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The Future Proof Podcast 020

Podcast episode

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:21  
Hello, and welcome to the Future Proof Podcast. This is our monthly podcast where we talk about what we've been working on, anything that we're planning that's especially cool. And this is our May 2020 podcast. So this is being recorded remotely for I think the first time.

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:38  

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:39  
We're socially isolating to protect others and ourselves. And so you might notice a difference in the quality and timbre of our voices and that's, that's why. I'm Gregory Avery-Weir and I've got a little bit of a cough. I'll try and keep it suppressed, but I'm doing fine. Just, just you might notice my voice is a little scratchy at the moment.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:05  
I'm Melissa Avery-Weir, and I am not going to edit out every cough despite my inclination to do so.

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:12  
That's totally fine. This is, this is whatever the equivalent of cinema veritas is for, for podcasts. Cinema verité?

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:22  
I think it's just podcasting. I think that's--

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:24  

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:25  
--just podcasting.

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:27  
This is real podcasting. Raw Gonzo podcasting.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:32  
As I think most folks know, we have been working on an update to "The Majesty of Colors," which is in flight and nearly done.

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:40  
Yeah, we've got... So we did our remaster a little over two years ago, which was remaster of the old flash game. And we thought that it would be good to include some stuff that that we hadn't implemented, that we wanted to. So little things that like, one example of the sort of stuff we're adding is: we noticed that a lot of play testers tended to want to mess with the pilots in biplanes. And so that's a thing that we've provided a response for in the game.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:12  
Of course, we had to provide--we had to offer the option for the player to do something relatively extreme.

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:20  
Yeah. And so that's been... I mean, we were hoping to get this out by the proper anniversary in February.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:30  

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:30  
That didn't happen because, you know, various world events and and how they affected our work cycle. And so, we've, we've gotten, we think that we've got everything taken care of we've got builds made, so that we can play test them we still need to. As of this recording, we need to finish doing regression testing, which is where we make sure that, like, nothing new has gone wrong, and nothing old that used to work has been ruined by some change we've made.

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:03  
And at this point, we, once we finished that testing, we'll submit it to the Play Store and to the Apple App Store or Apple Store, whatever they call it now. And once those get approved as updates, then we will be like, okay, well, we'll announce a release date, and then it should be out shortly after that. We're talking a week, maybe a little more. So yeah, we're really excited about getting that out.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:33  
Yeah, in part because it's, it feels very late.

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:37  
Even though we totally set that date, like, I don't know if there's anyone who's like, if I don't get this update by February, I'm quitting.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:44  
Yeah, no, but uh, I kind, I think I had kind of hoped to be working on other things at this point.

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:51  
Definitely. We always have--

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:53  
Oh, yeah.

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:53  
Yeah, we always have those other projects that get done other than old stuff.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:58  
Right. Yeah. And one of the things and if you're subscribed to our newsletter, you've you've read a little bit about this. But we had a lot of trouble with our Mac: namely, that it died.

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:10  
Just about everything short of catching fire.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:13  
Just about. It's sitting on my couch, so I hope it does not catch fire. But first, it ran really slow. And then the hard drive died. Which, presumably that was also why it was running very slow. And it's one of the, it's like the model that's the most difficult to replace the hard drive on.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:29  
And, you know, we only open this Mac, once a year at most. Because we are not Apple developers. We only do it for these builds, but we have to have it for these builds. So we looked around for alternatives. And there's a service--and this is not like any kind of advertisement or endorsement or anything. I don't know what's going on behind the scenes there. But we found that you can rent access to a Mac in the cloud. So the service I think is just called "Mac in the Cloud" or "Mac in Cloud." And it's It's pretty slick. Like basically your remote desktop in the same way you would into a Windows machine or over VNC.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:06  
You're remote desktoping into a Mac at the level that we're paying for you don't have root access. So you have to send an email if you need software added or things like that. So it's a little cumbersome because it'll be like, Oh, I you know, do my compile in Unity and, and export the Xcode project. And then as soon as I open it, Xcode says, "Oh, you need an additional module installed." And I'm like, I don't know what that is, well, I don't have credentials, so send an email.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:31  
So it's a little cumbersome, but when it comes to like, you know, we need this for three weeks, and we can pay 30-35 bucks for a Mac and not have to do any kind of maintenance on it, really. It's a pretty it's pretty good solution. So it's, it's exciting to find it, it's kind of a relief because we're always sort of facing this problem with Mac, with Apple hardware of when is it gonna die? How much do we want to put into it? We don't want another laptop. Neither of us want $1,000 or 1500 dollar even cheap laptop to to mess with. And again, we really only open this thing once a year at most. You spend two days updating it and then need to do six hours of work on it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:12  
So I'm super glad that this has become a good solution. I hope that I haven't like done something in saying this that's going to get our Apple Developer Account closed and banned because of some EULA violation. I don't know, who reads 86 pages?

