Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to Get Your External Microphone to Work on Asus X401U for Windows 8.1 with Realtek Audio Manager

I spent about three days trying to get my external mic to work on my Asus computer and I think I finally figured out what the problem was.

First, I read online that you need a splitter in order to get your external microphone in the audio / microphone combo jack, but that is not true.

When you plug your microphone into the audio jack, the wizard should pop up asking what device you just plugged in. Choose microphone.

Now, the tricky thing is that your microphone will not show up as a device. It will simply displace your built in microphone on your laptop.

To test the external mic, simply tap on it to see if it's picking up sound in the green bar in your recording devices area. To find this, simply right click on "speakers" at the bottom left corner of your screen and go to recording devices. You can click "configure" to have the system set up your levels.

If this does not work, Realtek has more up to date drivers on their site than Asus for Windows 8.1. Install them at your own risk (click on High Definition Audio Codeks). I have had no problems, but that doesn't mean someone else will not.

Unfortunately, I was not able to plug in the microphone and speakers at the same time through a splitter. I read online that there is a limitation to the hardware since it's a notebook, but I'm not sure if that's true.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, I am generally able to respond to them within twenty-four hours.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

WSU Angel - Firefox Connection is Untrusted: How to add security certificate exception.

For some reason, Firefox does not work well with Washington State University's Angel learning system (lms.wsu.edu). For some reason, Firefox is not able to retrieve the security certificate on its own and it needs some help.

1) Click the orange Firefox drop down menu at the top left of your browser.

2) Go to Options -. Options.

3) Go to "Advanced" at the far right.

4) Choose "View Certificates" and click.

5) Add exceptions.

6) Type in cdpecontent.wsu.edu

7) Check the box that says "store permanent exception".

8) Add exception.

9)You may need to log out and log back in.

Please comment below if this helped you!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Visual Novel Games on OUYA

Please note that this post contains amazon affiliates links. If you click on an amazon.com link and buy something, I do receive nominal affiliate credit.


OUYA is a game console specifically for indie game developers. Support innovative, niche, experimental, retro, and taboo games by getting one today! Find technical specifications about OUYA at amazon.com.

 

Visual Novel Games and Dating-Sims on OUYA

 


Please let me know about other titles so I can update the list!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Easiest Possible Way to Create a Keystore For Android With Step by Step Instructions Without Eclipse

Believe it or not, generating a keystore does not have to be a complete fuck shit. If the keystore process is driving you crazy, read this first for some mental relief.

First, you need to get the most current Java development kit (JDK).

Once you downloaded and installed it:

1) Go to Start Menu and click on "Run..."
2) Type "cmd". [press the Enter key]
3) Type "cd..". [press the Enter key]

Note: You may have to repeat step 3 one or two times until you get to "c:/". When you type "cd.." and press enter, it moves you up the directory stack.

When you are at c:/

4) Type "cd Program Files". [press the Enter key]
5) Type "cd Java". [press the Enter key]
6) Type "cd jdk1.7.0_03". [press the Enter key]

 Please note that your version is unlikely to be jdk1.7.0_03. You will probably need to type something else, so navigate to the file to see what the folder is named exactly.

7) Type "cd bin". [press the Enter key]
8) keytool -genkey -v -keystore com.HappyGames.MonkeyMagic.keystore -alias monkey -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000 

Note: Replace HappyGames.MonkeyMagic with your real business name and game name. Also, you probably don't want your alias to be monkey. Make sure you copy and save this information to notepad because you will need it later.

The keystore tool will prompt you for additional information. Just enter it normally, but avoid special characters.

At the end, you need to type "yes" to create the file in your bin where the keystore tool is located.

If this doesn't make sense, please leave a comment below so I can help you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

To reddit or NOT to reddit: A Story of a Self-Advertising Flop

I was wondering how much money it would take to push my e-book up in the amazon charts. I decided that I would test reddit with $10.00 and had no idea what to expect since they just changed their advertisement system.

This is the ad (shrunk):


And these are the stats:


That's right... I spent $10.00 and only got 25 clicks. I spent $0.40 per click. Pretty unbelievable. It's almost as expensive as Google now (perhaps more expensive in some cases)!

So, what happened?

