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31/10/2007

Today's Most Wanted: Toribash 3 !!!

 
 
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22:19 Publié dans Jeux | Lien permanent | Commentaires (5)

TimeSnapper: Du bénéfice de s'auto-espionner

Si il y a une pratique que je conseillerai, c'est bien celle de garder un oeil sur sa gestion du temps. Quand les projets se multiplient, les sources de distractions deviennent de plus en plus nombreuses. Comme le temp est le seul capital que je possède réellement, savoir où passe ce temps est une préoccupation majeure.

 

Pour ce faire, j'ai plusieurs stratégie à ma disposition. Je divise par exemple mon temps de travail en module plus ou moins court que j'assigne à une seule tache donnée. J'utilise Basecamp pour planifier mes projets. 

 

Et enfin, je m'auto-espionne :-)

 

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TimeSnapper est un petit logiciel très simple. Il permet de déterminer deux choses: visualiser une session de travail (mode movie), et établir une statistique des logiciels que vous avez utilisé. 

 

La première fois, on a souvent un choc quand on réalise le temps réel passé dans sa messagerie, usenet, firefox, ou msn! Quand on a comme moi que quelques soirées ou journées dans un week end par mois pour s'autoformer, développer, ou tenir un blog, on apprend vite à éduquer ses habitudes!

30/10/2007

GarageGames: Histoire d'une acquisition...

Voici une histoire intéressante: GarageGames, la petite boite indy qui monte, s'est fait récemment racheter par un très gros conglomérat, preuve de l'attrait de plus en plus potant pour l'industrie du jeu vidéo. Ce genre d'affaire est toujours un peu obscure. On l'apprend quand le contrat est signé, on sabre le champagne, et puis voilà.

 

Mais cette fois ci, Jeff Tunnel raconte le processus de rachat, de la prise de contact à la signature!

 

A year ago when I was on my first vacation to Italy and France, I got an email from Josh Williams in an Internet cafe. It was really short, “IAC wants to talk to us.” We had just gone through a couple of months on another acquisition offer that we ended up turning down. I was tired, and ready to just put pedal to the metal with GG and make it go on our own, so my answer was “no thanks.

 

Then the business side of me kicked in, and I said, “OK, I’m in for discussion, but they need to allow us to keep doing things the way we are, i.e. making game development accessible to everyone, and treat developers like we want to be treated.” BTW, that was pretty much the reaction from all of the GG partners/stakeholders, so Josh pursued it, they loved our strategy, and it kept looking good.

 

So, as soon as I got back, Josh and I made a trip down to Los Angeles to meet with Victor Kaufman, the Vice Chairman of IAC, to see if we should move forward, and if a deal made sense. We left the meeting stoked. Victor is a finance guy, but he has made movies and done a lot of really creative things in the past, and he made us feel welcomed and genuinely understood what we were trying to do.

 

On the way home we circled through Portland to meet with Andy Yang (that we recruited to come to GG after the deal was done… now he works at GG), who was very instrumental in working with Shana Fisher inside IAC to develop their gaming strategy. Andy was there to make sure we passed the technology hurdle. It was pouring rain outside, so we huddled over a great lunch and we all seemed to hit it off well. Again, Josh and I were stoked. We kept meeting great people that really seemed to understand what we wanted to do, just in a bigger way!

 

[ GarageGames

 

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29/10/2007

levelHead...

Avec l'arrivée de l'Eye Toy sur la PS3, de nombreuses nouvelles applications vont voir le jour, à l'image de Eye Of Judgement.  Level Head est un projet qui repose sur le même principe...

 

levelHead is an interactive game that uses a cube, a webcam, and pattern recognition. When the cube is rotated or tilted in front of the camera the user will be able to see ‘inside’ the cube and guide a small avatar through six different rooms.

 

[ Networked Performance ]

 

Le top 10 de la PS2...

Pfiou, ça en fait des copies!

 

  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (13 million)
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (12 million)
  • Grand Theft Auto III (11 million)
  • Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (11 million)
  • Gran Turismo 4 (8.79 million)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (7 million)
  • Kingdom Hearts (5.6 million)
  • Final Fantasy X (5 million)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (3.7 million)
  • Final Fantasy XII (3.68 million)

 

[ Joystiq

28/10/2007

The niche economy...

L'industrie du jeu vidéo a débuté comme une industrie de niche, et aujourd'hui encore, la majorité des pros travaillent sur des produits de niche. Des débuts de l'industrie jusqu'à nos jours, 1UP revient sur les petits studios d'hier qui ont disparu ou qui sont devenus grands...
 
 
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Supply and demand is the cornerstone of basic economics. The company with a product that appeals to the most consumers stands to gain the most profit. It's no different in the video game industry...
 
 
Corporations like Electronic Arts and THQ have made a fortune by catering to a mainstream audience. Given this huge potential for profit, it's surprising to discover that there are companies out there that narrow their focus to a specific group of customers.
 
 
It would seem that these developers are missing a golden opportunity, but there's a method to the madness of niche developers. Chris Jelinek, the president and CEO of O3 Entertainment, offers this explanation:
 
 
"We have a desire to bring different genres of games to the marketplace. We appreciate everything the large companies do, but we believe that many gamers are seeking out products that the big public companies choose not to deliver. Consumers are hungry for new gaming experiences. We would like to satisfy that hunger."
 
 
There is a greater motivation for niche developers than the recognition of video games as an artform, or a desire to bring fresh ideas to the industry. The key factor for appealing to a niche market is necessity.
 
