What I Read – April 2016

After such an intense two months of Wheel of Time reading, I took it easy this month. I focused on podcasts and working on our game (plus the gearing up for the Startup Competition).

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

After March’s personal development entry was so awesome (Creativity, Inc.), I didn’t think I could find another so soon that really got me in gear. This book has some incredible stuff in it that can really change your personal and business life. I can’t recommend it more.

I Am Not A Serial Killer

by Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

Dan Wells is one of the hosts on the Writing Excuses podcast I listen to. I was aimlessly looking for something new to read, and the huge stack of fantasy books seemed too much, too soon after The Wheel of Time. So, I thought I would try something a little different.

This book is written in the first person, and is so fast to read. I really enjoyed his take on a serial killer protagonist. It went way beyond my expectations.

Mr Monster

by Dan Wells

I killed a demon. I don’t know if it was really, technically a demon, but I do know that he was some kind of monster, with fangs and claws and the whole bit, and he killed a lot of people. So I killed him. I think it was the right thing to do. At least the killing stopped.

Well, it stopped for a while.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies.

But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon—the terrifying persona he calls “Mr. Monster”—might now be using him.

No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.

In this sequel to his brilliant debut, Dan Wells ups the ante with a thriller that is just as gripping and even more intense. He apologizes in advance for the nightmares.

I enjoyed the first one so much, I dove right into the second. This was also a really fun story. There was a lot of suspense and some really creepy moments.

John’s character arc is really well done I think, and I love the richness of the supporting characters, especially how they often reflect what John is lacking.

I can’t wait to read the third book!

What I Read – March 2016

This month again is very spoiler heavy as I parse my feelings on wrapping up the Wheel of Time series. Be forewarned.

Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time, Book 10)

by Robert Jordan

In the tenth book of the Wheel of Time from the New York Times #1 bestselling author Robert Jordan, the world and the characters stand at a crossroads, and the world approaches twilight, when the power of the Shadow grows stronger.

Fleeing from Ebou Dar with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, whom he is fated to marry, Mat Cauthon learns that he can neither keep her nor let her go, not in safety for either of them, for both the Shadow and the might of the Seanchan Empire are in deadly pursuit.

Perrin Aybara seeks to free his wife, Faile, a captive of the Shaido, but his only hope may be an alliance with the enemy. Can he remain true to his friend Rand and to himself? For his love of Faile, Perrin is willing to sell his soul.

At Tar Valon, Egwene al’Vere, the young Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai, lays siege to the heart of Aes Sedai power, but she must win quickly, with as little bloodshed as possible, for unless the Aes Sedai are reunited, only the male Asha’man will remain to defend the world against the Dark One, and nothing can hold the Asha’man themselves back from total power except the Aes Sedai and a unified White Tower.

In Andor, Elayne Trakland fights for the Lion Throne that is hers by right, but enemies and Darkfriends surround her, plotting her destruction. If she fails, Andor may fall to the Shadow, and the Dragon Reborn with it.

Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn himself, has cleansed the Dark One’s taint from the male half of the True Source, and everything has changed. Yet nothing has, for only men who can channel believe that saidin is clean again, and a man who can channel is still hated and feared-even one prophesied to save the world. Now, Rand must gamble again, with himself at stake, and he cannot be sure which of his allies are really enemies.

The books really hit a new pace for me by this one. I was very excited to get back to Mat’s story, and his courtship of Tuon funny and a bit touching as well. I wish the books had really dealt with the fact that Tuon could be taught to channel beyond what they address. I feel like the story could have played out more there. Perhaps it does.

Egwene’s capture was disappointing at the end of the book, but she’s far from a favorite character at this point anyway.

I really got back into Perrin fandom as well. The first time through, I did not enjoy his character’s internal struggle with violence; I just wanted him to get on with saving his wife. I appreciated it alot more now, though.

Rand didn’t do anything here. Really.

Elayne takes over again in her struggle to secure the throne. I feel like with all the times she rushes into all these horrible situations that she might learn some restraint or planning.


Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)

by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns, and Robert Jordan gives us the eleventh volume of his extraordinary masterwork of fantasy.

The dead are walking, men die impossible deaths, and it seems as though reality itself has become unstable: All are signs of the imminence of Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, when Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, must confront the Dark One as humanity’s only hope. But Rand dares not fight until he possesses all the surviving seals on the Dark One’s prison and has dealt with the Seanchan, who threaten to overrun all nations this side of the Aryth Ocean and increasingly seem too entrenched to be fought off. But his attempt to make a truce with the Seanchan is shadowed by treachery that may cost him everything. Whatever the price, though, he must have that truce. And he faces other dangers. There are those among the Forsaken who will go to any length to see him dead–and the Black Ajah is at his side….

Unbeknownst to Rand, Perrin has made his own truce with the Seanchan. It is a deal made with the Dark One, in his eyes, but he will do whatever is needed to rescue his wife, Faile, and destroy the Shaido who captured her. Among the Shaido, Faile works to free herself while hiding a secret that might give her her freedom or cause her destruction. And at a town called Malden, the Two Rivers longbow will be matched against Shaido spears.

