PIGSquad! Portland Indie Game Squad

I was fortunate to attend my first PIGSquad meeting. This event was filled with developers, artists, gamers and interested folk. I was able to learn a lot about this outstanding independent game scene in Portland.

Despite my admittedly horrible game concept that I shared with a select few, I got some good support from some people I had just met. This demonstrates to me a wonderfully open and resourceful community of game makers who are willing and able to be supportive of even the dumbest of ideas presented.

I had my video camera with me to capture some of the feel and excitement of the PIGSquad meeting.

A lot of people at this PIGSquad meeting used Unity to help produce games. I saw some space shooter game that this guy cranked out in like a week using Unity and free open source graphics. I was impressed.. although I wasn’t a fan of how the guns shot.

I saw a lot of people with pens and paper and that’s kind of the way I like to work when it comes to developing stuff. I was sort of drawn to flashing lights though.

Mimic was one multiplayer game that I totally destroyed someone I was playing against. It’s sort of hard to explain but basically your character that you are playing comes back from the past as a clone and plays for you in the future if that makes any sense. It makes for some awesome strategy when it comes to playing against someone.

I talked with someone that helped release a game called Starship Rubicon, it’s a pretty awesome looking game too that seems to combine some of my favorite aspects of games, shooting and strategy.

For the next PIGSquad meeting, I hope to have a working prototype of my dumb game and perhaps a couple of awesome ideas for it.

Two Kates – web series

Two Kates is a web series written and directed by by Zach Schultz and starring Kate Knappett and Kate Knappett.
A comedic and dramatic look at isolation, depression and anxiety, “Two Kates” follows an agoraphobic woman (Kate) after she has recently had a clone made of herself in order to keep herself company and to be more productive in her online business. Struggling with obstacles both internal and external, the Kates attempt to care for each other as best they can, helping to guide one another through a world that makes them both very, very uncomfortable.

“Two Kates” is a 7-part monthly web series that can be seen for free at TwoKatesShow.com, with each episode also airing on Portland’s local community-access television stations.

After watching the first episode, I have to say it exceeds my expectations and left me wanting more.
Watch the first and future episodes here…

I had a chance to talk with the creator and star of Two Kates

Initially I saw a video Zach put up on indiegogo after watching that video I was sold on this project. The show is well produced and obviously Zach, Kate and everyone involved have dedicated a lot of time and energy to make this happen.

Currently the Facebook page for Two Kates has 82 followers as I write this. The show has just been released, I would imagine that number to grow as more episodes follow. It intrigues me to think about how difficult it is to produce anything and to grow a large audience for it. Right now I feel somewhat elite in knowing that this show has just been released. I’m looking forward to following the growth of this show and the audience along with it.

I’m guessing that it won’t be long before Netflix or Hulu comes along and start giving creators like Zach decent budgets to run with.

Don’t forget to check out the first episode and like the Facebook page

Play Pause Movie Theater

Play Pause Movie Theater

Going to the movie theater costs more now than ever before. Shouldn’t you be able to see every second of the movie you pay for?

The solution is to have the theater set up more like home  and simply providing each member of the audience the ability to pause the movie when needed, this would allow audience members not to miss a second of their favorite films. With a theater like this even those with the smallest of bladders won’t be afraid to go out to the movies any more.

Each seat in this revolutionary theater would be equipped with some simple controls that would allow the viewer to pause the movie when they might need to.

When a viewer needs to go to the bathroom for instance, they would simply hit the pause button on their armrest then proceed to the bathroom. When they return to their seat, by pushing the “resume” or “play” button, the movie will continue right where it had left off.

In order for the movie to play, every seat must be in “Play” mode. This give everyone an opportunity to freely go about important business that may otherwise disrupt the movie.

For epically long movies like the Hobbit this type of theater is a must.

Nature calling will no longer be an issue for such long movies, hitting the pause button will give you what ever amount of time you might need to carry out your business.

If you are hungry and need some healthy snacks from the concession booth, pause the movie, get some snacks and return to continue the movie right where you left.

I know at home it’s nice to pause the movie to fact check things pertaining to the movie, so now you will have time to do such tasks.

With a theater like this it really puts the audience in control. When you pay top dollar for a movie experience you shouldn’t have to miss the movie just because you have a tiny bladder or have important phone calls coming in.

You are probably wondering what might happen if the movie is paused and you are part of the audience who doesn’t need to go to the bathroom or get a snack or whatever…

Well, in addition to pausing the movie the remaining audience members in the theater would be shown a variety of consumer opportunities until the movie resumed again. It’s really win win.


Wristband Print Press

After meeting with David Butts from Mad Dog Garage. I was inspired to develop something with working gears, my initial idea was to build a wristband fidget device. Since wristband watches seem to be more of an accessory items, I figured a device on the wrist doesn’t really need to tell time. A wristband watch is kind of a stylish way to stay connected to the past really.

While rethinking the purpose of a wristband device, I thought it might be interesting to have a small printing press that would print out something simple like a small strip of paper with your name and phone number on it. Business cards are also not totally necessary anymore so anyone who has them must be important. With this printing press you will be able to quadrupally impress someone by having your own business card, wristband watch type device, your own printing press and the simple fact that you can demonstrate you know how to be stylish and practical.

The simple device would be fed a piece of paper where it would then be trimmed and printed on with a few turns of a wheel.

Printing presses are quite impressive.

It will be a lot of work but with this idea, I’m going to try to make some prototypes and perhaps get a kickstarter going for it in order make this idea more of a reality.

Joe Keatinge Conversations

I had the pleasure to talk with Joe Keatinge as we explored some fun parts of Portland together. Joe is a comic book writer and editor.
Check out what he’s up to at http://joekeatinge.tumblr.com/
Follow him on twitter @joekeatinge
If you are at Emerald City Comiccon this weekend you can follow him around in person!

click here to watch videos on youtube–


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Mark Saltveit Conversations

I had the awesome pleasure of talking with writer, comedian and World Palindrome Champion Mark Saltveit. We walked through NW Portland on a very nice day.

click here to see video on youtube–

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Learn more about Mark and see what he does by clicking on some of these links.
www.palindromist.org (The Palindromist Magazine)
www.realchange.org (the Skeleton Closet presidential scandal site)

Ping Pong Ball Shirt.

My brother has been playing in a ping pong league. The other day he mentioned that all the different teams have different shirt colors. His teams colors are brown. It made the think that the team with the most messed up colors or crazy patterns might have a slight advantage over the opponents.
That’s when I thought that a shirt covered in a variety of different shaped white circles would not only be stylish but might also be rather useful against tough competition. Certain times opponents might be confused and lose focus on the white ball as it gets lost against the backdrop of your awesome shirt. I realized that this same concept might be applied to a variety of other sports.
Imagine watching Serena Williams playing a match in a beautiful outfit covered with wonderful green tennis ball pattern. Perhaps she might want to sport a hat with a number of tennis balls dangling off of it at different lengths.

I’m guessing that just a high contrasty shirt might do the trick of confusing your opponent too. Much like this optical illusion below.

Good luck trying to score while staring at that image.

Of course access to a fancy clothing design might not always be an option. In sports like basketball, baseball or golf, a constant high pitch screaming at your opposing team might work equally as well, if not better.