Post-Play'em - Observations on Game AI

Posts Tagged ‘web site’

Migration Completed (finally!)

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Well, after being dead in the water after The Great Blogger Screw-over of 2010, I’m now on a new web host and using WordPress instead.

I’ve got a backlog of games that I have been playing and making observations on — some with the help of my son, Aaron, who has caught the spirit of noticing AI issues. I’m hoping to put these all up on here in the next week or so.

Anyway, we’re back. Make sure you subscribe to Post-Play’em in your manner of choice. (As of this writing, I still haven’t put any “subscribe” link on here.)

Migration from Blogger to WordPress

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Well, after the migration to the “New Blogger”, I discovered that they won’t support my php includes so that the blog can fit into the rest of my site. Therefore, I am going to ditch Blogger entirely.

After having worked as an author for a couple of other blogs that used WordPress, I figure that it was a decent solution. Therefore, I am going to begin installing WordPress and see if I can get all my existing content over to it. Things may look ugly for a bit but hopefully I can get it taken care of.
Oh… and a big thank you to Google/Blogger for screwing up dozens (if not scores) of hours of my work. Good work, folks.

Blog Migration

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Because Blogger is doing away with their FTP publishing as of May 1st, I have to convert this blog over to a new type of system with them. Unfortunately, because I have their custom code embedded in my Intrinsic Algorithm pages, this is likely not going to go smoothly. Hopefully, there will be very little down-time. Please accept our apologies if something goes amiss.

Web site troubles… new posts coming!

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Ok folks, I know this is getting old. I have been having horrible problems with my ISP since early April. I won’t name the ISP yet, but you can look it up for yourself, I suppose. I have been with this company for 6 years and things started fairly well. However, in recent years, especially since a buyout, things have been a little more dicey. Well, this latest issue has to do with a server move gone awry. If the issue persists, I won’t hesitate to name them… at about the same time as I go shopping for a new ISP – something I don’t want to have to waste time doing.

Because the site has been up and down for 5 weeks, I’ve been a little hesitant about posting. I have plenty of material I want to put on IA on AI and have been wanting to start putting some new observations on here. I have been assured that the ISP issue will be solved soon (although I was told that over a month ago). However, I think that I may just start writing some of this material anyway. Since I use Blogger, everything is stored on their site first anyway. It wouldn’t take me much to republish if I were to lose things.

Anyway, for those of you who have been checking the blogs and finding only errors, I apologize. I appreciate your loyalty nonetheless.

Thank you,

Dave Mark

… but I’m going to say it anyway!

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

For a long time now, I have been reading other people’s blogs. As we all know, that can either be a good thing or a bad thing. (Strangely, this seems to depend largely on the quality of the blogger. Something to consider.) Also, for many years, I have been active on message boards all across the Internet. I’ve had my say on an item or two… but even the most Homeric of posts and threads always seem to get scattered in the Winds of the Net – never to be found again.

As a game developer, I play many games. I consider it “research”. This is not a stretch, really. After all, scientists read each other’s papers and even cite them while composing their own… and they call THAT research, right? And when I am playing games, I can’t help but analyze them. What makes them tick? What ticks me off? What makes them tick me off? I can’t help it. I’m wired that way.

Putting the two of them together makes for an interesting experiment, however. After all, it was playing games – and either lauding or complaining about those very games to my brothers and my friends, that got me interested in developing them in the first place. You see, I felt that the observations and opinions that I was expressing at the time were actually worth something – even if only to me by making me ponder a career in the “gaming arts.” Since that time, I have had the opportunity to share comments with many people – both in and out of the industry. I have found that the process of breaking things down and discussing them makes for an educational experience.

However, it has always been disheartening to have my comments (and the conversations of which they were a part) be so ephemeral. It occurred to me (during a fairly frenetic bitch session about the current game I was playing and really to no one other than myself) that I would like to make my observations, discoveries and feelings known – but in a way that didn’t evaporate into an abyss of tangentelized commentary that public message boards have a wont to do. So, gee… I figured I would jump on board the ever-burgeoning bandwagon of blogs on the net in some misguided, narcissistic fantasy that people really care what I say.

And for some odd reason, you are reading this post. (Probably because you are a friend or family member… and you feel sorry for me.)

I am not sure how often I will post my analyses. Even using my company’s funds for a “research budget” has its limitations (like every dollar that IA pays out doesn’t go into my pocket in the end… duh.). I plan on going back through some of my favorites from by-gone eras. And since I started gaming in the early 80′s, that is almost something equivalent to saying I’m going to start reviewing literature with tomes that were penned in about the BC/AD changeover. That’s a bloody long time ago as far as computer gaming is concerned!

My plan is to be a spin-off of the industry concept of a “post-mortem”. That is, when a project is through with development, the team goes back through and analyzes what happened. What worked? What didn’t? What did we learn? Well, in that spirit, I’ve decided that a “post-play’em” would be my musings after having played a game. What worked? What didn’t? What did I learn? What the hell were they thinking?

Of course, being an AI and simulation modeling kind of guy, I will generally have a tendency to lean in that direction. I fully expect that my ramblings will make far more sense to an AI guy. (Which is, actually, almost a pejorative.) Given that, however, I’m rather hoping that my audience can go beyond the handful of scary AI programmers that I associate with (Hi Alex!). I mean, I will in no way be the Irate Gamer or Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation fame. As much as I admire their snarky wit in a twisted sort of way, that’s just not my function here. Not that I won’t rip on an AI programmer or level designer from time to time… sometimes that is just necessary… and even a bit cathartic. I guess we’ll just see, eh?

So you don’t have to continue to check back, however, I invite you to subscribe to the RSS feed that is available. Tuck it into the rest of your feeds and give it a glace once in a while. I hope to at least amuse you from time to time even if I don’t have any salient points to make about whatever game I am reviewing at the time. And if you are not educated or amused? Well… it’s the internet, right? Who told you that everything on the ‘net was quality stuff?

Thanks for stopping by,

Dave Mark
President and Lead Designer
Intrinsic Algorithm LLC