Gamesmith Community!

So it’s been a while since I last posted and I’ve been busy helping out with the launch of a new games community aimed at game devs, Gamesmith.

What makes this different from all the other communities?

Anyone who joins are vetted to be verified game dev before they get access to the full features.

So what’s there? 


The community forum, a place to discuss the industry knowing you’re talking to your industry peers. If you want to discuss something that you don’t want tied to your name, there’s the ability to post anonymously with the click of a button, so you can talk about company work life balance, or ask about a new job opportunity without anyone else knowing etc. We have had a thousand developers sign up and get access in the last few weeks and growing quickly!

We do have a open part of the forum for general chit chat called “Game Chat“, anyone can post here but unless you’re a verified dev, they can’t see other parts of the community forums.

There is also the Jobs Board, which is also growing and has around 200 jobs listed currently, from over 20 different companies across the US and Europe. Applying for a job goes direct to the hiring manager. They like it because they know they’re getting a verified, vetted developer, which has already weeded out a lot of the noise from the wannabe’s.

Who’s allowed in?

Part of the requirements is that someone has released a title, whether it be a big time game from a large studio or publisher, to a small indie studio through iOS or Google Play etc. We also know that some people may have worked on countless projects that may never have seen gold, so if we can verify you have contributed significantly to a project, you’re in too!

Students and interns aren’t allowed in, but come back with some experience and you’ll be welcomed, until then, you can enjoy our open chat part of the community here.

A former dev that has moved into another industry or gone into education? You’re allowed in too. Your experience is just as relevant.

Come and follow us on:

Gamesmith Website

LinkedIn

Twitter

Facebook

Gamesmith Blog

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Legal Basics for Game Companies

>A free half day conference in Waltham MA, hosted by Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C. on the 5th of May 2011.


The iternary of the event is as follows:

Game Law Basics Sessions:

  • VC & Angel Financing – 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Strategic Partnering – 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • IP Protection – 3:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Formation – 3:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Mergers & Acquisitions – 4:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Employment – 4:00 – 5:00 pm
More info on this great event for people thinking of starting up a studio, or who have started up can be found here.

Pampers v Huggies Pull Up Nappy Review

Starting to potty train?

A look at a couple of the training pants, the Pull Ups.
Pampers v Huggies As the main two contenders, this is what I’ve found from using both for a while each.
Pampers – What I liked about these, they had plenty of blue “wet” indicators on the front of them and also they were slightly more roomy, so easier to actually pull up like a pair of pants. That was it and both of those had flaws to them.
The blue wet patch indicators never actually disappeared to show the nappy was wet, which they were supposed to do. Being a bit more roomy meant that the pants came off with the trousers very easily, which is not what you want if you’ve got a poop to deal with.
The biggest problem with Pampers though, the tear away sides didn’t have a velcro like fixer to them, so if you had to change them in public it became a major hassle as you’d have to take the shoes and trousers off, you couldn’t simply whip on a new pair like a regular nappy.
Huggies – The best thing about these were the velcro like sides, they came apart and stuck back together really firmly, making them very convenient to change when on the go.
Personal preference was the Disney characters as well, though that’s no reflection on the quality of the nappy, but the wet indicators did actually work on these so you wouldn’t find a bowling ball size nappy all of a sudden. These nappies were a little tighter than the Pampers, so were a little tougher for the little one to pull them up on her own, but it did mean they stayed up when you pulled the trousers down which was nice.
Over all, having loved Pampers for nappies in general and not liking Huggies, Huggies were the big winner this time, being much better product. The major flaw to both of them though, as they aren’t nappies, they don’t have proper side stickies to wrap the nappy up in case of a smelly poo disposal, which isn’t quite so fun and also the gussets aren’t quite as large as in regular nappies so they might spill a bit of baggage if the kid is moving around vigorously with a large load in their pants. You also do not get as many in a packet as you do for regular nappies, about 60 for $20.
Because of that I really do think they are a waste of time to use when your toddler is first starting out on the path to potty training and you might as well stick to regular nappies until they are well on their way to being able to use the potty or the toilet because once they start on these they probably won’t want to go back to nappies either.

Mass Innovation Night

>Mass Innovation Nights – A monthly event held in various locations in Massachusetts.

