Due to my time in the games industry, I still occasionally receive questions around it. Today I received an email from a college student with some questions I feel are more broadly applicable and am therefor writing an article which can be shared to that broader audience.
I have created a newsletter due to popular request. I will start mailing once per Month. Please note that even though most of the content on my site is currently game development related, I will be kicking off new content in other areas of interest to start ups and indies as a whole! This is the Indie Dev Spot isn’t it?
So you want to write your own shaders do you? OK, I agree, custom shaders really changes the way the game looks. You can quickly and easily stylize your game to look very different from all the other games with a few simple shaders applied to your models and sprites. But you have to write them well. I have helped port a few games over to windows the past few days (5 I think). Anyways, all 5 games had issues with their custom shaders on windows.
So I wanted a really cool menu scene where I have actual characters from the game and a 3D world as the backdrop. You can see the image above for an example. When you click New Game, the camera zooms in on a single character with the others slightly out of view on either side but still visible. Swiping left or right takes you to the next character you can choose. While you are on a character, you can interact with the character via normal input, switch between attack and spell phases, create a minion etc. These characters are powered off of the same state management system that centrally controls the state of my game. This same system also includes my event management system, which is also persistent.
So you want to have constant explosions, hundreds of rockets, bullets flying all over the place and general insanity in your game. Great, so do I! But this insanity comes at a cost if you don’t manage your resources properly. When you instantiate and destroy an object, you have to allocate memory, it sits there for a while and eventually the garbage collector comes by and releases it, IF it meets all of the requirements. Well that’s the sliced down version anyways. If you are interested in more reading on the whys, here are some links to additional reading.
This article discusses one technique for helping manage those resources for objects that might quickly go through that cycle. The article is three sections, what is object pooling, what to pool and how to implement object pooling. Continue reading →
So the NCSU Video Game Development Club has finally published their first game to the Windows 8 Store!!! This is a huge milestone not only for the individuals who now have a permanent piece to their gaming portfolio and a shipped piece of software, but also a milestone for the club. They have legitimized the club as a club that not only acts as a central hub for aspiring developers at NC State, but also in shipping real product to the world.
I had a great meeting with the Charlotte Area Game Development Group last Monday night. The Group is sponsored by Meridian Technologies, and is hosted by the Charlotte Microsoft Office. I met the team leader, Matt Duffield, who is doing a fantastic job running and organizing the Group. The key presenter that evening was Dan Russell Pinson, the creator of Monster Physics and the upcoming game Tower Math! Dan’s work can be found on his website.
The focus for Tuesday’s meeting was on Optimizing Mobile 3D Games in Unity and exploring some of the tools, tips and tricks for deploying to the various platforms. Continue reading →