047 iPhreaks Show - Game Development with Giant Spacekat of Revolution 60 with Brianna Wu, Amanda Stenquist Warner, and Maria Enderton

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The panelists talk about game development with Brianna Wu, Amanda Stenquist Warner, and Maria Enderton of Giant Spacekat of Revolution 60.


PETE: Dude, can you clean out the sink when you're done? CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 47 of the iPhreaks Show. This week on our panel we have Ben Scheirman. BEN: Hello from warm and nice weather, Houston. CHUCK: Andrew Madsen. ANDREW: Hi, from Salt Lake City. CHUCK: Jaim Zuber. JAIM: I just flew up from the gulf coast of Florida. Boy, are my arms tired. CHUCK: Pete Hodgson. PETE: That was terrible, terrible. Hello from sunny Berkeley. CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv and this week we have a few special guests. We have Brianna Wu. BRIANNA: What’s crack-a-lackin? CHUCK: Amanda Warner. AMANDA: Hey, how’s it going? CHUCK: And Maria Enderton. MARIA: Hi, I can’t seem to find a good mic so I'm sorry if I'm soft. CHUCK: That’s okay, we’ll forgive you. So we brought John this week to talk about game development and the tools that I have listed here are Maya and UDK. MARIA: Sure, sure. CHUCK: Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves really quickly and then we’ll jump in and talk about game development? Brianna, do you wanna go first? BRIANNA: Yeah, absolutely. My name is Brianna Wu, I am the head of development at Giant SpaceKat. We create cinematic experiences using the Unreal Engine. Unreal, as you may know, is the same engine used for Mass Effect, [inaudible], Batman, Arkham Asylum – you know, any number of professional, console-quality 3D game. It started in the late ‘90s, actually, and what's happened over the years is it’s become an extremely popular development tool. It started off there, and now we’re actually moving into the fourth version of the engine. One of the really exciting things that’s happened along the way is Unreal, back in – I think it was 2009, 2010 – could really see the writing on the wall. Gaming was going to be moving more and more towards mobile devices – meaning iPads, iPhones, things like that – so they imported their engine over to iOS. So that’s basically what we worked at, and it’s extremely exciting. It is, I think, it’s fair to say it is the most powerful 3D engine that exists on that platform. CHUCK: I have to say that when you said you create cinematic experiences with the game engine, that reminded me of those Youtube videos where two guys are swinging at each other on World of Warcraft or something. AMANDA: And it’s being read by thematic actors? CHUCK: That’s right, or some terrible voice engine, right? [Gibberish] BRIANNA: When I was coming of age and learning to do this, one of my favorite games was Parasite Eve on the PlayStation One. They built that as the cinematic RPG – it was full motion video. And you look back at it today and it’s beyond dated. When we started our company, that was always the game that was really in my mind, because if you look at a lot of games on iPhone, they tend to be these Sprite-based in-app purchase, very forgettable, ephemeral experiences. What Amanda, Marie and I really have worked for years to bring fruition is this game that tells a story, this game that lets you meet characters and identify with them, and feel emotion for them. So that’s really what drives us every day. CHUCK: Cool. Well let’s have Amanda and Maria introduce themselves. Amanda, do you wanna go next? AMANDA: Sure. My name is Amanda Stenquist Warner and I'm the co-founder and animator on the project. I primarily – well, not primarily – I exclusively use Maya to do all the animation and then we import it into UDK and then Bri and Maria hit a ‘make game’ button and make it work. CHUCK: Well you make it sound like you do all the work. AMANDA: I do. Those two layabouts do nothing and I'm carrying the company all on my own, it sucks. BRIANNA: It’s really true, it’s really true. AMANDA: It’s tragic. CHUCK: Yeah, they click the ‘make game’ button and the ‘make sales’ button, right? AMANDA: Yeah, exactly! I mean, that’s how gaming works, right? [Laughs] CHUCK: Totally. BEN: I played a lot of Game Dev Story, that simulation game, so I consider myself an expert on this topic. [Laughter] BRIANNA: Great, great. Maybe you can give us a few tips over the course of this podcast so it would be very helpful for us. BEN: Just level up to hacker mode. BRIANNA: Okay, okay. CHUCK: Did you get the pirated version where you started losing a lot of money? BEN: That was hilarious. BRIANNA: That was genius. That was, oh my God. [inaudible] AMANDA: That was absolutely brilliant. BEN: Was this the same game, or is it a different Game Dev simulator? BRIANNA: No, that was it, that was it. BEN: Game Dev story? BRIANNA: Yeah. JAIM: Yeah, that was pretty awesome. CHUCK: Yup. Alright Maria, do you wanna introduce yourself before we get – it seems like we keep going off on tangents here. MARIA: Sure, that’s fine. I’ll try to talk louder; I'm not the loudest person in the world but I'm Maria Enderton and I'm the programmer on the project. I started the project doing more of the technical art, so character rigging, working in Maya, and I still do that as well, the programming and miscellaneous troubleshooting in various programs. AMANDA: Fax-sliding. BRIANNA: Panic button – yeah. AMANDA: She very much is our panic button. BRIANNA: That is so true, that’s so true. When we don’t know what we’re doing, we call Maria and she makes it all better. CHUCK: Every project is one of those. AMANDA: Yeah. BEN: So I have a question about the UDK. When I think of Unreal, I think of the big triple-A titles that are using it and I never really thought of it as an indie or small-shop platform to develop games on. What makes it approachable to smaller teams? BRIANNA: I don’t think it is if you don’t have a Maria on staff. You know, it’s been very challenging for us. A lot of the things in our game we've had to completely figure out by ourselves; it’s not accurate and fair to say that most teams working with Unreal are much larger than we are. We’re a team of primarily five people, so – Maria, do you wanna speak a little bit to that and some of the challenges that you’ve found? MARIA: Yeah, in terms of 3D engines, I haven't tried Unity but I've heard that it’s much more user-friendly to get started. At the same time, Unreal is very powerful – I mean that [inaudible] selling point, graphically good. The game most people know that is with Unreal would be Infinity Blade, which is made by Chair. And yeah, it’s been a hard transition trying to figure out where would be go [inaudible] documentation; the engine changes so much that documentation isn’t always up-to-date and there's less people using mobile so there's less of the community. Like in Boston where we are, there's actually a Unity meet-up community, but there's no such thing for Unreal to kind of talk to other people about. BRIANNA: Yeah, it’s a real challenge for us on a daily basis. I do wanna say Epic has been just a fantastic ally for us. They're very interested in teams like ours, in using this engine that they spent money and resources for developing. It’s certainly doable and if anyone out there is interested in developing with this, if you have questions, feel free to email me. We’re always looking for allies to develop with this engine. BEN: So do you think you could maybe talk about what the engine provides to you? I think most people are kinda familiar with the idea of 2D engines – you have textures and you make sprites and you sort of