 
When a newcomer needs to test the often rocky waters of the industry, or when a better established game company with limited resources finds itself financially overshadowed by giants like Electronic Arts and Activision, they must turn their attention to a market that hasn't yet been serviced by the industry's big players.
 
 
Otakus, or gamers obsessed with Japanese culture, have traditionally been a market untapped by large companies, and a reliable source of income for smaller ones. However, the smart niche publisher looks beyond the anime enthusiast to other gamers left stranded in the industry's blind spot.
 
 
They can be small children first learning to hold a controller, thirty-somethings longing to relive their own childhood, or mature adults who need a healthy activity that doesn't require them to step outside their retirement homes.
 
 
However, they all have two things in common... needs that aren't being addressed by the rest of the industry, and hefty rewards for anyone who can satisfy them.
 
 
 [ 1UP ]

27/10/2007

The Path...

Ca fait longtemp que je suis les travaux de Tale Of Tales, en particulier l'évolution de Drama Princess. Malheureusement, la production de leurs jeux rencontrent souvent nombres d'écueils, malgré l'existence indéniable d'un public - de niche certe - en manque de ce type d'éxpérience.

 

Leur dernier projet, "The Path", s'inscrit dans la pure lignée leur recherche narrative. J'espère qu'on pourra y jouer bientôt ! 

 

There's something wrong with the forest. No matter how bright the sun shines, it remains dark and foggy. It smells like something died. Strange noises fill the rusty air.

 

Squeaks and screeches.

 

The dull thump of someone chopping trees. The wind playing eerie melodies on ghostlike flutes.


Shivers run down her spine.


She just left the city. Cars can't drive here anymore. Mother told her to go visit grandmother. The old lady lives all alone at the other side of the forest. Quite a walk from here. It's probably best if she stays on the path..

 

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13:00 Publié dans Jeux | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

26/10/2007

Comment animer un personnage que vous n'avez jamais vu...

Non, je n'ai pas trouvé la formule magique du golem. Il s'agit juste du probème que Chris Hecker a à résoudre sur Spore. Faut dire que c'est bien beau de pouvoir créer n'importe qu'elle créature, encore faut-il qu'elle puisse bouger !
 
 
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Spore has a unique problem: most of the content in the game will be made after the game ships. This includes the animated creatures, which can have almost arbitrary shapes and skeleton topology...my creature might have two arms and one leg, yours might have no arms and seven legs, and two mouths.
 
 
How can we animate these creatures when we haven't seen them before, and hopefully animate them well enough to convey emotions? How do we let animators use their skills "today" in a way we can apply "later" to the user's creature?
 
 
This lecture will discuss the various approaches we used to procedurally animate user-created creatures in Spore, and what worked and what didn't, along with some suggestions about how some of the techniques might benefit other more traditional games.
 

13:20 Publié dans Code | Lien permanent | Commentaires (13)

Most Wanted: Okam Wiiiiii !!!!

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The rumors were true and Capcom is porting PS2 gem Okami to the Wii, now it's time for some details. 1UP reports that Ready at Dawn, developers of the depressingly pseudo-delayed God of War: Chains of Olympus, will handle the porting.
 
[ Joystiq ]  

13:00 Publié dans Jeux | Lien permanent | Commentaires (6)

25/10/2007

Rotation vs Orientation

Le problème en algèbre, c'est qu'un vecteur peut tout aussi bien représenter un point qu'une direction. Du coup, ça pose quelques problèmes en terme de nomenclature.
 
Mais y a pire: les rotations c'est pareil. Un quaternion peut parfaitement représenter une rotation ou une orientation. Ce qui est génant, compte tenu du fait que leur espace de définition est beaucoup plus contraignant (pas de commutativité, tout ça tout ça)...
 
Stan Melax revient sur la rotation, cette grande incomprise dans les notations des programmeurs:
 
 

...

 

It is true that the orientation is described as a 'rotation relative to the identity orientation'. In other words, orientation is implemented as a 3x3, upper-left 3x3 of a 4x4, or (most often) as a quaternion.

 
Trying to use this piece of data in any meaningful way can only be done by applying a rotation - i.e. rotating something. But what this is really suggesting is that rotation has more to do with the 'type' of the member variable, not the 'name' of that member.

 

By the same false reasoning that uses 'rotation' instead of 'orientation', the class member 'position' should be changed to 'translation' to be consistent (yuck). In this context, most developers would prefer to describe a game object's pose as position and orientation.

 

Beware; the dagger of terminology misuse is sharp on both sides. Observe how the inconsistent usage of the term 'rotation' now affect further game development as we try to add additional physics members (angular properties) to our game object class.

 

Fortunately, angular velocity has a non-ambiguous non-verbose term: 'spin'. So use that. The trouble now with adding a member called 'rotation' to describe angular momentum (btw it's not the same thing as spin) is that others are likely to misinterpret it and assume it means orientation.

 

Isn't name pollution wonderful? Consequently, we're stuck using a verbose member name such as "angular_momentum" or some sort of shorthand like "ang_mntm". Groan.

 

... 

 
 

13:00 Publié dans Code | Lien permanent | Commentaires (9)

24/10/2007

The Art Of Assassin's Creed

J'adore le travail de design sur ce titre ^_^

 

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13:00 Publié dans Art | Lien permanent | Commentaires (6)

23/10/2007

Most Wanted: World Of Goo...

Parfait exemple du concept qui finit par se déveloper en jeu complet, World Of Goo m'a tout l'air d'être un bon candidat sur ma playlist...

 

13:40 Publié dans Jeux | Lien permanent | Commentaires (8)