Game Developer. Product Architect. Technology Enthusiast

Category: Updates

Games and Concepts.. Up Next

Our upcoming game at Hashstash, is shaping up pretty well and will soon be at the point, where I will start sharing details with you. With the game reaching maturity, I have started experimenting with some new ideas.

The first one is a real-time multiplayer galcon-styled strategy game. The idea is to keep it simple and casual, yet have layers of strategy with supply lines and logistics. It is an exciting concept, where we are also experimenting with how we can involve tech trees, and include eras of human evolution in the gameplay. The real challenge here is to keep it simple and casual.

The second idea we are experimenting with is a match three game meets the tycoon genre. A bit like Puzzle Forge, but way more generic and social in gameplay. I have been a big fan of Kairosoft’s Story franchise and would love building something like that. Just for this concept, the idea is to keep the meta game tycoon, while the repetitive mechanic as match three. Again, something that sounds both promising and weird as an idea. Let’s see if this pans out.

The third idea is a space exploration and trading game, inspired by the likes of Sid Meier’s Pirates, Tradewinds series and the recent Starship Captains. The idea is to have a huge and expansive universe with lots of races and cultures, and you as a trader between it all embroiled in the mysteries and politics of the universe. It would be very interesting to have something like the Asimov universe with distinct races and cultures going about in the game. Another interesting layer could be something like Hero Generations.

As always, one always running idea is a cricket simulation game. Sadly, I have stopped doing much about it. In late 2014, I came pretty close, but still not done yet.

I will keep posting here, the progress that I make with the ideas.

Taking back the web, one student at a time

Hello. I am Kinshuk Sunil, a Mozilla Representative from India, and a game designer by profession. I was also involved with setting up the Indian Mozilla community initiative: Mozilla India. This January, I was nominated to advise the Mozilla Student Reps as a Regional Student Coordinator (RSC). One of the first things that I volunteered to do was to write this first post for the Student Reps Planet blog, in which I will introduce the Student Reps program and become an active contributor with us.

The Student Reps program is a Mozilla Contributor Engagement program designed to involve and integrate students in promoting Firefox and Mozilla’s mission. Student Reps are passionate, creative, and resourceful people, who are studying in college or university and want to contribute to promoting the open web in their institutions and local communities. For full details on the Student Reps program, you should check out this site: https://studentreps.mozilla.org.

The Student Reps program is an extremely rewarding program that helps students make an impact, advance their skills and become leaders in the Mozilla community and beyond. An active Student Rep takes advantage of the tools and resources provided to get the most out of his or her experience in the program. For example, all Student Reps should particiapte in the Student Reps 101 training or watch the video. Please visit this link and sign-up for the next training.

Amongst many awesome rewards and recognition items, active Student Reps can get invited to regional and international Mozilla events, receive special Firefox gear, and may even have the opportunity to join the Mozilla Interns program. The key to demonstrating your activity as a Student is Project Reporting. While Student Reps are required to regularly submit Project Reports on their progress and learnings within the program and get feedback from the RSC and the Community Manager on initiatives, the crown belongs to the project Case Studies.

Student Reps are encouraged to analyse their projects and to present them as a Case Study (in the form of a blog post or a forum post). Case Studies become an insightful showcase of what it takes to organize a project or event, and it encourages other Student Reps to stay active.

Here’s a list of things that Student Reps should mention in their Case Studies:

  • Name, date/duration, location and type of event or project
  • About how many people took part in the event or project?
  • What planning did you and others put in to the event or project?
  • Did you set and accomplish any goals? If not, why?
  • Did you face any challenges? If so, what did you learn from them?
  • Any other feedback you would like to offer other Student Reps about this event or project?
  • For an example, check out Rishab Arora’s exciting work at gCon 2012.

Many Student Reps are doing a lot of activities in their region and this Planet blog will soon become a hub of all that activity.

Wishing them all best!

Recent Tidings

January 2012 was pretty uneventful. The only highlight being a small workshop on animation that Arjun and Ravish gave at Rukmini Devi Institute of Advanced Studies (Rohini) from Hashstash. And I got accepted into the Mozilla Students Rep program (that calls for a seperate post). And the WebFWD program as a Scout too!

Followed February, with a lot of hyper activity. First there was a random trip to Bangalore (Hashstash South XD). Just after returning from it was the GTUG Delhi’s DevFestX. I participated at the event as a Mozilla Rep and a WebFWD Scout, spent some time introducing the WebFWD program to the assembly and continuing over to a general primer to FOSS and its relevance for students.

February ended on a good note, as I started writing regularly for Hindustan Times’ online Technology section. Its tiresome, but engaging and very fun. I am totally loving it.

I promise, I need to get more active with updating my blog. And I am already working on it.

Measuring Personality: A Johari Exercise

During my graduation days, we used to conduct a small exercise in the classroom. On any given day, we would select a single student and for the next ten minutes, the class would contemplate about them and then write some positive and negative traits of the individual. This is a primitive implementation of the Johari Window.

What is the Johari Window?