work around the screen and animate them. What types of facilities does Unreal give you? BRIANNA: How technical can I get here? If you're working with 3D, I think it’s fair to say that if you go out there and look at the best-looking Unity game and then you look at the best-looking Unreal game, I think it’s fair and accurate to say that the Unreal game is going to look better. And there are many reasons for that: generally speaking, the Unreal engine kinda gets a little closer to the metal, so it can render more polygons and vertices, the kinds of maps that you can use – your spec maps, global maps, color maps, diffuse maps, emissive maps – it’s extensive. But for us, the reason for our game that made Unreal really attractive for what I do and what Amanda does is there's one tool within it called Matinee. Matinee is a subset of Kismet, which is its visual scripting language within it, but when you look at the history of games becoming more cinematic and games being able to tell more stories, we can really look back to the first Unreal in the ‘90s and this language that came from it. What it allows us to do is have this really sophisticated cinematic scripting language, so if Amanda wants to animate the scene with our main character, Holiday, holding a gun on someone, they have this really tense, 24 showdown – we have access to this fantastic tool that lets us tweak animation sets, lets us tweak which character’s where at what time and lets us tweak maps and materials that are used, lets us tweak sound cues. So for us, what makes Unreal the most attractive engine for our game type is the powerful cinematic tools. PETE: I'm just looking at the documentation for Matinee and I think my favorite feature is enable gore in edit or preview. [Laughter] BRIANNA: Yeah, I'm not sure if that’s – you know, some of the functions don’t exist for the mobile version. I don’t know if they exist for us; that’s a question for Maria. MARIA: I mean, the other thing that’s been beneficial is Matinee is part of the [inaudible] Kismet visual scripting system. Out of the box, you can do a lot with Kismet, but there is a limit. But what the scripting language, UnrealScript lets me do is build custom nodes. So if we want to do some kind of interaction, I can build a custom node that kinda hides behind-the-scenes what's going on, but then Brianna can [inaudible] in Kismet, which has also been very powerful. There is a limit to how much you can do with visual scripting alone without any code, but they let me [inaudible] nodes that helps that out. BEN: So at what point do you – in Maya, you can design your 3D meshes and textures and do skeletal animation, correct? BRIANNA: Mm-hm, mm-hm. BEN: So at what point do you take that, like the animations you’ve done in Maya and what point does this Matinee tool –. Like if you were walking and if you jump over a puddle, do you define the walking states and the jumping states in Maya and then just sort of tie them all together? BRIANNA: Well, Amanda, why don’t you talk about your end of that and then I’ll talk about implementing it? AMANDA: Well, so our game isn’t very cyclical. There are cycle animations that we have for the common engine but most everything else is cinematic. I'm responsible for making everything happen in-world space, location-wise and timing-wise and everything is really all laid out in Maya first. And then once we get it to a point where we like it – I mean, I'm constantly showing everybody playblasts of everything that I'm doing – and once it’s to a point where we like it, I then export it out with the FDX plugin and that’s what is translated into Unreal, and that’s what Bri takes and assembles. So that’s everybody – that’s the player characters, whatever tools they are using, that’s the cameras, that’s me loading up the sound cues so that everything, well, the vocals, and then somebody goes in and adds sound effects and everything in Kismet. So that’s my end of it. BRIANNA: And then Amanda will pass it off to my end. Have you guys played Mass Effect, by chance? How many of you guys have played Mass Effect? JAIM: I played the first one for not very long. I don’t have a lot of time to play in-depth games, and so when I find one that looks like it’s going to suck all my time away, I try to [inaudible]. MARIA: Avoid it. AMANDA: Run away? BRIANNA: Well, the thing Mass Effect is – I'm sure your listeners are familiar with it – but the thing that Mass Effect is really known for is its paragon renegade system, right? Your Commander Shepherd can be rogue or they can kinda be a good guy, or a good girl. So what happens is Amanda goes through and creates all these wonderful scenes that are just bursting with life. If you look at our animation, the characters just seem so believable. What she’ll do is she’ll go through and animate variants of the scene: maybe Holiday succeeds in jumping across a gap, maybe she fails, and then what I do is I take this anim sets that she exports through FBX and Maria had created all this logic nodes for me. So I got through there and I’ll implement them. If you're playing a Holiday that, for our game, is professional, one set of events will play. If you're playing a version of Holiday who is more rogue, who’s more Jack Bauer-like, it will go through a different set of events. On top of that, I do the materials – meaning, the textures and things that make the world really pop in geometry and I also do the sound design. For a game like ours that is so cinematic, in doing this job, it’s really amazed me how critical the sound design is, and I spent an immense amount of time picking the right music, picking the right sound effects, working with the sound to really have them add up to this emotional experience. MARIA: What you're talking about with jumping over [inaudible] and all that – we’re not really a game where you can free-form walk around where a lot of those kind of more cyclical things are happening. The only part where we’re really only cyclical are shorter animations within the combat engine, and even there, we’re relatively simplified in relation to a lot of combat engines, in part, just because of the particular style of combat we wanted, [inaudible] that we’re a small team, there’s limits. So Amanda will make a front move to the left animation, move to the right animation, move forward, move left, shoot, and various stuff and in that case, she’s exported it and it’s mostly me dealing with how to blend them together appropriately during combat. CHUCK: Maybe I'm not completely understanding –. So some of these things are cyclical like walking around and stuff, but when you're talking about cinematic – I'm not even sure – approach, I guess, are you basically saying that you can’t use those cyclical types of animations because the camera angle may be different or the way that you're viewing things are going to be different? So it’ll render differently, pretty much differently in different circumstances because you're not using [crosstalk]? BEN: I think if we were designing Mario, it’s pretty clear you got a walking state, a running state, and a jumping state, right? CHUCK: Yeah. BRIANNA: Correct, yeah. BEN: So it’s easy when you give a player input you can switch between those states, and from what I understood is that while you have those general concepts you're like piecing them together per scene. BRIANNA: Mm-hm, mm-hm. AMANDA: Exactly. BRIANNA: Yeah Amanda, this is your department. Why don’t you speak to this a bit? AMANDA: I mean, we have quite a few joints in the facial reg mainly so that we can lip-sync. It’s not procedural –. Sometimes if you watch a game, the mouth and the face is kinda dead because