White Papers

19th December
2012
written by admin

It may sound a little cliche to talk about how important it is to be able to take criticism from others while working in the Game Industry, but I still believe this is something that people learn to do and not a skill they start with. I’ve worked with a lot of developers over the last 7 years and some were incredible at giving criticism and listening at the same time, while others were just terrible at it.

My own experiences are probably not that much different from other developers, but I feel like where I thrived is in adapting. My very first job as a game programmer was working on UI development for an Xbox 360 game. I was given my first major task with a full design of the GUI being given to me. I spent a few days making it just perfect, it matched the design perfectly and I was so proud of my work. I felt like my code was very clean and that I had built components that would help with further UI development on the project. So I left that Friday afternoon so happy and content with myself, and I knew that game development was for me. Monday morning came and we were just starting our daily SCRUM when the designer of the GUI I had just developed said that he didn’t like it and it needed to completely change. I could feel my self turning red with disappointment as I really felt attached to the work I had done. I felt like they weren’t giving it enough of a chance, and that it couldn’t possibly be better than it currently was. (more…)

10th December
2012
written by admin

Originally written in late 2009 by me, this essay still has a lot of really good points that still stand true today.

Porting a console game to a PC opens up a lot of opportunities to the developer, while also bringing up some interesting design choices. The first thing people think of when a game is being ported to the PC is that its going to have better graphics, but there is much more to a port than increasing the texture resolutions. There are several key system specific differences in consoles and computers such as memory requirements, increased graphic capabilities, and more powerful processors. Depending on the type of game being ported several design changes and adjustments may need to be made to maintain the same pacing as the console version such as, AI balancing, aim assist for shooters, menu navigation  controls, and even accounting for the expectation of PC gamers.

The PC port of the game seems to start by making the game look crisper, mainly by increasing the texture resolutions across the board. PC version of games also can run at any number of resolutions which can result in a much more detailed experience for the player. Depending on the minimum system requirements for the PC port, the game can take advantage of more system and graphic memory. The Xbox 360 has 512MB of shared system and graphics memory, and a modern PC has many times that amount not shared, many PC games even provide a menu for the player to customize their game’s graphic quality. This level of customization and graphics improvements are things that PC gamers have come to expect when playing a PC game. (more…)

5th December
2012
written by admin

This is an article I wrote a few years back on how I feel multiplayer games are balanced, and observations i’ve made while playing many different types of multiplayer games.  Enjoy!!!

Multiplayer games need to be balanced for many different levels of players. I do believe making a fun and balanced multiplayer game for everyone is a real problem, and a almost impossible one to solve completely. While I believe a highly skilled player should almost always defeat a player that is not as skilled, there is still design and balancing issues that should be considered so that neither player becomes frustrated with the game. One way is to balance multiplayer is to make sure everything has a counter, even if it doesn’t seem like its going to dominate the game, its best to put in a fail safe to make sure it can be stopped. The next thing is to make sure that the game has a large number of options during the game, this allows the player to figure out a way to do better. The most fair method comes from a balanced matchmaking service, that balances out teams or versus matches based on current skill levels.   (more…)

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