[Noisebridge-discuss] Gamebridge?

Oren Beck orenbeck at gmail.com
Sat Jan 18 22:18:55 UTC 2014


Can we signal boost that?

"Hackerspace is for Hacking"

On 1/19/14, Romy Snowyla <romy at snowyla.com> wrote:
> Id also like to go to noisebridge return to it's equilibrium of mostly being
> about hacking.
>
> I'm very tired of going there and sudoroom and having people waste most of
> my time trying to promote some offsite company product or to get me to
> attend five minutes of fame to hear a bunch of commercials,
>
> It's ok to advertise in small doses but this is a hackerspace not a public
> relations firm. It gets to the point where I get stuff done if I avoid
> interacting with anyone .
>
> Plus hacking speaks for itself. I can see on github whether people are
> contributing or not or if they're just out to assault me with some company's
> PowerPoint
>
> Let's keep the hacking in the hackerspace
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Jan 18, 2014, at 8:59 AM, Oren Beck <orenbeck at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Ok- I'm going to take a whack at restoring vibes of Be Excellent To Each
>> Other!
>>
>> Let's be adult and honest here- PASSION in one's crafts simply is what
>> sets many of us apart as "Role Models" and i see that while we DO have
>> honorless louts that are pure thieves- others get blinded by passion or
>> simple lack of clue... We see both the skills and the fails?
>>
>> From which the Truly Dark Sides gain a power we might contemplate being
>> scared shitless of. Scared  so by what I call the NOD Rule:
>>
>>  A tech guru is not inherently a #DEITY. Not Our Deity means- they're
>> HUMAN and can screw up on so many levels as can ANY of us.
>>
>> I hope my point is taken at the simplest evaluation. Cherish the skills
>> some folks have. Pardon them for being mere humans. Remind them as others
>> have- bad acts are unacceptable =NOT EXCELLENT.
>>
>>
>> TealDeer: LIVE by the   Be Excellent Meme.  Oh yeah- that does include the
>> needful compartmentalization of skills from misdeeds.
>>
>> Constructive comemts on list- flame me  privately to keep drama off list:>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Oren Beck
>>
>> 816.632.3695
>>
>>
>>> On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 12:41 AM, Romy Snowyla <romy at snowyla.com> wrote:
>>> It's also common to see people at noisebridge bashing VC as if they were
>>> all dumb.
>>>
>>> Well wow kick starter doesn't have due diligence does it. ? Kick starter
>>> doesn't have a board if directors that will dis your collective consensus
>>> bs that refuses to fire your best buddy and no board that pushes back
>>> when you hire a gigantic team?
>>>
>>> Geez.
>>> ;)
>>> All of these would've been prevented by a good VC. They don't generally
>>> invest less than a million in a company that would expect to pay more
>>> than two or three engineers a living wage. Of $70k either
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>
>>>> On Jan 18, 2014, at 8:30 AM, Adrian Chadd <adrian.chadd at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Romy,
>>>>
>>>> It's the dirty side of the startup culture. Everything is hyped, all
>>>> ideas will change the world.. and less than 1% of 1% of them will. Those
>>>> that succeed stand to make stupid amounts of money and/or fame, but the
>>>> rest .. fall into this kind of category. They have this kind of drama.
>>>> The people involved end up this kind of burnt out.
>>>>
>>>> I'm disenheartened by the comments left on the website. People took a
>>>> risk on kickstarter and now they want their money back? It's a risk.
>>>> Unless you have proof that Alex mis-spent $170k, it's totally easy to
>>>> spend $170k on legitimate business purchases and run out of cash before
>>>> delivering. People are .. expensive.
>>>>
>>>> I meet plenty of people with similar drive, similar ideas, and similar
>>>> experiences in Silicon Valley.
>>>>
>>>> Alex - I hope you've learnt your lesson. :-)
>>>>
>>>> -a
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On 18 January 2014 08:18, Romy Snowyla <romy at snowyla.com> wrote:
>>>>> Al
>>>>>
>>>>> All these guys angry at Alex are complaining about how they didn't get
>>>>> credit.
>>>>>
>>>>> Why don't they come out of the woodwork and take credit for the
>>>>> failure?
>>>>>
>>>>> Why don't they take credit for the product sucking? It really wasn't
>>>>> that great.
>>>>>
>>>>> Why don't these angry people take credit for trying to run a company by
>>>>> consensus and too many chefs spoiling the soup?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> They are all so eager to blame Alex for the failure.. But they want
>>>>> credit for any success. It's confusing. Why pin the failure on one
>>>>> person and then greedily grab credit if there's success ?
>>>>>
>>>>> It's very childish!
>>>>>
>>>>> I also think anyone quitting their job expecting a great wage from a
>>>>> company with only $170K in funding is pretty foolish. I'm not saying
>>>>> anyone deserves bad fortune but it's easy to blame others for your lack
>>>>> of foresight
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm also wondering how any company can raise money without a figurehead
