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My personal space of thoughts...

Late report

Posted by , 02 July 2011 - - - - - - · 305 views

A little sorry for everyone who is waiting for the Game/Ai Conference Report... I'm currently buried under a sh**load of work for one of my customers... Also digging up some interesting links for the topic on hand isn't always easy...

So, please... do not worry... it'll come...

Back from Paris...

Posted by , 26 June 2011 - - - - - - · 351 views

The Game/AI Conference in Paris was a huge success. I met a lot of people, had a lot of fun with some of them, had great discussions, and saw exciting stuff.

Before I can actually write a report about the conference, I'll have to dig through my >30 pages of notes. As for my previous conference report, I'll also try to dig up some additional information about the topic on hand. So... keep coming back :) I think that by the end of next week you'll find an article here ;)

INet in trains is cool...

Posted by , 22 June 2011 - - - - - - · 245 views

I`m currently sitting in the Thalys from Liege (Belgium) to Paris (France... what else?!?) to attend the Game/AI Conference. The Thalys is a european fast train and it actually has a (working) internet connection in the train, which is quite cool because I can write my blog entry right now...

Enough non-sense... I`m looking forward meeting old friends and new people at the conference... Paris... I`m coming ;)

Game progress and AI Conference in Paris

Posted by , 15 June 2011 - - - - - - · 271 views

Time flies by... gosh... almost 5 month since my previous entry... a lot of things have happened.

a) I had to reduce the amount of time I worked on the new contract I signed in January. In fact, the company had some problems which seem to get sorted out this and next months... crossing fingers.

b) an old customer of mine came back to me and has a lot of work for me... which is very nice... interesting project and 1.5 million lines of code to maintain :)

c) I made a lot of progress learning the Unity engine. I did several prototypes and finally decided to really concentrate on my jump and run game. I'm currently working with two graphic artists to get the assets and game characters to (at least) AA level. I've already implemented quite some features, and I basically already can generate quite some puzzles using keys, doors, moving platforms, boxes, etc. A basic "health" system has been implemented... there is still a lot of work to do, but I can see daily improvements. I'm also working on a new website for the game and my "game company".

d) Next week is the Game/AI Conference '11 in Paris. I missed last year's one due to my contracts I had to fulfill. I'm returning to this years one because I really like the conference and the people I meet there. Purchased the VIP ticket which allows me to participate at the VIP dinner and gives me some extra candy (pens and stuff; I just saw that they seemed to have ditched the T-shirts?!?). The hotel is booked (Wednesday to Saturday) and the Thalys (train) tickets are purchased... I'm really looking forward to this... I'm thinking of wrapping up some kind of "report" as I did 2 years ago...

Have fun.

My new contract

Posted by , 17 January 2011 - - - - - - · 347 views

So... in my previous blog entry I told you that I have signed a new contract with a company. I only can and only will talk about stuff related to that contract that is already publicly available through their website.

I'm someone with a lot of experience... I really mean A LOT. I've been in and out the gaming industry for the last 14 years, working as programmer (junior, senior, lead), project manager, technical lead, head of development, freelance developer, etc. I've collaborated in several AAA game titles, and contributed to and developed several serious business applications from speech recognition based picking software to fully fledged CRM systems. I've written game engines and maintained code bases with up to 1.500.000 lines of code.

Why do I tell you this? Because it's important for what comes next :) Due to my experience and my notoriety in and outside the games industry, I'm in the fortunate situation that I never really have to search for projects as a freelance developer. Whenever I drop somewhere that I'm searching for projects, it takes between a couple of days and a couple of weeks before I have several projects on my table from which I can chose. And chose, I do.

While I've got a lot of "been there, done that" projects on my table, I usually chose those which a) seem to be the most interesting to me and b ) enable me to learn new things, mostly independent of the money I gain on that project. Sometimes it even happens that the 2 fit into one project. The project I've signed recently is one of those projects.

Here we go :) The company I signed with is iOpener Media. What do they do? They capture real-time positions/acceleration/etc. of racing cars on the track and stream that information into racing games. In that way, the player is able to do the race against actual pilots running the race somewhere else on Earth. You want to participate the latest F1 race in Monaco, Dubai or Japan? Run an iOpener enabled game and log into your account... as soon as the real-world-race starts, it will start on your screen. This is one of those games.

If you want more information on this, please read the web sites :)

My work on the project will probably be the delivery of the content to the user base and contributing to the development of the API for game developers. I'm really looking forward to this because it combines hardware, software, web, cloud computing, traveling ( :) ), and collaboration with old friends and people inside the gaming industry.

Sometimes life really sucks...

Posted by , 13 January 2011 - - - - - - · 171 views

especially with a leg in platter... last week, on Friday evening, I went playing basketball with some friends. During the game, the Achilles tendon of my left leg started to hurt. That was something which didn't really bother me. So I continued playing... big mistake... upon a pass of a team mate, I started sprinting and on the first step with my left leg, a snapping noise together with heavy pain threw me to the ground.

With all my courage I one-foot-jumped to the showers, to the car, drove home and laid in my bed. I admit that I slept quite well... But on Saturday morning my wife drove me to the urgency and a platter has been applied to my leg, after it had been examined. I have some fibers of my Achilles tendons snapped. Not the entire thing, but still enough to force me into at least 3 weeks of platter...

Fortune in misfortune: The new customer for whom I should have started working last Monday, sent out two guys (who happen to be former colleagues of mine) to bring in a machine with everything I need on it for me to start working from home :) Contracts have been signed.

I'll talk about the highly interesting contract in another blog entry :)

Wow... Just Wow...

Posted by , 10 January 2011 - - - - - - · 179 views

I really like the new GameDev.net layout. Being a member since '99 (but visiting it since almost day 1), I've seen the different styles and layouts. But this one is by far the best :)

There are still some little glitches (ie. my blog title doesn't fit entirely into the blog head) but that is not annoying at all.

I'm looking forward to discover all the rest of the new features/pages.

Happy New Year everyone

Posted by , 31 December 2010 - - - - - - · 155 views

I wish every reader of gamedev.net a Happy New Year and success in your life.

Hopefully everyone has survived the New Year's Eve. I've spent the evening with my family. My mother in law came by and we played Monopoly until 2 a.m.

The last couple of weeks were quite... well... in between stressful and calm. I've signed with a German company for a software maintenance contract. And 3 other contracts are in the works: 1 contract with another German company to work on their middleware software, and 2 contracts for web games (1 private owned company web game and 2-3 facebook games).

So all in all the year seems to start fine.

But... what have I done and achieved last year?

- Bought a second house
- Done A LOT of works in that house (spend a lot of money on that; most expensive year I ever had).
- Started working with Unity
- Created a multiplayer game prototype
- Started working on Insane Robots
- Finished a contract work for a company in Switzerland.

And what is in for next year?

- Sign the remaining 3 contracts :)
- Finish those contracts
- Finish Insane Robots
- Take a look at UDK (the multiplayer game prototype needs a good dedicated/master server structure and hopefully UDK provides that).
- Finish the renovation works in my office upstairs (in January)
- Chop down ~100 trees on my estate (some of them almost fell on the neighbors house)

That already quite some stuff to do...

So... have a nice year!

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