Recent Articles In Game Developers
September 19, 2014 by Frogboy on Brad Wardell - Skinning the frog
One of the less glamorous but absolutely crucial parts of game development involves building tools to support content creation. For GalCiv II, we used MFC.  In Elemental, we used WinForms.  Now, we’re making our editors using Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon aka WPF).  It’s amazing how far things have come. Internally, there’s a lot of debate on whether we should be using WPF vs. WinRT for this purpose.  I’m curious what others think on this in terms...
Ah to be young again.  I’m watching Twitter afire with different groups blaming each other for the death threats of different people.  They’re all wrong. They’re not sending death threats. It’s the crazy lurkers who do and they are typically not particularly into the cause. Death threats: A starter’s guide Now, first, let’s define a death threat because I see a lot of people confusing “I hope you get cancer” with a death threat.&n...
That’s right: 145 CPUs.
Yea, a great feature…if I could ever get it to work on something more complex than HelloWorld.c View the video on the crazy edit I perform to cause edit and continue to fail…
September 14, 2011 by Frogboy on Brad Wardell - Skinning the frog
Setting up Visual Studio 2008 and all the other dev tools to start building software on a brand new machine. Ugh.
1990s During the creation of the history for the Galactic Civilizations universe a number of stories are assembled regarding the earliest days. These become known as Elemental: Guardians of the Telenanth , Elemental: Mascrinthus & Draginol , and Elemental: Destiny’s Sentinel Early 2000s Stardock attempts to license Master of Magic from Atari to create a Master of Magic 2. Negotiations stall over legal requirements. 2006 Galactic Civilizations II is a hit, t...
April 6, 2011 by ScottTykoski on ScottT's Site
Since I miss drawning, I thought it'd be fun to sharpen my skills with a lunchtime 'character design' series. Over the next two weeks I'll be shooting for 12-15 interesting pirate designs. On my first day I was able to get 2 made...   The one on the left is the 'Sad Sac'. Formerly a captain of his own ship, he's since lost his rank, then in 4 strokes of bad luck lost both his hands and feet. He's...seen better days. The pirate on the left is the bird-lady of the crew. Her f...


June 1, 2009 by ADSquared on ADSquared's Game Blog
         E3 2009 is finally here, June 1st, 2009.  The Microsoft press conference is at 12 o'clock noon, central standard time.  You can bet that I will be here with a full review of the Microsoft press conference, after the conference happens, and maybe a little bit during the conference.  You can also bet that I will be here for the rest of the week, with updates on the conferences, and spotlights on the individual game developers. &nbs...
April 19, 2009 by xhadoe on hatched
Hello Joeusers, This will be where I update everyone on what I'm up to in my projects in games and music. I will try to make this worth reading at least twice a week If you'd like, you can read up on what I do at and Till I push the Pixels Back, -Joseph
January 28, 2009 by mittens on Rawr

As I indicated in my brief update last week, I did indeed get a Unity Indie license after some time with the free downloadable trial. I've never been good at constraining myself to the feature set found in a given game engine or game development toolset before but just a few hours with Unity made me a very strong believer in the power the engine had. On the Saturday of this past weekend I sat down on a couch while I was away at my parents' house with my MacBook, opened up the Unity trial, and spent some time while I was watching movies with my parents just playing around with the engine. I was so impressed with what I came up with purely through trial-and-error and experimentation (as I had no internet connection for research/help) that I got the Indie license within an hour of getting back to my apartment on Sunday afternoon.

My goal over the next few months is to come up with and develop one game every four-six weeks that I will upload to this site (Unity has a 3D web applet). The first of these projects is Magnetic Butterfly which is, essentially, a game of King of the Hill where the player controls a tiny butterfly who was born with a giant wrecking ball attached to his body. As a result of this, the butterfly will be a bit unwieldy for the player to control, but the player will need to find a way to knock any nearby enemies off a platform before they do the same to him/her. The "catch" is that the player will have the ability to activate his magnetic charge which will lock the butterfly to the ground and allow players to drastically modify the momentum of the wrecking ball and then aim it in the direction of a nearby enemy for increased force. I got a very, very basic prototype of the gameplay up and running on Sunday night and was actually pleasantly surprised with the results.

Since then I have been spending some additional time setting up the PC in my apartment to serve as my content/asset creation machine -- installing Paint Shop Pro, XSI Mod Tools, and Silo for the texture/modeling needs that I figured would arise over the course of the next couple months. I have also been redoing some of the basic aspects the butterfly/wrecking ball; for instance, I am currently in the process of redoing the chain/rope that binds the ball and the butterfly together to not only look better but to be a much more elastic solution. Here are some screenshots of my development environment over the last few hours while I was screwing around with joints to bind various chain links together (I have since decided to create the chain procedurally, which is where I left off for the night):

I can't even properly convey just how much fun I've been having with Unity since I downloaded the trial. Not having to worry about the finer details of programming for a platform and, instead, solely focusing on the game design, gameplay logic, and the player's interactions with the game world has just been a fantastic change of pace for me. The most annoying thing at the moment is the lack of postprocessing shader support in the Unity Indie license (it's a feature reserved for Unity Pro) but that's only a minor aesthetic design annoyance.

I'll try to write some more detailed development entries in the future; though, preferably, I'll write those at some time that is not an hour or so after I meant to go to sleep.

