May 05 2010

XNA Development Continues

Published by at 8:33 pm
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Game development on our new XNA Xbox 360 game has continued in recent weeks. We’ve been getting together after work on Wednesdays so that’s at least a dedicated day for development and whenever we have spare time in the evening during the week. We also of course brainstorm at lunch about it. So far we’ve re-assembled the team again and it’s got some good steam.

Victor Laurence aka “CyberVic” – Executive Producer / Lead Developer
Victor Hermenzie aka “Voctor” – Executive Creative Director
Kerin Dimeler-Laurence aka “PDXYarnHo” – 2D Vector Artist
Dave aka “DaveUK” – Soundtrack
Robin aka “Hat the Red”- Writer
Aric aka “Baldun” – Developer

Voctor is working on the Game Design Document and doing quite well. He already has all the skills laid out for the classes (something like 144 unique skills) and built out the 3 tech trees for each class in diagram form. I’ve been doing well development wise. Taken the game from a simple fly around and shoot other player ships game to a game where there is dynamic random “spawning’ asteroids that are destructible, enemy ships spawning and attacking nearest player ships with basic fly strait at you attack AI, a shield and hull indicator on the HUD, a current target name/shield/hull indicator on the hud, an experience system, a skill system with togglable active skill with cooldown indicated on the HUD, and finally a reworking of the basic flight / shooting engine with a speed boost system for player ships.

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Feb 18 2010


Every once and a while I like to reflect on what I enjoy most about what I do. It’s kind of interesting to look through all of my experiences, previous self reflections, and currently where I am in my life, career, etc. Most of all I think about my experiences and which of those experiences I get the most fulfillment from, whether they are technical, managerial, or leadership oriented. Of all of my experiences in both personal and professional, I think that I enjoy any kind of managerial / leadership position where I’m helping a team build and perform. Mostly, I love supporting others.

Leading a strike team of developers on CPWeb over a 6 month process to resolve security flaws in a decade old web product. My time as an alpha medic, representing the players of Tabula Rasa, communicating to the developers on how they could improve the class. My experiences as a Admin / Developer / GM of Obsidian, helping shape a world for other players to enjoy. The ongoing saga of and all that guild has meant to me, leading a community of players who have like minded, respectful, play style. My attempts to start a leadership resource website for MMO leaders, giving them resources to learn how to be better leaders and write articles on leadership styles and techniques and my conversation with John Kotter about the idea and his support of the concept. All the volunteer work I’ve done to help small business, organizing volunteer efforts for work, and helping provide feedback to how we can improve our respect for remote colleges in a globalized corporation. My time as a manager of software development, both improving my product, managing a small team of developers, and all while making vast improvements to the product and customer delight. My attempts at leading an independent game studio to develop an XBox 360 title with a team of people spanning the globe from the UK, to the east and west coast of the US. If you really want to boil it down, my role as a healer in an MMO is because I enjoy being in that supportive role, helping others succeed.

All of these accomplishments I’m deeply proud of. All of these accomplishments have a central theme: they involve leadership and supporting others.

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Mar 08 2009

XNA Project team gathered

Published by at 2:42 pm
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1 director / coder, 2 additional coders, 1 story writer, 2 artists, 1 musician, and 4 testers / contributors

Sent out a big email today to everyone who has shown interest in being part of the game. Of all the people I hope is still onboard is DaveUK, the musician. He was on board before and helped write a few pieces of music and I think is a must have. I did some research today on XBox Live to see what kind of competition we have out there for inde JRPG games and there was nothing. In fact the whole Role Playing category is empty beside a side scroller action RPG and a game which is an all out scam. Hopefully we can develop this thing in our spare time and make some decent cash off of it. Talked with Robin, the story writer and we talked about putting up a project website somewhere to ensure continuous collaboration on the project. At some point too, I need to figure out how we’re going to break up the ownership of the IP, whether we all will own it or just Kerrie and I will under an assumed publishing company and then pay the team appropriately if/when we make money. I’m not really sure how it will go down, but it’s things to think of up front to make sure that we’re protected if this thing takes off.

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Mar 07 2009

The Long Ride Home

Published by at 11:21 pm
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Jersey shore, lighthouse, tradition, huge Philly airport, nice flight to MSP, nice Minniapolis airport, long flight to Portland, XNA brainstorming, drunk / meth head on the plane, getting home thanks to Dad, resting.

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Mar 01 2009

XNA Studio 3.0

Published by at 10:22 pm
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So apprently I’m a little behind the times (and busy as usual), but XNA studio 3.0 has been out for a while and on top of that they’ve ported and improved the RPG starter kit to XNA studio 3.0. One of the reasons I lost steam last time I tried to start up a game development project was because XNA was still in version 1.0, publishing games was still stupid complicated, and there wasn’t any good starter engines for creating RPG’s. So with XNA studio 3.0 and the RPG starter kit, I already have a great base engine for jumping in and making a great JRPG style game. Obviously I would take the engine and make a lot of tweaks to it, but it would be a fantastic starting point: … layinggame . Also there are a lot of fantastic tools now to help build game maps, collision maps, and animation maps from sprites:

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Feb 28 2009

Good bye Tabula Rasa

Published by at 11:08 pm

As of 8 minutes ago Tabula Rasa was no more. I attempted to log in 8 minutes to late to find they took down the servers promptly at 12:00 MT. I wanted to log in one last time to say goodbye and maybe get a glimpse of the Angel PAU which they promised us for so long. Who knows, maybe they might resurrect Tabula Rasa as something else in the future.

