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Showing posts from 2013

Winds of change

There has been lots of changes in my life within the last six months, and this blog has received very little attention from me. However, I try to put together what has been happened since my last update.

First of all, I started Game Specialist training program at Tampere University in the end of January. Total of 16 IT professionals were selected, and I was luckily one of them. The main target of the program was to grow participants' skills and knowledge in game design and development, gamification, social media, game industry ecosystem, business fundamentals. Also, hands-on game development projects were major part of the training. 
Training was proceeding at full speed in the beginning of March, when I surprisingly got a job offer from large Finnish telecommunications company: The customer of my previous employer was asking if I was interested to join their team and continue working with the tasks I had "always" been doing. So I was in the point where I had to choose b…

Stop the press! (change to plans)

Last week I heard great news: I was selected to the game specialist training starting in the end of this month!

This 9-month training is arranged by the University of Tampere (Game Research Lab), and it contains lectures, exercises and training projects, as well as a mandatory 4 month internship in some local game company. You won't believe how excited I am! I have been working for this for some time, and now things are moving forward.

I think my original plans concerning this blog need to be revised. I am quite sure that majority of my time will be spent with training program, but I will try to get some time for my hobby projects also. In the best case I might be able to combine them both. Let's see how it goes.

-Jussi

Building blocks of good game

What is important when designing game? Is it the look, gameplay, or systematic way of working and good documentation? I've been thinking these aspecs, while drafting the design document for my first game.

I started diving into the world of video games in mid 1980's, when visual look of games was quite primitive compared to modern games. The limiting factors were the memory and performance, and video game developers had to push the hardware to the limits while implementing unprecedented games. Game development was also less professional at that time, and a motivated hobbyist was able to create a AAA-class commercial game in the corner of his living room (or at least I have been told so :) ). Despite of limited resources, very entertaining and addictive games were produced at those days. For example, C64 had total of 64kbytes of memory and 8-bit CPU running @1MHz and still it was able to run Elite, M.U.L.E, Ultima series, Boulder Dash, International Karate and many many more cl…

Creating a Maze with Blender (or at least try...)

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I started drafting a Maze with Blender to get some visible progress. This is related to the concept document I drafted couple of days before (please see previous blog text).

The elements needed for a board are quite simple: the bottom plate, some walls to implement a maze, and of course holes to increase the difficulty level. There are couple of ways to do this job, but some of them are more feasible than others.

My first idea was to create basic building blocks from cube. The purpose was to design set of blocks and build game board from them. I calculated, that I would need total of 10 different blocks to implement a maze. Here's a concept picture of needed blocks:


So there are hole and non-hole versions for every block.

Creating a cube in Blender is an easy task: just select Add->Mesh->Cube, and that's it.

I moved my cube to the origo (0,0,0), resized it a bit on z-axis, and started to think how to create a hole to it. I have used Blender for couple of animation projec…

Game Concept Document (trial #1)

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Background: I am creating couple of concepts, and then select at least one of them for further development. To get things going, I drafted first concept document to briefly describe a simple maze game.

The game idea for this concept should be familiar at least for Finnish people. Similar kind of a real-life "marble and maze" game is built by company called Brio. The concept document is copied below. I don't know if the initial version covers all required matters, but you are free to comment. Enjoy!
-Jussi

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“I've Lost My Marbles!” The ultimate game with marbles, holes, action and despair.
Many of us have spent hours twisting noddles and trying to get marble to pass the labyrinth without dropping to one of the countless holes of board. “I've Lost My Marbles!” brings traditional board game to the digital world.
The basic idea of the game is …

Introduction

Before I start to document my progress as a wannabe game developer, I want to share few words about myself and my background.

I am "Jussi", a technology multi-talent from Southern Finland. I have graduated with a Master of Science (Eng) at the beginning of this millemium, majoring Digital and Computer Systems. My career as computer HW engineer started in parallel with my university studies, in mid-90's, and I have specialized in ASIC design. My past employers have been large, internationally operating companies on telecommunications and semiconductors business.

Most of my work has been problem solving and writing different scripts for design automation and small utilities needed in design flow. There has also been some other responsibilities, like documentation, Linux system administration, and developing and organizing trainings.

I've been studying game development theory for a while. Currently, I see this as a hobby and I am not doing this full time. My budget is …

Preface

Today, I finally started writing a blog about my game development activities. I have always been interested in playing games, and I have planned to create one (or more) myself.

I am totally a beginner in this area, so it is very likely there will be a lot things I am doing the hard way (and wrong way). But I will document all I can, and I hope that this blog helps someone else to make things easier. :)

Let's see how this starts progressing. 
-Jussi