Posts Tagged ‘Game Development’

15Jul

Ok, so it has been a while since I’ve posted. It has been a busy last couple of years! I’ve been working at NetApp but just gave notice to start working somewhere new. I had a few abandoned side projects and I am now embarking on a brand new one. I’ve learned a ton. Mostly, I’ve learned what might make a project successful and what makes it fall apart. Today I am going to talk about a little game project we are putting on hold.

There was a project a few of my friends were working on where we decided merge music and gaming together. We had this epic plotline, with awesome episodic content in mind, and various other great concepts. We even had a working prototype of the game engine with some programmer art and some actual artist content. We had plenty of concepts, but when it came time to tying things together and defining deadlines everything would fall apart. We ended up in endless development time for various animations. Promises of “it will take 4 hours” turned magically into 4 months later. When it came down to it was too hard for a half committed team to execute, and definitely too hard for some of the team’s first game.

I stepped back. I know we had a talented team, but I really wanted to make a big impact at a smaller scope so I went back to the drawing board. We needed to get our little team to start thinking smaller/simpler so I threw out the idea of putting our current project off in favor of something more easy to execute. I proposed a standard shoot’em with a few twists.

The other thing I realized is that our team was missing a dedicated game designer. Someone who would really drive the game mechanics and be a champion for awesome level/game design. I reached out to one of my old friends from the Game Development Club at SJSU. He grilled me initially (mostly about how I didn’t think the iPhone was all that special when it came out to which he scoffed), but I think he liked the new premise for the game. I proposed a simple shoot’em up targeted at the OUYA with timed music elements for combos and such. The convo took a life of its own. We both proposed extremely stupid things and expanded on them to make them great. We thought making this a purely cooperative type game. We instantly considered latency issues and how that might impact the gameplay mechanics. We decided to go back and do some research and mock some things up. I immediately opt’d to get an early developer OUYA, which should be coming in by the end of the year some time and in the meantime start developing a simple engine to get us started!

Starting over is somewhat disheartening, but I think it can be refreshing and freeing as well. I am not considering anything a failure. They were all good ideas and could all potentially become something with the right direction. They all taught me a little something though and aided in focusing and explicitly defining my intentions. There is a concept in software development called “coding by coincidence”, it occurs when you achieve your desired outcome but aren’t quite sure why it occurred. I now think that this rule could by altered for the business world as well. You should always be deliberate when designing a product. Magical spurts of popularity do occur, but you should know exactly why and how they occurred. It is possible to “get” lucky, but I believe intent will deliver more guaranteed results.

Share
21Aug

gridzSo a few months ago I made this game on facebook with Edgar called Grid[z]. It is a simple little board game, but we have a ranking and score system that is based off ELO. ELO is the ranking system that is used for Top Coder and Chess Leagues among other things.

gridzWe have some planned modifications also including a public lobby that would allow players to invite each other. Also more stringent security policies are also needed. I don’t see this game becoming popular or making tons of money so I am considering it my first foray into the facebook api + cakephp. I may eventually post my cakephp library for making games; however, trying to validate player interactions with the server in a way to cover all cases seems to be a hurdle. It may be a nice starting point though.

Check it out: http://apps.facebook.com/gridzzz/

Share
29Apr

So recently the Game Development Club at SJSU had one of it’s regular programming competitions. This one was based on the Tower Defense genre. Edgar and myself decided to do it on the Zune. This was rather easy in comparison to other things I have been using lately (namely opengl haha). It is a pretty simple game. more of a tech demo/challenge to see how fast we could actually make a functional game. The game has 5 or 6 levels. We used the some code off of the creators club website. For the most part the code is pretty thrown together. It was more about seeing how fast we could actually do this.  Three days of working on it seems like a reasonable amount of time (especially since two of those days were pretty laid back).  I will post a video or something soon probably. Below is the installer for the Zune, and the source code for the game. I think I will modify the game to make levels dynamically generated and infinite. I could see this being a score based game (like tetris or something). There is not a ton of fun to be had right now. This is my first entry into the Zune world :)! I still need to post my blog on grid[z] for facebook. That game is basically done. It has been approved for their application database. I am currently adding leaderboards and live game support!!!

In the mean time:

Installer: http://www.parrisstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/towerd.ccgame

Source Code: http://www.parrisstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/towerd.rar

Final Thoughts: I think I may add some networking to this game. I really enjoyed line tower wars on warcraft 3, so I am thinking about making similar gameplay as that.

Enjoy 🙂

Share