MASTERING CELTX Available for Pre-Order

Mastering CeltxCo-author Terry Borst’s new book Mastering Celtx is being published by Cengage Learning, and can now be pre-ordered at any of your favorite booksellers (brick-and-mortar, and online).

Celtx describes itself as an all-in-one media pre-production tool. For years, novice and professional screenwriters have had to spend a good chunk of change for either Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter in order to compose and distribute professional looking screenplays. Celtx is open-source and free.

Celtx’s redefinition of pre-production workflows is something to look at if you’re creating a serious game, independent game or simulation.

Check out the Twitter feed for the book: @masteringceltx.


New Projects Continued

Homestretch on the new book (details to be forthcoming soon), and months of progress on a proprietary military sim. This space will get a little more active as we head into Summer 2011…

Authors Embarked on New Projects

With one of us involved in producing a new military simulation, and the other of us writing a new book due in December, our posting here will probably be light through the remainder of 2010.  But we’ll try to send something down the pike occasionally, and encourage you to check out our books in the meantime…

Learning Languages in Virtual Worlds

If you studied a foreign language in school, you might recall that the textbook would have you simulate real-world experiences:  shopping in a supermarket, schmoozing at a cocktail hour, and so on.  Ideally, your teacher would have the class role-play these situations. (Everybody would be very embarrassed, and you probably hoped you wouldn’t be called.)

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Microsoft’s Productivity Games

We’ve rounded up several posts about Microsoft’s productivity games, for an overview of what the software giant has been doing in this important subspecies of serious games.

Productivity games are applications designed to increase work efficiency while also increasing job satisfaction through the application of game aesthetics and mechanics.  Virtually all jobs have some degree of repetitiveness — some more than others — and nearly all of us hate that aspect of work.

Yet interestingly, games require repetition — and find ways to encourage us to embrace the repetition. If we can find ways to build some fun into job repetitiveness, both employer and employee should win.

The games described include Microsoft’s Windows 7 localization game, and their current game encouraging usage and feedback for Office Communicator.

Scroll down towards the bottom of this post (included in the overall roundup), look for “Helpful Material,” and you’ll get a great set of links for the further study on the topic of productivity games.

Robots Playing World of Warcraft?

It’s safe to say that Georgia Tech is on the cutting edge of serious game and simulation development, and this article provides an overview of some of what the school is up to.

A particularly interesting direction is in the use of game engines and virtual worlds to help train and teach robots:  if a robot can navigate and engage in a virtual world simulation, it will likely do better when it engages in the real world.  In addition, virtual worlds offer an environment where robots and humans may jointly collaborate on situations, preparing them for collaboration in the real world.

Robots aren’t actually playing World of Warcraft yet, but they may take a shine to it in the future…

Read the entire article:  you’ll also find out about AI applications in the field of intelligent narrative technologies, an area discussed in both End to End Game Development and Story and Simulations for Serious Games.

IGDA members: 25% discount on the book

IGDA logoIf you belong to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), you’re entitled to a 25% discount on End to End Game Development (see page 15 of the July 2010 IGDA Perspectives Newsletter for details) when you purchase the book directly from our publishers.

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New York Public Library Weekly Highlights

We’re pleased to get spotlighted in the New York Public Library blog, and are eager to hear from any public library readers who take a look at our book.

Original iPad Serious Games and Simulations?

We’d love to hear about any ongoing iPad serious game or simulation development from our readers.  We’re aware of repurposing or porting over of iPhone apps to the iPad (an example here), including anecdotal discussions from recent app conferences — but are there new applications being developed that specifically take advantage of the form factor and interface?

Recently, a production company rolled out several interactive short films made specifically for the iPad, and this seems to be a very promising kind of application for soft skills simulations (human resources, customer interactions, etc.).  But leave a comment or get in touch for any bulletins from the front!

Q&A with Christy Marx

Write Your Way Into Animation and GamesChristy Marx is the editor of the new Focal Press book Write Your Way Into Animation and Games (with several chapters contributed by End to End Game Development authors Nick Iuppa and Terry Borst).  She was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book for our readers.

Q: Tell us a little about ‘Write Your Way…’ and its mission.

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