Sometimes, the planets align and I enjoy programming long into the night.
I am not a programmer, but sometimes I like to tinker with the code and see the ideas coming to life.
Game Design Doctor
The idea of Game Design Doctor is to assist and coach other game designers and game developers to achieve their professional goals. It's not the first time I am in the position of helping and teaching others about game design. It can looks similar to consultancy or teaching, but the concept is a mix of coaching and mentoring. When coaching my knowledge and experience about game design and development allow me to be able to understand better the context and situations of the coachee but I don't really need to know more, or be a better designer, than him. Then, sometimes, I can suggest some data or tools useful for the subject which I will know from my own experience and previous work with others. In the end, having a nice set of tools for a wide variety of situations in the game development process.
Selling the concept in just one sentence:
You will receive advice, tools and help managing information to set and achieve your goals across diferent sessions in which I work with you to develop the full potential of yourself and your game project.
Some examples of situations can give a better idea:
Not everything in that list is strictly coaching. That's why I am using the metaphor of a doctor. Sometimes is coaching, sometimes is looking at symptoms, giving a diagnostic and providing a treatment in the form of a conceptual tool or a piece of information.
The first thing to do is to start working in the idea as stated in the video above. I am looking for 2-3 people (first among my friends) to start working with to see the results and make sure I can do this and enjoy it. Then I will need to find if someone will actually pay for this service.
The other part of the project is the site www.GameDesignDoctor.com which is currently in private alpha and will be developed with the experience and knowledge adquired throughout the coaching sessions and personal research. The site aditionally supports the coachees and other users providing references to data and tools in a natural and efficient way.
Trying Air persons
Air persons is a new platform to offer live services. It's not probably going to provide me clients very soon but you can never know if you don't try and can be useful to validate the idea and try prices. I am offering the service just in spanish for the moment. You can click the banner to see the offer.
Since the dawn of time, different events have converged to make you the first person to know about this project. This is related to one of the three areas I am rethinking in my turning point. IT is a project which is already useful, because someone actually asked me to help, and then I saw the light.
The idea have been naturally in my head for a lot of time. I enjoy the meta-processes involved in game development and design.
I like to teach and I have been a lecturer at various conferences and workshops. They keep calling me!
I have also been answering different questions to other developers and recently I was talking about doing some mentorship, or coaching, to a friend and his team.
I have been playing around for years with the idea of making a recopilation of tools for game designers gathering them from my game designer friends.
I bought a cool domain some weeks ago.
And today, it all imploded into a concept and a quick prototype that got me hooked.
I have been dissecting the situation with the help of my girlfriend/fiancé to find different fronts where I want to take action to improve and keep moving forward. Today we have managed to define at least three courses of action for what seemed a tangled and unique situation, formerly known as "what I do". I think thats three areas are mostly everything, but I cannot be sure yet until I finish making all the questions to see the situation from all the possible angles.
1. Evolve the blog
As I was talking in yesterday's post Turning point. The goal of this blog has been accomplished. I have managed to build the habit. But there are some things that the blog needs in order to keep being useful:
2. Take a solid step towards my vision
That is, to start working more seriously on a project that can be useful and profitable. Since making an income to live from blogging is not my first choice, I have put to rest some plans to market and promote the blog (because I have a small audience) until I define if the new goal of the blog really needs it.
Separating the search of an income stream from the blog is important since I have been slowly believing that I need more readers to be able to turn the blog into a source of income.
I have around 7 projects or topics which I have been talking about in the blog, plus 2 more which I haven't, that are candidates to be explored to help someone needs.
3. Improve time management
I need to make better use of my time, specially when doing personal, everyday house chores. Because I am at home most of the day, the everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning and so on, tend to be around me always and they define my daily schedule more than I have wanted to admit until now.
Because of my inabilty to manage "house chores time" I am also having problems on how to use my "productive time" efficiently. So I am going to use the sames steps I would use to improve a creative or business process to improve the way I face the daily chores:
For example, one of the most time consuming chores is to decide what to cook according to our diet, what we have eaten recently and what ingredients I have available. I haven't succeded in preparing weekly meal plans. Which would be ver useful when doing the grocery list. What we usually use as a reference is what we have bought the last time (specially when buying online) instead of what we have consumed. So, from now on I will be tracking what things we consume each day, instead of trying to figure out what to eat the next week when doing the groceries.
Another thing I have done is to prepare three check lists in a whiteboard with daily, weekly and monthly tasks for personal and house chores.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
In the last days I have been asking myself some different questions to review my course of action on AlejoLab and the pursue of my vision. I have been posting everyday for more than two months, and now what? I have built the habit and it proved to be what I needed. Pulling me to develop my ideas, projects or experiments, not just keeping for myself but to share them publicly and explore how I present the things I do.
But now this habit can be useful beyond that. I never planned to have a big audience in this blog (and I don't have it actually). Since it was for me to get used to write publicly in the first place. But now I am also feeling the need of interacting with the people, as I find that I want to do something useful to others while enjoying it myself.
So, I will be facing these questions myself using some drawings, thinker toys, and other tools to help me review my vision on the role of AlejoLab in it. Expect some posts talking about this in the next days and meta-topics, such as the blog itself, goal setting, vision, business. Even when I don't plan to make these kind of topics of the lab. There are already enough generic business and marketing blogs out there!
Exactly 3 years ago today The Game Kitchen was born legally. The group of people started to gather a lot of time before that and the first products were developed even before the actual company was registered.
I am one of the three co-founders, but since early this year my work with the team have been discontinued. I miss working with the team but at this point our paths are taking us to different places. Happy birthday to The Game Kitchen, go an play the games!
This is a list of the games made by The Game Kitchen while I was still part of the team. There are some contracted works missing because of confidentiality. But I keep fond memories and valuable lessons learnt from all of them!
When reading about online marketing it is easy to think on all the things you need to thing about selling stuff. But even when I am looking for a way to make a life out of selling digital goods, what I want to do is being able to create freely. Then I will find a way to monetize it. I will have to start very soon making more experiments (I have already been doing some minor ones) trying to sell, this way I will train with all the pieces together.
Pasive income and pasive value creation
A few weeks ago a friend sent me a link to an article by Steve Pavlina about passive value. It was perfect timing because I was using a lot of mental energy thinking about the business things. I was reading the article again today and I specially liked this sentece which I feel reflects what I want to do:
But this helped me get better at understanding what people desire and how that matches up with what I can provide.
Well, and I have also been playing a lot this little game: http://candies.aniwey.net
Very interesting how it is designed.
Indie game designer