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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).


Member Blogs

Posted by Casey ODonnell on Tue, 23 Dec 2014 01:40:00 EST in Serious
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.

Posted by Casey ODonnell on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:51:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Programming, Art, Console/PC
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.

Posted by Casey ODonnell on Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:37:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Programming, Production, Console/PC, Indie
There's a reason Flappy Bird happened on iOS and not on the consoles. Access.

Posted by Casey ODonnell on Thu, 20 Feb 2014 03:39:00 EST in Audio, Business/Marketing, Design, Programming, Production, Art
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.

Posted by Casey ODonnell on Thu, 16 Feb 2012 09:15:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Indie
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

Comment In: [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.

Comment In: [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.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/20/2014 - 03:39]

Live-streaming is definitely another chink ...

Live-streaming is definitely another chink in the armor of the culture of secrecy and its great raw data. That 's a great point. r n r nIt could be interesting for someone to look at long term. I still don 't think its the same as having people in/around a ...

Comment In: [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...

Comment In: [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 ...

Comment In: [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 ...