Casey ODonnell's Blog
Casey O'Donnell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. His research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. His first book, "Developer's Dilemma" is published by MIT. Casey is an active game developer, releasing "Osy," in 2011, "Against the Gradient," in 2012 and "GLITcH" in 2013. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).
The end of the year, for many, is a time of reflection. Some people write lists about games or reflect on events throughout the year. I tend to think about things I've said or done that I wish I hadn't. This is an apology for one of those things.
An introduction to and excerpt from Casey O'Donnell's new book, Developer's Dilemma: The Secret World of Videogame Creators, published by MIT Press. It is an ethnographic account of the everyday lives of game developers at the height of the console era.
When I look back at ten years of notes on GDC, I see change and shift. Yet I see structures reemerge time and again. The very structures that have enabled the seismic shift in game development now begin to mimic the old.
There's a reason Flappy Bird happened on iOS and not on the consoles. Access.
The massive layoffs and shuttering of Irrational Games is part of a broad set of practices that ultimately contribute to the Institutional Alzheimer's of the AAA game industry. It's time to distinguish between real secrets and just the stuff that happens.
It has been a strange week in the world of #gamedev, as most followed Double Fine's KickStarter event only to hear of other #gamedev luminaries now on indie missions also considering the tool. But, why fund? Patronage? Fun? Or a chance to pay your way in?
Casey ODonnell's Comments
[Blog - 03/24/2014 - 01:23]
My favorite not thing is ...
My favorite not thing is how Greg 's entire post has been boiled down to discovery, which is a pretty dismal reading of what he actually said.
[Blog - 03/25/2014 - 01:59]
Matt... This is totally off ...
Matt... This is totally off topic, but the title of your post is hilarious. My book coming out from MIT Press in October originally had this title. It is now, Developer 's Dilemma, but the fact you used this headline made me laugh out loud. Cheers.
[Blog - 02/20/2014 - 03:39]
@Jon... r n r nThis ...
@Jon... r n r nThis came up on CultureDigitally, where I posted a response as well. I 'd still welcome your reflections on mine. Because I do take it seriously: r n r nhttp://culturedigitally.org/2014/02/institutional-alzheimers-a-culture-of-secrecy-and-the-opacity-of-gamedev-work/
[News - 02/08/2012 - 08:05]
And Activision didn't identify Guitar ...
And Activision didn't identify Guitar Hero. Red Octane took the risk first as a small publisher working with Harmonix. Red Octane was later bought by Activision after the franchise was already established...
[News - 08/25/2011 - 10:58]
I agree, out of the ...
I agree, out of the box there are some idiosyncrasies to using Unity for 2D, but once you've done it once it makes sense and works well. It would be nice if by default Unity had a 2D package that you could import that would make the process clearer. I ...
[News - 02/19/2010 - 09:34]
I also worry about hobbyists ...
I also worry about hobbyists and independent developers who use Mod Chips as a poor-person's substitute for a DevKit. Its' strange to me that continually people neglect to mention that the R4 also allows unlicensed developers to have their chance at developing for a device. There are even cottage industries ...