My Stuff
ffwd blog - indexilicious.
bio/info - about me.
Work Stuff
game developer mag - publisher
gamasutra - publisher
gamesetwatch - editor
Fun Stuff
ffwd linklog - funlinks.
monotonik - net.mp3.label
internet archive - curator
legaltorrents - legal p2p
mod soul brother - classic .MOD by artist
Pictorial Stuff
flickr - my latest pictures.
h0l.gbcam - gameboypics.
h0l.watchcam - 007 style?
Xbox 360 Gamercard

"The one place Gods inarguably exist is in our minds, where they are real beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity."
- Sir William Gull, From Hell - Alan Moore.

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ffwd: Still Alive Version

November 08, 2008

- Heck, the ffwd linkblog is still motoring along, but it seems the main bit of my blog is basically updated every 6 months, nowadays. Which is fine by me, since it's a good chance to periodically update on what I've been up to.

So, here's some of the fun stuff I've been doing since, uhh, April:

- We kicked off a new Independent Games Festival cycle, and have record entries again this year to the increasingly important indie game showcase. Also, IGF Mobile is back, and much enlivened by the iPhone boom and a $10,000 'best iPhone game prize' in association with the iFund-funded lovelies at ngmoco.

- My primary charges, game art/business entities and Game Developer magazine, continue to do pretty darn well, both from a journalistic and biz perspective - here's a nice UK Guardian write-up of Gamasutra that just got published - and I believe they will continue to for many years to come.

- We're also continuing to expand our blog/job network past GameSetWatch, our alt.editor blog - latest editions include Ryan Langley's GamerBytes, for console digital download games (XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, XNA), and Matt Burris' FingerGaming, an iPhone/iPod Touch game info site.

- Am helping out Game Developers Conference show director Meggan Scavio on next March's show - I'm now officially a member of the GDC Advisory Board. I'm also helping program the Indie Games Summit and Worlds In Motion Summit @ GDC 2009, and working with the editorial team to pinpoint some neat wildcard picks for the conf.

- After a relatively work trip-free 2007, I did manage to make it out and about to Austin GDC and to Tokyo Game Show this year - those are links to Flickr pic sets. Both shows were pretty darn interesting in their own ways - the pic above is Biohazard (Resident Evil) 5's rabid Japanese reception at a business day for TGS. I'm also off to South Korea next month for an industry awards show, which should be interesting.

Other than that, after a very productive few months helping to run Dr. Dobbs magazine and website, and launch custom Web 2.0-ish sites such as Dr. Dobbs' Challenge (so popular that we're doing it again early in 2009) and Dr. Dobbs' Code Talk, I'm relinquishing the reins of those products as part of an internal re-org. Sad to not be working on them, but I expect to see their rise to geeky greatness continue, though.

Posted by h0l211 at 08:28 AM

The Think Services Effect

April 27, 2008

- Only a few months away from the blog - so might well be worth a quick update with what I've been up to. Actually, I updated the bio page, so that would be a good start:

"I'm currently a Group Publisher at Think Services, encompassing game products such as the Maggie award-winning Game Developer magazine and the double Webby award-winning Gamasutra website, the top information sources for professional video game developers - plus the GameSetWatch editor weblog. I also act as publisher for the Dr Dobb's series of products for programmers, including the Dr Dobb's Journal magazine and website. Finally, I function as Chairman of the yearly 'Sundance Festival for games', the Independent Games Festival, which holds its awards at Think Services' Game Developers Conference yearly."

So, I guess the new stuff you might notice in there is the Dr Dobb's Journal ownership - I'm helping oversee the venerable programming magazine/website franchise, founded in 1975 or so. So far under my watch, we've launched Dobbs Code Talk, a Joomla-based community blogging/forum site that we've recruiting some excellent expert bloggers for, as well as The Dobbs Challenge, which is a 'mod your game' competition with full source code for Windows and Windows Mobile games, and $10,000 in prizes for making new game variants from the code.

Also coming soon - a redesign of key Dobbs website, and we're also looking at possibilities for the venerable and rather wonderful Byte franchise, which Think Services (the new name for our part of CMP under United Business Media) also owns. So that's that stuff, at least. But I'm still doing the game stuff too.

Otherwise, still keepin' on - and really enjoying puzzling out new media, services, and high quality editorial in the 21st century web weirdness. Oh yeah, and Gamasutra got nominated for a Webby again, third year running. Yay. See you all soon.

Posted by h0l211 at 01:25 PM

Yay For 2008!

December 31, 2007

- Just stopping in long enough to wish you all a wonderful Xmas and a very Happy New Year from myself, Holly, Rollo the dachshund (pictured), and all of the Carless family. Off for celebrations here in beautiful (no, really!) San Jose pretty soon, but wanted to thank readers for hanging around.

A reminder, if you're looking for places where I don't update, uhh, about 3 times a year nowadays:

- Gamasutra is the chief site I run as part of work, of course - 'the art and science of games' - but since I'm Group Publisher nowadays, there's less writing on it from me, and more, uhh, planning, or something. No, really, I do something important and business-y, you just can't tell. Nuh.

- GameSetWatch is my chief area of semi-recreational output, while still promoting work stuff, and it's pretty much updated three times a day, 365 days a year, with news from around the web, various lovable columnists, CMP Game Group-related shenanigans, and other fun stuff. I like doing it.

- Other CMP sites I have at least a finger in include the Independent Games Festival, Worlds in Motion, the newly launched Indie Games: The Weblog, Game Career Guide, Games On Deck, Game Developer magazine, Game Developer Research, and more.

- ffwd links is the linklog part of this blog, and still gets updated a few times a month with interesting and random non-game-related material from around the World Wide Web.

