Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Blog failure turns to happiness, plus can you handle all this?

Thankyou Scott Fadick!, for alerting me to my blog giving some arcane error. I assume it was hacked, because I haven’t changed a thing, and wordpress was hugely out of date. Anyway, a simple one-click update to the latest version (things really have improved since I last went through wordpress upgrade hell), and it all seems fine again. Let me know if it isn’t.

That awful dread feeling I had when I’d finished a long (but very productive) days work, had a quick game of Battlefield:BC2, and thought it was time for a glass of wine and an episode of spooks…. and then to think the evening would be spent fiddling with databases and php….Bah. What a pleasant surprise to have it fixed so easily.

The trouble with being an indie is that such problems all become yours. If you are thinking of leaving a coding day job for indie software business, consider this:

  • Do you want to be in charge of the design, code and management of your company’s website?
  • Including the blog?
  • And the forums?
  • Do you want to be the one who talks to the accountant and works out stuff like VAT and corporation tax?
  • Do you want to be in charge of choosing which subcontractors to hire, and haggling over how much to pay them?
  • Are you confident your idea for a product is so good it can pay for your family for the next 2 years?
  • Are you confident enough of financial success that you can set aside money for a pension, and if you are in the US, for private health care?

For a lot of people, the answer to all of that is ‘yes!’, but they fall at this next fence:

  • Can you get out of bed promptly every morning, and go sit at a desk and do a full days work in your own home?

Most people can’t. It’s generally hard, although I have various tricks to make me do it. One day, I’ll give a talk at some games conference about it. or maybe a series of blog posts. Hmmmm.


11 thoughts on Blog failure turns to happiness, plus can you handle all this?

  1. “Can you get out of bed promptly every morning, and go sit at a desk and do a full days work in your own home?”

    I keep hearing people saying they would never be able to do that but I don’t get it. I’ve been working strictly from home for the past 4 months (both on my games and for a company) and never had any trouble to wake up in time and getting started. I’d have a really hard time returning to a job where I have to go to the office each day.

    I guess just the thought of wasting an hour or more in traffic like I used to is enough for me to be thankful for this chance and remaining honest to myself. And this time gained is now spent sleeping (body wasn’t appreciating 5 hours of sleep) so it’s even easier to get up and do my stuff.

    Must help to be a loner I guess. Or just generally hate people :)

  2. I’ve been working from home the last 5 years (and some additional 3 years 2 years before that). I’m a freelance developer, and while most of the company a scared of working with a programmer not sitting in their office, I get much more work done when I’m home: it’s calm, no-one is asking stupid questions, you can work at your rhythm, you can take an hour off to walk in the woods, etc.

    On the other side, it’s hard to disconnect from work because it’s so easy to quickly run to the computer to do a thing or another.

  3. Hate to be a downer, but Google was giving me an error saying the site hosted malicious content. Weird, I had to force an exception to get in.

  4. Bah.
    I’ve requested that google re-validate the page. If you click for details on what evil they have found, it already says they never found any, which makes a mockery of the scary warning page…
    I hope they do it within hours, rather than the several weeks/months it takes them to approve adverts :(

    I don’t need this sort of hassle :(

  5. As a student soon to graduate…yes, tips would be appreciated, in the case that I do end up in such a situation (though fortunately it looks like I won’t have to).

    Also, this is weird, but could I get your BFBC2 handle? Seems like you’d be a fun person to kill/maim/snipe. :P

  6. You should check your site for new or suspect php files (look at file date stamps for around the time you got hacked) as most hackers tend to leave a backdoor, maybe a php shell interface, file manager or whatever. Regularly running clamav on the server will tend to find these.

    Oh, I work from home too (have done for over ten years), at 49 I can say it does get harder as you get older!

  7. The whole site has been scanned by the web hosting company, and I manually looked through it too. It looks like they hit the blog, and the homepage, and that was it. My own PC has had a complete malwarebytes scan, and a microsft security essentials scan is underway, plus all passwords are changed.

    The only thing left to do is get someone at google to actually answer a phone and remove that malware warning. I froze all my google adwords spending until they do it, not that they care :(
    I hope it’s all sorted before I go away for the weekend :(

  8. Cliff,

    if you really got hacked there is no way of being 100% sure that you are secure.

    A hidden process on the machine or in the startup script of whatever software you use and the attacker can retrieve passwords, email-adresses and IPs and use the server for whatever he likes, when he likes, as he likes.

    One would need to understand what got hacked and how far the attacker came to have an idea what could have happened.

  9. Hey long time customer and fan,
    Google just blocked my access to your main Page just thought you would like to know!
    Here is the message google sent me copied and pasted.
    Hope this helps

    “Safe Browsing
    Diagnostic page for

    What is the current listing status for

    Site is listed as suspicious – visiting this web site may harm your computer.

    Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 1 time(s) over the past 90 days.

    What happened when Google visited this site?

    Of the 8 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 1 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2011-03-24, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2011-03-24.

    Malicious software is hosted on 1 domain(s), including

    This site was hosted on 1 network(s) including AS21844 (THEPLANET).

    Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

    Over the past 90 days, did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

    Has this site hosted malware?

    No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

    How did this happen?

    In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.

    Next steps:

    * Return to the previous page.
    * If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google’s Webmaster Help Center.”

  10. Just had Firefox pop up a warning:

    Reported Attack Page!

    This web page at has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences.

    Attack pages try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.

    Some attack pages intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.


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