Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Meet Nuckles

Just a quick picture post and at that a quick WIP shot of Nuckles.

Nuckles, WIP
More details later ...

nGFX 

Worth stating ? Possibly not.

I read a fantastic quote from AA Gill on the subject of being a critic,

"Can anyone do it? Is everyone's opinion worth the same? No. My opinion is worth more than other people's. Of course that's a horrendously arrogant thing to say, but that is the nature and basis of criticism. If you are sticking your opinions in front of two million readers every Sunday, then you have to believe that your opinion is worth more."

It got me thinking seeing how our little indie world is virtually all based on the critique of complete strangers. By that I don't mean just how well our games are received and arbitrarily ranked with handy little stars, which of course does have a direct effect on our earnings ( We crave those front pages, partly as a pat on the back for a job well done, partly to pay that bill which just came in ), but in the very direction we take our future developments.

Does that sound too strong ? That the influence of I3yRo1dV1rg1n has on us with his "Sucks 0/5" comment is being given too much weight ? If you release a game which you think is like a golden dolphin flying through the night sky, a vision of gaming beauty, and enough people tell you it sucks because it doesn't have a shop, or it's not original enough, or it's too original and they don't get it ( No matter what, the vast majority mean "If I was good enough to create a game myself, and I was making this one, I'm make it much better than you did, and here's how..." ) then are you going to follow a similar path next time ? Are you going to birth that sequel that you kind of planned in at the start because you thought the game was worthy of a sequel, that not all the story had been told ? Worst case scenario, are you going to lose the courage of your convictions and make a game that aims to be popular for the sake of popularity ( Been there, much to my shame ) ?

You could argue ( There are no answers here, just thoughts, so argue away as I'm not taking a particular stance ) that those are our consumers, we make games to entertain and to be played, with the happy side effect of them paying the bills if they hit that front page, and if the people we give our game to say it sucks, maybe it just does. Maybe you're not all knowing just 'cause you made something. Maybe you've got blinkers on because after investing so much time and effort you don't want to stand back and see the Mona Lisa that you created in your head in the cold light of day is just a stick man. Drawn on a toilet wall. In shit.

But going back to the quote that this post hangs on, maybe not all views are equal. Perhaps those 0/10 "Sucks" comments are just as pointless and trite as those 10/10 "Awesome" reviews that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Possibly we should just take on board the reviews that actually help us as developers, the ones which are articulate and well thought out, even if they say that our beautiful Mona Lisa is a bit of a dog, because they explain why.

That someone plays your game is nice, it's rewarding, after all games are meant to be played. It means the game has achieved it's required result, even if the player hates it. That someone cares enough about your game to provide a well thought out response to the experience is absolutely fucking fantastic. It's quite possible the person writing that just likes seeing their own words, that they want to rise above the 0/10 and 10/10 gangs and show that by giving you a sample of their intellect ( Shit, I'm writing this post, as if my words carry any sort of weight about anything ) but it's equally as possible that they cared enough about the game they've just played that they want to show you and in effect help you become a better developer.

I read a great article about anger management the other day, and there's this theory that at times we actively seek confrontation, it's the whole adrenaline and dopamine reward it gives us. Sometimes being pissy just feels good.
I've found I'm very guilty of this. If I see those 0/10 "Sucks" comments, I find it near impossible not to bite. Ok, maybe not those as they're just noise, but give me a little something that has some meat with it's venom and I'm in there. I'm coming at you bitch with all the sarcasm and bile that you accumulate over 39 years.
( Can I just say this unhealthy desire for an angry dopamine hit is only to do with my games, I'm not a mental who goes looking for a fight under every stone. I think it's a combination of loving your baby that you've just put out in the world, and expecting people to piss you off with trite throw away comments that take them less than 30 seconds to write, after you've spent months making the very best work you can. If you know you're going to be annoyed you get in there first, you're ready for it, and attack much quicker than perhaps you should. Sounds awfully like a previous relationship ).

