Another Two Gone
It seems that corporate America and creative talent just don't seem to mix very well these days. Steve and I work at a rather large American company and we have been fighting all powers that be for 12 years now to ensure that we keep a cutting edge team of web and game developers. It is a fucking tough job as much because of global outsourcing as the general belief that "if it is on the Internet/Web it must be easy to do, right?" Major companies whose product is not digital, mostly don't understand what it is worth to have experienced, creative technical people... because those people cost a too much. On that note, we say good bye (at least during most normal working hours) to Chris and Jenn Cutler, who have gone off to create their own game development company. Chris started working here about 4 years ago. I turned him onto Flash as a development platform, and he took his considerable skills and applied them to Actionscript and games. Ever since, and he and I have constantly been providing the other with engines, rendering solutions, and game ideas. It's tough to lose that everyday contact with such a great programmer and friend. We will be working on things together in the future, but Chris was one of US. Chris leaves with his wife, Jennifer, one of the best graphic designers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They will be a success at what ever they do. As my day job loses good people left and right, I wonder exactly when I am going to be forced to make that same decision...
The list of great developers we have lost this year is astounding: Alan Donnelly moved an East Coast agency, Scott Jeppesen now works for Electrotank, Lian Liu now works for the Government, and Chris Cutler now works for himself. Add all of those 2008 departures to the incredible loss of Scott Delamater a few years back. We were IT for a while there. We were firing on all cylinders and the incredible creative ideas and games we were making for some of the most popular sites on the internet (one site alone had 28 Million visitors a month at its height) were second to none. Our games routinely had over 1 million plays a month, some 10x that number. The complete list of lost engineers, designers and producers is far too long to list here, but you get the idea. In 2005-2006 we had one of the greatest in-house teams in the industry ... now we are only a shadow of our former team.
Some Cool Flash Dev sites to check out
http://www.flashbynight.com - A collection of entertaining games made by a fellow Flash gave dev enthusiast - with a bend toward retro style games.
http://www.xiotexstudios.com/you-are-a-resource-nothing-more/ - A funny, but too true diatribe on that it is like working for someone else: "They don't really want what comes with it they simply want me to sit down and write the code that they dictate. They are not interested in anything else I or you have to offer."
http://www.visualharmonics.co.uk/actionscript-optimizations-resource-management/ - A very nice collection of AS3 optimizations that are great for game developers.
I have no freaking clue where Steve got those pictures to put next to the blog by lines. Can you say serial killer any better than mine? Time to break out iPhoto...