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Why play when you can code? MakeGamesWithUs helps the new generation make games (venturebeat.com)
73 points by jvrossb 1608 days ago | hide | past | web | 30 comments | favorite

Link to game making website: http://www.makegameswith.us/

Unfortunately it's Facebook login only to sign-up and use this currently.

Does anyone from makegameswith.us know if they'll be changing this anytime soon?

Yup, removing the login wall is on the TODO this week. Account creation will be Facebook only for the time being, but you soon won't need an account to browse the site's content.

Are you also going to support Android in the future, or even desktop gaming ? Not everyone is interested in iOS. :)

Desktop gaming I don't know. Android yes.

Good to know. I assume you may be interested to do tie-ins in the future with the other YC-funded company, Humble Bundle :)

Will it be possible to disconnect Facebook? I made a throwaway FB for only MakeGamesWithUs, because I wanted to join.

Thanks - That's great to hear and something I'm sure a lot of HN'ers will appreciate.

They'll only let us rest once there are alternatives to Facebook login but this is a step in the right direction I'm sure :)

Haha, true... sorry to be one of those harping on you to get this done... I could create a throwaway account but I'd rather use a 'real account' for something like this that I'm actually really interested in.

Looks great, everyone here appreciates your hardwork!

For every comment, there are probably at least 50x more people who echo those sentiments but choose to stay silent. Count me as one of those people (who didn't post in this thread the first time I read it) who absolutely refuse to use Facebook authentication even though I'm very interested in finding out about Makegameswithus.

(I use Grooveshark instead of Spotify on my desktop for the exact same reason)

They make their voice heard through upvotes, we notice when the top voted comment every time we turn up on HN is about FB login.

Slightly off topic, but the title intrigued me.

I love coding. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting down with a project, identifying problems and trying to solve them, and emerging victorious some time later. It can be something as small as writing a parser for a fictive language (with the hopes of writing a compiler eventually): The rush when I can finally run "parse sampleProgram.prog" and I get the desired AST is amazing.

However, coding is something that takes considerable time, not to mention the large amounts of mental energy needed to work on even small projects, and sometimes I simply don't feel like I would be able to complete anything of significance. How many times haven't I sat in front of my computer at 10pm, knowing that I should head to bed in an hour or two, with plenty of coding projects I want to work on, but knowing that starting probably wouldn't lead very far, simply because of the investment of time and energy needed to produce anything.

Those are the times where I resort to games, movies, TV-shows, books or similar. Lately I've been trying to focus more on reading books, since they almost always leave me with a more lasting feeling of satisfaction, but in the past most of this time has been spent playing games.

I want to get better at coding and I want to work more on some of my projects (I am notoriously bad at finishing stuff, something else grabs me and I lose interest, or maybe it's because I get demotivated every time I encounter something hard), so I wish that I could get more stuff done in those late hours.

Have others experienced the same, and how have you dealt with it? I realize that sometimes your brain needs to unwind, but I feel like I'm not getting enough out of my evenings. Does anyone have any suggestions for cool programming projects or exercises that could be worked on when you're a little bit tired at the end of the day? How do you motivate yourself to work on those little pet projects when all you want is to kick back and watch a silly movie?

gagege, you have been hellbanned. When you post comments, very few people can read them. I checked your comment history and my guess is it was the "thank you, captain obvious" comment that got you hellbanned.

Sorry to be offtopic, I just hate to see people wasting their time here when their reason for being hellbanned is a bit dubious (there was only that one bad comment that I saw). It makes me paranoid; perhaps I am just talking to myself!

I suggest a system where users like us with "showdead" enabled can flag accounts that we think were hellbanned unnecessarily.

How is hellbanning supposed to be better than, say, a mod telling someone off or banning them and giving a reason for the ban? Assuming hellbanned users are actual spammers, they're still generating spam. Assuming they're not, legitimate and potentially interesting content is being stifled.

A lot of them are just idiots who post stupid stuff. Hellbanning stops them from creating new accounts.

Of course there are still plenty of them who seem like decent users who got off on the wrong foot.

Killfiles probably wouldn't solve that specific problem But I think they might be more equitable. Maybe if users could spend karma to upvote them out of a hellban?

I feel like I'm a responsible user and someone just didn't like one lighthearted comment I made. It's pretty upsetting actually. It's a shame but, I guess I'll just not post anymore. Will anyone even see this comment?

You appear to be unhellbanned, congrats.

I see your comment gagege. If you decide you want to return to HN, you can create another account.

I would suggest not posting any "jokes" or possibly controversial comments until you have a karma buffer of at least 500 or so.

I would suggest trying the following:

1) Pick just one project that you see yourself actually finishing. What's the one project that you're most passionate about? (It would be good if this wouldn't take more than 2-3 months.)

