Posts belonging to Category Goals

A Long Absence

Hello all you beautiful people.  It’s been a while since my last post here.  A lot and not that much at all has happened since the last post.  I’ve tried out quite a few games and been reading through 10-year old Game Developer magazines.  I’ve also gotten up to speed on general iPad/iPhone development using Objective-C and the iPhone SDK.

I’ve been getting into the habit in the last few weeks of sitting down with a game I’ve never played and trying it out for an hour.  I have a few reasons for doing this: a) as a designer, I want to look at what other games are doing/have done, b) I want to analyze how well other games pull a gamer in within the first moments of a game and how much of the game the player can get a feel for in those moments and c) I like to play games.  My plan was/is to write up my impressions of the games I’ve been running through.  So pretty soon you should be able to look forward to some notes on Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Assassin’s Creed, NickToons Unite!, Open Season, Sonic Heroes, Sonic & Knuckles, Jimmy Neutron: Attack of the Twonkies, Kirby Air Ride, and World of Warcraft. As you may have noticed, I’ve been raiding my little brother’s library for titles I hadn’t played.

Reading through the old Game Developer magazines has been interesting.  Not only has there been a lot of great information I’ve left sitting on my shelves for all these years, but it’s pretty fun reliving the history of game development through articles written when I was in college.  I’ve been reading them chronologically and just got to 2002 last night, a time when the Front Line Awards were praising the nVidia GeForce 3 graphics card, Maya 4, and the “new” Titanium Powerbook G4.  It was also funny to notice an ad for the 2002 Game Developers Conference while wearing the freebie shirt I got from attending the 2002 Game Developers Conference.

lastly, I just want to mention that the Pragmatic Programmers’ iPhone SDK Development by Bill Dudney and Chris Adamson is a great book for getting up to speed on the basics of iPhone/iPad development using Apple’s iOS SDK.  I found it well written and the progression of topics well thought-out.  I also liked that the authors chose to be tutorial-level detailed with new topics, but as the reader progresses through the book, the authors leave the implementation of previously learned material to the reader.  It does the dual job of forcing the reader to actually learn what there doing and practice it, while also making the book itself more readable and hold more information (since they don’t have to reprint the same instructions over and over again, lots of space is saved).  so yeah, good book.  Great resource.  It’s been super helpful in getting me my first iPad gig.



Currently playing: World of Warcraft Trial Edition

Checkin’ In

I found a stack of old Game Developer Magazines.  I’m planning on going through them the next few months and seeing if any of them still contain any relevant information.  I’ll let you all know if I find anything.

Just started working on a new prototype for the week.  If you’ve ever played the web game Psycho, you’ll have seen my inspiration for this weeks prototype.  It’s a stylized side-scrolling kamehameha game.  You’ll see what I mean.

I finished Prince of Persia and played a few more games in the last couple months that I’ve been silent.  I’ll give you guys a run-down of what I thought was working in those titles.

We’re gettin’ close to 2010 and a whole new year of gaming and projects.  Should be a good one!


Currently playing: LEGO Rock Band, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, LEGO India Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, The Beatles Rock Band

Helping Wildlife


Today I’m writing to ask for your help.  I put together a little cause marketing deal with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help raise them $10,000.  So far we’ve managed $4,000.  If you take a look at the left-hand side of the blog, you can see a meter representing out progress so far.

The idea is to help the AZA through monetary donation as well as by increasing awareness of endangered and exotic wildlife around the world.  We created a game called Safari Sketch over at Red Rover Games that we’re hoping will do this for them.  Safari Sketch is a fun, addictive match-3 game that includes about 60 pieces of original wildlife artwork by my good artist friend, Tom Martinez Jr.  Through the course of the game, the player can unlock artwork and brief journal entries for each of the 60 specimens in the game.  The AZA checked over our information for accuracy and up-to-datedness (I’m sure there’s a word for that, but I can’t think of one at the moment).

So I’m asking my readers and anyone else who passes through to pick up a copy of Safari Sketch and we’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to the AZA.



Currently playing: Mafia Wars, FarmVille, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Personal Prototyping Challenge

I will be posting weekly game prototypes soon.  The purpose of these prototypes is twofold: 1) to quickly try out gameplay ideas in an effort to find something cool that people will enjoy playing and 2) to practice and improve my game development skills.

The idea comes from my time at the Game Developer’s Conference last spring.  I attended the Indie Developer Track and in many of the sessions the successful developers talked about how much rapid prototyping they did.  The guys who put together World of Goo found the idea within a prototype called Tower of Goo that they put together in a graduate course.  The goal of the course was to put together a new prototype each week of the class.  Crayon Physics Deluxe came from a prototype called Crayon Physics that turned out to be an extremely popular prototype on its developer’s page.  The developer decided on his own to put together monthly prototypes (inspired, I believe, by the aforementioned graduate class idea).  There were several other examples of developers who did regular rapid prototyping “discovering” successful game ideas, making me realize that one of the advantages that independent developers have is their flexibility and freedom to blow through dozens or hundreds of ideas quickly.

With all that said, I’ve started my own weekly prototyping schedule.  I will be posting my results each week for all to try out and comment on.  Some will be fun, some not, and hopefully one gem of a concept will surface that really shines for people.


Currently Playing: The Beatles Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5

Hello, World!

It’s been almost a year since I first thought I would finally sit down and start a blog.  I wrote one post . . . and it was a post about starting a blog.  So obviously that whole plan has not really gone anywhere . . . until now!

I’ve decided to change the format and have the subject of my blog be more broad than I’d originally intended.  If you know me, you’ll be quick to note that this idea fits my style exactly.  I’m a bit of a renaissance man, a jack-of-all-trades, and in the classic fashion, a master of none.  So instead of focussing purely on game development or chronicling my journey to find wealth.  I’ve decided to simply talk about all of it.

My goal is not to create an online diary of my daily activities.  Instead, I’d like to create a place that presents ideas that I find interesting, things I find funny, stuff that I find to be stupid, and, hopefully, items of interest to other people.  I want to start conversations that can lead to better understanding of the topics I’m interested in and probably even some that I’m not.  My main areas of interest will be developments in game design and gaming news, pursuing the holy grail of financial freedom, and things that are funny.  I will probably show off some dancing at times as well.  It depends on how much I like you. ; )

I’m hoping to make this a daily thing or at least weekly.  We’ll see how it goes.  Until next time!