Even more personal announcements…

Of Work and Life

And so 4 years have passed. Oddly enough not much has happened since, I moved houses 3 times and worked in 3 different places. I found that being a workaholic doesn’t mesh well with crunch culture in the game industry. I did about 22 months of consecutive crunch (some weeks working over 80 hours), in the end I felt really burned out… it took me a while to recover… I remember I had enough saved up holidays to take an entire December, the first two weeks I was a wandering zombie, by the end of the holiday I still needed more time off.

Time flew by very fast, and on one hand I feel like I haven’t really achieved much, but on the other… hey I have some new things on my CV and also a couple of credits on MobbyGames (yey). Eventually I left my previous job after two years of employment, but the reason surprisingly enough wasn’t the crunch – it was an overly broad IP clause in my contract that constantly lurked at the back of my mind and kept taunting me with all the things I could not do – no gamedev, no art, no writing, no design, no music, no nothing. I realized I cannot exist in a universe where I am not allowed to create, so I left :D

Now I’m in a much better place, work is awesome and satisfying, new colleagues are great. I can finally start focusing more on personal growth and creating stuff… :)

YouTube and other…

I am dipping my toes in YouTube and Twitch, it’s been a long time coming. I am planning to do useful and fun things… eventually (probably start with fun and get to useful later). I spent some time learning about “content creation” (a technical term apparently, I didn’t know there is a whole science behind it). I am not currently taking it too seriously, just figuring stuff out and checking out the waters. I have been streaming a couple of hours a week and I published my first video a couple of weeks ago… found out video editing is fun, but very time consuming, I will need to find a better way to do it or make shorter videos.

I have been trying to be more active on Twitter as well, but… I don’t like Twitter, it sucks. Most of the tweets in my feed are attention seeking nonsense with the occasional cool thing popping – signal to noise ratio is really low. My scroll down experience is pretty much like this:
“hmm ok…”
“I don’t care”
“I don’t care”
“I don’t know you… I don’t care”
“Oh! What is this? *read* uh, I don’t care”
It could be that I don’t understand the ecosystem, or I haven’t been using it long enough. I’ll stick with it for now… but I think it’s kinda meh. I read somewhere that Twitter’s supposed to be like a cocktail party… cocktail parties sound boring, so I guess they nailed the experience. I think I’ll treat it the same way post random stuff no one but me cares about and it will be more like this blog, but mini.

Personal Brand

I also started working on a personal brand… of sorts. Since I needed profile picture for YouTube/Twitch and I didn’t want to use my photo (that would be lame), I drew a slightly exaggerated chibi self-portrait ^_^


Messy brown hair, check; brown eyes, check; dull expression, check; headphones, check; fox ears… ok, that was a creative choice :D I actually drew a bunch more since my initial idea was to use chibi emotes for YouTube videos, blatantly stealing the idea from Hazooma.
IzzoEmotesBut I really liked the dull expression emote so it is now also my new profile pic :)

I will need to redraw it at some point, as it wasn’t meant to be high resolution, and I didn’t want to spend too much time drawing them (there are some glaring mistakes when you stare for too long). I used a bunch of references and this tutorial was a strong influence, there were also other stuff I looked up on pinterest and google. It actually took a couple of iterations until I got it about right:ProcessI’ve got some other brand elements… in pretty generic terms triangles (and triangle fonts) and the colors cyan, blue, yellow and orange or something like that (it is actually pretty vague in my head too). Cyan/blue’s my favorite color because I like clouds and sky, yellow/orange just goes well with it and triangles are pointy (triangles are a very computer games thing, so I figured they fit). Thus this banner was born:


While on the subject, I guess I never explained where “Super Izzo” comes from. My very very first online handle was “Kvadrat” (Bulgarian for “square”), but it didn’t take me long to realize that was lame. I needed something else, Hristoz (my name) is nicknamed Itso (same as how William becomes Bill) and is what friends called me, so I thought I might as well use that, but because I’ve always found the letters “X”, “Y” and “Z” to be the coolest in the English alphabet, in high school I started spelling it with two “zz” like an Italian would (think “pizza”). In some forums however “Izzo” was already taken (who would have thought it’s an actual Italian name). The first time that happened I had to come up with a new account name, I remembered something I had read in “The Game Maker’s Apprentice”:

These days, some of the most inventive games come out of Japan. Japanese designers have a history of taking crazy design scenarios and turning them into brilliantly addictive games…

…Titles for Japanese games often start with the word “Super” (Super Monkey Ball, Super Smash Brothers, Super Street Fighter, etc.)

…and I wanted to be an inventive brilliantly addictive game, so putting 2 and 2 together SuperIzzo was born and has been my handle on most websites for the longest time. In hindsight though I sound like a bootleg Super Mario clone, and my custom font doesn’t help the case either xD

So what’s next? Hopefully another blog post in less than 4 years from now and I will try to publish more content in general… no promisses.

More personal announcements

New job as a game programmer at West Coast Software LTD, doing top secret stuff :)

All personal projects that I have been working on before are suspended indefinitely and there won’t be any new releases, because… clear IP boundaries and such.

I will try to write more broad and general articles on development and design and will play a lot more games… and will maybe do game reviews ^_^. At least those are my plans regarding this blog thingy. There’s a really tiny chance I might try YouTube as well, but I know I’m too shy for that, plus, time constraints.

Unofficial Updates

It took quite a while but I finally got multiplayer networking working. The reason there is no official “Weaggles World War” update post yet is that although (most of) the functionality is there I still have GUI to design and implement… there are also a few new features.

Way back in October and November I also did some work on Winning Streak. The changes there have to do with scoring, the combo builder, physics, fireworks, character animation and IK… these probably make no sense when squashed together in the same sentence, but I’ll try to post a (first ever) detailed post on Winning Streak on this site. Last week or so I have been fixing some unfinished things I had left in WS… still a WIP. I want to eventually (and preferably soon) make another release, as the change log is growing bigger and bigger.

Last, but not least – this is just about to arrive by the post
ccnfvmkWith Occulus Rift CV1 coming out in a just week and Vive in two the hype is real. I won’t be able to invest into an expensive dev-kit but it occurred to me that Google Cardboard is a thing. I really like the idea that you can turn pretty much any mobile device into a VR kit just by adding lenses and strapping it to your face. I have quite a few VR game ideas I want to try eventually. Also I can imagine how cool WS could be with it – instead of watching the game through the TV (as it is now) players can actually be there on the bench as a part of the the audience enjoying it in its full glory.

EDIT: It looks amazing, unfortunately my phone has no gyroscope (DOH!)… so no head tracking.

EDIT 2: Since then I got a new phone(s) and a better cardboard, it’s awesome, head tracking still missing movement, but I can turn my head ^_^. Did so much VR, it deserves a separate post.