Gamecrash Austin was great!

So I’m finally back home after having had a blast with the Gamecrash – Develop with Passion® course last week in Austin, TX! (Note: check at the bottom of the post how to help us decide where to hold the next edition.)

The course was a great experience! It was a small group of highly-motivated developers, and we were able to cover a lot of ground: basic game loops, OpenGL, textures, rotations and matrices for general transform in 2D and 3D (using homogeneous coordinates even), game physics, animation, sound and music support, tile-based maps, pathfinding, character behavior, and even some actual 3D graphics and gaming on the last day!

I went to the back of the room while people were concentrated stabilizing their hand-written physics engine.

By the end of the course, all attendees were convinced that writing a game is a very doable project, and so I feel proud and happy with how it went! Two of the attendees, even, were working on their own games by the end of the week (a zombies game and an infinite runner). I’m really eager to see what they come up with, and I’ll be the first promoter for their games as soon as they’re published.

The language choice proved great: we used C without pointers, which is as readable as code can get, and we lost exactly zero hours to issues with the programming language during the whole course. It was all games, games, games and games!

Here are some more pictures from the course:

The mini-game with platforms, tile-based map, parallax, fog, coins, particle systems, animations, music, sound, physics, cool character control and blinking eyes ended up looking great! About 1,500 lines of highly-focused C code can create a really great experience.

By the last day, you can see in everyone's faces that we were already all game developers in some measure.

Most of the time I was standing writing examples, algorithms and equations on the flipchart, but I had to sit down and rest every once in a while.

And you could always replenish energy with the Texas-shaped waffles at the hotel breakfast buffet. Seriously, I loved Austin, which is an awesome city, and it was a great location for the first Gamecrash!

We have already started to plan the next edition of the course, to be held about a couple of months from now. And instead of arbitrarily choosing where to do it, we are trying to learn from the people interested in attending where to hold it. So please go to JP’s Develop with Passion® blog, and select where you’d like us to host the next course. We’re considering Canada, San Diego, NYC or London s the main options. We’ll announce it as soon as we can have enough feedback and we start setting things up. Hope to see you there!


PS: Graphics courtesy of the following artists: Tyrian and other graphics by Daniel Cook (http://www.lostgarden.com/), Fuzed graphics by Marc Russell (http://www.spicypixel.net), Zombie sprites by Clint Bellanger (http://opengameart.org/content/zombie-sprites). Thanks guys!