An Introduction to HaxeFlixel with HTML5: London Haxe Meetup 2017 talk slides

You can find the slides in here.

Our own icons 8

I’m a bit shocked on how many people think that today’s world is incapable of producing their own icons, given the amount of recent celebrity death news.

I think this may be related to the amount and quality (specifically production values) of the media we’re exposed to. It’s great we have this quality around, but I believe this creates at the same time an implicit message that you may not ever be able to reach that quality, no matter how much you do. And don’t even think about it if you don’t make it your main trade.

However, I believe in the entertainment oriented to the people that are physically and emotionally close to you. From that point of view, we have in our society hundreds of entertainers that with their talent and charisma are able to touch us beyond what a TV celebrity might reach. If you allow it so. Big screen celebrities will keep existing, but they are not able to dictate your immediate environment, nor your future.

In short: don’t justify yourself with crappy music or bad shows as an excuse to say that yesterday’s things were so much better. Don’t age prematurely.

Short posts: Time to go back to blogging?

After 8 years writing short messages on Twitter, I’ve noticed something. It’s not a sudden observation, but rather an accumulation of these years. Maybe what I’m noticing is tiredness. I love Twitter to share information, and with Reddit and other websites these are my link sources; I like also to share back what I read. However, I see that it’s tiring to use Twitter to discuss and create a community.

I’ve always compared my timeline (that comprises more than 2000 accounts) as trying to drink from a fire hose. It’s not in my interest to have a carefully curated timeline, but rather a fountain of serendipity. But this goes against talking to, you know, real people.

I usually encourage anyone, with whom I don’t have a previous relationship and that writes me through a DM or a Facebook chat, to write me to my email (ciro.duran@gmail.com, just so you know). Email as a way to communicate that I can read when I want, with no notifications, with the length I want, and with no restrictions beyond my available time, is still for me the best way to communicate between peers (group conversations are another subject, much more complex). I like to read your email, and I like to answer you, though I confess that sometimes I don’t do it, rather because of distractions (and real life priorities) than because of malice.

On the other hand, Twitter restrictions impede expressing about things that are larger than an SMS. This already happened when we moved from SMSs to mobile instant messaging (i.e. iMessage or Whatsapp). But the perspective of Twitter increasing their limits to 10k characters is ridiculous to me; it’s a huge bait and switch, and Twitter passed that no return point a long time ago. It would change its nature to something completely new, and I’m not sure I’d like it.

I like to keep my writings as mine. If I write on Twitter or in Facebook is because I value more being able to communicate to other people rather than keeping what I write. But companies rise and fall, as it has happened before (e.g. Geocities). And what you write might be in danger of going away with the company. With that in mind, I prefer to make myself responsible of taking care of my writings and have the capacity to copy them and store them where I want to, with data formats that make it easy, and not hidden inside some configuration screen.

Having said this, I’d like to store my impressions in a much more trustworthy place. And then figure out how to communicate it to other people. This is the first writing.

New games and reorganising the list 18

I finally uploaded here Blame Clotilde!, a game made in past August together with Héctor Vargas, ¡it was a great experience! I also seized the moment to upload several game I’ve done throughout several game jams, so they now have their own place.

Dancing Cubes, a voxel art tool

Dancing Cubes, a voxel art tool

DancingCubes_v0.1

May I present you the first release of Dancing Cubes, a tool for making voxel art, available for Windows. With the tool the artist may build models to make tiles in 2.5D or models with voxel art, using basic constructions blocks. It’s available in itch.io, where you will be able to download it.

The tool is based in the prototyping challenge proposed by Daniel Cook in his blog [Lost Garden](http://www.lostgarden.com/2013/10/prototyping-challenge-3d-modeling-tool.html).
The program still has many rough edges, but I appreciate your feedback. Especially if you have used similar programs.

Here’s a quick timelapse on how to make a model inside the program:

(Español) Abiertas las inscripciones del Caracas Game Jam 2014 4

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

An important announcement 1

An important announcement

I have something important to say today. I believe it is important to share it with all the followers of my work.

