AIR App: Powerz – Play Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Faster

This is a long post, so I’ve provided a short version, and content links to relevant sections if you want to skip around.

Short Version

Powerz Start PageI’ve built an AIR application in my spare time using Flex that helps you play Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition faster. It took 6 months in my spare time and cost around $50k to build, and $40 a month to maintain.

See and download it here.

It was created in response to my new players, who are tech saavy, having a slow time getting a game going. I copied the design metaphor used in MMORPG games, as well as creating an online database via Django of user submitted content to help the process go faster, as well as supporting house rules. In doing market research, I found my product is for a younger generation, and this makes it challenging to market. I used an Iterative/Agile development process to ensure it got completed.

The app had 3 goals: make money, make our games quicker & easier, and prove to myself I could execute. I succeeded in the latter 2, and failed in the making money… so far.

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Mix n Mash 2k7, Bill Gates, Web, Blend, and Silverlight

I had the honor of being 1 of the lucky 10 invited to attend the Mix n Mash 2007 event held by Microsoft. This is the 2nd one. It’s an event where they invite you to Microsoft’s HQ to see what they are working on, give feedback, and meet Bill Gates.

Here’s a picture of the Mix n Mash invited attendee’s getting their picture taken with Bill Gates (I somehow got in there, booya!)

From left to right:

Jonathan Snook, Julie Lerman, Kelly Goto, Rob Howard, Bill Gates, Molly Holzschlag, Kip Kniskern, Jesse Warden (me!), Keith Peters and Erik Natzke

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WordML: Could Powerpoint be next?

Good info over at <a href=”″>Zoode Blog</a> about WordML, the XML format for new Word documents in Word 2003.

If this were to happen to Powerpoint, Flashcom development would blow the f$%(* up. One can only dream and use 3rd party progs for now (unless Breeze has it’s own parser in which case you’ll have to dish out mad dough).

I’m sick of XML, I swear I want to put it on bread, and then feed it to a Lion at the zoo and be done with it, but then something like this stirs on the horizon, and your like, “Dude, Flash can read XML!”, and ideas start flowin…

I haven’t investigated if this could even happen, nor do I feel like it, but it’d be nice to know if its a possibilty or if I should just go on the same route I’ve been on in the Flashcom front.