The state of GUI libraries for game development

I find myself complaining a lot about the GUI systems that are designed for game use, rather than for typical desktop apps. For some reason or other, they all seem to fall short in one or more ways. Part of this is perhaps a quest for optimal performance, but I suspect a lot of it…


The Haxe Programming Language

This is just a quick post regarding my experiences using the Haxe programming language over the last couple of days to make a simple 2D game. On the surface Haxe looks like a great tool, being a language that allows you to write the code once and then deploy to a number of platforms, including…


Totally Dishonored, Slightly Disappointed

So, I just finished Dishonored, and I must confess to feeling a little disappointed. So much so that I’m driven to write about it. (Some minor spoilers below.) But, I should probably start off by saying there is a lot that is great about this game. The characters are interesting, the setting is novel, the…


Video games vs books, or, how not to run a retail operation

As many will know, earlier this year the UK video game retailer GAME filed for administration, which to the uninitiated basically means it ran out of money. This is after a year that should have been great for such a retailer, given that we saw the release of Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim, LA Noire, Deus…


Steam ‘Greenlight’ and the $100 fee controversy

Continuing on the Valve theme… Today’s controversial game development news is that Valve have decided to charge $100 to developers who wish to submit games for approval via their Greenlight system. This is not to cover costs, but to ‘cut down the noise in the system’, ie.¬†people submitting other people’s games, unfinished games, or things…


Thoughts on Valve’s plans

Valve have made a profound impact on the PC gaming market since they launched Steam. They have roughly half the PC digital game distribution market, they offer more games for under ¬£4 than my local branch of GAME offers at any price, and they have up to 4 million users online at peak times. But…


In defence of Metacritic scores

Back in March it was reported that Obsidian Entertainment missed out on a bonus payment from their publisher Bethesda when their game Fallout: New Vegas narrowly failed to score 85 points on the Metacritic scoring system, which aggregates game ratings from a variety of sources to form an overall score. There was some discussion over…


A quick thought about software usabililty

I wanted to install an update to some of my music software today, on Windows XP. Here’s the story. I found out about the update via email, because there is no single place to find out about updated software. Obviously Windows isn’t a closed ecosystem so a single update point might be an unreasonable thing…


Initial thoughts on Google Plus

I appear to be somewhat unusual among my professional colleagues in being a big Facebook user; I think this is mostly because most of my friends are younger than me, typically in the 18 to 25 age range, a demographic who never really knew an internet before social networking, and who rely on Facebook for…


The 10 Games You Should Have Played

This is a belated response to Brian’s post (which is a response to Adam’s post).I’m going to speak as a designer rather than a gamer, and list some titles which I think teach us something about game design rather than necessarily being the best gaming experiences available. Yet I accept they are biased towards my…