Links from my weekly newsletter (57 & 58)

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In the past, I’ve been posting that week’s newsletter on here nearly immediately after it went out to your emails. What I’ve decided to do recently was send out the newsletter every TWO weeks instead of each week, and now post this once a month, thereby combining the newsletters.

Week 57

  • San Francisco Office Rents Pass Manhattan as Most Expensive in Country
    • A combination of the booming technology sector and tight supply of commercial real estate propelled average office rents that San Francisco landlords are asking for to $72.26 a square foot in the fourth quarter of last year, edging out the $71.85 a square foot in Manhattan, according to a new report from CBRE Group, a commercial real estate services and investment firm. The prices in San Francisco rose 14 percent last year, compared with 7 percent in Manhattan.
  • John Romero has released a new Doom WAD
    • The king himself, took two weeks in his free time to build this. I had the chance to watch him play Doom deathmatch at GDC last year, 1v1, and he was DESTROYING people.
  • Indie Dev Podcast, ep 24 – Kevin Giguere, Dragon Slumber
    • Kevin Giguère is a  programmer in his thirties from Quebec, Canada, and the man behind Dragon Slumber, a studio behind the SNES inspired  RPG Arelite Core, created with XNA.  Originally started as a dream project to create his own game from scratch, Kevin has done everything himself.
  • Indie Dev Podcast, ep 23 – Sean Colombo, Blueline Game Studio
    • Sean Colombo has been making games for 15 years. After quitting college to run web-startup “LyricWiki”, he sold the site to Wikia in 2009. A couple years later he founded BlueLine Games to focus on making digital versions of award-winning board games. BlueLine’s flagship games “Hive” and “Khet 2.0” are currently the top two rated board games* among the 80 that are on Steam.
    • Currently, BlueLine is working on the Steam version of a famous Euro-game and updating all four of it’s Steam titles which includes the free-to-play Simply Chess.

 

Week 58

      • The Sega Saturn and Transparency
        • The Sega Saturn is notorious for not being able to pull off transparency effects as well as its competitors. But the Saturn does do proper transparency effects as many games demonstrate. So why did so many developers so often settle on the “mesh” approach in their Saturn games?

 

 

 

      • Meet the guy in charge of convincing people that Microsoft isn’t evil
        • This is the team I work on. Gives a great overview from Business Insider about what we do.
        • The Developer Experience team is intended to be the company’s public face among the techie set, parachuting in to help customers and partners with whatever problems they have — even if it’s a problem that doesn’t involve any Microsoft technology. It’s like a Genius Bar for the real geniuses. “We do this all free, which is kind of goofy,” says Shewchuk.
      • GameDev News – Week Ending January 22, 2016
        • My co-worker in Evangelism, @BrianPeek, does an incredible job of gathering the best stories in game dev each week.

 

      • “We Own You” – Confessions of a Free-to-play producer
        • The following article is from a game developer I’ve known for close to a decade now. To the best of my knowledge, from following iOS development since the launch of the App Store, it’s totally accurate. I’ve heard similar things from developers who have also gone through the ropes of hopping from one game studio to the next. This is the first time I’ve actually convinced someone to write about it.

 

 

      • Indie Dev Podcast, Ep 26 – Howard Dortch, Shawnee State University
        • Howard is an industry veteran who now works in academia at Shawnee State University’s game development program in Ohio. Before working in education, Howard had roles at AMD, as well as Sony, specifically at Verant in San Diego, where he worked on Everquest.
        • As someone who has spent a large amount of time playing this game during my middle and high-school years, I’m a huge fan. We discuss his time building lasers for the Department of Defense, writing assembly code to optimize Everquest, as well as finding work on BBS boards in the mid-90s.

 

      • Let’s play Shadowrun: Dragonfall
        • I recently started going through this game again, after having stopped last year. I backed the game on Kickstarter and got about 12 hours into it, but it was brutally difficult and often times just completely broken. For example, your entire party would be at full health, then in one round the enemy team would land crits and destroy your entire party. Start at the beginning of the stage — 2 hours back.
        • Now, there is an easier mode, as well as a save system which I can use at nearly any point, and not just at the beginning of each stage.

 

      • Revamped Indie Dev Podcast website
        • I migrated Indie Dev Podcast from WordPress.com to Azure (on SQL and no longer using MySQL!) using  Project Nami. vPurchased a new domain for this too. Looked at migrating from Podomatic for podcast hosting, too, so if you’ve got any suggestions….
        • I’m always looking to have new guests on here, so if you know of someone interesting to interview, please let me know!

 

      • I created a book recommendations page
        • I plan on updating this list as I continue to read. These books aren’t necessarily recommendations, but simply what I’ve read and my thoughts on them. I’ll often try to read both sides of the topic to get a better understanding of where the two meet. (Ex: Book from a Democrat then one from a Republican).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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