Fleeing Ebou Dar through Seanchan-controlled Altara with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, Mat attempts to court the woman to whom he is half-married, knowing that she will complete that ceremony eventually. But Tuon coolly leads him on a merry chase as he learns that even a gift can have deep significance among the Seanchan Blood and what he thinks he knows of women is not enough to save him. For reasons of her own, which she will not reveal until a time of her choosing, she has pledged not to escape, but Mat still sweats whenever there are Seanchan soldiers near. Then he learns that Tuon herself is in deadly danger from those very soldiers. To get her to safety, he must do what he hates worse than work….

In Caemlyn, Elayne fights to gain the Lion Throne while trying to avert what seems a certain civil war should she win the crown….

In the White Tower, Egwene struggles to undermine the sisters loyal to Elaida from within….

The winds of time have become a storm, and things that everyone believes are fixed in place forever are changing before their eyes. Even the White Tower itself is no longer a place of safety. Now Rand, Perrin and Mat, Egwene and Elayne, Nynaeve and Lan, and even Loial, must ride those storm winds, or the Dark One will triumph.

I had not read this book previously. Completely new content! This is the last Jordan book, and knowing that I tried to go into it to savor as much as I could. So much happens in this book. It’s definitely one of my favorites.

Elayne, Elayne, Elayne. Why do you do this so often? See previous book entry.

I like Egwene again. This whole prisoner undermining Elaida’s rule is a brilliant solution to the White Tower mess, and I really love what Jordan did here.

Rand falls into a trap. Again. I guess he and Elayne are just meant for each other. So much hubris. His truce with Lews Therin was an interesting development, and the battle at the manor house was pretty cool at least.

Mat and Tuon married! Yay! Their guerilla campaign against the Seanchan was also great. I wish there had been more of it.

Perrin finally rescues Faile. Therava takes Galina with her into the waste to fulfill a life of servitude. Just desserts, I think.

Loial gets married and is going to speak at the stump. I wish we had a transcript of his speech there. I would love to see those scenes at least.

Nynaeve tricks Lan when we decides to ride to Shienar to fight. I love how she did it and Lan’s realization of what she did. This was the beginning to some epicness, though I feel reflecting now the end of the series didn’t deliver on this build up.

I would really love if someone would just put Taim down. For everyone’s good. We know this guy is up to no good; just take care of him, Rand.



The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time, Book 12)

by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.

The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan’s editor–his wife, Harriet McDougal–to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so Tor proudly presents The Gathering Storm as the first of three novels that will cover the outline left by Robert Jordan, chronicling Tarmon Gai’don and Rand al’Thor’s final confrontation with the Dark One. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era.

In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward–wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders–his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

Egwene al’Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower–and possibly the world itself.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Egwene again has a great story throughout this book. What was one of my least favorite of the arcs really came back around to take the spotlight for some of the later books.

I also love Verin after this book. She’s a badass character. I want to go back and read all of her scenes again just to see if there are any hints about her revelation.

Rand is a total dick again. There’s just way too much of this in the books sometimes. Some very big things happen throughout the series because of the way he acts, but he becomes extremely unlikeable when he’s like this. I understand the arc, but I think it sways a little bit too far for my taste. The wrap up at the end shows the “light” at the end of the tunnel, but still.

Don’t banish Cadsuane.

Elaida is captured by the Seanchan and will serve as a damane. Just desserts again.

As the first Sanderson book, I couldn’t really tell the difference. There were definitely some emotions when finishing Knife of Dreams, just knowing that the Jordan journey had truly ended, but I love Sanderson’s work. This book just flowed for me.


Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, Book 13)

by Robert Jordan

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One’s prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight.

The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age.

Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel’aran’rhiod and find a way–at long last–to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.

Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways–the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn–have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men’s lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.

This latest novel of Robert Jordan’s #1 New York Times bestselling series–the second based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007–brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near.

Dovie’andi se tovya sagain. It’s time to toss the dice.

Rand returns after his journey to Dragonmount. He is still aloof Rand, but one that can smile and laugh. I guess that’s good, but I miss the Rand we actually got insight to. He becomes this messiah figure a little too much, and I think we lose who he is by the end.

Rand has a momentous visit to the White Tower, but it was as momentous as I thought it would be. Still a fun scene though.

Gawyn is a freakin’ idiot. I want him and Egwene to be a thing, but he’s such a whiner sometimes that I don’t. Her battle with Mesaana was great.

Hopper is killed! I was really sad for Perrin. He has an exciting arc this book between the battle with Isam and the White Cloak trial.

Matt finally takes down the gholam. I love how that turned out. It was so clever. I had been wondering a lot how they would defeat the thing. That wasn’t the biggest event for him in the book, though! I loved the trip into the Tower of Ghenjei, and the final reveal that Noal is Jain Farstrider. Moiraine is alive and rescued!



A Memory of Light (The Wheel of Time, Book 14)

by Robert Jordan

Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty languages.

When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.

Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Last Battle. It’s here. I had trouble starting this book at first because I didn’t want the story to end.


Egwene dies. Gawyn Dies. Siuan dies. Bryne dies. I’m sure someone else bit the bullet too, but these ones crushed me. I don’t think the ending was fitting for Egwene, and I felt Taim was given too much power. I would change all of these if I could.

I understand the three pronged battle, but I think it was distracting at times. I think more of the characters in the same place working together would have been more satisfying for me. Elayne’s battle kind of fell flat for me, not that there weren’t cool moments. Lava out of portals anyone?

