Rock and Roll all night, Develop every day

28 03 2009

Silly title aside, if one were to spend way too much time thinking about it, the video game industry and the rock music industry have developed along similar parallels, right down to the vocal and possibly crazy denouncements of both industries as either being the work of Satan or inspiring a generation of killers. In the early days you had people just experimenting with what they could get their hands on (Bushnell in video games, Clapton and Hendrix among others in music). Eventually as the respective industries expanded you had more companies branching out in the medium, even going as far to do extravagant “album-cover” style game boxes (pre-Dark Times Electronic Arts), in a reflection of the Progressive Rock movement. And in time you got legendary figures in the industry like John Carmack, John Romero, Peter Molyneux, Warren Spector, Richard Garriot, Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, and others. Some of whom burned out, faded away, or are still making games now and expanding their horizons within the industry.

One of the few movements in both industries that have run almost concurrently is the resurgence of “indie” movement. Just as a lot of independent groups and labels have made strides in the music industry, the independent games market has really taken off in the past few years, especially thanks to digital distribution via places like Steam and X-Box Live Arcade.

Well anyway I know this wasn’t a lot to talk about but it was more of a random musing rather than a fully-thought-out essay.

Multi-Game Integration: This Needs to Come Back

12 03 2009

In 1995 Maxis Re-relased Sim City 2000, allowing gamers who were on Windows 95 (and beyond) to get re-acquainted with the Urban Management Sim sensation. However, that was not the only plan Maxis had in store for the product. What they did have planned was something ambitious, something that very few games have attempted since, but I think should really be attempted again: They were going to let SC2K dictate user-generated content for not one, but 3 different games (click to read more)

iPhone Development: A Second Look

11 03 2009

While I haven’t had a chance to say on this blog, I have not been the biggest supporter of the iPhone, mostly due to Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ads giving me a negative opinion of the company (seriously, can you actually advertise your product instead of just saying “well Windows has all these problems if you aren’t doing it right…”?), and also because I don’t really see the ultimate need for a combination phone/PDA that costs somewhere between $200 and $400 (oddly enough the prices I paid for my Nintendo Wii and XBox 360, respectively). Also I’ve had numerous thoughts that the games for the iPhone/iPod Touch would range to be very gimmicky and thus result in a lot of shovelware rather than stuff that’s actually good.

But after listening to Jamie Gotch’s postmortem on Fieldrunners I have decided to take a bit of a closer look at the idea of developing games for the iPhone. More after the jump
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Back from Postmortem

10 03 2009

Well Postmortem was interesting. I learned a great deal about iPhone development from Jamie Gotch’s presentation (he’s the developer of Fieldrunners), and I have to say I think I may have both misjudged and correctly judged various aspects of the iPhone/iPod Touch as a gaming platform. I plan to write more on this later.

In other news it didn’t seem like a lot of people were up for hiring artists or even QA testers but that’s not a big deal, I still have the contact info for the HR director of 2K Boston, and now that I’ve got my portfolio up it’s high time I email her back like I said I would.

Boston Postmortem: March 10, Preliminary

10 03 2009

This will be the second Boston Postmortem I go to, and I’m looking forward to it, thankfully without any of the nervousness I had last time. Possibly because I finally have my business cards printed out so I have something to hand back.

Unfortunately there is a minor graphical “glitch” of sorts on them in that the work I did on the template’s cut and bleed lines shows up on all of them, rather than being cut off. That isn’t really the fault of anyone, just not quite understanding how Staples does things, and I really can’t complain seeing as how they’re well-crafted cards and I got 200 for the price of 100.

Overstayed Welcome Goes Gold…then goes Gold Again

4 03 2009

The past two days have been a milestone, a setback, and then another milestone for me and my MQP group.

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