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 App.net 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.

Read more →

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.

My Wedding Officially Rocked

04 Aug
August 4, 2012

Indeed, I’ve been busy getting married to an amazing woman. Now that the craziness is over, I’m finally able to get back to work! While I’m developing my first game in Unity 3D, we’re also solidifying our Seattle moving plans.

Married life is great! Our wedding was picture perfect, so go ahead and check out these pictures!


Cheesy Quote About Love Goes Here.

20 Jul
July 20, 2012

In one week exactly, I’m getting married to Gretchen Louise (who I affectionately call ‘Lou’). We met on August 22, 2010, in St. Paul, Minnesota. From the first moment I saw her, I knew I was in trouble.

We both volunteered (served) on a six-member traveling music ministry team called Captive Free (East Coast). Signed up and organized by Youth Encounter, we worked in churches, schools, camps, hotels, and even half-way homes.

That year transformed both of us entirely. Soon after starting out on the road, my friendship with Gretchen matured into an intense and deeply rooted affection. Not even a month after we officially started dating, I had become absolutely certain: not only did I love her, but I was going to marry her.

Read more →

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?