How To Build A Windows 8 Powered Mame Arcade Cabinet

How To Build A Windows 8 Powered Mame Arcade Cabinet

I still fondly remember my father taking me to the neighborhood arcade every Sunday afternoon when I was a kid. That was our bonding time and something we still did even as consoles and computer gaming crept into our home. It’s something I actually regret not being able to do with my kids since arcades are now extinct. After years on unsuccessfully trying to convince my wife to let me make or buy a full size one I decided to just build a mini arcade machine that I could easily put in my closet when I was done with it. This post will walk you through how I took an iCade, a Windows 8 Tablet and some easy to get parts into a Mame arcade cabinet that my 4 year old and I now both love to play on! First off I am only going to focus on the hardware part of this process. I don’t encourage illegally obtaining roms and there are a million sites out there talking about the software side of building a Mame machine. Also, I don’t do any soldering, everything here is easy to do even if you have no experience working with wiring but it goes without saying that working with electronics is dangerous so be careful. I’d also like to state that I’m in no way responsible if you break your hardware or hurt yourself. Use caution, this is potentially dangerous stuff. Ok now that we got the legal stuff out of the way let’s talk about everything you will need and what it will cost you: ION iCade Arcade Cabinet for...
Finding Myself At Microsoft:1 Year In

Finding Myself At Microsoft:
1 Year In

Last week I got an email congratulating me on working at Microsoft for a full year. At a company where the average tenure is close to 5-6 years or more it doesn’t feel like a big deal but for me it has been an incredibly unique and rewarding experience. I’m not just saying that because most of my management chain will see this but in all honesty I have spent the past year really finding myself, what I want to do with my life and working on defining a new career that is incredibly different than anything else I have ever done before. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a job and like most jobs there are good days and bad days but looking back over the year I have changed and grown in so many ways I never would have been able to anywhere else. Here is a snapshot of my life as a Microsoft game evangelist this year. Building Community The biggest part of my day revolves around helping developers make games and publish those games to our platforms. That means that I attend a lot of user groups, speak to developers and engage with people online. I have been actively helping invest in a great meetup called NYC Game Forum which has over 3,381 members. Their monthly demo night usually sees anywhere from 150-200 people who come out to see game developers show off their latest creation. I help this group run all of their events out of our NYC office. They continue to expand into new territory by running deep dive events and will...
Redefining Console Games With HTML5

Redefining Console Games With HTML5

For almost 2 years now I have been talking about HTML5 gaming. Every event and talk I do on HTML5 gaming helps raise the awareness of its potential a little more but few are seeing how big it can eventually be. To help spread the good word,  I went to San Francisco last week talking about my own games, what I have learned and where the technology is going in the future. I started the week by giving a talk in Mountain View and by the end of the week I was doing a demo during the keynote of O’Reilly’s Fluent conference. This is a recap of my week, what I talked about, and where I see HTML5 gaming going. Fluent Keynote Before I begin, you should check out the video of my talk during the Fluent keynote where I present “Console Quality Cross Platform Canvas Games”. This was my first keynote and it was amazing! I’ve always felt comfortable talking to any size group and being given an opportunity to speak directly to over a thousand or so attendees is incredible. As you can see from the video I cover a lot of topics in a short amount of time but I wanted to call out two important points: the future of HTML5 game deployment and the shift from dedicated console hardware to mobile devices. The Future of HTML5 Game Deployment While I discussed the two most important technologies moving HTML5 game forward, native wrappers and Windows 8, it’s important to call them out again. While I was in San Francisco I got to meet up with the...
My Take On Monetizing HTML5 Games

My Take On Monetizing
HTML5 Games

Last night I was on a panel called Making Money With HTML5 Games in 2013. I was actually hesitant to be on the panel at first because I have not made much money with my own games but figured I had an interesting take on the topic since I work for Microsoft coupled with my monetization shortcomings. On the panel was Jamie Hall, Co-Founder, President/CTO of MocoSpace, Elle Chen, License Manager of BoosterMedia, Robert Grossberg and Vincent Obermeier, CEO and President of Tresensa. While we were all supporters of making HTML5 games, especially since each of the companies we work for has a vested interest in helping people monetize their game, it was interesting to see a completely “topic friendly” panel where we all agreed to the main points that HTML5 is a viable platform for the future. I thought I would write about points I brought up about HTML5 gaming, why I believe in it and ways to help you monetize on it your own. Before we go any further you should read Richard Davey’s post on The Reality of HTML5 Game Development and making money from it. It sums up everything I would want to say if I was actually more successful at making money from my games. So you may be asking what did I talk about on the panel if I am not rich yet from my HTML5 games? Well I have two takes on monetizing your HTML5 games: first I talked about get HTML5 games into the Windows 8 (along everywhere else you can publish them) and second was around monetizing your skills at...
NYC Gaming January: Demo Night

NYC Gaming January: Demo Night

Last night I got to show off my latest game, Super Paper Monster Smasher, to the NY Game Meetup during their monthly game demo night held at Microsoft’s Office. Not only is this a great opportunity for me to get some feedback on my own games but I also like to see what others are up to in the city. NYC has a small but growing group of Indie game developers and all of the games presented last night were very impressive. This was also my 3rd time speaking at the event so it’s a big honor to keep being asked back now to present my latest work. Here is a quick summary of the event and what I saw. There were 7 games shown off last night. Andy Wallace – Doodle Defense Roger Purcell – Math vs Aliens Glen Straub and Andrew Kallem – What the Block?! Jesse Freeman – Super Paper Monster Smasher David Kuelz – After Bez Arkush – RespiRight Andrew Garrahan – Walking NYC Stats: Platforms 5 iOS Games 1 Windows 8 1 RPG Maker game Languages Objective C/Open GL Corona HTML 5 I was very impressed with Math vs Aliens, which Roger (who is not a developer) taught himself how to program in order to make his kids game on iOS. What the Block was an interesting physics puzzler where you drag shapes around on the screen to get them in the right place. It was written in Corona for iOS. Finally RespiRight is a series of test and games with a physical accessory that you breathing into in order to test your breathing...
Version Control Techniques For Rapidly Prototyping

Version Control Techniques
For Rapidly Prototyping

I am a big believer in using version control no matter how small the project is. It’s especially important when you are doing any kind of rapid, agile, or iterative development. Recently I took part in Ludum Dare, which is a 48 hour game jam, and wanted to share my own personal technique for staying on top of versioning my work. While I use Git, this will work in any VC system that support branching and tagging. Consistent Naming Convention The most important thing to have when doing tagging and branching of a project is to keep your naming consistent. I follow a system where I use the version number followed by a suffix denoting the state of the project or future features that will be added. To start, create a new project and immediately create a tag v0.1.0-alpha for my initial import. The next thing I do is create a branch called v0.2.0-features and switch over to that branch to work. As I continue my development, I increment the tag version number of each stable build and the next branch build I am working on. Once I pass v0.5.0 I consider it to be stable and start using beta as the suffix of my tags: v0.6.0-beta. At the end, when I reach v1.0.0 I will use rc as my suffix which stands for release candidate. After this, I will only do minor increments such as v1.0.1-rc as I clean up outstanding bugs. By the time you hit release candidate you should not be adding any new features. If I am going to build a new version of the...

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