Page:25 - News Archived: 3437

Title Date
Unreal Developer Pure Imagination Studios - Link 2015-09-18

Pure Imagination Studios is seeking an experienced Unreal Engine developer to design and implement interactive theme park experiences. This position requires skills comparable to a scripter level designer and technical artist. At our discretion applicant may be required to complete a test depending on applicants experience level.Chosen applicant will be hired initially on contract with a full-time offer pending successful completion of contract. Responsibilities Use Unreal Engine 4 to implement interactive elements of real-time theme park media according to an established game design Contribute game design feedback in order to make interactive attractions more fun and engaging Work within a framework provided by gameplay programmers for each specific project Provide feedback to gameplay programmers with regard to specific needs or improvements to the game framework Set up procedural animation logic using AnimBlueprints and AnimMontage including branching blending and hit reactions for characters Provide animators with detailed requirements for timing and placement of real-time character animations Requirements Practical experience using Unreal Engine 4 and its many systems Ability to create clean well-organized Blueprints that fit together into a maintainable codebase An understanding of the tools and approaches used in creating real-time visual effects including meshes UVs materials and particle effects Knowledge of technical and performance requirements for 3D assets in Unreal Working knowledge of Autodesk Maya and the process of baking and exporting animation Pluses Familiarity with game programming in C Scripting experience in Autodesk Maya or other DCC applications Experience working with Perforce or other version control systems Interest in Oculus Rift and other Virtual Reality toolsltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4iL6QFemXXyU

Engine Programmer Insomniac Games - Link 2015-09-18

The engine programmer who could. That is what Insomniac Games is looking for. We are on the search for a programmer who will work with the Core team to design add and modify features of both runtime and tools components of the engine. This role is also responsible for designing writing and modifying data and code with a heavy focus on real-time performance and usability. You will be asked to provide features which can be used in practice to create best-in-class contributions to our games as well as write and modify tools that will provide access to engine features. Keep reading if this interests you as wed like to hear from you. Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following Design and develop data and code based on direction andor feedback from leads or Director Work independently to complete assigned projects with limited supervision Implement new functionality in tools and engine Design and implement efficient low-level systems to support higher-level programmers ampamp pipelines Design and implement tools that allow content creators to quickly iterate on game ideas Rewrite existing systems as directed for increased functionality reduced memory usage and increased performance Respond to bugs and feature requests related to engine code as directed Provide technical assistance by responding to inquiries regarding errors problems or questions with programs Complete processor-specific optimization tasks Analyze code performance Other duties may be assigned Education andor Experience Masters degree M.A. or equivalent or five to seven years related experience andor training or equivalent combination of education and experience. Advanced C C and assemblymicrocode programming various CPU cores. Additional languages such as HTML JavaScript and Perl as needed. Strong grasp of mathematical concepts graphics collision detection data transformation database management and advanced programming techniques. Ability to work with various content creation and analytical tools such as Microsoft PIX and RAD Telemetry. As mentioned above if this sounds like the spot for you then we would love to hear from you. Please use the link below and apply directly to the role. Thanksltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4wwKr6mUp-hU

Senior UX Designer Insomniac Games - Link 2015-09-17

Feelings nothing more than feelings oh wait. Wrong posting. Or maybe not. Wikipedia says that UX takes into account the feelings people have while using a particular product. So maybe we do want to seehear this Insomniac Games is searching for a senior UX Designer to work closely with the Design UI and Art teams to develop user interfaces for games that contribute to compelling gameplay experiences and player engagement. User interfaces typically include in-game HUD and player messages frontend and pause menus tutorial sequences error display icons and loading screens. If this sounds like your cup of tea keep reading Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Designs and documents UI flow for all aspects of game user interface Creates UI design mockups wireframes and prototypes Works closely with Designers to create a usable interface for game Works closely with Art Director to ensure UI design aligns with game art direction Reconciles art and design needs in UI design Assists in coordinating UI programmers and artists to implement UI design Participates in usability testing interpreting test results and creating actionable tasks Acts as UI representative when interacting with other departments Works with project management to scope plan and schedule UI production Contributes to implementation of UI through Flash or ActionScript as necessary Other duties may be assigned This role will indirectly oversee the work of the UI team and provide performance feedback and may provide input to training methodologies and hiring. Education andor Experience Bachelors degree B. A. from four-year college or university or five to seven years related experience andor training or equivalent combination of education and experience in information architecture new media information technology communications or libraryinformation science. Experience with Flash ActionScript and Photoshop. We look forward to hearing from you. Please use the link below and apply directly to the position. Thanksltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4uHHX-w9xXUY

