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Dev Diary 011: A SHMUPS/Match 3 Hybrid (Early Prototype)

Whew...Well, after a few days of coding I have a working prototype of my new game. I'm still calling it "Heavy Metal Metal Blocks," though I suspect that will change as the game evolves. I had a really, really tough time getting the Match 3 stuff worked out; I never dreamed how convoluted the code would get. There's probably a much easier way to do it than what I came up with, but it DOES work, at least as far as I can tell. Have a go and let me know what you think of the basic concept!

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Dev Diary 010: A Damnably Simple SHMUP

I apologize for posting another dev diary so soon, but I'm pretty excited about my first playable Unity game and just had to share. It's just a very simple shoot'em up, though my plans to keep it simple were foiled when I ran across the Explosion Framework. I was nervous about trying to use Detonator, but again I'm floored by how easy this was...Installed this with a click, dragged it onto the variable I set up in my script, and viola! Awesome ass explosions. It even came with its own sound effects! To get the laser sound effect, I used this fun little generator, which lets you create 80s stye arcade effects just by clicking some buttons.

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Dev Diary 009: Heavy Metal (with working example)

Well, I'm happy to say I'm back in the saddle again, excited about making some games with Unity. After watching the complete series on 3D Buzz about building a simple 2D game, I think I know enough to at least get started actually MAKING something again. I thought I'd start with something very simple: create a block that you can move around with the arrow keys, wrapping if you hit the borders, and for frills throw in a background and make the block rotate. I figured this was a complex enough project to take a noob like me the better part of a day, but--SHOCK--it only took a few minutes! Holy COW, those 3D Buzz videos made a difference.

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Matt's Podcast 8: Nincompooping all over the games industry

Hi, all. I'm back this week with another hour long, poorly organized rant about everything from why L.A. Noire sucks as an adventure game to why Arkham City is to quests what bullet hell is to bullets. I also talk about the real reason why we hoard videogames and how, no matter how many games we collect, we'll never find The One.

Foam and cry with me by downloading this downer now!
Matt's Podcast Episode 8

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Matt Chat 135: Peter on Sierra On-Line, Cinemaware, and Interplay

Hi, Matt Chatters! I'm back this week with part 2 of my interview with Peter Oliphant, child actor turned game developer. In this part, Peter talks about his transition from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, which includes stops (and stories about) Sierra On-Line, Cinemaware, and Interplay. Peter's a big fan of the Atari 800, so we spend some time talking about that system and his games Wall War and Mr. Cool. Then it's on to Rocket Ranger and S.D.I. before ending with Lexi-Cross, a unique blend of Battleship and Wheel of Fortune.

Download the mp4.

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Matt Chat 134: Peter Oliphant Interview

This week launches a new series of interviews with Interplay programmer and designer Peter Oliphant. Peter has an amazing history as a child actor, math whiz, and finally game designer, with boatloads of interesting stories about all of it. In this first part of the interview, we focus on Peter's work for Mattel, creating some of the early handheld electronic games like World Championship Football and Gravity. Then we get into his work as an actor, working alongside such notables as Dick Van Dyke and Jimmy Stewart, as well as some cult classics like Hotrods to Hell.

You can download the mp4 here.

If you regularly enjoy Matt Chat, why not do your part to keep it going strong? I know it may look like nothing but fun, but believe me, I put a lot of real work into making these shows each week. Why not help me out by making a small donation or setting up a subscription today? It only takes a minute, and you'll be doing YOUR part to keep these interviews and retrospectives coming. Thanks!

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Dev Diary 008: 3D Buzz Rocks

Just a quick update, mostly to put to rest concerns that I've given up. First off, I have to thank TripHamer for pointing me to a series of videos on Unity called 3D Buzz. My initial impression of the site wasn't good; there are a LOT of videos there; so much, in fact, that it's easy simply to get overwhelmed and leave immediately. Eventually, though, I took the time to explore the site a bit, and found a series there called creating a simple 2D shooter in Unity with C#. I figured that project didn't sound too bad, and if I couldn't even figure out how to create a 2D shooter in Unity (something I can do in my sleep with Gamemaker), I was out of my league.

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Matt's Podcast 7: SITREP

Hi, folks! Probably not the best time given the recent public flogging I've been getting over my Gothic retrospective, but what the heck. Here's my seventh podcast. This one is admittedly a ramble, but generally focused on making games with Gamemaker and the trials and tribulations of becoming an indie game developer. Is making a "serious" indie game worth the effort if you know your work will make little to no money--and, worse--may only be seen by a dozen or so people, tops? Is the love of making games enough in and of itself to keep you motivated all the way through a year or more of development? In my case, the answer is no.

Download the podcast here.

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Matt Chat 133: Gothic Time

It's Gothic time! Yes, finally, after countless requests, Matt Chat covers the 2001 German CRPG Gothic. Of course, this game launched a trilogy, and apparently Risen is keeping the lineage alive. Lots of fun stuff in this game, and some pioneering stuff like the ability to skin animals (you can even get their teeth and claws!), cook food (grilled chicken!), and much more. Plagued by one of the slowest starts in any CRPG, though, it hasn't attracted the attention that it really deserves. If you can get through the first 3-4 hours of it, you'll be hooked. Just don't blow all your ore at the swamp weed stand!

Download the mp4 here.

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Matt Chat 132: Mark Soderwall Part 4

In the final segment of my interview with Mark Soderwall, we chat about his work on Fracture, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Clone Wars, and much more. We also talk about the importance of game history, what it takes to be a professional game developer, and Mark's choice of reading material.

Download the mp4 here.

Be sure to watch around the 20 minute mark for a special Vintage Games surprise!

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