Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Setting Up Unity To Remote With A Nexus 4: A Step By Step Guide

As much for my own future reference as the sanity of others, I have collated here all the necessary steps to get the Unity Remote working on the Nexus 4. It’s an otherwise simple process that’s beleaguered by a series of ill-explained hoops too jump through, which trawling the internet for the past hour or so finally has revealed to me. Perhaps most sites simply assume a prior knowledge of Android development. Well, I have none, and I’m not going to assume any in the steps below either.

This guide is for PC users and specific to my experience with Windows Vista and the Nexus 4. I expect the process would be virtually identical on other Android devices, though you may need a different driver. I do not own a Mac and have no idea how to go about setting this up on one, so don't ask :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Game Design Challenge: Merry Christmas

Last week I submitted my second entry to Game Career Guide's frequent Game Design Challenge feature. The theme this time was "Merry Christmas" with the goal of, you guessed it, designing a Christmas themed game. Unforgettably my submission was not chosen among the top entries, but I was very happy with my design so I'm still posting it here!

My primary goal was to incorporate the themes and traditions of Christmas into the gameplay itself, rather than simply slapping a Christmas skin on top of a conventional genre. Secondly, I wanted the game to be about Christmas as a whole and explore what the holiday means to different people around the world, rather than just focusing on a single subset such as elves and Santa or the Christian mythos.

Thus was born World Wide Christmas, an "annual global collaborative social game". A game designed to  connect friends, family and strangers, study different cultural influences on Christmas, and make real-life differences in the lives of the players and others.

I was inspired to take this unconditional approach after reading Jane McGonigal's Reality is Broken, a fascinating book about how games and lessons learned from them can be used to make the world a better place. In the book she examines a variety of examples of how games can (and have) been used to build communities, improve quality of life, and encouraged people to achieve amazing things together - in virtual worlds AND in the real world.

I had never contemplated designing a game like this before, so it was a great exercise in thinking outside my comfort zone and a very enjoyable experience. I wanted to incorporate so many ideas from Reality is Broken that it was difficult to cut it all down to just 500 words!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Was Used and Abused By My Asari Girlfriend

The vixen in question

By Commander Shepard, Alliance Navy

Liara and I have always been close. In the three years we’ve know each other we’ve been through a lot - Geth invasion, Reaper attack, interplanetary espionage, and now all out galactic war. That kind of thing brings people together no doubt - but I never expected us to become romantically involved.

Sure we’ve always been good friends, but even when I first knew her I only had eyes for Ashley, and Liara seemed preoccupied with her Prothean research. She even said that she found me “fascinating” because I was “touched by working Prothean technology”. If her fascination with me was based solely on my connection to the Protheans, then thinking back now I can see our relationship was doomed from the start.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Resurrection and R.O.B.

After nearly three years of neglect I have decided that it's about time I resurrected this blog. In that time I have shipped two more games, worked for two different companies (and seen the Australian industry collapse along with those companies), and travelled around Europe on two separate occasions. So in the spirit of pairs this post is also a two-parter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An R18 Discussion Paper Submission Letter

December last year the long awaited Discussion paper regarding an R18+ classification for games was finally released. With only a week remaining until the cut-off date for submissions, tallying has already begun. Although this is a call for feedback only – not a vote – results so far positive. I submitted one myself of course, but in addition to this I wrote a rather lengthy letter my local Attorney-General Cameron Dick, as well as Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Home Affairs.

The letter is a collection of thoughts and concerns regarding the R18 debate. I tried to avoid many of the points commonly bought up by pro-R18 supporters (though I still touch on several where relevant) simply because so many others have done a great job of bringing them up in their own submissions with reference to the compelling Interactive Australia research. Instead, my submission is more a personally letter based on my own opinions, experience, and reading.

The letter is as follows:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

R18+ Classification: A reply from the Attorney-General's Department

Shortly before Christmas the long awaited discussion paper on an R 18+ rating for video games was released. It can be found here and I encourage all Australian residents to send in a reply.

Shortly before hand I sent a letter to Brendan O’Connor, the Minister for Home Affairs asking when the discussion paper would be released. Little did I know it would be released only a couple of days latter, which made the whole exercise feel a little late and silly. Today I received a reply, and even though it doesn't mean a whole lot now that the discussion paper is out I thought I'd post a transcript of the letter here for posterity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Australia’s Dangerous Proposal to Classify Mobile Games

For gamers still reeling in frustration that yet another high profile game has fallen victim to Australia’s antiquated Classification System comes the news that the Australian Classification Board wants to classify iPhone and other mobile games. Itnews is reporting that the Classification Board director Donald McDonald wrote to Censorship Minister Brendan O'Connor “regarding [his] concern that some so-called mobile phone applications, which can be purchased online or either downloaded to mobile phones or played online via mobile phone access, are not being submitted to the board for classification.” If the proposed internet filter demonstrates the Australian Government’s failure to understand the nature of the web, then this demonstrates their inability to understand the changing face of video games and the distribution of media in the 21st century.

This desire to classify all mobiles games is preposterous, dangerous, and ultimately proof of the Classification Board’s increasing irrelevance in modern culture.