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.

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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.

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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. ...
Random Goblin Name Generator Sep 4, 2014 Hi everyone. In these days, me and my friend and colleague at Noctua are working at a new game jam: the SpeccyJam. The goal of this jam is to recreate a game with the same feel and look of an original ZX Spectrum game. We chose to implement a “managerial game” in which the player takes the role of a fantasy blacksmith that have to increase its fame crafting amazing weapons. ...
Back from ECAI 2014 Aug 25, 2014 Hi everyone! I’m back. In the last week I was in Prague to attend to the 21th European Conerence on Artificial Intelligence (a.k.a. ECAI2014). This was my first real academic conference since I started my Ph.D. in the last November. As I said before, conferences are amazing events where I get stressed like never before but, at the end, I come back home super-excited and full of inspirational ideas. Moreover, in these type of events you are surrounded by amazing people that do what you do. ...