Past Meetup

June Meetup - Using Shared Code Across Several Games

This Meetup is past

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We're excited to (belatedly) announce our June event featuring local programmer and game designer John Arras! He recently built several mobile/social games using shared code. He'll discuss the lessons learned from this experience, in particular abstractions and trying to balance sharing and automation vs. customization for each game.

John has 10 years of experience in game development working on a variety of casual, social, and mobile projects (including horse sims, telecom sims, virtual farm sims, RPGs, trivia games and multiplayer board games). He has worked in languages such as C#, Actionscript, Java, C++, PHP and Javascript. He has experience with all parts of the development stack including clients for web, mobile and desktop, asynchronous and realtime servers, build automation, data storage, and tools for producers, designers and artists.

Three of John's recent games were built using shared code. One of them is Super Cute Animal Rumble, a title for iPad, Android, and Facebook. SCAR is a strategy game where players build armies to defeat the enemy base. It uses a "merge 3 and gain a more powerful unit" mechanic similar to Triple Town. The game can be played against 1, 2 or 3 AI opponents that get more challenging over time, or against a friend in alternating turns. The different animal species each has tradeoffs that reward different styles of play. SCAR is the first game released by John's company, Oxdeadbeef Games, which he started in 2012.

The second game is a work-in-progress procedurally generated RPG currently called GenRPG. Users can play alone or in small instances with other players, but the actions they take will affect what later users experience when they visit those regions. John is working alone on this project, doing programming and design. The third title is PSA CardSlugger, a baseball card trivia game that John helped build on a contract basis. He did the programming for the client and server, and interacted with a service to access an existing database.

All three of these games were built using Unity3D or Xamarin for the client-side and .NET/C# for the servers and tools on a shared codebase. The main lessons John will discuss are about sharing code between client and server and between games, as well as the pros and cons of this approach.

Schedule for this event:
• 6:30pm - Arrival and socializing
• 7:00pm - Intro and announcements
• 7:10pm - John Arras talk begins
• 7:55pm - Audience questions
• 8:25pm - More socializing

Supported by Autodesk
Thanks to generous support from Autodesk, this event will include free pizza and beer. Autodesk recently released Maya LT, a 3D animation and modeling tool built specifically for indie and mobile game makers. For more info, please visit http://www.autodesk.com/