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Trent Polack's Blog   Expert Blogs


Hi, I’m Trent Polack (@mittense on twitter). I’m currently helping to save the world from East Lansing, MI as a Lead Experience Developer at planet3. I’m also the Founder of Joy Machine, LLC where we make games that are simply really fun.

I used to make video games as a Senior VFX Artist and Technical Artist working on Crowfall.

Before that, I was Creative Director and Executive Producer at Team Chaos, working on games like SUPERCHROMARooster Teeth vs. ZombiensLoot RaidersSPACE COLORSDragon RaidersCat vs. AliensDragon Academy, and Elements: Broken Lands.

And even before that, I worked as a Senior Designer on various projects at LightBox Interactive as well as spending years on Starhawk and the initial design/development of Plundernauts.

In the past, I was a game developer at Stardock Entertainment where I worked on Galactic Civilizations 2: Twilight of the ArnorSins of a Solar EmpireThe Political Machine 2008, and Demigod. I was also involved with a large amount of the development of Elemental: War of Magic. I’ve also worked as a programmer working on satellite monitoring programs, a game journalist, an author, a door-to-door salesman, a PR dude, and a grocery bag boy. That last one is really the highlight of my career, I think.

I have a degree in English (with a focus on Creative Writing, Computer Science, and Secondary Education) from the University of Michigan.

I write a whole bunch about bunches of things. In the past, I have been known to write entire books such as Focus on 3D Terrain Programming. I also coauthored Graphics Programming Methods and Game Programming: Tricks of the Trade.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Trent Polack on Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:20:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
I wrote a late night ramble thing on WAIT FOR IT systems design! Kinda. Also ghostbusters and persona and MGS5 and Far Cry 2. Which have so much (nothing) in common.

Posted by Trent Polack on Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:51:00 EDT in Programming, Console/PC, Indie
I tried to employ an actual scientific method to taking a pass at color-grading/post-stack tuning for not-super-well-calibrated monitors or non-ideal viewing conditions. Then, shortly after starting, I was like "let's make this an article!" I'm so d

Posted by Trent Polack on Thu, 16 Mar 2017 06:18:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Console/PC, Indie
Project management is the sexiest topic in all of game development. Seriously. It's the thing that makes us into rock stars and pop culture idols. For real, it's boring, but it's the most necessary aspect of ensuring your project stays on schedule.

Posted by Trent Polack on Thu, 09 Mar 2017 06:05:00 EST in Indie
I've been in games for about ten years. Or so. All sorts of different platforms, scope (indie->AAA->beyond), etc. And now I have my own company working on a fantastic game (Steel Hunters). Here's what I've learned.

Posted by Trent Polack on Tue, 07 Feb 2017 10:45:00 EST in Design, Programming, Production, Console/PC, Indie
Sometimes, a CEO/Technical Director/Creative Director/Rendering Dev/Engine Dev/Game Designer just needs to talk about making a holistic systems-first design process on a mech-based video game.

Posted by Trent Polack on Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:48:00 EST in Programming, Art, Console/PC
The many joys of NVIDIA GameWorks' HBAO+ and its... Multiple distributions and different integrations.

Trent Polack's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 03/16/2017 - 06:18]

So, if someone gets blocked ...

So, if someone gets blocked on a task for whatever reason, we have them assign the @blocked label to a task, so that the production team can use their filter all @blocked to see instantly what tasks are blocked, so that we can resolve the blockers ASAP.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/07/2017 - 10:45]

Yeah, I totally hear where ...

Yeah, I totally hear where you 're coming from. I actually spent a lot of time going back and forth on this I decided on the pixel-perfect aiming for a few reasons: r n r n- For one thing, it 's not true pixel-perfect aim. What I mean is that ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/22/2016 - 10:48]

If you get access to ...

If you get access to the GameWorks Github repository NVIDIA is generally pretty quick with requests , you can find the beginnings of the integration into UE4 in the VXGI repo. r n r nAnd from there you can just e-mail me and I 'll help you from there. ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/14/2015 - 02:14]

I don 't do philosophical. ...

I don 't do philosophical. I do old testament god wrath.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/18/2015 - 10:53]

Yeah, I 'm incredibly interested ...

Yeah, I 'm incredibly interested to see how co-op changes the game dynamic. I just did a mission without my Felynes this morning and it felt so barren and empty and sad. :

Comment In: [Blog - 09/06/2014 - 09:02]

I think the only group ...

I think the only group I painted with the same brush are the harassers. r n r nBut this: gamergate is about the ingrained nepotism and back door dealings that have soaked into every part of gaming journalism over the last decade. is such an odd statement to me. Is ...