Mootools conflicting with FB.ui (Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property ‘className’ of undefined)

I just spent a few hours running down a gnarly bug that became an issue on production late last night.  All of the FB.ui dialog calls began to fail on our website with a Javascript exception.

After much trial and error, I was able to determine that Mootools was the root cause.  Without Mootools, everything worked.  With Mootools – whether it’s 1.2 or 1.3.2 – this exception gets thrown:

Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property ‘className’ of undefined

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Audio and Slides for Membase (Couchbase) Webinar

DZone has posted the slides and audio from the webinar I did with Perry.  It covers how we’re using Membase to scale our backend for Animal Party.  I have to say that I felt rather nervous during the webinar, but years of experience talking in front of a classroom and public speaking seem to have served me well.   At any rate, here they are:


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Webinar on using Couchbase for large scale games

I will be working with Perry from Couchbase tomorrow to plan out our Webinar – Couchbase: Scale Overnight from Thousands to Millions of Users

The actual webinar will be take place Wednesday, March 30th, 9:00am.   If you want to hear about how we use a key-value store solution to achieve horizontal scaling with almost no sysadmin effort on our game Animal Party, then check out the webinar!

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Post GDC Thoughts

The 2011 GDC took place earlier this month, and although I didn’t attend the actual conference this year, I read up on several of the session summaries and caught up with several of my friends in the industry.  My biggest observation this year is how the developers view towards “social games” have started to change.

Last year, there were plenty of folks talking about how social games would become a fad, and games on facebook could not last forever.  Folks talked about how there were very little innovation and the games produced were very shallow.  Some even went as far as saying social gaming was one of the factor that put traditional gaming in a downturn.  Personally, I found those claims untrue, except the bit on games being shallow – which I agree.   I feel that the developers who said those things were the same developers that said Wii was a failure, and said it was never going to become a successful gaming system.   They were the words of developers!  Not designers.  Not entrepreneurs.

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Hello, and Welcome!

After a few years of inactivity, I decided to bring back Walking Ideas as a game developer blog, and make the full version of Oshiro available online for free.   Oshiro is a puzzle game that Rick and I built back in the days, and it actually started out as an actual board game.  We still have a wooden prototype and a refined, plastic prototype sitting in our homes.  Every so often, I still take them out and introduce folks to it.

“It’s actually pretty damn fun,” I always say to myself.

Now that I am busy with my social gaming start-up (TribalCrossing) and Oshiro has been removed from, I figure I should just let all the puzzle enthusiasts out there give it a try.  I managed to dig up the old source code and old level files from an old computer, and I should get the game cleaned up for everybody soon.

As for the blog… I think I’m going to start writing about my experience in the “social gaming” space, but I expect to eventually write more about ideas, observations, and thoughts on game designs in general.   Overtime, I would like to build out a section that lists many of the “party game” or “real-life social game” ideas that I’ve tossed around with many of my designer friends over the year.   The idea behind that is to create a collection of unique games you can bust out next time you have some friends over.

So, Hello!  And welcome.

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