Looking for Indie Games, What I Do In My “Free Time”, annnnnnndddddd…. bigBetaBOOM! Returns!!! All in this week’s installment of Davis’s .Plan Files From He…ck.

First off, I’ve got an opportunity here for any Indie Game Developers interested. I’ve got some friends who started a Gaming Center – you know, LAN Games, some console stuff, things like that. Really nice looking place inside and out (doesn’t look like some of the others that I’ve seen in strip malls or older office spaces.) We got to talking, and I told them I’d throw this out for Indies to chew on. If you are interested in getting some extra exposure in exchange for some free copies (IE – for them to load on thier machines for people to play) drop me a line (as usual, [email=midryder@midnightryder.com]) and I’ll get you hooked up. And if you’ve got posters or fliers, that would be a good bonus too (IE – a poster to throw on the wall of either the game, or just the company name and hopefully a URL where people can find you 😉 Oh, and if your game looks slick on screen, and you’ve got some nice high-res .avi’s of it in action (gotta be fairly good), that type stuff would be good to – they have a very large screen that the typically have running a randomized loop of various games in action.
Why is this interesting to them? Well, they get to have some content that none of the other Gaming Centers have at the moment – a minor competitive edge (“Hey, did you get a chance to play (X) yet?!” “No, haven’t seen it yet.” “Well, so and so has it – go check it out.”)
Why is this interesting to you? Well, places like this are very word of mouth cultures. The more exposure you get, the more people talk about you, and the more sales you get. And since these places are competitive with each other, you’ll eventually end up being contacted by the other groups looking to license it if it’s generating a buzz locally. Mo’ money!
This is also directly releated to something else… bigBetaBOOM! returns! This was something I had been REALLY looking forward to doing until I got laid off. Considering the expendature involved, I canceled it. Well, a deal was struck – bBB! will return, and we’ll be using the same Gaming Center to do it. This is HIGHLY concenient for me. They love the idea, love the exposure and draw of doing something like this. I love the fact that I’m not sinking a ton o’ money into it (But I do have to invest SOME time – but not nearly as much as the collossal headache. It’s like trying to plan a mini-convention. Hat’s off to Jay Moore when it comes to planning and dealing with Indie Games Con – I started to understand it was even worse than I thought! :-) 
If you are just tuning in for the first time, or don’t remember me mentioning bBB! before, it’s were Trajectory Zone is going to get a MASSIVE LAN beta test. I plan on trying to max out the engine. They’ve even got a dual Operton server for me to try and bring to it’s knees 🙂 I’ve got a second and third server to bring, just in case demand is heavier than expected.
I will also add this – this is a test case. If it works out, then there will either be a yearly or twice a year bBB! being held. However, that won’t be just for Midnight Ryder Technologies games – I’ll be opening that up to anyone who wants to see thier games pounded by a group of hardcore gamers for feedback, load testing, beta notes, etc. The Gaming Center I’m dealing with thinks this is an awsome idea, and are all for doing this once or twice a year – they get more people in the door. It’s a free event – they aren’t charging people to play, and no one has to pay to have thier game tested. I’m really hoping this comes off as well as I think it will – I’d love to see this event become something that Indies mark on thier callenders as ‘Ship Dates’ just so they can make the next bBB! with thier game 😉 (Oh, and it’s not something you would have to show up for either – you’d just coordinate through me if you don’t plan on showing.)
Date has not been set in stone yet – Mid to end January is the planned area, but, it’s all based on how I feel about the next Trajectory Zone beta. When I feel it’s ready, I’ll set the date in stone, and make the appropriate announcements. (I’m like *THIS* close to the next beta)
By the way: I’m looking for giveaway stuff for bBB! – I’d love it if I had some other Indie games to give away as prizes. Boxed stuff is best, but, setting up for an electronic downloadable version would be just fine too. 
I have no free time. That was actually a joke. Instead, I just have different modes of work, some of which includes volunteer stuff. Well, one of the things I’ve been for a while (over a year, at least – I can’t remember how long for sure) is a Handler at SANS. I’m sure that doesn’t ring a bell with 99% of you. SANS Institute is probably the place to go for CyberSecurity and Information Security training in the world. Yes, one of my loves is Computer Security. I’ve always liked, well… both sides of the issue 😉 When I became an admin with an always on Internet connection, I started getting into it more and more. 
Anyway, a Hander is someone who basically keeps an eyeball on the Internet, and topics that are or may soon affect the Internet from a security standpoint. We also field questions, help resolve problems, and issue alerts when something goes wrong (like a worm, new exploit that could see widespread use, etc.) Eventually the resurrected the “Handler On Duty” concept – basically, that’s who’s responsibility it is to watch things and write them up with it happens (Oh, and the Handler On Duty also get to change the status of the InfoCon bar. That thing is replicated on like 25% of security related websites. Ranges from “Everything’s Cool” Green to “All Hell Just Broke Loose” Red. I’ve never seen it hit Red even in the midst of Code Red and Nimda stuff.) Of course the Handler On Duty is NOT the only person who contributes – all the handlers watch stuff anyway, and people are spread across most time zones, etc. But the HoD still has to do the writeup at the end of the shift.
6PM Yesterday to 6PM Today was my shift. Now, I’m mentioning this for two reasons: 1) Because it’s kinda cool to have access to The Button, and to contribute as a monitor to something as large as the Internet. 2) One of the items (possibly two actually) the entry I did today are of interest to some Indies. If you are using Windows 98, Upgrade Soon. Get rid of it. It’s about to become a liability to you – MS is dropping all support for it soon.
Well, I’m done with tonights contracting work, and this little diversion – back to programming on TZ (and a couple o’ minutes of work on TorqueIDE 🙂
BTW: Jay Moore, if you are reading this, give me a call (316-371-0914) or hide – I’ll be calling you about bigBetaBOOM! tomarrow 😉

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