Androl quickly became one of my favorite characters with Pevara in these last books. Their story was awesome, and the characters were great. THE BEST side story in the series.

I liked Logain’s resolution at the end. I wish Nynaeve and Moiraine had more to do. Poor Alanna!

Perrin’s battle with Slayer was very cool, especially when Gaul joined the chase, but the pacing felt off a bit.

Mat reaches his culminating role as general of the Last Battle. Bela dies, and fans wailed. Olver’s role was unforseen by me, and I should have seen it! Felt like a dolt when it finally happened. Of course.

So many characters! This book just launched into the action and didn’t quit.

I was okay with Rand’s death, but sad that he lost channeling. Still, it’s hinted that he has something greater still. We will never know for sure because that was Jordan moment and Brandon Sanderson said that he didn’t himself know what it meant. I believe it means he can still alter the pattern.

Overall, it was a good ending to the series, and I don’t know that I could truly imagine one better for all my complaints.

Cadsuane as the Amyrlin was great. Still so sad about Egwene.

The end, and some of the middle, was met with tears and emotion. I’ve never read anything so massive as this series. I feel like I lived with these characters for the two and a half months I was reading. I was sad that it was over. I was sad for some of the characters. I was also overjoyed in reaching my goal of finishing it. My wife looked at me weird for about a week after I finished, because I was moping around one moment then ecstatic the next.

I took a very long two week break away from books after finishing this one. I just didn’t feel like anything would satisfy again.

I have a myriad of questions and hopes/fears for the characters where they left off. It was an ending, but it wasn’t the ending. The Wheel of Time turns. I’ll read these again in a few years and come back to a world and characters I love so much. Thank you, Robert Jordan.



Creativity, Inc.

by Ed Catmull

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

This is an incredible book, not just because of the very interesting revelations about the animation industry and how Pixar’s amazing films are made, but because of the insights made by Mr. Catmull while reflecting on the company’s journey to where it is today.

This man is driven to improve the processes and health of the company just as much as the animators and writers are driven to produce a good film. His observations are invaluable to anyone who works in a “creative” industry and even those who don’t. I highly recommend it.

What I Read – February 2016

This month I continue my Wheel of Time journey. Spoilers warning now for these books, as I am going to share my gut reactions to each one. I’m not going to hold back much.

Purple Cow

by Seth Godin

What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don’t? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last?

Face it, the checklist of tired ‘P’s marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed -Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few-aren’t working anymore. There’s an exceptionally important ‘P’ that has to be added to the list. It’s Purple Cow.

Cows, after you’ve seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though…now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won’t forget a Purple Cow. And it’s not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It’s built right in, or it’s not there. Period.

In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.

This is my personal development selection this month. I was recommended this book by a good friend. We both took an online course by Mr. Godin. I got quite a bit from this book, though creating something noticeable is quite a challenge. It’s definitely necessary in the indie game market.

I recommend this book. It’s a fast read with lots of great insights.



The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, Book 3)

by Robert Jordan


The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Rand Al’Thor is the Dragon Reborn– able to touch the One Power, but unable to control it. Rand knows only that he must face the Dark One in a battle to the death. Ahead of him lies the next great test for…

The Dragon Reborn

The series really begins to pick up steam in this book, though it’s really where we start to see “Grumpy Rand” as I like to call him. The pressure of who he is finally explodes. He doesn’t want to get anyone hurt, so he’s gonna do it on his own. It’s also the first book where the point-of-view diverges from Rand for the majority of the book. Instead we get to spend some great time with the other characters while he does his own thing in the background. Mat has a great part in the rescue at the end of the book. The Aiel show up in a big way, and we get to see the reveal of the Black Ajah. This book moves fast, and is one of my favorites in the series.



The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, Book 4)

by Robert Jordan

The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind.

In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken?

In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn.

In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plans the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland.

In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve.

Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn…..

I often forget what happens in this book, because I tend to remember the events as happening in the fifth book. This one was released well before I started the series, and I pretty much plowed through it onto book five as quickly as I could every time I read it. Still, it’s a great part of the story. The Aiel Waste features prominently, and some very big changes happen in this book that affect the rest of the series. Rand gets the dragon markings on his arms after entering Rhuidean. Mat is dies while inside another door ter’angreal and gains the Old Tongue, memories, and the ashandarei spear.  Elayne and Nynaeve challenge Moghedien and the Black Ajah in Tanchico, which had some very exciting moments. Perrin struggles in back in the Two Rivers against Trollocs and the Children of Light. It’s interesting here to see Verin’s and Alanna’s involvement so early in the series. Perrin’s relationship with Faile really grows in this book as well.



The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, Book 5)

by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and go. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

This was my favorite book of the series when I was first getting into it. I’ve read it 4 or 5 times now, and each time is exciting as the last. I pick up so many new little details I never noticed before. I love this series, and this book encapsulates almost all of the reasons I love it.

The books opens with one army chasing another until reaching a fantastic battle that involves both real military strategy as well as large scale attacks with the One Power. I love that Mat finally comes into his own, reluctantly of course, as a leader, and we get to see the formation of the Band of the Red Hand.

Siuan, Min, and Leane’s escape from Tar Valon is an excellent moment in the series. I love to see how Siuan and Leane deal with not only losing their positions of power, but their ability with the One Power later. I love their stories in this series.