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Feb 18 2009

Gears of War

Published by at 9:29 pm
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Ray decided to pick up Gears of War 2 at Circuit City’s closing sale. So we decided today to finally polish off the orignal Gear of War. I have to admit that the story leading up to the end of the game was very good, but the storyline of the final chapter of the story didn’t really make sense at all to be frank. What my big complaint about the end of Gears of War was that the transition into the final chapter and the final chapter itself didn’t seem storyline rich enough. It was almost like they planned for more of a game originally, but ran out of budget and the final chapter suffered for it. Also the final boss fight was frankly pathetic. There were 2-3 other boss fights in the game which were much more epic in nature than that final one. In fact the whole train section of the game just seemed… I dunno… lame. We played the first chapter of Gears of War 2 and I have to admit, I’m very pleased with the storyline. I especially like the little bits from the point of view of the aliens. We’ll see how it goes, I have high hopes for Gears 2.

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Sep 02 2008

PAX 2008

Published by at 2:47 pm
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This weekend I was at PAX 2008 meeting Jeff Hickman, Paul Barnett, Josh Drescher, and James Nichols from Mythic Entertainment. I got my picture with Paul and Jeff (while wearing Paul’s signature shades), signatures from Paul, Jeff, & Josh, and an “Elder Beta Tester” T-Shirt from James. I was spending so much time at the Warhammer booth showing off the game to other people at the convention that Jeff even joked “Give this guy a job”. Some of the other people who were paid to be there to demo the game were learning things from me. When Warhammer had it’s official presentation at the event, it was SOOOOO packed and overflowing that they had to cut the presentation in half and do it twice back to back “in fear of a riot” if they didn’t.

Back in June, I blogged about seeing a preview on Paul’s video blog showing the new Lord of Change model. When I met Jeff and Paul this weekend, I asked them directly about the new model. Jeff assured me that while there are still several different Lords of Change in the game there is one which is the “impressive looking one” which I believed he said was in the Lost Veil. I was rather pleased to hear about this and went on my merry way. Later on in the day I was showing some people the Inevitable City. Well upon zoning into the Inevitable City, I ran into none other than the Lord of Change. This was expected, but unexpectidly, he looked truly amazing. Just like I would expect with huge wings, 3 stories high, white robes, golden staff, and all the little details. Later on in the day I told Jeff that I saw him and was impressed. He was glad to hear that.

Speaking of glad to hear about it, I showed Paul where he could put in another “plunger of the world”, a location near the chaos starting area that he didn’t know about. He was rather pleased that I found it and said he’d get one put in.

Overall it was a fantastic event. It was kinda “meh” for me though because I was so excited about WAR and talking with people about WAR that nothing other than the concerts were really all that interesting. Spore was pretty amazing though as well as the One Ups, Johnathan Coulton, and Will Weaton. The World of Warcraft and other Blizzard BOOTHS (yes plural) made me giggle. Tabula Rasa and Guild Wars booths also had a brief visit by me.

There will be WAR starting September 14th. Oh yes and HILYMI will reign again!

Jun 27 2008

Spore Creature: Yellow Squig

Published by at 9:33 pm
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To celebrate the release of the new Spore Creature creator, EA Mythic started a contest for Warhammer fans to make their best squigs, record a video, and post that video to YouTube. Being well versed in Spore already and having a great time with it, I figured I’d give it a try.

Most people think of squigs as red, pink, and purple balls of death. Squigs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors so I wanted my squig to be as unique as possible. While the “ball of death” requirement was still important, I wanted my squig to be yellow, female, and to kill you with cuteness before charging at you and biting your head off. I also wanted to make sure to give my squig the tiny little barely usable arms that most people seem to forget. Well I’m pretty pleased with her. Hope you enjoy her!

Jun 20 2008

Spore Creature: Lord of Change

Published by at 5:56 pm
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The anticipation is agonizing!

June 14th was the deadline to enter the BOOM Studios Promo Code for entry into the closed Warhammer Beta. Being a loyal fan of Warhammer and Dan Abnett, I ordered the comic and had the code entered some time last month. It’s bad enough they delayed the deadline for the entries to June 14th from May 31st, but now all of us are sitting back waiting in anxious anticipation to see if we are one of the lucky 20% who are getting admitted into the beta. Thankfully, I’ve been entertaining myself with Spore, but I still can’t wait to hear news of whether I even got in or NOT.

To make productive use of my time in Spore while waiting on Warhammer, I present to you: The Lord of Change. Yes the Greater Deamon of Tzeentch himself made by yours truly.


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