South Park Research Developer South Park - Link 2015-09-17

South Park Studios is looking for an experienced game developer with 5-10 years experience to join us for a 3D game design project. Our research developer would work with studio leads to design and implement a version of our existing assets in a game engine. They would be responsible for creating a working environment from scratch and identifying the technical and artistic feasibility of the project. Applicants should have several years experience in 3D programming and experience in one or more game engines. The majority of this project will be independent from oversight and the research developer will need to set their own milestones. Projected timeline is 3-4 months from October to December. This is a unique opportunity to autonomously develop and implement a new system. The hope is that once the feasibility of the project in its existing scope has been proven that we would expand this position into a leadership role. Required Programming for game environments Experience with major game engine Unity or Unreal preferred Proficiency in practical 3D mathematics and algorithms Demonstrated experience in planning and overseeing programming projects Preferred Scripting experience Lua Python Javascript etc. Experience in 3D animation and rigging Experience in game design Experience in 2D animation Qualified applicants should e-mail a resume and link to all relevant materials as soon as possible to reelslacasabonita.com ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4XX9h59jx_A4

Tools Programmer Red 5 Studios - Link 2015-09-17

The Discipline The Programming team at Red 5 Studios is comprised of some of the brightest minds in the games industry. Our team challenges conventional practices and follows a variety of approaches in producing creative solutions to build an online game played by millions. Whether its working on large scale deployment virtual cloud environments computer graphics gameplay programming tools development in-game UI web-enabled technologies artificial intelligence distributed computing or databases there is always a thought-provoking challenge for our engineers covering the full spectrum of computer science. We take pride in our development process and encourage ownership of projects - if you build it you own it. Working in a varied environment including Linux and Windows we have programs that have been written in over twenty languages. At Red 5 we are building a programming team that fosters creativity and autonomy in a large-scale development environment. Responsibilities Work hand in hand with the development team to improve process and design on various disciplines such as content creation tools world creation UI encounter tools game content mission creation installerlauncher and patcher Support the art team and world artists in their efforts to improve the pipeline and delivery of world class art objects to final production Collaborate with the UI Team on design sense and workflow improvements Qualifications 3-5 years of direct application programming experience C C and .NET development experience Previous work in developing database driven applications Great design sense for workflow and user interface Experience creating multi-user applications Knowledge and understanding of DirectX on 3D rendering 3D Math and Graphics familiarity Excellent communication skills Passionate gamer Pluses Linux and Unix Build Process experience Extensive knowledge of HTML JavaScript CSS and client-side frameworks e.g. jQuery Prototype etc. Previous experience with an MMO development studio with a large scale AAA game title Thorough understanding of cross-browser compatibility Some experience with graphic design programs e.g. Photoshop Illustrator etc. Passion for games The Studio Red 5 Studios creator of the free-to-play MMO shooter Firefall www.firefall.com is a video game developer dedicated to bringing together millions of gamers from across the planet by creating immersive worlds intriguing stories and compelling characters. Right now at this very moment Firefall is being played around the world. In the past month weve had players login from such distant lands such as Uruguay Morocco and yes even Kazakhstan. It is already a global community with a virtual store that is generating revenue today. Red 5 Studios has roughly 150 employees--large enough to find the resources or talent that you need to bring your vision to life but small enough where you have the opportunity to make a massive difference. Every employee leaves their indelible mark on the identity of Firefall.Everyone. THIS is the place to come if you seek mastery of your chosen vocation. These are the fertile grounds where you can learn from like-minded individuals that come from a cornucopia of industry-renown studios such as Naughty Dog Bungie Insomniac Blizzard and Microsoft. Every employee brings a significant knowledge base and we solicit best business practices from previous experiences. THIS is the studio to join if you want a chance to contribute to a fundamental shift in the way games are crafted. Firefall encompasses an original art style a proprietary in-house engine and a determination to make the free-to-play model work without being pay-to-win. We believe the free-to-play experience can be a win-win scenario for both the consumer and us alike. With no barrier to trying the game we believe it welcomes the greatest number of gamers possible. By having to work for gamers micro-transactions it forces us to be ever vigilant on quality forging a tight relationship with the community that will give the world of Firefalls New Eden a very long lifespan with years of continued development. THIS is the place for you if you value autonomy. If you want a chance to stretch your skills and excel in your chosen vocation without the constant Orwellian presence of a publisher or middle management questioning your every move this is for you. We trust our employees. We empower one another to make the game that we want to play. Were on a mission to create a living breathing world unlike any other for players to explore. We arent constrained by a specific title or role and individuals are often asked to tackle many challenges. We understand the challenges of bringing a AAA online game to life and we invite you to join us on this exciting adventure.ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4w7vX8kzlYxo

