That’s right! another year has passed, and it’s been so intense that I haven’t updated this in exactly a year. I have to say pretty much the same things I did last year, and I built a playlist too.
Without further introduction, The Playlist! See you next year!
P.S.: When I do write, I usually write here.
I was planning to do a postmortem like last year, and to make some resolutions too, but I just don’t feel like it. This was a good year, not as good as the previous one but that’s not fault of this particular year or its events. I learned a lot, I managed to meet some of my resolutions, some others not, unexpected events came out and sometimes I was able to seize the moment for them, but always at a reasonable rhythm.
So I’ll just leave here a sort of a playlist of the key music I’ve been listening this year, or that is somehow attached to a milestone or highlight. With no further introduction, the playlist!
Fito Paez – Mariposa Technicolor
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs – Arde Buenos Aires
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – The Golden Age
Mick Jagger – Sweet Thing
Soda Stereo Unplugged – Pasos
Morrisey – I’m Not Sorry
Björk – Alarm Call
Foo Fighters – Weenie Beenie
Incubus – Anna-Molly
Madonna – American Pie
Moby – Run On
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Minor Thing
Rush – Hope
Soda Stereo, Último Concierto – Lo Que Sangra
Yoko Kanno & Emily Curtis – What’s It For
The Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock
The Smashing Pumpkins – Here Is No Why
See you next year! Let’s do as if the world ends in this one .
A couple of people I follow on twitter have shared games that have played or that they want to play, and it inspired me to think about what games I’d like to play this year, and also, given that I enjoy reading so much, what books I want to read.
Quick overview of the games I played on 2010. In italic the good ones, -like this- the bad ones.
* Wii: Mario Kart Wii, Phoenix Wright, World of Goo, Donkey Kong Country Returns.
* Nintendo DS: My French Tutor, My Japanese Tutor, Warioware D.Y.I.
* Online: Critter Island, Ravenwood Fair.
* iPhone: We City, We Rule, We Farm, Miny Tycoon Casino, Maple Story Thief Edition, -Sonic 4-, -Silent Words Zero-, Flock it!, Angry Birds, Cut the rope, Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump, Trainyard, Plants vs Zombies, -Epic Win-, Carcassone, Infinity Blade, Freaking Inkies, Risk, Mirror’s Edge, Hook World, Canabalt, Robot Unicorn Attack, Game Dev Story.
So basically, it was a year of discovery of Mario Kart Wii’s “end gameplay”, by online play, and a whole new platform, the iPhone. I had a great time thinking about game balancing issues and the design and production challenges for a smartphone with touch interface.
Now, I hope to go deep on social games, on iPhone, Facebook and Orkut, such as:Â FarmVille, CityVille, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Restaurant City, Gangster City, Poker Rivals, Social City, Bola, Mobsters, Mini Fazenda, Cafe Mania, Pet Mania, Vostu Poker and Rede do Crime. I’ll be entering the social games design game, so I’ll probably be playing these for a mix of pleasure and work.
Also, I’d like to learn more about current trends in AAA video games development. So probably I’ll be getting a PS3 or Xbox 360 or PC, because I want to, at least get familiar with: Left 4 Dead (both 1 and 2), Batman: Arkham Asylum, Little Big Planet (1 and 2), Bio Shock (1 and 2), Assassin’s Creed, God of War (all of them) and some racing games (arcade and sim).
Finally, I want to be part of the Starcraft II experience . Specially since many friends are waiting for me!
Regarding books, last year I read a lot of stuff online, but almost nothing on paper. The only thing I can remember having finished is “Survivor“, by Chuck Palahniuk. It’s a great novel, an amazing ride. But this year I want to commit myself finishing at leastÂ the following books: Challenger for Game Designers, The Art of Game Design and 1491. I’ll be learning aboutÂ Gamification, and because of that I’ll read:Â Game Based Marketing andÂ Reality is Broken.Â For entertainment, I hope to read as much as I can from the Harry Potter series, I’ve just read the first one, and this year the final movie is coming up!
As a bonus track: I’d like to dream about what music, movies, mangas, animes, comics and theatre plays I’ll be enjoying, but I’ll keep them as a discovery process . I have all my friends always pushing me great recommendations on these fronts so it shouldn’t be a problem getting familiar with good ones here.
