Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category.

Game Update and Other Stuff

Well, I didn’t quite get to where I wanted by the end of the month, but at least I made progress. The level editor is mostly done, although not fully tested. The “character” editor is probably 50% done. The plan is to get it completed for the next Dream Build Play, which I think is quite doable.

The squirrel did attack (see my previous post) and I opened up The Agency project when I realized the tileset I was using wasn’t going to work for all situations. I also took another look at Hero Engine to see how easy it was to work with. There’s a cute little bunny farming world that they set up to show how some things are done (quests, menus, area picking, etc.). I would need to read a lot more of the documentation to find out if it’s a truly viable solution for a spy game like I’ve been fooling around with, especially since it would be just me working on it at the moment.

A huge (to me at least) thing that’s happened since my last post is that I’m waiting for a phone interview to be set up with an actual game studio. I keep an eye out every once in a while for positions at various companies just to see how the industry is going and I happened to see positions for which I’m actually qualified! That’s extremely rare since I don’t do C++ anymore. I sent in my resume for a couple of positions and got a reply back from one. I’m hoping to hear back from the other as well but we’ll see. This would be life changing in that I’d have to move, but given my current job instability I’d have to seriously consider uprooting the family if they make me an offer that’s enough to support us, especially since it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. At least I’d have the hope of some potential for growth there. I’m slowly digging myself into a hole at my current job as we’re nowhere near current with technology.

I was excited to see that the local chapter of the IGDA is starting back up with a meeting Thursday. If you’re in the Baltimore area, come out and join in – 7 p.m. at The Green Turtle in Hunt Valley. There’s a ton of talent in the area and past meetings have been pretty awesome so I’m hoping for good stuff this year.

Another year, another restart :(

Well, not a complete restart at least.

What I have decided to do, is attempt to focus on and complete one game before moving on to another.  I’ve been fighting the “squirrel” battle for a long time, but I’m hoping to overcome it this year (just in time for the world to end, I know).



I’m digging up an old game that I’d started a number of times but put on the back burner since it’s a fairly big game, at least from the number of features I’m planning. I’m planning on releasing it on XBLIG (why I still haven’t figure out given it’s a virtual graveyard that’s to the mismanagement and/or uncaring of MS 🙁 ) and then probably IndieCity or possibly Steam if I’m lucky. WP7 is a dream, but I’m not sure how well it would do on that platform. If I can get enough done for the next DreamBuildPlay, so much the better.

The short list of significant features I’m planning on:

  • In-game level editor
  • Level sharing
  • “Global” leaderboards
  • In-game (and possibly out-of-game for the PC version) “store” for players to upgrade their “character”
  • 6 player multiplayer
  • Single player with AI

I’m hoping this game will be my ticket to indie game developer freedom so I can ditch the boring (although fairly well-paying) day job. I’m not holding my breath though. If I can make a decent chunk of money I’ll be happy.

I probably won’t share any more details about the actual game until it’s ready for playtest. I will be posting status updates here though for the 1 person that actually might follow this blog. 🙂

On a personal note, I did receive my MVP award again my contributions to the tech for last year. That’s 6 years in a row for anyone counting. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to maintain it with XNA slowly dying however. I guess I’ll just keep chugging away and see what happens.

Another Year, Another Try At Getting It Right

OK, I guess 3rd (or is this 4th, 5th, …) time is the charm. Maybe since I’m now using a decent blogging engine, I’ll be more likely to keep it up to date.

Here’s my list of tech-related New Years Resolutions:

  • Get a game in this year’s Dream Build Play competition (in-progress)
  • Post some useful XNA/WP7 related information/code snippets/samples on this blog (more than once every half-dozen months)
  • Get a game (or two, either my DBP entry or another) on XBLIG to get some money coming in to get a nest egg so I can start doing game development full time.

That’s a short, but difficult list. Let’s see how well I do. For the 2nd one I need some suggestions as to what to blog about since I’m not ready to talk about the DBP game. I’m thinking about posting some thoughts on the general state of XBLIG and WP7. There’s been a lot going on, not all of it good. I could probably do a series of posts on it, but that might be going a bit far. We’ll see I guess.

In other news, I was renewed for another year as a Microsoft MVP. This is my 5th straight year. I’ll be heading back to Microsoft at the end of the next month to chat with the XNA, and hopefully Windows Phone 7, people to see what’s going on with things. Hopefully they’ll have some good info to share with us as to what’s coming up for both areas. Also hopefully by that time I’ll have a WP7 to take with me and get some good photos/videos. I’m just waiting for Sprint to come out with their phone.

Reboot 2.0!

OK, another reboot. I upgraded the site to IIS 7 and noticed that WordPress was available and decided to give it a go rather than continue using dasBlog. Since there wasn’t really a lot on the old blog it’s not really a great loss I guess. I also killed the crappy template website since I don’t have time to update it. Maybe soon… 🙂

I’m about to undertake a project that will hopefully get me in the habit of posting regularly. My son’s school has a Career Day and I’ve talked a couple of times about game development. This year I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m going to let the kids design a small game and I’m going to development it, blogging about the progress so the kids can read it and see what it’s like. The good thing is that hopefully it’ll be interesting to other people too and maybe it’ll be something I can release on XBLIG.