After the initial battle at Cairhien, Rand then invades Caemlyn in order to kill one of the Forsaken, Rahvin. Moiraine and Lanfear battle, which was a crushing moment in the series for me. We also get to see Nynaeve, one of my favorite characters at this point, outsmart Moghedien once again. Asmodean is killed by an unidentified figure, which still remains a mystery to me (though fans have narrowed this down to a pretty solid guess).



Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, Book 6)

by Robert Jordan

In this sequel to the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Fires of Heaven, we plunge again into Robert Jordan’s extraordinarily rich, totally unforgettable world:

On the slopes of Shayol Ghul, the Myrddraal swords are forged, and the sky is not the sky of this world;

In Salidar the White Tower in exile prepares an embassy to Caemlyn, where Rand Al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, holds the throne–and where an unexpected visitor may change the world….

In Emond’s Field, Perrin Goldeneyes, Lord of the Two Rivers, feels the pull of ta’veren to ta’veren and prepares to march….

Morgase of Caemlyn finds a most unexpected, and quite unwelcome, ally….And south lies Illian, where Sammael holds sway….

I was dreading reaching this book. This was my least favorite my first time around, and the second time I read through the series I skimmed through it in order to get me on to book 7. Some of the reasons are the way it is written.

According to the wikia stats, the book features 47 different points of view. The prologue alone is over 30,000 words long. There are so many subplots, characters, and perspectives that it was a struggle to continue with it during that first read. I just wanted to know what happened next where the previous book left off with our core characters, not what was happening in the various other parts of the world or side characters.

Still, I decided I needed to really give this read-through a solid effort. I hadn’t read it in so long, it should still be really fresh.

I was really surprised. After fighting with this book initially, I found myself really enjoying it. The different POVs weren’t a bad thing suddenly, but instead really fleshed out the world as well as revealed the actions which would have resounding effects later in the story.

Rand is in full jerk mode in this book, and awesomely proceeds to alienate many of his allies. The bond by Alanna was a great surprise, and I enjoyed a lot of his interactions with the Aes Sedia, though knowing about the coming trap made me wanted to scream at him. The moments in the chest are rough. These scenes build so much of the rest of the story/motivations in later books.

The ending battle at Dumai’s Wells was surprising and exciting. We get to see the real power of the Ashaman. I enjoyed Perrin’s chase with the Aiel to rescue Rand. The Aes Sedai swearing oaths of fealty was nearly jaw dropping.

Off to the side we get to spend more time with Mat, Nynaeve, and Elayne in Ebou Dar while they search for the Bowl of the Winds. Mat’s role and observations are great. Egwene becomes the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai. I start liking her character more in these challenges, though she still has frustrating moments in the next few books.



A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, Book 7)

by Robert Jordan

A Crown of Swords, the eagerly awaited sequel to Lord of Chaos, The New York Times bestseller that swept the nation like a firestorm.
In this seventh book of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, Elayne, Aviendha, and Mat come ever closer to the bowl ter’angreal that may reverse the world’s endless heat wave and restore natural weather. Egwene begins to gather all manner of women who can channel–Sea Folk, Windfinders, Wise Ones, and some surprising others. And above all, Rand faces the dread Forsaken Sammael, in the shadows of Shadar Logoth, where the blood-hungry mist, Mashadar, waits for prey.

Half way there! Yay! The speed of these books picks up again after Lord of Chaos, and I feel like for a while they are physically shorter as well.

I was a bit frustrated that Elayne, Mat, Aviendha, and Nynaeve are still looking for the Bowl of the Winds. I feel like there is so much cross-purposing happening in this series that could easily be sorted by a plain conversation. Sometimes I love it, but sometimes I feel like it slows everything down so much. Do people really have such a hard time understanding one another so often? Everyone’s preconceived notions and conceits get in the way so often.

Their escape with the bowl from the Seanchan invasion and the Gholam confrontation were great moments. Rand’s battle with Sammael over the Illian had a great setting in Shadar Logoth, but the whole thing felt a little disappointing.  I just wanted a little more “umph” or something more clever to happen I guess.

Lan’s rescue of Nynaeve in Ebou Dar was a surprise. It is so fulfilling to see him and Nynaeve back together again, though I feel like her POV in the rest of the books disappointingly diminishes from this point on. I have a clear memory of this scene from reading it the first. I had built such a specific mental model of the look and feel of the location of these events, that when I came to it this second time, I didn’t recognize the scene for a long time. It was entirely unfamiliar until nearly the end, when it suddenly hit me that it’s the same scene I remembered. I had just formed such a different image of it this second time that my brain didn’t reconcile the two. It was a very strange experience, but fun to see the different ways we can see things like this.



The Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time, Book 8)

by Robert Jordan

For millions of fans around the globe, the wait is over. Sequel to the international blockbuster bestseller A Crown of Swords, The Path of Daggers continues one of history’s greatest fictional journeys and the most extraordinary work of American fantasy ever published–The New York Times,Wall Street Journal, and worldwide bestselling series–Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.

The phenomenal tale that is mesmerizing a generation of readers now continues in Book Eight.

