August 2013 Catch Up Mode
Alright everybody, it is time to get this blog caught up. We are back to being almost a year behind. A lot of what is stopping me from keeping it up-to-date is that I am living with the frustration of being behind all the time. So here’s the deal. NO VIDEOS. Videos take forever to edit, by comparison… so for now I’m skipping videos and may come back to do those later. The big thing is to get caught up, so let’s focus on pictures and audio/written. Hold on tight!
So, here’s all of August in ONE entry! GO!
Also, I’ll apologize in advance… I went into great detail about my story this month, because this is possibly the best month of my life from certain angles; I want my children to know that I got to do what I always wanted — at least for a little while.
August 1st, I hopped on a plane to go visit Grandma Sue, who needed a little help from her kiddo. This is O’Hare, where my layover was. See this image larger.
It’s really a nice airport, if you don’t have to stay overnight or anything. See this image larger.
I guess I went a little nuts with the pictures, sorry. See this image larger.
August 5th, and it was time to head home… Grandma Sue and I bonded a lot and we were both very happy I made the trip. Meanwhile, Steve from Geeta Games informed me that Lilly had won a conference… and I was going to get to go to PAX Prime 2013, for me, a near-Holy pilgrimage. And it was right around the corner, too! See this image larger.
August 6th, Ian got to go to the same wild animal reserve that Nina was able to earlier in the year as part of his summer camp at daycare stay. See this image larger.
Alligator is eyeballing Ian… See this image larger.
His whole class from the summer camp. See this image larger.
Giraffe in Michigan… how’s the weather up there? Crappy. Anyway… Thanks Mommy for chaperoning on this trip… I was busy making a video game! See this image larger.
August 9th, lazy summer… See this image larger.
After a hard day, we stopped for ice cream across from day care. See this image larger.
August 11th, Nina VERY neatly organizes her toys… See this image larger.
August 16th, our hope with Lilly lay in Steam Greenlight. If we were “green lit” the game would be an immediate success, we figured, based on the history of other green lit games. If only, we dreamed. See this image larger.
August 17th, we beta tested Lilly with some strangers… See this image larger.
Overall they enjoyed it, but a couple shortcomings reared their heads. Turned out, there wasn’t much we could do about them on our schedule and with our budget. This would come back to haunt us. See this image larger.
There were my two beta-testers, and we had a hilarious time. See this image larger.
August 19th, Uh… Ian with a napkin. It’s a shame this was a year ago, I’m sure there was a reason I took this. See this image larger.
Ian didn’t get it this year, but I can say with confidence that he got it in the spring of 2014… mostly because I’m playing catch-up now in the summer of 2014! See this image larger.
Little cutie! See this image larger.
Yeah, sometimes, little guy… sometimes. See this image larger.
August 19th, we got a visit from Phil and Joyce and their son Vonn. See this image larger.
Ian and Nina chilling out. See this image larger.
Oh, here we go, here’s a shot of the three of them. Recent rumor has it that they are trying to move from LA, back to this area, as of July 2014. No idea if it will happen, but I can honestly say I love Phil. He’s a really great friend, and having him around would be fantastic in all sorts of ways. We could watch Vonn, they could maybe watch our kids, the four of us could go out… Joyce and Melissa even get along great; so this would be perfect. See this image larger.
Here’s a pic of us hanging out. See this image larger.
August 20th, here we are at BC Pizza, and Ian is enthralled with whatever the heck was on TV. That’s what happens when you go from no Nickelodeon, to Nickelodeon in one sudden jolt. See this image larger.
August 24th, and who needs a trip up to the cottage? I sure did! See this image larger.
Nina is cute as a button, to this day, but there was something super duper cute about her this trip, so expect a lot of pics. See this image larger.
Some of her just giggling in the sun, for example. See this image larger.
Ian laughs maniacally, because apparently that’s the best way to laugh. See this image larger.
Quality time with Grandma Marcia! See this image larger.
Ian gets a little wet! See this image larger.
Perhaps even wetter? See this image larger.
Probably my favorite picture from 2014, right here. She was completely fearless and comfortable in the water, and what a little smile! See this image larger.
How’d she get her hair wet? See this image larger.
Mystery solved! See this image larger.
