Game Development

Game development news/info covering all manner of dev topics that I want to talk about... trying to focus mostly on MassMOGs, but general dev topics may be covered

MMO Developers Share Their New Year's Resolutions

This is pretty much fluff and useless info, but I figured since I read the whole thing, maybe I wasn't totally bored by it... MTV Multiplayer posted a batch of interview answers that collectively has become their post: MMO Developers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

I honestly don't think it's of much use to read, but it did get me thinking about some of the games that it is about time for me to try out again.

For instance, I'm way overdue for a run through Hyboria again! I really wanted to love Age of Conan, but when it launched, I didn't have time to play it much. I love the dirt and grit to that game world and of course the lore is just freakin' awesome. There's a lot of potential in AoC to get some dark play time into my MMO rotation.

...I think I need to fire up my AoC account and see how it's changed.

(And yes, I will be looking at some of the others again too. I'm just more jazzed about Conan at the moment, so please refrain from your flame email about how I should play Game Y instead... well, maybe your suggestions will get me stoked, so go ahead and send them, I guess. :P )

Indie MMO Game Dev Conference

I'm sorry I missed this before, since I could have helped you folks save some cash if you were wanting to go, but here it is anyway.  With everything in much of the game development world focusing on San Francisco in March (I'm not linking to that "other" conference here, since it seems rude,) I'm stoked to keep finding out about other conferences catering to the small shops... of which there are a TON.  In fact, I'm a "small game dev shop" so I have a bias for this type of thing, I don't mind admitting...

 In Minneapolis, MN on April 14th-15th, the Indie MMO Game Dev Conference (IMGDC) will provide a forum for the vast reaches of independent MMOG developers out in the world to gather and learn/teach each other.  There are a lot of these folks, mind you, in case you're not one of them, or if you're not paying attention to the number of games blogged about everywhere.

If you're interested in making (or are currently making) an Indie MassMOG, go check out this conference and consider attending.  There are some great speakers planned and it looks to be a great start to what might end up being an excellent yearly event.  Make sure to spread the word, since things like this need exposure, IMO.  (Even late exposure... *ahem*)

Online Game Development Conference - OGDC

Again, I'm going to just post-and-run. I'm still learning about the OGDC - Online Game Development Conference, but here's a press release about some of the newest speakers being added. It's really shaping up to look like a decent event from what I've read so far. This week is the final week to get in on pre-registration savings, so if you're up for going, you ought to sign up right away. Check it out:

SEATTLE, WA - February 28, 2007 - Over thirty-five speakers have now been confirmed for the ever-growing Online Game Development Conference 2007 (OGDC). From CEOs to artificial intelligence visionaries, security experts to game producers, in large part because of the diverse and experienced array of speakers lined up OGDC is prepared to be a unique, no-holds-barred conference.

Among these speakers are:

. Kevin Bjorke -- Art & Technology Evangelist for the NVIDIA Corporation

. Ramon Axelrod -- CTO for AIseek

. Bart House -- Development Lead - Windows Server Performance Team for Microsoft

. Robert Mitchell -- Senior Programmer for Sony Online Entertainment

. Mike Goslin -- Vice President, Virtual Reality Studio for Disney Online

. Scott Brown -- President and CEO of NetDevil

. Joseph Ybarra -- Vice President of Product Development Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment

The Online Game Development Conference is also in the FINAL WEEK of offering over 40% off on-site registration rates for this information-packed game industry event. After March 1st, rates will rise from $195 to $345.

OGDC is tailored to offer game developers forward-thinking, in-depth answers to the challenges facing the fast-growing, rapidly evolving online segment of the game development industry. OGDC will be held on May 10-11, 2007 at the elegant Fairmont Olympic in downtown Seattle. Visit the official website http://www.ogdc2007.comfor the latest news and information, including registration, the most current speaker list and agenda and more. Early registration rates for OGDC end on March 2. To be on the fast track to receive updates, join the official conference mailing list.

TiE Conference in Denver

I'm going to be attending the TiEcon 2006 in Denver on Friday.  If you're in the area, you may want to attend.  There will be sessions with panelists from several Denver-area developers represented.  Of special interest to this readership include Scott Brown from NetDevil and Scott Martins from Sony Online Denver (formerly Worlds-Apart Productions ).  Also, a couple other friends of mine will be speaking there, including Gary Rosenzweig of Clevermedia and Christopher Williamson of Bonzoid Studios .

No, I'm not just dropping names here, I just wanted you to know that some MMO folks from my area will be speaking on panels.  It's a great event for our local development community and I'm stoked to see how it turns out!  Also, you'll definitely want to come by if you're a student looking for work.  Many of the local shops will be represented there and will reportedly be taking in resumes.  Good opportunity, I'd say.

Colorado game developer goodness

I'm a long-time (eek.. 12 or more years by now!) member of a game developer group in Denver, Colorado known as the Colorado Game Developers Association.  I've been told we're the longest-running group of its kind in the country and possibly the world... that's nutty.  We recently got a great opportunity to hang out with Jason Della Rocca (blog) from the IGDA (International Game Developer Association) and our members took advantage of some great sessions put on by Jason and Dan "Shoe" Hsu from Electronic Gaming Monthly.  Go check out our group's website to see an overview of the weekend... cool stuff.

 I mainly told you that just to brag about a great event for us that really showed a nice view of what's going on in Denver and the surrounding areas.  We have a lot of eager students from the various universities and colleges in the region, as well as many trade schools and even high schools who have an interest in game development. 

On the professional side of things, there are quite a few successful Colorado game developers represented in our group... seems like we keep finding out about more.  If all goes well, we'll be building on the past and future successes to continue the growth of game development in the region.

Well... enough of my blathering on the subject, I guess.  I'm just proud of my little group getting some more national (and international) coverage.  Cool beans. 

Panda 3D game engine

I've been working for a long while on putting together the developer-centric portion of no, this isn't the announcement of its inception.  I'm just telling you that so I can justify suddenly posting about a 3D game-development-engine-thing instead of pointing out the latest bit of game info.

Anyhoo, I'm really stoked about the availability and development of the free Panda 3D Engine.  It's the engine originally used to create Disney's Toontown Online, which I really enjoyed, by the way.  Further development is under the wing of Disney Imagineering and the Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center

This is a very full-featured engine and ought to provide many folks a great step into the world of game development.  Panda3D is intended to focus on a short learning curve and rapid development, which I haven't yet proven for myself... I have to set aside time to play with it first.   

If nothing else, go check it out to see the screenshots, videos and gander at a few of the projects currently using the system.  You can download the full engine or some of the games that have been showcased.

Game Developers Conference coming up

I'll be heading out on my annual migration to the Game Developers Conference coming up next week. The conference has long since passed the "optional" stage for me and is several years into "no way in hell I'm missing that!" I honestly get giddy every year when I prepare for the trip and I am energized for months afterward.

You see, I'm also a game developer so I drag on all sorts of great tutorials and sessions covering various game design and creation goodies. For instance, this year has something that sounds flat sexy... yeah, it makes me randy... the "Vision Track"...

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