Let’s hope I can keep my resolutions this year and enjoy all of this stuff!
And you? What are you going to play and/or read?
- Agile Game Development With Scrum: Teams, great notes on scaling Scrum [Gamasutra feature article].
- GameStop the ScapeGoat: Why Used Games Debate Isnâ€™t So Simple [Wired].
- Some self promotion.
- I went to see “Inception”, motivated by all the buzz related to it’s connections with video games, and found two articles about it: Analysis: What Video Games Could Learn From Inception and Extracting Lessons from Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
Social Media & Marketing
- Facebookâ€™s Spanish-Language Market Marked by Fragmentation, but Promises Opportunity [Inside Social Games].
- Honda Takes Social Gaming for a Test Drive [Mashable]. Product placement .
- Some tips/advices: 10 Things to Do Before You Start Your Start-Up [Inc.] and 20 best pieces of advise from 20 top executives [ResumeBear].
- How Authors Really Make Money: The Rebirth of Seth Godin and Death of Traditional Publishing [Tim Ferris blog].
- Increase Team Collaboration Productivity: 11 Tips [One Place].
I am changing the update of these links to a monthly edition from now, it seems better that way. You can check my feeds or shared items on google reader, twitter, delicious, etc. See you next month with more links .
- Study: 90% Of U.S. ‘Tweens’ Playing Games Online, Industry Missing Opportunity [Gamasutra]. In the case you didn’t notice it.
- NCsoft sued for making Lineage II too darned addicting [Massively].
- Game Maker released for Mac [Edge].
- From Mashable: 10 Tips For Aspiring Community Managers, 7 Services to Find and Reserve Your Name Across the Web and 5 Huge Trends in Social Media Right Now.
- From Mashable too: 5 Key Benefits of Monitoring Your Clientâ€™s Brand on Social Media, Top 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch.
- Avoiding Momentum [Seth Godin's blog]. Your fears of feeling overwhelmed are probably groundless.
- 8 things I wish I knew before starting a business [VentureBeat]. You can learn some of these just by planning a party.
- Chop-Shop Workers and Bootstrappers: Chile Really Wants You [TechCrunch]. Curious.
- Spending on Experiences Instead of Possessions Results in More Satisfaction [Lifehacker]. I’m putting this one here because, well, game developers are creating experiences since a long time ago.
- Interview: ACE Team Spams Us With Python-Inspired Rock of Ages [Gamasutra]. Fellow Chilean game developers, check them out .
- Game Design Essentials: 20 Real-World Games [Gamasutra Feature Article]. Many “non video” games from which to draw useful game design lessons.
- 3 Reasons Why CEOs Hate Social Media [Socialnomics]. Something to be aware of in case you need to perform a tough negotiation.
- From Mashable: How News Consumption is Shifting to the Personalized Social News Stream and Why Games Are the Killer App for Social Networks. Both may seem like old news to some people, but it’s worth to pay attention to these trends anyway, and to get insights in how to communicate them.
- An inspiring presentation:Â “What the F**k is Social Media NOW?”. My personal best takeaway from it: Listen to your audience, engage with them on a real and respectful fashion, have fun together.
- Marketing 101, lessons learned on the battlefield [Score Studios' blog]. This can be on the game development section, since they develop iPhone games, but these are useful for other iPhones apps as well.
- 15 Design Tips to Learn From Apple [Design Shack]. Great insight into the details and design decisions that support the integrated experience Apple thrives to deliver.
- Why Startup Founders Should Stop Reading Business Books [Software by Rob]. Basically, because those books were made to sell, not to give you the final checklist to achieve success.
- When NOT to Invest in Your Freelance Career [Freelance Switch]. Money won’t buy you the time it takes to do your own homework.
- 95 Strategies for Work/Life Balance When You Work From Home [Carol Roth's blog]. Pick whatever suits you and move on .
- Five Whys [Lessons Learned]. Simple and useful method to learn from mistakes at every level.
- How I Document my Business Model Hypotheses [Ash Maurya's blog]. Nice charts and simple ways to provide grounds for business hypotheses.
- Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. A free introductory programming book.
- Learn more about the social circle google knows about you.
- The Illustrated guide to a Ph.D.
- 15 Great Geeky Web Comic Strips.
- Gamers beat algorithms at finding protein structures [Ars technica].
- Glitch Continues To Iron Out The Glitches, Beta Due Soon [TechCrunch]. I’m waiting for this.
- From Mashable: How to perform successful social media monitoring, twitter mapping tools and some lessons to learn from Google Wave’s end. My personal take on Google Wave: Scalability issues. Finally, 5 tips for aspiring music bloggers -and actually for any blogger.
- A complete guide to Tumblr [SmashingMagazine], some reasons to quit Foursquare and Gowalla [Cavendo.com] and several resources for community managers [Clases de Periodismo](in Spanish, many links in English though).
- Twitter’s Number 1 Rule: Make your own rules [Tweet Smarter].
- Several links on virality: it’s not just magic, from For Entrepreneurs, Success Online, 20bits and My Guest List.
- Are you building a R&D lab or a business? [Mark Maunder's blog]. Good distinction to have in mind, specially for tech driven people.
- How to get good ideas for startups [Penelope Trunks's blog] and Tips for Creative Success from Pixar [Presentation Zen].
- Why We Need To Abolish Software Patents [TechCrunch].
- How to win money using copyleft [Manzana MecÃ¡nica, in Spanish]. Many links are in English.
- Six Steps for producing a web site [Six Revisions] and taking A/B Testings to the next level [Performable].
- Let’s stop the use of the word “obviously” and let’s think twice about what everybody knows [Lifehacker].
- A great presentation about HTML5, done in HTML5.
- The 30 Best iPhone Apps So Far This Year [TechCrunch].
- How the earth would look like if it stood still? [ESRI]. However, it seems that it doesn’t consider Earth’s Magnetic Field [Wikipedia].
Here we go!
- On the business side, we have two news to watch: GameStop buys Kongregate [Gamasutra], and Zynga goes to Japan [Worlds in Motion].
- A conversation about Social Game Design principles that started on twitter it’s now on Brenda Brathwaite’s blog.
- Two more blog posts about Starcraft on board game format [Sirlin's Blog] and the importance of research on postmodern design [Gamasutra blog article].
- Two Gamasutra feature articles about Motion based controls and Tension & Release. Always good to learn and think about new stuff.
- From Mashable we can learn that social media can make us more productive, why we need social media monitoring, how to grow sustainable communities and how to send audio tweets.
- From Techcrunch, we have an article about how game mechanics have changed social media (again).
- iMedia Connection is a site for great marketing resources, and many of the articles they publish can be applied far beyond marketing, such as this one about “6 principles for success in your career” and “what it takes to discover your social media star” (or “what this social media guy we’re paying is supposed to be doing”).
- Tim Ferris’ blog is running a great article on how to differentiate yourself and harness a super star effect.
- Gabriel Weinberg’s blog on “Wannabe entrepreneurs, symptoms and cures“.
- This week we have an inspiring article from the Algorithmic Game Theory blog about incentives on “human aided” systems for computation (such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk)
See you next week! (or sooner, I hope )
It’s been a busy week:
- Study: Virtual Goods Significantly Help Brand Awareness, Increase Purchase Intent [Worlds In Motion].Â Branding by gameplay.
- Carcassonne on iPhone: $5 for a wonderful package [Ars Technica]. You need to at least know what this game is about. Also, it’s always useful to remember that Myst it’s available on the iPhone too.
- REJECTED! The MagicSteve story [Score Studios blog]. A truly funny story about an iPhone app that randomly quoted Steve.
- Analysis: Is The Game Industry A Happy Place? [Gamasutra]. Great article by @leighalexander, great discussion on the comments. Also check the discussion the article provoked on Slashdot.
- Evaluating Game Mechanics For Depth [Gamasutra Feature Article]. It’s been a while for a simple, useful and clearly written feature article on Gamasutra about game design. This one is worthy!
- Some thoughts about casual game design [Gamasutra Blog Article]. Same thing as above, but on the blogs section.