Software Engineer E-Line Media - Link 2015-09-17

Company Description E-Line Media harnesses the power of games to engage audiences through meaningful entertainment and to empower learners to thrive in a complex rapidly-changing digitally connected planet. The Companys consumer division publishes really fun games that explore the human condition provide a gateway to new ideas and empower players to shape their world. E-Line partners with leading foundations academics nonprofits and government agencies to help insure that its products pair great artistry with informed authenticity. Description Software Engineer Software Engineer Job Purpose Architect develop and debug educational products and games with an online focus. Qualified applicants will possess the following experiences Experienced with C or Java in a client-server environment. Professional experience with a relational database understanding transactions joins DDL and DML. Strong knowledge of Web Development and experience with Java and Javascript. Familiar with REST API web services Software design patterns Software debugging Ability to work in a team and structured tasking environment. Documents and demonstrates solutions by developing documentation flowcharts layouts diagrams charts code comments and clear code. Improves operations by conducting systems analysis recommending changes in policies and procedures. Provides information by collecting analyzing and summarizing development and service issues. Develops software solutions by studying information needs conferring with users studying systems flow data usage and work processes investigating problem areas following the software development lifecycle. Proactive work habits Pluses Unity3D Experience Mobile development Android and iOS SDK Knowledgeable of clientserver architecture. At least 1 online product shipped Network Programming in any language Relocation Note We dont support international relocation just domestic relocation.ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4pcNt0VkwYG4

Senior Software Engineer - Server Infrastructure Shiver Entertainment - Link 2015-09-17

SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE. Shiver Entertainment has an opening for a talented and innovative Senior Software Engineer-Server Infrastructure to join the team. We are looking for high performers with Strong Linux experience a passion for programming and the ability to develop refined reliable and re-usable code. The Senior Software Engineer will work collaboratively with fellow engineers and the creative team to bring AAA game quality to the free-to-play market. We are looking for A-players with ambition and tenacity who desire to truly contribute in a hands on fast paced game studio. JOB DESCRIPTION Shiver is looking for a Senior Software Engineer Server Infrastructure.This role will require you to work closely with other engineers and designers to create video games. We are looking for self-starters with a passion for programming and the ability to develop fast robust server infrastructure code. If you are interested in joining a team of talented industry veterans who work hard and play hard then we look forward to hearing from you soon Requirements BS or MS in Computer Science or related technical discipline 10 years of software development experience 5 years of Mobile development experience iOS and Android Extensive Linux experience Strong CS background with C experience A strong passion for games and the games industry is necessary Must be knowledgeable in Server side architecture with regard to clientserver based games Database interface SQLite Scalable infrastructure code Were looking for self-motivated problem solvers who are not afraid of working hard Preferred Experience with JavaScript and Dart Exposure to game design and development experience academic employment or personal Experience in multi-player social games RPG MMO andor online games Perks Competitive salary commensurate with experience Stock options Strong benefits package Medical Dental Vision Life Disability ampamp 401k Catered lunch daily Not corporate Shiver is a fun place to work work hard and play hard Small company start-up led by some of the most successful veterans in the industry Meritocracy with discretionary bonuses based on performance Great location live in beautiful sunny Miami FL Steps from public transportation systemsMetro Rail ampamp Metro Bus About us Shiver Entertainment bringing AAA game quality to the free-to-play market. Shiver Entertainment is an emerging video game studio based in Miami FL. We are a fast and high performance team focused on building the worlds best free-to-play games for mobile tablet and PC. Our CEO is John Schappert former COO of EA and Zynga former head of Xbox LIVE and Studios at Microsoft and founder of EA Tiburon. John heads up a veteran team with a deep belief in bringing AAA game quality to the free-to-play market. Nexon the world leader in free-to-play is our strategic partner and investor. If you are tenacious and talented then we want to hear from you. This is a one of a kind opportunity to make your own impact within a start-up with an unrelenting passion to make the best free-to-play games in the world.ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4wKlDfh6It8Y

