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CUDA-Z 0.10.251 released

August 02, 2015 07:15 AM

CUDA-Z 0.10.251 is out at 2015.07.31.

What's new
 * Use CUDA run-time 6.5;
* Add export to clipboard;
* 64-bit integer performance test;
* Improved missing CUDA error...

Gamasutra Feature Articles

How I recreated the hallway from P.T. in Unity

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Get a job: Square Enix is seeking programmers for its Tokyo studio

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GameDevTweets: A week's worth of what your peers are saying

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What brings a virtual city to life?

July 31, 2015 07:50 PM

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Geeks3D Forums

Microsoft Windows 10 SDK RTM

July 31, 2015 07:46 PM

Windows 10 SDK RTM

Last week saw the release of the final version of VS 2015, ...

Intel - Using OpenCL™ 2.0 Read-Write Images

July 31, 2015 07:01 PM

Using OpenCL™ 2.0 Read-Write Images

While Image convolution is not as effective with the new Read-Write images functionality, any image processing technique that nee...

Gamasutra Feature Articles

Red Ash Kickstarter loses thousands in a day as publisher steps up

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Ex-Blizzard creative chief Pardo: The quote-unquote 'MMO' is over

July 31, 2015 06:14 PM

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Pursuing positivity: A personal game-making journey

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"Making a dream come true is constant and hard work… and absolutely thrilling. We hope you're able to make use of this article to benefit your own journey." ...

Sega bleeds money, mostly from its gambling machines biz

July 31, 2015 06:02 PM

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Epic Games boss: Augmented reality is all you need

July 31, 2015 05:37 PM

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Retro RPG aspirations: The story behind procedural game Malevolence

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2016 Independent Games Festival opens call for submissions

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Two surprising years as a bootstrapping indie publisher

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Using a 'razor' to make a lean, focused game

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Sponsored: Visual Studio Code - The ultimate starter guide for game developers

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During Build, Microsoft released a brand new code editor called "Visual Studio Code"! In this post I will go over what it is, what it isn& #146;t, and how you can use it with your Unity and/or Corona projects. ...

Game From Scratch

Fresh Install… the Essential Applications

by at July 30, 2015 08:42 PM


My primary laptop was misbehaving in so many ways I was about ready to do a complete re-install.  It was randomly turning itself on from hibernate for example, which lead to an overheating and half dead laptop half the time I got to where I was going.  Fortunately the Windows 10 release was on the horizon, so I figured I would be doing a fresh install then anyways, so I held off.  Now that I’ve finish the upgrade ( Windows 10 rocks btw… ), I’ve noticed that I have my essential programs that get installed right away on a fresh install.  The following are my go to programs on a fresh install.


Keep in mind, a lot of my needs also focus on blogging/writing in addition to game development, so if some of these have you scratching your head, that’s why!  I am also not completely up and running yet either, so this isn’t by any means a complete list of the tools I used, just the priority stuff I cant live without.


Dropbox To be honest, I think the client is starting to cause issues with both stability and battery life.  At the end of the day though, this IS my file system these days.  Thanks to Dropbox, I can be up and running productively on a new machine in a matter of hours, tops.  Plus, and I totally know you shouldn’t do this… but it’s a great poor mans version control Smile


7zip  Swiss army knife free archiving tool, all I ever need for all my compression needs.


Steam It’s where my games are.  This gets installed early as there’s about 1TB of games in there to download.  It’s kind of nice having all of my games in one spot, makes reinstalls a breeze.  I do hate the constant updates and the CPU hogging that are becoming more and more common though.


Visual Studio 2015 Community  The Windows based IDE, C++, C#, F# all in one home, also thankfully now free in a small developer environment.  I had great timing here, as the torch was just passed between Visual Studio 2013 and 2015, hopefully saving me about 15GB of drive space.  Hopefully.


SublimeText  My go to text editor.  This or Notepad++, I flip back and forth.  I go with the beta version 3 as I like living dangerously.


Blender  Free and comprehensive 3D graphics package


Paint.Net  Free 2D image app.  Not the most powerful image editor out there, but certainly a capable one, especially for the price.  My go to app for resizing and cleaning up images.


Java SE JDK  Even if I’m not working with LibGDX or Android right now, it’s enevitable I am going to have to install the JDK eventually so might as well do it now.  Normally go with Java 7, but trying 8 this time, mostly because Oracle made 7 enough of a pain in the ass to find.  Have a sinking feeling I am going to have to download Java 7 at some point in the near future.


IntelliJ IDEA  Speaking of Java, this is my Java IDE of choice.  Also my Lua and Haxe IDE of choice while we are at it.


WebStorm  While I’m on JetBrain’s site, I also grab WebStorm, my HTML5 IDE of choice.  I subscribe to this, 50$ a year I think.  Well worth it.


Windows Live Writer  Part of Windows Essentials.  It’s the software I do my Windows based blogging on, what I am typing this in as we speak.  Sadly discontinued in 2012, as it’s still the best software for blogging available IMHO.


