Why Are You Making Games?

This is a written version of my 5-minute talk from the Indie Soapbox session at this year’s GDC.

Why are you making games? No, I don’t mean “why are you making games?”. Also, I don’t mean “why are you making games?”. And I certainly don’t mean “why (on earth) are you making games?”. I mean the question in the purest, most abstract sense. Just “why are you making games?”.

This was a key question for me last year, I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I thought other people might benefit from asking themselves the same question. To see where I’m coming from, let’s do a quick flash back.

It’s late 2011. Miguel and I finished working on Casey’s Contraptions and my daughter was born. I took a couple months completely off from work (new dads will understand why), and then, right at the turn of the new year, I decided to start working again. The plan was to prototype a few of the juiciest ideas, pick one that really stood out, and make a new game in a few months. How hard could it be, right?


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Porting My Game Code To Mac OS

I’m still working on prototypes. I’ve spent the last six months going through different game ideas and working on prototype after prototype. Along the way I’ve made over 20 different prototypes on iPad or iPhone. I’m sure a lot of those prototypes would have made decent iOS games, but I wasn’t particularly excited to develop them all the way and take them to completion. I’m looking for something that’s both very interesting to develop and something I can proudly point to after it ships.

Right now I have a couple of game ideas in hand that I’m pretty excited about. I prototyped one of those, but I quickly realized it might be a game better suited for desktops rather than iOS, so I decided to write my next prototype for that game on the Mac. Maybe another day I’ll write a post about prototypes, but what I want to write about today is my experience moving over my prototyping code to the Mac. Continue reading

What The Rovio Deal With Casey’s Contraptions Means To Me

CaseysContraptionsIconI imagine everybody reading this already knows that we sold the Casey’s Contraptions game and IP to Rovio. They’ll be relaunching the game as Amazing Alex for iOS and other platforms soon, and putting all the Rovio marketing might behind it. Exciting times ahead for Casey!

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about how it happened, how’s affecting me, and what my plans for the future are. So here’s my attempt to answer some of those questions. Continue reading

Office Space

Those who put up with my incessant chatter (or rants, depending how long I’ve gone without a run) on Twitter, know that I recently moved out of my home office and leased an office in town. This change was mostly due to my wife and I having a baby daughter a few months ago. I’ve taken most of this time as an extended paternity leave, but when it was time to do some work again, it was clear that working from home wasn’t the ideal environment anymore. Continue reading

Quick Tip: Working With Shaders On iOS

I’m taking a couple of days to upgrade some of my libraries for doing prototyping both in 2D and 3D. One of the many overdue things I wanted to do, was to finally ditch OpenGL ES 1.1 and move to 2.0 exclusively. Yes, even if you’re only doing a 2D game, OpenGL ES 2.0 is way worth it.

There were even a couple of cases during Casey’s Contraptions that we wanted a particular effect, and couldn’t get it quite right, but it would have been trivial to whip up a shader if we had been using OpenGL ES 2.0. In the end, we had to resort to texture combiners (yuck), and it wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. Continue reading