Just a quick update to let you know that things are coming along nicely in CIC at the moment. I’ve decided to put together my second tech demo (alpha 2) which wills how off movement and may have orbital mechanics involved. I’ve always been interested in orbits, both how they work, and the math that goes into entering and exiting them. I haven’t played a game to date that includes them so it seemed like a good mechanic for a tech demo. My hope is that I can hide all of the boring and complex 3D math from the player and let them concentrate on having fun sling shotting of planets, entering/exiting and changing orbits and other fun things.
It’s been quite a while since I posted specifically about CIC so I thought I’d give a quick update. Last night I made my first check-in since September (before the wedding). I’m beginning work on the ‘3D movement’ part of the game which I’m hoping will be one of it’s main features. Homeworld 1 & 2 have been the best games to use 3D that I’ve played so far, however I still didn’t like their interface. It was predominately 2D with the 3rd dimension being an added extra. CIC is going to be fully 3D and there are no major and minor axis (z/up being minor in Homeworld). This has two advantages, firstly, you have all dimensions to use in your strategy and you’re not disadvantaged by attacking along a minor axis. Secondly, it’s far easier for the player to comprehend what’s going on in true 3D as they only need think about where enemies are relative to themselves, not relative to a given coordinate system. Will this work? Time will tell. I’ve already rewritten the tried and true chess rules for my mini-game, I may as well try rewriting the way games handle 3D while I’m at it.
Over the past two days the first Game Connect Asia Pacific Conference has been held in Brisbane, Australia. It replaced Australian Game Developers Conference (AGDC) which was closed down earlier this year. I went along to the conference and found it quite informative. I took my iRiver with me and recorded the speeches I went to. I have uploaded them so anyone that didn’t make it to the conference can also learn from what the speakers had to say. The quality isn’t the greatest however I’ve used my decidedly lacking audio skills to touch them up as best I can. Do please be careful if listening to them on earphones as even though I’ve taken out all the clapping there may be a few points where it’s a little loud. If anyone is able to touch them up a little better please let me know and I’d be happy to upload them again.
I see the biggest challenge facing Indie game development stemming from the two major types of people who develop the games. The first group have plenty of time to make games, but don’t have the skills to do so. The second group have the skills but have no time to make them. How can these two groups be helped?
Every project I’ve worked on has had at least one contractor working on some part of it. I’ve worked both as a contractor and with many and I’d like to discuss a few of the problems I’ve seen. Some of these problems are quite subtle and I believe are often overlooked by managers of software projects.
Being in the ‘zone’ or ‘flow’ is a state of working where time seems to disappear and your productivity is many times greater than regular work. One minute you’ve finished lunch and start work on a new path finding algorithm, the next minute its 7pm and everyone else in the office has gone home for the night. From what I’ve seen at different companies, unfortunately, most people aren’t in the zone while at work. I’d like to recommend some ways you can get in the zone, and stay there for as long as possible.
I’ve been requested by Shiva to write an article on the “Importance of finishing what you start”. Whether you’re an indie developer, looking for a job in the industry or running a large game development house, finishing what you start is important for you.
As some of you may have noticed, my blogs have been a little sporadic over the past few months and for the next two weeks they are going to cease completely. In two days time I will be a married man! To those that prescribe to the belief that I’m ‘getting more time than one does for murder’ or that I’ll have a ball and chain attached I laugh in your general direction. I shall return from my honeymoon with more game design ideas, more blogging ideas and a general enthusiasm like you’ve never seen before. Until then, I hope that you are all well, that your game playing and developing goes smoothly and that you all prepare for exciting things to come from the new and improved Doolwind.
For only the 5th time in my life as a programmer I took part in some pair programming this week. I had forgotten just how much benefit there is from pair programming and decided to share some of my experiences. Pair programming simply means two coders, sitting down at the computer together with one person typing and both people discussing everything they do. Below is a list of reasons why I highly recommend everyone tries pair programming and adopts it as a part of their best practices. While there isn’t a need to do it all the time I’d recommend trying it next time you are designing a large system or trying to solve a complex problem.