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Sarah Smith
Hackr of C++ and stuff on Linux
Hackr of C++ and stuff on Linux


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Horrid Games Ep 22: SC2 Live Cast - cannon-orama!

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A live cast of a freaky ladder game where my Terran opponent goes proxy marauder assuming I'll do roaches. What happened next? Check the video!

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Live me, playing SC2 on my "Horrid Games" channel. Check it y'all.

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Indie Game Coolness

You too can be as cool as me! Every tester guaranteed extra hipness & karma points. :-)

Seriously tho', we'd love your help.
Pandora's Books - Peek Behind the Curtain

Got an iPhone or iPad & want to try out our new game about unscrambling words from classic books? Joining in on the test community for a game in development is a great way to see behind the scenes of game development: we'll be sharing exclusive updates with our favorite people in the world - our brave test pilots!

Our tiny indie game studio could really use you on board. :-)

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Starting Your Own Business

Someone on Twitter just asked "What's it like to start your own business".


There's a million things I could say about that. There's a bunch of helpful facts and tips. But I'm not going to mention any of that.

Here's what it feels like.

1) If you were in a workplace before, say as a programmer or whatever; you looked around and thought, "Gee, all those mistakes - I'll never make those!". Instead when you're on your own you have no idea if what you're actually doing is the right thing. So even if you're clever enough to do nothing wrong, you won't know how to do anything right either. If you think you do, you haven't been doing it long enough to understand the massive hubris of ever assuming you actually know what the frak you're doing.

2) There's tons of advice and lists, and tax, and accounting, business plans and marketing courses and on and on it goes. Instead of guiding you, that stuff just makes you feel like you are so far behind you are never going to catch up. And that stuff is not the stuff you were going into your own business for anyway - in my case its #gamedev - I don't want to do all that other crap. But you have to and you hate it for making you feel inadequate at being in business, when all you actually wanted to do was game development.

3) When you start out and its just you, you keep spinning around in your chair because you're working on something, and you think "I know, I'll just talk to..." - and there's no-one there. Then you think "I can just get..." and there's no one to do that little job, except for you. So you scratch your head, and you get on social media, or email and "talk" about it there. But you don't realize being on your own trying to get something done is so hard until you have to work without people around you. And you do the numbskull little thing you wish you could outsource, because you want to get onto the real stuff. Then one day you realize its been weeks since you did anything that wasn't numbskull.

4) Then you get contractors. To understand what having a contractor is like, get a bread-box and a carrot. Now take a pile of cash, in $20's and $50's. Gaze at the bread-box - its perfect, this is what you wanted. Its numbskull - so easy. Smash the breadbox into bits and throw it in the bin. Imagine you asked for a bread-box from your contractor; and what you got instead was the carrot. Put the carrot on your desk. You are now shipping the carrot to your customers. Now burn the cash.

5) Then you work with business partners. To know what this is like buy a pallet load of cinder blocks and a plank. Spend a week stacking the cinder blocks different ways until you get a good bench shape. That was you. Now go and have a shower, put some nice clothes on, pretend you don't have callouses from stacking those blocks. Come in at 10am. Place the plank on top of the cinder blocks artfully. Take a picture and send it out on social media taking credit for your amazing new park bench. Take the last soda from the fridge & go home at 4pm. That was the artist, designer & marketing guys.

6) Now deliver something to your customers. Take your carrot and the park bench. You're too tired and broke and sore to make anything better right now, you know its not the best thing ever, but you ship it anyway, planning to improve it over time. To understand what this part feels like, imagine you're the character from The Shining that comes in to save the day and you come around the corner and Jack Nicholson hits you in the face with an axe. Save that feeling. You ship, and your customers ignore you completely. All the things you worried about don't matter because the few customers you have are complaining about the stupid coupon codes, or login issue, or it doesn't work and there's an error, and you read to the bottom of their complaint and they're trying to run it on a 2005 Compaq laptop they bought in an ex-Government sale. Bam, Jack hits you in the face and you curl up in a fetal position on the floor.

7) You get up from the floor because the phone is ringing - its your accountant reminding you that you made no money but still have to fill out tax forms, and company papers and a bunch of stuff you wish didn't exist.

What's it really like, beyond the feels. Dunno. If I ever find out I'll post here and let you know.
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Lets Check Out XYGaming & SC2

What would "making it interesting" look like for online games? I take a look at XYGaming.

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Out-takes of the Void! Some cuts rescued from the editing room floor of Ep 17 SC2 #LiveCast.
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