Reddit users likely have trained their eyes to ignore the ads. Well... sort of. Although there were 15,491 impressions, the CTR (click through rate) was only .161. I didn't even get 1% of people who saw the ad to click! The truth is that most people know where ads are usually placed on a website, and immediately ignore them to navigate to their intended content.

Only the craziest and emotionally charged links get any attention and go viral on reddit. So, an ad for a free e-book, even when targeted towards the subtarget "books", has fairly little reddit value.

So, when creating a reddit ad:

1) Make sure that the link can stand on its own without being an ad. If no one will click on the basic link, don't spend money to push it as an ad.
2) Your thumbnail needs to POP!
3) Don't spend more than the minimum of $5.00 at first. If your cost per click is decent, you can always spend more money later.

Even worse is that a ton of reddit ad space has already been bought up. I had a really difficult time finding dates and subtargets that were available.

I'm curious what others' experience with reddit ads are. Please share below.

How to do a Goodreads Giveaway and Sample Results

Number of people who added Witches
of Blackmere to their reading list.

Please note that there are amazon affiliate links in this article. If you click on them and buy something, I will receive nominal affiliate credit.

I recently ran a Goodreads Giveaway from 09/10/2013 - 10/10/2013 for Witches of Blackmere High and these are the results:

I gave away ten books in total.
  • Entries: 934 (Number of people who entered the giveaway)
  • Added: 455 (Number of people who added the book to their reading list).
  • Cost: The printing cost of the books and the shipping cost me $64.00.

Summary: 

So, I spent $64.00 which got my book in front of 934 people (Actually more because not everyone who saw it entered the giveaway). 455 added it to their reading list. So, it basically cost about $.14 to get a reader to add my book to their reading list. It's not too bad, but it will be interesting to see what the long-term effects of the giveaway will be since I expect more ratings and reviews to stem from it.

 

Dead Period:

One interesting that I noticed was a "dead zone" (red bar) within my graph. The blue horizontal bar shows the first week of the giveaway. After eight days there was very little activity until the final week (green bar) of the giveaway, which is where I got must of my entries and reads.

How Long Should My Goodreads Giveaway be For?

Perhaps an entire month is not necessary if you're in a hurry to promote your book for whatever reason. If the first and last week are the most important time of a giveaway, you may just need a few weeks.

Should I Make My Giveaway for as Long as Possible?

Maybe. People may forget about your book, lose interest, and move onto other titles if your giveaway period is for too long.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Indie Game Developer Budget: How do we do it?

Updated March 12, 2014 to include tips by Anonymous: Eliminate all of your debt, coupon, and live off-grid.

In 2010, indie game developers reported an average annual salary of $11,379. However, this number nearly doubled to $23,549 in 2011. You can read the detailed article at GamerCareerGuide.com.

The rise is due to a number of factors, but I will say that most indie developers are NOT making this much money per year. If you exclude hobbyists from the survey, the numbers certainly aren't unreasonable. Indie-friendly platforms and ease of distribution have contributed to the spike in salaries, but the biggest jump is likely due to professionals in the industry being forced towards the indie scene due to huge layoffs. These unemployed workers know how to make games that sell.

However, you're not an industry professional, so how are you going to do this?

Income: 


You'll be lucky to make more than $0.00 on your first game. Selling even ONE game a day IS difficult at first, and the *days of $19.99 a game are long gone. Maybe you can sell one game a day for $10.00. By the time the payment processors and taxes have taken their toll, you are left with ~$6.00. So, for the year you have about $2,190 in your pocket (and remember some people don't even make that). So what's an indie developer to do?

 

Rent: 

You're going to have to get creative. How do you get creative with rent?

One pair of indie game developers made their games in a tree house! If you can't manage a tree house, maybe living in your parents' garage, or having a supportive friend, spouse, etc, will be the key to beating your rent expense. On $2,190, you won't be able to afford even the cheapest rent. Some subsidised housing may allow you to pay just a portion of your income, but you have to prove to them how poor you are first...

Water: 

Do you live by a river? If so, take a garbage can, find a friend with a pickup truck, and head on down to scoop up some free agua. This may or may not be legal, depending on where you live... You could also just pay your water bill.