Director of Marketing Robot Entertainment - Link 2015-09-17

Robot Entertainment Inc. was founded in 2009 and has gone on to release critically and commercially successful games across multiple platforms. In 2010 we released the AIAS Strategy Game of the Year in Orcs Must Die In 2011 we followed up with its sequel Orcs Must Die 2. Also in 2011 we released the AIAS Mobile Game of the Year in Hero Academy. Today we are developing Orcs Must Die Unchained for PC and PS4. Robot seeks a Director of Marketing to deliver its games to audiences around the world. You love games. You know how to build valuable brands. You understand how to build community. You have experience working with PC console and mobile games. You understand free-to-play models. You are comfortable at the center of the action. You will be part of the Robot leadership team and work closely with the development team a roster of agencies and our global publishing and distribution partners. You can plan and execute must see game demo booths at shows like PAX and Gamescom. You give a game studios Community Manager as much respect as its best engineer. The individual that fills this role will have full responsibility for creating and executing marketing strategy and tactical plans to grow Robot Entertainments games globally. Big Stuff To Do Develop manage execute and analyze global marketing strategies and go-to-market plans for all of Robots games Coordinate marketing strategies and plans with publishing and distribution partners globally Own the look and feel of the Robot and game-specific websites Lead all social media efforts including game streaming and working with influencers Own the budget for all marketing Create customer acquisition and retention campaigns and manage the life cycle of players Analyze customer behavior data generated from our games understand it and respond to it Play our games. A lot. Work closely with product development teams to both understand our games and provide a voice for the customer Plan memorable booths events and game demos at industry shows Manage a team of community managers web designers marketing artists and customer service reps Grow a Marketing department with the scaling success of our game franchises Develop and manage brand strategies and product positioning Manage the production of breakthrough creative for video advertising and other visual communications Lead all PR and corporate communications for Robot and its products Big Stuff You Have BSBA degree at a minimum Minimum of 7 years of marketing experience with at least 5 years of meaningful experience in game marketing and demonstrated leadership on at least one released game Demonstrable quantitative experience comfort and fluency with analytics Experience managing and leading others Passion for and love of games Excellent compensation to include salary bonuses stock options and top-of-industry health benefits. This is a full-time professional exempt position located in Plano Texas. Open to United States citizens or those individuals who are legally residing and working in the USA. Robot will not facilitate or sponsor candidates for US work visas or US residency Green Cards for this position. Qualified responses should be directed to recruitingrobotentertainment.com. Please indicate positionMARKETINGltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4ezZCeFchTNA

