Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Indie Game: The Movie

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

I just finished watching “Indie Game: The Movie” on Netflix streaming. [Warning: there is a lot of swearing. It's not a "family friendly" film.] The documentary chronicles the lives of several indy gamers: the authors of Super Meat Boy, Braid, and Fez. These games went on to enjoy critical success and sold millions of copies, and the film is a fascinating view into the lives of their developers.

It’s hard to describe the emotions I felt while watching this film. I can SO relate to so many things the developers went through… the hours of late night coding, the emotional rollercoaster of wondering whether the game would be well-received once it was (finally) released, the many, many hours coding late into the night, frustrations with software publishers who can spell doom or success for your game with one simple decision, etc. etc.

There are also things I don’t relate to as much. I’m a Christian, and as such I don’t believe in living a life that’s dedicated for several years solely to creating a video game. As such, I never let developing games “consume” me the way these developers did. In all honesty, I’m sure their games were much better for it. But at the same time, my *life* is much better for the way I chose to live it. There is much more to live for than finishing a game. And yet, I totally understand what these authors went through: barely scraping by financially, doing something that, if it fails once it’s released, you’re “done.” No more second try. All or nothing. Throwing all of their passion into a single project. A project that others might hate once it’s released.

I also am not as much a “nerd” as these developers. I’ve always valued living a balanced life: one with meaningful social interaction with friends from my church and family. One with exercise and fun outside of work. Yet again, I’m sure these developer’s games were better as a result. When you can put all your passion, time, and energy into one thing, that one thing has a better shot of being really good… of creating those “wow moments” when a player discovers some of those special touches you threw in.

If you aren’t an indy game developer, and you would like a look into the life of an indy developer and the rollercoaster ride it can be, and a lot of swearing doesn’t bother you, I recommend “Indie Game: The Movie.” It describes much of my life when I was a full-time indy game developer far better than I ever could.

Midnight Mansion port progress

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

A few weeks ago I began the process of porting the Midnight Mansion codebase (which includes Midnight Mansion 2) over to a new platform that will let the game run natively on Intel Macs (true Universal Binary), as well as on Windows and iPhone / iPod Touch.

After a few days I had graphics loading working, with all sprites from the game up and running in a window, bouncing around, fully hardware accelerated.

The next week or two were spent messing with various open-source cross-platform libraries that let me do things like draw text using TrueType fonts, or display dialog boxes.

Today I began porting sounds. It’s surprising how much pleasure I had in hearing the first sound effect load and successfully play! It’s also funny though, how much has to be done… I first use a tool to export the System 7 sound files from the Resource fork, then load up a sound editor on my laptop under OS 9… individually open each sound effect, and export it as an AIFF sound, then repeat the same process on my desktop computer, except this time converting AIFF files to WAV files.

I then found certain souunds were causing the program to crash. Turns out they were set to a sample rate of 22255 rather than 22055, so now I’ve been opening each individual effect and manually fixing each one that is in the wrong sample rate.

Needless to say, it’s been a slow process, but it’s fun to see the sounds gradually getting up and running on my new, modern, fully cross-platform engine!