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Game Development Games

Codalyn’s Stable Orbit First Look

The year is 2034 and you have been tasked with building a successor to the International Space Station.

In its debut game Stable Orbit, one-man studio Codalyn will send players into space on a mission of building, earning, and survival. The simulation will not only include the development of a station but will also require management of contracts, resources, and a variety of unexpected obstacles. Successful missions will lead to even greater challenges like the creation of an orbiting city.

Stable Orbit Space Station
Stable Orbit will probably lead to many viral screenshots

Codalyn graciously provided me with an Alpha build of Stable Orbit so I could try my hand at station building in its current state. While it’s too early to get a strong sense of the gameplay, construction already has all the ingredients for serious fun. The game was very wisely designed with a Sandbox Mode, allowing for total freedom of construction. I may have quickly resorted to silly nonsense with my own bases but I was seriously impressed by the foundation that has been built for the rest of the experience. Tinkering to learn what’s possible got me very interested following the game’s development.

Stable Orbit was designed and developed by Codalyn founder Jim Offerman. Offerman has over a decade of professional game industry experience, and contributed to Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011), Tomb Raider (2013), and Thief (2014). Stable Orbit is scheduled for full release in Q3 2016.

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Game Development Game Industry Games

Weekly Roundup

It’s been a busy week! My first Nerd Stash game review just went live and I got to cover a couple of cool news items.

More great stuff is coming in the next couple of weeks!

(Review) Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition – This game was the real deal! The Divinity series has been popular with PC gamers for years but Original Sin Enhanced Edition marked the series’ arrival on consoles. It was a pleasure to check it out on Xbox One and write up my thoughts.

Expect more reviews from me in the near future!

(Humble Bundle) Humble Codemasters Bundle Delivers Big for Racers – I love what the Humble Bundle team does and I love my racing. You can imagine my response to the Humble Codemasters Bundle. Codemasters is the studio behind the awesome DiRT and Grid series as well as some great non-racing games. As usual, the bundle supports a couple of great charities.

The Humble Codemasters Bundle

(New Release) Musical Language Game Lyriko Now Available for Android and iOS – Needless to say I can’t thoroughly cover mobile games and I don’t pretend to try. That said, occasionally I find a game I can’t help but talk about.

Lyriko was designed and developed by an MIT grad with a fascination for music and language studies. He combined the two and wound up with a game that plays like a musical Rosetta Stone course. It doesn’t pretend to be a full-fledged language learning tool but it’s outstanding for players who are already studying a foreign language.

Lyriko, a musical language game

In addition to these posts I finalized a feature that hasn’t been posted yet and also covered a great news story (currently in the hands of the editor) about the upcoming UFC bout between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor deciding the cover art for EA Sports UFC 2.

I’ll include late posts in next week’s roundup!

Categories
Game Industry

The Coolest Gaming Book I Had Never Heard Of

While working on a news story noting the 10th launch anniversary of the Xbox 360 recently, I came across a story I could hardly believe. Wikipedia suggested that the 360’s core processor was only a “slightly modified” version of the Sony PlayStation 3’s Cell Processor technology, and that IBM engineers had to “hide” this from Sony during the hardware’s development. The source link sent me to a Wall Street Journal article that not only corroborated this story, it introduced me to a whole book about it.

“The Race for a New Game Machine” tells the story of IBM architect David Shippy and his colleague Mickie Phipps as they carried out parallel development efforts of these console processors while sometimes trying to keep the companies separated inside the same building. If this isn’t surprising enough, manufacturing foresight on the part of Microsoft actually allowed them to ship their processor well ahead of Sony, causing huge trouble for the PlayStation team in the following year.

Cell Processor

I love books like this. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the epic struggle between Sega and Nintendo detailed in Console Wars by Blake J. Harris. Video games are fascinating far beyond what we experience at the controller; if you’ve never looked at the business behind your favorite pastime, you’re likely missing out.

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Writing

I’m Writing at Nerd Stash!

I’m pleased to be a new regular contributor over at Nerd Stash

I’ll be covering news, reviews, opinions and more. I’ll also be putting in work on a number of new multimedia initiatives as they start to get off the ground. 

I talked to multiple outlets and really clicked with the team at Nerd Stash. They care greatly for their people and they do incredible charity work throughout the year with Extra Life and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. 

I’ll be doing a weekly roundup here to fill you in on my contributions. Check them out!

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Game Industry Writing

New Adventures in Gaming Journalism

Over half a year ago, I left my full-time software development career of ten years to take care of my son and pursue indie game development. Since the closing of NightfallUnlimited.com, I hadn’t given much thought to what would be next in terms of my writing, podcasting, blogging, etc. Then a funny thing happened.

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Game Industry

SMH at the New Xbox One Experience

I’ve been in the Xbox One Preview Program for several months but, by now, most of us have finally seen the XB1 system overhaul and have had time to decide what they think. Industry writers are singing its praises and Microsoft execs are all but posing in front of Mission Accomplished banners; I’m over here shaking my head.

Categories
Game Development

Is Apple Outrunning Its Native Game Developers?

As a developer myself, I’m often lured into trying to become a ninja in native iOS game development. I say “often” because there’s always something new to deal with: iPads, taller iPhone screens, SpriteKit, Swift, Metal, the list goes on.

Categories
Writing

Check Out My Guest Post!

Pay no attention to my rejected artwork. I recently finished a lengthy guest post over at Geeks Who Know Their Shit!