I was 9 years old when electronic games started to appear, and my professional career has been shaped by a life-long pursuit of learning the skills to make them. I eventually gained work in the professional video game industry, but burned out in 2000. Enough time has passed that I’m realizing that I still wish I’d made my very own game, and that is what this goal is about.
My near-term goal is to make a spaceship flying around on the screen in a web browser and shoot stuff, built on a codebase that incorporates sound development practices.
My long-term design goal is to create meaningful social gameplay mechanics with supporting story and user interfaces. There is little attention paid to this area, from what I am seeing come out of the major studios. However, that does not have to be THIS project. Project 1401 is just about getting moving.
Musings on past work:
The original Crixa game has our earliest thinking (co-developed with lead programmer Bretton Wade) regarding a piece-played based architecture. However, we didn’t have scripting or modular AI in it, and our level management was not highly developed. There is some networking code that Bretton developed, but I don’t know how it works. Current game does not run; Jeremy has MacSDL port to update.
Various Flash and Director-based interactives from Phase Forward, Showing Evidence and the Boston Museum of Science got me thinking more about writing a robust simulation game loop; a lot of that sticks with me today.
The evolution of the piece-based architecture came with Take a Stand, which used C# + XNA; as we were designing for an installation, we could develop to specific hardware. Bretton consulted, which was great, and I learned about shader-based rendering on modern video cards. Hit the first challenges of AI scripting and event management conflicting with the procedural way of thinking, developed a more granular timestep with specific phases for update, physics sim, and AI. Iterating and testing AI was our biggest problem, along with staging action.
Artistically, I’m rusty and don’t have a modern workflow for 3D or 2D asset production. Past references from newest to oldest: phase forward dia, mos, crixa ui/fx, mfa thesis, star reach, . dueltris, spaceships