Thursday, August 13, 2009

Use Project Darkstar? Take our survey!

Hey! You there! Are you a game developer that is using Project Darkstar? Independent developer using it for experimentation or testing? Academic using it for school projects?

If so, we want to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to take our survey:


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Teaching Machines Presentation - Future of Games, Learning and Communication

The following video is the presentation I have been giving in various forms since Feb of this year. Feedback and comments are welcome but please post them here on this site (see link below) and not on the video hosting site.

Enjoy (or not! let me know :) )

Left4Dead - Ardor3D "Hobby Project"

My good friend Josh Slack over at Ardor3D has been working on a little project in his spare time to show off the features and performance of his Ardor3D engine. In a video series called "Ardor3D - L4D 'hobby project'", Josh starts detailing the process of importing Left4Dead maps into the Ardor3D engine. Josh has an excellent speaking manner that helps to simplify the explanation and is presented in a very straightforward way.

Check out Episode 2 here:

Now, I would be remiss if I did not also point out that the Ardor3D engine is a JAVA engine. Java and performance? Yep. Again.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Of Invaders and Space...and Infinity

Ok. Fine. I have not been a huge fan of the iPhone as a game device. Sure, I have purchased a bunch of games on friend's recommendations and most were pretty good to ugghhh. I always thought of the tilt controls as awkward for the moving mechanic. I mean, could you imaging your television screen rotating with the action while you remained stationary? Always felt weird.

However, I think I have found the perfect game for the iPhone and it is absolutely incredible. Space Invaders Infinity Gene takes the old SI formula, adds new enemies, a slick coat of Rez like sheen and a fantastic soundtrack to create a wholly new experience that is still familiar. AND, thankfully, a control system that is absolutely perfect for this kind of game. No tilt controls here.

I thought the remake of SI in Space Invaders Extreme on DS/PSP was the best it could get. Not even close!

The main branching system of the game is deep and offers a lot of gameplay for the dollar. You can also use your own iTunes library of music and the game creates levels based on the music you choose that mirror the pace of your selections. How boss is that?!?!

For $4.99, it is the best entertainment investment, so far, for your iPhone. Recommended without hesitation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Greatest Thank You Card Ever!

This post has been a while in the making, but I finally got around to finishing and getting some photos posted. Now, the story.

JavaOne 2009 was held the first week in June and my good friend Josh Slack was able to make it out to the conference after a bit of back and forth. Rather than incur the expense of the hotels in SF, Josh just crashed at my hotel and we had a great time at the conference and hanging out.

About 2 weeks after the conference, I received a package in the mail. When I opened it, imagine my surprise. Here is what I was greeted with:

Neat little cardboard box with Link entering from the side. Intriguing....

When I opened the box, there was the most amazing card enclosed:

And out of the wrapper:

A completely handmade card with some of the coolest composition of classic game characters. AWESOME! Now, peep the inside:

Again, AWESEOME! The detail and time that went into making this card was fantastic. It's one thing to receive a note, e-mail or Hallmark card that anyone can buy, but this was a crafted card just for me. So, where does such a ting come from?

Well, it turns out that Josh's wife Jeni makes custom ordered and handmade cards. If you really want to send out something special, check out her work at Jeni's Cards. I gaurantee that the receipient of one of her cards will be just as blown away as I was when receiving mine.

Thanks again Josh and Jeni for the amazingly thoughtful card. It's a keeper!