You can follow info about the event on Twitter here. #min20 was the tag to follow specifically what happened last night.
This event is a free event for people to show off their products and get some simple marketing with word of mouth. IP lawyers were also there to offer advice as well as people who run marketing sites who also offered advice to people for free.
Some of the products and people who stood out for me last night though included a anti-piracy software, which was more analytic’s of who was pirating your iPhone/iPad software and had ways to help try and convert those users into paying users. Simple marketing for e-commerce, cloud based group collaboration projects and simple education animation software.
They have a great, simple to use stop motion animation software program called “SAM”, which is aimed at K through 12 year old students, which has mostly been used towards science and maths classes, but can be used to enhance any kind of class by having kids create simple animations to show off their ideas and understanding of a project.
It really was very simple to use and a lot of fun. The free version is great and has most of the features, but a few extra editing features are in the licensed version which was $50 but a site license was only $300 and individual license costs would be deducted from a site license if you decided to upgrade at a later date.
iOS apps anti-piracy software you can bolt on to your apps, with Android coming soon. The free version has basic analytics which is pretty good and then a paid service for more features.
What it does is identify how many users are using pirated copies, how and where, allowing you to use the info to help convert some of those users into paying users, but the paid service can go as far as allowing your app to be used for a short while before bringing up notices to buy your app or lose the high score, or other such stuff to inhibit the fun of the game.
A whole suite of features from building your website with simple CMS funtions, to e-commerce and easy social media integration. What made this pretty interesting though was the level of realtime statistics, the huge amount of information it can provide for you in simple graphics was kind of neat, especially when seeing which affiliates of ad programs seem to be working the best for you.
A spin off from the Grasshopper Group. This was simple way to market your products using your customers, by allowing them to have a shout out on Facebook, Twitter or whatever they used to spread the word that they just got something they liked. Really useful for e-commerce, but probably less useful to convert sales in games where you are already on the platform, but it might work. There’s a decent free trial of this service.
Cloud based collaboration software services. You can do ad-hoc group communications and work collaborations, file share and consolidate enterprise social networking with messages, chats, blogs and wikis all within one program.
There is free beta testing at the moment, but the licensing is $100 set up and then $20 annual service fee per seat.
Erik J Heels, of the above firm specialise in patent and trademark work with special interest in working with start ups to help minimise their costs. He does seem to understand the software and games sphere pretty well, so certainly with a talk to if you’re in the Boston area looking for a lawyer, based in Maynard, MA.

Sippy Cup Reviews

>It’s now time to try sippy cups, well for a while now, but there’s loads about to try out, so we got a bunch and here’s our thoughts on them, all of which are BPA free by the way.

Avent Insulated Cup – $7 cup, for cold drinks only, but that’s fine. Easy to take apart and clean and also the parts are interchangeable with other Avent cups. What is nice about this cup, the flip top lid, so you don’t have to worry about losing the lid, which makes this very handy when on the move and out in public. It is also very easy to hold and a good sized cup and the spill proof valve works very well.

5/5

Avent Magic Cup Trainer – $5 which isn’t bad value for money, like the above cup, well made, functions very well and very practical, dishwasher safe and the training handle can be removed once unneeded. There is a plastic cap lid for this, but the spill proof valve works very well so it isn’t really needed. The squat size makes this easy for small hands to hold and also tilt back far enough to drink from.

4/5

Born Free Training Cup – $11 so getting a little expensive for one cup, but very sturdy and well made. This is dishwasher safe and easy to assemble, but there are more parts in this than the Avent, so more likely to lose pieces, but they do fit together nice and easily. The handles can be removed and the parts are interchangeable with other Born Free products which is nice.

3/5

Munchkin Mighty Grip – $7.50 for two cups, which appeared like great value for money. The reality is, this was rubbish. This isn’t dishwasher safe, so more hassle to clean, also the parts are very flimsy and the rubber seal only fits in one way and has to be lined up into 3 notches which aren’t equally spaced and not clear in which way to line up the valve. The valve is also very flexible and doesn’t take much shaking or squeezing of the bottle to cause a gap in the valve and a big leak. The bottle is also very flimsy and weak and looks very cheap. There’s no cap to cover the top of this and given how easy it is to cause it to leak, this is a bit of a over site.

1/5