Online Game Development

All aspects of Online Game Development, including genres, monetization, technical aspects such as hosting, servers, clients, and programming

How Shaders Can Render Awesome 3-D Graphics

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Creating 3-D graphics involves more than just creating objects — you also have to tell the GPU how to best render them. To do that, you use shaders. Shaders are computer programs that are run on graphics processor units (GPUs) when 3-D images are rendered, that rapidly calculate colors, lighting and special effects. Here’s how it works: The Graphics Pipeline Graphics processing units run a pipeline of processing stages with instructions — compiled shader software — and geometry data. The… continue…

Using Microsoft’s OneNote as a Creative Tool

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For many years I designed games, projects, to-do lists, and more using Wiki on a Stick, a single page wiki which worked beautifully in Firefox until three or four years ago. It held everything in one HTML file with embedded CSS and JavaScript. It still exists but is a bit awkward to use because of changes in the Firefox security model. A file that writes itself to a local folder? That sounds dodgy, but it worked well until they removed… continue…

PlayScript: Zynga Playing Clever

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The need to convert Web content to mobile has exploded with users’ adoption of mobile technologies and mobile apps. And while mobile isn’t replacing the Web, content providers need to create content for both places. In the earlier days of mobile development, that meant re-writing Web apps for each mobile platform. To combat this hugely inefficient process, a variety of compilers have been developed that generate code compatible with other platforms. For example, there are C++ compilers for Android that… continue…

‘Fighting Fantasy’ as an App-Game Genre

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Those of a certain age who played games in the 1980s or 1990s may recall the Fighting Fantasy (FF) books. Published beginning in the 1980s, they weren’t the first gamebooks but they were the most well-known and became the embodiment of the genre. The series consists of 59 books, each a standalone single-player role playing game, where the reader has just two dice, a pencil and an eraser to complete a quest. The paragraphs in the book present challenges for… continue…

Creating a Multi-Player Game? Watch the Money

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Based in Auckland, New Zealand, indie developer David Colquohun started running his MMORTS game Ironfell in 2012. In August 2013, he had to close it down because it was losing too much money. The game had accumulated losses of $17,300, and that’s before calculating in payment for his time. Just one month later, in September 2013, Ironfell restarted. The new version had a number of changes to make it more active and reduce the number of empty realms. He’s also… continue…

Will Layoffs Turn Playforge Into a Zombie?

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Mobile game developer The Playforge has cut some of its staff and plans to step away from developing new games, according Inside Mobile Apps. This means the creator of the Zombie Farm and Tree World series will be largely relegated to providing life support to its existing franchises. “We have decided to focus our development at Playforge studio around our most popular franchises, Zombie Farm and Tree World and will continue to support those games. We have nothing more to add at this time,” company… continue…

XNA is Dead; Long Live MonoGame

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Back in January, Microsoft announced it was going to phase out XNA, the development framework that powered Xbox development. It also said it was no longer evolving the DirectX API, which has been the main technology for Windows games for the last 17 years. The announcement about DirectX was quickly retracted and a followup email indicated that DirectX development would continue and be better integrated into Visual Studio. But the way that communication was handled brought concern from developers about… continue…

Hiring Shows Quebec’s Growth as Gaming Hub

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Quebec is fast becoming a hub of gaming, courtesy of continued provincial funding in the sector. According to CTV Montreal, the Quebec government is investing $1.5 million to expand the studios at Warner Brothers Games Montreal. The grant goes toward a five-year, $63 million project that is expected to create 100 jobs, the television channel said. Currently, the studio has 325 permanent employees. The new jobs will reportedly pay about $70,000 a year. Warner Brothers Games is expecting even larger… continue…

Run an Oil Field With This Documentary Game

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The oil industry has never been without its critics. Celebrities speaking out against it include the likes of Neil Young and Daryl Hannah, who have singled out Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, because of the oil sands extraction going on there. The effort there has been described by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the world’s largest energy project. Now there’s a Web documentary game coming in November: Fort McMoney by David Dufresne, is all about Fort McMurray. Dufresne is known… continue…

Backend as a Service is Burgeoning

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Anyone doubting the viability of Backend as a Service (BaaS) only needs to look at Facebook’s acquisition of Parse.com this year and the growth of BaaS over the past eight years. Facebook’s acquisition of Parse.com, for example, allows the social media giant to provide their own backend services for games and applications. Close integration of Parse with the Facebook platform should lead to reduced server latency and greater responsiveness. Parse.com has been described as both BaaS and XaaS (Everything as a Service).… continue…