Looking for motivation – Full Microsoft EcoSystem


Hi There,

I have tried to start my own business for years now. But is this the lack of motivation, or limited skills, or not enough free time, or anything else, I don’t know, but I have to admit that I am not doing good enough so far.
Now, I am dreaming big, and I want to be a success though, then things have to change, right now.
Many of you have heard about all my projects already if you have read some of my previous articles and presentations ( Here, There and also Over Here ). But before to travel the world for business or leisure, having fun and make money while moving around across the planet, I first have to build valuable content, and sell it online…

Google Plus Collections

For that, and first things first, i need to have good tools for productive work. And this is not the case for now, not at all. I am still struggling to get any work done with my 9 years old laptop, and I miss many important phone calls and messages because of my faulty 5 years old smartphone. Add to this that my Android tablet is bricked, or at least unresponsive most of the time, and you’ll get the full picture.

In order to change this, I have to scrap all this crap and go for much better hardware.And on top of that, I need to get some online services and professional apps for presentation, backup, storage, marketing matters, to name the few (I will write a full article about services and apps someday). So the short term motivation for now is not the long term goal anymore, but to make enough cash for buying the tools that I really need.

lUMIA 940 XL

As my business is supposed to be lightweight, no employees, no offices, no car, nor nothing, all I need to get focused on for now is a proper laptop and a great smartphone. And as some of you might have noticed already, and despite all of them have great advantages and valuable applications available, I am not the best fan of Apple iOS, Google Android, not even Linux systems. I’d rather go for Microsoft, and I am anxious to discover the latest products that will come equipped with Windows 10 as standard.(Without the need of any risky upgrade from 8.1 I mean)

microsoft-surface-pro-4

For the laptop, I have already chosen the Mobile Workstations Family Products from Lenovo (just waiting for the latest ones to come in Q3 of 2015, equivalent of the existing w550s and its amazing battery life (Check my previous article about Mobile Workstations here). Regarding the tablet, My 2013 old Nexus 7 can still do the trick for a little while, and then I will probably replace it with the Microsoft Surface 4. Last but not least, my phone will probably be the promising Microsoft Lumia 930 XL, or its HTC equivalent if it comes to market early enough.

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-w550s-main

As you can see, I have made my mind already, and as some of you guys may go for a full Apple working ecosystem, I’d rather opt for the Microsoft equivalent, as it does much better sense to me, according to the applications I am using as an Indie. And when all that tool set will be mine, I will probably buy a Microsoft wristband, as icing on that Microsoft cake.

Take Care.
Pascal

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Game Project Y150114 First Article


Game Project Y150114 First Article
A casual 2D game for smartphones with Stencyl

Hi there,

As I said previously, my global project is to become independent (Laptop Entrepreneur), in order to leave my 9-5 job and live the life I dream of.
For those who have missed it, I explain my projects in the current blog Here, There and also Over Here (In French).

Prezi LethargicDog 1

Now back to the current Game Project. I made the decision to get back to a much easier project, after I have tried for years to develop a 3D puzzle game, first with XNA 3.1, and XNA 4.0, and more recently with Unity. Then now my new goal is to do a much more simple game, 2D game first of all, and a casual game, that would not take me more than a couple of weeks for a first prototype, excluding the time I need for learning my new gamedev environment.
After I have read reviews on many games engines, I have chosen the Stencyl tool, that is very close to the MIT Scratch system. This tool is obviously way much easier that Unity to learn. So now I am able to move actors (Sprites if you wish) around my scenes (levels), and let them interact between them according to the gameplay and game logic that I have defined.
As it is a prototype I do not bother to draw realistic graphics, nor dealing with a splash screen, or anything of these features that are expected in a final version, ready for shipping to online platforms.
So far this is a lot of fun. I spend lots of time learning stuff online though, but I am getting there finally. I also purchased a book about Stencyl programming, which is a great help too.(Stencyl Essentials from Richard Sneyd, available on Google Play)

Here is a picture of my first screen, where you can see lights and switches. Once I get some functional gameplay, I will publish videos on youtube about it and I will let you know the link.

Y150114 Prototype 1

As you can see, this is very humble beginnig, but I really wanted to show that, in order to encourage some of you to start something, and not being impressed by the tools to learn or the tasks to achieve. We all have to start somewhere at square one, and improve from there.

Now it’s your turn to start your own project, and feel free to let me know about it in the comments.
To be continued…

Take Care.
Pascal

THE 256 LETHARGICDOG GEEK CHALLENGE #006/256


Challenge #006: Drawing Super Meat Boy in Vector Graphics with InkScape (or Adobe Illustrator)

GOAL:
The goal of this challenge #006 is to use the vector graphics app Inkscape (or Illustrator) in order to draw the main character of the Indie Game Super Meat Boy, from the Team Meat Studio.
I guess the two members of this Indie Studio wouldn’t mind us to do so, as you can see them enjoying Fan Art Youtube videos and pics of Meat Boy.

Super Meat Boy

DESCRIPTION:
For those of you who don’t know much about vector graphics, it’s just another way to do drawings for the web and apps, but at the opposite of other apps, such as Gimp or Photoshop, your drawing is made of items that scale well while you zoom in (without showing “pixels”), and is in my humble opinions much easier to use than their Pixel based counterpart, at least when your purpose is about to get nice graphics without needing to be a proper artist yourself.

Inkscape screen

Inkscape is a free open source application for Windows, Mas OS X and Linux (available at https://inkscape.org/en/) whereas you will have to pay around USD 500$ for the Adobe counterpart which is Adobe Illustrator. Both of them being professional tools, il will be your decision to choose among them. Main thing you have to know is that Inkscape is generally preferred for Web and In-App art, and Illustrator for professional printing.

Regarding the work to be done here, I decided to challenge you with Meat Boy, as this might be doable after a dozen hours of learning Vector Graphics, and because I am a huge fan of Team Meat and Super Meat Boy since I watched the movie “Indie Game – The movie”.

IGTM Anniversary

ACHIEVEMENT EXPECTED:
In order to succeed, you will have to use either the Inkscape app or Illustrator app as discussed above, and practice until you get used to the path, object and layer tools that are mandatory to reach your goal. Once you get there, you will have to find a proper model to get inspired, but if you dont find any, consider the picture below to be the target to reach.

super-meat-boy

Should you need any help about vector graphics, you will find plenty of video tutorials on youtube, and some other learning sources that I recommend on my Google+ 2D Art Collection (http://plus.google.com/+LethargicDogDotCom/Collections)

Once you have finished your artwork, you will have to save it, then export it as a bitmap format (bmp, jpg, png…), and finally publish it anywhere on the web, then you can consider it a success and choose another LethargicDog 256 Geek Challenge.
Have fun, and good luck !

Pascal