NOC Technician Lead Six Foot - Link 2015-09-17

Six Foot was established in Houston in 2000 by a small band of dreamers with a shared love for art and digital technology. For more than a decade Six Foot has worked to make interaction between people brands and technology more human and meaningful. Since 2012 we have been applying that same passion towards Grey Boxs vision of building extraordinary video games. Grey Goo and Dreadnought are the first two and we are just getting started. Approaching 100 people our team is a mix of game industry veterans and adventurers with backgrounds in video game development video game publishing and creative agencies. We are fierce with our work but not with each other. Family-minded and team focused we are learners and teachers who understand creativity thrives on taking risks and not being afraid of criticism. Our city is flat hot and full of marvelous people from all over the world. The fourth largest city in the nation we believe Houston has a spectacular future in games but we need your help to create it. We are looking for humble but ambitious razor-sharp professionals to join Six Foot to help shape the future of a number of new and exciting brands including Dreadnought and Grey Goo. And thats only the beginning. We require a seasonedNOC TechnicianLeadwho understands many the facets of operating a world class live gaming service backend for AAA games. The successful candidate is highly creative motivated collaborative consumer-focused and has a passion for all things gaming. Job DetailsLocation Houston TXPlatforms PC andor ConsoleExperience Senior LevelEmployment Type Full-timeIndustry Computer Games As a Six Foot NOC Technician youll work closely with the Live Operations team to establish and maintain a high-performing and highly available game service for players around the world. Youll monitor document and support all aspects of production environments development environments and general system needs. Your tech savvy networking and gaming experience will help you diagnose and communicate potential issues to our internal and external partners. You Are You are a problem solver that turns challenges into opportunities even without extensive planning. You are human and actually enjoy working with other humans. When changes are made you keep a cool head even if you dont have all the details. Youre comfortable moving between incidents to rapidly resolve issues as they occur. If and when it hit the fan you enthusiastically and calmly leap into action. No capes though capes are bad. Job Responsibilities Coordinate essential team members and external partners for day-to-day operations and triage situations as needed. You will be Six Foots 247 first responder for our online game servers networks and infrastructure related problems as well as any in-game connectivity issues internal incidents and more. You are empowered to make improvements to processes and infrastructure. You will be working in a fast paced environment multitasking to both reactively and proactively address issues impacting players and service. Must be able to communicate emergent issues quickly and effectively to our Technical Platform and Production teams. As we grow assist in recruiting and mentoring a team of NOC Technicians of all levels to deliver and continually improve the quality of service provided to our players while promoting a collaborative work environment and sharing of technology with other architects. Desired Skills and Experience Experience with build processes and build architecture a plus AWS administration a plus Perforce andor Git source control SaltStack Puppet or Chef Exerience SQLite basic configurations such as storage engines memory usage and security practices CCNP or JNCIP you understand the Life of a Packet and you have knowledge and experience on network management systems. With good exposure to Windows Server and Linux systems implementations you have worked as an all-rounder who understands core concepts of operating systems and networking and you have worked on programming projects not limited to scripting or writing tools. Adept at diagnostic tools Familiar with monitoring solutions Experience with ticketing systems With at least a year in NOC or Live Operations youve worked as a Junior SysAdmin Junior Network Engineer or Junior DBAltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4z00MS0cdh1s

Community Manager Six Foot - Link 2015-09-17

Six Foot was established in Houston in 2000 by a small band of dreamers with a shared love for art and digital technology. For more than a decade Six Foot has worked to make interaction between people brands and technology more human and meaningful. Since 2012 we have been applying that same passion towards Grey Boxs vision of building extraordinary video games. Grey Goo and Dreadnought are the first two and we are just getting started. Approaching 100 people our team is a mix of game industry veterans and adventurers with backgrounds in video game development video game publishing and creative agencies. We are fierce with our work but not with each other. Family-minded and team focused we are learners and teachers who understand creativity thrives on taking risks and not being afraid of criticism. Our city is flat hot and full of marvelous people from all over the world. The fourth largest city in the nation we believe Houston has a spectacular future in games but we need your help to create it. Six Foot is actively seeking an experienced creative and talentedNorth American Community Managerto help our partner Grey Box execute daily community live operations for the upcoming team-based spaceship combat gameDreadnought. The NA Community Manager will work to execute high level initiatives to ensure players feel informed and engaged. With a focus on retaining and growing the products customer base the NA Community Manager will be responsible for crafting public messaging creating and implementing community focused content interacting with and fostering player engagement at events and sharing the games social media presence. This will be an influential role and will require close collaboration with the development team as well as Marketing PR Customer Support and Web partners in order to ensure success. The methods adopted by the NA Community Manager to convey player sentiment to all key parties will be essential to improving the product and influencing future game development. Job Responsibilities Help deliver upon combined high level EuropeanNorth American website and social media content plans Engage and convey information to gamers via multiple communication channels email message boards chat website social networks Reddit etc. Compile objective weekly community reports Track and report on key community metrics Share management of social media channels Coordinate and throw web and in-game events competitions and tournaments contestspromotions in accordance with U.S. contest laws Engagesupport influencers and fan site operators. Promote the creation of Dreadnought fan sites. Manage volunteer programs Devise community outreach initiatives Help schedule developer participation in community chats events and interviews Always look to devise new methods of developer interaction with community Devise best strategies to acquire player feedback during all phases of game development beta testing and launch Coach developers in message board etiquettetechnique if warranted Advise developers on tactics and strategies that will retain and build loyalty with the North American community Desired Skills and Experience Prior experience on Free To Play titles is preferred Video or movie making experience is a big plus HTML proficient Strong MS Office skills Strong time-management and organization skills for coordinating multiple initiatives and priorities Good problem solving skills Experience writing legal Rules and Conditions for contestspromotions Highly creative resourceful and positive in nature Experience with crisis management Capable of handling change in a rapidly changing environment without losing focus Must be a self-starter and have the ability to work with minimal supervision Strong customer service ethic and demonstrated initiative Strong understanding of popular social networking trends Technical knowledge of online community platforms systems and software Experience running beta tests Prior experience with or at minimum a strong passion for PC flight action gamescommunities Strong interpersonal and writtenverbal communication skills Extensive knowledge of the game industry 3-5 yrs. of established online community management experience preferably in the video game industryltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4tXuRoAulHjM

