Archive for August, 2011

On my own; two weeks after

So from my last post you know that I left B-Reel and that I am back in Montreal. I haven’t posted much because I haven’t been working much. It’s been really good times, but not that good work wise. There are a lot of reasons for that, but mostly because I am in what I would call a transition state. I am not living in my apartment yet (September 1st) and that causes my lifestyle to be quite different (lots of travel time, no desk, no office, no gym, lots of food). But I did get some work done just not that much as I could have.

Building games is not building websites

It is quite different to be franc, mostly because the challenges are different and because of that I haven’t found much topics to write for this blog. I think it is my fault a bit, I chose to do a game that is very close to an application and doesn’t rely so much on the graphics. I thought this would be a better idea, because I could save a lot of time by doing so. The good thing also is that it is based on a lot of interfaces (visual, not code) and I website building made me very good at making interfaces. The challenge that I face is more about where to put the logic and how to organise my code.

Finding how to make it work (or make me work)

My trick right now is to go to a coffee place and work from there. That has been working quite well for now, but starting Tuesday I will have an office space and I really look forward to it. Working from home is just not doing it for me, I watch TV or do some other random stuff that I won’t do if I am in a working place. Now all I have to figure out is how to wake up earlier in the morning.

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Goodbye B-Reel and on to the next one, again

Yeah, big news, I will be leaving B-Reel and New York and going back to Montreal mid-August.

But why o why?

Well, really nothing against B-Reel, these guys are awesome, but it has more to do with the realization that I might not be at the right place. I mean B-Reel is the best production company in the world and they paid me a trip to London and the Alps, so if I’m not happy there, maybe the problem is not them. But I do have a lot of gripes with the Advertising Industry in general, a lot.

First, the more I do it (build marketing experiences) the more it grows futile. Secondly, it’s a pretty savage industry if you consider how it handles it’s people. Yes it pays well, but the hours and the pressure are pretty high, which is very alienating. I don’t think I have any power to change this and I don’t feel the urge to participate in this system. Thirdly, I’m pretty tired of being told what to do, part of that comes from the fact that this industry is stuck in a old model where the creative director is the rockstar and tech people are tools (it is getting better), but also as long as there will be a client there will be someone to tell you what to do.

So what is next?

Nothing really, or everything I guess. Haha, if I wanted to be more vague I wouldn’t know how to write it. I won’t be getting a job, that I know for sure. It’s a funny thing to tell people, they don’t really get it. The thing is, I have a plan, now I just have to do it. I want to make games. It’s been something I have been wanting to do for a long time, I even started multiple ones (mutant farm, doodle destroy, a nameless rpg) but never got to finish any of them because of time and life constraints. Well now I am giving myseld the time to finish them properly. While in New York, I was able to put some money on the side, so it only make sense that I return to Montreal, where life is cheaper, and spend some time doing personal projects. I am at a good place in my life to do so.

The plan in detail

Basically rent a desk somewhere not to expensive and get things done 7 hours a day, go to the gym, take some mix martial art class, pass my driving licence test (cause the joke as gone on long enough, I’m 30 and I don’t know how to drive), write more on the blog and finally maybe do some freelance if I really need to put bread on the table ( I think I should be ok on that side, at least for 6 months). If I can do that and get a game or two out, than I don’t care about the outcome, the worst that could happen is that I find another job, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to this haha!


A little about web fonts and @font-face

Hey I know it is not Flash related but I did a little research about web fonts and since I found a lot of bad information out there I thought it would be a good thing to post more good ones.

Ruling out the easy solutions

So basically my goal was to do as Flash does and have a website that uses a font that is not commonly on every computer. I had heard that you could do that now, so I set out on that quest. First thing I checked out was Google Web Fonts but the font that  the designer had chosen was not in there (obviously, why should it ;) ). Same thing with Typekit. I would have felt pretty comfortable using these services, they seem to make it easy and they handle browser compatibility, but I guess it would have been too easy. So I had to learn the hard way.

The hard way is not so hard after all

So my next hint was to investigate the css @font-face thingy (I have no idea how to call this: attribute, selector?). It looked good until you figure out that every browser interprets it differently and when I say every browser I mean Internet Explorer. The thing is it requires a different type format EOT (Embedded Open Type) which I had never heard about and if you don’t use it, it just won’t work. So after searching a bit more on EOT topic I found the solution to all my problems : Font Squirrel. Font Squirrel is basically @font-face made easy. You basically upload the font that you want and it is going to generate all the font files that you will need plus some examples on how to use them. It’s pretty neat. One thing to note is that if you put it in Expert mode you can tell it to just generate TTF and EOT which should be enough and will lower the number of files you need.

Here is what the css for @font-face look like:

@font-face {
    font-family: 'TradeGothicLTStdBdCnNo.20';
    src: url('../font/tradegothicltstd-bdcn20-webfont.eot');
    src: url('../font/tradegothicltstd-bdcn20-webfont.eot?#iefix') format('embedded-opentype'),
         url('../font/tradegothicltstd-bdcn20-webfont.ttf') format('truetype');
    font-weight: normal;
    font-style: normal;

And here is how you use it somewhere else:

.pageDescription{font-family: 'TradeGothicLTStdBdCnNo.20', sans-serif;}

Lastly, if you are going to use that font on the web, you will need the rights to do so. Some fonts are rights free but I guess most fonts aren’t, you’ll need to find a site where you can buy the rights to use them online.


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