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Kain Shin's Blog   Expert Blogs


Lifelong gamer with core experiences amongst JRPGs, CRPGs, SRPGs, Shmups, Beat-em-ups, retro twitch, and fighting games (formerly a competition level Soul Calibur player). Will always have a special place in my heart for emergent simulations that follow the Looking Glass school of design.

Former games journalist for a humble hardcore gaming website. Spent some time as a chemical engineer before finally deciding to follow my passion. Graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Computer Science in 2000.

Entered the games industry in March of 2000 as a programmer on the Microsoft/Bicycle Casino (PC) line of products developed by Compulsive Development and Glass Eye Entertainment. Went on to join the team at Ion Storm to work on Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC/Xbox) and Thief: Deadly Shadows (PC/Xbox). Spent a short time at TKO Software working on the N-Gage 2.5 SDK. Became a senior programmer at Breakaway Games's Austin studio working on console and PC projects. Served as Lead Programmer on Mushroom Men for the Wii, which was developed by Red Fly Studio. Was a core AI/Gameplay programmer on Dishonored at Arkane Studios in Austin, Texas.

Formerly served as a director of IGDA-Austin focused on running activities for the organization and promoting visibility of the professional game development community in the city. Initiated the tradition of IGDA-Austin Microtalks before handing the torch over to the next generation.

Eventually became a weapon of Harmonix Music Systems in Cambridge, Massachusetts before parting ways to go indie.

Currently a co-owner of an indie studio named Question, which has shipped The Magic Circle and The Blackout Club.



Expert Blogs

Posted by Kain Shin on Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:16:00 EDT in Programming
The Magic Circle places no artificial limits on the number of creatures you can drag around with you in the world. This is a simplified description of some of the major optimizations that went into making that possible.

Posted by Kain Shin on Thu, 15 May 2014 08:00:00 EDT in Audio, Design, Programming, Production, Art
A diagram showing the migration patterns of the elusive spotted game developer in its natural habitat.

Posted by Kain Shin on Sun, 27 Jan 2013 08:49:00 EST in Programming
I've had many mentors over my 12+ years as a professional game programmer, but there is one ex-colleague in particular who has abstractly had more influence on my algorithms than any other.

Posted by Kain Shin on Tue, 19 Jul 2011 07:32:00 EDT in Design
Out of all the disciplines, game designers seem to have it the hardest when it comes to evaluation during interviews. Their skillsets are difficult to quantify in a standard manner because they are, in essence, professional thought architects.

Posted by Kain Shin on Sun, 28 Mar 2010 07:18:00 EDT in Production
I sense a disturbing trend amongst some of the fresh graduates, lately. A lot of kids are coming my way that fit a specific archetype: nice, smart, passionate, and utterly screwed by the false expectations fed to them by their educational institutions.

Posted by Kain Shin on Sun, 31 May 2009 09:53:00 EDT in Production
Over the years, I had mentored a few select individuals for associate producer positions in the hopes of growing a garden of local people around town that knew what they were doing and would spread the good habits on to the studios they would end up at.

Kain Shin's Comments

Comment In: [News - 03/22/2018 - 03:37]

Thanks for sharing, Laralyn. Much ...

Thanks for sharing, Laralyn. Much respect

Comment In: [Blog - 04/29/2016 - 03:16]

ha Having finite RAM was ...

ha Having finite RAM was already a difficult thing for us to impose on the player. As much as possible, we wanted the player to live in a fantasy world where the only thing that mattered was design.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/24/2016 - 06:45]

This is very useful. Thank ...

This is very useful. Thank you. Your book is great, BTW.

Comment In: [News - 01/15/2016 - 03:34]

Thank you, Bart : ...

Thank you, Bart :

Comment In: [News - 09/22/2015 - 08:05]

Oh : ...

Oh :

Comment In: [News - 06/05/2015 - 04:04]

Thank you, Paul. ...

Thank you, Paul.