Monday, August 10

Digital Leaps and Conceptual Bounds

I've been working on a couple of things this week, making good progress on one, and working out in my head what to do with the other.

The first is my learning German app that I'm writing for my phone. This week I've made loads of progress on in. The first half of the week was refactoring the crap out of it, removing a load of duplication, specialist classes and generics and just making the whole thing far, far simpler behind the scenes.

That set me up well for the second half of the week where I added staged repetition and improved the styling quite a lot. There's still very little vocabulary in there, but I figure once I've got it working how I want I can start adding vocabulary wholesale. For the moment just getting it to the point where it's a useful tool for myself will be great. I'm really pleased with the progress I've made this week, it feels like it's developing rapidly despite working on it in my free time around work and a family.

The second thing alluded to in the title is the Zombology graphic design. I've got a moderately attractive (if very simple and hobby-esque) prototype that has been slowly improving over the last year or so. I'm fairly happy with a lot of it now, it's simple, but it's ok for a hand-made print run. The weakest links now are the zombie overrun card, the pay rise card and the round marker cards (which also feature zombies). If I'm honest the weakness is my piss-poor attempt at drawing a zombie. It's bad. It's also not really in keeping with the rest of the graphic design, so it's letting the side down and standing out as well.

I've had an idea this week about how I can come up with something that's more in keeping and within my limited art skills. So the next thing to do is break out my abysmal old, slow laptop and crack on in InDesign/Illustrator. I've got four hours of train journeys in a couple of weeks for my clinical trial hospital visit, but I hope to make a start on this stuff before then. Hopefully, I'll also have some feedback from the other Playtest UK groups soon too, which will give me a more unbiased view of the quality of the game.

In other news, I've crossed Hansa Teutonica off my ten plays list with a game at Games Night last Wednesday and I'm leaning more towards a hand-made, stretch goal/pledge level free run on KickStarter (despite my KickStarter misgivings). Need to do some more market research still, but the idea is taking root in my head.

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