Sorry for the lack of updates here. I have been quite busy with the development and recent release of LicenseKeeper.

I do have plans to start the initial design phase of my next game soon. But, I need to get through the next release of LicenseKeeper as well as some Cocoa consulting work for one of my clients.

I’m debating whether this next game will be Leopard only. I really want to work with the new technologies coming out of Apple. Some of the things I’ve seen and played with have great promise, not only for standard applications but for Mac game development. We’ll see how things develop as I commit more time to the project.

I have had a little time to game a bit. I’ve been playing some Call of Duty 2 multiplayer online. While I’m starting to tire of the standard maps, there are plenty of mods and custom maps to keep things interesting. I have a couple of friends that also play and I’m really enjoying jumping online with them and using Team-Speex. I also picked up Age of Empires III and while the graphics are very good, I think I’m done with the AOE franchise. I think the whole real-time strategy genre has reached a point where some real innovation and originality is needed.

On a side note, I’ve moved all the RSS feeds over to FeedBurner today. So if you experience any issues, please let me know. Of course, if it’s not working you are unlikely to see this post at all.

Server Down

Announcement: Just in case you were looking for the company website or Bullfrog download.

My main server running the outerlevel.com domain had a hard drive failure this morning. It is currently having the disk replaced and the operating system reloaded. I Estimate about 6 hours to reload plus the time it will take for me to restore all the sites on the server from backups.

Update (Feb. 6, 2007): Everything should be back to normal. If you find anything funky, please let me know.

Happy Birthday

It’s been exactly one year since my very first post on this blog.

I’ve accomplished a ton since then.

I have learned Objective-C and some Cocoa. I have dabbled with The Allegro Game Framework but ultimately chose something else. I committed to competing in the 2005 Original Mac Games Cup which directly lead to developing and finally publishing my first game.

Not too shabby for doing most of this after “the day job”. Hopefully the second year will be as fruitful, if not more so.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and supporting me.

Are Video Games Art? Do Games Make Good Movies?

GBGames has some commentary on Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert’s review of the movie, “Silent Hill” and statements that games are not art.

I have not seen nor played “Silent Hill”, but I have seen and played “Doom” and watched “Resident Evil” (which I quite liked).

I find Ebert’s comments quite silly, actually. Games don’t make great movies, not because of art, subject matter, or anthying else other than who makes the movie.

Movies are made from screenplays by hundreds, if not thousands of people. The screenplay and the storyboards are the blueprints for the film. The filmmakers are the artists and craftsman. The game is just the inspiration for the screenplay and storyboards.

The reason “Doom” wasn’t a good movie is not becuase it was based on a video game, it’s because the screenplay was terrible, the direction was uninspired, and the acting was second-rate at best and the story was completely unoriginal.

But, it certainly was not worse (art or otherwise) than movies that were not based on games, such as any of the “Nightmare on Elmstreet” sequals.

Now, as to whether a game can be art. Again, this is silly as well. As GB states, art is in the eye of the beholder. While I didn’t personally enjoy “Myst” as a game, I thought the game itself was very artistic, if not down right beautiful. I remember the first time I played “Balder’s Gate”. I was blown away by the artwork making up the world in that game. Certainly, if you took the map “artwork” by itself you can’t deny that that’s art. Background music? Art. Storyline and narrative? Sounds like a book or screenplay. Again, art.

Now how about the reverse. If movies are art, then the “Star Wars” movies are certainly considered some of the most popular works of art ever. What about the scores of “Star Wars” games released by Lucas Arts? Art?

What if Orsen Wells decided to base a movie on a game? I bet it would be just a tad bit better received by Roger Ebert.

Site Changes

Finally, I have replaced the default WordPress header image with something a bit more appropriate to this site’s content.

I’ve also added by email addy to the sidebar for easy reference. Sorry for the lack of an easy “mailto” link (stupid spammers).

A nice new Bullfrog icon now adorns the top of the sidebar. Maybe, I’ll get more click through traffic to the game’s free download page.

I’ve relegated the Google Adsense stuff down to the bottom of the page. I have a feeling the ads will eventually end up in the great circular folder in the sky. As I start pushing my own games as products the need and distraction of the advertisements will be minimized.

Spammers Found Me

The spammers finally found this site.

So I’ve implemented spam prevention for the comments section. If you are a logged in registered reader, there is no change. For unregistered readers, there is now a security number to enter in when commenting. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Catching Up

I forget how fast the world moves these days. So much can happen in only a few days.

I remember as a kid, I could waste away an entire summer vacation without the sense that I missed a thing. When I returned to school the next fall, life continued just as it left off the previous school year. Yes, everyone was a bit more tanned, maybe a bit taller, and probably had some summer vacation stories, but essentially nothing really changed and I didn’t miss anything important.

This month has been crazy for me. A six month long project for a client of mine came to an end, but required last minute changes and testing before deployment. After many days of long hours and tedious regression testing, I’m done with the project. Now I need to catch up with the world that passed me by during the final stretch.

The great thing is now I have some time off to work on my game project. Unfortunately, I have a ton of real-life things that need to get taken care of during my “bench” time. Hopefully, I can balance everything efficiently enough to make progress on everything.

In an effort to catch up with everyone else, humor me while I give my thoughts on some of what I’ve missed.

Apple News

  • iPod Nano: Awesome! I want one, but already have a 3rd gen iPod, so can’t justify the purchase.
  • ROKR iTunes Phone: Huh? What happened to this train wreck of inustrial design? I guess I understand the idea behind this convergence product, but given all the delays, I expected something a bit more… cool, attractive, slick, something.
  • XServe RAID: Wow, I wish I had the need and the budget. My little external firewire RAID will have to do for now.
  • iTunes 5: Hmmm… I’m not sure what to think on this one. I like the move away from the very heavy look of Brushed Metal to the new Platinum look, but I don’t really like the new trend of the sky blue side bar that iTunes and Mail.app are pushing. Does anyone else think this looks a bit… Windows-esque? And what’s up with those crappy not quite round corners?
  • Apple Stock: Good stuff, I wish I knew when to take my profits.