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Stephen Calender

Learning About Learning: Dog Training

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

If you have been following Filament Games you have probably met my dog Euler (named after Leonhard Euler). As you might infer, Filament has an office policy where pets are welcome at work. Euler has appeared across Filament’s media. For example, she has been featured, and photo-bombed others on our instagram. I added a second dog, …

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10 Tips for Designing a Game Tutorial

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

Every game teaches you how to play. Plants vs. Zombies is an interesting case study because it made “hardcore” strategy content accessible to casual and non-gamers. Before Plants vs. Zombies the game industry had falsely concluded that the casual market just wasn’t interested in certain game genres. In addition to appealing to casual gamers, it …

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The Importance of Feedback

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

I’ve previously quoted Sid Meier who believes one way to think about game design is “a series of interesting decisions“. Besides game designers, there are a few other professions that obsess over human behavior with a particular focus on the choices we make; namely, psychologists and economists. They study phenomenon that expose flaws in how we …

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Preventing Defects And Defensive Programming

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

As programmers, we can embed fail-safes into our code. In essence, we get decide what failure looks like. As we are writing code we choose how rigorously we validate our work; for example, checking that values are not null, lists are not empty, or numbers stay within valid ranges. In the event that something bad …

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Features That Add Value

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

When I provide insight into game development, instead of talking about specific games, the conversation revolves around the building blocks of games we call features. Through analyzing the atomic elements of games and how they can be combined and work together, we hope to learn generic lessons that can be applied to all games. If …

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Future-Proofing Your Project

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

Technology is an ever-changing landscape. There are constant stories about the death of platforms, new ‘game-changing’ software or hardware, and wild successes or tragic failures for seemingly arbitrary reasons. Let’s explore how you can mitigate those risks and develop a project that has a lifespan measured in years. Selecting Technology One of the first decisions …

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Taking Your Game From Version 1.0 to 2.0

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

I have written about the importance of considering cost during the early stages of project development, and provided a broad overview of what to expect during the production process. Now that you’ve officially launched the game, you may be considering taking your project to version 2.0. Before developing ideas on how to best position your project for …

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HTML5 and WebGL

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

WebGL, like HTML5, is an agreed upon standard that browser software will support. It is based on OpenGL, which is the most widely adopted graphics standard in computing. This means that instead of relying on plug-ins, modern browsers can support rich content and advanced features without installing additional software. Specifically, WebGL allows for hardware accelerated graphics …

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