- Beyond Social: Read/Write in The Era of Internet of Things [Read/Write Web]. It’s time to see what the possibilities for next waves are about. This article is somewhat related to this shorter one.
- Foursquare Google Maps Mashup [A VC]. I love mashups.
- Seis aspectos sobre Social Media que deben tener en cuenta los profesionales web [Pulso Social, Spanish]. It describes six aspects Social Media professionals should be aware about: Knowledge, Tools, Strategy, Conversation, Research and Metrics, providing resources for each one.
- Top 20 Sites to Improve Your Twitter Experience [Mashable]. That’s it. Very good ones.
- 20 ejemplos de Marketing Guerrilla [Diego Mattei's Blog, Spanish]. Guerrilla Marketing examples, it doesn’t need to be English, you can check them anyway.
- Coke Happines Machine [Mashable]. Just brilliant. Check the video if you want to be amazed, read the article to learn how to work the magic .
- Startups: Welcome to the lost decade [Venture Beat]. Some reflections about the current decade and entrepreneurship.
- Data-driven Startups [David Cancel's Blog]. Insightful and useful slides.
- Will Zynga Become the Google of Games? [NY Times].
- R in a nutshell [Slashdot]. Nice book review about a really useful and nice tool.
- Doit.Im: User Friendly Task Management Tool. Yet another one, always useful to check if anyone works .
- Course about using Circos [Circos website]. A circular network visualization tool I was planning to write about, but this one seems better .
See you next week!
This is my first post on a series I hope to write on a weekly basis: Last week’s interesting links. Meaning “what I’ve found interesting last week” .
- Social Games ClassificationÂ [Gamasutra blog post]: (A)Synchronicity and (A)Symmetry.
- Image Metrics Acquires Character-FX [Gamasutra]: You should always keep an eye on this company. Seriously.
- The real cost of marketing your game with Social MediaÂ [Gamasutra feature article]: An excellent article to extract a clear and focused strategy to develop a social media campaign beyond gaming.
- Free-to-play business model starting to generate a â€œgeiser of moneyâ€ for iPhone game makers[VentureBeat]: Remember when everyone thought microtransactions were destined to failed?
- 5 Social Media Trends to watch right now [Mashable]: Location, Group Buying, Mobile Ads, Mobile Payments and Having a Social Media Policy.
- 10 Tips for Building Brand CommunitiesÂ [Open Forum]: Great tips for community management for brands.
- Foursquareâ€™s Next Game: Choose Your Own Adventure?Â [Mashable]: Foursquare expanding it’s game-inspired features to grow even more.
- MTV to develop Social Games based on Shows and charactersÂ [Mashable]: It’s not particularly “news”, but it would probably set a bar for media franchise development on the forefront of current trends: Social Media and Video games.
- 12 Clever Social Media-Friendly Business CardsÂ [Mashable].
- Beyond Personal Brand to Character [Communication Overtones]: Too much focus on brand can hurt the image you’reÂ proyecting if what inspired your personal branding efforts, your values, fade away.
- Entrepreneur: You’re No Steve Jobs, so look before you leapÂ [Techcrunch]: The title is self explanatory. Don’t believe that just because you behave like him you’ll end up having your own Apple.
- Founder personalities and the â€œfirst-class manâ€ theory of managementÂ [Eric Cries' Lessons Learned]: An interesting article about some myths and research about the personalities of entrepreneurs.
- How to know if you are ready for entrepreneurship [About.com]: Health, focus, will, caring people around you, business network good and activated and years of savings.
- Freelancer Pricing, Business Terms and Effective Project ManagementÂ [About.com]: Fees, negotiation and first meeting tips.
- 11 Essential Online Resources for ConsultantsÂ [Mashable]: I was actually planning to write about something like this, the tool set for the freelance consultant , this one is pretty good though.
- Turning a To-Do List Into a GameÂ [NYTimes]: I’d definitely play this.
- Clients from hellÂ posts onÂ Scope creep andÂ Generation Shift.
- A couple of papers from an old classmate, always inspiring to read such things :Â Symmetric Submodular Function Minimization Under Hereditary Family Constraints andÂ Matroid Secretary Problem in the Random Assignment Model.
See you next week!