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Matt Barton's picture

Matt's Game Design for "Rampin' Rescue"

Several months ago I began working on a game that would combine elements from three classic games: Choplifter, Kickstart, and Defender. Unfortunately, I was never able to figure out how to use Gamemaker to simulate a vehicle going up and down slopes, so I'm giving up and moving on to something else.

Matt Barton's picture

$60 Games Endangered: Doom & Gloom from Epic's Mike Capps

Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, has grave doubts about the games industry as we know it--specifically, he's worried that the ubiquity and popularity of cheap iOS apps are making it impossible to sell big-budget games (like the next Unreal): "If there’s anything that’s killing us it’s dollar apps,” he said. “How do you sell someone a $60 game that’s really worth it? They’re used to 99¢. As I said, it's an uncertain time in the industry. But it's an exciting time for whoever picks the right path and wins." My take on it? Boo f**** hoo.

Matt Barton's picture

Make Simple Game for iPhone; Proceed Directly to Bank

TrainyardTrainyardGamasutra has an interview up with one Matt Rix, designer and developer of a simple iOS game called Trainyard. Although he did all the work during his work commute, the game has already netted him enough cash to quit his day job and found his own game company. I love what he says here: "I’ve learned a ton of lessons, but the biggest one is to pick a goal then follow through till you’re done. You’ve got to be motivated and determined to finish your game, or else you just won’t. I see way too many people biting off more than they can chew, attacking huge games or just working on prototype after prototype ad nauseum. I think you’ll learn way more from finishing and releasing a single game than you’ll ever learn from working on dozens of prototypes." Touche!

Matt Barton's picture

Time-Lapse Video of Game Making (Metagun)

I just saw this amazing video on Kotaku called "Making Metagun." It shows you exactly what went into making an entire game from scratch. Here's a link to the finished game, which is playable in a browser. As far as I can tell, it was built using Java and Eclipse.

Matt Barton's picture

Some Thoughts Toward a Non-Linear Game History

Over the past few weeks, I've been toying with an idea that sounds downright preposterous at first. I pose it as a Twilight Zone-esque "What if?" scenario: What if games haven't really "advanced" at all, but only changed, similar to how clothing fashions change over time? Let's explore some alternatives to the technological determinism so ubiquitous in our field.

Matt Barton's picture

Phil Campbell talks Nancy Drew Dossier

Phil CampbellPhil CampbellBoy, do I have a scoop for you! One of the best interviews we conducted at GDC was with Phil Campbell, creative consultant and the genius behind Lights, Camera, Action!, the first "casual" Nancy Drew adventure game. I played through this game recently and was very impressed. What Phil has managed to do here is make a full-length Nancy Drew adventure game without any of the tedium associated with the genre--this one is pure fun, all the way through. I think Phil is one of the best brains out there when it comes to game design, so I got in touch with him after we got back and sent him some questions. He was kind enough to respond with some really incredible stuff. What follows is an illustrated essay he wrote about his work that gives you a behind-the-scenes-look at one of the best adventure games in recent years. Enjoy!

Matt Barton's picture

Hyping Halo 3: A Sign of What's Wrong?

I just came across this rant in the New York Times on a familiar topic--why are modern games so inspid?

Matt Barton's picture

Consoles and Independent Developers: A Penetration Issue

When it comes to the old "computers vs. consoles" debate, I've always come down on the computer side. Even though nowadays the PC has lost much of its edge when it comes to graphics and what-not, you can't beat it in terms of versatility and software diversity.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Microsoft Releases Robot Development Kit - Is a 1980's personal computer-like craze right around the corner?

From "What's New Now from Ziff Davis" Newsletter (commentary below the excerpt):,1895,2071091,00.asp

Microsoft seems to have won over skeptical robot developers with the release of its new Robotics Studio product. The product's pretty neat, it lets you program real robots, or virtual instantiations of them that live inside your PC. Even better, it's free to download and play with - you'll just pay when you actually use it to control an autonomous mechatron of your own design. Our story is chock full of details on how Microsoft won over the robotics community, what's new inside the software, and where to download it yourself, for free.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Help create a new Vectorzoa Vectrex game!

Spike's Sea Snap Safari: Concept ImageSpike's Sea Snap Safari: Concept ImageThe prolific homebrew GCE/Milton Bradley Vectrex game developers, Vectorzoa, known for cartridges such as "Logo", "Star Sling" and "Spike's Circus" (which I've mentioned previously on Armchair Arcade) have an interesting way for ANYONE to contribute to their next game, "Spike's Sea Snap Safari". While label art and level design contests are popular at AtariAge, this is one of the few times that I've seen one for a non-Atari system.

This looks like fun and hopefully some of the Armchair Arcade faithful will take up the challenge and report on their results. From the Website:

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