So, where has this rambling path taken me ? Basically I'm going to try and improve my shit filters. Why should I get defensive / aggressive with strangers who aren't best placed too comment on my work. Praise from my peers, people I respect, matters to me. I think it matters to everyone. Critique from people who I don't know whose views are just vacuous and there because it's an available avenue aren't going to get under my skin anymore.
Players who provide constructive feedback are in effect aiding the game post release, as I learn from them, which is what I aspire to do, to learn from people and become better at what I do.

Worth stating ? Possibly not. Possibly so.

Squize.

[In desperate need for a catchy title]

So what am I going to write about today?

I guess my last post is so long ago you must believe I left GYW and let Squize do all the posting. Well, no. I just had nothing to write about, nothing even mildly related to games anyway.

And while Squize wrote all this posts (and awesome games), I wrote … an online picture database. This 'small' project took way, and I really mean WAY longer than I thought. My first guess was 'ok, maybe three month, max four' - lesson learned there. In the end it took a year and changed from a very basic database driven website to schow (and sell) some 40 years worth of black and white press fotos to an ajax driven catalog monster. There is a quite complex backend to handle the images' keywords and background informations, import and upload methods, a product and discount editor and a whole lot more, that makes up a good third of the all-in-all 54,000 lines of code - ok this includes some 9k lines of javascript and a lot of css.

By the way, if you happen to speak German, go have a look at it (otherwise you've just have to click on "Fotosuche":
http://www.krefelder-fotoarchiv.de/

And if you like a hairy leg on a woman, have a look at these "swimsuit models", (And while you're at it consider buying a few prints :) )

Now that I got this out of the system, I can as well add something about why it took so damn long (about 10 month):

1. style and code revisions. As I mentioned earlier this one got bigger than the first idea, this wasn't such a big problem as it was an inhouse project.
2. oh and it was an inhouse project. So adding things, tweaking design and layout caused some rewrites and with no fixed schedule … do I have to say  more?
3. Ajax. Ajax eats time, and imho javascript sucks (even when using  jquery). Until I started to use Aptana Studio each fucking line was a chore (and honestly still is).
4. customers :-), just when I really was deep into the c# code of the backend there was scheduled client work ahead.

Although looking back now I'm quite proud of it.

And now - finally - games.

Right after (and when I really couldn't face serverside anymore) I started working on two games. One's nearly finished: a flash puzzler based on two cute (and cute normally isn't a word I like to use in this context) robots called Nuts and Bolts. The other one is an Unity based gamed re-using an old game idea of mine where you collect items and solve small switch based puzzles to reach the level's exit. It's got quite an unusual control scheme which I hope will bring some mobile/gyro feel to the mouse using gamer (and later be ported to Android without much trouble).

Right, enough text for me, here's a big lot of screenies:
2011_crystalis_00.jpg

2011_crystalis_01.jpg

2011_nb_00.jpg

2011_nb_01.jpg

I'll let these stay uncommented.

And now ... levels for Nuts & Botls

nGFX

FAQ You ( Very Much )

The response to DN8 seems to have exploded, and I've tried to reply to all the comments where I can, but some common questions keep coming up, so I figured I'd try and answer them here.

"is there any possibility of updating it with arrow key or even better WASD controls?"

Nope. Firstly you'd lose a lot of speed, and accuracy. To stop the movement feeling clunky I'd have to ease the ships movement, and I think that would adversely affect the gameplay. Having it as an option would just lead to a lot of people selecting that over the mouse, hating it, and never playing the game again. Sometimes less is more.

"It's too hard / it's too easy."

Not even worth trying to deal with, and I don't mean that nastily. Game balance is never going to be perfect for everyone, the best we can ever hope for is the middle ground. If anything we've made the game easier, the power-ups are always more powerful than you actually need. We want people to complete the game, creating an awesome last level that only a tiny hardcore ever get to see if just pointless.
We could have difficulty levels, but if the easy level still has people struggling ( Which it would ) and others just piss through the hard levels ( Which they would ) then we'd get exactly the same feedback and have spent time adding a feature which isn't really needed.

