A new beginning

May 3, 2017General, Water Balloon Drop 2D

Back in March, I briefly wrote about a possible rebranding. Now, we’re finally doing it! Terry and I have formed Late Leaf LLC. While that’s the legal name on paper, our Late Leaf Games brand will be our vehicle for developing all sorts of games going forward. This includes:

  • Video/computer games
  • Board/card games
  • Live-action adventure games (sometimes known as “escape rooms”)
  • … And anything else we can think of

This means that we’ll be moving to a brand new website, and activity will pick up on our Twitter account. I’m excited to become a bit more involved in the community and begin releasing more than just prototypes and small concepts. Terry has been tinkering in MagicaVoxel for our first project, which is (appropriately) a blocky voxel version of Water Balloon Drop 2D, which itself was based on an older browser game called Water Balloon Drop 3D. We don’t have a title yet, but it will be a free iOS game.

I’m not sure if we will be keeping this website up (in its current form, at least) as an archive, but look out for one last update in the coming days confirming the new website so you can follow our progress!

Possible rebranding, and productivity systems

March 15, 2017General

I’ve been tinkering with the idea of changing our identity away from Tuttle Games, to something else. In a sense, it’s fortunate that we haven’t really gained a solid following so far, because we can sort of start fresh.

So far, the focal point is the word “leaf” due to our surname in Chinese. I also like that it evokes tea, nature, calmness, autumn, etc. We drink a ton of tea, I’m a big fan of hiking and nature walks, and I generally have a relaxed demeanor. Yeah, that’ll work.

The word itself is involved in phrases like “turning a new leaf” or the concept of a page, which makes sense because we always try to push the envelope when it comes to storytelling and gameplay execution.

It’s also short and easy to convey. “Tuttle” is confusing to many, as the childish pronunciation of “turtle” doesn’t quite fit well with two grown adults aiming to make thought-provoking, nuanced games.

Logo-wise, I’d like to implement some geometry that resembles the Chinese radical for “grass” (often numbered 140, for reference). It’s used to write “leaf,” and the plus signs are inadvertently a nod to the d-pad symbol inherent to video gaming.

In other news, I’ve begun a personal productivity habit that I call the “best of 3” system. I set three goals every Sunday night. I keep them very simple yet tangible. They can relate to fitness (“do two sessions of Couch-to-5K”), cooking (“try that tuna-cucumber temaki recipe”), game development (“build first prototype for parking game”), music (“finish the Sombra instrumental beat”), or whatever. Then, I have until the next Sunday night to complete at least 2 out of 3 of them. Whichever one I left behind gets automatically moved to the following week, meaning I only have to think of two new goals.

The beauty of it lies in its simplicity, approachability, and anti-boredom traits. It’s not like I’ll have three goals all related to one thing, encouraging burnout. It’s just three goals (many of them are “one-off” tasks that can be started and finished in one day), not 10. And I’m likely to eventually catch up to any task that has survived multiple weeks of incompletion, because I’ll feel guilty that I’ve neglected it for so long, and maybe both other goals for that week don’t seem palatable anymore.

The rebranding will require some more thought and brainstorming. My next post will outline what my goals were last week, and what came of them.

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January 28, 2017General

Happy Lunar New Year!

I just spent the last half hour playing around with this really neat art program called Hexels, as it was on sale around Christmas time on Humble Bundle.

In case I ever develop a game that has loading times of more than 1 second, here’s what I can use as a spinning wheel graphic:

Maybe I should draw a rooster next.

Evening update: Here’s an isometric rooster.

A Mouse in the House

March 1, 2014General

Working on part 2 of the Intake process made me realize that I had to spend a bit more time on the dreaded process of preparing programmer art. The trackpad just wasn’t cutting it, so I had to dig up this $10 wired USB optical mouse that I hadn’t used since college (and even then, I probably used it twice ever). Certainly gets the job done!

Clickety-clack, down the track!

I quickly noticed that using the scroll wheel on the mouse triggered “natural scrolling,” which feels a bit weird. So I went to my Mouse settings in System Preferences and noticed that I could disable natural scrolling. Awesome, right?

Apparently not–Mavericks seems to automatically change my natural scrolling preference in the Trackpad settings as well, for some inexplicable reason. What’s the point of giving me two separate checkboxes if you’re going to propagate the setting across both of them no matter what?

Luckily, there’s a free app called Scroll Reverser which effectively lets you keep natural scrolling on your trackpad, but disables it on your mouse’s scroll wheel. Thank heavens! Be sure to check it out if you have the same issue.

Short hiatus

February 1, 2014General

First of all, Happy Lunar New Year! I was actually born in the year of the horse, so apparently this is supposed to be an unlucky year or something. I’ll be the judge of that.

Secondly, I haven’t really been spending any time in Unity or reading about how to better use Unity in the past few weeks, as I’ve taken a short break to “develop” this web app called Balderbot.

The idea for it came up at a recent board game night, during which we were all playing this wonderful game called Balderdash (the one with five categories, not just esoteric vocabulary words). It’s essentially a bluffing game not unlike Malarky and Loaded Questions. Here’s how it works in a nutshell. (more…)