Stephen Calender Programming Blog


How to Make a Learning Game: The Post Every Client Should Read

Tags: Filament Games, Opinion, Students.

It Begins With An Idea

Video games typically begin with design, either starting with a great idea or pursuing a creative solution to a tough problem. It is entirely possible to imagine games for which there is no demand, or to identify a space where there is a need but no good game can be built. It is imperative to challenge your ideas and refine them to ensure it meets the qualifications of a good educational game. Once you’ve made that determination, you’re ready to start the game design process. As a broad overview we’ll discuss this process in terms of design, objectives, scope, and platform.
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How to Make a Video Game for Learning: Content Considerations

Tags: Filament Games, Opinion.

Game design is a complex subject to cover, but there are some litmus tests for what makes good learning game content. The following list will help you determine if you have the right type of content for a learning game.
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Working with Interdisciplinary Teams

Tags: Filament Games, Opinion.

Another writing taken from my contributions to the Filament Games Blog

People with diverse talents come together to create games. As a medium, games are composed of art, programming, sound, design, film, and story. My graduate school experience was entirely project-based, with each of us applying our specialized skills developed in undergrad, practicing for the complicated and collaborative environment of game development.
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Creating Games In HTML5

Tags: Filament Games, HTML5, Opinion.

I have worked with HTML5 for about a year now; it is an interesting platform that cobbles together several bits of technology. It is a capable tool to build games, but not as compelling as other options that can publish to web and native devices (Unity, Flash + Air). In my opinion, HTML5’s advantage is reaching all devices. However, running on all devices (supporting all browser versions and hardware) is also going to be its short coming. Until all versions of Internet Explorer are phased out in favor of Edge (Internet Explorer has been lagging behind other modern browsers) and we can usher in a new generation of tablet devices (the iPad2 and iPad mini, along with cheaper android devices are lacking in performance and a large segment of the tablet market share), HTML5 is not a cost efficient option for game development.

I expound on these thoughts and HTML5 development in my recent Filament Games article:

Getting the Most out of HTML5.
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Why Build Learning Games?

Tags: Filament Games, Opinion.

I just celebrated my first year of employment with Filament Games. I have been very busy developing cool things with new technology.

I have also been contributing to the company blog, this was my first post.
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Quoted in the book Brick by Brick

Tags: Uncategorized.

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

Every once in a while smart things come out of my mouth, and it is nice when other people recognize that. I was recently quoted by the ink and paper medium in Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry
ISBN: 978-0-307-95160-1

As Stephen Calender, a former Universe developer, put it in an interview with the blog MMO Fallout, producing a flawless game with nearly one million lines of code “would be like getting a perfect score on a math test with that many questions.”

The excerpt in its entirety:
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Adobe Creative Cloud

Tags: Opinion.

Adobe announced that it will no longer sell boxed versions of its products; furthermore, it is launching its Creative Cloud. All of their software will be provided as a service with a monthly subscription. Even though Creative Cloud won’t have any application updates until mid-June, it is too late to get a discount upgrade to Creative Suite 6, all of incentive programs have been switched over to Creative Cloud. Full Article

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Productivity

Tags: Opinion.

There are just so many things I want to accomplish, and not enough time to give them all attention. While I focus on enhancing my personal life, every organization I have ever worked for has butted up against the productivity problem too. Maximizing work accomplished is not a new problem. I’m not sure if we think the rules have changed with current technology, or software developers just never learned from other disciplines. Full Article

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Sprite versus MovieClip

Tags: ActionScript 3.0 Benchmarks, Optimization.

SpriteVsMCGraph

For years I have heard horror stories about the bad performance of Flash’s MovieClip class, so much so that I have aggressively replaced as many objects as I can with Sprites. Obviously MoiveClip objects use a bit more memory, but how much more processing time do they take compared to Sprites? When exactly do they become expensive? Does it matter how you have your display list organized (according to Adobe, shallower is better; however, we do not have a cost comparison)? Surprising answers and discoveries are abound! Full Article

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