All posts by Josiah

About Josiah

Josiah Lebowitz is a writer and game designer. He currently operates his own indie studio (Pen and Sword Games) while teaching game design and doing contract work for various other companies. His past projects include tie-in novellas for EverQuest Next, the game Car Washer: Summer of the Ninja, and the books Interactive Storytelling for Video Games and The Verities Silex trilogy.

Backups

A helpful tip for any game designers out there.  Or, honestly, anyone who ever does any important work on a computer.  Back things up regularly.  I learned that lesson as a teenager when some computer issues combined with a bad tech support worker resulted in the system getting formatted.  Fortunately, I did actually keep copies of my most important files on a CD-RW at the time, but I only updated it every so often so I lost about a week’s worth of work.  Could have been worse though.  Ever since then, I’ve been much more careful.

More recently, the critical system failures I had to deal with could have been utterly disastrous (for Aurora’s Nightmare, among many other things) if I didn’t keep everything backed up.  While backing up your files to external media never hurts, these days I’d say the best way to go is with a cloud backup program.  It will automatically back up all the designated files and folders and your computer in the background as you work to a secure sever.  There’s a monthly fee but, so long as you have an internet connection, you’ll never lose more than a few minutes (or, at worst, a few hours) of work.  You may even be able to retrieve old versions of files if you accidentally deleted or saved over something.  And, since everything is backed up off-site, it doesn’t even matter if your entire house burns down, you’ll still have your files.  Personally, I use Carbonite, but there’s several good services available.  Even if you don’t have anything really important to save, the convenience alone is probably still worth it.