Ask @MsMinotaur:

Adriel Wallick
Latest answers


Space Cowboy

Fun fact: Whale Tale was the very first game prototype I made that I ever showed @tha_rami (I have no idea if he remembers it though).

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Have any plans for a different game jam, or is running one enough?

Train Jam is a huge undertaking every year. It's something that takes a lot of coordination, sponsorship, organization, and mental space. I think it would be hard for me to run another game jam that feels as special as Train Jam, and do it as well as I do for Train Jam. Definitely not ruling it out, but for now - Train Jam is enough :)

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Is most of your work contract work, then? I'm working in a full-time job, and contract work seems like it could be interesting, but also scarier from a budget perspective.

Right now, the majority of my work is contract work, though I tend to ebb and flow a little bit with where my focus is. The first year and half after I quit my regular job, I was able to live off my savings with only small contracts here and there while working on my own stuff (kicking off Train Jam and doing Game a Week). Then, after a while, I needed to shift the majority of my focus over to contract work for financial (and motivational) reasons.

For me, contract work gives me a lot of freedom (which is sort of my main requirement in life) - programming is easy to do remotely, and I can work my own hours. Getting good at the skills you need to be a good contractor (self-motivation, organization, networking, communication, etc) has opened a lot of opportunities for me (especially as someone who chronically never knows what she wants to do month-to-month). It's allowed me to easily work on my own stuff when I want to/can...and switch over to other things when I need to.

It's definitely scarier from a budget point of view though - there's no sense of job security, benefits, holidays, or any of that other stuff that comes from an office job.

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What are you working on right now?

My main contract right now is a mobile text-based RPG (which has been super fun to work on). Personally, I've had a game idea floating around in my head for a few months that I've been trying to prototype out (only to constantly get snagged by little thoughts/life events). It's an adventure game about feelings and magical jewel shards.

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What satellite was your favorite to work on and why?

I've only worked on two. One was called BUSAT and was a student built satellite project that was part of a multi-university competition (we didn't win), and the other was called GOES-R and is a next generation weather satellite. GOES-R was cool because I, coincidentally, got to work directly on the satellite as well as the ground processing algorithm implementation (I worked on both of those parts at completely different companies). BUSAT was interesting because it was back when I was more of an electrical engineer, so I worked exclusively on the hardware side (designing PCBs and whatnot).

What I'm trying to say, is they were both very different and great in different ways.

Though, I guess GOES-R ultimately wins, because it's actually going to be going to space.

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Dammit, it's too late so I'm tired and I can't think of an interesting question. But it's dawned on me that I don't know what you would find interesting. So, as lame as it sounds, what do you consider an interesting question? (meta-points if you want to answer it but that's not necc. : p )

Richard Baxter

I like answering questions about feelings, thoughts, musings, and silly things. I know this is pretty general, but something that makes me think about why I do things or why I think a certain way is always fun to answer.

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I saw you say something about a choir from your high school in PA at Disney. I was just wondering where in PA that was, specifically, if you don't mind my asking. (Mostly just wondering if it happened to be near Pittsburgh, really.)

I grew up in a very very very small town in central PA called Elysburg. Almost no one has ever heard of it, but it does have an amusement park!

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What was (one of) your favorite parts of GDC '16? What was the most interesting interaction you had?

My favorite part of GDC '16 was every time someone from Train Jam would seek me out to thank me. A lot of work and love goes into Train Jam, and hearing how much it means to people is unbelievably lovely.

For the second half of this question, I'm going to be intentionally vague. My most interesting interaction at this GDC was one that was intentionally not had. This one non-interaction has had countless and dramatic effects on my life that I never would have predicted in a million years.

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What's something kind or thoughtful you did for someone *else* recently?

Oh, gosh - I don't know. I try to be a kind person, but I can't think of any actions I've taken lately to do a specifically kind thing for a specific person.

I've spent a lot of time speaking with friends over the last few weeks who are all going through varying degrees of personal things and have tried to offer helpful insights and advice - but is trying to be a good friend the same thing as doing something kind for someone?

I've sat here trying to answer this for a while, and I honestly don't know! Does this mean I'm not as kind or thoughtful as I feel like I try to be?

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What's something thoughtful or kind that someone did for you recently?

I have many kind and thoughtful people in my life. A few nights ago, my niece called me on skype to show me the fart app that she downloaded onto her phone.

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How do you prepare salmon so deliciously?

Lisa Brown

1) Heat up oil in a pan (not too much)
2) Put salmon in pan
3) Add salt and pepper
4) Flip over
5) Add salt and pepper
6) Flip back over
7) Put a little dollop of butter on top
8) Put a pot's lid over it in such a way where it's basically all covered but some heat can escape (I usually prop some sort of utensil under it)
9) Wait
10) Don't let it overcook
11) Once it's like just barely getting flaky (use a fork to check), turn the heat off and let it sit there a bit
12) **BAM** delicious salmon

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The other day I ended up describing "circular" in another language as a "Pokemon ball." Made me realise how iconic video games objects have influenced people's understanding of simple geometry. My question is do you have a particular favourite shape based off of the games you've played or developed?

