For most of my career, I’ve been an individual contributor: focused on the tasks at hand, writing code, among other things. All of that changed about six years ago. I found myself managing products, releases, infrastructure, and making many software decisions. As a result, I was promoted to “Lead Software Engineer.” Other developers were looking to me for answers, and I was involved with high-level decisions for products and features, so it seemed like a natural progression. However, I was ill-prepared for what it takes to be a lead engineer.Continue reading
Jamestown, released back in 2011, falls under the “shmup” (Shoot em’ Up) category. It is a top-down shooter hearkening to the days of Galaxians set in a “17th century” British colonial Mars. This is one of the first games that Sam and I played cooperatively.Continue reading
Remember that old “Snake” game you had on your blue Nokia phone brick from the turn of the century? “Snakebird: Primer” is that game with inventive puzzles mixed in. It is a “sequel” to “Snakebird” with a relaxed feel and simpler puzzles for the more casual player or younger kids.Continue reading
This is the first entry in a series entitled “Games with Sam” in which I review games from the context of playing with a pre-school-aged child. We will explore his reactions to the game as well as develop skills that are gained from the experience.
“Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King” is a 2D top-down-view adventure game that harkens to the days of Zelda. Every component is an homage to Zelda few other games can not espouse. Opening with another homage to “The Princess Bride”, a brother and sister are being told the story of “The Sleeping King” by their grandfather. This presents a fascinating technique of story-telling where some parts of the story are “customized” by the choices of the brother or sister or, sometimes, by you playing a mediator between the two. You explore an over-world of Blossom referred to Hyrule all but in name. There are humorous tongue-in-cheek references sprinkled throughout the game to give the adult in the room a chuckle for the recognition and the child a chuckle from proximity. Finding items, exploring dungeons, solving puzzles, and defeating bosses offer a nice harmony of action, exploration, and problem-solving to youthful and hungry minds.Continue reading