Here are some best things I’ve come across this year. Not all are new, or even new to me, but they kicked ass in 2011
1. Kids Dungeon Adventure – A floortop RPG for pre-school age kids and their geeky parent(s). What started out as a little game with my daughter grew into a full fledged eproduct and side business. This project was life changing for me.
2. Notepadd++ – I used the same text editor for Windows for at least 11 years, Editpad. I finally decided to try Notepadd++ and was blown away by how much more I liked it. Color coding for almost any language and built in FTP are enough right there. Love it. Side note: Editpad was introduced to me by a college friend, Jonathan Meyer, who passed away soon after college. I often think about how much he’d love what is going on with the Internet over the last 10 years.
3. HTML5 – Have you seen how fast modern browsers can draw on an HTML5 canvas? Mobile browsers still need work, though.
4. Garageband for the iPad – I love the iLife Garageband, but the iPad version is amazing and portable. Check out the theme song I recorded for Rock the Animals with Sasha. At this point the song is a bigger hit than the game.
5. Thingiverse – I built a Makerbot Thing-o-Matic at work and have been obsessed with finding a use for it other than making crappy bottle openers.
6. Sword and Sworcery – Best iOS game of the year. It’s King’s Quest meets Punch Out while having coffee with David Lynch. Jim Guthrie’s music on it is amazing (listen).
7. Honoro Vera Garnacha – Best new wine I tried all year. It’s Spanish and only $8.99.
8. Movies – I don’t think I saw any new releases in 2011, but here are all the movies I liked that I saw this year in no particular order: The Kids are Alright, Blue Valentine, The Social Network, Kung Fu Panda, Catfish, Toy Story 3, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Scot Pilgrim vs. the World, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Shutter Island.