Game Development

Global Games: Culturalize, Not Localize

Chinese-Plants-vs-Zombies-Thumbnail
While a lot of attention is paid to localization in game creation, many American developers don’t consider another important – some would say critical – aspect of design: culturalization. If you’re seeking to rapidly distribute titles in an era where everything is global, you can’t afford to ignore the challenges related to the way players from different regions and cultures will respond to your product. By not adapting to the multicultural marketplace, you run the risk of leaving money on… continue…

Big Fish Ditches Cloud-Streaming, to Lay Off 49

Posted In Looking in Tech
Big-Fish-Games-Thumbnail
Big Fish Games plans to close its cloud game-streaming initiative and lay off 49 employees in Seattle, as well as close offices in Vancouver, B.C., and Cork, Ireland. Big Fish had 524 full-time employees in Seattle earlier this month, so the layoffs there represent about 9 percent of its workforce. The business, meanwhile, grew 30 percent last year, with sales of more than $180 million. Company Founder Paul Thelen, who returned as Chief Executive last year, announced the cuts in… continue…

Microsoft Announces Indie-Publishing Platform for Xbox One

Posted In Working in Tech
Xbox-One-Thumbnail
Microsoft began taking applications this week for independent game developers who want to self-publish games for its upcoming Xbox One console. While other consoles, such as Sony’s PlayStation4 and Nintendo’s Wii U already have indie-publishing platforms, game producers have been waiting for Microsoft to make its console more open. Microsoft’s indie-publishing platform, ID@Xbox, sets indies up to expand beyond the PlayStation4 and Wii U ecosystems, and potentially build a viable business and career. The Xbox One is scheduled to launch… continue…

Why Game Engines Spell Trouble for Indie Developers

Game Engine Thumbnail
Seduction comes in many forms, including game engines. Virtually in a matter of weeks, people who’ve never crunched code can churn out a mobile game. It’s that ease of use, on top of a basic engine’s cheap cost, that’s prompting newbies to create games and game companies. But as with anything, cheap and easy can have its pitfalls. “As with any business development, individuals need to go into the creation of a new enterprise with their eyes open, realizing all… continue…

Do Game Developers Need to Know Multithreading?

AA Game
In a word, “yes.” But — there is always a “but!” — it depends on the type of game. AAA games (or as my wife puts it, the games that make the fans blow loudest) are highly demanding of resources and computing power. Browser games may not need quite so much grunt work to be playable. But let’s have some background first. What exactly is multithreading? Multithreading 101 It’s easier if we start with an old fashioned PC where the… continue…

Developers Mull New Tech Strategies After E3

Posted In Working in Tech
E3-Thumbnail
Through new consoles and new games to run on them, E3 saw the introduction of a range of technologies and capabilities that left developers, engineers and other game professionals with greater insight into the skills they need to develop if they’re going to continue their success in the field. “The things that I saw at E3 that inspired me were a lot of new technologies that are multi-core or multi-thread,” said Shawn Halwes, a programmer at Ragtag Studio. In a… continue…

Tech Unemployment Numbers Hint at Demand for Women

Dice Techonomics
For the past three consecutive months, the unemployment rate for women in IT has been lower than that of men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest figures, from May, show the women’s tech unemployment rate stood at 3.0 percent compared to 3.6 percent for men. A year earlier, the women’s rate was 6.8 percent compared to 2.3 percent for men. Digging into the Numbers When it comes to computer and math jobs, men outnumber women by a… continue…

Mobile Game Landscape Gets More Complicated

green labyrinth
Despite all the hype surrounding mobile games — and all the money companies are investing in efforts to push them — the business model to support them hasn’t yet made itself evident. You’d think that would give some running room to independent developers who’ve got a clever approach to attracting, keeping and making money off of players. But that’s more easily said than done, especially when the industry’s leaders are putting a lot of effort into remaking themselves. Part of… continue…

Zynga Layoffs to Hit 18 Percent of Workforce

Zynga logo
Zynga is planning to cut a whopping 18 percent of its workforce by August, the struggling social media game developer said Monday. The across-the-board cuts will hit “all functions” of the company and include closure of various office locations. Zynga expects to layoff approximately 520 employees worldwide and says the bulk of the cuts will occur by the end of the summer. “While our Farmville Franchise continues to perform well, other games are underperforming,” says Zynga, which has struggled to move… continue…

UC Santa Cruz Offers New Master’s in Games

505 Games Supremacy MMA
The University of California at Santa Cruz is offering a master’s degree in games and playable media. The program, which will be held at the school’s Santa Clara campus, covers advanced technologies used to produce computer games and interactive media. The 12-month program is intended for students who already have a foundation in computer science and an understanding of computer games. Those who pursue the program will “develop strong design skills as well as strong technical implementation skills,” said Jim… continue…