Neo / Ipsum Worldwide

After I released Neo / Ipsum I started to get feedback, and as I said before it has mostly been good. One thing I heard was rather puzzling though. In the German version of PowerPoint my Add-In was not displaying, it would show up if the user switched to English but not in German. After consulting with some people I found the fix in some of the installer files and got confirmation that it works.

I have a few lessons from this. If it is released on the internet it is released world wide so better test for that. Your product is never truly done (more on that latter). And having people in different parts of the world to test for you is invaluable.

What’s next for Neo / Ipsum? A few people have asked me to make localized versions of Neo / Ipsum various languages, but as I am only fluent in English I nave no idea how I would do that, however I have gotten a few offers of help along those lines so that might be in the works. Right now I am looking into making a version of Neo / Ipsum for Word, and I have already found some big differences in how it will need to be done.

I will update about what I am doing as I figure it out.

Neo / Ipsum has been reviewed, in French!

So anyone following along knows I put Neo / Ipsum up on the download page ready for use. My father, Ric Bretschneider, who worked on PowerPoint for over 17 years made a post on his website and sent e-mails to a bunch of people he knows in the Microsoft MVP program. As such my site has had a spike in traffic and I have been getting some nice feedback. What I did not expect was for someone to make  a review of my Add-in less than 24 hours after release. Here it is from Chantal Bossé:

The video is in french and I can’t understand a word of it (besides my name) but I can understand what is happening on screen and make a few educated guesses about what she is saying.

I am simply floored by this. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to get this level of reaction from this (at least not this quickly).

If you want to see my father’s blog post it is also right here: http://blog.ricbret.com/?p=1165

Surviving Global Game Jam

For those that don’t know, Global Game Jam is an event that takes place world wide where people gather to make a game in 48 hours. These people include artists, programmers, game designers, audio engineers, professionals and independents. Every year a new theme is chosen, it is revealed only when the Game Jam starts and is used as a catalyst for creative designs. Once teams have decided what they are making they have the rest of the 48 hour period to make the game. Sounds simple right? Hehehehe….. I used Surviving in the title for a reason.

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When I say you have 48 hours to make this game I mean more like 42 hours because of the difference in start and end times. That is cut down to about 40 because of introductions, team creation, and brainstorming. Then you will probably take about an hour to set up your equipment. The idea for your final product WILL change (mostly because of over-reaching in initial idea or just cool new ideas). Then you have to factor in food and sleep. And different people have different schedules and limits for those things. So now you are down to about 30 hours. Then inevitably people will be waiting around for something else to be finished or given work that turns out was pointless. Also your equipment WILL have some sort of problem (Murhy’s Law). So yeah, simple premise, difficult execution. Also if you have been doing the math I only allotted about 8 hours for food and sleep, about 2-3 of which are for food runs and such. Yep, say goodbye to sleep if you want to get this done. This last jam I slept twice, the first time for about 3 hours and the second time for about 5…. I think.

So, what happened this year? The theme for this year was “ritual”. Lots of the ideas for this theme involved Satan, demons, or the never ending repetitiveness of your everyday lives as servants of society, I will let you decide which of these is scariest. My team went with an Incan theme for our game. The idea is that you are the strongest child of your village and must take part in ritual combat to prove yourself and attempt to ascend to god-hood. The game’s style is reminiscent of classic beat-um-ups like golden ax and double dragons. I helped with the programming and design of the game. Two of our programmers where not familiar with the Unity game engine so Victor and I helped guide them through it, but I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly they learned to use Unity.

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At the end of the event our game wasn’t quite what we set out to make but we are happy with it, although I did hear some of the others say they wanted to work on it more so who knows?

Neo/Ipsum is almost ready

I almost have Neo/Ipsum ready for distribution. The coding is about 95% done with a few more things to do for security, but all of the functionality is in. I also have a Demo version almost ready, I need a little time to review the changes between the versions but it should be ready at the same time as the full version if not sooner. After the coding things I have left to do I have a few things to figure out as far as selling the product but I have some good leads and better contacts for figuring it out.

Since it occurs to me I haven’t shown off what it looks like here are some screen shots of the program’s interface.

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New Banner Picture

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I have a new banner picture! So Why does it have two pictures of me? Those that know me know that I often grow out a beard (usually because I forget to shave) and keep it grown out like that for long periods of time. But I also shave the beard off at the drop of a hat. So when people see me it is a bit of a coin toss whether or not I will have a beard, hence the double portrait.

Work on the site continues! Nothing of note posted yet but work is going on behind the scenes and should be ready soon.

Continuing Website Work

Still working on updating my website here is some of the stuff I have done in the last few days.

Moved everything over from the old site to the same site as my blog. Still have lots of update work to  do but this first step already makes it look better.

Getting close to a revamped resume and will shortly update the online version.

Reworked the Art gallery in to slide shows. WordPress made this very easy.

Moving over my animation work wasn’t as simple as everything else because of some of the formatting decisions I made previously. But this meant I got to learn how easy it is to add YouTube videos to a WordPress page.

Made an about me page for me to ramble about myself on. Adding to it as I think of relevant things to say. Currently on it: basic overview of me, Design vs. Development, and why it took my 6 years to finish college.

Started working on the Game Projects page. Moved over all the files to word press so visitors can download the games. Starting to update the descriptions.

New Year, New Site

Its a new year and its time to overhaul my web site. Here are the things I know I need to do:

Overall design: Need a new visual scheme; new background, new font, text colors, Those kinds of things

Front page: I need two main things here, First is an about me statement and second is a picture of me. The site is supposed to be about me and has no picture of me? How did I miss that?

Reworking my resume.

getting screenshots for all of my videos and better descriptions about the design process for each game.

Changing the layouts of the animation and art pages.

New layout of my writings with small exerts from each.

Overhaul of my linkedin profile.

And finally I need to do more tweeting about my work (and in general really).