Something’s happened over the last couple months: I feel fully focused on writing and not at all focused on game design, and I’ve discovered (with some surprise) that I’m really okay with that.
When my thoughts do drift back to game design now, it feels less like inspiration than like a habitual mental rhythm born of eight-and-a-half years in the games industry. To a very large extent I’m finding that I just do not care to design more mechanics and write more code and [struggle to] make more art and so on and so forth.
As I’ve gotten older and more experienced in game development, I find I can see further down the road of a project, which means I can see lots of potential problems well ahead of time. This seems like an awesome skill but what often seems to happen is I see all those problems and think, “Well this looks like a really shitty road!” And I don’t even start down it; instead I start looking for another, easier road, whether that’s another approach to the project or (more often) a different project entirely.
I just discovered that my RSS feed address magically changed, possibly as long as several months ago. I’ve no idea why, or how it happened, but the long and short of it is if you subscribe to Third Helix RSS you should update your subscription to point to third-helix.com/?feed=rss2.
If you’re subscribed to the right address, then Update Your RSS Subscription! should be the most recent post in your feed reader. (If you see Protean On Bitbucket instead, then you’re subscribed to the old/wrong address.)
Apologies for the inconvenience. I wish I could explain why/what/how, but alas.
C-Wars is like some crazy blend of tower defense, tactics RPG, and real-time strategy. It had a strong day one showing on Kickstarter, bringing in about a third of its goal in 24 hours. You can get the game for PC, Mac, Linux, and Android for just $10.
Oh and, its animations are fucking gorgeous:
As OUYA Kickstarter backers begin receiving their dev units, I’ve seen several discussions pop up about thumbstick dead zones. Unfortunately most of the advice I’ve seen is pretty bad, so I thought I’d share some simple techniques I’ve learned over the last six years working on major PS3 titles Warhawk and Starhawk.
(Note: The following code samples are in C# and based on Unity, but the basic principle should be clear enough to adapt to whatever language/API you’re working within.)
OUYA devkits have been in the hands of Kickstarter backers since the beginning of the year, but I’ve only just now gotten around to setting mine up to work with Unity. I ran into a bunch of stumbling blocks along the way, but now that I’ve got everything up and running I thought I’d write up my experiences and fixes in an easy-to-use step-by-step guide. If you’re a Kickstarter backer then this all might be old news, but if you’re finding this post a few months from now as a new retail OUYA owner (and aspiring developer!) then I’m about to save you some time and frustration.
There Came An Echo is a voice-controlled squad tactics game by Iridium Studios, the creators of Sequence. You issue detailed orders to your squad, and to individuals within your squad, to guide them through a series of tactical firefights. Intriguingly, your squad also talks back to you, and sometimes asks questions to which you need to respond (with your voice, of course).
Today is my last day as part of the LightBox Interactive team.
In the four-plus years I’ve worked with LightBox — six-plus if you count that I worked with this same group back at Incognito Entertainment, on Warhawk — I’ve had opportunities and experiences that shaped my career and my identity as a game designer. I moved to sunny Austin, Texas, one of the most vibrant game development hubs in the United States and home to a large and varied indie community. I built a design team from the ground up and led them from concept to completion on an excellent AAA title: Starhawk. I worked alongside stunningly talented designers, artists, engineers, producers, and QA, including former colleagues who are now at such pedigreed studios as Bungie and Naughty Dog.
But perhaps most importantly — and most pertinent to this post — I gained the financial resources and wide-ranging industry experience to enable me to pursue a path of true self-sufficiency.