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In the words of Douglas Adams…

Posted on May 24, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

“In no known language exists the phrase ‘beautiful like an airport.'” I’m sitting at gate B9 in Jacksonville waiting for my flight to take off to DC. United tried to convince me to change to a later flight three times at check in, so they must really want me to take a different airline. Like many airlines, they overbook every flight to maximize profit. I don’t really care what airline I fly as long as my bags make it to LA. Weather in Jacksonville has been less than desirable over the past week. Six days in a row of rain, with more rain in the forecast every day for the next ten days. The forecast for LA for the next ten days has partly cloudy skies with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the high 50’s. Providing United doesn’t delay my flight (lol) I should be getting to my new apartment in about 9...

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Audiball Postmortem

Audiball Postmortem

Posted on May 22, 2009 in Blog, Feature, My Games | 0 comments

I’ve wanted to write a proper postmortem for Audiball for some time now and I’ve been putting it off for far too long. Below, I try to summarize six months of my life into a few pages of text. Audiball was not a commercial success, nor was it groundbreaking in any way, but it was my experience with game development and I’ll always be proud of it. Read on if you’re interested in the game’s original vision, what sacrifices were made, what unexpected events changed development, how the game’s soundtrack was composed, how you can learn from my mistakes, and how an announcement trailer can be the longest fifty seconds of your life. Background Before starting development on Audiball, I was hooked on Jonathan Mak’s Everyday Shooter. Of course he’s already credited in the game for inspiration. It did a great job of using non-traditional sound effects in each level to blend with the game’s soundtrack. Each level used a different set of sound effects for shooting, explosions, combos, and just about everything else. It’s really what made the game exceptional as opposed to, well, your everyday shooter. Everyday Shooter At the same time, I was playing quite a bit of Rock Band with my roommates. The speakers on our TV blew out while we were in the middle of a difficult song, and while the guitarists and drummer were able to continue without a problem until it came back on, the singer promptly failed out. I guess I had never really considered that Rock Band is just a test of muscle memory. It’s why Guitar Hero is able to take away all the colors of the frets and players still know which buttons to push: the colors are irrelevant once you know where they are, it’s only the positions that matter. It was then that I got curious about the idea of focusing on the colors of the frets rather than their positions. It would be a completely different way of using the guitar controller. Of course, that also meant that no skills would carry over from any other guitar game. Playing Audiball for the first time would...

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Summer Plans

Posted on Apr 12, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

Haven’t made a proper update here since before GDC (which was awesome, by the way). I thought I’d write a bit about what I’m doing right now and what I’m doing this summer. I made a post over on the Indiecisive Games blog about Audiball’s performance on Xbox Live Community Games. It was about average for Community Games, and it was a great experience for our first project. The next Indiecisive project is well underway and will be “revealed” on April 30th when we submit it to Indiecade. On Friday I accepted an offer from EA LA for a “technical designer” internship position. I know that I’ll be working on an unannounced project on a smaller team, but that’s about it. I’m really exctied for the opportunity to work with some of the best minds in the industry – even more so than the amenities their campus has to offer. I will also likely be attending E3 this year because I’ll be in LA. It doesn’t seem too long ago that I was slobbering over the computers in my middle school library every time E3 and the hype that surrounds it rolled around. My classes finish at Tech on April 27, and I move out to LA on May 22. I’ll spend the bit of vacation I have between Jacksonville and Atlanta, but I’m glad I’ll get to stay busy. Finally, I put up a self-portrait of myself on the “About Me” page. The idea probably isn’t original. I haven’t seen it before, but that doesn’t mean a thing on the internet. I still had fun putting it together regardless. I’ll be sure to make an update to the site when I can say more about the Indiecisive project, and I’ll update whenever I can while I’m in LA to talk about everything except what I’m doing at work – I have a feeling EA wouldn’t like that....

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AT&T is Being a Big Poo-Poo Head

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 in Blog | 2 comments

You know that whole thing where people have a bad experience with a company, and they post on their blogs hoping enough people read it for the company to do something about it? Yeah, I’m gonna try that. After finishing up my XNA game, I wanted to play around with iPhone development. To do this, I needed an iPhone, and since it was close to Christmas at the time, I figured it was as good a time as any to pick one up. Below is the story of my unsuccessful attempt at purchasing an iPhone from AT&T that started in December and is still causing me headaches to this day. I’m an AT&T customer who wanted to upgrade to an iPhone from my Samsung A707 Sync. I went into an AT&T Store and was told that I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade until March 24, so I would have to wait or pay the full $399 price instead of the $199 price point offered to new customers. Fair enough. A few days later, I was browsing around their site and saw that AT&T was selling refurbished iPhones for $99 to new customers. I called AT&T’s sales line and asked how I could get one, and what the cost would be for existing customers. I was told by the rep that existing customers could pay $149 for the refurbished phone, their “regular price,” because the $50 discount was only for new customers. I tried to order one over the phone, but the rep couldn’t figure out how to do it because it was a special. He told me to go to an AT&T store, and they would be able to help me out. I went back to the store, and was told they didn’t sell refurbished phones at all, and that I had to order it either online or over the phone. They wouldn’t help me do it in store either. Back home, I noticed that the deal had expired, and the price was back up to $149 for new customers on the refurbished 8 GB iPhone 3G. AT&T Premier’s website was still showing it at $199 for upgrades, so...

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Snow in Atlanta: Everyone freak out!!

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 in Blog | 1 comment

The current record for snowfall in Atlanta is about 4.2 inches, recorded in the fabled storm of 1993. Some parts of Atlanta have well over 5 inches of accumulation (Centennial Olympic Park, for example), and others are around 2. The fact remains that it has indeed snowed in the south, and therefore everyone should run around and scream like crazy people until it melts away so that we can return to our normal lives. In other news, I spotted this by the World of Coke while walking through the “thundersnow” storm, which pretty much says it all:...

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Finishing Pre-Production, or Starting Development?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s one of those “half-full, half-empty” things, you know?  I’m getting into the full swing of the next project from Indiecisive Games. We’re still waiting for Audiball‘s sales results, but it’s never too early to act on a good idea. I’m excited about working on a new game. On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed being able to relax, catch up on sleep, and have a social life over the past two months and the nature of the job means I have to give some of that up (most likely the unimportant stuff like sleep). The biggest lesson learned from developing Audiball was that deadlines aren’t a good thing like professors will have you believe. Any amount of good they do in “motivating” you to work is quickly erased by the hundreds of hours of sleep you have to give up to meet said deadline. I now fully understand the ideology behind “Valve Time,” or Blizzard’s motto of “it’s done when it’s done.” With this indie company I’m working for myself, right? There’s no reason to drive ourselves crazy by saying it has to be completed by such and such a date. And to any of the companies I applied for an internship with who may be reading this, I’m actually just kidding, I’m really good at following deadlines, and usually I like to finish stuff early because that’s a desirable trait for a hiree....

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