Doing Ludum Dare

I participated in Ludum Dare 45 this year. Ludum Dare is a semi-annual competition where you attempt to make a game over a single weekend. There are two flavours. The first is the “Compo”, where you have 48 hours to make everything as a single individual (no teams). You must release your source code and […]

Making My Models

Game art is really not one of my strong suits. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I think Hypergate looks pretty good. But first and foremost, I consider myself a programmer, not an artist. Here’s a 3D model I built back around 6 years ago at the beginning of Hypergate’s development. (I couldn’t find […]

Effective Level Editing

A few years ago, I completed a project called Dactyl. It was a 2D asteroids-shooter-type game. There were 25 hand-generated levels populated with mines, asteroids of various types, useful equipment, and automated turrets. To visualize each level before I implemented it, I used graph paper and a pencil*. Once I felt a level was complete, I plugged the object […]

Some Case Studies

Game programming is something I’ve been interested in since I was about 11 years old. I started by making simple programs and games in Visual Basic. Shortly afterwards, I made my bumbling way into the world of 3D game development, and I completed many projects using DarkBASIC. All of my games were very simple, but this is […]

Finish or Fail

I have a list of unfinished projects as long as my arm. It’s taken me a while to develop the discipline necessary to see my goals through to the end. So, this week’s post will be all about the various causes of project failure that used to plague me, years ago. Of course, this list […]

Deliver the Difference

Several years ago, I began work on a project called Space Havoc 4, but never completed it.* During SH4‘s development, I had a relevatory experience. You see, around that time, Bungie had just released Halo Reach. Being (somewhat of) a Halo fan, I checked out the reviews and screenshots to see whether the game was worth my time. It looked […]

Managing With MMD

You’ve got a free evening and a brain full of story. Ideas enter your head and then exit without closing the door, leaving your mind wide open for new ones. How do you decide which ones to put into your game, and which ones get the axe? In an ideal world, we’d have the time and talent to […]

Lighten the List

There is generally always a long to-do list of things you need to implement when you’re working on something. While a little knowledge of what remains can help direct your efforts, my own experience has been that to-do lists can actually be detrimental to progress. While I don’t deny that lists can help you focus your […]

Powering Through Problems

Game dev isn’t easy. No one can deny that it’s incredibly rewarding, but there are also moments where sheer frustration will make you want to throw your PC down a flight of stairs, or out a window because the stair violence doesn’t convey how you really feel. Taking breaks is not a bad idea, but […]

Starting Out Simple

In addition to eating one’s vegetables, not running with scissors, and otherwise playing nice with others, there is a ton of useful advice that I wish I had known earlier on. Game development is one of the most fun and rewarding hobbies I can think of, but it can be tough to get started. If you’ve […]