they're just like, ‘blah-blah-blah-bah-blah-bah-blah’ and it’s the program taking sound bytes and maybe trying to lip-sync to that rather than have an animator go through and hand key it. BEN: That was exactly the first day of [inaudible] for me. I hated that part of that game because their mouth just made an open triangle when they're trying to talk. [Crosstalk] BRIANNA: I just bought Lightning Returns and I was really shocked by how much this issue matters, because when Amanda will animate something, you'll feel so much more life in their faces, in their expressions and Lighting just feels dead through the whole game to me. AMANDA: I was going through and playing Bioshock Infinite – and don’t get me wrong, I love that game. Ask anybody on my team, I can’t stop talking about that stupid game. But even then, sometimes Elizabeth, the facial animation just wasn’t there and like I'm watching, I'm like, “Alright, I'm really going to cut myself more of a break now.” I basically animated a feature-length movie by myself, and that’s kind of the approach to it. It’s not something that the program could do for me and have it come out the way we would want it. It was something that we did by hand through many iterations and yeah. I mean, it’s just we had an effect in mind, and that’s the best way for us to go through and do it. PETE: It sounds like a lot of what you're describing is essentially – like you're halfway towards building an animated movie as much as you are again, because a lot of this, I mean, I guess cinematic is the clue, directly. I guess the techniques are different in terms of what stuff you do by hand versus what stuff you do procedurally, but it sounds like the tooling is kind of the same. If I was going to make a more procedural, run around, jump up, up and down things and hit people with a hammer or whatever – is it the same tools but just use it in a different way, or would I need totally different tools? AMANDA: No, you'd still be using the same controls and everything. Most everything that you did would be at origin, so it’s not like it would be running all over the map. You would do it in one single spot – a run cycle, a jump cycle, that sort of thing – and then that gets taken into –. The best example I have is with Unity – the studio I was working at prior to this, we were making a game called Robot Rising. You take the little jump animations and then you assign which key does what, when. But it very much is the same idea – same bone, same rigs, everything. It’s just a difference of where it gets exported and what the program is going to interpolate for you versus already saying, ‘this is where this is happening.’ MARIA: In terms of the Maya side, it’s the same. For something that's running around and shooting, then that’s basically more engine-controlled and so that would be more of the programmer dealing with –. In the case of us, it’s basically mini-movies for combat, so because we’re mini-movies, that’s more on the movie side as more of the Matinee side and it’s very controlled what's happening as opposed to if you're running around and jumping, you have to have user input and so you end up having more programming involvement. As opposed to our mini-movies which has, other than some logic in it, has very little programming involved in it. PETE: Gotcha. So Matinee is the thing that takes these little building blocks that you’ve built in Maya and then kinda sew them together into a scene. BRIANNA: Yeah, it’s fantastic, we love it. And again, that's why we chose to use Unreal as opposed to Unity. Unreal license is very expensive – if you want the full version of it to publish on PC and iOS, that’s going to cost you $50,000 – these are non-trivial costs. I forget how much a Unity license is, so don’t take this as gospel, but as I remember it’s like $1000 [crosstalk]. BEN: Yeah, it’s considerably cheaper. And they have a free version. BRIANNA: Yeah, exactly. BEN: If we could get into the programming side of it, I assume you're using C++? MARIA: No, because we started with UDK, it has two layers. The whole engine is built on C++, but the gameplay scripting language is called UnrealScript, which have a lot of similarities to C++ and [inaudible] so there's a crossover, but that’s primarily what I've been using which handles the gameplay aspect of it. BEN: Like, what is it similar to? MARIA: It’s similar to C++ - it’s object-oriented, it’s classes, it’s got a lot of similar syntax as well. And they also come – it’s not that you're starting from scratch, either. The game already has a couple thousand UnrealScript files that’s kind of laid out either to use as an example or to build up on, that I build up on, depending on what we need. In some cases, they have weapon classes that are ready, but they were way more powerful and had way too much stuff compared to what we needed for our [inaudible] combat. So in that case, I would look at theirs and kind of maybe get advice from it, but I rebuilt it. But in other cases, like how rigs work, I just directly built off of that or use the functionality that it has. BRIANNA: Yeah, one of the things that really worries us at Giant SpaceKat is our game Revolution 60 is made with Unreal 3, which was the most – it was what was out when we started this project. In the meantime, U4 has come out and they’ve deprecated on Real Script. They’ve moved entirely over to C++, so we have no idea if Epic was going to move over to their mobile engine, basically to Unreal 4. You have to assume they will at some point. So what we’re really worried about, so we get around to our sequel this year – are we going to have to redo all these functions that Maria has made, so we’re really worried about that. BEN: Yeah, that sounds like it’d be very frustrating to have them deprecate the entire language. BRIANNA: Exactly, exactly. MARIA: Since they're deprecating it, does that mean that part of their ability to have UDK, this free version for people to try, to start with, was the fact that they could split up, that people [inaudible] UnrealScript. Not only give you access to UnrealScript, if it’s all C++ there's never going to be a free version anymore for all people who got a chance to use it, I don’t know. PETE: So is that the main difference between the UDK and the full Unreal engine, is just the ability to jump down to C++? MARIA: Yes. BRIANNA: That’s the very feature, yeah. There's also the revenue share, like I said. There's also support from Epic. When you pay for full license, you can talk to Epic, post in their forums – I mean, obviously, they treat you more seriously if you’ve written8 them a giant check versus using a free version of their games. There are many benefits, but for us, the biggest one’s being able to keep more of our money, obviously. JAIM: I'm curious to know a little bit about the development tools. I know you’ve talked a little bit about some of the tools that are included in the development kit, but is there an IDE you use? What does that run on? What does it look like? MARIA: Well, it depends on what you're talking about. If you're talking about putting together all the content or even the Matinee [inaudible] they're provided on Unreal Editor, which I presume is similar to a Unity Editor. It lets you make maps, it lets you place objects into 3D –. If you're using the full engine [inaudible] visual studio, but for me, for UnrealScript, I tried a few different ones that have some [inaudible] script which I didn’t like, and I went back to very basic – just highlighter, text editor – that has worked the best for me. I'm sure for the – if you're using source code, using visual studio is much preferable, but the for