Profile

Cover photo
Dusty Monk
Worked at Ensemble Studios
Attended Texas A&M University
2,317 followers|1,516,539 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Dusty Monk

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
I just recently read an article on why web design is dead - and mostly it talks about the commoditization of web design through CMS systems and templates. For the most part, I tend to agree. If you can't find what you're looking for through Wordpress templates, seens how you already have you're own domain and web service, I'd look at setting up something in Drupal or one of the other really good CMS systems out there. 
In keeping with my ongoing desire to “do more” with Levelcapped.com, I’m considering options for a new design. Right now, the site — like most Wordpress sites — is foc…
3
1
Pete Smith's profile photoChris Smith's profile photoRog Dolos's profile photoSir Jaxxy's profile photo
7 comments
 
Add me to bashing Drupal. Not only do I dislike the software, but I find their developer community toxic too. Plus the current maintainer has been trying to find someone else to ditch it upon. As much as I've divorced Wordpress, I'd get a restraining order for Drupal. 

If it wasn't for comment systems, I'd recommend a static site generator like Jekyll or Hugo. Generate locally, no software requirements on the server. Make your web site run ridiculously fast.

You can squeeze in comments on a static site, but entirely through things like G+ comments or Facebook comments / Disqus, etc. Add PHP code if you like. Jekyll is hugely popular with the GitHub crowd and has good documentation. Hugo works better / easier to install on Windows (it's an .exe compared to Jekyll's Ruby-requirement), but not-so-great documentation on templates (easy once you get going, just hard to get started). Hugo generates a site insanely fast. Both use Markdown for article editing and with a good Markdown editor you can have a very nice real-time preview while writing.

Edit: Unless you prefer working with databases, then roll your own. My take on "web design is dead" is it's the rise of web-application developers and /or portable content.
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
Blade and Soul - Ups and Downs
I've never been very good at spending my free time on more than one general activity at a time. Whether it be working on a game development project, playing my MMO de jour, or something that's caught my eye on the console, typically I tend to only focus on ...
I've never been very good at spending my free time on more than one general activity at a time. Whether it be working on a game development project, playing my MMO de jour, or something that's caught my eye on the console, ty...
4
1
Sir Jaxxy's profile photo
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
New Year's Resolutions!
Hello and welcome to the first post of the new year! I thought I'd kick off this year in Blog Posts in classic style - with some new year's resolutions.  Little known fact about me, I love new year's resolutions. I know, most people by now are pretty jaded ...
Hello and welcome to the first post of the new year! I thought I'd kick off this year in Blog Posts in classic style - with some new year's resolutions. Little known fact about me, I love new year's resolutions. I know, most...
4
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
Dipping our Devilish Toes into Devilian
That's a lot of alliteration, Al!  For the most part, I'm actually pretty good these days at resisting Hype, with a capital H. Devilian's been bouncing around my social media circles for some time now as it rolled through one beta after a next, and I looked...
That's a lot of alliteration, Al! For the most part, I'm actually pretty good these days at resisting Hype, with a capital H. Devilian's been bouncing around my social media circles for some time now as it rolled through one...
6
Dusty Monk's profile photoChris Smith's profile photoRog Dolos's profile photoPete Smith's profile photo
8 comments
 
Based on this post I gave the game another try and still do not see the appeal. The very worst part was that I couldn't figure out a way to close that Megaphone chat window so I had constant inane spam that I couldn't hide. If I could get past the constant irritation of that maybe I could find a game that is fun. I only played to level 5 or something before I was just angry and annoyed by Megaphone. 
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
Unity3D At Home Project - Day 12 - Explosions and Stuff!
So first apologies that this next update took a little longer. First - Thanksgiving. And second, and this is more to the point - but ran into quite a few problems working through the next pieces, and it took longer than I would have liked to get everything ...
So first apologies that this next update took a little longer. First - Thanksgiving. And second, and this is more to the point - but ran into quite a few problems working through the next pieces, and it took longer than I wou...
3
Chris Smith's profile photo
 
I need a mechs blowing up mechs game in my life. 
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
For some reason the standard publish button didn't share this, so I'm sharing it manually. That of course, means it will inevitably get shared twice.