Johari window is a management concept which describes a person’s personality in terms of two factors: “Knowledge of Attributes to Self” and “Knowledge of Attributes to Self Others“. On the basis of these two, the personality of any individual is defined in terms of four specific windows:

  • Hidden: Attributes known to self, not known to anyone else
  • Open: Attributes known to self, also known to others
  • Blind Spot: Attributes not known to self, but known to others
  • Unknown: Attributes known to no one.
See 2020 through Johari's Window | Daily FT

It makes an excellent exercise to build one’s own Johari Window; it is also a useful tool for self-discovery and self-improvement. Read more about Johari Window here.

The Classroom Exercise

On a particular day, I was made the subject of this exercise. Out of a class of 60 students, I got a total of 43 replies of which I was been able to preserve about 9 (it has been over 4 years since this exercise was conducted). It was quite true to what I was then, to an extent it is true for what I am today too. I share these 9 chits with you today (I have added my own remarks in parentheses with every chit):

The first chit lists my positive attributes as: “Very helpful during exams, down to earth, and helpful”; while my negative traits are: “shakl achchi nahi hai (does not have a pretty face), chashma bahut bada hai (wears glasses of a big frame), shave nahi karta (does not shave)”… Okay, a bad chit to start with…

The second chit does not see any negative in me, it says Kinshuk is “good in studies and hard working”.

The next chit also doesn’t see any negative traits in me, strangely it doesn’t see anything positive either. it simply states some of my behaviours. “Kinshuk is”, it says, a “man of principles and values, always talks of philosophy, and has a different perspective to life”. Hmm….

The next chit is a wise one. According to it, I am a “typical bihari, our own joker, and very intelligent”. That means either I have a good sense of humour, or an extremely pathetic sense of humour so as my follies make others laugh; silly me.

The next one stays true to the exercise, a bit. It says, my positive traits are: “punctual, intelligent, and helpful” and my negative traits are: “hairless (??), too outspoken, and always raising questions”. Now, outspoken-ness has always been a big problem of mine.

The next one again skips my negative traits (I love all my classmates). My positive traits, according to it are: “computer mechanic (must mean skilled in computers), “always lives in technical world” (trying to be geek), “sentimental towards Bihar and motivator (a-ha!)”.

The seventh chit is critical of me and also tries to state facts about me. It says: Kinshuk is “argumentative, changes words very oftenly (I am quoting the exact wordings from the chits), is mad for something he himself doesn’t know, is very rational and logical, and wants to be a very true human being”.

The next one finds me praiseworthy: Kinshuk is “decent, helpful, soft spoken, good in studies, jolly, and small in size (err…)”.

The next one looks like a person who didn’t know me well, for they attempted to copy what the person writing the 8th chit had to say: Kinshuk is “decent, helpful, soft spoken, good in studies, and [some scribbling]“. Perhaps, they ran out of time.

I would recommend such activity to you but with some alterations.

Conductive Effective Johari Window Exercise

An effective Johari Window exercise should be conducted in small groups. Don’t go for a huge sample of 60 students. Do it with a group of 4-7 friends. Repeat it with a number of such groups.

Prefer people who know you well, but do not exclude people who have just got to know you. The first impression, after all, is the last impression. Be honest and sincere. Take all criticism positively.

Don’t try to suck up to people; Don’t try to impress them or be in their good books; Don’t try to be too harsh or over-critical. You are ruining the exercise.
Document all results.

I found an online solution that simplifies this process to an extent. There is a web application developed by Kevan Davies that provides you with your own Johari Window. In fact, Kevan went a step further and created another application of Johari Window, which he calls the Nohari Window. The first application is your Johari Window for your positive traits or Virtues. The Nohari Window is your Johari Window for Negative Traits.

You can find my Johari Window and Nohari Window at these individual locations.

Feel free to share your experiences with Johari Windows, suggested exercise, or anything else for that matter.

Old Ends, New Begins

Yesterday was an awful day.

While working on the community administration for OSS Camp Delhi, September 2007 I hit several dead ends. MDI Gurgaon does not hire out facilities for external events. JNU wants me to call on Monday. IIT Delhi and IMT do not pick up calls. DU is as sleepy as it always has been. I’ll knock some corporate doors now and maybe premier institutions such as the India International Centre and the India Habitat Centre. But that would escalate the cost way too high…. let me grumble about getting more sponsors.

But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to meet a very good friend of mine, but as luck and the day would have it… she couldn’t wait five minutes longer. Humbug!

Then, I gave a DVD to my friend. This DVD had been in my bag for two weeks now, and as he tells me, the surface is swamped with scratches. As far as I remember, I don’t have a copy. I should though.

And then finally, I deleted one of my best friends web site. The Kitty had a good laugh about it though I couldn’t understand how he could laugh about such a great personal loss. He said some good things (I don’t remember the exact wording, so I paraphrase them):

“Why be troubled and fume, scream and shout over it… after that we have to build it again… so lets cut the crap […] and why waste energy over it […] I am lazy […] its ok.. it happens… this is how we learnt everything.. be it vb6 or the web… sometimes the loss is small, sometimes its huge.. thats no biggie”.

The Kitty on his website being accidentally deleted by me

That’s one of the best things he has ever said but the problem is that I have no clue how I deleted it all, so I haven’t learned. So much for the Old Skool. Unfortunately, though I thought “maybe tomorrow”… Tomorrow hasn’t been any good either… not so far.

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