"My one big problem is that the shield is just too powerful, it really does make the top path worthless."

The shield does help a hell of a lot, get that with the side pods and you're really heavily protected. Conversely, the weapons on the lower path are shooting a lot less bullets than the top path, plus grazing is made harder as the side pods protect you from so many bullets. Again it goes back to balance. The game code is set up so each level can have different attack waves, so in theory I could have tailored baddies to match the player upgrades ( eg, got the shield ? Ok, the baddies are going to fire more bullets to make up for it ), but that's self defeating.
Many shooters give you a really powerful laser, but to balance that and keep the challenge high they just make the baddies take more hits. So in effect you haven't really upgraded, you've just got a different graphic to look at ( A trick is to give the player a kick ass weapon and send some of the lower powered baddies in so you can get a clear sense of how powerful it is ). We've done that to some extent, it's very hard not to, but by keeping the waves the same for every possible branch we've avoided the worst of that ( I think ).

"First but S-U-C-K-S!!!"

Yeah, like your momma. The only difference being my game sucks for free.
( To be fair we've had very few prick comments like that, the feedback on newgrounds especially has been excellent )

"For this being advertised as a "bullet hell", I lose the vast majority of my lives to being rammed."

There have been quite a few "Bullet hell ? Not really" comments. It's all relative kids. Play a "Real" bullet hell game. What's that ? It's too hard and you gave up because bullet hells are only really fun when you're watching them on youTube ? What's that ? You only stuck at it 'cause you paid money for it, and we'll suffer any old crap to get our money's worth and not feel stupid about buying something we don't really like ?
Bullet hell games are niche, I didn't want to make a niche game ( This time ), I wanted to make a casual bullet hell inspired shooter.

"Also once you get the the boss in the third to last level (the one that shoots 3 lasers essentially) you can get extra lives like crazy. I ended the game with 20 some odd lives."

There is a loop hole with grazing. You can really build up the lives really quickly if you're aware of it. As a developer what are my solutions ?
* Change the baddie shooting patterns and hope that no one figures another way around it.
* Cap the max number of lives and then award points instead.
* Leave it.
I opted to leave it, not through laziness, but as part of the reward mechanism. I know, that sounds like I've been caught out with a bug and I'm trying to lie my way out of it. I'm really not. As a player learning how to beat the system is a good feeling. Not just beating the game, but finding a way around what the game designer has done, to break through it, and take advantage of it.
When I've tried my best to make sure as many people as possible can complete the game having a known loop hole to make that even easier isn't the end of the world.
Actually it's not a case of completing the game, or abusing grazing to rack up the lives, the question is did you have fun ? If you had fun even if you made it easier for yourself by having 20 lives queued up, well I've done my job then.

Hmm, still sounds like I'm lying to cover for a bug doesn't it.

"there should have been like a shop so you can buy upgrades"

Fuck off. Honestly, just fuck off with that shop shit.

I think that's most of the common ones ticked off, along with a couple I just wanted to swear about as they annoyed me.

Just to stoke my ego a little, I'm going to link to an excellent review over on the Guidology blog ( Which is a really great blog, well worth having a look around there ), review.

Squize.

An afternoon chat with Ryan

Our friend Ryan of Freelance Flash Games News released a book last year, "Getting your Flash game sponsored". You can guess what it's about, it's not an overly cryptic title.
We were lucky to conduct an interview with Ryan about it and thought it may be an idea to share what was said.

GYFGS_FFG_ad.jpg

Q
: There's a saying that we all have a book in us, why did you decide to write this one ?
The idea for the book came back in December of 2009. I had taken some time off from writing for my site to focus on personal things, but something drew me back to the flash games scene. Maybe it was the cold, maybe I just missed it.
As I began to re-enter into the flash games community, it soon came to my attention through FGL that many developers were having trouble getting their games sponsored. A lot of these developers had quality games too.
I noticed there was information out there to help these developers, but no one had every compiled it together into one, easy-to-understand guide. I had already written a series of articles on helping developers get their games sponsored for my site, so decided I should expand those into a book to help these developers.
Little did I know what I was getting myself into.


