Global Game Jam 2015 Postmortem Jan 31, 2015

First of all, some time ago I stated that I would like to start writing more. Unfortunately, a combination of personal issues, flu and other psychological breaks did not allow me to respect this promise. But I’ll be back soon. I swear.

Second, it is now time to talk about the game we developed for the Global Game Jam 2015 (and obviously valid as a January entry for my One Game A Month challenge!) I’m very happy with this game also if it is not a real “game” because (little spoiler) it is an online game who require a big amount of users to be interesting. I’ll never have so many users connected at the same time, so it is useless in practice. The good thing is that it was a big technical challenge and to be able to complete everything in less than 30 hours was really exciting. But first things first.

...
The most promising languages of 2015 – Part 2 Jan 11, 2015

UPDATE: There is a new version of this article for 2016!

In the the previous post we have seen what are the general trends of the previous year with regard to the fascinating world of programming languages. To summarize, we can say the there are two strong trends: 1) more functional-inspired elements in programming languages 2) more statically strong typed languages that can be compiled in machine code.

Now, in the current article, I want to list all the languages which have attracted interests in the last years and that represent the implementation of these trends. Obviously, as I said in the previous article, these are not languages on which to bet their careers: these are new trendy languages but the real world does not work on “trends”, but on software, oil, commerce, health care and an hundred of categories in which the actual programming languages are doing great with an huge amount of per-existing codebase.

However, it is nice to explore the “future”, so, let’s take a look.

...
The most promising languages of 2015 – Part 1 Jan 3, 2015

UPDATE: There is a new version of this article for 2016!

At the very beginning of a new year, it is customary to try to predict what will happen in the future. That is the selling point of each big astrology book which pollute bookstores and newsstands in this part of the year.

Personally I’m not a fortune teller, but I think that can be interesting to try to set the route of the new year on the basis of the one just past. Obviously, I do not pretend to talk on every possible kind of events, but for the one I’m interested in, I think I can say something interesting or, at least, start a discussion.

So, let’s try to spend some words on the trends regarding programming languages and software development.

...
One Game A Month – December 2014 Jan 1, 2015

The new year is come, full of good resolutions and appealing feelings of renovation. For my part I have two main target. The first one is to write a bit more. I always feel that I have a lot to say but, for some reason, I usually get stuck in a kind of writer’s block every time I finally found time for writing. So, because the only way to beat a writer’s block is to write, and write and write, I decided to spend at least January into a more strict scheduling. Maybe there will be a good impact in the blog post frequency too.

The second “resolution” is to beat the One Game A Month challenge for 2015. The goal is to complete a game each month. You don’t have to realize the full game in one month, you just have to complete and release it. I think it is a nice opportunity to challenge myself on some specific game development aspect while forcing some deadline (that is always a good thing).

However, taking advantage of the Ludum Dare jam on December, I started this challenge a bit in advance. :) So, now I’m going to do short post-analysis of my game for the previous month.

...
LowPoly in Blender Dec 2, 2014 Recently I started exploring the low poly modeling in Blender. Well, there is this guy on youtube that is simply amazing. I really love his work and I’d suggest to watch his tutorials. For now I just leave here an appetizer.
On developer anxiety Nov 24, 2014 You are finally back home. During your work day your mind was totally a volcano of creativity. You have so many cool ideas to implement (or at least to sketch). You go to your machine and you start to thing to the technical details. Many questions reach your mind. Maybe too many. Is it better to use Python or Haskell, or maybe C++? I have to start implementing my game prototype with Unity or with some other engine? ...
Random Maps with Cellular Automata Nov 13, 2014 In the spirit of the ProcJam2014 (that unfortunately I have to skip because of a ton of academic duties :<) I’m presenting to you a simple algorithm to generate maps: the cellular automata generator. In particular, cellular automata are very well suited for cave-like environment and, in general, natural maps. It works both in 2D than in 3D and can be easily implemented in no more than 20 minutes. From the theoretical point of view, a cellular automata is a discrete model that consist in a regular grid of cells. ...
Towards the ProcJam 2014 Oct 30, 2014 Procedural Contents Generation (PCG) is a family of techniques, algorithms and procedures used for generating contents in an automatic way rather than manually. In other words, using PCG, game contents can be created by the host computer instead of pre-design everything at development time. In recent years, PCG is having an increasing popularity among the academic and game development communities. There are two big reasons behind this success: first, it allow the designer to generate an near-infinite amount of contents without the effort of manually design each element by hand (and that’s why the indie scene love PCG), second it increase the game longevity and replayability value of the game (because, for instance, the game it is always different after each run and so it can be replayed more). ...
Back from AIIDE 2014 Oct 18, 2014 Hi everyone! Sorry for the long absence but my days are really full of commitments and terrible news. It is still not over, but but I really need write about something before is too late. :) During the last 3th-7th October, the tenth conference on Artificial Intelligence for Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE) was held in Raleigh (North Carolina, USA). It was a very interesting conference on AI and games stuff and I am really happy to have joined such amazing things. ...
Speccy Jam 2014 Postmortem Sep 8, 2014 As I said in a previous post, in these days me and my colleague at Noctua were working in the SpeccyJam 2014. The goal of the jam/competition is to make a game with the same look and feel of an original ZX Spectrum game. This introduces a lot of interesting limitations. First, it constrains our resolution to 256 × 192 (that is, however, a really big improvement respect to the LowRezJam :D), second it forces us to use only 15 colors. ...