When you're designing a game from the ground up, the list of things you want to do has a way of exploding on you.  You need to be aware of it, and think about ways to control it. #unity3d   #gamedevelopment   
So this is a bit of an interim post, where I just talk about game developery things, without having done real work on the game itself. As such, it's likely to turn into a rambling diatribe that no one actually gets to the bot...
4
Pete Smith's profile photoMike Stietenroth's profile photoRog Dolos's profile photoDusty Monk's profile photo
7 comments
 
lol that's probably not a bad suggestion.. :)
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
2,317 people
Mr.305 Pitbull's profile photo
shashi kanth's profile photo
Larry Sullivan's profile photo
Adam Black's profile photo
Paul Steffen's profile photo
SINO BBA's profile photo
Armando Caldas's profile photo
Chevette W's profile photo
Melissa Hagan's profile photo

Dusty Monk

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
First - good, thoughtful discussion. FWIW, I've struggled with the same kind of questions on my own blog, and am also trying different things, with varying (mostly little) amounts of success.  But here's my 2 cents anyway. :) 

I think first, it's important to decide which of the two following goals are you trying to accomplish.  Do you want to increase traffic?  Or do you wish to increase engagement? Because while related, I think the strategies you undertake will differ based on which you prioritize.  For instance, you can have huge traffic, and almost no engagement. ie., most YouTube videos and a significant amount of twitch streams.  You can also get terrific engagement from a small, but loyal set of readers.  So your traffic won't necessarily go through the roof, but you could still have really thoughtful, provocative discussions.

For myself, I've decided for my blog I want to increase traffic. If increase engagement comes out of that, it's just gravy - and I try to engage in anyone that does actually leave a comment, but I have realistically very little expectation of any discussion at the blog. I'm looking for eyes on the page.  To that end, I've adopted a couple of strategies:
- for awhile now I've had a policy of no blog without pictures. It's cliche, but it's true. I think photos help break up the flow of the wall of text, and just present more appeal.
- I've also tried to incorporate more video. Honestly, you did some great "commentary while driving" videos awhile back, and are pretty prolific with the streaming. I'd try to tie those things together - make the blog sort of a media hub, with your other outlets (twitch, youtube, twitter) branching out from that. 
- write guides.  The blog posts that have, by far, generated the absolute most hits for Of Course I'll Play It have been the small number of guides and how-to's I've written.  The Defiance Weapon Mods guide I wrote like 3 years ago continues to generate hits. Ironically, my most successful blog post today is the one I wrote about GW2 Karma farms, which people apparently flocked to thinking I was passing on hints about Karma farming, when in reality I was bitching about it and telling people not to do it. Hah - joke was on them. 
 
Anyway - dunno if that helps or not, but if it's any consolation, this is the longest comment I've left on anyone blog for anything in like, oh forever. :) 
I’ve been thinking a lot about the performance of Levelcapped.com and of course myself as a long-time blogger. As one would expect, readership is one reason why we blog in public and not simp…
4
Dusty Monk's profile photoChris Smith's profile photo
6 comments
 
Right! I'm on the trolly with that. I don't know that I'd want to punish myself with a 5 days schedule, but my three day schedule seems to work OK for the most part. I get to think about posts longer before writing (although I usually just write them the morning of anyway), and that gives time to FIND something to write about that isn't just writing for the sake of writing. 

I might take your advice, then, and retolol my entire approach. I'm having difficulty getting the In The Car series bad online because we have a relatively new "hands free driving" law here in NH, and getting pulled over by an overzealous cop for video recording myself -- no matter how hilarious it might seem to the observer -- wouldn't be optimal. But I wonder about setting up a home studio video blog thing...I don't have anyone to work WITH, since most folks aren't as inclined/interested at all/have the time to participate, so it'd be a solo effort...