Q
: I'm guessing it took more than a weekend to knock out ? How long did it actually take ?

About 9 months: a few months of researching, then a whole lot of writing, with some more researching throughout.


Q
: What's the goal of the book ?

My main goal is to help developers. If I’ve helped a couple newbies get their first sponsorships, and a couple experienced developers make more money, then I’ll consider it a success.
On a more personal note, it’d be nice to sell a couple hundred copies :D


Q
: Here's a nasty question, after a 9 month gestation, would you want to do it again ?

Definitely.
You learn so much by writing a book. I discovered more about the sponsorship process as I delved into the research of the book, but it’s more than that. There are so many things that go into the creation of a book. You’ve got to set up a plan, come up with an outline, research those sections, talk to important people in the industry, write the sections, format it all and then prepare for the release. But out of all that work, comes this creation that you’ve made, and all the people you’ve gotten to know through it.
If anyone reading this ever gets the chance, give writing a book a try. You might be surprised at what you can do.


Q: Bit of a cheeky one, how has the response been so far ?

The response has been pretty good. The book peaked with a lot of attention in the first week from blogs and social media sites, but there are a couple big promotion ideas I’ve got lined up for the future.
Since releasing, I’ve heard a lot from newer developers about how useful the book was in helping them go through the sponsorship process. Experienced developers haven’t had as much to say, but the book is more geared towards beginners and intermediates so that’s to be expected.


Q
: if you had to chance to go back, what would you change ?

I wish I had used a different release page starting out. I had been following a course on how to showcase the best aspects of your book to your readers, and didn’t realize how sleazy it looked until I released the book.
I feel like this put a number of developers on the fence about buying the book, developers that might have really benefited from it. I switched over to a classier sales page that I felt more comfortable with, but unfortunately the damage had already been done.


Q: Last one, what’s in store for you and Freelance Flash Games in the future?

Personally, I’ve got a couple big plans ahead of me. College is the main one. I’m definitely looking forward to that. But there’s also a few business related ideas running around in the back of my head too; we’ll see if they end up materializing or not.
Regarding Freelance Flash Games, I’m looking to keep publishing helpful articles for developers. The book has really increased the visibility of my site, and I’m hoping I can use that to help more developers. I don’t want to reveal too much in case something falls through, but cooperation with some industry notables isn’t out of the question.

I'd like to thank Ryan for such a great interview, and now it's time for the really important bit. "Getting your Flash game sponsored" is available to buy at this link. If you're new to the whole world of sponsorship, either as a new and up coming developer or a jaded agency dev who needs that sweet sweet taste of indie, I can really recommend it. It'll give you a huge head start, and that can never be a bad thing.

Squize.

Why...

...does it only occur to me today that doing some sort of Flash advent calendar for the blog would be a good idea ?

I'll try and plan ahead for next year.

Sorry we've been so quiet recently, so much stuff going on. Word is a big project is going live possibly tomorrow, so expect the usual pimping ( To make up for our silence maybe a mini making of may be interesting, well, more interesting than a "Play this game please, we made it" post ).

Here's a picture of some rain that was just added to Knights Quest today, we call it "Blog filler in the absence of a proper post". Enjoy.

KQ_rain.jpg

Squize.

Go, go, go

This is a post that perhaps I shouldn't be writing. We don't often criticise companies, the web is full of hate spewing faceless idiots as it is without us joining that long list, but something I tweeted about the other day has kinda got under my skin since reading more about it to the point that these words are tumbling out of me.

Atari is re-branding it's self as "Atari Go" ( Yeah this posts title took some thinking of ). The overview is that it's going to push into online social gaming more using it's existing wealth of IP.
This could either be fantastic, a real reinvention of one of gaming's golden greats, or just a tired lazy way to get some investment money.

