Archive for April, 2008

Coffee Morning

Posted in Links from the In-tar-web, Tales from the grind-stone on April 26th, 2008 by MrCranky

Aleks from The Guardian Tech Weekly

Quick rule of thumb for anyone wanting to court Scottish games (or regular) developers: If you promise coffee and/or breakfast, make sure 1) the coffee doesn’t run out, and 2) the breakfast consists of carbohydrates. And no, chocolate Hob Nobs don’t count as breakfast. Bonus points for the saw player though, she was good, and it was a suitably random intermission!

Some pictures from the mingling here. I’m not in any of them thankfully, as I was somewhat hung over (and the short supply of coffee wasn’t doing anything to help matters), but you can spot Mr Baglow of Indoctrimat/SG.biz and Andrew Richards of CodePlay in the background of one picture at least. Still, some interesting mingling and people to meet, including the folks from Glasgow-based WeeWorld and some other small local developers who I didn’t know existed.

Why the games industry is having trouble

Posted in Tales from the grind-stone on April 8th, 2008 by MrCranky

Interesting article here from the Rampant Coyote; also on our blog-roll, so I thought I’d jump them up the order. Basically it is bemoaning the fact that games developers are in a losing business right now. Well, those who are in the traditional publisher-fronts-all-money-as-advance-against-sales model are at least. I wouldn’t like to speculate on whether or not other developers are profitable or not, but the sales input versus development costs mis-match is something I’ve harped on about here before.

Rampant Games itself is an indie games portal/developer, with a wide range of games, all developed by independents. I haven’t actually played any of the games I must admit, but I still cheer for independent developers who stake out their territory and do well there. The blog is a mix of opinion pieces and development stories, but personally I like it for the in-depth coverage of the progress of their new game (Frayed Knights), which looks quite fun and is just entering the beta stage now.

Japanmanship

Posted in Tales from the grind-stone on April 4th, 2008 by MrCranky

JC Barnett‘s Japanmanship is our next link from the side-bar. One of the more widely read developer blogs, not just because the content is funny and insightful, but also because it’s one of the few insights that western developers can get into the sometimes impenetrable world that is Japanese games development.

It seems that although a few hardy souls have emigrated to Japan for development jobs, it’s still very hard to get accepted there. Personally I don’t see the appeal, especially given the way that foreigners get treated by the natives, but there’s no denying that Japan has always been a significant centre of gaming. The fact that western developers are generally unable to sell significant numbers of games (or consoles, in Microsoft’s case) is indicative of the culture mismatch between us that even these days of globalisation hasn’t diminished.

Regardless, the blog is a good read, and mixes tales of life of a gaijin in Japan with gaming chat and insight. Particularly funny to read are the tales of passive (and not so passive) combat on the subway.

WordPress 2.5

Posted in Tales from the grind-stone on April 3rd, 2008 by MrCranky

Wordpress

So, despite the fact that the blog looks no different on the surface, we are actually running on WordPress 2.5 now – the latest and greatest update to the blogging software. The Control Panel in which I write all the posts now looks radically different though, it looks much snazzier and dare I say it more “Web 2.0″. Which of course is a farce, as what I really wanted was something that was fast and slick and quick to use, rather than shiny with rounded corners and draggable buttons. Still, it does the job, so I’ll stop being so cranky now.


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