The Modcast – Episode 5: ChromaWaves, Education

12 Mar

How two college professors from Cleveland, Ohio have gone about making Game Design educational for students, bringing young artists and programmers together for their first time each year. In part 2 of this mini-series, we explore a perspective of student game development that seldom is.

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Spring Cleaning, Check

11 Mar

There’s been a lot of list-making going around lately. I have one of my own for all the things I’m personally attending to this spring break – checking things off on a dime as soon as they’re accomplished. With as much micro-managing as we might perform on our weekly tasks, it’s easy to let our long-term endeavors slip by unnoticed when we’re neck-deep in them. For the first time in months, it’s above thirty or more degrees in Cleveland, and I can’t help but take a few minutes to reflect on things before moving forward from the frying pan and into the fire of BFA thesis projects.

It’s closing in on a year since we opened The Escape Route last April. Since then, a lot has passed, hit a dead end, completed, and most of all begun from scratch. Admitedly, we haven’t done the best job of logging all of that here. There’s a lot to do before we achieve any sense of closure on our experiences attempting to pioneer game design at CIA this coming May, so I thought this might be the time to make a list of all the things we’ve taken on these past few years – where they’re at now, and why.

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The Bane of our Adolescence

4 Mar

A few photographs of a night’s work/play in the TIME studios.

Foreground to background: Matthew, Andrew, Cory, Jim - Another Powerpoint Marathon.

Cory & Jim embed warnings around our studio lair - newly painted walls for chalk-drawing. At this point in the night, cabin fever has already set in.

They have all too much in common – college: the abominable snowman of growing up.

The Modcast – Episode 5: ChromaWaves, Choices

26 Feb


How some college students went about making difficult yet necessary choices to develop an ambient color-mixing game for the iPhone and iPod Touch: ChromaWaves. In part 1 of this mini-series, we exhaust the decision making process to getting there.

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The Modcast – Episode 4: Designs of the Year

31 Dec

Each year there are our favorite games, and then there are our favorite parts of them. Design decisions that stand out in the crowd of each year’s videogame scene are rarely awarded, but often followed in the future. Listen in as we take refuge from the winter to discuss our favorite Game Designs of the Year.

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The Modcast – Episode 3: Things Change

2 Nov

modcast_e3

The harvest season rolls in with episode three as a hearty discussion on dramatic change in games through level design and environments. We celebrate what marks 2 years of Team Fortress 2 while TF2 map author Sean “Heyo” Cutino talks with us about his seasonal community map, all before we delve into the depths of iterative design and various developer-tools.

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More Orange Leaves, Less Orange Walls

9 Sep
Arena Harvest, a cutsom Team Fortress 2 map by TF2maps.net user, heyo

Arena Harvest, a custom Team Fortress 2 map by TF2maps.net member, Sean "Heyo" Cutino.

It’s been an interesting semester so far for the crew. Two weeks in, and already we’re getting acquainted to being in the studio late, iterating thesis projects, and working on another collaborative effort with CWRU for our Game Production course. Episode 3 of The Modcast is in the works. Thank you to everyone who tuned into episode 2 and subscribed through iTunes. I’ve seen a significant growth in the listenership from Episode 1, and while we’ve got ways to go in the echelons of podcasting we’re looking at ways to better carve ourselves out a space in the medium, and at the least I’m pleased with its progress. Expect to hear about more process oriented talk, and a further refined format and fidelity in the audio.

As the harvest season kicks in, Oktoberfests taking place and the neighborhood Starbucks offering the Pumpkin Spice Latte, we’re seeing more orange leaves, but less orange walls. “Orange walls” are in reference to a popular texture (a strong-colored orange grid) used in Source Engine maps when prototyping level designs. What I mean by all this is that we’ve put the L4D Zoo Campaign on an indefinite hold – I’m speaking on the group’s behalf here, though we’ve vocalized this concern with each other as the semester began. Finding the time to even test the maps, let alone get the AI working ideally in each one, is becoming slimmer each month and rather unrealistic with every other project coming into our semester. This doesn’t stop us though from posting and podcasting by any means on numerous other projects that pertain to game design, Source Engine, and artwork relevant to the medium. Currently, I’m trying to finds ways to convert this space into something that more accurately represents our collaborative efforts, which really extend far beyond the L4D campaign quite frankly.

The topic for this month’s Modcast is being deliberated on, but I’ll be sure we chose something interesting and more specific.
-Andrew