Archive for October, 2010

Oct 27 2010

Mozilla Labs – Game On 2010

Published by under Code,Games

Mozilla Game On 2010For any Web game developers out there, you might want to look into Mozilla Labs – Game on 2010.  I am one of the judges for it this year, and it looks like there will be some very cool results!

The combination of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3 is going to make the Web a much more dynamic and exciting place, but is also going to require much more programming skill.

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Oct 27 2010

Programming Languages

Published by under Code,Games

Objective-CMost of my time lately has spent coding up apps in different languages than I normally use. I’m very comfortable with C/C++, SPU ASM, Lua, etc. Basically, all of the “hardcore” languages which are used to make big console games.

But recently, I’ve found myself spending most of my time in other languages.  Programming languages which, until recently, wouldn’t have been used by game programmers.  Things like JavascriptObjective-CPHP.

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Oct 22 2010

Mac Command Line Tricks

Published by under Code

Mac OS XI’ve slowly been moving over to a new MacBook Pro and trying to learn a new system. One of the things I’ve never given up from my Unix days is the command line. Even on my Windows PC, I have tcsh installed, which is my normal way of navigating through my files.

One of the “must have” hacks for my terminal window is getting the current path into the title and customizing the prompt.  With a bit of Google-fu, I was able to figure out the command sequences to do this.  Just add the code below to your

~/.bash_profile

To set the title of a Mac Terminal Window:

function settitle() { echo -ne "\033]0;$@\007"; }
function cd() { command cd "$@"; settitle `pwd -P`; }
settitle `pwd`

To set the command prompt so that it displays the current directory name with the history number of the command:

PS1="(\!):\W>"

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Oct 19 2010

The Games Industry

Published by under Code,Games

cracked eggThe games industry is going through major upheavals these days.  Historically, developers could make a console game for a few million dollars and expect to get their money back on royalties (and publishers didn’t have to worry too much about the risk involved).

These days, everything has changed.  The console market has moved to only big blockbuster titles.  Indie and B-level games don’t sell and publishers are running away from them.  Social/web/Facebook games are all the rage these days, but they depend on millions of eyeballs where a few users spend money to support all of the free players.  iPhone and Android games are trying to figure out how to navigate a market where anyone in their garage can publish a game, even if most of them are garbage.  And the Wii market has imploded for 3rd party publishers (IOW, everyone except for Nintendo).

So does this mean that it is all doom and gloom for independent developers?  I think that it is the exact opposite.  Developers who can be quick and nimble are going to succeed.  There are a lot of opportunities out there, but they aren’t the traditional business models.  Finding ways to leverage HTML5, social games on mobile devices, connected games on XBLA/PSN, etc are the wave of the future for developers who aren’t making God of War nor Halo.

However, it also means that if anyone outside of the guaranteed funded triple-A game tells you that “they know how to succeed”,  I would question how fast they can respond to a changing market.

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