STO Weapon Deconstruction

So it’s been a while since I last posted– life’s been busy, and continues to be so. But that’s not what this post is for. Today, I’m popping up a little project I’ve been messing with in my spare time, as I have a need to have it actually posted somewhere. Continue reading

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Radio Silence: The Old Issue Rears Its Head Again

So, people who have read my posts for a while will know that (unfortunately) this blog ends up coming in pretty far down the priority list, largely due to the amount of time I like to spend exploring my topics. Because of this, whenever things get busy with ‘more important’ things, posts thin out and I’m silent for a while. This last couple months have been no exception.

So, in the interests of a quickie update: Lots has happened. Most of it tied up into the demands of grad school. Nucleus has had a lot going on, and I plan to get some time to bring that up to speed very soon. Maybe a couple new What We’re Playing posts if I can find time for it. I’ll also be going back over some of my other projects and talking about the background behind them while I’m at it.

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What We’re Playing: Marvel vs. Capcom 3

MvC3Banner

I’ve always been a big fan of the Versus series, both as a player and as a designer, so I was pretty happy when I heard this one was on the way. I was even happier to find that in a world where sequels are frequently awful, MvC3 has continued to buck the trend just as well as the second offering did. It frequently seems like the goal with these games has been “remember what we did last time? We’ll turn it to eleven this time” and the result is a pretty fantastic experience.

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Thoughts on Being a (Game) Designer

Parenthetically “Game” because the first portion of today’s post applies to designers in general more than game designers in general. The second part of two is more specific. Regardless, these are thoughts I’ve had and discussed recently that I found interesting and potentially insightful.

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The Dawn of 2011

90282So, after talking about 2010 the other day, I feel a short post on how that has given way to 2011 is in order.

I spent the several hours that frame either side of the 2010/2011 changeover getting a key portion of TouchWar’s editor hammered out, to a lovely bit of success. Perhaps I’ll post the details later, as they’re not important now. More topical and interesting are the reasons I worked through the New Year instead of attending one of the myriad celebrations or simply kicking back and relaxing.

In a lot of ways, it was a celebration of the triumphs of 2010 and the promises of 2011. I noted earlier that one of the defining characteristics of 2010 for me was the amount of productivity that occurred for me during the year, a momentum I plan to keep for 2011. Hammering on code issues from 6pm to 3am or so last night was somewhat symbolic, for humans as a whole are very symbolic creatures and I respond as well to that as anyone, I suppose. So to my mind, crossing a major item off my list is a fitting way to cap off 2010’s success story and at the same time cement that momentum in the first hours of 2011.

Of course, there’s also a much simpler set of motivations at the same time. Syd was happily Netflixing at the time, and I take quite a bit of joy from the code and design work I’ve been doing lately. Toss in on top of this the reason neither of us were interested in going out—New Year’s Eve is very nearly a dangerous holiday to observe in this area. People around here don’t drive that well while sober, and drunk driving around the typical drinking holidays is common. This town also has the charming habits of selling and lighting firecrackers and bottle rockets and things in the neighborhoods, and sometimes some drunk slob fires a gun into the air. Since I can count the number of people I can stand to be around when there’s alcohol involved without removing my shoes and all these sorts of hazards are scattered around, I just didn’t feel compelled to find some more traditional way to ring it in.

But then again, I also feel like it was a more meaningful observance than I can remember ever having, so take it all as you will.

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2010 Retrospective

father_timeWell, somewhat of a retrospective. Partially because I like to think about what I’ve done and evaluate it all for the future, and partially because Syd already did her own brief post about it, the end of the year seems like a good time to mull over some key points of 2010.

(On a side note, it deserves mention that as with a whole lot of my images in this blog, I’ve no idea where exactly I got the image that goes with this post, but it isn’t my work, blahblah et cetera.)

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When Harry Met GameDev: Faking It Is Good Enough

WhenHarryMetSallySo it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. There’s a number of pretty good reasons for that—the major one being that I got busy with my thesis project and got out of the habit. But let’s not talk about that and instead move on to getting back into the habit.

One of my little pet projects over my Winter break this year has benefited enormously from a piece of advice distilled out of Bungie’s presentation on Halo’s AI. There’s a bit more of a discussion of the things the slides cover here.

My project has nothing to do with AI. It’s actually a test bed I’m using to get more comfortable with doing 3D in XNA and also to prototype a game idea that’s been sitting on my whiteboard a while (I’m trying not to let things just sit on my whiteboard, but more on that later). The important takeaway from Bungie is that complicated systems can be effectively faked and gamers will be convinced provided the illusion is good enough.

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Update: I Can Haz Thesis Work

So, it’s been a while since I last posted, and that’s largely due to school starting back up and immediately being a terribly busy quarter. The first two weeks of both my classes were hectic endurance trials involving smashing through proposals and concept development in order to quickly get into the bulk of the production we have to be doing for the rest of the quarter. It’s intense and exhausting and doesn’t leave a lot of room for writing outside of the proposals.

Here now, with Week 3 coming to a close, I find myself awake way too early and thus able to squeeze in some time to write about it. So this is the first in a set of thesis-related ramblings.

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Summer 2010 Post-Mortem: Nucleus and Things

So one week from today starts the Fall Quarter at SCAD, and I’ve had a busy summer (and haven’t posted much for a while). So I’ll take time out today to review what all’s occurred and share some thoughts on it.

On the whole, excited to be headed back to classes, and I’m taking this week to finally really kick back and make sure I’m recharged for the impending hectic classwork that comes with being an ITGM grad student.

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What We’re Playing: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

SPScreen1 Man, I wanted to like this game. I still want to. I want to like this game SO MUCH. I want to tell you it blew my mind, and it’s awesome, and perfect, and that you should go buy it for yourself RIGHT NOW. And I STILL want to like it. So MUCH.

Unfortunately, I can’t. The fact that I will probably still end up buying it is a testament to how very, very close it comes to everything I wanted to be able to say about it. Sadly, the reality is that while it’s still a slick game and I’d like more like it, there are some really glaring, fundamental problems that only serve to frustrate and underline how close it comes. How very, very close. If it wasn’t so close to being amazing, I’d probably be a lot more forgiving.

Unfortunately, it is not to be. Sadness.

Also sadness, I had to take pictures off screen with a camera, and got very few really useable shots. Alas, for a better way I could actually afford right now. I wanted more examples.

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