Phil Hassey - game dev blog
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Archive for February, 2010

Guide to finding Phil at GDC

Friday, February 26th, 2010


So I’m going to be at GDC .. all week!  Here’s how to find me .. look for this guy:


I’m going to be speaking during the iPhone Summit about multi-player games.  Check out the talk listing here.  I’ve been slaving away at the talk all this past week, and I think it’s come out pretty sweet.  I’ll be practicing it quite a bit over the coming week so that I can hit it pretty solid come Tuesday morning.

Other than that, I’ll be hanging around the iPhone and Indie summits a good bit, and just generally around for the rest of the week.  If you see me, come by and say ‘hi’!  Send me an e-mail or comment if there is anything cool going on that I should know about.


Rebuilding my GDC talk …

Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Me speaking two sentences at some political thingie.

Me making a 15 second speech at some crazy political thing.

So, wow .. I’m going to be speaking during the iPhone summit at GDC in two weeks. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity for me as I’ve been churning out Galcon Fusion. So now it’s time to get to business getting my talk ready.

Part of the GDC talk process is sending them a title and a draft version of your talk a month or so in advance. I did this with my talk, which was titled, “Nuts & Bolts of Internet Multiplayer iPhone Game Testing” .. The feedback I got from the iPhone summit advisors was (to summarize): “This talk looks short, and maybe a bit boring.”

After a week of soul searching and considering my options, I had to agree. I wouldn’t want to go to my talk, it didn’t sound that great. Having nowhere else to turn to, I turned to PyCon. I knew that at PyCon people gave talks about how to give talks almost every year. I’ve missed the last two PyCons, so thankfully they’ve been posting them online!

I watched Andrew Kuchling’s How to Give a Python Talk which gave me some insight. The three points he made that really struck me were:

  • Think About Your Audience

    This means I need to give my audience a reason to be at my talk.  What are they interested in?  What do they want to accomplish?  What can I give them so they are empowered to accomplish this goal?

  • Too Short > Too Long

    Andrew related that it’s better to cover too much material in too little time, then to cover too little material in too much time.  If I can cover a blazing amount of information, but at least hit some key points with a strong note, the audience will come away with something.  If I drone away about nothing for 30 minutes, they’ll come away bored.

  • Rehearse your talk!

    I knew this one.  But, it’s good to be reminded.  To those who are coming to GDC and plan on seeing my talk, fear not.  I’ve got this week and next week with NOTHING planned, so I’ll be rehearsing my talk MANY times.  I plan on delivering this one with a bit more style than last time.  Last time was at 360iDev, my first “long” talk at a conference.  I  rehearsed my talk about 1.5 times, and I think it showed.

I think for me the first two points answer my question really quickly.  Why does a dev want to hear me talk?  They want to learn how to make a multi-player game.  As for length, I can cover a bunch of keys to creating a multi-player game and maybe people will latch onto a few key points.  If I only cover testing (as was my original plan) the people at my talk would walk away completely unable to use that information if they don’t have any idea where to start.  Instead, if I give the whole picture, and include testing as part of it, they’ll have enough to go on to get started creating iPhone multi-player games.


P.S. Yeah, if anyone wants to give me tips on talking, feel free.  Oh, and I think my talk is going to be re-titled to: “How GALCON Conquered the Universe of Online Multiplayer Games”

The Galcon Fusion beta testers rocked

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Galcon Fusion has arrived.“Yay, it’s finally here! Check out Galcon Fusion today! We’ve got a free demo and it works on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Steam! It features some crazy nice hi-res graphics and soundtrack. And epic multi-player battles like you’ve never seen ‘em before! Have fun!” <– marketing blurb 😉

Okay, for some dev thoughts. Man, it was a long week! Adding the “demo” feature to the build was a ton of work. And then doing all that other ‘stuff’ that sort of comes up. I think the one serious lesson I’ve learned in this whole process is that beta-testers are awesome.

Really awesome. I had about 50 people who I passed out 10 builds of the game to over the past 3 months. Some of these people put in several dozen hours of play time. All this was a huge help for me, as this was my first desktop ‘3D’ game, so I had a lot of learning to do in terms of graphics capabilities. As in, I was able to get the game to run on my computer which is a pretty nice MacBook Pro .. but not everyone else’s.

The beta tester feedback was huge, I was able to get the game running on old PPC macs, various linux netbooks, and who knows what else .. as long as it had a somewhat reasonable 3D card. I changed the memory requirement for graphics from about 200 MB down to < 64MB. Without any noticeable reduction in graphics quality even in HD video modes. In fact, that reduction changed the loading time on my computer from 5-8 seconds down to about 1 second 🙂 Anyway, I think I'm going to take a nap. It's been a long week, and I really appreciate everyone who helped me get this game put together. Give it a whirl, and thank the beta testers!

Galcon Fusion for Windows / Mac OS X / Linux / Steam has arrived

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Galcon Fusion has arrived.

Yay, it’s finally here! Check out Galcon Fusion today! We’ve got a free demo and it works on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Steam! It features some crazy nice hi-res graphics and soundtrack. And epic multi-player battles like you’ve never seen ‘em before! Have fun!

-Phil & Nanno

P.S. Did you buy Classic Galcon or Galcon Flash? Thanks! You are awesome, and because you are awesome, your purchase of those games count as pre-orders of Galcon Fusion! That’s right – you already own the game! Get in there and play it!

P.S.S. Want to help me out? Spread the word! Play the game! That’ll make my day :)