FastStone Capture  I bought this app like 6 years ago for 20$ and I love it to death.  It’s my screenshot/markup/video capture go to application.


Camtasia Studio  When I started producing video I tried so hard to find a free alternative.  They sucked, every single one of them.  Camtasia has a price tag attached and some glaring faults ( no on screen keyboard display??? ), it’s still the best video capture/editing package on the market.


GifCam  I make a lot of animated gifs for tutorials and this little free app ROCKS.  I used to use a much more complicated process, now I just use this.  Creates high quality but small filesize images.  Highly recommended.


Highlight  I’ve tried all sorts of different approaches to creating marked up code for books and blogs and Highlight has been hands down my favourite.  Oh, it’s free too!


Scrivener  This is my primary book authoring software, and as time goes on I will mix my book and blog workflow into a single entity and this will be home.  It’s a tool for writers and really takes a bit to get used to, but once it clicks… it clicks.  Honestly though the Windows version is only so-so.  It’s the Mac version that shines.


What I haven’t installed:

A Browser.  Normally Chrome would be item number 1 on a new install.  Thing is, Chrome has gotten worse, a lot worse.  Microsoft Edge however… check it out, really, do.  I did however disable Bing after about 30 seconds…

A Mail Client.  I’m giving the new Windows 10 mail client a go.  Actually pretty impressed so far.  Normally I use MailBird.  If I dont like Windows 10 mail I will go back to Mailbird.

Microsoft Office.  I have a license, and will eventually need to install it, at least Word, but I try to put it off as long as possible. 


What I’ve not mentioned:

Game Engines.  I also install game engines… LibGDX, Unity, Stencyl, Unreal, Paradox3D, etc…  These vary based on the tutorials I am currently working on however, so I don’t include them, although they are certainly essential.  The cool part is, pretty much every single one of them is free.


Honourable mentions:

Krita or GIMP – 2d painting

Inkscape – Vector Graphics

Visual Studio Code – Sublime Text like editor, fairly new but becoming a bigger and bigger fan



It’s actually kind of cool if you look through this list just how low the total price tag actually is.  The amount of stuff I need to install is actually getting smaller and smaller too, thanks to more and more functionality being move to the web.

Game Design Aspect of the Month

Lost in Game Space

by (Sande Chen) at July 30, 2015 07:32 PM

In this article, game designer Sande Chen describes certain game deficiencies that lead to player frustration and how better storytelling may provide the solution for one of the problems.

In the past few years, I have served as a judge for multiple game festivals and competitions. There are several reasons why some games don't make the cut.  Beyond the technical complications of not being able to get a game running, I find a similar failing may be in not having a strong enough tutorial, i.e. a player shouldn't be confused about how to play a game.  Struggling with controls or an interface is just frustrating and not the experience you want for a first-time player.  I recall there's an infamous transcript of a WWII Online player griping that it was easier flying a plane in World War II than trying to do the same in a game!

In other games, I find a beautiful world that I would like to explore, but I am directionless as to what would be my goal.  Free-form exploration and self-direction are fine as long as there's enough interesting content to support it indefinitely.  In most cases, due to production costs, this is simply not true.  Therefore, there needs to be a way to guide the player to the more interesting content rather than leaving the player to trod through the same loop of scenery.

A prehistoric storyteller describes a hunt.

Luckily, stories provide context and player motivation.  If I know I have to find a way off the island, then I'm not going to spend my time admiring sparkly fish.  Moreover, human beings crave stories.  Even in prehistoric times, cave dwellers conveyed tales of great hunts.  Stories tell us about ourselves and the human condition.

In this age of game making, it might seem like emergence or AI is the solution, but it's not enough.  Emergent stories could be interesting, but they could also be not interesting.  As Alex Toplansky said at the panel, Writing for Horror Video Games, even in systemic games, "a writer needs to come in and stack the dice."  Dramatic storytelling, whether linear or non-linear, is a crafted experience.   

As for AI, while there have been advances in computer algorithms generating stories, poetry, and news articles, sometimes a human touch is warranted.  To escape the redundancy of randomly generated "Rescue X at location Y" quests, players of the now-defunct The Matrix Online banded together to create an epic storyline that gave their characters more motivation.  While the quests did give the players specific goals to complete, the randomness did not generate an interesting story for players.

What's the lesson here?  As I have written in my article, Towards More Meaningful Games, don't leave your narrative design choices to chance.  Yes, a game still needs to feel open enough to allow for meaningful player choices but that doesn't mean that players should be left confused as to what they ought be doing.

Sande Chen is a writer and game designer whose work has spanned 10 years in the industry. Her credits include 1999 IGF winner Terminus, 2007 PC RPG of the Year The Witcher, and Wizard 101. She is one of the founding members of the IGDA Game Design SIG.

Geeks3D Forums

Microsoft Direct3D 12 programming guide

July 30, 2015 06:39 PM

[Some information relates to pre-released product which may be substantially modified before it's commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.]