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:25  
If it does we just stop supporting Apple because we're al-- We already kind of got ethical concerns with regards to participating in that ecosystem. And so at that point, I just be like, "Sorry, they, they banned us." Oops.

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:42  
Right. So that's cool. It's made the development process easier, or at least the build process easier.

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:49  
So the other kind of focus of our attention has been just general community development work. We--This is sort of an extension of the stuff that we did when we put out that survey at the end of 2019. And we generally just want to make it easier for folks to keep up with what we're doing. If they want to know what our projects are, they can. And also just, like, make people aware that like, we're human beings. We're people who make games and like, you can talk to us if you want to. And also like, be easy on us if we mess something up and and all that. Like, like encouraging that sort of collective compassion and so that we can know the people that we're making our stuff and they can know us. While we while we make you know, some--I think our work is decently personal and expresses who we are as people.

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:43  
I think so.

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:44  
But the day-to-day of that has been something that's been a little tough to get on a regular schedule on. Back in back at the start of the year we got together and we were like, "Alright, what do we want to do to forward this goal?" And this generally entails participating on social media or communication technology in some way. And so we've been trying to keep up with Twitter, just putting out posts that are both news and ones that are, that are like, "Here's this cool thing. Here's what we're thinking about them." So that it's clear that like, we're not just retweeting stuff because we want to boost analytics or whatever. But we're sharing stuff that we actually think is interesting or cool. And if you, in a previous podcast episode, we talked about what it's like to have one of those go viral.

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:37  

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:39  
And we've got an upcoming thing that should be fun that's a big, broader game dev community thing, where we're going to be participating in #LoveIndies again. Yeah, that's a that's a project that's set up by...

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:52  
Hannah Flynn of Failbetter Games.

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:55  

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:56  
And it's, it's a cool thing. Where like, a bunch of indie developers, and streamers, and just journalists, and fans of indie games all kind of work together to talk about games and review them and promote things that they like and just sort of share like, "Hey, we all like this stuff. Here's stuff that's cool."

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:20  
Like, I think I will be bold and say that you--it's very difficult to be a good indie developer without playing other games, and more other stuff you play--within reason--the better of a developer you'll be. And likewise, like, the more different kinds of games you play, the better impact they will have on you just generally, as a person, as a person who plays games. You will appreciate games more and I like to think in my utopian vision that will make you a better person in general. So it's a really cool project. They are adding some cool stuff this this year, and so starting-- Is it starting June 1?

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:04  
Correct. June 1 through the 12th.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:06  
It'll be a cool thing. So there's one day when we'll be like spending an hour reviewing as many things that we haven't reviewed as possible. It's all, it's all fun stuff.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:17  
It's a good opportunity for us to mix up how to do proper Twitter thread by replying to the wrong post in the Twitter thread as we did last year.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:27  
Yeah, we'll need to figure out--

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:29  
Two people threading--

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:30  
We'll need to get on the same page on that. So, so that's, that's Twitter. On Twitch, we've continued to do Future Proof Plays every couple of weeks, which has been pretty cool.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:44  
Yeah, we've been wonderfully consistent with those. There was a little while where we weren't sure if this is something we wanted to do. And so it got a little easier to be like, "Eh, maybe not today." But we've been going strong despite all the things happening.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:59  
Yeah, so that's... we--Every two weeks we play a little indie game. Usually we try and pick ones that we can finish in the span of a stream. So you'll see us play the entire game or maybe the main plot of the game or get to a point where we're like, "Okay, we feel like we've we've seen what this game has to offer." So you can follow me on Twitch.TV/GregoryAveryWeir and Melissa at, where they also are doing some streams solo and like not Future Proof streams. But just like, I mean, the day we're recording, they're going to be playing Planescape Torment on their 86th session or whatever. It's actually like your seventh, I think.