In an article on the Edge site, Tom Kozik, executive vice president of online and mobile, says the following in relation to clones:

"Now, instead of arming up a cadre of lawyers the smart thing to do is say, "Look, you're fans of our games, let us give you the legitimate version of the game," and then bring those affiliates into the fold by saying, "We'll actually share revenue with you." They've been running that less than optimal, if not [coughs] a little dodgy, version of Asteroids or Missile Command, so why not just run the original one, share in the revenue and still have the same appeal to the fans they want to draw to their site?"
Ok, you may think I've got a vested interest 'cause of cronusX, that I'm seeing this as some sort of attack. Far from it.
Asteroids is a timeless game mechanic, it's a true classic. Launched in 1979 the core gameplay still stands up. What doesn't still stand up is the game itself ( I hope that doesn't seem a contradiction ).
I had a quick google as I was writing this to get the correct date for when it first came out ( I was going to go '81 so good job I checked ) and I stumbled upon the official online version on Atari's site.
A really stunning port, but... it's a pretty shit game. Again I can't stress enough that I'm not contradicting myself, a game mechanic is different from the game itself. I'm sure all of us have played games that we thought had a great idea at their core, but the actual realisation was toilet ( And a lot of the time you have that "I wish I'd thought of that" feeling to go with the disappointment ).

Don't just take my word for it, give it a go.

Pac Man CE and the recent Space Invaders Infinity Gene were excellent reboots, keeping the core gameplay but just updating it to todays expectations. Like I imagine most people my age working in the industry I grew up with Atari as the kings of all they surveyed, they were the Disney of games.
Hopefully Atari will be taking their huge back catalogue and doing something really great with it, something that brings in new fans and reboots these classic games, and not just shove a mochi ad in there and include a Facebook like button.

As a side note to this, I was reading some comments on a gaming website, and the game "Centipede" came up, and one of the people replying said something along the lines of "I think I remember hearing about that". No company can just rely on nostalgia to keep people happy, people who used to force untold 10ps into arcade games and buy the [ Often crap ] ports for their C64's and Spectrums are in their mid 30's now. In terms of online gaming my demographic is largely negligible.
Even though I grew up in that era, those are my games much like for some of you Sonic or Mario or Goldeneye will be your games, I'd much rather play Cyclomaniacs than a port of a 30 year old arcade game, no matter how prefect and technically impressive the port.

<edit I stand slightly corrected, check this >

Squize.

PS. A couple of times it's come about that I've almost worked on Atari projects. That to me would be like being in a Scorsese film, I could think of nothing more childhood fore filling than to work on a game for Atari, any game. That's why I'm so hoping with that existing IP [ To kill for ] they do something really worthy of it, a Tempest 2000 rather than an XBLA version of Asteroids.
PPS. I know I'm being a bit of a prick criticising a company before they've had time to get things moving. I just hope I am shown up to be a prick by this post.

Apparently it's misguided love

Here's something that really badly bugs me. I'm sure I've written about it before, but with so many words written here they blur into one.

I was thinking about writing this post the other day, and in a weird twist of synchronicity ( By default that's always slightly weird though I guess ) I popped over to FlashKit games and there was a post summing up exactly the point of this post, the target of my ire.

What drives me insane on any forum are posts like "I'm doing this game for a client... ...how do I make this game ?".

I'm going to make some assumptions. The majority of these questions are for simple games, there's never anything really hard attached to these questions. So these are people who are of a pretty low ability with Flash.
Continuing with my assumptions, these developers know very little about Flash, and have yet managed to persuade a client to go with them. The client is trusting their brand, no matter how large or small, to this developer.
I'm also guessing these developers don't have a great cv. It's quite a stretch that they've got a ton of previous shiny work, but can't do a fairly simplistic game.

Poor cv, lack of knowledge, and yet still won the gig. How could that happen ? It can only be down to the price they quoted ( Or they're excellent at selling themselves, but let me stay on track for now ).

Why does this bug me ? We live in a world economy, what is a poor wage for me is a decent wage for people in other parts of the world. Why should I care if someone has gone in at the cheapest possible price ?

