[ Content | Sidebar ]

Archives for March, 2011

dragon age: origins – awakening

I try to write here about every full length game that I finish, but for better or for worse I don’t have a formal policy about DLC. I thought I might blog about all of the Mass Effect 2 DLC, but I never got around to doing so; and, indeed, I don’t think my brain […]

java, maven, and include files

Libraries, Interfaces, and Dependencies The code base for my new job is rather larger than the code base at my last job, which means that I have to start thinking about the build process more than I’ve been in the habit of doing recently. I know how to set up a good build system for […]

finished my pro keys run

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been going through all the Rock Band 3 Pro Keys songs on Expert, going through each one several times to try to do as good a job on each one as I can. You can find more details on my other blog, if you want blow-by-blow narration, but […]

focused practice redux

Pro guitar mode in Rock Band 3 turns out to be totally fascinating: I’m still going through the songs on Easy, and I’m amazed at how much there is to learn and think about even on that setting. In particular, last weekend I decided that I would stop looking at my left hand while playing […]

composing, decomposing, and recomposing methods

Applying Compose Method After I wrote that post on precedence, map, and function composition in Scala, I started to wonder: I’ve been thinking that I should experiment more with applying Compose Method. That refactoring recommends that, if I start with the original version of my code, data.foreach(s => writer.addDocument(createDocument s)) then I should extract the […]


I recently played through Loom along with the Vintage Game Club, and I wished I had more to say about it. It’s a point-and-click adventure game; instead of accumulating an inventory of items to use, however, you accumulate an inventory of tunes. Which is a pleasant change of pace, and helped make the puzzle solutions […]

starting rock band 3 pro guitar

Now that my Squier and MIDI adapter have arrived, I’m starting on the Pro Guitar mode for Rock Band 3. I’m mostly going to be blogging about it on my gaming experiences blog, but I figure I should mention it here in case somebody was curious to read about it but was put off from […]

blog comments and forms of responses

Another podcast that I got around to listening to in my GDC commute was the CDC Podcast episode on “A Post-Comment World”. And thinking about that episode added a twist to my understanding of forms of publication and discussion on the web. The number of online publication niches continues to grow: it’s not just blogs […]

standpoints, lists, and selection

One of the side effects of attending GDC last week was that I spent a lot of time in my car; not my favorite place, but at least I got to catch up with podcasts. In particular, I’m glad that I had time to listen to the three part Critical Distance “2010 in Review” podcast: […]

building characters

In a role-playing game, you customize your character’s abilities, refining that customization as the game progresses. Your character will typically have a class (fighter, mage, priest, rogue, etc.), which you pick at the start of the game and generally doesn’t change; this sets broad limits of your character’s abilities. You also typically have cross-class attributes […]

gdc 2011: friday

The Game Design of Starcraft II: Designing an E-Sport Hybrid Orchestration – Scoring Need for Speed The Game Design Challenge 2011: Bigger than Jesus An Apology for Roger Ebert Message Queuing on a Large Scale: IMVU’s Stateful Event Architecture 9:30am–10:30am: “The Game Design of Starcraft II: Designing an E-Sport”, by Dustin Browder 2005. Dawn of […]

gdc 2011: thursday

I broke two talks out to their own posts: “Classic Game Postmortem – Out of This World/Another World“, by Eric Chahi “One Falls for Each of Us: The Prototyping of Tragedy”, by Brenda Brathwaite The rest: “Biofeedback in Gameplay: How Valve Measures Physiology to Enhance Gaming Experience”, by Mike Ambinder “No Freaking Respect! Social Game […]

gdc 2011: brenda brathwaite, the prototyping of tragedy

Thursday 4:30pm–5:30pm: “One Falls for Each of Us: The Prototyping of Tragedy”, by Brenda Brathwaite My favorite talk of the conference, or indeed any GDC that I’ve been to. Brenda said that she now gets introduced as somebody who makes games that make you cry; I can attest that she gives talks that make you […]

gdc 2011: eric chahi

Thursday 9:00am–10:00am: “Classic Game Postmortem – Out of This World/Another World“, by Eric Chahi This was a look back at the making of Another World. Overview of the creative process. Freedom under constraint: an improvisation process. Initial context. July 1989, the Amiga era. He’s 22 years old, but had written a lot of games; taken […]

gdc 2011: wednesday

I’ve broken out two of today’s talks into their own posts: Clint Hocking on “Dynamics: The State of the Art” Jason Booth and Sylvain Dubrofsky on “Prototype Through Production: Pro Guitar in Rock Band 3“ The rest: “Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future”, by Satoru Iwata “GDC Microtalks 2011” […]

gdc 2011: rock band 3 pro guitar

Wednesday, 1:30pm–2:30pm: “Prototype Through Production: Pro Guitar in Rock Band 3“, by Jason Booth and Sylvain Dubrofsky The slides are available online. In 2008: music games were a big thing, needed to innovate. Harmonix has this idea of The One Question that they focus work on a game around. For Guitar Hero: is it rock? […]

gdc 2011: clint hocking on dynamics

The entire day posts are getting too long‐Monday’s was almost 4000 words—so I’m going to break talks I particularly liked out into separate posts. Wednesday 10:30am–11:30am: “Dynamics: The State of the Art”, by Clint Hocking This is my favorite talk of the conference so far; I really hope he posts his slide deck and more […]

gdc 2011: tuesday

City of Wonder: Postmortem Humanities Unlocked: The Value of Liberal Arts for Your Game Design Program We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges: How to Re-invent Reality Without Gamification Intuition vs Metrics: How Social Game Design Has Evolved Rapid-Fire Indies 10:00am–11:00am: “City of Wonder: Postmortem”, by Troy Whitlock and Scott Jon Siegel Actually, only Scott spoke, […]