my purposes, it’s text editor that has worked the best. JAIM: Okay. I did a little looking myself, it seems like there are a lot of third-party UnrealScript IDEs but I couldn’t tell how good any of them were. MARIA: I tried most of them and they're [inaudible] but they didn’t really provide anything above what I could get in something else that works just as well. PETE: Is there a big ecosystem kind of community stuff outside of the stuff that is official Unreal Engine stuff? Is there tools and libraries and things like that, or is it basically just what the company provides, is what everyone uses? MARIA: I mean, if you're talking about what you download with UDK and install and if you can add stuff to that –. With [inaudible], with source code you can really get into trying to add more elements of your own, but for us, it’s pretty much the tools that they’ve provided with [inaudible]. PETE: Okay. BRIANNA: I mean, I could talk about that, the asset-creation side. We could certainly – we had tried to make the entire game using BSP brushes or something like that, but what we’ve gone through and done in Revolution 60 is every single level that you're in, we had a [inaudible] go-through, create that static mesh, and actually create that environment. So, if you’re talking about the tools pipeline on the asset creation side, there's a massive list of them. Our characters were taken through a ZBrush pass to kind of paint them and get their costumes correct. The models and static meshes you see inside the game they're modeled using a nerve-based program called Inventor Fusion. We took them through a [inaudible] pass, we brought them into Maya, we did them with a tool named Headus – Headus UV layout – which let us chop them up like you might chop up a world map and flatten it. We recreate our textures using Photoshop; we sometimes create normal maps using CrazyBump –. I mean, there's an entire litany of tools we use along the way. Sound editing – we use plugins . One plugin we used for Maya to help with the [inaudible] pipeline is called Next, because it helps us select coplanar segments and vertices. I guess my message here is there is an entire litany of tools that you have to produce a game of this quality. [Crosstalk] MARIA: I guess maybe I misunderstood the question. I thought you meant tools that were integrated, plugin as part of Unreal as opposed to –. I mean, there are a huge amount of programs we use and eventually export product, but they're not directly integrated into Unreal itself. PETE: Gotcha. I guess I was just interest in all of it. I don’t have a game development background, and so it’s all –. It sounds super expensive, most of the tools sound like they’re not open-source or free tools. AMANDA: They're not. BRIANNA: Maya – we use the 2011 version of Maya. We wanted to go buy that back in 2011 – that was $4000. And then the next year, Maya 2012 came out and we said, “Hey, let’s look at getting it upgraded to this.” And we talked to autodesk and they said, “Sure, we’ll give you upgrade pricing for this. We’ll 10% off of $4000.” So, you're definitely talking about tools [inaudible]. BEN: Wow. That’s very kind of them. AMANDA: Isn't it? BRIANNA: [Inaudible] non-trivial cost. PETE: I've heard 2011 was a great vintage [crosstalk]. AMANDA: It was a very good vintage; we’re very comfortable with it. I have to say though, a lot of the programs now, I think, have realized that they're almost unattainable and are offering subscription services. Like Adobe, they put out Creative Cloud, where you can get access to everything, like every program that they offer and the latest versions of it for $50 a month. Or if you're new to the service, I think it’s like $30. So I definitely think that they're trying to be more accessible, but there's something to be said for just having the license and not having to worry about it. BRIANNA: Yeah. PETE: Yeah.  I mean, it sounds like, it kinda feel like the theme for a lot of this is there's the entry-level stuff like Unity, which is a little bit cheaper but not as powerful, but if you really want to do it seriously then you have to be willing to sink some cash into some tools. BRIANNA: Yeah. I mean, pay people, tools, licenses, marketing – these are expensive things. My background as a developer, I could certainly – I do develop the work in the trenches with my team every single day, but prior to this one the jobs I had was fundraising in politics, which just turned out to be an excellent background for someone running a game development [inaudible]. I know so many indie game developers here in Boston that do like those free tools – they like Unity, they like Blender, but if you look at the product that we’re trying to bring to market, I think the work speaks for itself. You can look at our trailer and you can decide for yourself if those tools are worth the added cost. JAIM: That actually, I was going to ask you if you don’t mind talking about it. How have you approached putting the team together, getting funding to do development –? Because I take it you haven't released yet, is that right? BRIANNA: That’s correct. It’s coming out in – we’re working with the publisher on that right now, It could be two months, it could be three months; we’re trying to get the thumbs-up on that. I generally don’t like talking about the nitty-gritty of how we’ve funded the game to outside people. I can say that we started Rev 60 with basically assembling a minimally viable product, an MVP, and took it from there, and got additional funding. JAIM: Did you guys on the team know each other before you started this, or was this something you assembled? BRIANNA: I met Amanda on Craigslist where all the professional relationships start. AMANDA: Yeah. Like a completely, completely different, different project. I was originally coming on to help her husband with some work and do some side work with Bri working on a top-down, turn-based strategy game and we – Infinity Blade came out with Unreal and we like, “Hey, wait a minute! We can do this!” My eyes kinda bugged out when she suggested it, but I started working with her full time and I had gone to school with Maria. So when it came time that we needed a programmer, I was like, “I just so happened to know somebody” and we brought Maria on full-time. That’s kinda how we all got started. BRIANNA: Yeah, we called ourselves Team BAM – Brianna, Amanda and Maria, so, it’s true. PETE: So I've got a random question which is because I have a background in this. My first job professionally was doing C++ for a motion capture company, so like the thing where you stick the ping pong balls on. How do you guys do the animation for people walking around and stuff? Is that done by hand or are you capturing – do you use motion capture or, how does that work? AMANDA: I do it all by hand. When I hear motion capture, I kinda go, “Boo, hiss.” PETE: Let’s talk about that. AMANDA: No, I mean, I think you’ve probably seen it out there where motion capture can kinda venture into uncanny valley –. PETE: Yeah, absolutely. AMANDA: Like Polar Express, for example. But there's also times when it’s done really, really well so like anything, I kind of wanna treat it as a tool. The biggest thing for me, if we do motion capture for Rev 62, which I'm becoming more and more on board with – doing it by hand sucks, but if it’s a setup where it’s something that I can then take that information and manipulate it on how it should look – I'm more on board with that. I don’t want it to be the be-all and end-all because I think you definitely lose some of it in the translation. The hand movements won’t be quite right –. Anytime you do animation, you