Exploit: Zero Day - Headless Swarm, the first season

The Majesty of Colors Remastered - Coming early 2017

Author archives: Melissa Avery-Weir

DevOps in Game Dev: ChatOps for Real With Lita and Dialogflow

DevOps in Game Dev: ChatOps for Real With Lita and Dialogflow

This is the fifth part in a series on applying devops principles and practices to game development. You can read the first post in the series, and see the entire series under the devops in game dev tag.

In our post on what the devops philosophy is, we wrote about revisiting workflow annoyances periodically. Sometimes you get more time and/or money. Sometimes you learn of an easy way to solve a problem.

There's something that got a lot easier for us recently: chatops.

"Chatops" is a trendy word for a subset of devops that focuses on streamlining work using extensible chatbots (e.g., Lita, Hubot, and Errbot) in team communication tools (e.g., Slack, HipChat, etc.). We use Lita on Slack, so I'll stick with those as concrete examples.

As a simple-but-nice examples, you might ask Lita to run an automated build for you, and it will connect to Jenkins and run the build you ask for. You don't need to leave Slack open a tab, log into Jenkins, find the job you need, and run it.

Something really important that well-implemented chatops provides is the ability to add context-appropriate information to conversations that are already happening.

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What's Happening on Exploit: Zero Day These Days?

What's Happening on Exploit: Zero Day These Days?

We've been heads down on remastering "(I Fell in Love with) The Majesty of Colors" the last few months (along with getting Rosette Dramatic LARP to a stopping point). We wrote about our realizations on project multitasking earlier this year, so we've tried to focus down as much as is reasonable.

That means that the in-flight game most left alone is Exploit: Zero Day, our cyberthriller puzzle game.

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IndieGameStand (and Desura)

IndieGameStand (and Desura)

In a slow tale spanning the last four months, the IndieGameStand site (one of the places we sold Ossuary) closed parts down for maintenance, then went down completely for maintenance, and then its domain name stopped working entirely. Somewhere in there, its SSL certificate expired as well. The twitter account is silent and all of the preview images for their articles are broken, giving it the look of a column of blank gravestones.

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Rosette LARP: the Editorial Process

Rosette LARP: the Editorial Process

We just finished working through the initial large set of edits on Rosette LARP, and wow, it was an intense process—it took about 18 person-hours to work through. Our copyeditor ("B") was delightfully methodical and caught some interesting things.

Revealing Questions

B noted several places where the meaning of some ...

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To MBA, or Not To MBA?

One of the things that's struck us over the last few years of being in indie game dev is how very few teams seem to be using rigorous methods for running their business. (Or, if they are, they aren't talking much about it.) We've attended some great talks at conferences by Finji and watched videos like Simon Roth's "Killing the 'Lucky Indie' myth: How to build a sustainable microstudio", but beyond that the most consistent opinion we've seen is "Make strategies based on data."

Problem is: where is that data?

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Disaster Management with Cabot and a Wiki

Disaster Management with Cabot and a Wiki

We have about 12 different sites or parts of sites that could have outages and two of us to manage them. Some of these have been up for years, and some are newer. Some applications require special installation or debugging, and some must be on differently-configured servers.

When one of those goes down, we both need to know how to diagnose and fix it as soon as possible. So how do we manage that?

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Crashing and Burning on Multiple Simultaneous Projects

Crashing and Burning on Multiple Simultaneous Projects

Our plan for the last few years has been to work on multiple projects at once. When Gregory worked full time on Future Proof projects, this kept them from feeling drained working on the same thing day in and day out. Now that we're both indefinitely part time, however, we're finding it near-impossible.

Our 2017 plans seemed reasonable. They were in line with what we've tried to do in the last couple of years, but incorporating the data from previous years: actual dev time for new Exploit: Zero Day story jobs, actual time needed for marketing, conference schedules, etc.

With that in mind, we set ourselves up to work on two high intensity projects and a low-key one: EZD, Majesty of Colors, and Rosette LARP, respectively.

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