In the next few weeks, I transition from ESA to the New Enterprise Allowance, and start up Arcade Badgers Limited as an actual trading company ( well, depending on the bank getting back to me with my account details… )

Scary stuff.

It has almost been a year since things went pear-shaped, and it’s a good feeling to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that I’m almost there! Although the next few weeks ( and indeed, the next year at least ) are probably going to be completely insane.

I have to get our first product done and out the door for July.
That’s a couple of weeks.
That’s a lot of mad work!
Here is a quick run down of what needs to be done:

  1. Server Back-end.
  2. The game itself.
  3. Platform support ( setting up for Chrome Web Store, Mozilla, etc… )
  4. Gamification stuff ( leaderboards, achievements, etc… )
  5. Marketing and other Press stuff.
  6. Time to actually deploy and test it.

All that ( plus more, no doubt ) within two weeks. Oh, and various business bits and bobs.
We also have the added bonus of the kids coming off school at the end of this two week marathon. so two kidlets running around all day for six weeks or so will make doing any work a heap of fun - so it’s critical to get the first game done and out the door before this!

We’re also taking Arcade Badgers an interesting route. We’re trying to be as inclusive as possible with our games. This has two main meanings:

  1. Wide Platform Support.
  2. Wide Accessibility.

In terms of wide platform support, we’re primarily developing in HTML5. This gives us the (ab)use of the Canvas, which we can wrap up with a native interpreter and push to mobile platforms for extra speed. As I’ll be writing this wrapper, I can target all sorts of hardware, and add in hardware specific features to allow us to have the best performance possible, as well as use any fun hardware specifics available. This wont be ready for launch, but we’ll be pushing out to new platforms often ( as well as updating all games that use the same system.. support for all! )

The interesting one is the wide accessibility. By this, I mean allowing people who may have some disability be able to play the game. This may be anything from the minor ( colour blindness ) to the major ( locked-in syndrome ) where a lot of the time, all it takes is a few changes to make the games more accessible. For example, our first game really hits the accessibility point on the head. In terms of controls, it’s just a case of pointing and clicking. This translates to pointing and touching a screen, moving a mouse, or even the use of eye trackers or other specialist hardware which translates as mouse movement. We also have two kinds of visual identification - shape and colour - so that regardless of how you see colour, you will certainly be able to make out the shapes.

While thinking that this may constrain our game design, it actually works in the game’s favour as streamlining controls makes for a more fluid game, and allows more people to play it. It’s win-win!

Of course, with a name like “Arcade Badgers” we are going to be doing some more Arcadey style games… the fun part will be, how do we make these as accessible as possible? And there may be times where it’s just not possible. That said, we will always be striving to have our games available to as many players as possible - be that device, or accessibility.

So yes, a fun time for all coming up!