game development

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Shawn Delahunty's picture

Getting Started in Game Programming - Part Two

Retro Programming Hello everyone, welcome to my second article on learning the fine art of programming. In my last article I listed a goodly number of possible options for learning to program with BASIC. Some were old, some were new, some are decidedly cool, and some were ridiculous. Some were (and are) extremely good development tools--capable of being used to create commercial quality software. There are also many other options which I left out of the mix.

Previously, I covered the highlights of what each one offered, and provided enough links for you to do some more research on your own. (You did go out and research some of those, didn't you?? I mean, if you're serious about wanting to program, then a little effort into research and experimentation can't be a huge hurdle. If it IS, you really need to re-think your future career.)

Shawn Delahunty's picture

Nothing Adds Up & The Dice Are Loaded - part 1 of ?

Hello everyone. I'm back after another long hiatus, brought on by that pesky "Real Life" stuff. This time, I'm coming at you with another multi-part article. In it, I want to discuss two concepts which should be near and dear to any gamer's heart:

  • Zero-sum games, or zero-sum outcomes
  • The danger and difficulty of "Truly Random"

In the past several weeks I've become hopelessly obsessed with these two concepts. I've thought about them so much, and contemplated how they fit (and how they don't fit) into my concepts of "Good Game Design", that I'm practically humming with nerdly thought-energy. I'm also itching to get as much feedback and as many opinions on the issue as I can. So please chime in with your thoughts, your experiences, and any anecdotes and stories which you can muster.

Matt Barton's picture

Role of Smell and Taste in Games

I was just thinking that gaming is the most sensual of all forms of all creative expressions save tribal dancing. It incorporates sight, sound, and touch. Tribal dancing and mystical ceremonies, of course, incorporates smell (burning torches, incense, etc.) and possibly taste (alcohol, herbs, feasts, delicacies, etc.) It seems to me that some interesting game ideas open up if you allow for taste and smell. How could game designers make games that utilized smell and taste?

Smell seems to be right around the corner. Consider The Scentscape. Imagine crawling through a dungeon and smelling the reassuring aroma of your burning torch. Imagine really being able to smell that famous "napalm in the morning," or the exotic flowers and plants in games like Riven. I don't imagine many people would want to smell rotting corpses, but I suppose that could be done, too, just to add to the horror. This could, of course, become part of the gameplay in adventures and such--an "aroma puzzle." Or it could heighten the feeling of immersion if you could smell a creature before you could see or hear it!

Shawn Delahunty's picture

Retro-Invaders! - Part 2

"That's No Moon, It's A Space-Station!"

Hey again! Time for Part 2 of my little foray into retro-system game programming. This time around, I'm going to jabber on a bit about the process I went through while actually experimenting and coding "The Idea". To bring this "Retro Masterpiece" of slow-poke BASIC code to life took me a grand total of about 18-20 hours; and that includes the time I spent mucking around trying to get the &*#%$-ing cassette port working, plus writing the various bits of test code. (Hah! Take that 3D-Realms!)

Matt Barton's picture

An Interview with Chris Dillman: iPhone Game Developer

It's my pleasure to publish an interview I conducted with Mr. Chris Dillman concerning game development. Chris is an iPhone and Mac OS X Software Developer with Plaid World Studios, a casual game company. Enjoy!

Matt Barton's picture

The Game Creators Newsletter--with Dungeons & Desktops!

I just received this month's issue of the Game Creators' Newsletter, and boy is it loaded with great content. Of course I'm biased since they give a nice review and excerpt of my book in there, but there are plenty of other columns of interest--Dark Basic, anyone? We don't hear much about the UK scene, so I'd check it out for that factor alone, but I've listed the sections below for your perusal. BASICally, if you're AT ALL interested in game development, get your butt over there and subscribe to this thing; it's fantastic.

Matt Barton's picture

Steve Meretzky on the Idiocy of Modern Gaming

Steve Meretzky has some comments up at Game Set Watch from an interview at GDC. If the name "Meretzky" doesn't ring a bell, you may not have played some of the finest text adventure games ever made.

Matt Barton's picture

The Story of The Wizard's Castle

Exidy SorcererExidy SorcererOne of the great things about writing a book is that you get to hear so many interesting stories. One of the best I've heard so far involves a very, very early game for the Exidy Sorcerer named The Wizard's Castle. Although programmed by Joe Power a few years earlier (in the mid 1970s), the game wasn't officially released until 1980, when it was printed as source code in Recreational Computing magazine. It's been ported to several other platforms (by Power and others). Eventually it was played by Derell L., who prefers to go by his nickname "Derelict." Derelict converted the game for Windows and added sprite-based graphics (you can download it here). Anyway, I had the chance to talk to both Joe and Derelict about their games, and have decided to print them here for your enjoyment! Note that I haven't edited these interviews--I didn't have to!

need help?

Hey! My Name Is Chris, Obviously From The Name, But I Was Curious If You May Need Any Assistance In Game Development. The Emulators Are Great, But I Believe Simple Standalone PC Executable Would Hit A Much Bigger Market. No Extra Emu Downloads Etc. No Drag To This Or Open With That Heh. I Can Easily Create Any Genre PC Game Or Program, However, I'm Not Big Into Sprite Creation, But Can Easily Implement Them In Games. Let Me Know If Your Interested, No Need For Payment And Such, Unless The Game Itself Creates Additional Currency. All I Would Need Is The Sprites (Images any Size) Original Non-Copyrighted Sounds, Design-Concepts And Just A Basic Feel For What I Would Be Developing.

Matt Barton's picture

The Initial State: A Text Adventure by Matt Barton

It's definitely no secret that I've been working on a text adventure game. At least, it hasn't been a secret to anyone around here, what with so few of my friends actually seeing the front of my face after a summer spent coding! Though my primary task was to learn C++ by creating a simple text adventure engine, I also put quite a bit of work into actually crafting a game with this engine. The name of this game is "Initial State," and I'm making it available for download.

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