Catan in Starcraft 2 Update…


It’s been a while since I gave an update on my Settlers of Catan Starcraft map, so here it is. I’ve made a lot of major improvements to how the game board is generated, how player data is stored, and how the map keeps track of the game state. The image above shows what the game looks like at this point. Continue reading to get an idea of what I’m doing with the project from here, and what new systems I made.

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Writing Tutorials for GameDevTuts+


Last November I found my way to the website GameDevTuts+, a blog designed for budding Game Developers to learn the skills they need to start making games. I really liked what they were trying to do, and not longer after I started following them they sent out a call for writers. With my experience as an instructor at Technology and Game Design camps, and my brief experience writing for another similar website, I thought it would be a good fit for me and sent in an application.

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Kitchen Scene

This scene was a collaboration between myself a number of other people to reproduce a room from a sorority house on my campus. My job was to do the entire kitchen. I think the scene came out well overall but it does feel kind of new and unused. If I had the time, I would go back to this project and add wear and tear to some of the things and would put random objects around like dirty plates in the sink, food that has been left out and a couple of utensils or appliances strewn about on the counters.

The main reason I did not do all of this to begin with was because of the time-frame on the project. We were only given a total of about 3 and a half weeks for the project. The original term of it was three weeks and then at the end of the semester we were given an extra half week to redo any renders or things we wanted from the entirety of the class. On top of this, since I had a number of other classes at the same time and was taking a full course load, I only really got the chance to spend a little time on it each day and some days I didn’t get to work on it at all. Since we were remaking a location on campus we were also required to do the entire scene to scale and measure everything as exactly as possible. This was a bit time consuming and was especially bad the first day or so when we spent almost 10 hours total going through the kitchen and the other portion of the room (which I did not work on) and had to measure everything as precisely as possible.

I think many of the objects came out well in the end but I would definitely like to go back on day and spend some more time with it. A few of the textures bother me right now and there is definitely more that could be done with it if I had the time.

Patio Scene

This was an interesting project as it was one of the first times I did an outdoor environment. There are definitely things I would work on if I had the time but the overall feel of the scene is definitely there, so it is at least a good starting point. If I could go back I would definitely modify the lighting so it is a little brighter out and you can see more of the little details in some parts. I would also tone down the bloom effect coming from the windows of the house as they seem a bit exaggerated to me right now. Finally I would modify the “tiles” on the outside of the house and see if I could create some better bushes on the raised garden area.

The original scene was made for a class so as always I was limited on time and had many other things going on at the same time to distract me from it. I like the results overall but still think there are things I could work on. If there is one thing that I loved about this scene though, it is the mood. I think I captured my intended mood really well and would do my best to keep the overall feeling of the scene if I ever went back to it.

Crashed Spaceship Scene

This was a really cool project to work on because it was based on such a unique idea. The assignment was simply to make an interior scene and somehow I came up with the idea to create a scene where spaceship had crashed through the outside wall of a house and into the living room. It was a lot of fun for a few reasons. It gave me the chance to really experiment with lighting and play with a number of different light sources from the blue-ish mechanical lighting of the TV, to the strange lighting of the alien space shuttle, to the yellow-orange light of the upstairs light source. It was also just a fun scene to frame and imagine because of how much stuff was involved in it. There is still so much more I would like to do with this scene if I had the time but since it was for a class I had to meet the deadline and deal with all of my other responsibilities at the some time, I had to move on and let it be.

If I could go back, I would definitely add more into the living room setting and might add more into the entrance way in front of the stairs. I would also love to play with the atmosphere of the scene more and see if there is anything I could do to make it look more interesting overall. Finally the two big things I wanted to do but just did not have the time for was add broken glass into the carpet and make it shiny and easy to see because it will add a lot of little points of reflection and brightness, and to use some particle effects to make it feel like there is dirt flying around.  I would also want to work on the couch and see if I can make something that feels a little older and more dated like the TV.

On the whole I am very hapy with this scene because it works really well for what it is and was just such a blast to work on in general. I can’t wait to get back to it someday and build it up to be even better.