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Verena Hodge
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Some of my best friends are imaginary...
Some of my best friends are imaginary...

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Dear Fellow Baffled Ones, Here’s Scotland The Brave and Me, Mawson. We’re ready to make a Picture to go in one of our books. Scotty’s wondering if it would help to also have one of those Camera things.  Look out for news about our books. They’ll be ready…
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Happy Chinese New Year!
Happy Chinese New Year!
verenahodge.wordpress.com
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I'm trying to write more on my blog this year. Here is the first in a series of posts on evolution. Enjoy!
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Adorable! Thomas and I got into more events and such with GoPets. In Pet Society, Sprite mostly had her big springfest for Easter, and didn't do much else except for giveaways. Although, I carried over the GoPets tradition of Tamago Day into Pet Society. (Party Town doesn't have tamago, so I'm not sure what I'll do!) But Thomas and I have always talked about our virtual babies and included them in our lives.
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I used to play a client based 3D virtual pet game called GoPets, that could be described as a combination pet game/MMORPG. It failed for a number of reasons, for one thing, back in those days, at least, it was hard to get casual gamers to download a program. They were much more comfortable just clicking a link on Facebook and playing that kind of game. I think a client based game could have an untapped market out there, but I want to talk a little bit about the gaming industry first.

Don't judge this article by the name, lol--the author, Erin Hoffman, I know her a little because she worked on GoPets and she still works in the industry--it's call "Why Your Game Idea Sucks" but it's really about how programs get made (and how they don't get made). Her final recommendation is to learn programming, and start work on your idea yourself. It's more apt to have a chance, even if you can't complete the game yourself. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_221/6582-Why-Your-Game-Idea-Sucks

Of course even if I could learn high level programming, I wouldn't have the drive and energy, at this point in my life, to work 80 hours a week like a programmer. And therein lies the rub. The gentle, slow paced games that we love, that are good for older people, or moms with kids, or people with disabilities, don't get made because the people with the knowledge and energy to program games, don't have much overlap with the target customer. They're too busy for slow paced games, or they aren't interested.

The truth is most programmers hate getting stuck working on a game like Pet Society, they don't take them seriously. And it's hard to find game designers and companies that are willing to buy into something they don't understand. I know there's still a huge pool of potential customers out there, who don't even know they'd love a game like Pet Society. For example, older people who may never have even used a computer. But it would take a lot of savvy to tap into that audience, it's foreign to the young programmers making games today.
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