Seems like everybody I know has something exciting going on at the moment.
We just got out copies of My Virtual Home today. It’s home decorating software that is being developed here. I say here instead of here at Auran because it is technically another company even though it is a lot of the same people. The software is actually free and will be included in next months Australian Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The various home building and furniture manufactures pay to have their products in the software. That user gets the software for free and lays out a virtual version of their house which includes almost everything from what type of door frame types and outlet covers you have. They can then browse through somethink like "couches" until they find one they like that fits well in their living room. They can get order that exact couch from the manufacturer. It is my wife Connie’s first product here as a Senior Tester.
My friend Matthew Ford, a producer here at Auran, was interviewed for a MSNBC article about parents in the game industry and how they handle video games with their own kids. When gamers become parents - How those in the industry cope with issues of sex and violence.
He also has a sidebar article that is linked from the above article which basically summarizes his tips for parents. Parenting and video games: One dad's tips - Game professional offers tips on managing the video game minefield.
I just heard that my friends and former Westwood co-workers at Petroglyph just announced a partnership with Publisher Sega to create an original Real-Time Strategy (RTS) franchise for the PC. SEGA Partners with Petroglyph to Build Blockbuster RTS Franchise.
My friend Greg is going to work for Ubi Soft in China. He asked them about the legislation restricting online play to 3 hours and requiring game developers to put some code in to do that. He said they told him nobody is taking that seriously. There are two government bodies fighting over who has jurisdiction over the online game market since it is a very popular and profitable segment. The two bodies are just trying to prove they are the one with jurisdiction by passing laws that govern it. Although it was all hastily explained to him, he said he also got the impression that it isn’t a passed law, more like a bill being proposed. If you read the article I linked or any of the dozens of others, they all read like this is already passed and companies are hard at work putting in those restrictions which wouldn't appear to be the case.
So, what about me? Well I did say I would stop trying to grow my hair back out and clean myself up if they took me to the Austin Game Developers conference next month. I don’t know if they are taking the bait yet, but I did get a semi-positive "Hmm, you never know" response. I don't think we will be announcing our game there so it will probably only be shown behind closed doors. Austin Texas… Mmmm good Mexican food!
I do know we are looking to hire another level designer so if you know anybody have them email me.