Dear Apple, Please make your app stores more internationally friendly


I know we are in the minority but as a person living abroad (Japan) it's extremely frustrating to use the iOS (and Mac) App stores.

Because my native language is English and I'm from the USA I want to use the USA store. But, sometimes I have to use the Japanese store, for example to download a banking for local banks who's apps are only available on the Japanese store. Doing this is extremely tedious. The steps are:

1. Go to your home page, swipe to whatever page your settings are on and click the settings app.

2. Scroll down, find, and pick "iTunes and App Store"

3. Click your Apple ID (it's not clear at all this is clickable)

4. Pick "View Apple ID" (It's not clear at all this is where you'd change the store)

5. Enter you password. I have a long password with both numbers and symbols. It's super annoying to type on the phone. No idea why this is Japanese right now.

6. Pick "Country/Region".

7. Pick "Change Country or Region" (think of this as "yes, I really want to do this").

Imagine the frustration of students etc who don't have a local credit card with which to sign up. I'm guessing they beg their friends.

8. Select the region you want.

9. Enter your local address and postal code.

10. Enter your local phone number

11. Enter a local credit card, its expiration date and its code.

All of this takes several minutes.

Then, when I need to switch back I have to go through the same tedious process.

To give an example, Saturday I wanted to checkout Japanese podcasts. The easiest way to access the most popular ones seemed to be to use the builtin Apple iOS Podcast app. So I click it but of course since I'm on the USA store it shows the USA list. I sigh and decide I'll do this later. A couple of days later I finally get around to switching stores. I check the podcasts just to see it's showing me the Japanese lists. It is but don't download any yet. Today I need some network info app for iOS. I find one called "Network Utility" on iOS and download it. It's not showing the info I need. I check their website to see if there's an example of it showing the info I need. It's possible the info doesn't exist on my phone. I see the same app exists on the Mac App Store. I check it out, I can't tell but I know the info I want to display on iOS *is* available on my Mac. In other words if the Mac App displays the info I want then maybe the iOS one does too. There's no free version but it's only 99¢ so I click "buy" and am then told I can't use the account to buy it. In other words because I switched my region to Japan and this mac app is on the USA store I can't buy it without going through all the shit above to switch back to the USA region.

Now I get I'm in the minority, most people stay in whatever region they were born in so this issue probably affects few people (maybe tourists?). But at the same time why does it have to be this way? Why can't I just register addresses and payment info for both stores and switch easily without having to re−enter it all every time? Or better why I can't have it automatically use the correct info. Or even better than that why can't there just be one store? Let me select a region for the charts and recommendations but otherwise put it all on the same store! Come on Apple! You're the leaders in UI/UX. You can do this!


Assembly 2013


I decided to go to Helsinki to attend Assembly 2013. I was kind of mixed on it as I'm a little burnt out but some friends told me I had to go see Finland and with their encouragement I went.

Since I was there alone I didn't stay for the entire event. Apparently most people go with friends and stay all 4 days which includes sleeping at the arena in your own sleeping bag all 3 nights. They have showers. I just went the first day to see what it was like and then came back the night of the 3rd day to see most of the competitions.


Random GDC 2013 Links


Outracks: Makes some "program CPU and GPU in the same language" thing

Dys4ia: A game about one person's transgender experience

Kentucky Route Zero: An adventure game with a unique style

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime: is a 2−player co−op micro−platformer set inside a pink Death Star locked in battle with hordes of space baddies

Knights of Pen and Paper: Is meta RPG. You play a group of friends playing an RPG

Sandboxr: Print your own figurines

Giga Tokyo Toy Box: A manga about making video games.

140: A platformer synced to music (video)

Intrusion 2: A Contra style 2D game with lots of cool segmented sprite animation

Liquid Sketch: A game using fluids. Not sure how it plays. There are lots of other fluid games but it looks interesting.

Zineth: A skating game. Mostly impressive as it was made an a few months by students







I've been looking for a simple expression guide for a while.  I actually checked quite a few drawing books but couldn't find what I was looking for. Specifically since I came to Japan I noticed they seem to have a very set way to draw simple happy face style expressions and I wanted a couple of pages with examples.  My guess is that Japanese kids are all taught from the same books in school so a lot of them end up drawing the same types of simple characters. I don't mean to suggest the Japanese are not creative, only that many of them must have studied the same happy faces since they are so common

Anyway, I never did find a Japanese book with a list of the different faces but then I found the Ed Emberley books and he had a great page with lots of very simple faces.  Looking at it it was pretty clear there was pattern, 3 types of eyes, 4 mouths, 3 eyebrows and every combination of those make quite a few expressions.

Here's my interpretation so now I have my reference.

Of course that's not every possible face but it's surprising how many expressions those 10 parts cover.  Here's a few they don't.

Apply your own interpretations of what they each express but please be nice 😊

Now if someone could point me to a stick figure action pose guide!