Jonathan Turner

HandmadeCon 2015

Image of HandmadeCon 2015 Banner HandmadeCon 2015, where even the welcome banner is handmade

Today, I attended HandmadeCon 2015. HandmadeCon is the first convention for the Handmade Hero project by Casey Muratori, a game industry gun-for-hire who most recently worked on The Witness, the follow-up game for Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid.

Key takeaways

There was a ton of material in the interviews. Enough so that I suspect if two people wrote down their takeaways, they might have wildly different lists. Still, here are the takeaways I had:

Format

Image of Casey and Jonathan talking Casey (right) interviewing Jonathan Blow

Casey has hand-picked a list of game developers with deep technical experience for the conference. With each developer, he interviewed them about their strengths and would tease out the key points from the discussion, often drilling in to learn more. I hadn’t heard of some of the people he’d picked, but I quickly realized he’d hand-selected each for their specific expertise in gaming, whether controls, code layout, networking, design, or ingenuity.

Tommy Refenes

Super Meat Boy

Key quote(s)

Assets pipeline

Movement

Testing

Mike Acton

Insomniac [creators of Ratchet and Clank]

Key quote(s)

Reaction to Tommy

Hiring a game developer

Pat Wyatt

Guild Wars, Diablo, StarCraft and more

Key quote(s)

Early network stacks

Diablo on Battle.Net

Guild Wars

UDP vs TCP

Network game states

Best practices

Hiring a game developer

Jonathan Blow

Braid, The Witness

Ron Gilbert

Secret of Monkey Island, creator of SCUMM