>>>>> like Alex. You want to raise a couple million by consensus ? Without a
>>>>> spokesperson ? Forget it
>>>>>
>>>>> You're all so eager to blame Alex for your troubles .., why not share
>>>>> it if you were all so eager to share the success?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>
>>>>>> On Jan 17, 2014, at 8:44 PM, Aduct lex Peake
>>>>>> <empowerthyself at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Al:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It pains me that you think ill of me because I highly respect you,
>>>>>> your book, your work teaching programming, and your contributions to
>>>>>> Noisebridge. (The lockers you added recently are amazing.)
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I do think your view of me and my work is based on incomplete and
>>>>>> inaccurate reports by journalists, online critics and disappointed
>>>>>> team members.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> As bleak as the picture they paint of me and Code Hero may seem, it is
>>>>>> not the whole story.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I know you've posted negative remarks about me online in the past and
>>>>>> I regret not speaking to you previously.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I've responded to backer concerns already, but as a fellow Noisebridge
>>>>>> community member bringing this up on the mailing list your concerns
>>>>>> deserve an answer here.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I would like to take this opportunity to clear a few things up.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'd also like to speak to you in person so you can express whatever
>>>>>> concerns you have with me and we can address them.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> TLDR:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I started Code Hero to make a game that teaches people programming. I
>>>>>> was inexperienced at the outset and made a lot of mistakes along the
>>>>>> way.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I overreached on the design and tried to do more than our Kickstarter
>>>>>> budget allowed for, our team ran out of funding and we all suffered
>>>>>> because of that.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I didn't update Kickstarter backers often enough and I upset a lot of
>>>>>> people who felt betrayed because they thought I had abandoned the
>>>>>> project I've never stopped working on Code Hero and it has come a long
>>>>>> way closer to completion since then.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I apologized to everyone who was hurt by my miscommunication about our
>>>>>> setbacks.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I promised to deliver what people were owed and I continue working
>>>>>> with the development team to achieve that.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I apologized to David and everyone on the team who worked without pay
>>>>>> at the end of our funding and I do so again now for not being able to
>>>>>> pay folks until we first fulfill our obligations to the backers.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I apologize to you Al as a member of the Noisebridge community for the
>>>>>> negativity this cloud of disappointment has made you feel.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We're now working hard on the game and delivering backer T-shirt
>>>>>> rewards.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> You can try the latest beta at http://www.primerlabs.com (click Guest
>>>>>> Mode in-game) and let us know what you think.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> For Al and whomever else wants to know more of the Code Hero's
>>>>>> history:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I started Code Hero, a game that teaches Unity game programming.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I applied to YCombinator with a friend and we recruited a small team
>>>>>> to help build the prototype.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We got interviewed but didn't get accepted to YCombinator.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The team split up after that, as often happens with teams who are
>>>>>> counting on funding and don't get it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I continued working on it for a year and raised a small amount of
>>>>>> money to survive..
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I released a first alpha that taught the player enough to solve
>>>>>> Portal-like puzzle levels and beat FizzBoss.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The game showed enough promise that it was time to hire a team to work
>>>>>> on it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We raised $170K on Kickstarter with the help of many supporters.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We hired and paid most of the team to work on it full time. Some of us
>>>>>> already had jobs and worked on it part-time. David was one of those.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We worked together at IGN's Indie Open House incubator alongside other
>>>>>> indie game dev teams and learned a lot from them and other game dev