Electricity: 

You don't need much. Take your laptop to the library and plug it in. You can also take advantage of their free Internet. You have a nice quiet place to work and a free source of power. When you're at home, light a couple of candles, take the bulb out of your refrigerator, and unplug everything before you leave your house!

BYOB: 

That's right! Bake your own bread! I'm not sure if this is actually cheaper, but you really do need to make your own food from scratch and freeze it. Tons of people don't spend any money on food, and I'm not just talking about dumpster divers. Join coupon clubs, trade coupons you don't want, and locate any discount food supply stores in your area.

Haircut:

Buy a clipper and give yourself a buzz cut. If you're a woman, just put your hair in a ponytail. You're a developer now, so people expect you to look a little rough.

Personal Hygiene: 

There's no reason to pay for soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc. Sign up for every free sample list that you can find, and go to events where they are handing out free samples. You can also fill out forms online to get free stuff. Before you know it, you'll have more personal care products than you'll know what to do with!

Automobile: 

You can't afford a vehicle, the maintenance, the gas that powers it, nor the insurance anymore. If you're lucky, there may be a car rental service like Zipcar in your area. You could also just take the bus or ride a bike if you need to go somewhere. Don't worry! You'll be so busy developing your game that you won't really need to get out that often. On the rare occasion that you do, maybe you can bum a ride from your friend.

Health Insurance: 

***You're required to have health insurance now, but you're so poor that you can probably get a waiver or something.

Okay, now that we have the personal expenses laid out, let's get to the commercial ones.

Business License: 

**You'll need an LLC to prevent people from trying to sue you for all of your shit. You may also need a city license depending on what you're doing exactly (hiring employees, collecting sales tax, etc.) Of course, you could forgo the business license and do business in your personal name to avoid some fees, but you're opening yourself up for liability. Depending on a number of factors, you may have to get the business license. For example, if you are collecting sales tax, you may have to pay the license fees.

Art: 

You can't afford to hire an artist, so you're going to have to rely on your own programmer art. This is actually a good thing because pixel art is titillating! Of course, you may be able to find an artist to split revenue with 50%, but most artists have been burned so many times before that they're going to require some sort of payment up front. If you do manage to find an artist to help you, they will most likely disappear, their family members will start dropping like flies (because they are lying), or they will end up with a mysterious illness (probably also a lie). You can also take a look at opengameart.com, but be careful because the licenses are very confusing and it's easy to get tricked into thinking that something is truly “open” when it's not.

Music: 

There are some free music tracks out there which are free for commercial use and royalty free, but they are difficult to find. There are some talented audio people on newgrounds.com that may be able to help you.

Development: 

It's free! (Because you work for free now). There are tons of free dev tools out there, so go get them! Don't know how to make a game? No problem! There are more tutorials online than you could ever read in your lifetime.

Breakdown:

Income $2,190.00 Sell one game a day and profit $6.00
Rent $0.00 Mooch or live in a tree house.
Food $1,200.00 BYOB, coupon, go to the food bank, and if you have to... dumpster dive!
Water $240.00 If you don't live by a river, it's going to cost you. Also, your garden is going to be... dead.
Electricity $360.00 Freeze your ass off in the winter and melt in the summer. Oh! You also need to live in the dark.
Haircut $20.00 You don't have a real job anymore. Making yourself presentable is overrated.
Personal Care: $0.00 Start signing up for those free samples and stock up now!
Car: $0.00 You should have sold your car at this point.
Business License: $150.00 Unavoidable unless you're willing to gamble personal liability.
Art: $0.00 With free tools and tutorials, even a monkey could do this!
Music: $0.00 There's free music out there. You just have to look.
Development: $0.00 You work for free now.



Total: Income $2,190.00
Total: Expenses $1,970.00



Profit? $220.00

Summary:


Yes, you CAN make it. But you'll only be making about $1.00 an hour. You must really love what you do.

*Of course there are exceptions. You may be able to sell your game for $19.99, but a price war has driven the retail price of games to the bottom of the barrel. It takes a long time to make a game worth $19.99, and you don't have it.

** This article is for entertainment purposes only and is not an appropriate source for business or legal advice, etc.

*** As of October 4, 2013 the details of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are still being worked out.