The Seanchan invasion force is in possession of Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha head for Caemlyn and Elayne’s rightful throne, but on the way they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan.
In Illian, Rand vows to throw the Seanchan back as he did once before. But signs of madness are appearing among the Asha’man.
In Ghealdan, Perrin faces the intrigues of Whitecloaks, Seanchan invaders, the scattered Shaido Aiel, and the Prophet himself. Perrin’s beloved wife, Faile, may pay with her life, and Perrin himself may have to destroy his soul to save her.
Meanwhile the rebel Aes Sedai under their young Amyrlin, Egwene al’Vere, face an army that intends to keep them away from the White Tower. But Egwene is determined to unseat the usurper Elaida and reunite the Aes Sedai. She does not yet understand the price that others–and she herself–will pay.

Perrin’s arc through this book is my favorite part. He unknowingly rescues Morgase, confronts the Prophet of the Dragon, and gets an oath of fealty from the Queen of Ghealdan. Faile is kidnapped, and I hated it. I dreaded coming back to that bit. I get so involved in these books sometimes I can’t handle the risks and jeopardy some of the characters find themselves in. It’s like they are real people, and it’s tough when they suffer.

Mat is absent from this book which sucks even more because he was last seen in the middle of an invasion, trapped under a wall.

Rand’s story is also disappointing because it is essential a big failure. The Seanchan are stymied, but he didn’t really beat them, and his loss of control is a very big deal. You would think he would learn some humility at this point, but the tragedy is just beginning.



Winter’s Heart (The Wheel of Time, Book 9)

by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

Rounded out the month with the ninth book in the series. I feel like I am running a mental marathon.

The Black Ajah intrigue inside Tar Valon in these later books is one of my favorite subplots of the series. The discovery of Talene as a Black Ajah was surprising. You always felt like the little group of Black Ajah hunters was going to be discovered any minute by the Black Ajah or even the rest of the Tower. It was a fun change of pace from some of the larger events and scenes that take place with the primary characters.

The first-sister ceremony between Elayne and Aviendha was great, as well as Rand’s reunion with all three women. I love Nynaeve here that she is just ready to go with Rand and kick butt beside him. The cleansing of saidin was an epic scene. After such a long string of fails in the Rand department, it was great to have such a huge win. Shadar Logoth is no more.

Tuon and Mat meet! I was giddy about this. I love their interactions.

Perrin gets no where in this book. Faile needs to punch Sevanna in the mouth. Galina is still a prisoner of the Aiel. 🙁

Diving into rest of the series next month. I will finish!

What I Read – January 2016

The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

by Erwin Raphael McManus

The Most Important Work of Art Is the Life That We Create

In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus— author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles—pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual process that can help us discover our true selves.

I chose this as my first challenge book of the year. My mother challenged my siblings and I to read one business/personal development style book a month this year.

I think this The Artisan Soul is most powerful when he is sharing stories. It was very engaging in those sections. Sometimes the ideas meandered or where a bit repetitive from chapter to chapter, but overall there were some great inspirational thoughts in this book about how we all should be creating because we were created to do so. To leave that unfulfilled makes us less than we should be.


The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1)

by Robert Jordan


The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.


I finally decide to crack this nut again. After nearly 20 years with this series, it’s time to finish it. I started reading The Wheel of Time in 1998 after my grandfather loaned me this book. I had seen some kids at school reading this series, and my close friend highly recommended it. I devoured it, and subsequently bought every additional book in the series available at the time.

Robert Jordan died in 2007 before he could finish The Wheel of Time. I had mostly given up on it after that, since there were still at least 3 books remaining. His widow/editor found Brandon Sanderson, who I loved from the Mistborn series to wrap it up. They released the final, fourteenth book, A Memory of Light, in 2013. Since that time, I had been meaning to read through the series from the beginning and finish this incredible fantasy adventure.

I was initially worried about getting through this one since I felt really familiar with it. I have read it three times previously, but after diving in, I found myself engrossed as if I was reading it for the first time. There are so many details I had forgotten, even characters, and I really enjoyed coming back to this series as all my memories were refreshed.

It’s a bit daunting looking at the big stack of books left in front of me, but I plan to push through this with all haste!

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, Book 2)

by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told of The Great Hunt of the Horn. Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages.

And it is stolen.

I am once again enthralled by these books. This one started a bit slow for me, and the Rand moments are frustrating at times because it feels like he and Perrin and Mat could just get over their misunderstandings very easily with a simple conversation. Still, the chase after the horn is exciting, Padan Fain is crazy as hell, and all of the world building, such as the portal stones and Seanchan invasion, really picks up.


What Remains: Jam Development Breakdown

One of our Minion Studios team members stumbled across a game jam called the Asylum Jam. It takes place over Halloween and is themed around horror settings which do not involve negative mental health or medical stereotypes.

Mostly because it sounded fun, and slightly because all of us were a little burned out on our Skurvy project, we decided to take a break and enter the jam. We had a fantastic time working on Minimalist Horror Story, our first game and game jam participation, so working on another horror adventure in such a short time seemed like a great diversion.

We kept the concept very loose and simple. There was no real story revealed to the player, though we had decided amongst ourselves that the player’s character had been at a party where someone had summoned some sort of Lovecraftian horror into the house. All the other party members had been killed or injured. The player wakes up alone in the mansion, and has to explore the darkness to survive. This end goal turned into a fetch quest for pages of a mystical tome that could banish the creature and allow the player to escape.

Most of these details ended up on the cutting floor due to time constraints for the jam, but we have developed the game quite a lot further after the jam was over to add many of them back in. In the final jam entry, you could explore the mansion, finding keys to unlock doors, restoring power to the electrical system, and finding pages to the book. Once you took the completed book to the library where the ritual began, you could reverse the ritual and end the game.

