General

A Look At Data Security – And Some Encryption Stuff Too

Hello once more, reader! It’s time for another blog, this time focusing on a brand new subject I’ve not touched before.¬†Data Security.

It’s no secret that games collect data – all kinds of data. From analytics, to login details, to personal player information, to payment info. And of course, when this data is stored it needs to be protected in one way or another from those who would try to access it without the proper authorisation. In a worst case scenario, if your data is accessed illegally, money or identities could be stolen, and lives harmfully impacted, even ruined. So this is pretty important.

Now, each different type of data will require a different level of security, proportional to how devastating it would be if that data were made public or got into the wrong hands. If your analytics data for the average amount of time players spend browsing through the options menu gets out, it’s going to be far less terrible for everyone than if the credit card data for your users gets stolen. So you’re going to want to protect that second one a fair bit more, to say the least. But how much? And how?

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IT IS DONE.

Dyadic is finally finished. This version of it, anyway. After six weeks of development out exhibition build at last has been made. We’ll likely find a few more things to tweak before the exhibition itself, but I’m more than happy to display what we have now. Anything else is just icing on the cake, as they say. All in All, I think the Dyadic went really goddamn well. Though, we’ll still have to see the response it gets at the exhibition before I can make any final judgements. So until then, you’ll simply have to wait. Until next time, dear reader…

Playtesting Puzzles

Recently, my team and I held a playtseting session for our upcoming game Dyadic. This session, as most others do, featured several people coming through, playing our game, and answering some questions based on their experience. But questionnaires can only yield so much data (particularly when as poorly written as ours), so our playtesters were recorded as well. From this, we were able to gain a considerable amount of insight into where our game needed to be improved, and such improvements are already underway.

First and foremost, jumping. Dear god, it was terrible. The amount of difficulty and frustration players had trying to navigate throughout the level was far more than I could have imagined. One reason this was missed, was because having put together the levels myself, not only was I primarily focused on the puzzles, but I was also already familiar with how the jumping worked. As such, I was able to find all the ‘sweet-spots’ for jumping from platform to platform.

As for the issue with the jumping itself, the height of the jump, and the fact that all platforms were treated as completely solid, meant that getting through the level required you to jump from very specific spots to make each jump. The jumping itself also felt strained and claustrophobic in the small spaces of the level. To fix this, the jump height has already been increased, and the height of the ceilings too. The arc of the jump has been improved, and the platforms are being updated so that the player can jump through the bottom of them, so they don’t keep hitting their head on everything now.

Secondly, communicating the functions of all the various puzzle pieces was another point of issue. Most players manage to understand how everything functioned and get through the entire game. However, for some devices it took players longer than was ideal. To resolve this, more feedback will need to be added, and the feedback will have to be made clearer. Also, updating the art to be more indicative of what the device does will also help.

As for the questionnaire, well, a number of the questions were too broad, or had too much extraneous information that would blur the answer given. To resolve this, multiple choice questions have been converted to a Likert scale, and broad questions are much more specific. Further more, the survey cover more topics that were missed on the last one. Hopefully we should get far better feedback in the future.

For now, we’re back to preparing for the next playtest in a few days. It’s then that we’ll see if how we’ve handled any of the feedback was effective. I have the utmost confidence that our results will undoubted improve. So until next time, dear reader…

So, Apparently I’m Not Dead

Funny that, isn’t it? After disappearing off the face of the internet for a few weeks, I can understand if many of you have presumed me deceased, as it is obviously the most rational course of action in such a scenario. However, the time has come for you to dry your tears and put away the champagne because as it turns out, I’m still very much alive. And not only that, I’ve returned with¬†more projects.

Yes, that’s right, I’m making more things. Rather unexpected considering that this entire blog is devoted to the things I’ve made and how I want to be better at making things, don’t you think? But it is true, in the time I have off between now and my second year of studies I have two sizable projects lined up.

The first, is not a game. It is a program I have named ADAPT. ADAPT is an organisational program that will allow users to create and schedule various events and tasks, and tick them off as necessary, with reminders for when that are upcoming or overdue. The whole point of this program is to allow the user to see all of their most pertinent schedule information at a glance, and to allow them to reorganise it quickly and efficiently. I’m sure there are countless other programs that do this kind of thing, but none that I’ve seen have all the features I want, so I’m making one that does.

The second project is a game. I’m not going to go into too much details about this particular project just yet, but I’ll announce everything once I get started on it. As it stands, I’m going to spend the next couple of weeks focusing on ADAPT, and then I’ll begin work on this second project. In the meantime, I’ll be posting updates every so often about ADAPT’s progress, so that’ll be interesting if nothing else.

But anyway, here I am rambling away as per usual. So, to summarise: I’m not dead, I’m working on a program named ADAPT at the moment, and I will begin working on a new game in couple of weeks. And that covers just about all of it. So until next time, dear reader…

Staring Into The Infinite Future

The games industry is wide and wonderful place, full of countless positions and opportunities. And of all the positions and opportunities, there are some I would much rather take than others. Of these there are two primary positions I would prefer: world/level design and project manager/team leader. If there is one thing that I would want to be remembered for, it is for the world that I created. To shape the world of the player as I see fit, to breathe life into the land itself, to be a god.

Alternatively, being a manager and bossing people around has a similar effect, so that’d be good too. However, in all seriousness, having the opportunity to lead a team of people to success (or perhaps failure) is one I would greatly enjoy (and hopefully be quite good at…if I’m leading them to the former). And then, upon our success, we shall plant our flag atop a hill and gaze upon the infinite tomorrow that lies before us.