I accepted an offer to study a Master in computer games programming at the United Kingdom, with a year of duration. As you’re reading this text, we will have travelled and I will have started the course. I’m studying this course at Goldsmiths College, a university that has a long tradition in arts, something that attracts me a great deal. Although, the master itself is strongly oriented to programming. One of the teachers of the course has worked for over 30 years in the field, and in its most recent curriculum works with the compilers in Sony.

These last months have been for me a terrible pressure. Emigrating is not only a test that consists in completing all requisites and you’re done. It is a psychological test that strains your spirit and those of who surround you. Thank you, thank you, really, to all the family and friends that have supported us in this tough process.

The moment the thinking of leaving to somewhere unknown settles in your mind, that solid floor you sed to have disappears, and you enter in a freefall: what you knew stops making sense, and you must complete a series of sequencial steps so your life can continue. And in the meantime these steps are completed you must wait, and that threatens your mental health.

I do still think that Venezuela has an impressive talent in matters of videogame development. Moreover, I think it develops despite the things that happen around that affect or minimize their importance. As you know, the Caracas Game Jam 2014 will be done and will be bigger than 2013. El Chigüire Literario will continue publishing articles and tutorials in Spanish. My site, www.ciroduran.com, will have articles in both languages. It is necesary that you developers stand out with your work, and keep talking between you.

At some moment several of you made to yourselves the same question: “am I the only videogame developer in Venezuela?”. I think that’s a stage you have already overcomed, and the next question should be: “what can we do together?”. I have seen the results from the game jam, and other initiatives I’ve seen around. From this side of the screen, I offer all the support you need to spread your work.

Thank you for reading me, following me, and supporting me. I hope you still do it.

gracias

Some news on Caracas Game Jam 12

Some news on Caracas Game Jam

ggj2014

When the Global Game Jam did its first call in 2008, I really had no idea if it was possible to host a game jam in Caracas. I knew the concept of a game jam through TIGSource, but I didn’t know what did it take to do it, or if I even had the tools to do it. It was thanks to Yole, my wife, and the collaboration of many people, including participants, during 5 years, that the Caracas Game Jam has become the success it is now, creating a community of game developers that surprises many people, even us.

At the same time, I have also been involving myself more into the Global Game Jam. It excites me that the GGJ is an event organized by lots of volunteers from all parts of the world, and that’s why I collaborated last year with the organizers to coordinate Spanish-speaking locations in Latin America. It was a very enriching experience, where I talked to lots of people that, like me, also want to host a game jam in their city, and have their own motivations and ideas to propose.

Having said that, this year the event organizers have extended the invitation for me to be part of the Global Game Jam 2014 Executive Committee. The Executive Commitee is in charge of running the event, from coordinating locations to decide the theme, including the website maintenance and the search for sponsors for the global event. This is a voluntary position that I gladly accepted and I hope to collaborate with the participating locations from this corner of the world. We have done several meetings since some weeks ago, and I can tell you there are marvelous things coming to the event.

The work has already started, and by September we will make the call for new locations sign-up. Due to the position I’m taking, the organization of the Caracas Game Jam won’t be completely on me and Yole, but by collaborators that have worked long-time in the event, and in which I have complete trust in their good work. I will bring you news about the Caracas Game Jam very soon.

Interview (in Spanish) at Todo en Domingo July 2013 issue

Click to download the article (PDF, 3MB)

Click to download the article (PDF, 3MB)

This is a story that got published in the Todo en Domingo magazine, a country-wide circulation inside the El Nacional newspaper, about game development in Venezuela. This story includes interviews with José Rafael Marcano, the La Cosa Entertainment team (winners of the 2012 Square-Enix gamedev contest), 4Geeks, and myself. Click on the image above to download the PDF. Thanks to Daniela Dávila for the conversation.

New game: Voting Day

Click on the image to play Voting Day

Click on the image to go play Voting Day

May I present you a new game this week. It’s called Voting Day and it’s my contribution to encourage all Venezuelans to go vote on next April 14th. The game is based in the old Game&Watch series of games, so the way to play is simple. Share it with your friends. For web browsers in desktops, cell phones and tablets.

Credits

Design and programming: Ciro Durán.
Graphics: Alexander Hass (@Gagz9k) and Ciro Durán.
Thanks to: Yole Quintero, Julián Rojas Millán and Saúl González.