Johnson 'Blue' Siau

I'm not sure if it's my personal favorite, but I think the most iconic example would be pacman. You don't often hear people describing that shape as "round like a pie but with a slice of about 30 degrees removed" - you hear people say "shaped like pacman". I don't think that describing that particular shape comes up a lot in every day conversation though.

I also enjoy how people use Tetris almost as a verb when describing the action of fitting many pieces of *something* together in the most efficient way.

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What is your favorite baked good?

David Cameron

Because it involves 30 minutes of baking in an oven, I'm going to cheat a bit and say mac & cheese.

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Any advice for new TrainJam folks outside of what is on the FAQ?

Download all of the things you'll need before getting onto the train. I try to stress this point as much as possible beforehand, but even with our Karma WiFi sponsorship devices (, internet is very limited while on the train. This means that accessing documentation, assets, source control, etc - is all very very difficult during the jam. I, personally, think it makes for a super interesting and fun jam, but it is definitely something that needs preparation. If you forget to download Unreal before getting on the train - welp, looks like you're not using Unreal for this entire jam (but now you have a really cool opportunity to make an boardgame instead!).
Also, relax (and this is advice for every jam, honestly). It's a fun jam, with cool people, at a great location - you're here to make a game, learn things, meet new people, and have a new experience. There's no pressure to make the best game or the coolest game or anything else - just learn and have fun.

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Can we have cake soon?

Trying my hardest, yo.

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In a few weeks I'm speaking to a group of 10 year olds about being a game developer. What would 10 year old you would have wanted to be told about being able to make games?

Jonathan A Daley

I would have wanted to know the steps to actually pursuing game development. 10 years old is about the age that I first started thinking about game development as a thing, but then quickly realized that I had absolutely no idea how games were made and became discouraged. I never really made it much further than building a choose-your-own-adventure written entirely in C and silly sketches of what was basically an ewok that I wanted to make a game for.

It then took me a few years into my professional life before I figured out how to start pursuing game development as a career. Maybe show them some tools (like Scratch), or show them the inner workings of a game (if you have a Unity project handy), explain the different roles that go into development (artist, programmer, producer, designer) as many assume that if they can't draw or program they can't do it.

Also, one thing I learned about kids and game development is that EVERY single one of them wants to make Minecraft - if you can show them how much work goes into making something like Minecraft, you'll blow their little minds.

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What game(s) do you think you're most hype for?

I have a really hard time getting hyped up for games lately. I'm a generally patient person when it comes to games (which is strange, because I've impatient in every other aspect of my life), so I tend to hear about a game I'm excited for, forget about it until release, then get excited the days leading up to it. I honestly can't even name any games that are releasing anytime in the next year. I'm sure there are a ton I'm excited for, though.

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When will you get out of bed?

Probably in the next 10 minutes since the cake shop closes in 40 minutes.

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Do you think low-ping satellite internet is possible?

I don't know a ton about satellite internet, but I'd imagine it'd be possible. I figure we're only really limited by the speed of light, and low earth orbit satellites are, at most, only 2000km away. That math works out pretty okay, I think.

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Why don't you feel like getting out of bed yet?

Because it sounds rainy outside and the bed is comfortable.

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I want to make a game, but I've never made anything like a game before. What are some programs I should learn how to use? Unity? Maya?

I think a lot of that answer depends on what you're goal of making a game is. Are you making a game to learn more about game design? programming? art? to release a game commercially? to create something small and personal? There's a lot of different motivations behind making a game, and I think it'd be super important to pinpoint that motivation for yourself.

Once you've done that, then it's easier to start thinking about what programs you should learn. Something like Construct 2 is really good for figuring out various design things while requiring minimal programming skills. Unity can be good for people both with and without a great deal of programming knowledge (there's a lot of plugins for visual scripting languages) who want to dabble around with either 2D or 3D. GameMaker is very good for making 2D games. Etc etc. My general advice is basically to just download a bunch of tools and try them out. Eventually, you'll start honing down on which tool is easiest and most intuitive for you and your needs.

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Do you have any favorite or recommended streamers to watch?

I'm not actually really big on watching streamers. Despite being friends with a lot of people who are professional streamers, streaming culture has sort of completely flown under my radar. I was going to make a list of friends that I like who stream, but I'm afraid of leaving a friend out by accident :| :|

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How was your day in a 1 to 10 scale?, what can I do to make it +1?


I didn't really do anything today, but it wasn't a bad day. I could get it +1 by somehow gathering the energy to accomplish one of the items on my to do list. Unfortunately, I feel a headache coming on, so who knows, maybe I'll just give up, go to bed, and make sure tomorrow is +1.

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Will you be doing a game a week again?, If so could I join?

I answered this briefly here (, but I'll copy and paste it below:

"I don’t think so. I’m not going to say no, but I don’t see where I would need/want/have the energy to do this same project again. I would, however, do a similarly structure project. In fact, that’s sort of what I’m thinking my next major step will be. I’d love to take a handful of the Game a Week games that I liked best and work on them in a larger capacity.

I’m tentatively thinking that this will turn into a “Game a Quarter” scenario, where I give myself three months to polish four games – however, don’t hold me to that!"

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About Adriel Wallick:

I used to make satellites. Now I make games. Also game jams.

The World