Because it stops the people with real talent, those with the passion to learn and improve, from possibly getting a first foot on the ladder into the industry. If you take a job that you don't know how to do, and hope to just cobble something together using open source ( With no credit for the original author, naturally ) and the good will of forum members, then I've really got no time for you at all.
There's no skill or artistry or creativity or passion to doing that, and for me all those are essential aspects of being a game developer. You're not making a game, you're just shoving bits together in a poor attempt to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

I know there's lots of ways to shoot down my "argument" here, we all have to start somewhere, it could be a great artist doing his first bit of coding and needing a head start, a rush job, a favour for a friend, needing to pay the vet bills etc. etc.
I don't really care, that's the beauty of having your own blog, you can be as opinionated as you like ( The comments are there to call me an arsehole if you so wish ). Also I'm making a generalisation here, I think 90% of all these types of forum posts I've ever read support my point, as for the other 10%, I'm hoping you understand and we can still be friends. Not lending money friends, but saying hi in the street ones.

We all have to learn on the job, it's insane to think that everyone should know everything before starting a project, but there's a difference from learning on the job the bits your unsure of, and accepting a job that you have no clue whatsoever how to accomplish.
By doing so you are:
* Producing something crap for your client.
* Putting more crap on the internet. There's enough already.
* Keeping prices artificially low.
* Stopping someone whose taken the time and effort to learn their craft from taking the job.

No one I've grouped into my little pile will ever read this blog, but hopefully next time you see a similar post on a forum instead of doing the good thing and helping them out, maybe think about it twice.

Squize.

first post in ages - and a jolly short one too.

I guess you won't remember me (nGFX) as for ages only Squize has done all the posting. Not that I have been lazy, but there hasn't been a single line of interesting code on my side, nor something mildly game related.

I've been coding some large scale foto archive software. To sell our really vast collection of black/white press fotos (180 000 of the 1.5 million negatives should be available in the end) and coding the backend and the frontend (with lots of ajax). Right now last bits and bobs of the user handling needs to be done and there are still a good number of negatives to be scanned (alas, thank fuck I'm not in charge there).

fotoarchiv_00.jpg

Ok, back to something game related at last ...

While Squize is churning out flash games like mad, I've jumped on the Unity train (of course) and been tinkering with it for a while now. I've started with porting the dungeon creation code over to C# and played with dynamic maps, which proved to be working just nicely. In order to get more out of this project I thought it might be helpfull to get deeper into Unity with smaller game.

A remake of one of my games seemed a good idea, I've got the AS2 code to look at and knew how the game should work (and added some minor additions). So here's something I've learned besides the usual "oh damnit" ...

Unity's animation editor is good enough to make things easier, but don't trust it on time critical problems.

The game involves things moving along tracks - so my first idea was to save some code and use animations for that. I wanted to use a container that I can just move from tile to tile and let the "car" move inside it from the start of the tile to the end of it, then an animation event should be fired, telling the engin to move the "car" to the next tile and start the correct animation.

I did a few tests (of course) and it seemed to work, so I did all the animations (straight tracks, junctions, ramps and so on) which roughly saved some 500 lines of code (compared to the flash version) - oh lovely - same game, less code, I was on fire.

Of course it didn't work.

I tested it locally, online in a browser and all went well until I noticed that the timing can get off the track and cause visual glitches. These showed themself as "jumping" car, where the car jumped ahead one tile for a single frame and then continued as intended. This happened every time I started a level - but not always at the same time (hence I didn't see it in my tests).
After a good night of debugging, tracing (or Debug.Log()) I found out what happend.

Unlike flash the "timeline" in Unity doesn't sync visuals and code - and in fact Unity has no "timeline" - point taken, lesson learned :| .
So this happened (and caused the glitch)
1. [engine] sendMessage -> [car] "goto next tile"
2. [car] move to next tile, rewind animation, play it
3. (glitch might occur)
4. [car] sendMessage -> [engine] "done, give me next tile"
...

Because the code isn't tied to the visuals, the code in 2 can be executed, but the visuals from the animation might start on the next frame, hence the container is moved to the next tile, but the animation is still on the last frame (at the and of the track) ...

... I ended up coding the movement in the end ...

