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EricBall's Tech Projects

learning Unity

Posted by EricBall, 26 March 2015 · 97 views

For those who've never heard of it, Unity is a cross-platform game creation system: http://en.wikipedia....ty_(game_engine)
You can use it to develop games for current systems including Windows, OSX, web, IOS and Android.  Free to download & use and practically free if you ever decide to sell your creations.
Lurking on gamas...

FTP - Little Alchemist

Posted by EricBall, 05 March 2015 · 110 views

Back in the early 90s I got sucked into the Magic: the Gathering collectible card game craze.  Little Alchemist is a "free to play" mobile version of a collectible card game.  And while you can spend real money buying cards (just like I used to do with MtG), it is quite possible to have lots of fun playing without spending a dime.
In the...

Clash of Clans

Posted by EricBall, 03 November 2014 · 258 views

My son managed to convince mom to install CoC on his iPhone.  After watching a little bit, I put it on my HTC.  It's pretty cool, although I wonder how Supercell is making any money given lack of IAP pressure and the TV advertising.
IAP - in app purchases, or the way "free-to-play" games make money.  In the case of CoC, $$ buys you g...

Minecraft studio Mojang has been bought by Microsoft for $2.5B

Posted by EricBall, 15 September 2014 · 196 views

Additionally, creator Markus "Notch" Persson, partner Jakob Porser and CEO Carl Manneh will also be leaving Mojang.  Even before the sale Markus has tried to move away from Minecraft, but felt that selling out was they only way to continue to be himself.
I do wonder how MS plans on recovering it's 2.5 billion dollar investment.  (Esp...

Road Not Taken

Posted by EricBall, 06 August 2014 · 201 views

A couple of years ago my wife and I played an MMO called Glitch.  IMHO Glitch was doomed from the start because it only charged real money for vanity items and it wasn't social enough or fun enough to play indefinitely.  However, the stylized artwork was was very well done and one of the more enjoyable parts of the game.
When I first saw...

I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque

Posted by EricBall, 22 May 2014 · 321 views

I've been playing Half Life (1) on the new 27" iMac - bigger is better!  I've gotten most of the way through chapter 11 - Surface Tension, but I've discovered I bypassed getting the Tau gun back in chapter 10 - Questionable Ethics.  Sigh.... I even managed to get through the whole drain hatch / minefield section without killing the hel...

Next project

Posted by EricBall, 06 March 2014 · 412 views

While working at IBM (1993-2008) I acquired several classic Model M keyboards.  Unfortunately, they have PS/2 connectors which isn't supported even by many current desktops.  I have bought one of the "blue cube" adapters so I can use one at work, but I'm thinking I'd rather "roll my own" - open up the keyboard and replace the 6805 based controll...

tired of waiting for Mac Mini

Posted by EricBall, 28 February 2014 · 887 views

Back in late September when Apple announced the Haswell iMacs I thought it wouldn't be long before Apple would announce a Haswell update for the Mac Mini.  But in spite of much forum speculation and rumor no update has occurred.  I'm done waiting, so I will probably buy an iMac in the near future.
Which is funny, because when the Haswell...

"free to play"

Posted by EricBall, 31 January 2014 · 387 views

Although I don't program games for a living, I visit gamasutra.com daily.  A common topic in many articles is "free-to-play", from philosophical treatises to in-depth tutorials on how to best convince players to pay-up.  Personally I think "free to play" is killing the industry (Nintendo being the current whipping boy) because it disrupts the mo...

Apple TV 4 games?

Posted by EricBall, 24 January 2014 · 340 views

Reading the article this morning I had the question - could an Kinect device make it possible to play touchscreen style games on your home TV?
The problem is the two aren't equivalent.  A touchscreen gives visual position feedb...

April 2015

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