2) When you have some time, rather than jump straight into the project, plan the steps that you'd need to complete the project out first. Make these tasks fine-grained, preferably keep the time required to complete each task under 10-30 minutes each. Organize them by subsection too, if you'd like.

The point of this is to (1) make it easy to jump into project anytime you have 10-30 minutes, and (2) to ensure that you always know what to do next.

3) Make a commitment to check off at least one task a week / work for 15-30 minutes a week on your project.

3) Whenever you have some time, work through the list.

As you get more into it, you can increase your weekly commitments.

Give it a try. You can finish your tasks, you just have to be committed to do so. Be disciplined, and promise yourself that you won't jump to another project until you have finished the one you're currently working on.


Wow, thank you, that is great advice! I will definitely try to do something like this.

You're most welcome. I hope it helps.

Just remember that you can totally finish your projects, but you do have to make a commitment to see them through to completion.

The advice to break things down in advance is definitely helpful. The feeling of an insurmountable huge project when you're tired after a long day isn't exactly motivating.

Some other suggestions (I've a similar work style):

- Try the morning instead of evening, slowly dial back your wakeup time until you have 2 hours in the morning instead of evening (and correspondingly go to bed earlier; this is important!). Doesn't work for everyone, but perhaps try it for a week - I find the switch invigorating. Do other stuff in the evenings - chores, laundry, art, errands, cooking.

- Figure out if there's anything you want to learn or practice, instead of tackling hard problems straight away. Perhaps allot yourself 30 minutes of learning and then see how your brain feels for real work.

- Make yourself accountable for finishing stuff. Pair up with a buddy who has the same problem, enter a competition or whatever works for you. One of the accountability tricks I used was to set a deadline to make myself fluent enough in iOS development by the date of an upcoming hackathon. For those of us with ADD or ADD tendencies, deadlines can really help that "I never finish anything" feeling. A buddy who you can set up a regular chat time with is also a really awesome way of getting stuff done.

- Exercise for 20-30 minutes, even if it's a walk outside in the crisp night air. Taking an evening shower can also help - think about your project in the shower, you might get some ideas and feel inspired.

- Find what works for you to set the 'focus' mood. Different lighting, herbal tea, a clean desk, binaural music - get your favourite focus triggers ready and only use them for this period.

- Leave yourself red. Don't wrap up your project neatly every night, but leave something dangling (and small) to fix the next day. That way you know exactly what you have to do first when you open up your text editor.

I have a programmable coffee maker that is set to make coffee at 5:00AM. At 5:00AM, the world is pretty much shut off. There's not a lot going on on Facebook, Reddit, TIGSource, HN or anywhere else. I can't watch a movie or play a game either, it might wake my wife and daughter.

I get way more done from 5 to 7:30 than I do from 8 to noon. This month, I made my first computer game, which is about to be released on Friday. I have another one in the works that I fully expect to release on December 10th.

I used to try to work on my own projects from 9PM to midnight, but now I usually go to bed at about 10:30. After 8PM, all my brain wants to do is rest, and I'd rather spend that time with my wife.

Waking up at 5:00 works well for me. I'd recommend anyone try it. For me, it is much better than trying to work before bed. The programmable coffee maker definitely helps.

> Have others experienced the same, and how have you dealt with it?

I'm experiencing the same and I'm not dealing with it very well. You're not alone!

My current solution is to work on my second hobby: Digital Video Post-processing. Dirt/Dust-cleaning doesn't require much in terms of mental resources, so it's possible to do well even when tired.

My problem is that I never get around to hobby programming anymore...

I don't even want to imagine what it'll be like when I have kids.

I don't mean any offense to MakeGamesWithUs by asking this, you guys seem cool, but this is an honest question:

Why are developers, especially game developers it seems, so enamored with iOS? It seems like you'd get a bigger user base and less proprietary-API and marketplace-acceptance induced headaches if you developed for Android, Windows or browsers or something.

What is the draw? Is it just the thought that you might make more money on iOS?

I haven't looked too closely at their tutorials. Last I looked they seemed pretty simplistic. Do they actually teach you objective-c? I saw maybe 3 or 4 pages of actual teaching, and then saw a link to some example, at that was it really... Maybe I'm wrong?

We assume you know some object oriented programming and we do teach you all the Objective-C you need to know to make an iPhone game with Cocos2D. Our last tutorial/project involves making a one-level Angry Birds clone. All of our games (https://app.makegameswith.us/) so far were built by students who learned through our tutorials. Nobody had touched a line of Objective-C before we got to them as far as I know.

That's cool. I'll take a closer look at it. I appreciate the response. Good luck with your firm!

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