Editor scripts can do a lot of damage (or just be utterly helpfull)

In order to get the levels into the game I needed an level editor, but was too lazy to write one - so I decided to dig into editor scripts in Unity, which allow you to do all kind of dangerous things.
I wanted to be able to drag my level into the Unity editor window, grab it and save it to a file (which works just wonderfull). the first big "shit" came when I added a function to clear the level from screen (so I could do a new level) and carelessly allowed "DestroyImmediate" to delete from the asset window (and not checking if the GameObject I want to destroy is a child of my Playground) - oh well.

Anyway, you can easily add you own menu entries, access files or manipulate your current scenes with editor scripts.

And now some screenies ...

Project Hellstrom

hellstrom_00.jpg
The ponytailed lady is just my scaler model, in the end I guess it'll be 1st person.
Right now you can walk around a dynamic generated map (with temp mapping) - A LOT of work left to do.


ToyGame - the game without a name yet

toygame_00.jpg
Inside Unity's editor, the first level in progress ...

toygame_01.jpg
Playing level 1, just crashed 2 toys ...

And with this I descent back into the hell that is js/css and html ...

nGFX





HTML5 vs Flash, Apple vs Adobe

We've been avoiding this subject, but it feels like the law that every blog even vaguely connected with any of those subjects has to express an opinion about it, they're like arseholes don't you know.

Here's mine ( Opinion that is ).

As of 5th of Feb this year, 10801 animals are on the endangered species list ( Source: http://www.earthsendangered.com/list.asp ).

An iPad is $499 at cheapest. For that you could,

Sponsor a Polar Bear for 108 months.
Sponsor a Panda for 108 months.
Sponsor a Dolphin for 108 months.
Sponsor 6 and a half acres of Rain forest forever.
Sponsor a guide dog for 65 months.

If the lack of Flash support on the iPad concerns you that much that it's stopping you buying one, there's some ideas where that cash could go instead. Think how much help that could be, and I've only touched on environmental related issues, you could be helping starving children or bringing the cure for cancer closer to being a reality.

Of course I'm just being a bit of a dick to emphasis my point, i.e it doesn't really matter at all. Apple shutting the door on the CS5 exporter is a blow, a lot of very talented and hardworking people at Adobe have had a collective kick in the bollocks. Will bleating about it make any difference ? Will picking holes in an open letter from Steve Jobs do anything more that give you a slight moral victory ?

So to recap, a platform holder can do whatever they like with their own platform.
It's peoples right to be able to voice their opinion, whether pro or con, and as consumers we can all vote with our wallets, that's the single best way to encourage change to a consumer product.

Of course if you never had any intention to buy an Apple device but are still shouting from the roof tops about the evil empire, well, good luck with that.

Right, onto html5 ( In a rather disinterested way, but if we're being topical then let's cover it all ). It's the future all right. It's not now though is it ? Personally I don't really care what I use, it's the end results that matter. I'm fairly certain that any end user is totally the same.

Touching back on the whole Flash thing for a second ( It's all loosely connected kinda ), how many people outside of our industry really care ? It's not exactly news, but Google conducted a bit of research last year asking people what a web browser is. Only 8% knew. People don't give a crap what they're using, they don't care if it's IE6 or Flash Player 10.1. They only care if something doesn't work, but any good webpage should help them along with the missing plug-in ( Unless of course that device doesn't support the plug-in, boo Apple, boo ).

Time to finish off. Apple won't be running Flash on their mobile devices unless it adversely affects sales or Adobe can remove all the possible opposition Apple have to it. The vast majority of people don't care / understand so aren't up in arms. html5 may well be the future, but that's a ways off yet, right now it's not really very good. A lot of people who are promoting it don't like Flash and are over the moon that they have Apple in their corner all of a sudden. As developers we'll go where the work is. In the grand scheme of things, none of this really matters, and it would be nice to think that it will all go away soon. It won't.

Promise this is the last time I touch on any of these subjects on here, as it's as boring for me writing about it as it is for you reading it.

Squize.