January 21, 2009 by mittens on Rawr

It's been a while since I've just written a generic sort of site entry, but this seemed like a fantastic time to do just that. First, I want to thank everyone for all the awesome responses I got on the site, IRC, Twitter, and other mediums to my last entry. That was actually intended to be a useful piece to serve as advice to people looking to get into the game industry but I got carried away with my personal history as I started writing it and just rode that inspiration. I'll write up a proper piece on general advice on how to get into the game industry at some point in the future.

I'm still plugging away on my iPhone project on a daily (or near-daily) basis. I'm having a bit of trouble actually getting to work on the game as a result of deficiencies of the engine I'm using. If the engine I'm using doesn't provide an abundance of tools and scripts for game development then I feel compelled to add in some of the features that I'm certain I will need at some point in my game's development so, at this point, that endeavor is occupying the entirety of my development time. One of the things which interested me the most about the Oolong Engine was how it appeared to offer an abundance of features while still allowing a lot of room for a developer to customize his/her use of the engine. At this point I'm convinced that while the engine does have a solid feature set, there is nothing that really ties one aspect of the engine together with the rest; for instance, being that it's an engine for a touch screen-based platform I would have expected somewhat rigorous support for touch-screen input and picking within a 2D/3D scene. But alas, no such thing seems to exist. It does appear to be under heavy development but given the amount of development I do in a given day at work I like the time I spend with my side-projects to be as focused on core game design and game programming as possible.

That said, I do absolutely love not only my MacBook but also OS X and the development environment that the iPhone SDK and xcode provide. While the IDE is nowhere near the level of polish present in Microsoft Visual Studio, it's still a tremendously useful and functional programming environment. I'm also continually impressed by the capabilities and ease of development for the iPhone/iPod Touch as a platform. It's been a fascinating change from PC development and my XNA projects (which, C# aside, is a very PC-like platform).

I'm so impressed by the iPhone/iPod Touch as a gaming platform that I'm seriously considering putting some (or all, depending on the success or lack thereof) of the money from my first game towards an Unity 3D and iPhone license. Granted, I have absolutely no idea when my first game will hit the App Store (or even what that game will be), but I can dream. Everything I've seen from Unity has me endlessly impressed and I'd absolutely love to get a license for it at some point but it is, right now, a bit out of my price range. Especially given the impulse purchase of the MacBook. If anyone has used Unity for either Mac or the iPhone I'd love to hear some impressions. I also noticed that GarageGames has released a SKU of their Torque Game Engine for the iPhone; the license seems to be more expensive than their past engine releases though, which is kind of confusing. I always thought of GarageGames as offering low-priced alternatives to indies and the price point of iTGE is only $100 less than the indie license of Unity 3D along with its iPhone publishing license. And, from what I've seen, Unity seems to be a far more capable and thorough toolset.

Speaking of such things, is anyone doing the Global Game Jam at the end of the month? I'm still figuring out whether I'm going to head to the Detroit chapter of the thing.

Finally, since I don't believe I've thrown out a plug for these guys yet, Idle Thumbs is the best gaming podcast around. It's surprisingly hard to find gaming podcasts whose speakers have the abilities to move beyond the kind of tired, trite rhetoric you'd get from a typical IGN or Gamespot article without coming off as pretentious or, quite simply, boring. Idle Thumbs manages to do that in a way that I've only seen the Games for Windows podcast successfully do back before it ended months ago. Give it a listen.

January 20, 2009 by mittens on Rawr

Every now and then it's nice to talk about game development; how to get into it, and what it's like to actually be a professional game developer after years of being a part of game development communities on the Internet. This post was inspired by a blog entry by the ever-fantastic Steve Gaynor. The entry is titled "Informative" and he discusses his approach to getting into level and game design from the perspective of someone who had no idea how to get into game development. It's a fantastic read and is a completely different approach to the way I got into game development.

One way to get into the industry is have the general knowledge of what game development consists of and keep this in mind as one progresses with his/her education. Maybe someone looked up a game school like Digipen or a trade school like Full Sail. I know a number of people that have gone this route and gotten good jobs in the game industry (one of whom is a close friend and colleague at Stardock). There are also a number of people who got into the industry in a sort of traditional training/educational manner. These are the people that maybe knew an widely-accepted path of learning a given artistic or programmatic trade through classes in high school and then continued the advancement of these schools through college. Both of these are very viable methods of learning the necessary skills to get a job in a very unique and competitive industry.

But that's not how it worked for me. And I have some of my personal history and some very unfortunate evidence of my past projects to share along the way.

I grew up with video games. Sure, I also had a fondness for basketball and, eventually, cross-country, but video games were always a consistent force throughout my life. I got a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 from my grandparents for Christmas when I was around five or six. The problem that I remember back then is that I got this game and I didn't even have an NES. I wasn't sure what their angle was. I thought it was either a mean trick or my grandparents had no idea that a game cartridge wasn't a self-contained video game-playing entity. But I clutched that copy of SMB 3 in my hands for a week or two. At some point I accidentally dropped my copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 in a toilet. After that unfortunate event -- still not having an NES of my own to play -- I had an urgent need to visit my friend's house. He had an NES, see, and I had to ensure my holy grail hadn't been corrupted. Thankfully, it wasn't, and shortly thereafter I had an NES of my very own to play it with. It wasn't until I was eleven or twelve that I really ever started wondering how video games were made. But, that did happen, and it was, as is tradition for the small town of Kalkaska, Michigan, during an incredible blizzard that I started screwing around on a computer. Before I go further, I want to ensure we have the same picture of a winter as I do; these are recent pictures but you can't really tell the difference between back-then and now in this context: