Maybe I've been living under a rock or something, I don't know. Or maybe it's because it isn't established in Sweden, where I live but apparently there's this huge Online Office Suite out there that people claim to be better than Google Docs.
And as some of you might have noticed, I love trying out new tools and tell you about them if they can help you out in the design process.
http://arcadeberg.com/causerie/office-live-workspace/ (Office Live Workspace)
The Suite I've stumbeled upon is "Zoho". They seem to got it all, writer, presentations, wiki, project management, you name it. And apparently, from what I've gathered so far, they're good! Their writing tool sure is prettier than Google's and if you're into formating your text, Zoho seems to be a better choice.
I've always been a Google fanboy so it'll be hard to like Zoho, but I'll give it a real chance and hopefully it's even better than what Google is offering. Although, I haven't found any drawing tools in Zoho yet.
There's nothing like always having your docs within reach!
At a lot of work places it's not very liked when people start watching YouTube on their work computers. And to be honest, that can be an issue at game developer offices as well when there's been one too many Lonely Island-videos shown and a few too many people gathering around the computer. But while some companies block some sites like YouTube and Social Networks, blocking YouTube where a designer or an artist work, would be incredibly stupid.
I don't know how many times I've, my designer friends and artists use YouTube since it's such an incredibly simple way to check up references.
- How high does Mario jump in SMB3?
- What was the tune in the first level of Syphon Filter?
- How close is the camera in Gears of War?
- What effects are shown when hitting an enemy in Mini Ninjas?
Anything and everything can be found in just a little while, instead of getting the game, playing for two minutes and then you're done with it. Analyzing pacing, art, effects, audio. Most of it can be done to a certain extent with just video and audio.
Just wanted to get it out there, because I hear a lot of skepticism about watching YouTube while at work.
I got another bunch of Google Wave invites, so I thought I'd give 'em away here again.
Just like last time, comment or e-mail me, providing your mail adress and I'll invite the first seven people. But this time I want one more thing than your adress, I also want you to mention one game you like. That's it.
googlewaveinvites [at] arcadeberg [dot] com
I'll update this post when I run out of invites as fast as I can.
Update: I'm all out folks. Enjoy.
I just got a bunch of Google Wave invites and I thought I'd give 'em away here.
Just give me your e-mail and I'll give them to the first seven people to reach me. Either post a comment, or if you don't want to write a comment visible to all, send me an e-mail on:
googlewaveinvites [at] arcadeberg [dot] com
I'll update this post when I run out of invites.
Oh, and even if I add you to the list, you won't get the invite at once.
Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick.
Woah, that was fast! I'm all out now, sorry.
Congratulations Markus, Frédéric, Tom, Stephen, Philip, Axel and Patrik!
Okay, enough game design for today.
I was thinking that I've been trying several different kinds of documentation. The classical "document", wiki and even Power Point to name a few.
If I have to chose a "favorite" I'd say it's the good ol' document, even though I could tell you enough stories about how they're not great untill your hair turns grey, if it isn't already. (I don't know how old you are or what color your hair is. And if you're bald, I don't mean to offend you.)
It's common for people to say that the best kind of documentation depends a lot on the team. The size, the people, etc. I absolutely agree with that, but I also start to think more and more that I depends even more on what kind of game it is.
Maybe something as "straight forward" as a Four of a kind puzzle game works great with a regular document, while a complex Role Playing Game might work better with a Wiki.
Unfortunately I don't know what kind of game works best with what kind of writing.
What kind of documentation do you prefer to read, to write or to work with?
Feel like making games using Unreal Engine 3? Then, go right ahead:
I got a link from a friend of mine for a tool that I find really interesting! I haven't had the chance to try it out myself yet, but I sure as hell will and I think I might enjoy it quite a bit! But then again, I love trying out new tools!
It's a (seemingly great) way to handle different versions of the same document, so it might be a great way to handle feedback on something you write, something that happens a lot for designers working in teams.
Click the "See"-button and have a looksie yourself.
I'll be sure to get back to you once I've tried it! Oh! And if You've tried it, lemme know what you think!
I've posted a couple times about my notebooks in which I constantly scribble and doodle ideas.
Here's a post with some of them:
And here's even one where I talk about a special kind i like:
But I think the "Swedish Innovation" has some serious competition now. If the Microsoft "Courier" is real, then it's love at first sight!
Just look at it! And watch the video!
I can really see myself using it. Constantly! I want one. Now!
Isn't this any designers dream? (Let's leave out the popular hate for Microsoft.)
The only thing that could make me fall less in love right now, would be if Apple came and said: "Yeah well, look at this!" and BAM they slam a better tablet/booklet down Microsoft's throat!
Oh, and if all the water marks didn't help you out; I found it over at Gizmodo:
A thing that really caught my eye as a very interesting thing is Blizzard's new Editor in Starcraft 2.
It seems extremly powerful! Just think of all the great and creative stuff created for Warcraft 3 with a mediocre editor. It seems as if they'd really taken this into heart and created a truly wonderful tool.
I think it's a safe bet to say that there will be a lot of users out there as well. Which is not the case for, for example, Unreal Tournament 3. Ued is great and really powerful, but no one bought the game.
And apparently there's supposed to be some kind of store on Battle.net similar to Apple's AppStore where people can buy and sell mods/maps. Don't know much about it though.
Anyway, of course I don't know anything about using the new editor yet, but hopefully it won't be all that difficult.
Keep an eye out!
They show off more than just simple RTS-maps. A must see!
A couple of weeks ago a reader on this blog, gutek, recommended using a tool called yEd.
I have, and I like it!
yEd is a very powerful graph editor that can be used to quickly and effectively generate drawings and to apply automatic layouts to a range of different diagrams and networks.
yEd is available as a free download with unrestricted functionality!
I decided to do a flowchart for a game I'm working on and thought I could just as well try out yEd in a "live project" instead of just trying to play around with it. I usually use Visio for this kind of thing.
And after just 20 minutes, I loved it. It's super easy to use and has a friendly interface. It's definately worth the price of 200 nothing.
So if you're about to work with a flowchart, a diagram or something similar, I highly recommend yEd.
It's now part of my game design toolbox!