really almost have to have it be over-exaggerated in order to sell it. But there are certain things that motion capture will do well, like somebody scratches her face – that’s a fun little tick that wasn’t there before. So it really is just a matter of using it as a tool and not the exclusive way to go. I think that’s when it’s most successful. BRIANNA: We’ve lived here in Boston with Harmonix. Harmonix did Dance Central and Rock Band, obviously, and they’ve actually built an entire mo-cap studio for it. We’ve certainly considered approaching Harmonix and say, “Can we basically pay you to use your mo-cap studio?” And we basically hire actors to do our game. But I think for us, primarily, as technology people, I think there's a real tendency to kind of want to throw away the past and find a technological solution. For instance, right now there's a lot of – let’s assume a podcast just last week that’s talking about if we’re going to stay with objective-C or if Apple needs to be developing a new language and I think we kind of want to throw out things automatically and move forward. And for me, coming into this project, I was very much like, “Hey, let’s just mo-cap this. Let’s come up with a technological solution for it.” But since working with Amanda and becoming more and more familiar with the techniques and approaches of animation, she’s really sold me that you can get a better product in many ways through doing it by hand. So for Rev 62, we might go through and try to do some of our combat work with mo-cap, but as far as cinematics and scenes where we really need emotion, I'm a big believer in doing that by hand. Just one more last thing – if you look at the most popular iOS game using the Unreal engine, it’s without doubt Infinity Blade. Cyrus in Infinity Blade has 22 mesh influence in bounce. Holiday, our main character in Rev 60 – Maria, correct me if I'm wrong here, but is it 78 mesh influence in bounce? MARIA: Somewhere around there. BRIANNA: So we basically – yeah, we’ve given Amanda this vast array of tools and controls that she can use to really tell a story. PETE: I definitely agree that you can’t just take motion capture and throw it into the game and you're done with it. BRIANNA: Yeah. PETE: It kinda feels like though that there's that middle ground. I was thinking about this earlier when you were talking about the lip-syncing and it looks really silly if you just let the computer do it, but presumably doing it all by hand is a real pain. It seems like there must be some middle ground where you can have the computer do the first pass and then you kind of fix all of the stupid mistakes it makes, but maybe that ends up taking longer than just doing it from scratch or so. AMANDA: It can, it really can. I mean, there’s – we haven't come across yet a product where –. We were actually approached by somebody with a mo-cap suit, and the way he was describing it, it basically bakes the keys into the file so every single frame has a key on every single control. So you end up with this massive amount of information and trying to go in and alter that, it’s kind of a really big pain in the butt. I mean, there was an MMO I was working on, and we had cloth simulation, and it would do that same thing where it would bake a key on every single frame and if you need to go in and tweak something, you had to kill so much information. There were a few times where we just ended up destroying it and starting over. So, it can be a double-edged sword – it can save you some time, but it can also take you as much time. And really, lip-syncing, is such a small portion of what I do. I find that actually goes the fastest in lining up the words and everything. It’s more of getting the facial animation and the head tilt and it’s a lot of me sitting in front of my computer, making weird mouth gestures and hoping nobody can see me. PETE: [Chuckles] I can imagine as well if you – in both extremes, there's a risk of losing the artistry. I kind of guessed with your just using – obviously, if you're just using motion, stuff that comes from reality like motion capture, that you don’t get to have the other-worldly – you want this stuff to be larger than life, I suppose. But then at the same time, if you're just doing it all by hand, then you miss all of those little human motions that you don’t really think about, like the scratching the nose and the rest of it. AMANDA: You can, you definitely do. I mean, I was geeking out, watching Frozen – the latest Disney-animated movie – because they do get all those little, ticky motion-things. But I mean, that’s also a team of 700 animators and one person gets a scene for the duration of production. BEN: Yeah, there was a really great session at WWDC where a guy from Pixar, he was using a Mac Pro –. Unknowingly, he just had – he was in sort of a nondescript outer box, but he plugged in a monitor cable and a keyboard and mouse and he did a little brush work on Monsters University, which was pretty awesome. BRIANNA: I saw that, I saw that. Yeah, it was very impressive. BEN: So I have a question about cinematic games in general. There's definitely a spectrum of how much interactivity you allow in a game and how much is just like you sit and watch a movie, and on one extreme you have something like a – I think it was Metal Gear Solid 2 for PlayStation II, where I felt like every time I turned a corner, I was watching another movie. BRIANNA: Yeah, exactly. BEN: And then you beat the game and then you get into the first ending, and then the second ending, and then the third ending, and you're like, “Oh, my goodness! I actually have to leave to go to work, but this ending is like an hour long.” And then on the other end of the spectrum you have Mario Brothers where it’s like you're playing the entire thing. Where do you guys fall along that spectrum and what do you think the sweet spot is for your game? BRIANNA: We take a data-driven approach to that. With our original version of Rev 60, we presented it at PAX East last year. Keep in mind, PAX East is primarily super hardcore gamers, right? We were right across the booth from US and FPS equipment that was being sold and what we got over and over are people going, “This game is too slow. This game is too slow.” And so we went back, and Maria actually calculated how long every single event was in the entire game, and we created a rule that except for extreme cases like the ending, for instance, you must interact with the game every 10, 20, 30 seconds –. AMANDA: No more than 30. BRIANNA: Yeah, exactly, so you'd feel like you're really connected to the experience. I personally love Metal Gear – that’s one of the games that really got me interested in doing cinematic stories. But I would also say that there is a consensus with gamers out there that QTEs are awful. QTEs are bad. QTEs are a terrible game type. And what we've really discovered and what our data showed over and over and over the players discover playing our game is it’s one thing to push X on a PlayStation controller; it’s one thing to push up on a keyboard. But when you are using an iPad or an iPhone with that touch interface, the same thing that makes using Safari feels like such a more intimate, close experience, it makes QTEs what we call action events. It makes them more fun to do because you feel connected to it. If you slide, if you have something to the right in combat and you see how they deliver this powerful cinematic kick to your opponent – it makes you feel really connected to the experience. The downfall for the cinematic game type is something that’s been on our minds for every day of production, but it’s my opinion, which is a very biased