- My Flickr page gets updated fairly regularly just to show that I've actually left the house - which many people disbelieve. Most recently it was for the Walking With Dinosaurs stage show here in San Jose, and down to San Luis Obispo to hang out with surfboarding plastic BBQ pigs.

There are various other ways I interact with the Web, of course, including my Xbox 360 game profile, the latest Monotonik releases, and various brands of IM, MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles I won't bother linking here - but if you know me, you know how to get hold of me. Fun! Happy 2008, all.

Posted by h0l211 at 04:59 PM

Autumn Leaves, Or Hangs Around A Bit?

October 14, 2007

- Aha, just returned from a nice day in San Francisco, checking out the DeYoung Museum, finally, and having a most pleasant dinner at Lime SF, so it's probably a good time to kick back and finally update ffwd with what the heck I'm up to.

Firstly, as you can see, the image accompanying this post is for Game Developer magazine's 'Top 20 Publishers' issue, and we've revealed online that this fifth annual countdown saw "...a resurgent Nintendo taking the top spot from former four-time victor Electronic Arts." A super-detailed version of the report is available at Game Developer Research, which is going great guns, and is officially expanding to one report per month in 2008.

Elsewhere, let's see.... Gamasutra continues to go wonderfully, and is posting record numbers and (on the other side of the church-state split) some of the best editorial about games out there. Also, it continues to be wonderfully cathartic to have GameSetWatch as an outlet to talk about indie games, little-noted developer blogs, and anything else smart and overlooked in the game industry.

Finally, a couple of milestones related to the aforementioned indie game scene - we had a record 173 entries in the Main Competition for the 10th ever Independent Games Festival, which is just spectacular, and just published on Sony's official PlayStation blog is 'From IGF to PS3: Everyday Shooter’s Backstory', some incredibly concrete proof that independent games are a vital and growing force. Very neat.

Posted by h0l211 at 12:13 PM

Quality Of Life - Not So Bad?

July 29, 2007

- The picture to the left is from the June/July issue of Game Developer magazine, and it deals with 'quality of life' in the game biz - tying in nicely with the fact that me and Holly just got back from Europe, where we went to my sister's wedding and visited Helsinki and the rather beautiful Tallinn, Estonia - most relaxing.

Anyhow, work running Game Developer magazine, and the Independent Games Festival is as busy as always - though I'm still totally digging it, despite the fact that I'm becoming a little more of a biz guy and less of a journalist. But I wanted to mention a couple of new things we're doing which are, I reckon, rather cool.

Firstly, Game Developer Research has been going really well - we've launched two reports so far, and they've both been extremely well received by government, tools companies, and publishers. Actually, we're just hiring up to do lots more research through the rest of this year and into next year. As the site explains:

"Game Developer Research was formed in 2007 by the editors of Game Developer magazine to bring a new level of empirical measurement and high quality prediction to the video game research market. The group has published two full reports so far: Game Developer Salary Report: 2004-2007 (April 2007) and The Game Developer Census 2007 (June 2007)."

Related to this, we just launched a new weblog called, "...a Game Developer Research-related venture that looks at where games, interaction, and multiplayer worlds meet online. Game Developer Research will be covering the rapidly expanding area where games and online worlds interact, and has set up an Online World Atlas where it will be profiling many online world applications that game industry professionals may not be so familiar with." So, like... fun!

Posted by h0l211 at 05:10 PM

May Your Year Come As May

May 13, 2007

- Well, another big gap between posts - but everything went really nicely in between, on the plus side. GDC 2007 went off without a hitch, and the IGF was easily one of the best ever, and the inaugural Indie Games Summit was really well-received, too - hoping to get video of that online soon!

Nowadays, I'm actually moving up at CMP, since I'm now publisher of both and Game Developer (pictured - the April Salary Survey issue, which we span off into the first Game Developer Research survey), so am moving into much more of a business and planning role - but I'll still run GameSetWatch as my own personal project, of course.

And let's end this brief update with some big recent news for the projects I oversee, reprinted from Gama itself: "Gamasutra is pleased to announce that, after winning a Webby last year, it has once again been victorious at the 11th Annual Webby Awards in the 'Games-Related' category, a significant achievement for the CMP Game Group-run site in the competition that the New York Times calls 'the Oscars of the Internet'.

Other nominees in the 'Games-Related' category this year were CNET Networks' GameSpot (which picked up the 'People's Voice' public-voted section of the awards) and AOL's GameDaily, as well as the official websites for LucasArts' LEGO Star Wars II and Thrillville.

The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization with over 500 members including internet 'founding father' Vinton Cerf, R/GA's Chief Bob Greenberg, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, The Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, and film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Winners will be honored at The 11th Annual Webby Awards on June 5 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. The gala event will once again hosted by former Daily Show correspondent Rob Corddry, and will showcase award winners delivering their famous five-word acceptance speeches, with David Bowie and the founders of YouTube winning special achievement awards.

In a separate awards ceremony, the April 2006 issue of Game Developer won a 56th Annual Maggie Award for Best Magazine (Computers/Trade) at a Los Angeles ceremony last Friday. The April issue featured a postmortem of Ubisoft's King Kong game, the magazine's regular/canonical salary survey, and an interview with Will Wright, among other major features.

The magazine's competitors at the Maggie Awards, presented by the Western Publications Association, were fellow CMP publication Network Computing, the independent Microsoft-themed mag Redmond Channel Partner, the embedded-specific RTC Magazine, and former CMP book Technology & Learning.

The entire staff of both Gamasutra and Game Developer would like to thank the readers of our publications and the juries behind these awards for honoring us, and hope to continue bringing you the highest quality editorial on the art, science, and business of making games."

Posted by h0l211 at 02:08 PM

I'm Simon 'simoniker' Carless, a publisher and editor? originally from England, and now based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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