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

Big Displays: The Good, The Shiny, and The Ugly

I remember back in the mid-90s, I went through 5 or 6 19″ CRT monitors before I found one that I thought was acceptable running at 1600×1200. I believe it was a Samsung and it even needed BNC cables to get the signal without interference and degradation to get the quality I wanted.

Fortunately, display technology caught up over the years and I’ve been happy with the LCD monitors I have since then.

Until now.

I’ve been looking into large LCD monitors to set up in my new office with my Macbook Pro, and I find myself pushing into the limit of technology once again. The results: I went through 3 monitors of about $1K each. Two fell completely short, and one was perfect. Continue reading

iCloud Demystified

Play a game on a device, put it down, pick up another device, and continue playing exactly where you left off. This is the future of games.

That future is a reality today for some games and apps (Netflix, Kindle), and I’m convinced that players will expect that in most games in the next year or so. So obviously, the next bit of new iOS tech I decided to try was iCloud. I would love to turn Flower Garden into that kind of seamless experience, independently of the device you use to access it.

As a quick spoiler, it turns out I won’t be able to make Flower Garden quite so seamless without a lot of extra work. But I learned a lot along the way and I should be able to take a small step in that direction. Continue reading