Why Facebook Buying Oculus Is Positive

Facebook OculusFacebook just announced they will be acquiring Oculus (developers of the Rift) for $2B ($400M in cash, $1.6B in stock). The internet is ablaze with almost unanimous displeasure about this announcement and I’d like to dig into why, despite an initial surprised reaction, I am happy about this acquisition.

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How We Use Unity

Battle Group 2 EditorWe’re using Unity exclusively at Bane Games and are absolutely loving it. I get asked a lot about what tools we use and how we lay out our projects. Today I discuss this briefly and would love to hear about the 3rd party tools you recommend and how you make your games in Unity.

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Going Free To Play

Battle Group 2 LogoWe’ve spent the last few months working on a sequel to Battle Group, aptly named Battle Group 2. The game is coming along well and the team is excited to be showing it off at GDC Play this year. Other than the incredible new visuals, deeper gameplay with satellite strikes and reworked rendering system we’ve decided to make the game Free to Play. This post is about the why, how and when of this decision.

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Starting Something New

I’ve been somewhat absent from game development and my blog over the past 18 months. I’ve had a sabbatical after the birth of my son and have spent time deciding on the direction I want my game development life to go. I feel refreshed and ready to start making bigger and deeper gaming experiences. I’ve begun working with a new game designer, Dylan, whom I met during my break. We collaborated on RGB together and have started something completely new. We’ve teamed up with a new artist, Jesse, to begin work on an ambitious new game. Below is my outline for where I plan to go in the coming 12 months as well as a retrospective on where things have gone since I started Bane Games three years ago.

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Video Game Industry Predictions 2013

Well, the world didn’t end (of course) so it’s time to look to the next twelve months and predict what we might see in 2013. Below are my predictions for the video game industry in 2013.

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Battle Group Postmortem

Battle Group is out and selling well. Today I’m going to give a basic run down on want went right and wrong with the project. For those that don’t know, Battle Group was our (Bane Games) third game together and was released simultaneously on 4 platforms: iOS, Android, PC and Mac. Since it’s release we’ve been featured on the Mac App Store, won bunch of awards and received a number of “perfect” reviews. All sounds good right? Not everything went as smoothly as it could. We made some new mistakes and repeated (for the 3rd time) other mistakes which we’ll hopefully finally solve on our next project.

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Game Developer Interview: Alex Norton – Game Programmer

Brisbane has had a lot of success with indie games over the past few years. From Halfbricks’ Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride to Defiant Developments’ Ski Safari just a couple of weeks ago. Hoping to follow this success, Alex Norton has just started a Kickstarter campaign for his game, Malevolence. I decided to interview Alex to see how his project is a little different to the typical Indie game. (more…)

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Game Developer Graduate Exhibition Tips

I’ve been to countless video game graduate industry nights over the past five years. I started out scouting talent for the companies I was working for and now I’m always on the look out for talented developers to work with on indie games. The talent and games coming out of these graduates has steadily increased with every passing year. I’m constantly surprised by the quality of work of many of the teams given their limited experience. However, I keep seeing the same mistakes being made each year and thought it was time I shared some basic tips to reduce these recurring issues.

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Separation of Gameplay

I’ve worked on three different game engines and all have had gameplay and engine intertwined throughout the source code. In Unity, all game objects inherit from MonoBehaviour giving them full access to the power of Unity (and forming a hard link between game and engine). Recently, I’ve moved away from this approach to a better “separation of concerns”. I completely separate out the gameplay making it engine agnostic. This has worked well and I plan to use this approach for most of the games I create in the future. Today I discuss this separation of gameplay and why I recommend others make the switch.

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Test Driven Game Development Experiences

We’ve just wrapped up our first game that employs full Test Driven Development (TDD) practices. I’ll share my experiences, good and bad, now that we’re completely finished the first version of the project. I’ve spoken previously about Test Driven Game Development (TDGD) but a lot of that was theoretical so today I’d like to give some more concrete thoughts on how TDGD helped with the creation of Battle Group.

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