I am breaking my vow of blog silence for an important reflection. Kids are the future, and OGPC is part of the solution. What a great event! I had the pleasure of being a volunteer judge again this year. This was my 3rd time judging. These are some bright young kids. Its interesting to see them and their struggles. They are real struggles people in the workforce and self employment have every day. They wont know the value of this experience for time to come. Some may never, the vast majority of the kids were super engaged. This was really inspiring and if I can help one or more of them make a good decision down the road its all worth it.

The Organizers were OGPC Alumni! This is great. They went through what these kids went through a few years back. It was great to see how positively it influenced their lives. They are certainly proud of it too. So is that proof this works? Well if it inspires a handful of kids from the hundreds participating then I think so. I know it does more than that, but its a resounding success year after year. The volunteers did really well (my part is small if not trivial, but I am proud to be part of it for my little part as a game professional judge.)

The key note speaker, Daniel DiCicco, spoke from the heart and his experience. It was very inspiring to the kids (and at least this adult) is always intrigued to hear about fellow successful developers trials and tribulations!) They were riveted like they were basking in the glow of greatness. I've seen these kids not as interested in a speaker, and well, this was NOT the case. So even if Dan feels that he has or has not achieved greatness is totally unknown to me and moot since those kids he spoke too showed me he was great! ;) For many of them Dan has reached the pinnacle of what they would consider a complete success in the games industry. Thanks for that Dan! I enjoyed meeting him, his family, and seeing the joy of their togetherness. From my brief encounter I can tell he is a complete, grounded, and rounded person (and I may be *slightly* biased as he has given me and my wife so much joy as a MOO2 fan looking for the 'proper' 4x fix, but thats for another post for another time ;).

Daniel DiCicco

Volunteers are always needed please help if you can!

Not of my own but memory as a game mechanic. The article is interesting, in my opinion, but I am a bias fanboy.

The article does brings up an interesting point that Adams have espoused to embrace and that is it is a game with actionable memory. Its an idea that has fascinated me and I have played around designing with as early as Ultima III and other RPGs in its style where, for example, I would pick a cabbage from a farmers field, he might yell at me then and there because he witnessed it, but he would act like he never met me a if I ran off screen and came back. that always felt 'lifeless' and 'gamey' to me. I have often dreamed of games with better memory. A simple encounter with a recounted memory could really go a long way in helping games 'breath' and feel more alive and powerful. I've even gone so far as to create schema and algorithms to simulate degradation over time and strength of an individual memories. Which would generate weighted responses from "Hi there stranger!" to "long time no see!" and "Why are you still here?" Its a set of ideas I have carried with me for a LONG time and one I will work into my work at some point. This memory feature one of the many reasons I love Dwarf Fortress. The procedurally generated history probably has more impact on gameplay than one might suspect and I am only a player of Fortress Mode. I bet the "Stone Soup" like Adventure mode is a 1000x more interesting because of that memory...



















I was reminded the other day of "where to start" with an idea regarding game design and conceptualizing out your game. I was remembering a great bit of information on the topic that was instrumental to me at the time I was getting my feet off the ground...

Ian Schreiber, besides being a pretty nice guy in general, shared some pretty deep thoughts and analysis on game design in a very grand 'global' experiment a while ago in which I only partially participated in. I always regretted having to choose the path I did that took me away from it at the time, but revisiting the material has been invaluable over the years.



I really like this book co-authored by Ian Schreiber and Brenda Brathwaite (soon after Garner, now Romero):


It all takes a step back from the computer a bit (and that is a good thing sometimes!), but I haven't found a single thing that didn't translate in some fashion. And the techniques on troubleshooting and verifying mechanic, although laborious, I have found worth it.

There are certainly a lot out there. But these two sources have a common voice by Ian and I like his attitude (and Brathwaite has pretty epic contributions to the industry as well and deserves more than a foot note here, but this about Ian.) Someone who manages a production schedule might go insane, but you end with a quality product given the emphasis on testing and evaluation.

Here is your entry point that is as good as any of the best entry points I have stumbled across in my searches yet.

You are welcome.

CodeWorx Studios

Welcome! Satisfaction *not* guaranteed. Mileage may vary.