Progress #3 -Student syndrome

Progress #3 -Student syndrome

Hi world,

there is Ludum dare event this weekend! Although from last report my body was kept to work, my mind already flew to the LDJAM ūüôā After the jam I hope I will have some new game to write about. But now let’s get back to the report.

6 hours a day experiment

Last week I started the experiment with a six days a week working for six hours a day I wrote about in the last progress. This is strict limit and there is no exception (no less, no more working hours per day). It is a short time-frame to make some definitive assumptions. Anyway I can write some experience.

I am working for the six hours straight without the youtube/chats/web. Towards the end I am feeling a sense of urgency knowing that after six hours I have to stop and the rest of the job has to be done next day. To finish the tasks in the six hours schedule I started to do more planning in the evening. Also I enjoy the work more because it takes only fixed amount of time and I feel happier if I can finish everything I set up for that day.

I¬†assume that¬†most of the productivity now comes from a strict deadline¬†which makes¬†me to experience a little student syndrome everyday ūüôā

CoShopping

This weeks work was shorter. Once the temperatures here went way below zero, I had an unplanned trip to¬†check my grandmother’s house to prevent it from freezing.

During the week I kept on working on feedback I received¬†for¬†CoShopping. At some point I got fed up with Xamarin’s tools so much that I rewrote part of the GUI to the code instead of using their UI designer. Also with the¬†programmer’s rage in mind I wrote a very negative comment on reddit¬†discussion¬†summarising my current experience¬†with Xamarin’s technology. It was done with a hope¬†that¬†it will prevent somebody from loosing so much valuable time. I will also write a blogpost about my experience with Xamarin with some advices how to overcome the obstacles and what to choose¬†or avoid if Xamarin is chosen. I am not feeling like an expert in Xamarin but a lot of¬†teams are in same position trying to¬†deliver their¬†multi-platform¬†apps and may use some of these experiences.

Anyway against all the circumstances, the CoShopping is almost done and I need only a few more days to finish it and publish as a beta so testers can come up with new bugs ūüôā

Currently I am not implementing any new feature and I am working more on the UI design stuff, like recomposing the page for adding products, unifying the fonts and colours, etc. Also I am testing everything to make sure there is not “WTF, this was working!” when¬†I will enjoy the new feedback ūüôā

After this¬†beta the app should be ready for release. It¬†will be the first app released by myself¬†on the AppStore. I¬†already worked on one iOS app and a few Windows phone/Android apps before which were published. But the¬†CoShopping¬†will be the first iOS app published by¬†myself¬†ūüôā

Summarised, the plan for next week is to¬†publish the beta and¬†update the website because it contains old app’s photos. Also the website should no longer states the beta-test since it will be going out. Rather it should be some marketing website translated¬†to¬†Slovak and Czech languages for marketing people that will come across.

That’s all for now and I am off and getting ready for LDJAM finally ūüôā

 

Progress #2 – getting feedback

Hi guys,

last time I had trouble to focus on the finishing CoShopping app and made the games DieLight and Fobia instead. This week I went to Prague to visit some friends. Between drinking good beer they are always willing to give me good feedback on my apps ūüôā

CoShopping

Before the trip I was able to beat all known bugs in the CoShopping. Also I managed to translate most of the app to Czech and Slovak languages. Translation is actually high priority because app is mainly targeted for these two markets.

During the trip I collected some feedback to implement. These are not new features but rather modifications to already implemented ones to make them more user-friendly.

DieLight

The rest of the time I spent on studying how I should implement free-to-play monetization into the DieLight. Eventually I have decided on going with in-game currency and achievements system.

Getting achievements will earn player the in-game currency “coins”. Player will spent his coins for unlocking more types of mazes. All the game content will be¬†achievable without paying real money for coins if player will spend enough time getting achievements. Player can also choose to directly purchase coins and unlock the content faster.

Using this approach will let me make the game free to start with. Players that became interested over initial gameplay will progress faster by spending some money on the game. I saw similar concepts implemented by About fun company and their games are pretty successful. In the following time I will have to come up with exact achievement and new content system that will be interesting enough for player to spend some money.

During my trip I showed the game to my friends and they enjoyed it. Little things like these when you can see somebody enjoying my product keeps me motivated to publish it to market and see how it will be doing.

6 hours per day 6 days a week experiment

On the train ride back from the trip I read the thesis from Thomas Garrigue Masaryk. It is from the year 1905 and is about introducing 8 hour working day to the old Austria. In that time there was no limit for working hours length in the most of the world.

He argues that less working hours leads to more work done. It is achieved by letting the worker to rest longer which in turn leads to less stress, errors and injuries due to worker being more concentrated on the job. According to Masaryk, such approach should be applicable for the occupations where stable every day performance for a long period of time is required. There are also occupations, for example some seasonal jobs, where this is not beneficial. Due to the short-time nature of such jobs the short burst of performance for a few weeks is desirable and a long recovery time is not an issue. Masaryk argues that even 6 hours a day for 6 days a week should lead to a better performance for everyday job. He makes some interesting arguments about human physiology to prove that more rest leads to better working results.

I will try to implement this for a month and see where this will take me. From now for a month I will work Monday РSaturday 6 hours a day and rest of the time will be spent on some non-working activity. This means no chats/web browsing/news reading during work hours to make them more efficient.

New ideas

I like these kind of trips because they make me relaxed and flowing with new ideas. I came up with a turn-based multiplayer system for DieLight. It is interesting but I think it will take a long time to implement and I cannot manage it without making some money from game or app first. Here comes the time when I have to decide not to implement more features to the app nor to the game and just finished both products.