While exploring, you are threatened by the horror as it manifested as 3 different entities. I’m not sure who came up with this idea, but each of the entities has a different attack method, patrol route, and behavior. The original intention is that each of these would spawn and de-spawn randomly around the house, so you weren’t sure what you what you would be dealing with all the time.

The player was to have gameplay options for avoiding the entities, including crouching to sneak and a hold-breath mechanic when hiding. We wanted to add hiding-in-object mechanics similar to games like Amnesia or Alien: Isolation, but did not have time to complete this.

Because of the loose rules of the jam, we decided to take advantage of a large library of assets we had created for a previous project we had abandoned. Eric still had to clean these assets up quite a bit, but it did save a lot of time for putting the mansion together. He did a fantastic job of producing new assets at an insane rate as well.

Sonny took care of all of the AI for the game, including tackling a lot of problems with how they move up and down the 3 different staircases. He used the RAIN Unity asset to create the behavior trees and pathfinding.  Damon handled the player movement, 1/2 of the environment interaction, and setting up the player object.

I set up all of the game menus, created the other half of the environment interactions, and did a lot of work on the level, such as occlusion culling baking, after Eric populated the mansion with his assets. I’m going to restrict most of the of rest of this post to the the work I did.

You can play the game here:



A Small Glimpse

How much fun is walking through a scary mansion that you can’t interact with? None at all. This was going to be my largest contribution to the project, but I still had to build the menus as well as all the test/completed builds of the game(I am the only one of us with a Pro Unity license). So, I tried to build something that would be extensible but also simple to up and running quickly.

We knew we wanted most of these interactions to make our jam deadline:

  • Open/Close doors
  • Key/Page/Item pickups
  • Unlockable doors
  • Light switches
  • Fuse box switch
  • Summoning Circle

Damon and I have worked these two sides of the interactive coin before. First with The Brass Bastards, then later with “Multi-Horror”, then aforementioned abandoned project. Each time we had settled on a class type that the player script would look for in order to interact with an object.

Basically, one of our player scripts would raycast from the camera forward into world space. If the raycast hit an object with an Interact tag, then the script would check for input from the player. If the player clicks, then the script checks for the Interactor component on the hit game object. If found, it then calls the prescribed DoAction method on that object.

We like this method for simple projects like this. It keeps the work of the two systems separate, and it’s easy to communicate where the systems will intersect and how that will be implemented. Even though we use Git for source control, in most situations we prefer not to step on each other’s toes, especially during jams when code, levels, and assets change so quickly.

A major downside to this is that it’s difficult to test completely. Until he has a player he can share and I have an “Interactor”, we can’t really test a lot of the gameplay until late in the jam. This is compounded by the varying schedules most of the team members keep during the jams. Some of us stay up late at night, while others are more day people. Finding good times to integrate and test code and other assets presents a challenge.

This isn’t probably the best way to do this or the easiest, but it works for us on these quick projects.

For this game, we had an added problem of inventory. The player should be able to pick up different keys and multiple pages. In The Brass Bastards, you could only really pick up a single cog “key” at a time, so the design stayed simple. To address this issue, we decided that the player would maintain a list of items that he was carrying, and would pass this list to the DoAction systems every time interaction occurred. We also split the system into to parts, Items and Interactors. Items were anything you could pick up, and they had their own tag, classes, and method call. Interactors were everything else, including doors, light switches, and the fuse box.

When you pick up a page or a key, the player script stores a reference to the item in its inventory list, then calls the PickUp method on the item. Depending on the item, different things occur in this method. Some send messages to the UI, such as “You still need to find 4 more pages.”; others may trigger sounds and/or animations. All of them disable the renderer of the item so it no longer appears on the floor or table or wherever you found it.

The most important part of this system is that besides adding the item to the player’s inventory, the player script doesn’t care what the item does with itself. This is even more important for Interactors, because they do so many more things.

Interactors are called by through the DoAction method from the hit game object in the player script. After processing the action, the DoAction method returns an ActionResult, which handles things like error messages or flag if an item was consumed with use. The player object passes a list of Items that represent the inventory the player is currently carrying. Some Interactors, such as a light switch or unlocked door, don’t care about what you are carrying. Locked doors and Summoning Circles do.

For those that do, the first thing many of them did is search through the list of items for the necessary carrying requirements, such as a particular key or all of pages of the Tome. It then carries out the action, which usually involves playing sounds and animations, then returns the ActionResult.

All of the Interactors in the game extended this base abstract class:


As we continued to work on the game, I think I can actually remove two of the DoAction declarations. Damon actually always passes an inventory list to the DoAction method, whether it’s empty or not. I can’t really think of any use cases with our current system where we would need to call these without an inventory list or with just a single item.

For the most part, this is very simple stuff. Of course, because I wrote so much of the system before properly testing it with the actual player code, there were a myriad of bugs, though most of it were in the UI systems we pieced together last minute. Still, if we do another jam like this, my goal would be to get a lot of this core gameplay code written and integrated in the first 12 hours. This leaves the other 36 to test and polish.

Overall, the environment work I did turned out pretty well, and I’ve continued to improve the code and functionality over the last two months.


