Archive for the ‘Video Game’ Category

Listen in as the Development Team of ‘Elder Scrolls Online’ Discuss Gameplay Strategy

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Would you rather play a game by yourself or be part of a group effort? ‘Elder Scrolls Online’ hopes you choose the latter and their game design team was tasked with motivating gamers on their MMO to play with others.

Paul Sage, Creative Director; Nick Konkle, Lead Game Play Designer and Dan Crenshaw, Dungeon Lead talk about the strategies they used and challenges they faced to achieve their goal in this article in GameInformer. Some of the game incentives offered to players include the ability to teleport to join your team and creating foes that are too strong for a single player to defeat. Their discussions take place as voice-overs during scenes from the game.

What strategies would you use to encourage multiple players in a game?

How One Man Built a Video Game to Pop the Question

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

What happens when guy video gamer meets girl video gamer and they fall in love? The guy, Robert Fink, makes a video game to ask his beloved, Angel White, to marry him. In this article in Yahoo Shine, he said that the task took about 5 months to complete and he discovered that the hardest part was keeping the project a secret.

In the game, dubbed “Knight Man,” a dashing white knight attempts to save a princess by completing a series of challenges. Each successful challenge helps him build a golden ring that, in turn, unlocks the castle, where the princess is frozen in a crystal.

Try out the game here and let us know what you think.

One Game Programmer’s Journey

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Tommy Refenes remembers his days as an aspiring video game designer and the myriad of questions he had about how to get started. Following a particularly inspirational presentation, he wrote the featured game designer a long email filled with his thoughts and questions. Sadly he never heard back from the designer.

Through trial and error he eventually learned his craft and in May 2006 Tommy founded PillowFort and created “Goo!.” The game earned an IGF Technical Excellence nomination, grand prize in the 2008 Intel Game Demo contest for Best Threaded Game and finished 3rd for Best Game on Intel Graphics. He is best known for “Super Meat Boy.”

Now he is in the position of master game maker and the recipient of those ‘how-to’ questions. He says that the two most asked questions are, ‘How do I get started?’ and ‘What programming language should I use?’ In this article in Gamasutra, he attempts to answer these and other questions.

  • Everything starts out at the very most basic level and builds up from there. Breaking your game down into small pieces forces you to analyze and evaluate your ideas on a deeper level.
  • When it comes to programming languages he suggests that you stick to what you know, or go the easiest most comfortable route possible to acquiring skills to start work on your game. So if you know a little Flash, use Flash, if you use C++, use C++, if you only use Java, then use Java.
  • The article also covers using books and tutorials as learning aids, what software he has used, how he stays motivated during the development process, steps to get your game on various platforms and how to deal with a lack of audience interest in the game you build.

Send us your questions about how to get started as a game programmer or visit our website to learn more about earning a BS in Game Design Engineering.

What Does the Game Design Manager Say?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Screen shot from the video.

At Cogswell College we focus on learning by doing. While we don’t ignore the theory and principles behind a process, we don’t feel the learning is complete until you’ve actually undertaken a project and put the new skills to use.

The Fall Semester ‘Project Management’ class had to break up into teams and then develop promotional materials that would introduce people to one of Cogswell’s majors. The goal of the mid-term project’s assignment was for the collateral developed to interest people in becoming students at Cogswell. In order to successfully complete the project, students had to organize, assign tasks, set up a timetable, deliver the project and then evaluate their results.

“I wanted the finished piece to show the pride they take in their education, why they are excited about what they are doing and what they are about as students,” said Albert Chen, faculty for the class. “The assignment definitely reinforced the skills they learned during the class.”

This short video highlighting Cogswell’s Digital Media Management degree program and its Game Design & Business Modeling major was completed in two weeks by a team of six students. The students who worked on the project are: Vincent Velo, Andrew Traxler, Eric Tran, Frank Maddox, Oleksandra Keehl and Halsey Herms.

Games Made by Committee – Oh, My!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Here’s a humorous look at the way a game design plan put together by a committee might pencil out. Apparently, the old adage that too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the stew, also applies to other things in life – including implementing the amazing game design you first envisioned.

Maybe if they had gone through Cogswell’s Digital Media Management program majoring in Game Design & Business Modeling, the game might have come together differently.

Have you ever designed by committee? How did that project work out?

The Making of Assassins Creed III: Origins

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

If you are a fan of the Assassins Creed series and want to learn more about how the developers decide how to keep each new installment fresh, then this cool behind-the-scenes video offers some intriguing insights. Listen to the team members talk about how they envisioned reinventing the experience.

If you have played AC III, do you think the achieved what they wanted to with this game?

