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.
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.)
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.
I’ve been second-guessing myself a lot lately.
I’ll come up with a new game concept and feel super-excited for a couple days, and then it’ll come crashing back to Earth in a storm of “this isn’t progressive enough” and “this isn’t innovative enough” and “this isn’t saying enough”. I’ll realize that a hundred other people have already done something like this, only bigger and better. I’ll start thinking about all the things I don’t know about the topic (“This’ll take months to research”) and all the experience and qualifications I don’t have for working in it (“I’ve never made a game in this genre before”). Before you know it I’ve convinced myself that the idea isn’t worth doing at all. I put it in a drawer, sulk for a few days, and then the cycle repeats itself.
Indie developers Roxlou Games are in the final hours their Kickstarter for Unwritten: That Which Happened, a turn-based strategy game about a nomadic tribe’s epic journey across the tundra and the oral traditions they’ll spin along the way. They have 12 hours and a little under $10,000 to go.
One of the requirements of Ludum Dare is that you must provide the source code for your game. In keeping with that, and considering that since I’ve recently started using Mercurial I’ve been hosting my Unity source projects on Bitbucket…
(Note that Protean uses some features exclusive to Unity Pro; I think you can still open the project in Unity Indie, you just won’t have access to the post-processing effects.)