Archive for design

Too quiet…

Posted in A Philosophy of Design, Video Games with tags , , on April 8, 2011 by halbard100

Well New Year’s resolution to put something up every week kind of fell through pretty hard. Working minimum wage nearly forty hours a week nights kills your drive somewhat. Besides youtube, I’ve kept to my respective cave on the net and haven’t even been using twitter until lately.

But anyway, in other news:

I’m working on a fighting game with a friend and honestly I’ve never been more excited about something in my life. Design is quite honestly the love of my life right now and actually seeing progress on ideas and working with someone else to the same goal is a really gratifying experience albeit a little slow. Also though, working on something has reinvigorated me. I had fallen into a bit of a pit of cynicism about game design (not as a whole, just for me personally) but being to actually see some fruits of labor has brightened my outlook. Go out there and create, to hell with expectations of others or self doubt, just go and make something. Program a small square being able to jump one day, then add a platform the next, and just keep plugging away. I think my biggest issue in the past has been too strong a desire to make exactly what I want in my head spill out into existence in a matter of hours and being held back by the rational that it just wouldn’t happen the way I wanted it. So, I’m taking strides to be a little better at one step at a time and just chip away at it. Its really not something I’m good at, I’m better at just throwing myself at work indiscriminately for MASS amounts of time without a care. Its a tough change of pace. A skype chat about character design here, a text message during work about mechanics there. And if my playing Minecraft (got I love that game waaay too much) has taught me much, I guess you’ve got to lay a foundation before building anything. Or something like that.

In other obscene perkiness, looks like my old class is getting some crazy activity. If you’re in the game industry in any respect check out the whole story here. That’s kinda AWESOME. I doubt its possible to get #ims211 trending, and honestly I think thats besides the point, but for a class that has only been going for a year, I can only imagine the world domination in five years. Guess it shows the power of the internet. (Though I’m kinda jealous the new kids get to have all the fun)

The future looks pretty damn good from this point and I’m looking forward, that or the alcohol has put me in a good mood. Either-or.

I shall now return to the darkness of my cave.


A Philosophy of Design — The Platform

Posted in A Philosophy of Design, Video Games with tags , , , , on January 10, 2011 by halbard100

I’m a gamer first and a programmer-designer second, as much as I like making something, playing it is really first and foremost in my mind. My drive is not so much in “hey I want to make this game”, its “why can’t I play this already!”. Its the total package though, the action of playing the game, what I get out of it, story, sound, the whole kit, but one of the biggest concerns for me is in using what a platform has to the advantage in the game. I’m a bit of a Sony fanboy, I’ll admit it, I went out and preordered the PSP and I still have that 1000 (loaded with BlazBlue and Monster Hunter Freedom 2 I might add) but for years, a consumer argument against the device that as lingered is the need for a second analog stick. To me, its not so much that the device needs it, but rather that the games designed for it need the second stick. Now this isn’t supposed to be what device is best, yadda yadda, I’m merely putting out an example, and Nintendo has done very well with the DS and having games designed around the strengths and functions of that system, which is one reason I’m not as frothing at the mouth about the 3DS as some of my friends are, simply because I want to see where the 3DS can come into play to make something that can only exist on the 3DS, not simply another whistle.

I bring this up because a friend and I were discussing designing games for the iPhone. His original idea was something like FPS, but it sounded like there would be a huge amount of buttons and UI controls for playing the game. For me, a truly successfully designed iPhone game is one that takes the limits and the perks of the system into consideration: the touch screen, the gyroscope, the one handed ease of use, the mobility, etc. I think “What can I do with one finger? One hand? One motion?” This isn’t meant to be limiting but rather to look to the strengths of a system. There’s a lot you can do with one finger; you’ve just got to figure out what they are.