Monday, September 25

Progress on Alpha One

Two screenshots showing the progress on Alpha One -my entry for the Shmup-dev contest. There are already 33 registered entries for the competition, and some of the early screenshots and concept art look amazing so I will keep my hopes down about winning anything :P



Friday, September 22

XBLA no es para nosotros

Tras el anuncio de Microsoft de que abriría las puertas del desarrollo amateur en XBox 360, muchos indies empezaron a hacerse pajas mentales sobre la posibilidad de publicar sus juegos en el Xbox Live! Arcade. Olvidáos de ello. Hace falta (mucho)dinero, recursos y contactos para colocar un juego en el portal de juegos casuales de Microsoft.

Joe Lieberman ya compartió su punto de vista al respecto hace tiempo desde su blog. Ahora, el presidente de Garage Games asegura que incluso un presupuesto de 100.000 dólares se queda corto para afrontar el desarrollo de un juego para XBLA. Por cierto, a ver cuando terminan el Torque Shader Engine.. que no sé cuantos años llevan ya en "beta".

A lo que íbamos. El dinero ahora está en el mercado "casual", y los grandes de la industria ya se han dado cuenta de ello. Sin embargo, eso sólo significa que cada vez será más difícil que juegos *realmente* independientes copen las listas de ventas de los grandes portales. Por ejemplo, PopCap Games. No tengo nada en contra de ellos, pero ahora mismo ya puedes jugar a Zuma en un PC, Mac, móvil, PDA o incluso en un iPod! Tienen un puesto bien visible en muchos portales, y ahora tambien en Steam y en la iTunes Music Store. Por fortuna, la gente de Valve parece estar dando un trato más equitativo a estudios independientes y a grandes desarrolladores. La entrada de Apple en el mercado casual ha pillado a los desarrolladores para Mac por sorpresa, y no están(estamos) nada contentos con la total desinformación al respecto.

En fin, desarrolladores indies, no os desaniméis, pero tened en cuenta siempre vuestros límites. Y el XBLA está, por ahora, fuera de alcance.

Thursday, September 21

Contests

Shmup-Dev, a site dedicated to "shoot 'em up" development, is now running their third competition labeled "Autofire 2007". I am planning to enter the compo with an horizontal shooter, using the PTK library, that will allow me to quickly port the game to Windows when I finished. I have started designing the player's jet fighter with Fireworks MX:


Are you a developer? Then you might be interested to enter the "1st University Open Source Contest", hosted by the University of Sevilla. Developers are encouraged to build open source applications belonging to any of the four categories proposed. The sign up process will end on the 13th October.

Monday, September 11

4 seasons in Vienna

So, it's been a whole year here in Vienna, and here is how my street looked like during the 4 seasons:


I will probably set up a gallery next week with what I may consider the best pictures of this year, including a high-resolution version of this one.

Bears

You can find the explanation to the following pictures here. I am not displaying the one for Austria because it was... ugly!






BTW, iPowerPod G5 tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 6

24" inches of love

OMG! OMFG! Ponies apart, Apple today released the biggest ever desktop machine, the 24" iMac. All the models now sport 1GB of RAM across the board, and the higher-end model lets you customize the graphics card as well. For Apple to introduce such a great product today, it only means that we can expect big things for the press event of next tuesday..

Unless the MacBook Pro gets a huge-and unlikely- price cut this month, I will be buying a 17 or 20 incher next month :P. Did I mention that a maxed-out 17" is now dirty cheap? Check out your national Education Store for discounts.

What's next

With only one week left to end my current job and resume my student life in Spain, I find myself dreaming about all the cool projects I could start now ^^. In the previous post I said I would go Linux soon, but that won't be the case anymore. My order for a Nokia 770 was cancelled because it turned out that the stated priced on the website of the seller "was wrong". At 220€, I just could not resist getting one. But now I don't think I'm paying the official price of 359€, especially when I am in the market for a new desktop and Apple is releasing new products next tuesday... yay!

So.. back to development, I'd like to make a "simple" game on my own, since the last projects were about "working for others". Looking at the revenue figures of some close independent games, I would not discard releasing my next game exclusively for the Mac... just to cut some development time and have fun reading angry comments of my PC-centric friends :). Chances are that I will end up working on some kind of 2D shooter..