Mike MGarcia's Games Development Blog

A hobbyist Mobile/PC/Android/Console game development blog


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Targeted abuse of content creators on digital stores

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Lets be honest, this is abuse, it’s targeted hate speech towards the developer (FYI, Seth didn’t sell his studio).
It’s not a “negative review” nor is it a “comment about the game”.
It doesn’t mention the game at all, just a lack of online players ( and in my day, we BYO’ed friends😁)
And not being updated (again in my day software was finished when it’s burnt to physical media).
He finishes up with a death threat at the end.
This isn’t acceptable, yet it’s tolerated and normal in today’s online world!
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Visual Development for Crash Nitro Kart

Di Davies with Charles Zembillas, Joe Pearson and John Nevarez

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When visual style is one of the distinguishing features of a game, it is important to recognize that an ad hoc approach is not a sure way to execute a strong visual direction. There are less than a handful of cases where such an approach has worked and usually there is a strong vision to begin with that helps guide the direction. The typical game development approach involves floundering around in hopes that a direction will magically appear; this naïveté can be the death of an original project and is easily remedied. If you know where to look, and know how to plan, resources are available that can help jumpstart the creative process and actually save production time.

As the scope of game projects attempt to match the entertainment value of feature film productions, game companies are specializing, adding new departments that mimic film production models, adopting a more disciplined approach to pre-production. This approach is not just necessary for monster budget games, but also for competitive more moderately budgeted games and game companies will look to feature film animation professionals and CG film professionals to help answer the call.

Using Crash Nitro Kart released for the Game Cube, Playstation 2, XBOX and GameBoy Advance, as an example of an approach to visual development, this article highlights some of the challenges faced and processes used by visualization teams at Vicarious Visions in Troy, NY and Animation Academy in Burbank, CA to bring a game vision into focus for a cartoon-style racer.

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Original post and comments from Atari Museum’s facebook group here
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I dislike facebook and wanted a snapshot of this.
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Friend: Dino Dini (dndn1011)


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Dino Dini, started his game development career in 1979 with the Acorn System (kit) and the BBC Micro (8bit micro computer)

In the late 80’s after university, he went on to make Kick off 1 & 2 and Player Manager games for the Atari ST and Amiga, 16bit micro computers.
Dino, received two Golden Joystick Award (Game of the Year) for both Kick off games.

Next he created GOAL! for Amiga, Atari ST, and ported it to the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis calling it Dino Dini’s Soccer.

In the mid 1990’s he went to the USA and worked on many playstation 1 and N64 titles.
He then went on to teach game development in a Netherlander university.
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Here is my analysis about the unfortunate turn of events of the Retro VGS/Coleco Chameleon
Here are my thoughts, not about what happened with the fake prototypes etc but about the hardware and game cartridges.

My background: I was excited about the Ouya when it was kickstarted, but decided to wait for the retail units, I’ve glad I did because the hardware was disappointing, I eventually got a Madcatz Mojo and was excited about it, now the ShieldTV is taking the glory from the hard work of former microconsoles.
I am also an original Net Yaroze Member since 1998.
I’m not some much a game player these days, instead I enjoy the craft of good gamedev, and I don’t mean AAA, stunning graphics.

About the Retro VGS/Coleco Chameleon

The Retro League Podcast EP:328 @9:55 has a good and logical explanation about it.

Basically, it’s a canceled cartridge based game console which used the Coleco brand name.
The hardware was to use FPGA) which allowed games programmed for any retro gaming hardware ie (Coleco, NES, SNES, atari 2600, etc) to run via HDL, this is explained well in their RetroVGS FAQ:

“If a developer wants to make a Neo Geo game, they would include an HDL (Hardware Description Language) file that configures the FPGA to operate like a Neo Geo.
The developer would code their game to run against the Neo Geo platform.
This HDL code along with the actual Neo Geo game will be on the cartridge.
Once that cartridge is placed in the RETRO VGS, it will become a Neo Geo and play that game.
So in this case, the language is: 68000 and Z80 code.

If you wanted to do a new Atari 2600 styled game, you’d include a 2600 HDL file that configures the FPGA to replicate the logic of the original 2600 hardware and then you’d include your new 2600 game on that cartridge too.
These two files are then paired up on the cartridge and when plugged into the RETRO VGS, will turn the console into a 2600.
So the language that would be used in this case is: 6507 (6502 with less address space). “

They didn’t mention old 8bit micros (Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Apple II), nor PC-DOS, Linux, OpenGL, DirectX, PS-X, N64, etc but I imagine it would have worked as all these systems are well emulated and reverse engineered.

Update: In this interview Mike says the HDL files would be licensed from the HDL developers and would have been included and provided to the game developers.

So, basically game developers didn’t have to make much effort to convert their existing game (and working on original hardware (NES, SNES,etc)) to the Coleco Chameleon/RetroVGS.
Not only is the hardware ‘configurable’ it also has an ARM chip, if it’s a System On a Chip (SoC) chip it opens up even more possibilities.

“Oh and we’ll have a nice little ARM chip for some more fun stuff.”

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Sony Playstation: Net Yaroze.
Official Playstation Hobbyist Development Kit

The Sony Net Yaroze (Playstation) is a hobbyist development PS1. It is a cut-down library of the official development libraries which required serial data communication (no executable running of the cdrom). Yarōze means "Let's do it!". I’ve uploaded my old net yaroze stuff.. which wasn’t much.
I’m trying to find the source files for this project.
But I’ve gone through a few hard drives since 2001, but I still got them.
I remember doing it in a few weeks, (mostly on jolt cola,creaming soda and the purple one) but I can’t remember how I did it! Garrgg!

Good thing I’ve got these notes!

Looking at the sense today, it still looks active:
http://www.psxdev.net/ has annual comps!

Nice write up on the past major members and what they are doing now.

I had the newsgroup archived… somewhere :(


Here you will find my programming notes, screenshots and photos of my Net Yaroze.

Most of my low-res B/W textures were taken on the gameboy camera! This is/was me!


Here’s a good video explaining what it was, remember this is back in 1997, the peak of the Playstation’s life!

Enjoy!

Comments now disabled.
For comments or questions, please post on twitter @mgarcia.

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Announcing Leadwerks 3

The much anticipated LE3 was first introduced with the price of $999USD desktop only.
iOS and Android support is an addition $999USD each!!
Then after a day of massive criticism, it dropped to $450.
Then again dropped to $199.

I guess it was funny at the time watching a few people (around 10) leave Leadwerks and move to another closed source game engine, EE (Esenthel Engine).
You think they would have learned?

Sure EE is pretty awesome, it has a lot of great features (including Linux support) while being affordable.
After all, I did buy a license.
But you are required to use the editor which adheres to no windows standards!
You can use/debug in Visual studio, but any changes made don’t revert back to the editor, so no point unless you are only targeting windows.

Not having much internet access at the time, I moved from EE to Gameplay3D when he made his application require license checking every time on start-up, with no Grace period (V2 editor starting with no internet connection).

I learnt the importance of having the game engine source code!
The freedom and flexibility of adding your own features instead of having to bid on them like crowd funding just to motivate the creator.
More importantly, I wasn’t learning much using EE because it’s poorly documented and I couldn’t drill down into the engine’s code to see what was going on!
Besides, I didn’t need advanced features like MMORPG support etc.
That’s why I switched to Gameplay3D.
But here’s the lesson, game engine programmers, like everyone else need to be paid… but some are just a bit more eccentric!

Below is the google cache of the page which was removed after a lot of nasty comments!
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