>>>>>> mentors.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> An investor offered to fund us beyond the Kickstarter and we worked
>>>>>> with them to set up the company for that to happen.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We were invited by Kickstarter to exhibit with them at PAX East and we
>>>>>> showed the second alpha there with a new orientation level.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We worked on it more to implement the rest of the game's introductory
>>>>>> levels and level editor gameplay mechanics.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We were invited to show the third alpha at PAX Prime in the Indie
>>>>>> Megabooth.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> What we showed was a big step forward but it was still buggy and
>>>>>> incomplete and there was a lot of work remaining.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> At that point we were nearly out of funds and were counting on the
>>>>>> investor to fund us further.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> While we were there, the investor withdrew their offer and we were
>>>>>> faced with a difficult financial situation:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> If we continued working on it, there was no guarantee that we'd have
>>>>>> the money to get paid for it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I paid some of the developers out of my own pocket at that point to
>>>>>> keep things going but without a funding source, the paid team stopped
>>>>>> working at the end of the month.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I and a few other volunteer programmers continued working on it and
>>>>>> released more alphas.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We made Kickstarter updates, but there were long delays between them
>>>>>> and Kickstarter backers got frustrated.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I tried to raise money to rehire team members to work on the project
>>>>>> and I continued working on it unpaid.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Then some frustrated Kickstarter backers made threats and shared their
>>>>>> complaints with journalists.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The writers spoke to some team members who were understandably
>>>>>> disappointed at not getting paid after the project ran out of funds
>>>>>> before completion.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In our Kickstarter update, we apologized to backers for delays.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We vowed to fulfill backer rewards, to complete the game, to rebuild
>>>>>> the team, and to eventually refund backers and repay teammates
>>>>>> including David wages we couldn't pay when we ran out of funds.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I recruited a project coordinator who has helped organize our new team
>>>>>> and I did contract work to earn enough money to start producing
>>>>>> Kickstarter rewards.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Since then, we've released Code Hero Beta 0.2 and we're preparing to
>>>>>> print and ship the t-shirts for backers.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> You can download it at http://www.primerlabs.com and try it (just
>>>>>> click Guest Mode in-game).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We've got a long way to go still.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We've been rewriting the server backend, redesigning the alpha levels
>>>>>> to match the new beta level design style, and we welcome feedback and
>>>>>> suggestions to make it better.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> There are still many critics who've interpreted our delays between
>>>>>> updates as proof that Code Hero is a scam, skeptics who think we can't
>>>>>> finish the game, and worried supporters who wonder if we can pull it
>>>>>> off.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Despite all the mistakes, setbacks and criticism so far we're learning
>>>>>> from it and persevering to finish Code Hero.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We have a lot of enthusiasm to finish the game and teach people
>>>>>> programming,
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I am also dedicated to teaching Unity programming at Noisebridge and
>>>>>> I'd like to expand the number of teachers who can do that so it
>>>>>> doesn't depend on just me and whomever I can bring to help teach for
>>>>>> the class to happen.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I've taught Gamebridge classes for over a year with a few breaks when
>>>>>> travel or work prevented me from being there, and lately I've been too
>>>>>> busy working on Code Hero to make it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> If anybody is interested in learning Unity programming and/or learning
>>>>>> to teach, I'll be expanding on the the teaching materials I've used
>>>>>> for the classes at Noisebridge, Hack The Future and other workshops
>>>>>> and sharing them in an organized spot with a mailing list for people
