The casual game I was working on at PlayFirst, DinerTown Tycoon, finally shipped! I finished fixing bugs early and moved onto the web version of the game. Unfortunately I was done with the web game super early (normally that's good), but then it was canceled. I'm bummed they didn't cancel it before I did the work. It's sad to see your work thrown out. Then I helped out on the SDK and with other projects and when there wasn't more to do they laid me off. What does this mean for you, the consumer? Ha. It means I'm finishing Solitaire for the iPhone which, once I line up an artist, will whoop the pants off of the competition. I'm also looking for a job or contract with a company that's got good management, makes cool consumer stuff, and cares about making things good so the employees can be proud of them.
I found a great audio guy for Solitaire but I'm still looking for an artist.
So far I'm 0 for 9 on artists. They're either too busy, get hired away to NAMCO, are too far away, are too expensive, or don't understand solitaire. I added an animated Loading screen although the game loads so fast maybe it's a waste. The new iPhones are even faster. It's the right place to show the game's title etc though. A lot of apps just show their title screen with Default.png, the static image that's shown as an app is loading, but before its code is actually running. Apple suggests developers set up that image to look like the first thing a user will see once the app really starts though. The idea is that it'll seem like the application has loaded more quickly, and there won't be a sudden change that surprises the user. Some games put instructions on that static image. It's a mistake though... on a faster device users will never have time to read the info. Also -- it can't be localized (i.e. Translated into another language) since it's just an image and the text is baked into the image.
In other news: We still have five hens and combined they lay 3-4 eggs a day. Some squirrels moved in recently and one figured out how to open the gate to the chicken coop, let all the chickens out, and then go eat their food. What the hell? I thought the stuff I learned from Warner Brothers cartoons was all made up. But clearly those cartoons were based on reality. I'm going to set up an anvil-based squirrel trap next week.
Jonah (and I) finished ~90% of Lego Star Wars for Wii over the past year. It's a fantastically designed game. There are so many great ideas and really good gameplay. I didn't expect it to be 1/10 as good as it is. It's so well designed and they sell it for ~$15. I recommend it to anyone who has a Wii. And if you have a 5+ year-old-kid it's a great game to play together. Plus it's cheap and there's a TON of game play. Plus. It's Star Wars.