Trent Oster's Blog
I’m Trent Oster (just in case you didn’t get that from the title . I’ve been in game development for the last sixteen years, the vast majority working at BioWare as a Project Director. I started my career as an independent developer, creating a shareware title called “Blasteroids 3D”. As we wrapped work up on “Blasteroids” we formed a new company called “Bioware”. Initially there were six equal shareholders, but over time that fell to five and then two of us broke off and formed a company called “Pyrotek Game Studios”. Pyrotek lasted a whopping year or so and then I rejoined BioWare. During my second BioWare stint, I worked on Baldur’s Gate, lead the development of Neverwinter Nights and its expansions, worked for two years as the Director of Technology and lead the development on the Eclipse Engine (which powers Dragon Age). I also started a new and exciting project which failed to survive the recession. EA: Edmonton (BioWare) and I parted ways in June 2009 and I think we’re both better for it. They have a lot less hassle with resources for projects with one fewer in the pipe and I have a lot less push back when I want to do something. I recently re-united with a former Bioware cohort and together we’ve formed Beamdog . Beamdog is a shiny, new Digital Distribution portal focused on making the user experience better.
Do you dumb a game concept down to increase the potential audience or do you stay focused with a more hardcore game and accept a smaller audience? Is that even a valid case? I'l dig in a bit and see where my rambling goes.
I recently was asked a few questions by a fellow who was early in his career and wanted some of my thoughts on topics he was facing. After I'd answered his questions I thought the answers were worth sharing.
Some of my rants around game development and production.
Through the last 16 years in game development I've noticed adoption/development patterns in new platforms/genres/hardware. I'll go into my observations and see what links I can make.
This blog article is about exploring the differences between a technology oriented company and a product oriented company. I manage to come off as a pretty heavy Apple fanboi. I don't self-identify as such, but they are doing some things right lately.
I recently went back to Torchlight and still love it.
Trent Oster's Comments
[Blog - 12/04/2013 - 01:24]
Our largest challenge on updating ...
Our largest challenge on updating the game was a lot of the feel of Baldur 's Gate was hardcoded into the UI code. We cooked three months into trying to remove the rules form the UI code and we had to give up as we estimated a minimum of another ...
[News - 12/08/2011 - 03:43]
[Feature - 10/06/2011 - 04:00]
My Favorite was always Chimp ...
My Favorite was always Chimp Factor Five . It relates to reducing the complexity of a UI or other game element down as far as possible. Often used as an adjective. Is that UI Chimp Factor Five Yes, it is. Cathedral building is a term which refers to a programmer ...
[News - 05/12/2011 - 06:38]
[News - 03/18/2011 - 04:58]
These guys need to get ...
These guys need to get some perspective. I'm happy for them, they took a successful concept physics game of shooting objects at buildings put good production values to it, good art, sound effects and then they got crazy lucky. Hell, they won the lottery. They got insanely lucky and the ...
[News - 09/22/2010 - 01:21]