Time-Shift: Veritas liberabit vos
The truth shall set you free

The “No Facebook” Group – A story about modern discrimination

November 5th, 2014

There is this “Thing” thats been bugging me fore quite some time now and thats been getting worse and worse the last few years. Its what I like to call the “facebookisation” of the Internet. Maybe its even Facebook itself that I perceive to be a foreign body in the Internet organism.

It all began quite some while ago with me (a normally very early adopter when it comes to new things on the Internet) not wanting to have a Facebook profile. It wasn’t only about the idea of giving someone, who clearly has no right to it, a one time profile of my personal information. It was about the fact that I was practically inviting this “facebook person” to my every day life. Yes I know a lot of you have the naive idea of filtering information that flows to Facebook. But face it its nonsense… in fact I really told (and tell) everybody that. They laughed at me (and still do). When all that NSA stuff came out (and still comes out), I though people would finally agree that personal information flow has to be limited in some way.. that no one company (worse yet a company under the influence of a completely broken down law system) should get that much information. But people simply don’t care. And I have to admit that I don’t care about them not caring. It’s their life. If they get shot at by a drone or vanish into thin air because they liked the wrong thing, it was their life to give.

But lately Facebook has reached about the maximum amount of “willing” users they can get (Q3 2014 its about 1.35 billion active user [1], not counting inactive accounts). So now (almost like in a dictatorship thats gotten as much advocacy they can get through normal methods) they slowly start making life harder for all the people not using Facebook (by increasing social pressure). This started with competitions where you could only enter if you are using Facebook and like stuff (can’t say I really care), went on to a lot of games where you actually get benefits from attaching you Facebook account to the game account (there I care more.. I’m a game dev.. I don’t like that) and lately whole services stop writing their own authentication processes and rely solely on Facebook for that!

Not only do those companies provide Facebook (and thus the US government too) with free profiling data, but they’re also discriminating all non Facebook users by simply denying them their services! Thus again increasing the social pressure of joining Facebook (you can’t believe peoples reactions when I tell them I don’t use Facebook). This brings up a lot of very bad memories from history lessons and books I read about the past history of Germany! And it shows how fast our society is willing to forget their past when it supports their laziness. I would say “beware of the beginnings!” but I’m afraid we’re already past the point where people would be willing to abstain from Facebbok. Just because governments use private companies today to do their dirty work for them does not mean they are not involved!

So if you’re a dev (or better yet a game dev) and are writing an app or a web app or whatever, think about your authentication process before blindly relying on external services. There are open source variants for authentication procedures and you have a database for your stuff anyway! Stop discriminating people and start using your brain!


Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Benjamin Franklin

Snorkeling in Ibiza.

October 19th, 2014

Finally found the time to put up some pictures of our Ibiza vacation (me and my sister). I had my GoPro Hero3 with me and made a lot of picture during our snorkel tours. Apart from one day I was every day in the water at least once (2 days where diving and those pictures will follow soon). If you like snorkeling and seeing lots of fish and octopus then Ibiza is the right place to go. Don’t expect Caribbean fish life though. Its still the Mediterranean sea! My pictures can be found here.

One small step…

February 23rd, 2014

Its been silent here lately. For some part it was due to the fact that there was not much to tell (being without work really is utterly boring :-P). For another part it was due to the fact that I was pretty busy (looking for a job is boring too but a lot of work) and last but not least because the year 2013 has seen a lot of losses and disappointments for me and my spirit was to crushed to write something that would’ve been worth reading at all. Now this is the year 2014 and so far its been a lot better then the last one (I keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way). Some of the disappointments of the last year still echo into this one, but overall things are brightening up for me. For one thing I now not only found a new job, but I found a job in the games industry again! That not being good enough, I now work using C++ (which is kind of my “soul language”) and am developing a real 3D game thats not run in some alibi browser plug-in but directly on a mobile device! I’ve only been working at Fishlabs for about a month now but I already get that tingling in my fingers every time I enter the building which is a very good sign :-P. The team is great, the work so far is inspiring and the prospects are rather encouraging (Btw. if you’re a programmer and are looking for a job in the games industry, head over to Fishlabs.net and see if we have a post that would fit your profile! We’re hiring!). So on the job side of life its been a very gentle year so far. In the other areas of my life it has at least been a calm year (which is kind of an improvement regarding all the catastrophes I had in the last one). Now spring is coming in Germany and we all know that spring usually brings out the good stuff of the year :-P. So to quote my favourite Singer: “The best is yet to come…”.


August 12th, 2013

After some (rather dreadful) month Kartuga will be closed on August 31. This day will also see the layoff of most of the TBG staff. Most of us (if not all) have already been released from work and are trying to find new jobs and new opportunities in other places. Working with you has been a blast! Here’s to you guys & girls!

The last month has started with quite some action, as Kartuga was actually almost saved (not by the publisher mind you). I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those (especially our bosses) who tried their best to make that happen. After all Kartuga was (and for that matter will be) our baby. Its very sad that those efforts where in vain. Eventually we had to say our goodbyes to team and studio.

