Designing Astrobase Command User Interface

The datapad will allow players to access information about and control what happens on their astrobase.

Our newest post unveils our newly redesigned datapad, now in glorious 3D. We also talk about some of the considerations in designing the interface and icons that we will be using. You can read the entire entry at www.astrobasecommand.com

Astrobase Command Character Design Update

The Astrobase Spring 20,114 clothing line melds stylish and utilitarian to make you the most popular sentient being on your block.

This week’s Astrobase Command blog update discusses some of the character design ideas we’re knocking around. Swing over to the Jellyfish Games developer blog to read it in its entirety.

Getting in on the ground floor: Coded Gamer’s inception

If you’re interested in game design and development, head over to Coded Gamer. The brand new site is still under development, but there’s already some interesting material beginning to bubble up on its pages.

Kevin Pybus is the evil mastermind behind this shiny new project, and he has one goal: world domination. Okay, he may have a few more, so  here’s what he’s got lined up for the site:

Our goal is simple. We want to bring developer and gamer together. Coded Gamer is dedicated to the communities and developers of independent games and is heavily focused on community interactions. We’re here to help dev’s promote their hard work and build a true fan base. Just as equally we’re here to support indie gamers in every way possible. Coded Gamer is made by the indie for the indie. You can find more details about the site’s promising scope here.There’s even the promise of loot and swag for early adopters

There's even swag in it for you if you sign up early!

There’s even swag in it for you if you sign up early!

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself over to codedgamer.com! There’s even a cool mini-game to verify your password rather than the irritating and eye-warping captcha authentications.

Enjoy!

Mechwarrior Online: Project Pheonix

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!

I just about had a heart attack when I saw the notice above pop into my email.

Those of you that have some historic awareness of the friction that has existed in the Battletech universe with a certain subset of its initial line of mechs now known as the Unseen will know how important this is. These poor mechs have been on again, off again, for years. Since I started playing Battletech way back in the early days that these formed the mainstay of any force, I have a soft spot in my heart for these mechs.

It looks like Piranha Games has done a great job of giving them a fresh new look. I am eager to start piloting these behemoths on the battlefield!

For more information, check out: mwomercs.com/phoenix

Why is the future transparent?

Everyone has seen it by now. The artistic conception of the future involves transparent electronics. Clear glass gizmos ooze sexiness and shout high technology. Anyone who watched Avatar was probably wowed by scientists whisking data from a transparent screen onto a transparent mobile device and reading it on the move. Very cool, eh?

The future is here.

(Note: for some reason, I don’t seem to be able to embed these videos today, so I’ll have to make do with a simple link until I figure out a fix. http://youtu.be/Xi4VBmxZlLY)

Transparent USB keys sound pretty neat. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy looking at flashing lights that seems to hover in mid air an inch away from their computer?

Microsoft posits a very inspirational vision of a transparent and highly mobile future.

(Youtube link: http://youtu.be/bwj2s_5e12U)

These are all outstanding ideas, but there are a couple concerns that I cannot keep from hammering away at the back of my mind:

1.  We have a hard enough time keeping track of fiddly little thumb drives as they slip into the bottom of our trouser pockets or in a small pouch in our laptop cases. Now we want to make them invisible? This may be a ploy to keep us buying a continuous stream of storage devices. A moment of absent-mindedness may carry a greater risk of leaving a cell phone on the restaurant table, too.

2. I hope oleophobic coatings are greatly improved by 2019. The sleek clear displays and memory sticks probably loose a little bit of their sexiness once they become smudged with fingerprints and oil from that delicious balsamic vinaigrette salad you had a lunch.

Regardless, I’ll have to start saving up some funds to get my hands on some of these. And to pay to replace the phone I lose forever in the house the first time I put it down.

Videos for illustrators: FZDSchool

 

I love watching the videos that FZD School of Design. Even though these are no substitute for following an art class, I learn so much every I watch one of these videos. I suggest adding this channel for anyone interested in illustration.

This particular video is about getting values right in black and white painting. I’m going to have to re-watch this a few times.

Blackbird Interactive has got my attention now

I’ve been hiding in a cave for the past little while and missed any news relating to a game design company in Vancouver called Blackbird Interactive. Something popped up on Twitter about a cool trailer for an upcoming free to play real time strategy game called Hardware: Shipbreakers.

Boing! I have no real idea what these games are about. I can certainly surmise that this is a case of Salvage: Code Red in space, but the trailers still don’t reveal a whole lot. When the pedigree of the makers is taken into consideration (some of the folks who made Homeworld), then this is probably something worth paying attention to. They still seem to have their touch. Simple colour palettes with simple, yet incredibly aesthetic imagery, and clean visual design have made for a beautiful set of trailers.

I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more from BBI.

The finances of independant game design – Hitbox Team postmortem

Dustforce (www.dustforce.com)

Dustforce (www.dustforce.com)

The Hitbox Team financial postmortem provides a candid overview of one independent game developer’s financial status one year after the launch of their game, Dustforce. It is a rare opportunity to gain a glimpse into such typically closely-guarded aspect of game design. Anyone who is interested in game design needs to keep an eye on the business aspect of their project, since it does no one any good to have to can a project and dissolve the design team because there isn’t enough money to deliver a finished product. It is nice to see some concrete figures. They will doubtless prove invaluable to other indie developers as they tackle the challenge of bringing their visions to reality.

The key takeaway: if you’re indie, you’d better not be in it for the money. Design games because you love to, and you want to bring a unique experience to others. If you do a really good job, you’ll make enough to allow you to do it all over again.