Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Ace of Clubs

This week's task is a simple one. Write the skeleton of a new Fan Club, the success of which the company's entire future might depend. No biggie!


Actually, I've already done it once (with a lot of help from Lone Shark Games). The Bella Sara Dreams Club will premier and Gen Con Indy, and while I'm very proud of it, it's not 100% as good as it could be. For 2008, I want a fan club that'll knock the socks of any fan club that's gone before. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I read a combat robot message board regularly for my other hobby. It's a lot of fun and for my part it is pretty simple (comparable to any R/C hobby+model building, only my models are made from titanium.) A lot of the other participants are engineers, however, and this is how they talk...

F = A*P, so A = 1.063*pi = 3.34 sq in, P = 250 psi, so F = 834 lbs. With that and a 1" stroke you can fiddle with the geometry quite a bit and still have some impressive hitting power.

The volume of gas per shot is PI*r^2*h, or .884 cu in, times P/1 ATM. P = 250 and 1 ATM = 15 so you use 250/15*.883 or 14.71 cu in of CO2 (at STP) per shot.

So, how much gas is in a 16g cartridge? 16g of CO2 becomes .302 cu ft at STP, or .302*1728 = 521.8 cu in. 528/14.71 yields ~35 shots.

Of course, it isn't that simple...
I know the guy who wrote this. He's both a great guy and WAY smarter than me. =-)


It's a Bird, It's a Plane...'s SUPERFAN!

What is a super-fan? In the gaming community, it's a fan who enjoys the game in a way that transcends the casual. If you are a publisher, the more super-fans you have, the more likely your game will succeed. They aren't enough (you need casual fans, too) but cultivating them is essential. How does a fan become a super fan? They simply have to want to be. That's it.

Publishers don't define super-fans, they define themselves. While publishers can't define them, it is fairly easy to identify them through customer programs like organized play, volunteer programs, and fan clubs. Once you've identified super-fans, then it's time to take care of them.

  • Recognition - This is the big one. Let your fans know, in as personal a way as possible, that you know them and appreciate the investment they've made in you and your game. It is both the easiest and most important thing you can do. Note that bribery in the form of free stuff is expected more than appreciated. Send the freebees, people do love it, but don't count it as recognition.
  • Promos! - Super-fan only play, promotional items, web-content. This is tricky. The harder you make access to special content, the more special it will be. On the other hand, if you make it too exclusive, you won't get enough ROI to be worth the time it takes to create. Start small and build. It's always easier to add special content than to take it away.
  • Geek ON! -Opportunities to show off. Anything that'll let a super-fan get his or her geek on is a good thing. It strengthens the relationship between you, them, and the rest of the world. Web 2.0 is the ultimate Geek ON! tool. Don't fight it. Grow it, love it and it will grow and love you back!

-Adam!!! (Battlebots super-fan)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lying Liers and the Lies they Lie About

Sony has just announced dropping the price of the PS3. Good for them, but...

"Our initial expectation is that sales should double at a minimum," Jack Tretton, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said in an interview.


"We've gotten our production issues behind us on the PlayStation 3, reaching a position to pass on the savings to consumers, and our attitude is the sooner the better."


The price drop Monday was widely anticipated by industry analysts despite Sony President Ryoji Chubachi telling Reuters last week that the company had no immediate plans for one.

Last week's Lie.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said Sony's price reduction would not double sales but may boost them by 50 percent to about 120,000 units a month.

AHA!...oh that's not Sony. No wonder it sounds plausible.

What the hell, Sony? I guess Sony thinks a lot of stupid people have an extra $500 laying around. There's nothing wrong with lowering your price. There's also nothing wrong with being honest. How about they state the obvious? They misjudged what the public will pay for a game system, and are now fixing the problem.

Why is that so hard?


Sunday, July 08, 2007