  • We released the game, albeit a bit late.
  • Most of the systems came together easily without a lot of bugs. Monsters eat you and doors open.
  • The visuals are impressive and atmospheric.
  • Occlusion culling seemed to work great for this level. It reduced draw calls and improved performance. Eric has since optimized a lot of meshes, so the payoff isn’t as great, but still it was a simple system to get up and running during the jam and helped us shave some corners.


  • Real life interfered on some level for all of us. It’s frustrating, but I don’t see how you can change this. We are adults with busy lives, and it’s hard to commit a full 48 hours to a single event like this.
  • Communication breakdowns occurred frequently. Mismatched schedules, sickness, family…all of these made it difficult to coordinate the project.
  • No early build. We keep talking about doing earlier builds that we can test and play, but it seems like gameplay gets finalized as the game entry is being submitted. This has to happen much sooner.
  • Builds that supported low quality settings made it into the wild. There’s a fantastic video of the game running without proper lighting/shadows. Looks terrible.
  • Too many gameplay features hit the cutting floor, including hiding, true sneaking, and breathing mechanics.
  • Jump scares and a lot of atmosphere didn’t make it into the game.


Here’s the gameplay video on low quality settings:


While our ambitions fell short, we still made a good start on a game that we will continue to develop into the near future.  Our hopes are to release a new version with Physically Based Shading and a large amount of added content. We have been working on a lot of these improvements and hope to bring them out soon. I will be working on a follow up article about the new power grid system that I wrote for the new release.


Review: Unity Multiplayer Games by Alan R. Stagner

Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this e-book by the Publisher.


I made use of both the PDF & Kindle versions of this book while reading it. The PDF version displayed well on a Nexus 7 as well as my PC, where I used it to type in the many examples provided. The few graphics used in the book were mostly for configuration of Unity components, but all of them were in color in the PDF version.  I did most of my reading through the Kindle version.  It read smoothly on my Kindle Touch, and the code snippets displayed about as well as they can in that format.

Source code as well as errata are available for the examples in this book from the publisher’s websitePackt Publishing.  All examples are in C#.


This book is best suited for developers who have a working knowledge of the basics of Unity as well as experience using C#.  The author, thankfully, does not spend much time reviewing these two tools.  There are hundreds of other resources for learning Unity, and those should be explored before covering the topics in this book.  This book is a great introduction to multiplayer programming.  While a few intermediate and advanced topics are covered, it’s mostly geared toward beginners.

Facebook Application Screenshot

Knowyo.org Facebook Application

Client: Wyoming Department of Health

Where: The app primarily lives on knowyo.org and the Facebook page.

Purpose:  Increase STD risk awareness and encourage Wyoming citizens to get tested.

What I Did:  I built an interface using the Facebook SDK in PHP & javascript with artwork by our team at Adbay.com.  This project came together pretty quickly.  A user should login to the app through the Facebook canvas page or a standalone mobile version.  The application reads their friends list and compiles a “most likely had/have STDs” friend counter based on Wyoming STD statistics.  Due to privacy concerns, the application does not look at profile information for the user friends, nor does it make any assumptions about your friends and their STD status.  It is a very loose estimator that will hopefully encourage awareness about the users risk.

The primary challenges were addressing changes in the Facebook SDK between the creation of the app and launch.  This application went through many rounds of approval before launch, and Facebook changed not only how their developer management panel works, but also the pathways for deploying a canvas application on mobile devices.  Because of this, I had to create a stand alone web version of the application for mobile devices.

Ludum Dare 27 Entry: 10 Seconds of Night

Entry Link: 10 Seconds of Night

10 Seconds of Night was my second game jam entry.  The Minion Studios team and I decided that we had so much fun the first time around, we would give it another shot.  The theme this time around was “10 Seconds”.  We settled on the idea of being a werewolf for 10 seconds of gameplay, then switching to a human player for another 10 seconds.  During the werewolf period, the player would have no control over his character.  Instead, an AI would direct the werewolf to consume nearby villagers.  There would be a day/night cycle that reflected this.

I was in charge of getting the human player off the ground with camera/controls, some level design, and programming the interactivity in the environment.

Ludum Dare 27 Game Jam Entry Development Screenshot

After the first day of development

I initially started to design a world that was similar to Super Mario Galaxy.  I imagined that the whole level would be round and the player could run infinitely around this little globe that contained the village and the mountains.  I built a small demo of this, including a full character controller, but we weren’t getting the look/feel we wanted with that, so we opted for a flattened bowl, with the mountains forming a natural boundary for the player.

After the first day, Eric had create a huge number of models for me to work with including a character with animations.   I set up the animations for the characters in Unity, hooked them up for the player to our control system, and we were off and running around!  I also started working on picking up items.  I will admit I did waste some time here on making the smoke on the houses and the snow particle effects.  It was a lot of fun, and I couldn’t help myself.

Ludum Dare 27 Game Jam Entry Development Screenshot

Another shot of our hero in the woods outside the village.

The original concept involved a lot of interactivity, including collecting items that would allow you to cage or inhibit your werewolf self.  The only working item in the game is a Hemlock plant which will basically poison you.  This is considered a winning outcome in the game.  I also created little word bubbles that would pop up over the villagers heads with randomized phrases stored in a text file.  These would hopefully give hints as to how to win the game.  We did add a lamb shank.  You can pick it up, but you can’t use it.  It was supposed to allow you to prevent the werewolf from feeding on villagers by distracting him for the night with the shank you drop.  We also envisioned having game mechanics for if the player is spotted while transforming into the werewolf.  Any villagers left alive after you transformed back into a human would try to kill you.  We unfortunately did not have enough time to implement this.

