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Threadbare Games creates an app to help fund the Immunity Project

Weekly Update 2/12/2014 The Immunity Project and Sparkart

What have we been doing the last month?!?

immunity project banner
We have been working with another local company developing a fundraising app that will be used to help the Immunity Project. Now that the contracts have been signed we can share this exciting news with the world.

The Immunity Project is a non-profit initiative dedicated to developing an HIV vaccine. They hacked the HIV life cycle to develop a vaccine that gives normal people the same power as HIV controllers. With success in their clinical trials, they aim to give their vaccine away to the world for free. Most recently they have been accepted into elite accelerator program Y Combinator. You can read more about them here.

We are making a game for Android to be released in many countries across the world.

Screenshot_2014-02-12-15-05-18

Jen did most of the art and, so far, the app looks sweet! There are gems and a dragon and an entire planet made out of coins. It seriously looks like your phone will explode from all the treasure inside it. Great work Jen!

With another company handling localization we are able to put our full focus into making a clean app that runs cleanly and is extremely intuitive to operate. So far it runs fairly well but we need other devices to test it on so if you have an old Android phone lying around please send it our way. The more we get, the more we can test, and the more stable the app will be. You can email us about phone donations at Contact@ThreadbareGames.com.

We are extremely excited to be working for such an awesome cause and hope that you are as stoked as we are!

Thanks!

The Threadbare Crew!


Personal Profile: Cliff “Devinoch” Hicks

Oh boy. The fun of assigning personal profiles to other people means that you don’t have to do them yourself. Right? Right?! *sigh* Wrong.

My name’s Cliff Hicks. I’ve also been known as Devinoch for over a dozen years. I’m the producer here at Threadbare Games. I started in the industry just before the turn of the millennium, and have been working in games in one regard or another ever since.

I started as a gamer in the Dark Ages – back when the Atari 2600 was brand new, and Oregon Trail for the Apple IIe was still a nifty idea (along with digital watches). I lost a lot of time to Zork, and was eaten by a number of grues. Many levels of Lode Runner were played and developed. I still miss Kid Icarus for NES. I played through Final Fantasy VI (or III, as it was originally called in the US) at least half a dozen times. (I remember blowing on cartridges in order to get dust off the contacts…)We played Command & Conquer and Descent via modem when we were in high school. (Yes, this meant the phone line was busy the whole time.) My college dorm floor hosted many a game of Duke Nukem 3D, Quake and Warcraft 2. We were already popular, because our room had both the first Playstation and the first Nintendo64 on campus. I was one of the 1000 original beta testers for Diablo. (You can find my name in the credits!) Yeah, I’m one of those guys.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in Journalism and English, I moved out to California and started work for CNet in the Gamecenter division. (Never heard of it? Don’t worry! It’s not around anymore!) For my first year post-college, I wrote about videogames. Previews, reviews, you name it. Ah, that was the life. It didn’t last. From there, I bounced around (a very common thing in the games industry) but I’ve done stints at such venerable game studios as Westwood, Maxis and Konami, and worked for a number of startups such as IMVU and Kabam. I even went back and worked at CNet (this time at Gamespot) for a while longer.

You might ask yourself ‘What does a producer do?” Well, the short answer is that a producer typically wears as many hats as they can. They wear the marketing hat, they wear the designer hat, they wear the scheduling hat, they wear the testing hat, they wear the research hat, they wear the food delivery hat… A producer is practically their own haberdasher (60 points on a triple word score). We do a lot of everything. We fill in for any job we can, and sometimes jobs we’re not great at, just because the work has to get done.

Speaking of which, I should probably get back to work…


Early days

Starting up a game development cycle involves a whole lot of talking. It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. There’s two phases we went through today – the post-mortem (a term Zach hates) and the scheduling for the next project.

Post-mortems are probably one of the least fun parts about making games, because by the end of any project, teams are usually a little burned out, and the entire purpose of a post-mortem is to figure out what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong, which means looking at all of the decisions of the past months with a magnifying glass. That said, post-mortems are also one of the most important parts of making games – the point where you figure out how to do better next time, no matter how good or bad you did this time. Nothing is off the table, everything is up for discussion. This involves a lot of discussion, and there’s always the danger of going down a path further than is useful. 

Scheduling often doesn’t seem like a lot of fun, but there’s a certain sense of excitement that comes with starting a new project. There’s lots of discussions and every door feels very open. But this is also a very fundamental part of building any game, because it’s the step where a mistake can be felt the hardest down the line. It’s impossible to estimate how long each and every task will take to perfection, but the team needs to make sure it gets in the right ballpark, otherwise the whole schedule will start to slip. It’s also important to have flexibility when baking the schedule, because game development, software development, is a very fluid thing, and things change all the time – needs, design, plans, etc.

We’re still in the early days of our next project and I can’t wait to tell you all more about it, but it’s far too early to talk about it yet. That said, once we get to the point where we can talk about it, we hope you’ll be as jazzed about it as we are!