Monthly Archives: August 2009

Games I’m looking forward to playing

First the ones that I anticipate buying on release:

  • The Last Guardian (PS3)
  • God of War 3 (PS3)
  • Picross 3D (DS)
  • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)
  • Scribblenauts (DS)
  • FEZ (PC, 360)

Now the wait-and-see games (probably pick them up on special):

  • Bayonetta (PS3, 360)
  • Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer (PS3)
  • WET (PS3, 360)
  • The Unfinished Swan (PC)
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii)
  • Killzone 2 (PS3)

10 years ago this list would have been huge! Then again, I ended up playing through a bunch of pretty “meh” games. I guess that I’m getting more selective.

Guitar Hero competition videos

Update: Compilation video and photos are now online. See this post over at Let’s Make Games for more details. :D

I created a Let’s Make Games channel on YouTube, and uploaded the encore performance by “Rainbow Stance” last night.

Check it out! They totally rocked the party.

Thanks to everyone who came along to the event last night. It was immensely fun and I was blown away by how awesome all competitors are at Guitar Hero!

I’ll post a full event write-up with more photos and videos over at the Let’s Make Games website sometime this week.

Note: I’m also trying to have Let’s Make Games favourite all videos related to Perth game development. If you find any related videos on YouTube (eg.
GameJam entries), please let me know!

Let’s Make Games musings

For those that don’t read the Let’s Make Games blog, our monthly social event is on tonight – 7pm at the Velvet Lounge in Mount Lawley.

Tonight’s event is called Let’s Make Beautiful Music, and aside from the usual drinks and social get-together, there’s also a Guitar Hero competition (with a suitably complementary prize).

At the last event, Paul asked me what Let’s Make Games is all about. Fair question, the local game development scene already has: PIGMI for local news aggregation and mailing list conversations, IGDA Perth Chapter for talks and professional development, and GameJam for… well, game jams.

We started Let’s Make Games to “foster the growing game development community and industry“. Game development can be fairly isolating in Perth (it’s not a common profession for someone in a mining state). We wanted to create a warm and supportive social environment for local game developers, and report on their achievements to the wider community.

In order to do that, we decided to produce annual reports and to run regular social events – working with other groups when it makes sense to do so. In our prior experience, there are always different interests and a lot of coordination is required when working with other groups – so we didn’t want to take that on initially, or push that upon others.

Our initial plan was to write biannual reports and run fortnightly themed social (rather than work-related) events. Wow, was that dream! The first report was fairly taxing to produce, and fortnightly events turned out to be far too much effort if we want to keep things interesting. So we decided on monthly events – always on the last Tuesday of the month – amd an Annual Report.

Recently with IGDA Perth Chapter events picking up again (mad props to you guys!) it looks like monthly events from us would just saturate local interest (too many events!). We’re looking forward to running only four to six annual events starting next year.

Thanks to everyone who has supported Let’s Make Games and all the local volunteer run groups over the last few years – it’s what really keeps us going!

Half-price Nintendo Wii and DS

Catch of The Day (Australia’s very own you-have-to-buy-it-now-don’t-think-too-much-just-embrace-consumerism website) are having a “Pressure Cooker” sale from midday (AEST) tomorrow (Tuesday, August 25, 2009).

They will be selling 100 Nintendo Wiis for $199 each, and 100 Nintendo DSes (Red Mario Edition including New Super Mario Bros game) for $99 each. They also have 2000 Asus EEE PCs for $199 each – if you are that way inclined.

Anyhow, I thought that some people may be interested… even though it looks like a ploy to get people to sign-up.

via Economical Gamer.

Something is very wrong

p5rn7vb

Whenever I see an effort like this:

It tells me that something is very wrong.

I actually didn’t know that things were so bad as to warrant this sort of reaction. I voted NO and hope that others do the same. We don’t want to send the message that ignoring our problems – and pretending that everything is fine – is “W.A. Okay”.

Confidence should come from somewhere other than a marketing campaign. It should come from being able to really afford the things that you need, and knowing that your government is tackling problems with the interests of all citizens in mind (rather than pandering to the business sector and investors).

Fun times with Translation Party

Translation Party is neat, and fun for… a few minutes.

It’s basically a webpage that takes an English sentence and translates it back and forth between Japanese and English until it reaches equilibrium (ie. the translated sentence doesn’t change).

When I first came across the page, Mao and Bruce (our cats) where trying to catch a cockroach and Heidi commented that:

Mao and Brucy Goosey are stalking a cockroach

I put that into Translation Party and it reached equilibrium at:

Mao, cockroaches and geese are stalking brucey

Yikes! Ahahahaah. What do you think about that Bruce?

bruce_lolz_blog

Yeah. Pretty funny.

I was also pretty happy with this fairly long translation party in which:

He got down on one knee, looked up at her, and asked “will you marry me?”

becomes:

I said, “My laptop, my PC that I married?”

True geek love. The intermediate stages are also satisfyingly surreal:

He is in her knee, and had seen “the question is how to marry me?”

Business or Programming

I’ve recently been trying to find a programmer to work as part of a small game development team. The main reason is so that I would still have time to follow through with other (unrelated) business and management work.

Maybe I’m trying to do too much at once though. The programming work is straight-forward and I could pick it up if I drop a few other things. That would keep it simple, and also sounds like a lot more fun.

So I could soon be be looking for an administrator or producer! ;)

Farewell Mr. Arcade ’99

Way back in 1999, a friend and I built an arcade cabinet as a summer project.

I ordered the joysticks and buttons from Happ Controls and used the circuit boards from a couple of cheap Playstation controllers. It used to sit in the corner of my room behind two bar stools. It housed all my consoles and had a slot in the front so that I could run controller cables to play Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Freaks, and Sega Bass Fishing.

It was awesome… but heavy… and difficult to move.

When I moved to Leederville (and later Sydney) it stayed at my parents’ house. My sister used it for a while, but it eventually fell into the category of simply “taking up space”. She asked it she could get rid of it and I said that was fine, but I wanted to keep the control panel (she also pulled out the light and speakers, seemed a shame to throw them out).

So now it’s gone… and I’m thinking of building a smaller tabletop cabinet or standalone arcade stick.

Here’s the last photo of it all in one piece:

mrarcadeblog

Sigh. I never did get a real arcade panel. It only ever lit up with the word “Arcade” (quickly printed out on paper as a placeholder title).

Rest In Pieces: Mr. Arcade ’99!

Curious Snake

I set aside 2 hours every Monday for “skills development” – basically trying to improve weak points in areas required for games development.

Yesterday, I used some of that time to respond to this post on reddit from the author of Curious Snake (an open-source “active learning” python framework) asking for a logo.

In the end, byron liked this one:

curious_snake_logo

Here’s the SVG file (created in Inkscape).

Update: Here is an image of the work-in-progress sketches that led to the logo above (all on the tablet – I try not to use paper):

curious_snake_wip

It was around 2 minutes of looking at references, 3 minutes of sketching, 2 minutes for the final in black & white, and then 10 minutes in cleanup.