Monday, December 15, 2014

I live in the Maker's Timezone

Just found this article "Why programmers work at night" yesterday. Such a great article!! I get my best work done at night as well. Just a week ago I pulled an all-nighter and the next day I was shocked when I cleared off my todo list. I hate getting distracted during the day so I block out time when I turn off everything and lock my office door. When I have meetings scheduled I wake up crazy early to get coding done because after a meeting my whole day is gone.

I believe it's safe to say that I definitely love working on the "maker's schedule" and I live in the Maker's Timezone for sure. If you haven't heard of it just google for it or click here, it was coined by Paul Graham. I remember reading that post awhile back and I actually adjusted my work schedule because of it. I designated 2 days out of the 5 business days for meetings. When I got an email or voicemail(never answer the phone on coding day) I politely asked them to meet on those days. There were a few times when "potential" clients got upset but I believe it was for the better. If he couldn't respect my time and schedule probably we wouldn't have been a good fit to work together. 

It was such a productivity booster knowing that I wont have to deal with anything or anyone else on coding days. This allows me to dive in deep without the worry that I might need to stop. 
Don't claim that it works for everyone but if you are working for your self like I do give it a try :) 

Go read it and let me know what you think

As always let's connect over at twitter @LZAntal :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

I don't want to be the business dev guy

The last 3-4 months have been the most fun at work. It started out hard because I had to deal with my pride admitting "I don't want to be the business dev guy" and I had to give up business dev control in RaptorGL. Even though it was one of the Hardest decisions I ever made it was also the Best! As much as all of us like to think that we can do it all there comes a time when you realize that you spend the majority of your time doing other things than coding. The missing and must-have feature list was not getting smaller fast enough and days and weeks were flying by.

I need help or it will never take off!

After coming to that conclusion I opened up about what I am working on in my local community and sure enough a trusted long time friend who worked in the tech startup scene for many many years got interested. We had a lot of meetings, A Lot of them. I wanted to make sure I found the right guy, the one who will not just sit around and "dream about succeeding" but actually is willing to put the work in. After over a month of meetings and demo-ing what RaptorGL is and what it could become, he shared his thoughts and how he would pivot. We knew it would be an awesome partnership.
So Dev42Tech Corp. was born :)

Where are we at now?! We have a much better product, actually we split the current RaptorGL implementation into two complementing products... Editor and Engine. I love it! This will allow other HTML5/JS devs to stick with their engine if they want to and still take advantage of RaptorGL Editor features.
It has been fun to be back in development again and we are getting a lot done. Just yesterday we shot a short intro video in the office and let me tell you, we could make over an hour long blooper reel lol.

There is so much more I want to talk about but thats all I can say for now. Lots more to come and I should be able to start my Devblog again.

If you want to Beta Test RaptorGL please head over here and signup. We would love to get your feedback. Make sure you follow @RaptorGL on twitter for updates.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Reflection on 2013 and what's coming in 2014

It's a repost from my 2013 December 31st post. Many of you recommended to move it over to this year since it's about last year. Well it took me longer than I wanted but here we go. Better later than never.
Thank you all for caring about this blog, I know I haven't been a very faithful blogger but hopefully I can make it up this year :)

It has been quiet on this blog for awhile but for good reason. I have been crazy busy working on projects and on RaptorGL. This is a quick summary of 2013.

In December of 2012 on twitter Christer aka @MCFunkyPants and I got into talking about how he pulled off making 12 games in 12 months. I told him I am fully committed to make it happen in 2013 and if he would keep me accountable to make sure I do it.... fast-forward and #1GAM happened. I'm very grateful for Christer to spearhead it because I could've never done what he did. It has been the single most influential event in my gamedev endeavor. I am going to continue in 2014 and I highly encourage everyone to do so as well. That's right, I don't want to stop. I've enjoyed writing different yet somewhat similar games with simple game mechanics. One thing I will do differently next year is to challenge my self to do more physics, tilemap and 3D games.

Over the summer I hired RaptorGL first employee :) She worked part time on social media, documentation and helping me stay on track. It was a blast and I was sad to see her go to college in September.  Image on the right is the proof of how hard we worked :)

It was a very productive 3months in the development of this awesome cross platform game library RaptorGL. She took care of the stuff I didn't want to deal with which gave me free time that I could pour more work into actual coding.
One big news is that I have developed an Editor for RaptorGL. This allowed me to fine tune the workflow and I am actually using it to develop RaptorGL it self AND the Editor it self. Which is kind of spooky and cool at the same time.
I believe this will be the killer feature by allowing devs to start making games with one download and build it one a click of the button! No more how to configure my directory, run shell scripts, which editor to choose. It's the 21st century after all, just download the editor and you have everything you need. An other big addition to RaptorGL is 3D with WebGL. It is not fully completed yet but I am very very close.

I have been blessed with awesome and amazing contract work which allowed me to focus not just work but also on family and friends! I am sure many of us can attest that the biggest drawback of working technology is that there is always something new to try, an other project to start. This takes away time from friends and family and time to relax and recharge. So after me and my wife both growing up tent camping we took our boys to the mountains and the lake and went camping. It was the best thing ever!!! There is just nothing more relaxing than spending a day at the beach of this gorgeous lake
then sitting at the campfire at night and staring at the stars. Food at camping is so so good and different. This year there were a ton of bees everywhere I got stung about 5 times over the summer, thank goodness I'm not allergic to bee stings.  Looking at my commit history it is super easy to spot the weekends when we were out. It made me so much more productive and my days were happier in general. I highly recommend all of you to try to get out or get least get away from your computer and social media at least once a month for a couple of days. You won't regret it! We had so much fun and grow so much closer that decided we need to extend the time we can stay outdoors and away from tech.
Since tent camping is limited to about 3months and even then you are at the mercy of a thunderstorm we went with the second best thing.... We bought a tent camper :) Look at how cute and fun it looks! It's off the ground so even if it rains it will be fine and also provides shelter from bugs especially from bees as we are trying to eat. Whats really great about it is how small it collapses and it's also very light so pulling it behind my wife's small suv is a piece of cake. Great purchase and something that we already used a lot even though we bought it close to the end of the season. I can only imagine how much we will use it next year. Now we can go to camping from early spring to late fall thanks to the heater in it.

It has been a very rewarding year for me/us not just professionally but personally. I am not planning on doing anything different next year! My only plan is to stick with what I got going on this year and continue doing in 2014 I even wrote code to accomplish it lol.

Happy New Year! 
Here I am hoping that all your gamedev and personal plans will come true in 2014.