Monday, 18 August 2014

Making a lot of small free to play games for mobile

Mobile games seem to be getting simpler and simpler. It makes sense, people don't play the game for very long and most of them are used as a distraction. 

What if, you made a lot of free to play games that took about 20-30 minutes to beat? It's free so most people won't care about the price and you get your app out the door. If you have links to your websites and links to more games, people will come back for more. 

On top of this your total app store download count goes up with every free game released. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

No matter who you are, start a blog if you want to improve

If you want to improve something, anything you should start blogging.

There are so many disciplines that benefit from blogging. Creative disciplines can greatly be improved. When you blog, you create something. If you blog everyday, you create something everyday. Creating something everyday is key to improving.

Back when I was a guitar teacher I told students to practice 15 minutes a day everyday. It was better than playing 30 minutes every other day. The students that practiced everyday got better. It is a very simple and effective way to get better.

If you blog everyday and producing something it can help you get better. The more your produce the better you get. Actually, the improvement happens in between projects. What happens is that you produce something and then you figure out what you can do better. The more you do this process the better you get at whatever you want to do.

If you want to become a creative writer then write a paragraph everyday
If you want to become a good illustrator then draw everyday
Want to learn how to use Photoshop then produce something everyday
Want to learn Illustrator then draw something everyday
If you want to get better at photography the take a picture and upload it everyday
If you want to make games, then make a small game everyday
If you want to make websites, make a small website everyday

There is another benefit to blogging everyday. You get in the habit of getting things done. This is something I had to learn and it was hard. I one summer in University I spent 12 hours creating. All day everyday. This lead to my first entrepreneurial product: 17 educational books.

After that I was ready and able to create more. If you want to create spend your entire day creating. You especially need to do this if want to do it for a living.

How do create a blog? Simply go do and create a blog. It takes about 10 minutes to setup. After that star blogging an blog away!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Why write so many essays in school?

Most students write a lot of essays in high school. The only reason is that the government wants you to so they force it on you. It makes sense. You have to write a few pages and defend an argument. Writing essays is a great way to improve your writing.

The only problem is that you will most likely never write essays again after school. A while back on this blog I talked about how students can write blogs instead. The more a student writes the better (more on this later).

One other activity students can do is write sales copies. Email marketing is a lucrative field. I do it almost every day. Writing essays is another area where school hasn't caught up with reality. In reality, you could be training students to be effective members of the 21st century. To do that you have to select the practices of the past which are obsolete and discard them.

A great exercise would be to ask students to pick a product and write an email trying to sell it. It works out an entirely different part of writing and is really under utilized. With anything creative all you have to do is do a lot of it and you get better. It sounds contradictory but the more you produce regardless of quality the better you get.

The other activity that should be encouraged is to write a blog. This is the best way to get students to write. They can write about anything they want to. It would be very easy to mark this. The more blog posts and the more words the higher the mark. There has to be a few rules to this but essentially this is how it works.

You can even ask students to put their work into the Hemingway app. I will be doing that with this blog post.

The debate about writing specific content and reading specific content revolves around the quality. Well in the 1940s, there was a similar debate about comic books. The consensus was that if a person is reading then it is better than causing trouble or other non intelligent activities. Today a lot of teachers still scold kids to not read graphic novels. Who cares, they are reading.

The same thing happens with writing. All you have to do is give people a forum in which they find interesting and they will do more of that activity.

Writing essays is great but there is room for improvement. Instead of writing 100% essays that students hate, write something more interesting. Since this is an international blog. I am sure people from Europe are confused with this post. In North America, the school system is set with an 19th century attitude.

Simple adjustments can have a profound effect.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

There are too many games and there will be way too many games in the future

If you haven't checked out this episode from extra credits, go watch it.

It's a good episode. The episode tries to ask the question "are people really getting mad because there are too many games?". A very good solution is presented and that solution is better match making. It makes sense that people want to play a game that they are in the mood for and to have software match it up. It fails to take into the account this problem:

Saturation is the bane of content production. 

 I always say look at where the music industry is today and that's what the game will become. Sure there are stars making millions but there are many people not making any money at all. If you want to produce album ready music you can spend about 500 dollars for the software needed.

While games are expensive to produce the cost is going down and when the cost goes down the quality dips as well.

This isn't bad it's just the way it is.

Sure there will be a few people who make money on their computers in their home. It will be great for some but for many it will be a shock. It will be a shock for people who are used to a game having X features and X budget and to have this game not do well.

Music matching like the game matching above has been around for a while. The biggest problem is that if you want to listen to AC/DC you don't want to listen to a band that sounds like AC/DC you want to listen to guns and roses.

This will work a little differnt for games. But nobody is going to want to play a clone of Candy Crush.

The best bet is have a blog that recommends good games.If you are a game developer get ready for this explosion of games. There are 33 million books on amazon and 14 million songs on iTunes. How many games will there be on the app store in 5 years?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

When I learn online I feel like I have a huge advantage over everybody else

Lot's of people want to learn the traditional way. They want to physically go to a classroom hear somebody speak, do the homework ask questions etc.

Learning from your own home on your own time is so much more efficient. I try to learn something new on a daily basis and I only learn online. Why move your body anywhere to exercise your mind?

Not only are the tools of better quality, it is simply more efficient. If you have ever learned by watching a video, you can actually speed up the video to 1.5 times the speed. Once you do this you can never go back to videos in normal time. It just isn't worth the time.

Online learning is for people who simply want to get from A to B as quickly as possible. It trims all of the excess baggage when it comes to learning and just focuses on the content.