ZAPPCON 2016 – 2 Panels

This year I’m hosting two panels at ZAPPCON. The first is on my process for developing game mechanics in my current project, “Tactical Twitch”. The second is a look at Microsoft Hololens, which I’ve also been working with. My panels this year are on Saturday, October 15th, at 11AM and 3:30PM. Read below for an overview of each session, and don’t forget to register at! If you’re checked to attend my panels, you’ll have a chance to try out Hololens during the demonstration!

Indie Video Game Development: “Tactical Twitch”

How Hard is it to Make Video Games?

We’ll begin with a brief look at a few popular software tools available to aspiring indie game developers, and quickly move into a talk about what it takes to make “good” games. Led by Matthew Hodge, this session will use his current indie project “Tactical Twitch” as an illustration of his personal journey to crafting an experience that is both enjoyable, and realistic for an individual developer to create. From his experience, we can extract a few pointers and thoughts to guide our own pursuits.

Exploring the World With Microsoft Hololens

Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to interact with high‑definition holograms in your world. This a chance for you to get to see and use a HoloLens unit! Create, connect, and explore. Transform the ways we communicate, create, collaborate, and explore. Your ideas are closer to becoming real when you can create and work with holograms in relation to the world around you.

Fall “Tactical Twitch” Progress Report


During this year’s Thanksgiving recess at CART. I was able to squeeze in a couple of development days for Twitch. Here’s what’s new.

  1. The final major player ability was programmed in. There is now a fast roping feature between the helicopter and Twitch. That’s right, you can airlift Twitch within the map.
  2. Bugs were addressed in areas ranging from bad collision to event triggering with action tiles, and camera movement issues. The experience is overall more solid.
  3. Tested different game pad layouts, including use with the new Steam Controller. If you’re interested in reading about my experience with the Steam Controller, check out the review I posted to my Tech Up blog.
Testing my game with the new Steam Controller

We’re now 3 weeks away from the holiday break. At the end of December I will be in two week recess from both my teaching position at CART, my BS program, and my credentialing program. Some of that time is reserved for family, but you better believe I’ll be getting down to business with Twitch. My holiday goal is to implement the basic ai for npcs and enemies.

As a note for testers, I’ll have a new build up when the break begins. That will be the build that features your first look at the fast roping ability. While I’ll be working on a different feature set, I’ll try to address your feedback by the end of the holiday break.

Stay tuned to my development blog, and Facebook page keep in touch.

Thanks for checking in!

How Mobile Can You Get? (a guide to art & productivity with windows 8.1 tablets)

fDellHere at Step 2, we have a heavy focus on “mobile”. Not just the games we’re making, but our lifestyle and ability to be productive. To that end, the new era of Ultrabooks and tablets has been quite exciting to see develop. In this article, we look at Intel’s latest Atom CPU, codenamed “Baytrail”. We’ll focus on the Dell Venue 8 Pro(Windows 8.1), as that’s what I(hodge), have been using for work and play since late November. Let’s get started!
Continue reading “How Mobile Can You Get? (a guide to art & productivity with windows 8.1 tablets)”

Texture Design : Every artist needs a secret tree.

Oil painting concept art.
Oil painting concept art.
Crystal Cove WIP Oil painting by Matt Hodge, under the guidance of Ma Ly.

Video demonstration of my painting techniques included!

Oh Bob Ross. How I miss your secret little bushes and trees. As a kid I spent many afternoons watching that guy paint. I never practiced what I saw, but what I did do was gain an appreciation for brushes and canvas. As an adult this appreciation is continually helping me gain my own style, and grow in quality. So for all you aspiring game artists out there, I’m going to share this little morsel of wisdom with you… and it’ll be our little secret 😉
Read on!