Some Mix Videos to Watch


If you weren’t at Mix and you want to watch the video of my session you can now view it here:

You can get all the demo code that I talk about here:


This afternoon I was invited to take part in a Live Channel 9 session on video game design. Also on the stage was Brandon Foy, perhaps the coolest person I have ever met. He is the creator of an astonishing Windows Phone fan video that you can view on YouTube here:

Microsoft have said that if they get more that 200,000 views they will pay to put it out as a TV advertisement.  So, if you want to cost Microsoft some money, go take a look. Actually, it is a stunning piece of work and well worth 2 minutes of anyone’s time.

The video game session itself was great fun, as well as Brandon there was Nic Fillingham  from the XNA team and John Papa kept us all under control. For me the interesting thing was how much we all agreed on what is important in video game design. In a nutshell:

  • Figure out what your game is about and then protect this idea against all who would wish to “improve” it.
  • Get help with the graphics. Programmers think they can solve any problem with software. They probably can, but graphical design is not a problem as such. You really need someone with a good eye for that, and a coder is not guaranteed to be that person.
  • Put your game into the hands of people who can give you proper feedback. This doesn’t mean family or friends, this means those whose only reason the like the game is the game itself.
  • Design in the persistence features right at the start. A phone game will have to stop and start. When you make the game objects you need to figure out which bits must be saved and when. Adding this stuff right at the end of the development is really hard. If you have this stuff there all the time it means it will be properly tested when you send the game out.

After this I staggered back to the hotel to do some packing. My flight leaves at 7:15 am tomorrow. Lovely.