Now all that remains is the usual struggle to find a new employer and have all the nasties that come with that assignment. If you by any chance are working for a game studio that needs a good and dedicated programmer specialized in Game Logic and Unity3D don’t hesitate to send me an E-Mail. I don’t bite (most of the time :-P). I also make cocktails as a hobby so thats you opportunity to get 2 in one *gg*.

All Good Things…

July 19th, 2013

As some might have already read in the latest news: Kartuga, the project I’ve been working on the last 1 3/4 years at Ticking-Bomb-Games, has been canceled by our publisher InnoGames. This decision came to me and my colleges (even though we where already informed at the start of this month that it might come to this) as quite a shock and the after-effects of this sudden “change of hearth” our publisher obviously had are rather visible in the faces of all of us. Unfortunately this decision also carries with it the consequence of our so much loved games studio being closed. Most of us are trying to handle this situation with a mixture of a grim sense of humor, actionism (after all we all lost our jobs and have to look for new ones) and perhaps a bit of anger. We all would have very much liked to bring Kartuga those last few meters to the finish line and the feeling that this project we spend so much time, effort and commitment in is just torn down in this manner and in such short notices is nothing short of painful. I’ll miss my colleges, I’ll miss working on such a great title with such a talented team. And if it may come to this I’ll miss Hamburg. But ultimately all good thing come to an end.


P.S. For the Trekkie readers: The titles of my last 2 game posts where titles of last Episodes from Star Trek series :-P. Its kind of fitting.

P.P.S. There might be coming more information from me regarding all this at some point. But at the moment a lot of this can not be made public yet.

Ihr, die ihr als Feind hier herkommt..

May 19th, 2013



“Der Wilde Wald, Tonke Dragt”


Ihr, die ihr als Feind hier herkommt,

Kehrt den gleichen Weg zurück,

Oder der Wald möge euch verschlingen!


Ihr, die ihr als Freund kommt,

Betretet diesen Pfad in Frieden,

Und möget ihr euer Ziel finden.

Und möget ihr euch nicht verirren.

Und die Geister des Waldes sollen euch beschützen.

What You Leave Behind

May 13th, 2013

I’ve long since reported about the happy and encouraging parts of my move to Hamburg and my starting as a game developer. Today seams to be a rather fitting day to also talk about the downsides. The beats I’ve taken since I started on this journey and the Problems I had to (or still working on) overcome. You should bear in mind reading, that though I always try to be as objective as possible, the events that this day has seen (and will be laid down to you here) might in no small amount color my judgment and lead me to take a rather harsh view of reality.

First of all.. when I started my journey in Dec. 2011 two years ago I had (if only a few) dear friends and was in a long term relationship with my now (as of today) ex-girlfriend. On the other side of the story I was jobless for a month and a half (after my contract with EA had run out) and my girlfriend and I where having quite some trouble to begin with. My then rather new employer wished me to move as quickly as possible to Hamburg (which was basically on the other side of Germany) to begin working on our current project (Kartuga) and I have to say that I was rather enthusiastic to get back to work in the gaming industry (There is nothing more boring then sitting at home doing nothing but writing applications all day). I had about 24H to decide whether I would decline or accept the offer. And since working in the gaming industry was the one thing I’d be trying to do for years the decision was practically only an overcoming of my fear of moving away so far and being all on my own in such an instant. I talked to my girlfriend about it. We both weren’t very happy since she had to stay behind for now. But I promised to come home at least once a month ( you can’t imagine the costs of that) and we agreed on talking as often as possible on the telephone. So I went.

If I had to decide whether I should do all this over again and what I would change then I must clearly say that I would and the changes would be cosmetic in nature if any at all. None the less the costs where great to me (other people might have fared way better). I’m working now (as you’ve read in my posts in the past) in a really good company. I’m paid reasonable and I have quite some freedom in my working habits and the surrounding stuff.

As you’ve read before though my girlfriend just left me. The distance put quite some strain on the relationship (as was to be expected) and since we had some problems before, it did not survive the change. Atop of that I’m having quite some problems finding friends. I’ve good colleagues, but they never became more then that (apart from one instance maybe, which might give some hope). Coming in late (and thus leaving late in the evening) I find it hard to find a good work / life balance. Additionally I had to put in quite some over hours lately to “keep the game running”. I don’t really care (since I have no private life anyway) but it doesn’t make it easier getting out finding friends. Also there is quite some employee flux in the game industry. Its always problematic putting too much hope and friendship into a person because the chances are good that he / she will be gone the next month. Most times those changes come so quickly and unexpected that you’re rather shocked if you’ve grown fond of that person. So you begin to get even more introverted (which makes finding new friends even harder). Chances are, even if you’ve been closer to a colleague, that he / she will forget about you fast.. this business is so fast changing that it often is hard to keep up.