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:43  
I think it's seventh or eighth. Yeah.

Gregory Avery-Weir  11:45  
And then what else? We've also got a YouTube channel that we put updates on where I need to, I need to script our next update. Unfortunately, I don't think that it's going to end up having a Majesty of Colors release date on it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:02  
Probably not.

Gregory Avery-Weir  12:02  
But it, it should be actually a lot of the same news you're getting here but in a different format. So that presumably there will be thoughts that you can get there that you can't get here and vice versa. But I guess our big news project is one that Melissa has been focusing on.

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:19  
Oh, gosh, that, that puts it on a pedestal. So, so we've talked before about how we're sort of consolidating all Future Proof news into a single newsletter. So you know, kind of one of our goals here is to provide different ways for people to get the information they want. So they want our voices laughing in their ears, they've got the podcast. If they want a three minute update very concisely, we have the YouTube updates that Greg is doing. If you just want some news when we come along, you get it on Twitter, right?

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:48  
So the newsletter is a way for us to like in written form, with some commentary. (I kind of went off on Apple a tiny bit last time.) You can, you know, just get a full summary of news and hear about other projects we're working on or that we have kind of in our backlog. And I have included a cat photo in the first one and I figure I will keep doing so because once I pulled out my digital SLR I was like, "Damn, I love this camera." So there will be cat pictures. And then I'll do a custom article or ask Gregory to do one depending on, on how I'm feeling.

Gregory Avery-Weir  13:21  
I'm happy to do the next one.

Melissa Avery-Weir  13:23  
Oh, okay. On something, something bespoke for the newsletter. It's either based on some game I played recently or, or some sort of game design thing rattling around in my head.

Gregory Avery-Weir  13:33  
Exclusive content!

Melissa Avery-Weir  13:35  
Exclusive! So last month, I did a piece about the way Satisfactory engages with capitalism and colonialism, which was a fun piece to write because I had recently watched a very relevant video that that sort of gave me some ideas around the value of lampshading or the lack of value in lampshading on some of these topics where you know, Satisfactory I think tries to be a little cheeky but It doesn't actually doesn't actually move anything forward.

Melissa Avery-Weir  14:04  
I don't have a fixed topic for this month. But I played Dujanah this past weekend for Future Proof Plays. And it gave me some ideas around sort of tiny, tiny difficulties and obstacles in games instead of like, broader questions of overall difficulty. And so that's that's rattling around in my head. So we'll see if that falls out into an essay. So yes, if you want to sign up for the newsletter, which I highly recommend, my cats are amazing and adorable. You can--well, there'll be a link in the show notes. But if you just head to Future Proof Games, it's one of the banners up there. It's linked a bunch of places and sign up. It should not be more than about one a month we may or may not do a specific one when we have a release date for Majesty of Colors. We're a little fuzzy on that. But we definitely don't want to bombard people with emails.

Melissa Avery-Weir  14:53  
So yeah, welcome to the community. Find us everywhere! We're trying to be everywhere except Reddit. Now because we hate reddit, it's just, we're not quite sure what to do with reddit yet.

Gregory Avery-Weir  15:05  
We're also trying to do it in a way that is sustainable, where we can be consistent and like not, not have people expecting stuff that we're not up for delivering.

Melissa Avery-Weir  15:15  
Exactly, exactly.

Gregory Avery-Weir  15:17  
But in general, if you want to get all of our stuff in a centralized location, you can find it all at If you want to find us on Twitter, we're over at PlayFutureProof and on Facebook, or YouTube or some other places as Future Proof Games.

Gregory Avery-Weir  15:34  
Hit us up with questions or comments on our blog or any of those places, we'd like comments. We've gotten, we got a good tip on a game to stream on a YouTube comment.

Melissa Avery-Weir  15:46  

Gregory Avery-Weir  15:46  
Really, yeah, if you've got like whether you're developer or not, and you have a cool game that is like, fits our sort of aesthetic and ethos and is relatively short, hit us up wherever and let us know and we'll almost certainly stream it.

Melissa Avery-Weir  16:01  

Gregory Avery-Weir  16:01  
Our theme music is "Juparo" by Broke for Free, which is available by permission.