opinion, but it’s my opinion we’ve really managed to work and avoid some of those obvious pitfalls. BEN: Yeah, I definitely agree. It’s like an order of magnitude, more intimate experience. BRIANNA: Mm-hm, mm-hm. CHUCK: So I've got one more question that I want to ask and that’s just the story – how do you come up with a good story for the game? BRIANNA: The script is credited to both Amanda and I. I wrote the first version of the script, and for me, my original conception for the script of Revolution 60 was 24. I'm the world’s biggest 24 fan. I think it’s a fantastically-written show, and the reason I think it’s a good show is they really excel at bringing two characters together and really explaining what their motivations are and when you get to know them as people who are – you have the flawed people and good people. Like Jack Bauer, the hero, I think anyone would admit he’s a very flawed, angry character that can take things too far. So my original version with that was basically there was this character in 24 season 7 – her name was Renee Walker, and she was basically, people, fans of the show called her She-Jack and I wanted to create [inaudible] based off of her personality. So the script of Revolution 60 is you have this orbital weapons platform. It’s set in the future; you have this orbital weapons platform that’s gone adrift over China and you have these American special forces that basically go out to the space station and see why this has gone adrift. So we set up the script and my first version of it was very humor-less, very dry, and this is where Amanda really changed the tone of the project. Amanda is a huge fan of Buffy, and she kept saying, “More humor, more sarcasm. Let’s amp up the humor; let’s tell a joke.” Jack Bauer never tells any joke in that entire series. So what we’ve ended up with, it’s a very intense game – it’s a dark game – we’re going to end up rating our game 12 and above for a reason. We have very young children that probably should not play our game. But we also, we’re always looking for the humor in these moments and that’s going to be our approach. Amanda, do you have anything to add to that? AMANDA: Just that I basically subscribe to the Wheatonism of “Kill everybody, but tell a joke. For God’s sake, tell a joke.” [Chuckling] There were moments – and some of it is just part of my personality and I think it comes through a lot with the animation, you know, how would I react in these situations. A lot of Holiday’s facial reactions, her takes, are pretty much me – they're just me. BRIANNA: See, I think of you as more Emilia than anybody. AMANDA: Oh yeah, wicked-sarcastic? BRIANNA: Yeah. AMANDA: Yeah. BEN: I was watching one of the videos and one of the characters opened up. She said she was “just fresh out of rehab again.” AMANDA: Oh, gosh! Amanda Winn-Lee? BRIANNA: Yeah. AMANDA: She makes my job so easy. So easy. I just have to listen to her, and I can imagine exactly like what she’s doing with her hands and her expression. She’s a very animated person and just slightly batshit. [Laughter] Yeah, I have a whole file just full of Amanda Winn-Lee outtakes. I mean, she’ll just say stuff like, “Oh, go up the monkey.” She’s fun. Actually, a lot of the voice actresses give me really good stuff to work with. It definitely makes it easier. BRIANNA: If you have my job, you're inundated with those actresses that think they should be voice actresses. And then you work with someone – for those of you that don’t know, Amanda Winn-Lee, she’s one of the most famous voice actresses in history. She did Yukiko in Persona 4 and she’s – I've never known how to say this, is it Neon City Evangelion? Is that correct? AMANDA: Evangelion? BRIANNA: Yeah, Evangelion. She’s the main character in that and she is a complete trip to work with. We also worked with Marieve Herington – she plays Amelia and she’s been on the Disney Channel; she’s does all this anime voice and she’s so funny, and so sarcastic. Just all of our voice actresses are amazingly talented –. AMANDA: There's been a couple of lines where we’re like, “I'm not sure if that’s going to work” and like, we’ll be able to pass it off to them and they’ll nail it every time. It’s really good. CHUCK: Cool. Well I don’t think I have any other questions, how about you guys? I think it’s all so interesting and kinda fun. BRIANNA: It’s something that I take pride in is the fact that GSK is doing a different kind of work than anyone else out there in the industry. There's no shortage of games that are trying to capture this retro 16-bit Sprite experience using the Sprite kit tools and Xcode, so there's no shortage of those kinds of games out there. But if you look at Rev 60, what we’re trying to produce, we aren’t shipping a game that’s a bunch of in-app purchases. We’re not shipping a game that kind of has you recycling and doing the same thing over and over again. We’re really shipping something that is an emotional experience for the platform with real characters. I mean, my personal theory of why Angry Birds has been successful is that in the sea of games that lack all kinds of personality, Angry Birds at least gave you some colorful characters and an interesting idea in the back story there. It’s was just that little hint of emotional connection that you could have to the characters that made it to be successful, and that drives everything we do at Giant SpaceKat. Amanda and I – we’ve animated and worked with our characters and sets for years now. We really care about these characters and we’ve done our best to try to inject life into them and I really hope that when people play our game, they’ll be like, “You know, I really identify wit Amelia. I really identify with Holiday.” I hope that it’s something, especially young girls, will play and find a character with their personality type in this game and see themselves represented in video game. CHUCK: I think that’s part of the reason why a lot of us like the video games, is that to some degree we identify with characters and we identify somewhat with the storyline even if its reality is so much different from ours, there are usually some themes that run through all of them that we pick up on. BRIANNA: Absolutely. AMANDA: Totally. CHUCK: That’s also kind of the hallmark of a good story. We like watching it because there's some of us in it. BRIANNA: Yeah, absolutely. I think you can look at something like House of Cards, and you could see people are really – they're thirsty for these kinds of complex stories with well-developed characters out there. My main criticism of the iOS platform is its – again, no offense to Apple or my fellow indie developers – but it’s generally they're a shallow, ephemeral experience. We’re trying to take the ball and go the complete other direction, and if you play our game you're going to play something – there's a three-hour, short, extremely polished emotional experience. You're going to have to make choices in our game that – they're going to be difficult for you. I can show you play tester data that shows you're going to have some really heart-wrenching moments if you play our game, and we’re eager to kind of bring up that conflict in the player. CHUCK: Alright, well we’ve been going for about an hour and we usually don’t go quite this long, but it’s been an interesting conversation. So let’s go ahead and get into the picks. Pete, do you wanna start us with picks? PETE: Sure. So, three picks today. First pick is a fellow indie game thing from a friend of mine, so, apologies for the nepotism. It’s called ‘playsets.’ I actually don’t think it’s out yet; he just did a kickstarter, him and his wife and their friend – they just did a kickstarter for it and it’s for playing Dungeons & Dragons, those kind of board game, RPG-type things, but remotely using your iPhone, or using your iPad. So it’s a really cool idea. I personally actually don’t have a background of playing these board games, but most of the people whom I've showed this to thought that it was very cool. I really like it because it doesn’t try to replace all of the stuff that you do in real life; it just kinda facilitates it virtually and it’s kinda cool. And my second pick, it’s kind of random, but it was spurred by a comment someone’s made earlier about Apple replacing objective-C. That reminded me of this awesome podcast John Siracusa recorded two or three years ago, talking about Copeland 2010. He did this Hypercritical Podcast on 5by5, which is –. BRIANNA: Every episode of that show is a classic. PETE: Seriously. BRIANNA: And I really do – John is here in Massachusetts and it’s my dream to – he’s at PAX East this year, maybe he’ll come up and play our game [inaudible]. PETE: I think you and I share a geek crush on John Siracusa. BRIANNA: Yeah. AMANDA: [Laughs] BRIANNA: That episode was one of his best. I think the [inaudible]. PETE: My third pick inspired by that last comment you just made about kind of immersive characters and also a strong female lead – something I'm super passionate about – I don’t like how much weird, male-dominated stuff there is in our industry and in computing in general. There's this thing called the Hawkeye Initiative. AMANDA: Oh, yes! [Laughs] PETE: And it’s really fun – it’s really funny, it’s really silly. It’s basically kind of fixing the weird gender imbalance in comic books by painting male comic book characters in female comic book character poses. BEN: That is excellent. PETE: You need to see it to believe it. And it’s also really badly done; some of them are good, but most of the people are drawing pictures with photo paint or whatever. You should check it out; it’s worth [inaudible] some pretty good stuff. That’s it. BRIANNA: I strongly agree with that. JAIM: Oh man, this is awesome. CHUCK: That is amazing! [Chuckles] AMANDA: You can lose a whole day there. BRIANNA: Do we get – do the people at GSK, do you we get to voice our own picks here? CHUCK: Yes, you do. BRIANNA: Awesome, awesome. CHUCK: Yes, you do. I usually call on everyone in turn, but go ahead. BRIANNA: No, no, no, I don’t need to – I am a very passionate person, so. AMANDA: Stop disrupting! CHUCK: [Chuckling] BRIANNA: I actually got our tax return this week, so I got my first PS4. I actually wrote a piece a while back, arguing about how basically the Game of the Year awards for IGN, and GameSpot, and Giant Bomb – to me, they lack statistical validity because basically female journalists were not represented there. I took that argument and really applied it to Tomb Raider, which I felt strongly should have been last year’s game of the year. I thought it was an amazing game, an amazing story. Rhianna Pratchett, we basically wrote the script to that and I thought it was a fantastic experience. The Tomb Raider team heard I got a PS4 and they actually sent me a copy of their upgraded version of Tomb Raider for PS4 and Xbox One, and it is amazing! Especially for me, because I work with materials and texture maps all day long – all the things they basically upgraded for the PS4 version. It’s really awesome to see how much better a game it is on PS4 as opposed to PS3, so that would very strongly be one of my picks. I think we’ve also talked about Apple’s challenge with objective-C for the future, and I think I would strongly recommend this week’s Accidental Tech Podcast, which has our mutual crush, John Siracusa, on it. They're basically talking about some of the issues there and how long it takes to come up with these frameworks and some of the challenges facing Apple there, so I would strongly advocate that. And also I'm playing Bravely Default on 3DS. Some people have called it the best Final Fantasy game of the year; this is not a Final Fantasy game and I would strongly agree with that. So if you have a 3DS, that game is strongly worth your time. BEN: That’s sweet, I just picked one up. BRIANNA: Oh, did you? What games do you have for it? BEN: It’s one of my picks, so I’ll get to that in a minute. BRIANNA: Alright, alright. There you go. CHUCK: Alright, Ben. What are your picks? BEN: Okay, thanks. JAIM: Great transition! BEN: I bought a 3DS. I was a super Nintendo fan – I was five when I got my NES and then I got SNES, and then a 64, and then I wasn’t too excited about the Game Cube. I did eventually pick one up and I was kinda disappointed in the games in the Game Cube, and so I didn’t get anything after that. And I just kind of – this is a perception problem, I think, that the DS was just for kids. There are so many kids’ games available for them, that’s clearly their market, but there are some good games I was missing. I recently was listening to a new podcast from 5by5 Directional Show, and they were just going through a history of all these Nintendo games that I had never even played, and there's like a hundred Mario games that I hadn’t even –. I just sort of forgot how good the Nintendo’s first-party games are. So I went to the store and picked up a 3DS and Zelda: Link Between Worlds, and I've been playing that in my copious free time. If you haven't played this one, it’s very similar to A Link to the Past, which I feel like I grew up on; that game is so, so good. This is like the same initial world but different storyline, and it’s like scratching an old itch to play those games again, but not necessarily on an emulator. I will also pick up Bravely Default once I finish this one. BRIANNA: I have to say about Link, it really shows how timeless good game design is, because you're playing that game – it’s the exact same design as A Link to the Past, the 16-bit Zelda classic and you're playing the sequel to that on 3DS. It’s an amazing game; I could not recommend it more strongly. BEN: Yeah, the 3D kinda gives me a headache, so most of the time I turn it off. But it was not quite as much as a gimmick as I first thought. If I'm able to sit still like on an airplane or something, or in bed, as long as you're able to hold the 3DS in the right angle, it does look pretty nice for short periods of time. My next pick, I was just in Chicago this weekend for Cocoa Conf, and I had an extra day, or afternoon, to go into Chicago. I went to the Museum of Science and Industry, just picked it like, “What do I do in Chicago?” And holy crap, they have this amazing exhibit of U505 – the captured German u-boat from WWII – where they were able to secure the enigma code machine, and they have all the stuff on display including the original sub that was towed back to Bermuda. Anyway, it’s an amazing, amazing exhibit, so if you're heading to Chicago anytime soon, definitely go and check that out. I have a beer pick for my trip as well. I got a Southern Tier 2X IPA, which is pretty darn good, and an anti-pick, the TSA, because they dropped my laptop. BRIANNA: Oh. AMANDA: [Gasps] BEN: Yeah, they let the conveyor belt pile up and all the little plastic bins buckled, and my laptop was in there and it took a nose dive from about five feet in the air. BRIANNA: Oh no. BEN: Or maybe not that high. It still works, but it’s got all kinds of dents on it, so now I have the great pleasure of dealing with how fast they respond to my claim. BRIANNA: I bet. AMANDA: Awesome. BRIANNA: Yeah, I would be in jail right now [inaudible] did that to me, if they dropped my laptop. BEN: So, down with the TSA, up with Nintendo. CHUCK: Alright, Andrew what are your picks? ANDREW: I've just got one pick today and it’s just a new project from Matt Thompson I found useful this week. It’s called Ono, which is Japanese for axe, and it’s an XML, yet another XML library, sort of iOS and OSX. It was useful to me because I've got a project that uses an XML document on OSX and it’s supposed to be a shared code base for iOS, but it doesn’t exist on iOS and anyway, this fills that hole nicely, so that’smy pick. CHUCK: Awesome. Maria, what are your picks? MARIA: I also just recently got a 3DS. My one game so far, Super Mario Bros, and the New Super Mario Brothers 2, because I am a giant fan of the SideScrollers.  