Famed Game Designer, Brenda Romero, Visited Cogswell College

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Yesterday award-winning game designer, artist, writer & creative director, Brenda Romero,  gave her IndieTalk, “Jiro Dreams of Game Design.” The talked was inspired by the movie, “Jiro Dreams of Shushi.”

If you ever wondered what a 3 star Michelin Chef can teach you about game design, well Brenda Romero has an answer. Even if you never wondered – Brenda’s talk was well worth listening to.

Brenda had been making games for Facebook where the mentality was to create minimum viable products. This approach meant that you expected to fix bugs and then add features as you discovered what players really wanted. You did not expect to ship, or strive for, a great game. In the real-world producers don’t say, “let’s make this game great so take all the time you want.” In the real-world the goal is to deliver games on time and on budget.

One of her personal projects was “Trains” – where every single decision mattered as she labored to make a game that was as good as she could make it. She had the luxury of time and never put in something to just to make the game work. She could wait until the right decision appeared.

She wondered what made some things great and others not. Then she came across asparagus – one perfectly prepared, perfectly decorated and perfectly presented plate of asparagus. She realized that a fully designed experience is the foundation of greatness.

Following are some of the things she learned from studying this 3 star group of chefs:

  • Great ideas – you can never rest on your laurels.
  • Great Ingredients – start with the best you can get. You will spend more time managing failures than successes.
  • Think in terms of shipping constantly – great chefs ‘ship’ 10,000 items during their lifetime while a game designer may only ship 100. Polish and perfect every step of the way.
  • Consistency – a chef must deliver every night.

Brenda will be presenting her talk at the upcoming GDC next spring.

Some Nutty Game Ideas that Should See the Light of Day

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The Twitter doppelganger of Peter Molyneux

This wistful and witty article by Kirk Hamilton in Kotaku presents 10 Amazing Peter Molydeux (the mad twitter doppelgänger of famed game designer, Peter Molyneux) ideas that need to become games right now.

Here are two of the ‘fake’ twitter posts ideas:

-Imagine if in new Guitar Hero you play as a busker, you witness your city evolve as your music changes the decisions of the people around you.

-3D adventure game where you have amnesia and wake up in a gigantic museum where every room is devoted to a year of your life.

Which of these ideas would you like to see turned into a game?

Brenda Romero to Speak at Cogswell

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Cogswell College is pleased to welcome award-winning game designer, artist, writer and creative director, Brenda Romero, to campus on Thursday, November 14. During this student only event she will be giving her IndieCade talk entitled:  “Jiro Dreams of Game Design” from 12:30 to 1:30 in the Dragon’s Den.

During her presentation, Brenda will talk about the traits that three-star chefs share and the lessons game designers can learn from them. From early on in the careers, three-star Michelin chefs – a rarified 106 in the world at present – have a nearly tyrannical hold on their kitchens. They insist on perfection in every ingredient, in temperature, in presentation and in accompaniment. From the first to the last impression, every part of a perfect culinary experience is an obsession so many chase and so few achieve. Interestingly enough, it is something they do because they are driven to, not for money or fame, but because of the pursuit of perfection itself. It is a passion many of us share and struggle to achieve in a world where shipping a game often means compromising on our ideal vision.

About Brenda Romero

Brenda entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She is the longest continuously serving woman in the video game industry. Brenda worked with a variety of digital game companies as a game designer or creative director, including Atari, Sir-tech Software, Electronic Arts and numerous companies in the social and mobile space. She is presently the Program Director for the UC Santa Cruz Master’s in Games + Playable Media and the Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer of Loot Drop, a social and mobile game company. Brenda serves on the advisory board of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play and also works with John Romero and The Romero Archives to record game designers discussing their game design process for historical archiving.

She is the recipient of the 2013 Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by Microsoft and previously was a nominee in Microsoft’s 2010 Women in Games game design award. Romero was also named one of Forbes “12 Women in Gaming to Watch” in 2013 and Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010, one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.

David Kim of Animoca Discusses Challenges of Getting Your App Discovered

Monday, October 28th, 2013

In this short video clip from Devsbuildit, David Kim of Animoca discusses his company and how developers can stand out from the rest of the crowd.  Some of his tips include:

  • Even though we operate in a global marketplace, your global needs a local focus.
  • The best indicator of success is to know your audience.
  • The industry has seen an attitude switch from just ‘getting eyeballs on your game’ to ‘how do I make money.’
  • He has seen a tendency for companies to rely on their brands’ popularity rather than the quality of the product being developed.

What do you think is the most important thing you can do to make sure your intended audience finds your game?