We’re taking the week off! If you’re holding an occult ritual this week, celebrating something more civilized, or if it’s just business as usual, we hope you have a great time doing your thing, and we’ll be back next week 🙂
Category Archives: Gaslamp
Once again the wheel turns. The Time of Change is upon us. Those who are unready will fall defeated while the once-humble may ride chaos to reign victorious!
By which I mean we’re moving the Gaslamp offices again. That’s pretty neat, right? Let’s look at pictures of boxes. (There’s a changelog for the experimental build which should be coming out today at the end of this post, so if you want game-relevant stuff you’re going to have to look at our silly moving pictures.)
Alright, real talk. Today’s post is inspired by a question asked in the forums, paraphrased:
“With early access titles you find a lot of people complaining that features are being added while bugs aren’t being addressed and I’d love to see what Gaslamp Games could say about this.”
This question makes me reflect back on myself 15 years ago, when I was an enthusiastic fan of games eagerly watching their development from the outside, being frustrated by waiting for patches, and, I’ll admit, not being very understanding at all about bugs and venting anger at developers. Now I’m here on the other side and I can see why things happen the way they do, I recall specifically saying, after launching Dungeons of Dredmor, “I understand now why things end up the way they do”.
(I was originally going to use the framing conceit of Dominions 4 game mechanics to explain the functioning of a small game studio, but Daniel helped me see that this will not necessarily make the process easier. And that Dominions 4’s game mechanics being comparable in complexity to running a small game studio says more about Dominions 4 than it does explain anything useful to gamers. So let’s not do that. Also rejected the “Eastern Front of World War 2” analogy as potentially a bit grim. Moving right along.)
Game development is a problem of satisfying a bunch of competing interests while trying to align a bunch of contingent sub-projects. Let me dig into an example loosely inspired by reality.
April 1st, 2014 — Gaslamp Games, Inc., independant game developers and makers of the critically acclaimed Dungeons of Dredmor, formerly deep in production on Clockwork Empires, are pleased to announce an exciting new direction for the studio. “The future of gaming is here,” said Gaslamp Games Technical Director Nicholas Vining, pausing a moment to pull a slug of whiskey. “We’re going to build VR the indie way.”
Fully embracing cross-platform compatibility, the GASLAMP VR development prototype rig is carefully constructed from three iPhones and an Android. “The Busted Up Old iPad Taped To Your Arm peripheral is a feature we’ve been exploring for the so-called ‘power-users’ I’ve been hearing so much about on the ‘information superhighway’ ” explained Gaslamp Games CEO / Studio Director Daniel “Burning Hand” Jacobsen as he stroked a perfectly white Persian cat. “We decided that market disruption required a radical pivot to synergizing our core competencies with partners in cloud space,” he continued, addressing a corner of the office filled with stacks of shipping foam and a sad-looking umbrella.
This year has been exciting, hasn’t it? We did an enormous quantity of game development, we blogged about it, and we released our first ever trailer (and launched a website!) for Clockwork Empires. Even better, builds are trickling out of our factory of fun, albeit in rough and unfinished states.
2014 promises to be even more exciting. Now, however, we collapse in a heap on Christmas and prepare for the new year by exploding forth in a blaze of regenerative energy – exactly like Doctor Who.
Gaslamp Games Inc. hereby gives permission to ANY third party to use images and sounds from Gaslamp Games Inc.’s video game Dungeons of Dredmor in “Let’s Play” videos, reviews, or any equivalent content on YouTube (www.youtube.com).
If you do choose to use images or sounds from Dungeons of Dredmor on a video, we hereby request that you include the following copyright notice:
“Copyright © 2013 Gaslamp Games Inc., www.gaslampgames.com”
This authorization is given if the video is monetized or contains advertisements or other commercial goals. You don’t have to, but if you do, hey that’s cool.
If you make a whole lot of money playing Dungeons of Dredmor, and buy yourself a tasty beverage, we hereby request that you say “Skol” before drinking it one time.
Furthermore, if you are affected by administrator removal of content which you have made due to the inclusion of Dungeons of Dredmor content in a video, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work with YouTube on your behalf.
(Also, we’ll include Clockwork Empires in this statement when it’s ready for the world, and when the world is ready for it.)
Today we’re working with a bunch of other indie game developers to help a charity called Extra Life raise money for children’s hospitals. If you could contribute $5 or $10 it would mean a lot to us.
The donations are going to Seattle Children’s Hospital by way of the Children’s Miracle Network (and if you are in the US you get a handy tax deduction form thingy)
We’re going to be playing Crusader Kings 2 on our stream, which will start at 5pm PST, you can catch us on Twitch.tv, and we’ll be our handsome and charming selves. See you on the twitch channel!
Edit: Wow, we’re terrible at Crusader Kings 2. And at taking care of children in Crusader Kings 2. But we’re great at beards. Help make up for our terrible medieval child-rearing in the 11th century!
Edit #2: In case you missed it, you can see the archived stream of us flailing about in Medieval Denmark here. We’re on for about the first hour there.
The programming team codenamed our current milestone El Dorado after the mythical city that doesn’t really exist. Most of the stuff that we have been doing towards El Dorado… well, it isn’t ready yet. Also, a lot of it is systems which are transparent to the user (networking, refactoring, serialization, etc.) It’s all important, but it’s not glamorous. We should, however, have a few interesting things to show next week. We (well, mainly Micah) wrote up some of the work that we did on our threading and messaging system, and submitted it to an academic conference; I am pleased to report that HotPAR ’13 (the Usenix Hot Topics in Parallelism conference) decided to accept our paper, which will be presented at some point in June. I should figure out when that is…
So instead of the big Technical Status Update, which we’ll probably do next week, let’s look at a very small slice of life that makes a big difference. A lot of people ask me what it’s like doing game development, as a day-to-day process as opposed to the big picture; this is a good example of what it’s actually like on a given day, what graphics programmer thought processes are like, and so on and so forth. Also, I’ve included the picture of a tortoise next to a pile of ammunition that David refused to last week.