WebGL Fundamentals

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My Git Workflow and Why You Should Use Git

Learning a distributed version control system is kind of a revelation. If you’re like me you’ve probably gone through the following progression. You started off with SourceSafe. You thought, wow, how did we ever get things done without version control?

Sometime after that you switched to cvs. If you were like me you probably thought. Wow, I can’t believe we ever put up with all those locks and only allowing a single person to edit a file at once. How stupid was that?

A few years later you might have switched to subversion or svn. At the time I remember thinking. Wow, how did we ever live without atomic commits?
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Slickedit for Mac - Finally

Slickedit just announced a native version of Slickedit for Mac.

Until this new version there 2 options to run slickedit on mac. One, they had an x-windows version. It was pretty clunky and not very mac like. The other was the solution I took. I like slickedit so much that I bought a copy of vmware Fusion for the sole purpose of running slickedit in Windows in the Unity mode of Fusion. I’ve been living with that solution for the 3.5 years I’ve had a mac notebook.

Finally there’s a true Mac version of slickedit. Yay!

The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword - A Critique

If it’s not clear from my writing I’m a HUGE Zelda fan. I also consider it the best series of games hands down. As such I was hugely looking forward to Skyward Sword. From that alone you can probably already guess where this is headed.

Before you read this, while there are no spoilers, if you haven’t played Skyward Sword and you plan to do so I suggest you play it first before letting the critique influence your experience. With that out of the way…

Revisiting some other Zeldas if I had to rank all console Zeldas I’d put Skyward Sword absolute last. My ranking

  1. Ocarina of Time (N64)
  2. Link to the Past (SNES)
  3. The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  4. Wind Waker (Gamecube)
  5. Majora’s Mask (N64)
  6. Twilight Princess (Gamecube)
  7. Skyward Sword (Wii)

Why does it rank so low for me? Well, various reasons.
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The Zelda Test (or Why no Zelda Clones?)

It’s no secret, especially among my friends, that the Zelda series of console games is my favorite series of games period. They are beloved by a great many people and are some of the top ranked games of all time on all time top 100 lists and on places like Game Ranking and MetaCritic.

The thing that strikes me as most interesting though is that there are almost ZERO clones of Zelda. I’m probably missing a whole bunch but I’m going to try to point out what I see as unique to Zelda that is missing from every other game that claims to be close.
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Why is Windows so slow?

I’m a fan of Windows, specifically Windows 7. For the most part I like it better than OSX. I have 4 Macs, 3 Windows machines and 3 Linux machines that I access regularly.

But…I work on a relatively large project. Windows is literally an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE slower to checkout, to update and to compile and build than Linux. What gives? I don’t know this is the fault of Windows. As far as I know some of it is the fault of the software I’m using not using Windows in the correct way to get the maximum speed.
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WebGL Security and Microsoft Bullshit


1) I work at Google on Chrome
2) Nothing I say here represents my employer in anyway. This my own opinion.

It’s frustrating to see how bad Microsoft can really be. I’m one of Microsoft’s biggest fans. I still think Windows7 is better than OSX or Linux(*). I play more XBox 360 games than any other console. I was hopeful for Win7 Phone and am hopeful for Windows 8. I was on Microsoft’s side in the Java lawsuit, the Internet Explorer lawsuit and several others. I think Visual Studio’s debugger is way better than anything I’ve used on OSX or Linux. I think C# is way more awesome than Java. I was really happy when they started IE9 development and started actually competing.

So imagine my disappointment when I start seeing the FUD from Microsoft about IE9 vs other browsers. Cherry picking benchmarks, cherry picking conformance tests and generally basically lying.
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WebGL Techniques and Performance

I gave a talk at Google I/O 2011 on WebGL Techniques and Performance. If that sounds interesting to you then check it out. Answers to some of the questions from the Moderator below.
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Should Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony open their platforms?

Apple has clearly shown that an effectively open market (*) can be hugely successful. Games on iOS are reaching more people than they did on any other platform. On top of that they make lots of money for both Apple and game developers. You might be thinking that RockStar gets $60 for every copy of GTA4 but more likely they get 10-15% of wholesale. For a $60 game wholesale is around $28. So they make at best $2.80 to $4.20 a unit. If they sold GTA4 on iPhone for $5 Apple would take 30% leaving them $3.50 right in the middle of that range. EA has been successful with the Sims 3 on iOS priced at $10 showing that games will sell at $10 on iOS.
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GDC 2011 Report

Here are some notes from attending GDC 2011.
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