As is my MO, I tend to post things in bursts.  The reasons behind this initial blast of radio silence were myriad: Game ON!, a new Mac and other assorted minutiae.

For four glorious days, I attended the Game ON! convention in Issaquah, WA. This small convention held outside of Seattle is a comfortable and accessible convention. I was able to play four excellent games over the course of the weekend: Talon, Gaia Project, Fire in the Lake and Here I Stand… quite a range of topics and styles. In addition to meeting some new people, I was also able to reconnect with quite a few Band of Gamers alumni over beers and conversation.

While I had plans to play Steel & Steam, it did not come to pass. However, I was able to display the game and explain it to people and they seemed keen on the game. So much so that positive word of mouth about the game has been circulating among various circles, gaming groups and publishers alike. While my primary plan is to continue to expand my knowledge of game publication and self-publish if need be, I am not closing the door on the possibility to publish through an established publisher.

When I got home, I bought a new MacBook Pro. My current laptop is chugging along just fine, but the internal storage space is limited. My new laptop has 1TB of SSD inside, more than enough to handle all of my current projects, as well as a video / YouTube project that I have on the backburner.

It took me about three days to get all of my applications, project data, settings, fonts and the like moved over onto the new system. So far, I love the new system. I forgot how much I liked the 15″ screen. The only drawback is the exclusive use of USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 port on this system. All of my other peripherals, including my Canon printer, are off-line until I get a docking station and a TBolt 2 to TBolt 3 conversion cable.

Other, less amusing, infrastructure items include buying a Mac Mini for Claire as her PC decided to kill itself. All ports seem dead: SATA, IDE, etc. I suspect a motherboard problem. So, instead of supporting that lone Windows 10 system, I’m replacing it with a Mac Mini. The upside is that the Mini still supports all of the current ports, so I might simply connect some of the peripherals to her system and share files across the network. This weekend, I take screwdriver in hand and salvage her hard drives and files.

On the TOCS front, Paul and I have begun knowledge sharing.  Up to this point, there was more than enough work to simply work within our own ecosystems and share results. Moving forward, we’ve begun sharing the tools we use in order to pool our time and efforts and regain some focus. To that end, we’ve been installing my development ecosystem (toolchains etc.) on his laptop.

On my side, I’ve given him access to my Canvas project of graphics generation scripts. However, most of that code was minimally commented / documented. To fix that knowledge gap, and to improve the validity of the code, I’ve been relying on a tool called yard, for “Yay! Another Ruby Documentation Tool”. This tool generates HTML documentation based on the contents of the Ruby scripts that you include in the documentation set. It’s very useful and the results are quite good. For the past few days, I’ve been nose to the grindstone adding documentation, and updating APIs which needed some tweaking while I’ve been in the code. It’s not as boring as I thought it would be. It feels like my homegrown tools are getting a nice layer of polish on them. This added professionalism will hopefully migrate to other efforts and bear fruit in the long term.