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Thursday, September 29, 2005



I kid you not. It's a game about making games. It's called GameGame and the author has a free downloadable version on his website. I'm looking forward to giving it a try and hearing about the experiences of others.

After playing the game, if you still feel creative you might want to try this. The Lego Digital Designer, that lets you not only create any outlandish Lego creation you'd like in the virtual comfort of your computer, but you can share it with other Lego enthusiasts and even purchase the parts needed to bring your creation into the real world.

Well, back to the salt mines!

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Mechanized Battle Death Master Lee

Now we know what sort of strange things reside in GC's fertile imagination. By the way, if you haven't been following the events of the past few weeks, you might want to start here. Of course, the point of all this is not that it's wrong to suppose what would happen if the South had access to battle mechs during the AmericanCivil War. But if one is not careful, it can derteriorate into a farce like in this week's cartoon. You know, the Mechanized Battle Death Master Lee might look good as a wallpaper. What do you think?

It's been a busy weekend here, with school football games to attend, a backlog of art to finish and worry about family in Texas. Can't wait for less exciting times. Normally I'd have more to say, but I'm exhausted. Enjoy the cartoons!

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Artistic License

Welcome back. As promised, GC's meddling with reality continues. Speaking of reality, there are times when reality just doesn't cut it. For instance, when we were making our first pinball game, all of the 3D models were made with the most exacting scale. Unfortunately, this meant that things that we really wanted to stand out where very small. In cases like that, exaggeration is a necessity. The funny thing about that is that you can make a dollar bill the size of a magazine, and it looks fine as long as it doesn't spend too much time next to, say, a person's head. In other words, as long as things look like they belong, you can get away with it. But more importantly, it has to be done, especially if you want to make sure your player is able to spot that dollar bill.

Are there cases when you shouldn't mess with reality? When dealing with an established story (factual or fictional), there are a lot of adjustments that need to be made in order to make a decent game. That creates problems when the game play flies in the face of the reality established by the story. This does not mean that the designer can simply discard the story simply because it's inconvenient. The game designer has to come up with creative solutions that (like the example above) at least look like they fit within the reality established by the game's story. It's not always easy, but hey, that's why they call it work.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


How to Make a Bad Game

There's a lot of factors that contribute to lousy game design. So much so, that you can pretty much predict when a game has little or no chance of being fun. First of all, take an up and coming property, from film, television or comics. Then take an existing game design and slap the characters from that property into the game design. Under no circumstances should you try to make the resulting game try to match the spirit of the original property (though you can steal a few "catch phrases" from the property so folks can hear them endlessly).

One more thing - put in a ridiculously short production schedule and make sure there's lots of people who have little or no experience with making games calling the shots, changing the scope and direction of the game at the drop of a hat and keep the developers from actually concentrating on the job at hand.

There. You've made a lousy game. That was easy, wasn't it? But stay tuned, because GC's meddling with Cy's historical recreation of Gettysburg has just begun!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


In Case You Missed it

Hi there. It's been another busy week for me as I've tried to keep track of all of the things that piled up while I was out of the office. But I wanted to let you know that I added a game to the website. It's the Burger Builder Game and it's a simple little thing I threw together in Flash several years ago. It's in the Media section, so give it a try!

I hope to add more games to the site as time goes by, but I have no idea what form they'll take or when I'll get around to it. My kids actually asked me that "when" question and I suggested that they might want to give it a try. As is usual for kids, their ambition is far greater than their level of expertise, so if anybody knows some good ways to teach a young person how to get acquainted with Flash MX, let me know.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


How Does it Feel?

I'm back. Did you miss me? For those of you who haven't been paying attention or have just arrived, I spent the last week recovering from surgery. I had to have my gall bladder removed, and my body is still adjusting to the new order of things. Compared to the alternatives, I got off pretty easy and for that, at least, I am grateful.

In this line of work, one simply does not get enough exercise. It's sort of an occupational hazard. We spend 40-60 hours (or more) a week hunched over keyboards in darkened rooms and then, many of us go home and wind up on the couch in other darkened rooms in front of other machines and monitors. It's no wonder many of us suffer from repetitive stress injuries, deteriorating eyesight and (ahem) expanding waistlines.

The fact of the matter is, as our bodies get older, the parts are a little less responsive than they used to be. If you don't use it, you'll lose it. Other parts get worn out. The trick is to find some balance - go out and take a walk once in a while, work those parts and they'll keep working for you. But don't forget to leave a note once in a while or I might stop doing this. See you soon.

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