and mimic it, when a large amount of the time players are looking for something new. Sometimes interesting content or a neat twist on a feature will allow a me-too to overcome, but most of the time they simply fall flat.

So what has rescued the console era each time? Innovation. We're already seeing some of this. We at Playdom married a traditional ISO city builder with a hidden object game to create Gardens of Time. Playfish modified The Sims into a a game with unique twists on the players' social relationships in The Sims Social. More and more short-session social games are finding success such as Zuma Blitz and the Bubble Saga games. We're diversifying the market.

I do agree that it will be hard to come from indies, but we said the same thing for years in traditional video games space.. but we're in the middle of an indie revolution of epic proportions there. It's an argument for another time, and I have quite literally argued for both sides. One thing I DO know is that the social games space is too new for any of us to feel comfortable in NOT taking risks. We've got to keep trying new things, and that will likely mean digging into deeper gameplay experiences.

Hopefully soon we'll start to hit on some ideas that have more long term sustainability. Games where players haven't grown weary of the content nor have they learned all of the patterns. We've got to learn from game sequels, expansion packs, and always-updating MMOs on what they bring to the table to sustain their user bases. We've got to try and do better at not short-selling our long term vision for the quick payout.

Don't count social network games out yet. We're still learning and we're going to try new things. Some won't work, and others may even be ahead of their time. I'm sure that a few of them will rise above the rest and once again captivate the Facebook games audience. And these games just might last longer this time too.
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284 people
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285 people
leonardo smith's profile photo
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Tom Hudson's profile photo
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