Summer Slam

Hey folks,

Well, first off let me apologize for not posting more often over the summer.  It’s actually turned out to be quite a bit busier than I anticipated.  Between friends, activities, and work, it’s been very, very hectic.

Many of you know I took a job over the summer teaching kids basic programming skills as part of a DigiPen summer camp/outreach program.  Although it has been a good experience, I can definitely say I honestly don’t know how teachers survive the school year!  I’ve taught for four weeks now, and every single week has ended up being exhausting!  The particular program I worked with was a strange summer camp/summer school hybrid that required myself and fellow teachers/TAs to grade assignments and submit those to the local school system...

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Seattle Summer

Well folks, it’s just about that time – the start of Summer in WA, and I have to say, I’m pretty excited.  Even though it is June, the temperature is in the high 60s to low 70s and supposed to stay that way for a while.  And despite Seattle’s reputation, it’s been one beautiful day after the next.

Even without the fantastic weather, the last few weeks have been action-packed, with lots of great things happening!

First things first, I was honored to win one of two scholarships in the first annual Vandelay Web Future of Technology Essay Contest!  If you’re interested, you can check out Vandelay Web and see my essay here.  You may or may not agree with my points, but I’d love to hear your feedback on it.  Thanks again to Mark Runyon and Vandelay Web for the great honor!

And while that al...

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Author Interview: Rori Shay!

Hey Everyone,

I’ve got a special treat for all of you today, an interview with fellow author and friend Rori Shay!

headshot_Rori_Shay

I first met Rori a couple of years ago at an SCBWI  conference  during a  critique session.  We’ve been helping each other with our  writing ever  since.  Rori has just released her first book,  Elected,  and is  promoting the rest of her series through kickstarter.  By  going to  kickstarter, you can check out her book, and pick up a  copy for only  $5!  If you contribute, and the kickstarter meets its  stretch goals, you  can get a copy of several other books, including  Book I of  The Phoenix Fallacy, for free!

 For all you readers out there, Elected is a sci-fi novel about a girl  named Aloy who is forced to masquerade as a man in order to help  her...

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One Year Down…

Well folks, one year at DigiPen is in the record books.

It’s been a busy year, but a good one.  I’ve learned an incredible amount about programming and design, and seen first hand how much it takes to put together even the smallest game project.  On that note, you can check out a brief trailer video for Skirmish below (video has music and sound – fullscreen suggested):

The game really came together nicely for such a short development cycle with a bunch of people who, honestly, had no idea what they were doing at the start of the semester!  A lot of our players have commented on how fun Skrimish is to play, and if you’re interested in trying it out, you’ll be able to download it at the DigiPen game gallery very soon.

In related news, while I wasn’t working on my own game, I had a chan...

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A long time coming…

Hey folks,

It’s been a long while since my last post!  Sorry about that.  I was going to post last week, but ended up getting sick with a nasty cold and I’ve been playing catch up ever since.  On that note, I just wanted to announce that this blog will be going to a monthly format, at least while school is in session.  This semester has simply been far too busy to produce a quality post every week, and I’d like to have an established time where each of you can reliably find content.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be posts more frequently than that, but I want to establish the fact that it will be at least once a month.

Now that that’s all settled, let’s dive right in:

First off, I keep saying how busy I am with school, but I haven’t posted an update to my game in a while, so let me sh...

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No Post This Week!

Other than a quick movie and dinner with friends Saturday night, I spent most of the weekend studying for midterms and working on my game.  No post this week – updates next week!

Jon

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Games of all kinds…

Hey folks,

It’s been a busy few weeks around here, and ironically, most of what I’ve been tied up in is various games.  First and foremost, our game project for the semester, Skirmish, has been eating up a most of my time.  After several weeks of beating our team’s collective heads against the wall trying to get various processes to work, though, we had some real breakthroughs today, which is making me very happy!

As I mentioned before, Skirmish is tactical artillery game about destroying the terrain and the other players before they can do the same to you.  The idea is to use the terrain destruction strategically, along with a variety of weapons, to ensure victory...

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No post this week!

Hey folks,

It was an action packed weekend these past few days, but unfortunately, it was a little too action packed!  No post this week!

Congrats to the Seahawks for their win!

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Skirmish!

Hey folks,

It’s incredible that another week has already gone by.  Before coming to DigiPen, I was told that each subsequent semester for the first two years would be harder than the last.  All I can say is that I definitely believe it!

And while all of my classes have become more demanding, the most nerve-wracking one is definitely our GAM150 class:  We’re programming our games in C from scratch this semester (well, almost, as I’ll explain in a moment).

Last semester we used a game engine called Zero to build our game.  This is a very common practice, and many games from small developers are made using independent game engines that do a great deal of the underlying ‘heavy lifting’ for you...

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Starting Off In A Flurry!

Hey folks,

It’s been a while since my last post, and I apologize about that, but everything has been so busy recently that I finally just had to sit down and take some time to write!

First off, you didn’t get caught in the polar vortex while it was swirling about, did you?  I had some delays on my flight back from Florida, but nothing too severe.  More than a few students, however, were caught on the East Coast and missed the first week of school.  For one of my busiest Christmases in a very long time, it seemed appropriate that it chose now to appear, so I’m glad I didn’t get caught more severely in it.

On the subject of Christmas, since I haven’t actually posted since then, I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday.  Mine was packed, but still fun...

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