Playing games with Dr. Dobb's Journal

Think Services — the publishing company that puts out Dr. Dobb's Journal — is taking the magazine to the next level. Last year, DDJ extended into Second Life. Now, it's becoming a video game.

With this new initiative, DDJ is continuing its tight marketing relationship with Microsoft. The game is being done in conjunction with Microsoft's Visual Studio 2008 team.

As they say on the special Web site, "The Dobbs Challenge":

Welcome to the first ever Dobbs Challenge, a special game competition brought to you in association with the world-renowned Dr. Dobb's Journal for software developers and Microsoft.

- Firstly download our specially created "Dr. Dobb's Challenge' games for either Windows and Windows Mobile.

- Then you can win from a prize pool of $10,000 by modifying the games using a trial version of Visual Studio 2008.

The games star the first-ever personification of Dr. Dobbs, alongside the characters from Microsoft's famous 'Defy All Challenges' machinima videos, as you battle to collect Visual Studio icons and complete the levels.

Full source code and art for the games are freely provided for programmers to 'mod' the results and win prizes.

DDJ is doing a great job serving hobbyist/enthusiast programmers. As for me, I'll skip the contest.


Simon said...

Nice to know you're checking us out, Alan! Is that a backhanded compliment re: hobbyist programmers, or do you genuinely mean it? :) I think our readers are meant to be professionals, last I checked.

Also you might want to check out DobbsCodeTalk, our new community site - http://www.dobbscodetalk.com

Simon Carless
[Publisher, Dobbs.]

Alan Zeichick said...

Hi, Simon - I've been reading and enjoying Dr. Dobb's Journal for many, many years, and of course, many contributors to DDJ are long-time personal friends.

DDJ is a great source of articles about algorithms, system internals and other technical how-to info. Plus, columns from folks like Michael Swaine provide a unique long-term perspective on the art of software development.

Are your readers who enter and compete in your game programming contest properly described as hobbyists/enthusiasts? I would argue, yes, they are. Recreational programming of this sort is likely not part of their professional responsibilities. DDJ serves those readers will, as the new contest and community demonstrate.

Keep up the good work!

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.