And pretty much the main, original DS game I played was the first one of that, so I started that. So far, it’s been a lot of fun, especially giant Mario. I don’t know if this is out; I think it’s just iOS but The Room Two, which is like a puzzle game, which is very well-done. Pretty short, but really polished and really well done. CHUCK: Alright, Jaim what are your picks? JAIM: Hey, I've got one pick, but before I do, Revolution 60 sounds like a pretty sweet game. I think the UDK is really more suited to a Flappy Bird clone. Have you guys thought about that? [Laughter] So if it doesn’t work out, I'm just giving that to you guys. BRIANNA: Sure, sure, thanks. That’s very valuable advice. AMANDA: Yeah, nobody’s done that yet; we should totally get on that. JAIM: So I would pick, I'm going to do a fish pick. I just spent a week in St. Pete Beach near Tampa, Saint Petersburg area, and they got a lot of grouper out there. I ate quite a lot of grouper. I live in Minnesota, so there's really no reason to order fish off a menu, unless you catch it, probably not worth it. But the grouper down there is fantastic, especially one company, Gulf Wild, where you can actually look up the grouper where it was actually caught and at what date. It’s kinda like an episode of Portlandia –. PETE: Portlandia. [Laughter] I was just thinking of that. JAIM: Except that they didn’t have the name of the fish; I was kinda disappointed with that, but it sounded like he had a pretty happy life swimming around. And he was delicious. So, grouper. MARIA: So, Minnesota. I'm from Minnesota; I live in Boston now, but I came from Minnesota. JAIM: Okay. PETE: Aren't there a bunch of lakes there? There must be plenty of fish. JAIM: Yeah, you catch the fish, you know? If you order from a restaurant, it comes from Canada or something. It just takes time. CHUCK: Ah, Canada. I mean, Oh, Canada. AMANDA: Oh, Canada. CHUCK: Alright Amanda, what are your picks? AMANDA: Oh God, don’t ask me. Honestly, my life has been Rev 60 and my two year-old, so unless you wanna hear about toddler apps. JAIM: Yes! CHUCK: Go for it. AMANDA: Yeah? Alright. The best toddler apps – Peekaboo Toy Box and Peekaboo Barn. It’s been really kind of fun watching my daughter pickup and, by the way, be able to open, unlock my iPad, find the Netflix app and open up Curious George, all on her own. BEN: It is amazing how kids can do that. AMANDA: Holy crap, it’s frightening. I'm simultaneously proud and terrified, and I'm like, “You know what, kid? You earn that TV time.” So yeah, those toddler apps would be my pick. BRIANNA: Amanda, can you talk a bit about your project debts that we’re talking about at GSK? Do you wanna talk about that? AMANDA: Sure. Honestly, once the game’s out, we’re going to have down-time. In watching my daughter play with the various apps that are out there, they're good, but there is so much more that they could do, and there are a couple of flyballs that happened where if the parent’s nearby they're going to get annoyed really quick. So we’re talking about – it’s very high-level still, but we’re talking about doing our own toddler app using one of our characters, like a younger version of her, and kind of having a girls-can-be-scientists slant to it, but keeping it fairly simple and using the pipeline that we already have in place and we’re really excited about it. BRIANNA: Yeah. PETE: That’s an awesome idea. BRIANNA: Yeah, if you look at – I'm a non-parent. I've also been playing a lot of toddler apps this week, kind of surveying the landscape for it and I think there's a –. When I watch Amanda’s daughter respond to 3D animation, my other friends with children respond viscerally to seeing 3D animation on screen, which I believe is very immersive. We’ve looked at the landscape, which is a lot of 2D apps made in Sprite Kit. We think there's a place in the market out there for something basically done in 3D that’s more immersive, with beautiful, life-like animation of the characters, so we’re going to see if we could put something like that together. CHUCK: Cool. I love how when you talk about playing games, it sounds like market research. You can pay me to do your market research whenever you want. [Laughter] BRIANNA: If you have my job, you can actually deduct games on your taxes, because it is – it’s legitimately market research. I will pick up an Unreal game and study the way they’ve implemented materials and textures and static meshes and skeletal meshes and turn right around and sometimes contact the developers and find out how they’ve done that. That’s what the advantage is to my job. AMANDA: The last five apps I've purchased, I've been like, “Woohoo! [inaudible]” CHUCK: Yeah, I do that sometimes too, depending on what it is and if I have any interest in writing an app like that. Alright, well, I guess it’s my turn to give out some picks. This week, I got into some calendaring apps and I picked this up off of Mac Power Users podcast, so I better pick them too. The two apps that I've picked up that I'm really liking are BusyCal – and the thing I like BusyCal is that I can kind of customize it to the view that I want. I usually use or I have been using Google calendar before, and this just imports it and sets it up nicely. It also puts the weather forecast at the top of the day, so I can see, “Okay, today is overcast and rainy; tomorrow should be sunny. Thursday should be nice. Friday, partly cloudy” and it gives the forecast of high and low and things like that, so, I really, really like it so I'm going to pick that. The other one is Fantastical, and the thing that I like about Fantastical is that it provides a place where you can actually go in and enter things into your calendar, but instead of going and clicking on each field and saying ‘I have this event at this time’ and so you have to fill in all of those different fields, you can just type it in – “Meet with Jaim Zuber at 10 am, central time, on Skype.” And it’ll just fill in all the fields correctly. AMANDA: That’s cool. CHUCK: And put it on my calendar, and so, I can’t say enough good things about that, because I love it. I don’t have to think about, “Okay, click-click-click-click-click.” I just open that up and I'm off to the races, so I'm going to pick those. Finally, I'm going to do a little bit of shameless self-promotion. I'm primarily a back end developer, so if you need some kind of smart back end on your system, an API implemented with rest or whatever, I can do that. I've also done some Apple push notification services work, and so if you need any of that done, feel free to give me a call or an email. My email is chuck@devchat.tv and I’ll be happy to take care of that for you. With that, I guess we’ll wrap up. We do have a book club book – it is functional programming –. BEN: Functional Reactive Programming. CHUCK: I need to write that down. [Crosstalk] CHUCK: Yup, so go pick up the book. We’ll have a link to the show notes, and we’ll catch you all next week.

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