January 2012 ASPects

Every month, the ASPects newsletter is sent to ASP members. The entire 25-year history is available online in the members’ archive, and is fully-searchable.
Here are this month’s articles, available to members of the Association of Software Professionals.

Newsletter of the Association of Software Professionals, January
New Year, New Leadership, New Opportunities
by Gianfranco Berardi
Happy New Year! The annual calendar change is a good time for us to reflect on the past, look forward to the future, and in so doing, determine our focus for the present.
   2011 featured quite a few changes. First, I’d like to address the fact that I’m your new President… (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
(page 2)

ISVCon/SIC Registration Open, $100 Early-Bird Savings
by Sue Pichotta
Registration is now open for ISVCon 2012, the new Software Industry Conference. This year’s conference will be filled with new and wonderful things – a new venue, new speakers, new subjects, new schedule, new break room, new vendor access, free breakfast and lunch, new evening entertainment options, new post-conference meet-up, and more.
   New Pricing & Discount: This year, we are offering a substantial discount for early-bird registration. Prices are discounted $100 if you register before February 1… (page 3)

ASP News:
New President
Annual Meeting Results… (page 4)

Selling Your Software Through the Educational Channel
by David Raimondo
The “Adobe model” is the reason you want to be in the education channel. Adobe software, founded in 1982, started off in the education market with their software Photoshop. It became a standard with schools, and when students left school after learning Photoshop, that was a product they used in the commercial world.
   Many software companies want to increase their sales by selling to the educational channel… (page 5)

Get Rid Of the Discount Code Field
by Jiri Novotny
I’ve recently changed all our order forms and unmercifully removed the discount code field from all of them. Don’t get me wrong, we still run promotions and offer discounts to some potential customers, but we’ve stopped using discount codes.
   Do you have a “Discount code” field in your order form? Yes? Well, in that case, I have both bad news and good news for you… (page 6)

Are Your Game Mechanics Off Balance?
by Gianfranco Berardi
You’ve been working on your action game for so long that you’re sick of playing it. You have a wide variety of enemies with different strengths and weaknesses, and you’ve provided the player with dozens of different weapons to take advantage of those weaknesses. You’ve tested so many different playstyles, changing variables as you found issues, and you even had your family and friends try it out to make sure that they don’t think it is too hard or too easy…
   Except something goes wrong. Someone discovers a way to use a weapon that dominates all of the enemies in your game, eliminating the challenge and fun entirely. Or perhaps there’s a sequence in the game that to someone who doesn’t know all of the intricacies of the game, it’s frustratingly too hard. In either case, your game isn’t balanced… (page 7)

by Jiri Novotny
As a software author, the little book called Appillionaires written by Chris Stevens has caught my attention and found its way to my Kindle. Just as Kindle revolutionized the book industry, the Apple App Store has revolutionized the mobile applications industry. Let me share with you what I learned in the book… (page 9)

ASP Member News:
GRAHL software design ‘s PDF Annotator Wins 2011 Epsilon Award for Software Excellence
Help+Manual 6: Authoring Tool Now Publishes Documentation Directly to iPad and iPhone (page 11)