I was listening to Scott Hansleman's 70th podcast the other day and it brought back a memory from the MVP summit. It was at one of the Microsoft parties and towards the end of the night (did I mention the drinks were free?), I bumped into Scott Hanselman and had a little conversation with him. I've seen Scott around, being from the same area we attend some of the same geek events like the Portland Code Camp, but this was my first time I ever engaged him in a one on one conversation.
It was a blast!
It may have been my imagination (the drinks WERE free), but about 10 seconds into the conversation it suddenly occurred to me that Scott Hanselman was timing me. It was like the second I walked up to him, he visually assessed me and gave me a set conversation time, say about 2 minutes and 27 seconds. He was keeping this internal timer running in his head and after the timer reached 0, he'd wrap things up and move on. It makes sense, he's a busy guy, got a lot of geek fame and if he's going to circulate or get anything done, seems like a practical thing to do. So as we're talking and I'm watching this timer that I'm imagining running just behind his left eye, I begin to wonder if there are "checkpoint" bonuses. Like maybe if I hit on an interesting conversation topic or say something in a clever way, will Scott increase my allotted conversation time? And then on the flip side, if I drone on or bore him, is he decreasing my allotted time and preparing to move on sooner?
So yeah, I spent my entire 2 minutes and 27 seconds playing this imaginary game in my head. You do XNADevelopment? +10 seconds. Want to help me make a web browser for the 360? No? -10 seconds. You seem pretty drunk. -30 seconds. That was actually funny +10 seconds. Well, got to go.
It was a blast and I've told that story quite a few times.
Well, listening to Scott's podcast just brought it all back again so I went home on Friday night, coded all weekend and here we are on Sunday night with "A Conversation with Scott Hanselman".
It's just a simple little 2D XNA framework game. The code is fairly well commented and it demonstrates quite a few 2D game concepts that should help out beginners. The whole weekend demonstrates once of the concepts I picked up from Scott's interview with the author of the 4 hour work week. Create an environment to set yourself up for success. That's how I finished this game in a weekend. I took away the distractions, surrounded myself with the materials I needed to develop and I got it done. I had an absolute blast.
Now I don't know Scott too well, just that one brief conversation at the MVP summit and I don't know if he ACTUALLY has an internal conversation timer or not. I do know it sparked the material for a fun little weekend project and so to give a little back to the guy who inspired me, I want to point out Scott's "Fight Diabetes" fund raising goal.
Scott lives with Type 1 diabetes and is making a serious effort to raise $50,000 to help fight diabetes. Do what you can and pledge a little or a lot to help out. If you had fun checking out the game or it helped you in anyway, take some time to give him a donation to help meet his goal. Just to help you remember, I've added his pledge badge and link in the game as a friendly reminder and a way to help spread the word.
I still wonder though....was he REALLY timing me?
[Note: There have been some reported issues with the Fonts not being installed. I was aware that would most likely happen so I included the fonts as part of the solution so that you can add them to your system if you want. I also packaged it with the bin folder populated, so if you don't make code changes, you should be able to run it initially, you will just need the fonts to recompile any changes. The game also plays on the PC with the XBox 360 controller. There is minimal input required so if you want to convert the project to use the keyboard feel free. Have fun!]]