A quick run through of the programs and tools I commonly use to develop games and related content such as art assets and videos (like this one). All are free, and many are open source.
My first attempt at a game development vlog, starting with an idea for a city building game that focuses on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation.
It’s not very often that I get the urge to write about a book on economics, but Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist is too interesting to miss out on. It’s a fascinating and thoroughly readable book by Kate Raworth which argues … Read More
Two months ago I left my job at Playtonic Games and for all intents and purposes my career in the (mainstream) games industry. Why did I leave behind the dream career I’ve been building for more than seven years? Lots of reasons. But the main gist was … Read More
Friday was a very surreal day. It was an utterly heartbreaking day. I spent much of it in an almost dreamlike daze. I honestly hadn’t expected to be hit so hard by the result of the EU referendum, and I … Read More
Trees for Life (TFL) is “Scotland’s leading conservation volunteering charity,” working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands. The forest once covered vast areas of the Highlands, but has suffered from massive deforestation and overgrazing by deer and … Read More
Prior to my Dear Rare post I hadn’t published a new blog post in nearly three years. I’ve been updating my portfolio intermittently but I’ve been meaning to breathe some new life into this site for a while. And now … Read More
Dear Rare, It is with a heavy heart that I pen my final correspondence to you. After a total of more than three years here, today marks my last jaunt across your picturesque landscapes. I’ve had a ridiculous run during … Read More
I recently took the plunge and upgraded to Windows 8, primarily so that I can develop an App for the soon-to-be-launched Windows Store. I’m going to be using C++/CX and DirectX 11 (and probably XAML) with Visual Studio 2012 as … Read More
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy that was designed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s to boost productivity. According to the technique’s official website it is now practised by “professional teams and individuals around the world.” It’s simple, … Read More
How’s that for a grandiose title, eh? Hopefully it’s not an entirely unassailable goal for the following blog post, though. At the time of writing I am approximately halfway through a yearlong software internship at Rare where I’ve been working … Read More
Unbeknownst to me ’till recently, Google provides an excellent (and free) introductory class for learning Python, which you can find right here. I found the link via Reddit and decided that after a solid week of reaping the benefits of … Read More
Since my last update Escape from Alcatraz update I have implemented rudimentary conversation and inventory systems, both of which make exclusive use of Flash and Scaleform for their visual components.
As part of my Introduction to 3D Graphics Programming module on the second year of Computer Games Programming at Derby University I am developing a 3D software renderer using C++. At its core the renderer’s purpose is to take a … Read More
It’s been a few weeks since my last Escape from Alcatraz update, during which time I have implemented a camera system based on multiple fixed cameras, and point-and-click movement with navigation mesh pathfinding.
The second year of Computer Games Programming at Derby University has begun, and as part of my Game Development Techniques module I am developing a point-and-click adventure game using the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) and Unreal Engine 3. The game, … Read More
A big part of the Alien Swarm mod I’m working on is spawning aliens so that they attack in massive waves, rather than in response to triggers set off by the player. Luckily for me, the game’s SDK already includes … Read More
Alien Swarm assets including models are all packaged into VPK (“Valve Pak”) files and cannot be accessed manually unless they are extracted with a tool such as Gibbed’s VPK Extractor. Packaged models should be viewable with the Model Viewer but … Read More
Ninja Vikings with Claws (an indie game developer founded by myself and other students on my course) has started work on a modification of Valve’s freely available co-operative shooter Alien Swarm, and I’ve decided to document the development process.
This year’s Develop conference in Brighton took place last month (July 14-15, 2010) and, while access to the conference itself carried a pretty hefty price tag, the expo that ran alongside it was free for anyone to attend. Headline-grabbing keynotes … Read More
Harmonia was designed to be an asynchronous co-operative game for the Xbox 360.
While working with the separating axis theorem in a 2D XNA project, I started looking at ways to generate a tight-fitting convex hull around a sprite in order to implement more accurate collision detection than I would be able to … Read More
As described on MSDN, drawing lines and other 3D Primitives with XNA involves defining vertices in world space, setting up an Effect, applying view and projection transformations, and finally making a call to the graphics card with a DrawUserPrimitives (or … Read More
To promote BioShock 2, 2K Games recently circulated a letter purportedly written by one Mark Meltzer – a potential new in-game character who is in search of his lost daughter – requesting that people travel to one of ten listed … Read More
The following is based on Part I of Stromcode’s excellent Modelling for XNA with Blender series, which details how to create a basic UV textured 3D model in Blender and export it as an .fbx file for use in XNA.
I’m a big fan of both Firefox and Opera, but it’s fair to say that Firefox is the more customisable of the two. The wealth of freely available add-ons is staggering, easily blowing Opera’s Widgets out of the water. Nevertheless, … Read More
What do Boney M, The Seekers, a seventeenth century Cossack leader, and the Twilight Zone all have in common? Not a great deal, to be fair, but more than you might expect!
Hello there — my name is Karn Spydar Lee Bianco and this is my blog. I’m currently studying Computer Games Programming at Derby University in addition to writing for various games publications under the guise of a freelance journalist. Topics of discussion will … Read More