Tech Talk : Xbox One Thoughts

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Microsoft finally revealed its much anticipated new console to the world on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 and decided to go with the interesting name of Xbox One. The name is pretty apt as Microsoft made clear they are not just creating a gaming device but are attempting to replace every entertainment unit in your living room with one device to rule them all. In fact, it seemed that Microsoft’s event was not really aimed at Sony as the main competition – but rather at Apple.

For me, the presentation was very good and a welcome return to reality after Sony’s PR event for the PlayStation 4, which was widely panned for not actually having any hardware to show. As a software engineer, I worked on both the Playstation 2 and 3 and the original Xbox 1 and 360 on engine development. Without a doubt, Microsoft products were always much easier to develop for. The tools worked perfectly, the development environment between PC and console was seamless, and the documentation and support were superb. Playstation hardware however was often exceptionally difficult to work with – particularly the Cell architecture in the PS3. This frequently led to PS3 games having less features and a lesser performance than 360 games – simply because they were so difficult to fully exploit.

Xbox One Console

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Game Art : A History

As a game artist, I’ve worked on many games in many genre’s over the last 20 years. I started with life drawing and portraits, and went onto Computer Aided Design (CAD) and technical drawing. Then I landed in the games industry in the earlier 90’s.

There have been staggering leaps in technology, especially for the game artists who produce the wonderful visuals, environments and characters that we have come to know and love. One area in particular is 2D art.

In 1994, I was creating textures for games on a Commodore Amiga, which was at the time, a very powerful 32bit computer. It had all of 8 megabytes of memory. That was a lot !!! The real win at the time was using an art program called Deluxe Paint created by Electronic Arts.
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