Child’s Play, Ümloud! & Anitdote

A few quick items of what’s been going on in my life and what’s to come.

Child’s Play, Ümloud!, PAX East Panels

For PAX East 2011, I reprised my role in the Child’s Play Charity panel. This time it was extra special as Kristin revealed the first full-time hire for Child’s Play, Jamie Dillion! You can see her interview process on PATV (Part 1, Part 2). Her roll with Child’s Play is to help expand upon the org and deal with community fundraiser people like me. I’m really excited about working with Jamie and see a lot of cool and awesome things in the future for Child’s Play.

For the panel, I wrote this document as an extended outline for the panel. It will soon be expanded upon and made into a Child’s Play publication with a lot more info soon.

Antidote

The other panel I was on was AJ’s “The Sorting Workshop”. It started out with a game “preview” in which attendees had to write about the game for 10 minutes. From there, the other panelest would read the writings and comment with notes on how to write for journalism, marketing, pr, etc. AJ asked me to be the dev to preview a game. She was expecting something of MSPaint quality — Something with little effort to use. Instead, I used a live-action video game called Antidote. 😉

This got me thinking that I should release the thing, though I am nervous about it. I’ll just go out and say that this isn’t a good game to play and I don’t plan on fixing it. I don’t worry about people trashing it in reviews, but I worry a little that people think I’ve at that level with the art form when I’ve grown well beyond that in the years. So the website’s going to have notable disclaimer setting the exceptions low and pointing them to better games I’ve worked on like Puzzle Agent.

On the tech side, I was glad to see that the Mac build was able to run on an Intel based Mac. This is especially key as the version of Director that I used was before the Intel business and thus a PowerPC executable. The saving grace is the Rosetta layer on Mac OS X. It’s technically an optional install with a “just-in-time” download and install when the user first runs a PowerPC executable. However, Rosetta will be removed from Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”, so the time is now to release the thing. For the curious, it would cost me $300+ to get a version of Director to make the Intel version — which I don’t plan to spend.

The Windows version runs without problems on Win7. I did remake an installer last night using Inno Setup so the install process flows better. There is the requirement of having Quicktime installed, but if you have iTunes you have it. I also have the Mac installer redone, but still need to make the DMG background for it. From there, I’m going to clean up the website and make it pretty. I’ll be using Amazon S3 to distribute the builds as straight downloads and Bittorent. The download is big at 240-260mb, but bandwidth is much cheaper these days than five years ago.

I plan to get everything ready and released by the end of April, if not sooner.

Ümloud! Worked!

To say Ümloud! was a huge success is an understatement!

In 8 weeks we rebranded, filed as a non-profit, and made a successful event for our first year. $7000+ to Child’s Play successful. We certainly learned a few lessons this year which we’ll implement along with our ‘for next year’ list. Right now I’m compiling my thoughts, specifically for a panel I’ll be moderating for PAX-East this year.

Oh, it looks like I’ll be talking with Chris and others at PAX-East this year in March. While PAX will always be in Seattle around Labor Day, a second one for the East Coast in Boston is happening. I’m gathering up other panelists from other events and Child’s Play itself. The direction I plan to take is illustrate the ’empty box’ of doing a fundraiser, rather than listing specifics of any particular event. I hope to inspire others to do events with their own flavor, rather than copy/paste existing events.

For me, this is about how and why to file for non-profit status on our own. We wanted to do a local event, enlist sponsors, get a venue, and spend money on an event. We were ‘touching’ the money. We had to be a non-profit ourselves for our protection and the ability for donators/sponsors to count their contributions as charitable. It’s been a process, let me tell you! But most of it is start-up stress which will be much easier next year.

For the Internet based fundraisers like the wildly successful Desert Bus for Hope, the money earned went to a Chip-in button directly to CP. Sponsors (to my knowledge) donated mostly physical objects, so there wasn’t money taken in by the operators. Thus the operators were protected as they never ‘touched’ the donated money.

In addition to getting back to using this blog, I’ll be covering my process on creating this panel in the next few weeks. It will be mostly me and Chris developing the Ümloud! (a local event) section.

If you’re in the Boston area March , I highly recommend you come to PAX-East! The full 3-day pass is $45 if you order by Dec 31st. $55 after that, but there’s a cap at the amount sold.

Hope you all had an awesome holiday! Have a safe and fun New Years!

Fünde Razor is On!

Last Tuesday, Chris Kohler and I signed the venue contract, so it’s really official now:

Fünde Razor Logo

Wed. December 9th, 2009
7pm – 2am

San Francisco: DNA Lounge
NYC, Denver, Austin, & Portland: TBA

The other cities haven’t reported in with an official date/venue yet, but they will happen. In the next few months we’ll have plenty of information about the event, but if you’re in the SF bay area, mark your calendars now!

Working on Fünde Razor

Seg Rocking Out at Fünde Razor SF 2008

I would like to publicly announce that I am working on Fünde Razor, a charity event for Child’s Play Charity. Specifically, I am the event planner for the San Francisco event in December. While I don’t have too much to announce yet, I’ll go into a little background about what the charity event is for and my my role is.

Background

Child’s Play Charity is a foundation created by Penny Arcade to provide video games, toys, and other financial support for children’s hospitals around the globe. The Child’s Play website can tell you more in detail about what they do.

Fünde Razor was founded by Joel Johnson (currently the editor of Boing Boing Gadgets) started Fünde Razor in NYC where Rock Band is played to raise funds and awareness for Child’s Play. Last year the event was in three cities: NYC, Denver, and San Francisco. The other cities run by other bloggers like Brian Crecente (Kotaku), Gawker Media, and Chris Kohler (Wired Game|Life). The idea is to have a nationwide event where all cities have the events on the same night. More cities and more people are involved, but I’ll wait for Joel to make that announcement.

The overall purpose of Fünde Razor is to raise awareness for Child’s Play. Come to the events if you can, but if you can’t, consider donating directly to Child’s Play. This makes the judgement of success less about the returns of the one night, but the overall fundraising goals of Child’s Play.

My Involvement

I attended the San Francisco event last December and as you can see from these photos, it was a great time with a lot of people for the 150 capacity at Shine. It was a fun time, but with a media push on the day of the event, I know that the SF event can hold a much larger audience with some additional planning. I decided to get back to the family “business”* and get back into fundraising.

Continue reading Working on Fünde Razor