The eulogy of a game developer

The PCs were turned off, we exchanged heart crushing hugs and then we closed the doors for the last time. This is how my first – and hopefully last- layoff happened. To me, it was a welcomed end as well as a wake up call to seek new, more appropriate adventures. To others, it was sadness, loss, disorientation. Especially for those who have dedicated close to a decade to build a very particular kind of dream. Continue reading

How to Make a Game with Zero Coding Skills

Disclaimer: I did not try or buy any of these solutions… yet.

Nowadays, learning all the skills you need to make a game is not hard; there is a wide community of awesome game devs out there who are more than willing to help and are also great teachers. Here are just a few examples. But there is one thing you might not be able to get, no matter what: time. What do you do then?

You can buy the source code for your own game for less than 100 dollars. Granted, it will be a simple game, a clone of a successful product like Flappy Birds. And you  will have to invest a few hours to follow a tutorial and perhaps reskin your little project. But for just a little bit of money, you can have your very own game in a day. Continue reading

Gone Home

I’ve finally Gone Home.

I arrived during a heavy storm and there was no one there. My sister, my parents, all gone, and a confusing, almost scary note waiting for me, glued to the front door.  Don’t tell mom and dad what you find out, don’t tell anyone! Signed – my sister. What happened, Sam? Why is there no one home, why is the house a mess, why does it look like everyone left in a hurry? Did something terribly bad happened?

gonehome_1280x1024 Continue reading

Women are too hard to animate

During this year’s E3, Ubisoft stated that they will not add a playable female character in Assasin’s Creed Unity because “Women are too hard to animate”. This spawned a mass reaction on the internet (check out #womenaretoohardtoanimate on Twitter), as it hit straight into a long and powerful conversation about women and games and how we are represented, or under represented or how we are sexualized or victimized in a context  where we represent almost 50% of gamers nowadays.
This post is, however, not about Ubisoft.

I’d like my women friends to play the games I love. Especially my sister. She is a beautiful, super smart business woman who shares my love for storytelling, and we frequently advise each other on what books to read or what movies to watch. She is not as much into SciFi as I am, but sometimes she caves in to my demands and later gets to love the imaginative, dystopian, weird worlds I introduce her to. In turn, I get to learn a bit about the real world through her eyes and recommendations – this amazing world I spent far too little time think about.

But I can’t get her to play video games. Continue reading

ESO is dying… Why?

Yesterday, The Sentinel posted an article about ZeniMax letting go about 300 people in the past few months, in Galway, Ireland. This is normal news to read in the video games industry, but what saddens me extremely is that ZeniMax Online Studios are the guys who developed The Elder Scrolls Online, and the customer support for this MMO is located in Galway. Hence my sad prediction. You don’t fire a few hundreds of people from your customer support if they are busy busy working for a growing, thriving persistent online game.

Is The Elder Scrolls Online dying? Continue reading

How Not To Game Dev: 2 examples


Make something of value, and people will pay you for it. That’s a very nice advice best expressed by Richard St. John in this TED talk, which is actually one of my favorites. It is a simple advice, and a very powerful one, because it starts with making, and ends with money, not the other way around.

Game development is, perhaps far more than any other industry, a passion driven production line where I think the most successful games  are those who placed what value they wanted to provide in front of the money the developers wished to make. But there are many who gets the order mixed up, and some of them don’t even realize it.

Here are two examples of game dev stories that make me cringe because of that: Continue reading