My GDC and SXSW schedule

 Posted by (Visited 6803 times)  Game talk
Feb 282007

Well, here I am doing a whole bunch of talks and panels and stuff next week at the Game Developers Conference. What’s more, I go straight from there to SXSW Interactive, where I’ll do two more panels.

Here’s the short form, and the long form is after the jump.


Alas, this means I will miss this session which may be of particular interest to some readers here. I know it has some inspiration from the talk I gave two years ago, and can’t wait to finally see what they have developed!

A Working Notation for Game Design (Sponsored by ITI Techmedia)
Speaker: Paul Sheppard (R&D Programme Manager, ITI Techmedia), Andrew McLennan (Metaforic), Chris Walton (Metaforic)

Session Description
Making games that play well is an uncertain business, widely regarded as a black art. This session proposes a working notation for game design that can be used to understand games and why they work or fail. Real examples will be shown to illustrate the notation and its practical application.


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Areae’s still hiring…

 Posted by (Visited 6086 times)  Game talk
Feb 282007

But for all-new jobs! What we’re looking for:

  • An Art Director/Manager: someone who will be doing artwork of all sorts (3d, 2d, textures, concepts, models, etc — a versatile type basically), and managing artists remotely.
  • A Senior 3D Client Engineer to build a crossplatform 3D client. Gotta be someone who enjoys making killer tools, too.

We’ve got benefits, stock options, all that jazz. Drop a line to [email protected] if one of these people is you!

Star Traders

 Posted by (Visited 8397 times)  Game talk
Feb 272007

Star Traders screenshotFor some reason, today was “REALLY retro” game day here at work. And after we moved from Star Raiders to the TRS-80 version of Space War, I remembered another oldie game I loved: Star Traders, which I played on an Osborne I running CP/M.

A quick Google later I find bsittler’s Home Page, which has some very familiar source code on it (scroll a bit down). I remember trying to port this very same source code from MS-BASIC to Atari BASIC…

And then, a bit later, I’m playing it. Grab it here (tiny ZIP file). The “ntrade” version no longer works, but the old classic version still does. Eridani Outfitters has merged with Betelgeuse, and there was a 2 for 1 stock split…

Feb 272007

So a little while back, Jeff Freeman said (in his inimitable politically incorrect way):

MMORPGs are real close to being like the Special Olympics already, but I think we ought go the other way with them. Away from everyone is special.

…while still allowing everyone to be special in their own way (or one of eight ways).

And I was reminded of it today, because I read an article over on CNN that says that students taking the Narcissistic Personality Inventory have shown a huge increase in self-centeredness.

…students’ NPI scores have risen steadily since the current test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982.

So I just pose the questions: should we be thinking about whether our games are teaching people the wrong thing here? Can we even make a successful MMO that doesn’t lie to people and tell them they are all special?

The meteor finally makes the news…

 Posted by (Visited 6115 times)  Game talk
Feb 272007

BBC NEWS | Technology | Game profitability ‘under threat’ basically just says what my Age of the Dinosaurs talk said, only now it’s a news item.

It’s interesting to see this in the wake of the shake-up at EA that happened over the last few days: long-time CEO Larry Probst is moving out of that role. John Riccitiello, who was managing partner at Elevation Partners (the private equity firm that put together the Bioware/Pandemic deal) is returning to EA to become CEO.

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