Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

12 September, 2016

Should game developers be gamers?
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:48 PM

It’s a common refrain. People grow older and they get busier. Between jobs, friends, kids, and other responsibilities, games sometimes get left by the wayside. People just don’t have the time to dedicate in order to sit down and immerse themselves in a game like they did before.

But, what happens when that busy person is a game developer? If you work in the game industry, does it make sense that you should be a gamer, too?
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27 August, 2016

Testing game programming
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 9:23 PM

Hiring programmers is a complex process. You need to find someone with the competence to perform the work and the temperament to work well with a team. In game programming, you also have to find people who will do highly technical work while making less than they could in just about any other industry.

But, the industry does itself no favors here. The way we test and judge programmers demonstrates a mindset stuck in the past. Let’s take a look, shall we?
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17 August, 2016

Cargo cult game development

Theoretical physics Richard Feynman popularized the phrase, “cargo cult science”, referring to “cargo cults” on some Pacific islands that sought to bring material wealth by performing rituals and building elements that seemed to attract it before. In particular, they built airplane runways, hoping to attract the airplanes that carried cargo to them before. The connotation is that the islanders (and scientists practicing “cargo cult science”) were going through motions they didn’t understand to get a result.

As an aside, modern scholars think the islanders weren’t ignorant of technology, but rather performing an elaborate ritual. But, the term has remained and used in the original sense and I’ll use it here without rendering judgement on those Pacific islanders.

We can just as easily point to “cargo cult game development”, where game developers of all stripes copy something they don’t understand in order to get result they want. They blindly copy rather than understand. So, let’s take a look at how this work across different disciplines.
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11 June, 2016

What is a Technical Designer?

Interviewing takes up a lot of time, especially if you fly across the country for an interview. So, forgive me if I miss a post or two in the next few months.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that the title of “Technical Designer” has been showing up a lot more. As a game designer with a solid technical foundation, this is exciting. So, let me tell you a bit more about Technical Designers and why they are interesting.
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27 May, 2014

My next big thing
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 8:14 PM

I shared this tidbit on social networks first, so let get straight to the point: I’ve taken a position with City State Entertainment on the game known as Camelot Unchained.

I’m obviously very excited, even if it requires a move clear across the country.
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11 January, 2014

Python: PartialMatchDict
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:15 PM

I wrote a class for some Python code I’m working on, and I figured there might be others out there who would find it interesting. The class lets you set up a typical dictionary data structure (where hashable items are used as keys to look up values stored in the structure), but will allow you to do partial and case-insensitive matches.

A bit more details, and the code, after the break
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12 April, 2013

Work with Storybricks
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:59 PM

Are you a game programmer? Do you love games? Do you especially love MMOs? Are you tired of the same old thing in every MMO? Want to push the industry forward and have a hand in developing entirely new forms of online gameplay? If you know AI, this will be a tremendous opportunity for you.

Unfortunately, the contract information is still under NDA so I can’t be explicit here, but we’ll share the details with qualified applicants. I hope you understand that I’m not prone to hyperbole, but let me say this is an incredibly exciting in terms of professional opportunity and personal satisfaction of doing something highly original.

Job title: AI programmer
Location: San Diego, CA
Salary: $70k + share options + relocation incentives
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18 October, 2011

Interview with Dave “Over00″ Toulouse
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:55 AM

Here’s another interview with a fellow indie game developer. I asked Dave “Over00″ Toulouse some questions about his games, including the newest one he just launched. Read on for an interesting conversation between us.
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10 October, 2011

Interview with Royal O’Brien
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:38 AM

Sometimes technology is often an unsung hero in game development. The visual art or game design often tends to get a lot of coverage because it’s easier to show screenshots or talk about gameplay than to really show off tech.

BitRaider provides an interesting bit of tech that allows you to start playing a game before it has all been downloaded. It’s a pretty neat bit of tech, something that many game developers have discussed over the years. I interviewed Royal O’Brien, the co-founder of BitRaider, to get his perspective on the technological and business sides of the game industry.
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27 July, 2011

What I’ve been up to, and going to Gen Con!

As those of you who stalk me on different social media sites have probably noticed, I’ve been talking a lot more about my current work at Namaste Entertainment. I figured I’d go into more detail for those of you who still read old-fashioned things like blogs.
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