>>>>>> who are teaching and attending to notify each other of class plans.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'd like to hold a teacher teaching class soon and I'll contact
>>>>>> everyone who contacts me with interest in participating.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> PS:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I have not addressed every single concern or claim people have made
>>>>>> here because this is already too long for those dedicated enough to
>>>>>> read it all.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> However, I'll answer any questions people have via email or here.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Keep in mind that there are some made-up claims out there like people
>>>>>> saying I flew to Amsterdam with Kickstarter funds.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In reality, I was paid including flight and expenses to teach a
>>>>>> programming workshop in Amsterdam. No Kickstarter money was spent on
>>>>>> that.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> People speculated that we somehow misused our funds simply because
>>>>>> they were worried at our lack of communication and assuming the
>>>>>> worst.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We were required to keep careful accounting of project costs by
>>>>>> investors who required us to spend project money carefully.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> The reality is one which many game projects have in common: We put all
>>>>>> our resources into paying staff to build a game that took longer to
>>>>>> finish than we had funding for.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In hindsight, I should have made half as ambitious a game and polished
>>>>>> it with the resources we had and set aside our bigger plans for
>>>>>> component scripting and editor gameplay till after the first polished
>>>>>> release.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> What we completed with the funding we had was the technical core of
>>>>>> the ambitious editor design, and what we're completing now is the
>>>>>> polished content that makes good on that design one level at a time.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I owe a thanks to those who speak up on my behalf, and I hope the
>>>>>> critics will give us another chance as they see the game improve.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 4:23 PM, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com>
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> If he's ever around the space again, I'll introduce you to David. He
>>>>>>> was a 3D artist employed at a studio who left his job to work for
>>>>>>> Alex. The agreement was that Alex would match his previous salary.
>>>>>>> After 3 months, David was only paid for one month, and less than what
>>>>>>> they had agreed on. David finally realized he wasn't going to ever
>>>>>>> see a check, and quit. The thing is, this was only a couple months
>>>>>>> after the Kickstarter, so Alex had plenty of funds. David will also
>>>>>>> tell you how Alex's personality made him difficult to work with, how
>>>>>>> he took credit for other people's work, and basically exploited
>>>>>>> people who really believed in the project. There were several people
>>>>>>> who worked with him, got fed up, and then left. He's always
>>>>>>> recruiting new people.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Meanwhile, Alex has no accounting whatsoever for how the $170,000 he
>>>>>>> received was spent. He didn't even reveal it was all gone until half
>>>>>>> a year after the fact.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If he wants to help train new teachers in Unity or lead some classes,
>>>>>>> that's great. But as soon as he asks them to contribute to Code Hero,
>>>>>>> that's when people need to politely and firmly tell him No.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> -Al
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 4:09 PM, jarrod hicks <hicksu at gmail.com>
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> I was not aware of troubles with the Code Hero project, that is a
>>>>>>>> bummer.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> As far as being a positive example, contributor, and someone who
>>>>>>>> should have the nerve to be at Noisebridge. Alex was one of those
>>>>>>>> who
>>>>>>>> stepped up when my partner asked the Noisebridge community for help
>>>>>>>> showing her physics students the wonders and possibilities of
>>>>>>>> Noisebridge, and in turn the greater hacker/maker community. He
>>>>>>>> worked
>>>>>>>> with rotating groups of her students and within 20 - 30 minutes he
>>>>>>>> had
>>>>>>>> them making games and seeing the basic possibilities of programming
>>>>>>>> that many of them were not aware of. Alex, and all those who
>>>>>>>> helped,
>>>>>>>> showed Noisebridge at its best that day, and my ongoing commitment
>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>> this space/community is in large part because of people like Alex.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>>>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>
>


-- 
Oren Beck

816.632.3695


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