...and then using the site as the "media hub" as you mentioned. Maybe that would be and interesting experiment. 
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
Blade and Soul Beginners Guide - an Overview
So I started the new year off saying I'd try to deliver more video content for Of Course I'll Play It, and here it is practically the end of January, and I haven't done a thing yet. Well part of the reason for that is I've been spending just about all of my...
So I started the new year off saying I'd try to deliver more video content for Of Course I'll Play It, and here it is practically the end of January, and I haven't done a thing yet. Well part of the reason for that is I've be...
6
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
Unity3D At Home Project Day 13 - Pushing On!
So just have a bit of time this morning before work, but wanted to get some thoughts down. And mostly, those thoughts are around carrying on the fight, and deciding where to go next. Let's get to it shall we? Games are Hard Game development is hard. It is a...
So just have a bit of time this morning before work, but wanted to get some thoughts down. And mostly, those thoughts are around carrying on the fight, and deciding where to go next. Let's get to it shall we? Games are Har...
1
Dusty Monk's profile photoRog Dolos's profile photo
3 comments
 
I do really like Unity's UI / Canvas system. I find it more logical to work with than NGUI.

That said, it's a moving target with significant changes each minor version. There are some serious bugs that keep regressing (it's frustrating to see issues "fixed / closed" on re-occurring bugs). It was originally designed by the maker of NGUI but then he left Unity and the UI lead has changed a few times since.

There is source on BitBucket for it though. You may find compiling your own DLL to be handy.
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
Unity3D At Home Project - Day 11 - Weapons & Effects
So now's the point of the project where we roll up our sleeves and really start to dig in. I talked about all the ways in which our design space can go in last week, and about constraining your execution as much as possible. But even so, we just have a heck...
So now's the point of the project where we roll up our sleeves and really start to dig in. I talked about all the ways in which our design space can go in last week, and about constraining your execution as much as possible. ...
5
Joanne Edison-Brown (Chiclet)'s profile photoDusty Monk's profile photo
2 comments
 
Heh thanks! I think next I'll try to get a full loop in - Shoot - Die - Respawn - Shoot some more. :) ROBOTS!
Add a comment...

Dusty Monk

Shared publicly  - 
 
Unity3d At Home Project - Day 9 - Twistin' by the Pool
So this week is a story about getting sidetracked, about building things you didn't expect to build, and that sometimes it's exactly what you need to do, and sometimes it's exactly what you want to avoid, and of course there's no easy way to tell the differ...
So this week is a story about getting sidetracked, about building things you didn't expect to build, and that sometimes it's exactly what you need to do, and sometimes it's exactly what you want to avoid, and of course there'...
5
Dusty Monk's profile photoChris Smith's profile photo
3 comments
 
Heck yeah. I remember there were some really tough parts of that one, but as a mech action game, it was pretty good. 
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
2,317 people
Mr.305 Pitbull's profile photo
shashi kanth's profile photo
Larry Sullivan's profile photo
Adam Black's profile photo
Paul Steffen's profile photo
SINO BBA's profile photo
Armando Caldas's profile photo
Chevette W's profile photo
Melissa Hagan's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Sr. Developer at Robot Entertainment, Inc.
Employment
  • Ensemble Studios
    Sr. Programmer, 2000 - 2009
  • Midway Games
    Sr. Programmer, 1997 - 2000
  • Windstorm Studios
    CEO & President, 2009 - 2011
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Lara Croft GO
Story
Tagline
Sr. Developer for Robot Entertainment; MMO blogger and aficionado, geek dad, only visiting this planet.
Introduction
Senior Developer at Robot Entertainment, the fine folks that brought you Orcs Must Die and Hero Academy!

Former President of Windstorm Studios, and creator of Atomic City Adventures - The Case of the Black Dragon.  Also former Sr. Programmer for Ensemble Studios, worked on Age of Empires, Halo Wars. Also, MMO aficionado (I love using that word).
Bragging rights
Professional game developer for near 15 years..
Education
  • Texas A&M University
    Computer Science, 1983 - 1987
Links
YouTube
Contributor to