Archive for category: Game Development

A Quick Update

07 Sep
September 7, 2012

Moving to Seattle worked out wonderfully. If you’re interested in how that’s been going, read after the break.

Despite an incredibly busy month, I’ve been hard at work on several development projects in my spare time. In the few short weeks that we’ve been in the city, I’ve already attended two networking events, including the latest Seattle Unity3D User Meetup Group event last week.

The next project I intend to share involves an idea that’s been stewing in my brain for years. My goal is to establish a new content work-flow for video game designers. I’m hoping to inspire other developers to consider a new concept I’m calling ‘reactive content generation.’ I’ll be using my experience in music production to illustrate a proof of concept.

Unfortunately, it won’t make any sense to you until I’m done. We’ll deal with it then.

As an aside, I’ve joined the community as @charliehelman. It’s essentially an ad-free microblogging platform with a particular focus on providing an open API to third-party developers.

It’s twitter, without the spam bots and advertisers, and mostly populated by tech professionals (including a growing number of game developers).

Check it out. Definitely worth the $50 per year price tag. Currently in Alpha.

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First Game Ever: “Point and Kill!”

11 Aug
August 11, 2012

Point and Kill is a high-speed game played with only your mouse. It’s also my first complete experience in video game development.

Give it a shot, then let me know what you thought! Are you fast enough to beat my score of 91 points? Check it out.

Discussing Indies and Bookmarks for Developers

16 Jul
July 16, 2012

To develop my skill-set as a game developer, I’m going to create my own independent game.

That’s right.


Okay, I was never really anything else, but whatever.

So what does that mean? Generally, “Indie” (or Independent) game developers create their games without the partnership of publishers. Indie teams are usually small, yet sometimes include dozens of people. Often, Indie titles are characterized by their innovative design implementations, such as inventive game mechanics or fascinatingly unique art direction.

For a wider understanding of the Indie classification, I suggest listening to Episode 21 of Games Industry Mentor podcast (listen in your Browser, or in Itunes), which also includes a lot of discussion related to Indie game development.

Most folks in the games industry seem to have connections or history in the Indie world. For example, take Matthew Burns, an all-around-pretty-cool-dude who works for 343 Industries (they make Halo nowadays). On the side, he develops at an Indie studio called Shade Grown Games, and is an active voice in the Seattle-area Indie community. Many professionals working for strictly commercial development studios use their free resources for independent work, and seem to enjoy the freedom that comes with it.

While I envision thriving in a larger and more corporate work-environment (my ‘breaking in’ aspirations focus on starting in QA), I still have every reason to independently develop my own game. Specifically, I’ll be creating a 2d physics game in Unity and host it here on my website. The game’s an original idea with a core mechanic similar to Brick Breaker; I will certainly post more about it later.

An idea is a great place to start, but execution of an idea requires earnest creativity. Fortunately, the Internet contains a nearly endless library of information, discussions, videos, samples, and tutorials which are especially relevant to aspiring developers like me. In fact, in the last six months I’ve scrupulously saved over 300 bookmarks of useful resources for Game Development.

I’ve decided to organize and compile those bookmarks and make a page for them on this site. Hopefully, it will be useful to others in my situation.

So while I’m organizing those bookmarks, sketching out the mechanics for my first game, and (by the way) preparing for my imminent wedding, I’d love to know:

So I'll be creating a page devoted to sharing those resources I've found.


What resources/websites/blogs/books/podcasts/tutorials/lessons/etc. have you found that no video game developer or designer should live without?


Imagining Microsoft’s Next Generation of Games

01 Jul
July 1, 2012

A few days go I walked into the Starbucks by my house, hoping to find a nice seat in a corner and get some work done. When I stepped into the pleasantly fragrant lobby and looked up, however, my hopes were crushed.

The place was packed, every table and chair accounted for, minus a few tiny seats at a bar table too small to fit my laptop. As I walked over to get in line (begrudgingly stink-eyeing the people who occupied all three of my favorite spots) I noticed something peculiar:

A lot of folks had tablets.

In fact, there were only a few people in the entire lobby not using tablets. I observed lots of iPads, a good representation of Kindle Fires and other e-readers; as far as I could tell, everyone else at least had a smartphone. Walking through the lobby after ordering my drink, I peeked discretely at the screens I passed. Some folks were gaming, others reading Facebook; many had their earphones in, watching netflixhuloutube or whatever.

Interesting, I thought as I walked across the street to a different, less crowded Starbucks. The tablet craze is here to stay.

Are laptops doomed to be replaced by tablets and smartphones? That’s a pretty safe bet. Yet, I sense a bigger shift in the wind: a convergence that will define an entirely new generation of video games. It all comes down to Microsoft…

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Ahead of the Competition

20 Jun
June 20, 2012

Run a Google search for tips about resume writing, and you’ll find thousands of guides hosted around the internet. Much of the advice is common sense: proofread, use proper grammar, make your best qualities stand out, etc. Yet, this quote from the Rockport Institute’s “How to Write a Masterpiece of a Resume” sums up the biggest problem to overcome:

Here’s an imaginary scenario. You apply for a job that seems absolutely perfect for you. You send your resume with a cover letter to the prospective employer. Plenty of other people think the job sounds great too and apply for the job. A few days later, the employer is staring at a pile of several hundred resumes. Several hundred? you ask. Isn’t that an inflated number? Not really. A job offer often attracts between 100 and 1000 resumes these days, so you are facing a great deal of competition.

How can any sane individual tasked with sorting through a thousand resumes possibly discern the value of each person behind the page?

These folks, especially Recruiters from HR, have an eye for the outstanding

A few days ago I finished meticulously updating my resume. I know that whoever picks it up will instantly know they’re holding a page from someone worth following up with.

Here’s how:

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