Tuesday, February 7, 2012

IndieCade 2012 Submissions Now Open

The fifth-annual IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games will be held October 4-7, 2012, in Los Angeles. The festival includes a Red Carpet Awards; a must-attend professional conference; the IndieXchange meeting series; an open-to-the-public GameWalk of finalist games; a continuous schedule of big games and night games; and other events. IndieCade is a traditional walking festival that occupies multiple theater, gallery, and restaurant venues and spills into the streets.

About IndieCade:

IndieCade promotes independent game development globally through a series of events highlighting the rich, diverse, artistic, and culturally significant contributions of independent game developers. IndieCade's programs are designed to bring visibility to and facilitate the production of new works within the emerging indie game community. IndieCade was formed by Creative Media Collaborative, an alliance of industry producers and leaders founded in 2005.

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Book - Unity iOS Essentials

I just finished working through Unity iOS Essentials by Robert Wiebe, published by Packt:


I recommend this book as an excellent introduction to Unity development for iOS devices, well suited for Unity developers for the desktop that are taking their first steps in mobile game development for iOS.

The book opens with an emphasis on planning the application, which is a topic that anyone that has created a mobile game can appreciate. The initial three chapters cover comparing iOS device features, iOS mobile concepts in general, and how the Unity toolset is applied within that context. These introductory chapters are replete with advice and best practice specifics regarding what contributes to a successful game product for iOS mobile.

After setting the foundation, the book takes a detailed, step-by-step, project oriented approach in learning to create your first game for iOS devices. This content should be very accessible to any developer that has a good overall knowledge of game development with Unity.

From there, the book enters the more technical aspect of how the iOS application functions in the greater enterprise. This presents something of an unavoidable steep learning curve for developers that are engaging with this for the first time. Again, the book takes a detailed, step-by-step approach and includes many useful tips and suggestions.

Anyone that is interested in this book is probably familiar with the Unity Car Tutorial, and the book uses that resource and the JCar project to take the reader on a very detailed process of creating a physics-based driving game using iOS device features that is really well conceived.

The book does a good job in introducing techniques for optimizing lighting, fx, and shaders for for iOS games – again using step-by-step examples.

Lastly, the book addresses deployment and web-based player management.

To get the most from this book, a developer should have previous experience with Unity, a 3D modeling application, a digital imaging modeling application, and a Max OS X development system for XCode. Given the scope of the book, this is an excellent way to explore a trial use of Unity Pro and Unity iOS.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

White House office studies benefits of video games

From USA Today:

Constance Steinkuehler has been a Senior Policy Analyst at the White House, where she's shaping the Obama administration's policies around games that improve health, education, civic engagement and the environment, among other areas.