Blog of Rob Galanakis (@robgalanakis)

Fighting the tyranny of tools design

At our studio, the lead game designers are also the ones that decide workflows and design tools for the rest of the design team. However, there’s nothing that says good game designers are good tools designers (I’ll talk about this in a future post, and it may be that...

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Exceptions vs. No Exceptions

When I moved onto the tools team, I was shocked to find out that the codebase is written not to throw or expect exceptions. I withheld judgement for a little while (because it wasn’t going to change and I have respect for the people who made the decision), but...

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Rob Galanakis- Tools Programmer

2 weeks ago I made the move onto the Tools Programming team here at BioWare Austin (which is why I haven’t been around on the TAO site or IRC, things are calmed down now though). I moved across the building but then back into the same room I moved...

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How to Understand the User

If you haven’t read Robert L Read’s How to be a Programmer: A Short, Comprehensive, and Personal Summary, do yourself a favor and read it. I want to highlight one sections in particular that illustrates my belief about what makes an effective technical artist/tools programmer: How to Understand the...

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Education vs. Technology

I was listening to NPR a couple weeks ago and there was a story about this school in Tanzania that had lots of speeding traffic in front of it and a dozen or two children were being hit every year. Apparently, the government had repaved the road in front...

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Lack of updates

I am already breaking my more frequent blogging promise. I have a few posts mostly typed up but unfinished, and a few more that are just ideas. I should have time to post more after this week- I’m about to finish a big project, and my job is also...

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All About Documentation

There is a recent article on Gamasutra: Game Dev Collaboration: Google Docs Style. Every developer has his own story about the failures of documentation. I would have hoped that those thinking about this the most have already moved past the ‘silver bullet’ naiveté Chris shows in that article (well,...

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What’s wrong with Autodesk? Part I, Feedback Mechanisms

In the past month, I was part of a conference call with Autodesk and industry technical artists about integrating .NET into Maya (and how we use it in game development), and a couple weeks later we also had a couple Autodesk reps visit BioWare Austin to talk about their...

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The Development Isolation Layer

Joel Spolsky over at Joel on Software has an excellent article from 2006, called “The Development Abstraction Layer.” The gist of it is that, developers must be abstracted from the distractions of business. Management’s primary responsibility to create the illusion that a software company can be run by writing...

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Generic Interfaces/Abstract Base Classes

I want to show a really useful pattern I’ve been taking advantage of recently. public interface IXElementSerializable where T : IXElementSerializable { T Deserialize(XElement element); XElement Serialize(); } public class MyType : IXElementSerializable { public MyType Deserialize(XElement element) { … } public XElement Serialize() { … } } I...

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