Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I want my installer to do this (or something like it)...

The Daily WTF - Turning the Lights Out

"Despite the eighty-hour weeks, the relatively low pay, and the constant threat of being whipped if you don’t code fast enough, there’s something appealing about developing videogames professionally. After all, if videogames are superfun, then being immersed in them fourteen hours a day is basically heaven.

Of course, I never had a real desire to find out and ended up sticking with “normal” programming throughout my career. While I could always code whatever I wanted to do on the side, I never thought I’d ever get paid to write a videogame. That is, until I got paid to write this:


Obviously, this mini-game is not very exciting… or even original. It’s based on old, handheld electronic puzzle called Lights Out, and is a fun way to kill a couple minutes. Which, as it so happens, is about how long it takes to install BuildMaster on a slower computer when you pick the integrated SQL Server database. And that’s why it’s the installer.


I saw this and immediately wanted it in my installers... I thought it would make for a way to engage my users during a normally dead period during installation. Billboards during install are "bla" and everyone ignores them (especially after seeming them repeat a few times) but this is something else. Simple, in the end meaningless, but still engaging and keeps their eyes on my product and from alt-tabbing away.

Now think about mixing in a "Puzzle game" where you move pieces around to complete a picture... a picture that's a "good" (not lame, over zealous, etc) ad billboard. Have 10/15 of these available (if you're install isn't done by then, well...)... hum...

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