This was my best GDC yet. I had some great business cards, my resume and something to talk about: founding and running the Washington DC Area Unity3D Users’ Group. I had a wonderful time, did the most networking of my life and came home very inspired! I even got to meet and chat with Matthew Davis one of the creators of FTL. (WHAT! You haven’t played FTL!! GO BUY IT NOW!!! )
One, bit of fun that happen was Cart Life won the IGF Nuovo award. Cart Life’s creator Richard Hofmeier decided to deface the award sign and hand the booth over to howling dogs by Propentine.
On the last day of the trip, I decided to go to the Dutch Game Garden at their consult. I met of Maarten Wiedenh of Reus which he is playing in the picture above. It’s a cool game about Gods and planet building, its worth getting. On the way, a monk approached me and gave me the “Work Smoothly” medal pictured above. It struck me as smart way to think about working , “Work Smoothly.” It’s become a sort of motto now, whenever I get harried or out of sorts I remind myself to get collected and work smoothly.
[Yes, another HORRIBLY late post, cut me some slack!]
This evening I worked on basic boiler plate stuff. I put some stuff up on github including Futile QuickStart I even made a pull request for Futile.
I pretty much spent the rest of evening fighting my font code. Fonts took way too long because I though I was running the latest version of Futile, but it turned out I wasn’t. I got confused about my github pull and which package I imported. Exactly, one of those things that bugs me about the way github’s and Unity’s idiosyncrasies interact. Anyway, once I figuring that out, Futile gave me a useful error that nicely explained what the problem was, oh hum.
One my achomplishments of the holidays was the sucessful launch of WAUUG or the Washington (DC) Area Unity3D Users Group.
I didn’t finish. I just didn’t have my weekend clear. You really need a clear weekend to finish Ludum Dare. The tech change in the middle didn’t help.
My main take away: Unity slowed me down. I’m too much of a programmer. When a game engine gets in the way, I can see all the different ways I would code myself out of the problem, but I can’t see any solutions in the engine’s context. Code is a powerful too, and I’m good at using it. Game engine’s are alien worlds with bizarre rules and un-explainable behavior.
So, I’m going to stop using game engines (or frameworks etc.) I’ll use non-game libraries and leave all the game programming to myself. Specifically, something like SDL, SFML or even XNA are good for me, but not stuff like Torque 2D or Unity. I think XNA is “library” enough not to be considered a game engine. It’s more like a toolbox. Oh, I think the caveat here is I want to make 2D games, not 3D.
I think there is a bigger principal at work here: KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid Game Engine’s are complicated systems built by lots of programmers. They have multitudes of audiences with different needs. This all makes them hard to understand with lots of bells and whistles. In order to accommodate all these different requirements, some feature are overly complex with lots of assumptions. Those assumptions require rigidness to keep you out of the weeds that aren’t handle so well because of those assumptions. So at the end of a Ludum Dare weekend, you look back and see all the time lost figuring the game engine’s nuances and gotrchas. Then you pine for a chance to go back in time and just pounded out the code you needed.
Garry of Garry’s Mod expirments with causal iPhone game, nice break down of revenue and graphs comparing paid and ad business models. – http://www.garry.tv/2011/06/02/the-story-of-snabbo/
Do not laugh at this: http://i.imgur.com/ldg0F.jpg
The film makers behind the Penny Arcade series are making a documentary about Minecraft (you’ve heard of Minecraft right!?!) They are using Kickstarter to fund the project, so you can take part. If you have deep enough pockets you can even get a “An actual pick axe mounted on a custom display stand signed by the staff of Mojang Specifications!”
IGDA Board Elections for 2011 have started, go vote!
I’d like to encourage everyone to support this project, it’d be a wonderful and powerful tool for indies: ExEn: XNA for iPhone, Android and Silverlight