Nina’s best oompah oomph imitation happened when she wore her warm-up sweater/dress over top of her life-jacket. See this image larger.
A few beached porpoises… See this image larger.
WHO SAID BOAT RIDE? Nina leads the way. See this image larger.
Second-in-command! See this image larger.
*I have the best seat!* See this image larger.
*I have the best seat!* See this image larger.
“GO FAST GRAMPA DAVE!” See this image larger.
“Hey, how old are you?” See this image larger.
“PHREE!” See this image larger.
Thanks for padding the table each time, Grampa and Gramma! See this image larger.
Quiet reading with Gramma Marcia, and somebody is tiiiiired. See this image larger.
Comfortable yet? See this image larger.
Pigtails! See this image larger.
My totes adorbs fam! See this image larger.
August 25th, Nina and I cuddle on a bench while others swim at the island. See this image larger.
Home from the island, and the kids were out cold. You play hard, you sleep good. See this image larger.
August 26th, Nina sails over to Meijer Gardens! (Again, Mommy went with, and again, Daddy had his head in video games land.) See this image larger.
I want to pick her up and hug her! See this image larger.
A bit of an adventurer and archeologist… Ninana Jones! See this image larger.
More play… See this image larger.
August 28th, and Ian has a locker! And he gets to share it with whatever the heck a “Braylon” is. See this image larger.
Believe this was a bit of an orientation, as I said, on August 28th. It is sort of sad, when I look back, how much I had to miss to be a game developer. See this image larger.
But meanwhile, I was at Steve and Jessica’s reveling in good news. Valve had decided to green light ALL the winners of the contest. We wouldn’t have to spend the PAX conference asking people to vote for us! It would turn out, however, that Valve was letting ALL of the doors open… instead of some 15 games making it in that month… 200 showed up all at once. We were sort of lost in the shuffle. See this image larger.
August 29th, in the wee hours of the morn, myself, Steve and Jessica all hopped in his car to head to the Chicago airport. See this image larger.
On a plane again… See this image larger.
This is the weather that greeted our arrival. It was still pretty epic, with the evergreens everywhere. This was the only day it rained, and there was lightning. Seattle-folk told us that the weather we experienced in the time we were there was anything but typical. Usually no lightning… and a whole lot less sun. See this image larger.
That night I was at a party and I ate this mess. It was steak, french fries, and a sort of blue cheese dressing. It was America on a plate and it was freakin’ awesome. All of the food this trip was absolutely brilliant. See this image larger.
Christian is the guy on the left… we’re holding our two awards for the contest that we won. (It should be noted that I really didn’t have much to do with the demo, which is really what bought our tickets to get to Seattle. So I’m in debt to the rest of the team for making this dream come true.) See this image larger.
Which dream? This one. See this image larger.
And this one. Seattle very quickly became the place I’d most likely move to if I ever had a real chance. See this image larger.
And even this dream… I got to see one of the funniest live D&D sessions of Acquisitions Inc. See this image larger.
And I met Sonic the Hedgehog! See this image larger.
You can’t see them all here, but three of these people are the Stansels… they were an amazing host family that let us have the run of their house. And Jason (not pictured) let us tour a studio, and just pointed from a single parking lot, at all of the developers in the area that I would love to work for. Microsoft, Bungie, 343i, Sucker Punch, Valve… each in their own building downtown. The little boy in the foreground, I believe his name was Owen. Was a super sweet kid that reminded me of Ian. I was horrible during this trip, about touching base with home. The time difference, my phone being constantly out of charge, and just being on the show floor made for little contact with my family.See this image larger.
I won’t say much more, I’m sure I’ve said too much already about the trip. We worked the floor a lot, trying to get people interested in the game. This is us doing our thing… the guy on the left there is Mark DeForest, a legend in my eyes, he worked on Myst and Riven. Truly this was the trip of my dreams. The game went on to moderate reviews, and what I would call fairly poor sales. The team disbanded, and the dream was over. But for a bit, I had it, and I’ve never been happier, career-wise. I daresay it was even worth missing my son’s first day of first grade… which isn’t easy for me to say. See this image larger.
While I was out of town, Grampa Ray and Grandma Barb stayed at our house, very helpful! See this image larger.