Ludum Dare 27 Game Jam Entry Development Screenshot

Problems, Problems, Problems

We built this project before our team was really comfortable with using a version control system and Unity.  We have since corrected this by teaching the whole team, including our artist, how to use Subversion correctly within the Unity workflow.  Not having this in place for any of our jam entries has been a huge hindrance.  We’ve had problems like in the screenshot above when migrating assets.  The materials on the body parts and blood particles from the werewolf kills were disconnected from their game objects during the transfer.

We also ran into a multitude of other stumbling blocks:

  • Lighting: I wasted quite a bit of time by trying to mix dynamic and baked lighting.  During a game jam was not the time to play with this.
  • 10 Seconds:  10 seconds was a great amount of time for the werewolf to slaughter villagers, but it was not good from  a player time standpoint.  So, we adjusted the human time to be 30 seconds and the werewolf time to be 10
  • The majority of the gameplay did not make it into the game.  We wasted time on other pieces that should have gone into making a fun game.  Instead, it’s kind of boring to play.
  • The werewolf & villager mechanics were created by another team member.  He and I did not collaborate much until the last minute.  If we had combined our work earlier, we would have been able to accomplish a lot more.  Also, he lost 24 hours worth of work in a computer crash, so that sucked.
  • We should have tightened the design to begin with.  We make this mistake constantly on jam projects and regular projects.

Overall, I had a great time making this game.  I had higher hopes for it, but I learned so much I definitely don’t regret the work we did.  We really grew as a team with this one.

Ludum Dare 26 Game Jam Entry

Ludum Dare 26 Entry: Minimalist Horror Story

Entry: Minimalist Horror Story

Minimalist Horror Story is our entry into the Ludum Dare 26 Game Jam.  The theme of the jam was “Minimalism”, and required our team at Minion Studios to create a game around this theme in 72 hours.  I am not sure what ideas we passed up for this one, but I know Sonny suggested doing a horror game at some point.  All of us jumped at the chance to design this game.

I was in charge of level design and the character controller.  Sonny was in charge of the monster as well as creating a random spawn system for pickups.  Eric was our amazing artist on this one, doing animation and all of the models.  Damon added the particle effects in the house and the candle lighting.

I began the first night by working on level design.  Eric had made a rough sketch of the house when we initially started the jam.  I took his sketch and mocked it up in Autodesk Homestyler.  I am not sure where we can up with the idea to greybox the level.  I almost feel like it just sort of happened without us thinking about it.

Once I had the floors laid out in Homestyler, I built the level in Unity using the default cube game objects scaled to the size of my walls and floors.  This was my first time doing this in Unity, and also only the second time we had used Unity to make anything.   The levels came together very quickly, and we found out some problems with our layout right away.  Once we had adjusted the layout and scale, I used a script I had found on the Unity Wiki to export the layout as an .obj file.  Eric then imported this into 3ds Max and cleaned it up to create the final levels.

He added the basement and the attic, then exported them back to me to place in the game along with all the furniture.  One problem I ran into is that all of the furniture was exported as subobjects of the house.  I did not know a lot about prefabs back then, and I royally screwed up by not using them to create all of our duplicate objects.  We use almost everything more than once in the house, but many objects do not retain their scale.  I also should have used prefabs to create more interactive items like the dressers, etc…  After this project I learned a lot about Unity and how to maximize your output with things like prefabs.

I created the character controller in an empty environment on just a plane, then move it into our level once the basic features were completed.   I messed up some math as some point, as I made it very unforgiving when trying to interact with the environment.  Often times, you have to be very far away to interact with an object, as up close it just doesn’t happen.  I did not have time to fix this before we finished the jam.

I wired up the scares.  I would have done a lot of these far differently.

  • The footsteps scare at the bottom of the stairs needs to happen sooner.  I was hoping it would be a queue to go back up the stairs to check it out.  Most people just ignore it.  As such, many miss out on the attic.
  • The rocking chair scare happens too far away from the chair itself.  With the limited lighting, players don’t often see the chair moving and can’t figure out what the sound is without the visual context.
  • The furnace needed to have sound added to it.  We just ran out of time to hook it up.
  • The bats took way too long, though they are effective.  I wish I would have known how to use the animator in Unity.  Instead, I hand coded all the vector points the bats should follow and interpolated them along the points.

There were a lot of other mishaps, like the candle burning sideways instead of down and the wrong control scheme being listed in the instructions, but I am still very pleased with how this game turned out.  We placed 7th in the Jam’s mood category, and received hundreds of comments, both positive and negative.  Eric posted an entry for the game on GameJolt.  We never posted the game itself, but discovered that even 9 months later a lot of people were still playing it and were interested in what we were up to.

This was the first game I ever completed.  We had a lot of false starts before this, but this game had a beginning, end, and a fun/scary in-between.  I am very excited about the feedback we got on this.  From comments on our social media channels, to youtube videos of people getting scared and jumping out of their chairs.  It was an incredible experience and sealed my pursuit of a game development career. 

Here are videos we’ve found of people playing our game: