Wednesday, December 11, 2013

From C++ to Ludum Dare

When I first looked into making games, I figured that C++ was the only solution.  Of course if the studios are all writing games (at the time) in C++, why on earth would I waste my time with anything else?

Using SDL or writing for the GP32 and eventually with OpenGL and proprietary C++ engines I got used to things a certain way.  A very very slow way.  Oh onto new ways...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh! You're a game designer?

Every time I describe what I do professionally, it always boils down to "Oh you're a game designer" and I have a problem with that.

"Game designer" it is poorly defined with no universal standard and more specifically I'm a programmer!  But that's not even the issue.

Having spent a couple of years teaching students in games courses at a tertiary level and originally starting my own university studies in a games course before swapping I have seen the damage this title creates.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

State of Modern Device Interaction

Getting a mobile game to feel good is difficult.

We've spent decades mastering tactile buttons, as gamers and developers, nuancing the plastic molds and adding new tricks like analog sticks and triggers while progressively adding more buttons and adapting our games accordingly.  Things were going pretty well.  Of course some would cry out over preference to the mouse and keyboard as if it were a completely distinct experience - and it seemed it too, until we developed technology so different that it made the mouse/keyboard vs. controller differences seem minute.  New input sensors including gyroscopes, accelerometers, multi touch screens, depth sensors, and summative products such as the Kinect basically threw away all of our progress in user interaction perfection all while promising an inspired futuristic Minority Report-esque experience with real-world absolute coordinates.

How far off are we from that.

Friday, October 25, 2013

48 Hours 2013 - Victory with Joint Effort

Cooperative flailing sticky arm vs a black hole - Joint Effort!

I have to admit I had doubts about the idea because it was a risky innovation, but I'm so glad we stuck with it.  Initial prototypes were quick, but this needed a lot of tuning.  I'd be excited to see where else this idea could be explored including competitive play, new layers to add complexity and whatever else!

Keywords:  Sticky, arm, growth

Four players each point their analog stick on their respective controllers to where they want to go and as a team you have to collect the yellow dots.

I didn't think we'd be able to pull of a win, especially with only four guys this year and no artist, but we did it second year in a row.  Thanks to Steve Last, Michael Szewczyk and new "For Science!" team member Layton Hawkes!

Monday, September 9, 2013

48 Hours Looming!

It's that time of the year again and the local Brisbane 48 hr game making comp is firing up again.

I get very excited and full of energy building up to the event - this has the best of what I love about making games, people, creativity, and fun all condensed into a sleepless weekend all to produce a pure game without much worry about its viability.

If we scrap together another great team it will be my fifth time competing.  If I don't get to compete I'll still be happy to see everyone else's beautiful creations.  Every year the competition gets larger and fiercer and great technology enablers like Unity3D have unlocked doors for even grander creation.

It's fun revisiting some of the past creations and sometimes hard to believe it all came together. So I've decided to recap on some of my previous entries! (After the break)