Game Development

Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Gaming Makes a Comeback

Posted In Living in Tech
Oculus Rift
By Rob Pakus Nowadays it seems the gaming and gadget hype is all about 3-D TVs and next-generation consoles. I’m more interested in the evolutionary reincarnation of virtual reality gaming, specifically in the form of Oculus VR’s virtual reality headset, aptly named the Oculus Rift.  In case you missed the excitement, here’s a quick summary of its rise to fame. Kickstarter Launches a Virtual Reality Brand Oculus Rift founder Palmer Lucky is an avid VR headset collector, as well as… continue…

How to Get Hired by Sony Computer Entertainment

Posted In Looking in Tech
Sony PS4
Though it certainly helps, you don’t have to be a passionate gamer to get a job at Sony Computer Entertainment. One of the biggest things Marcus Walton, an engineering recruiter there, looks for is how committed you are to teamwork. Currently, Walton’s looking to fill job openings for graphic-engine game developers and system-game engine developers. If you’re interested, here’s what he told me at GDC regarding the jobs themselves, and how to handle the interviews and coding tests you’ll have… continue…

Why Sony’s PlayStation 4 Could Change the Game

Posted In Living in Tech
Sony PS4
With Sony’s PlayStation 4 set to launch some time around “Holiday 2013,” let’s take a look at what to expect from the long-awaited console. The PS4 is one of two, possibly three, next-generation consoles that are set to hit the market before the end of the year. By piecing together information from Sony’s various announcements, we can gain a reasonably good understanding of what Kaz Hirai and company have in store for us. Specifications For Sony fans, the updated specifications… continue…

Microsoft Games Hiring for Its Audio Team

Microsoft Xbox Metro Dashboard
Microsoft’s Games Studio needs to fill out its audio team, Senior Audio Director Greg Shaw told Dice News at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The Redmond giant is looking for audio implementers and typically has 15 to 16 sound designers working in its Sound Lab. In addition to those team members, Shaw says the company usually has a need for programmers to modulate content, as well as higher level audio directors. Here’s what he told us when we… continue…

Final Chapter: LucasArts Employees Hold Wake

LucasArts Logo
The bar’s name says it all: The Final Final. That’s where LucasArts employees gathered Friday night to hold a wake, following the death of their game studio earlier in the week. At Final Final in San Francisco, a large gathering of LucasArts employees and former LucasArts workers shared drinks and tears, from recalling memories of creating such notable cult games like Monkey Island to mourning the loss of games whose lives were cut short, like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First… continue…

Disney Shuts LucasArts Studio, Cuts Staff at Lucasfilm, ILM

Death Star Explosion
Updated Walt Disney took an ax to the staff at LucasArts Wednesday, closing down its game studio, halting production of Star Wars 1313 and shifting the business to a strictly licensing model. The move comes just after layoffs hit Lucasfilm Animation’s The Clone Wars and the technology department of special effects powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic. While the Lucasfilm cuts took place last week, they’re only coming to light now. A source has confirmed them to Dice News. The timing… continue…

Death to Downloads: Browser-Based Games on the Rise

War Commander
Here’s another nail in the coffin of console games. The folks at Mozilla and Will Harbin, CEO of the gaming portal Kixeye, are banking on the idea that more people are picking up hammers as they ultimately gravitate toward browser-based games rather than download versions to consoles or mobile devices. At last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Mozilla unveiled its highly optimized version of JavaScript for 3D browser-based games. The organization wants to show game developers that the… continue…

SimCity: How Not to Launch a Game

SimCity
Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard of Electronic Arts’ disastrous launch of the latest SimCity. It was designed to play for only about 20 minutes offline before closing down. Since cities are saved on servers, not locally, you don’t get to play if the server happens to be too busy for you. Tough luck. Unfortunately for EA, it underestimated the number of people who bought SimCity when the game launched. Kotaku says 700,000 cities were created in… continue…

How to Get Started as a Game Writer

Videogameretaildisplay thumbnail
In the four years since Ed Kuehnel became a full-time freelance writer for video and computer games, he’s stayed busy. The Portland, Ore., resident has clients throughout the U.S. and as far away as the Netherlands, India and South Korea. “It’s been pretty rare that I have nothing to do,” he says. But while there are increasing opportunities for gaming writers, success stories like Kuehnel’s are still relatively rare. “Breaking into the industry just as a writer is very, very… continue…

Can Atari’s Vintage Games Rescue IE?

Atari Centipede
How do you transcend a negative impression, especially when it’s deserved? Over the years Microsoft left users determined to do their Web surfing with anything but IE. In November, IE generated just 15.1 percent of browser usage, according to w3schools.com. Ten years earlier, it generated more than 83 percent. Why the plunge? By failing to innovate, Microsoft earned little for IE besides Web-wide derision. No longer willing to hold last place in the browser race, last summer the company finally… continue…