One thing that also is quite putting a strain on my mind is the fact that any time a piece of your work (anything from an hours to a weeks) could be thrown away because some (no question genius) mind decided that the feature XY does not work as expected or needs to work completely different. This part can of course come from any direction if you work as a coder (be it a designer, producer, publisher, <put anybody here>). So long term planing is nice (for you) but utterly most of the times useless. They call that agile development and I’m pretty sure its superb if its done perfectly on every level. Only that I’ve yet to see a company that actually knows what it is and how to use it (I’ve not been in that many but other people tell story’s :-P). So eventually its a more or less planed chaos (which works impressively fine considering its chaotic).  So if you’re done with a feature. And everybody’s happy. And the designers, the QA, the producer and the publisher has actually given their OK it goes “live”. Doesn’t really mean it will stay in.. a month.. a week.. even a day. One needs to kind of stop caring about ones own work in a way.. otherwise one might get aggressive over having stuff kicked out. You learn to live with that. Its part of the deal.

I hope my description wasn’t to harsh. But as you’ve read I’ve quite some stuff to digest. Apart from my girlfriend I also had another personal loss today which makes me rather sad and unhappy. I just hope this episode of sadness will pass and I can soon write about better and more cheerful stuff. But right now its all rather bleak to me. If you’ve any questions whatsoever don’t hesitate to write a comment or an e-mail. I know how hard it is to get into the gaming industry (If you still want to after that :-P) and I’m glad to help in any way I can (if only by advice).


Unexpected Poetry

November 15th, 2012

You ever had a moment where suddenly a line of poetry pops into your mind and you can not stop spinning it further until its just right? I have those moments now and then. Usually I get a pretty decent Rhyme together and then just forget about it. Last Sunday I watched “The legend of the Guardians” (don’t ask) just before going to bed (actually while being in bed). And suddenly I had one of those moments. And when I was done I had a pretty strong urge to write it down. So I got up and did. But ever since I didn’t really know what to do with it. And because it kind of speaks to my soul I decided to post it here. Maybe someone else likes it to ;-).

To Arms

To arms we call, to arms and then to war.
Together and united shall we stand.
Cause what we can not find in peace we will find nevermore.
And fight alongside bravely till the end.

In terror and despair this day be burned,
into the memory of those who live.
Let blades be fiercely be dashed until the war is turned.
Be sorry that we only got one life to give.

Through songs be echoed our righteous deed.
Remember all the good that we have done.
Be written down in books and carved in stone to read.
And may one day a legend it become.

Kartuga Gameplay Trailer

August 17th, 2012

A new snippet of information about Kartuga has been made public on the GamesCom 2012 yesterday. A fancy game-play trailer has been released so that people finally can have a glimpse at what the real game-play will look like in Kartuga. I’d like to mention that all of the footage in this trailer was made using an In game camera. So all of this is REAL. No part of this trailer is pre-rendered (After all Kartuga is not Pirate Storm :-P). So… enjoy!

[jwplayer config=”Default” html5_file=”http://www.time-shift.de/downloads/OfficialKartugaGameplayTrailer.mp4″ download_file=”http://www.time-shift.de/downloads/OfficialKartugaGameplayTrailer.mp4″]

If the Video loads to slowly for your taste (my server hasn’t the best connection upload wise) you can always see it faster on YouTube.

Kartuga: The board is set. The pieces are moving.

June 5th, 2012

Finally the long awaited day has come: Our game has been made official at the E3 in Los Angeles! So we are allowed to admit its existence now :-P. Not much more I’m afraid. But after all I also can show you some of the screen shots that where made available for press usage. If you want to preregister for the upcoming closed beta go ahead to http://www.kartuga.com and register. It sure will be worth it. I’m very proud to be part of such a talented team. So spread the news and stay tuned for more infos as soon as we’re allowed to talk ;-).

Here is the official press release:

InnoGames presents new Action-MMOG at the E3


Today, InnoGames presents a first look at its upcoming 3D browser title, Kartuga, at the E3 in Los Angeles. The action-packed MMOG is based on Unity 3D and focuses strongly on cooperative PvP gameplay with several role-playing elements. Hamburg-based Ticking Bomb Games is responsible for the development of the title, which is set to launch in 2012. www.kartuga.com gives players a peek into its stylized fantasy world with screenshots and a feature list.

InnoGames co-founder Eike Klindworth is convinced of the game’s potential and is looking forward to the success of the company’s first joint venture with Ticking Bomb Games: “We are bringing out a high quality product with Kartuga. The game offers multiple PvP modes, intuitive controls, plus detailed and vibrant 3D graphics. This action MMOG is an extremely useful addition to InnoGames’ portfolio.”

The developer also has high expectations for the title: “We have been working hard on this project for some years now, and the results are fantastic. The player completely loses the feeling of playing in a browser with Kartuga – it really stands up to client games, “says Ticking Bomb Games Development Director Tobias Severin.

Kartuga players choose one of three customizable classes of ships to sail through a series of quests and missions. The ingenious battle system, along with a strong focus on cooperative PvP, guarantees long lasting fun.