What I’m Doing for the Month of April

by Darius Kazemi on April 5, 2010

in education,mod,modding

For the month of April I’m living in Orlando, FL, mentoring the final project students at Full Sail University. It’s a neat gig and is part of a brand-new residency program they’ve instituted where people from the game industry can work there for one to six months. Really it’s the best part about teaching: I get to work with students directly and help them with their careers and their projects — and at the same time, I don’t have to teach a full course or write a lesson plan.

It’s more complex than this, but essentially the students spend their last five months of school doing a big final project: make a game meeting certain (very loose, mostly technical) specifications. The first two months are pre-production and the last three months are production. It’s a really grueling schedule and I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen from the students so far.

Anyway, in addition to the teaching I have a bunch of other stuff I have planned for this month, which I’m seeing as a bit of a sabbatical.

For starters I’ve been working on a Desktop Dungeons mod. Desktop Dungeons is an amazing game which condenses a roguelike experience into about 10 minutes of gameplay, yet has a metagame that keeps you coming back for more. My mod is going to allow players to record their runs and play them back for review, as well as share their runs with their friends. Here’s how far I got after working on it for a day:

I’m also working on a game with some friends which is an extension of a plane jam game that I started but never wrote about on here. The game is about an unlikely video game hero who comes back from killing a few thousand bad guys and now has to deal with the fact that he just killed a few thousand people with no formal military training to mentally prepare him for it. Its working title is Last Person Shooter.

In addition to all that stuff, I will be:

  • doing IGDA Board work, particularly on the website and chapters
  • learning Palm Pre development (not to release anything, I just own a Pre and would like to be able to make small apps/games for myself)
  • speaking at IGDA Orlando
  • moving a bunch of my other blogs to Thesis, and migrating this one to Thesis v1.7
  • posting video reviews of indie games
  • playing Just Cause 2 because holy crap that game is awesome

And this doesn’t count hanging out with friends in Orlando! Gonna be a busy month, I think. Fortunately you should be reading a lot about it right here on this blog.


Josh Marinacci April 5, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Hi Darius. I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I’m glad to hear you have a Pre. I just started at Palm as a developer advocate. I’d love to talk to you about stuff we are working on. Can you shoot me an email? Thanks.
- Josh

Max Nichols April 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Glad to hear that they’ve got you doing some website work. You know your stuff. I’m a tad bit sad that you won’t be around for April; I’m dropping in for the April Post-Mortem meeting, after a year of trying to find a way to get there without breaking my wallet. No matter. I’ll hopefully be making that a regular occurrence, so I’ll run into you again.

Chad Stewart April 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Having graduated from Full Sail, it’s great to see this! When we were doing out final project some 3 years ago we got lucky. We were making a third person, mech shooter and our Associate Producer happened to have worked on the MechWarrior series.

Having an industry professional to mentor each game project is a great experience for the students. Do them well!

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