Game Engineer Nuclear Division - Link 2015-09-17

In this position you will develop and implement various game systems and tools for core mobile titles and contribute to pushing the boundaries of mobile gaming in a positive direction. Together with a team of exceptional designers artists and engineers you will be evolving a high-profile franchise into the next big thing in mobile gaming. RESPONSIBILITIES Implement and maintain robust flexible systems for all aspects of game development Client and server programming Profile and optimize game systems Collaborate with designers artists and other engineers to implement and fine-tune features Contribute innovative ideas toward all aspects of game production and development SKILLS AND ABILITIES 3 years of recent game programming experience having shipped at least one game Strong programming skills and knowledge of algorithms and data structures Strong knowledge of C Java or C Strong 3D math abilities Familiarity with Unity3D Performed multi-disciplinary client engineering within multiplayer games At ease working within the grain of existing code paradigms Rapid learner able to absorb and understand complex systems quickly HIGHLY DESIRED EXTRAS Shipped at least one mobile title Familiarity with cloud-based game server engineering and databases AI programming experience Agile development experience Scrum Kanban etc.ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4pum8DTVBNBA

Systems Designer Six Foot - Link 2015-09-17

Six Foot was established in Houston in 2000 by a small band of dreamers with a shared love for art and digital technology. For more than a decade Six Foot has worked to make interaction between people brands and technology more human and meaningful. Since 2012 we have been applying that same passion towards Grey Boxs vision of building extraordinary video games. Grey Goo and Dreadnought are the first two and we are just getting started. Approaching 100 people our team is a mix of game industry veterans and adventurers with backgrounds in video game development video game publishing and creative agencies. We are fierce with our work but not with each other. Family-minded and team focused we are learners and teachers who understand creativity thrives on taking risks and not being afraid of criticism. Our city is flat hot and full of marvelous people from all over the world. The fourth largest city in the nation we believe Houston has a spectacular future in games but we need your help to create it. We are looking for an experienced creative powerhouse to join Six Foot to help shape the future of a number of new and exciting gaming brands including Dreadnought and Grey Goo. And thats only the beginning. We require a seasonedSystems Designerwho understands the nuance and math behind exceptional consumer experiences and game design and that has shipped successful AAA games on PC andor console. The perfect candidate should understand NextGen techniques and best practices and can apply them to current Six Foot projects. The successful candidate is highly creative motivated collaborative and has a passion for all things gaming. Qualifications Strong understanding of text based scripting. Expert game design sensibilities including a superior grasp of timing and instincts of what feels right. Demonstrates a deep understanding of gameplay systems and mechanics able to procon design decisions and the ramifications they will have on the overall experience. Understands how the importance of orchestrating gameplay systems in harmony across the entire game and is able to communicate the importance of this to other departments such as level design to ensure these mechanics are used frequently and appropriately. Has the sensibility to know when the conceptprototype stage is complete and the time has come to bring other departments into the mix. Ability to pitch design concepts in a clear detailed manner through strong written and verbal skills. A team-player who understands the importance of collaboration and can communicate effectively with all disciplines and departments. Positive solution-oriented individual passionate about the play experience with a wealth of knowledge across a wide range of games. Ability to learn and master new tools and techniques. Shipped at least one AAA game. CS degree is a plus. Job Responsibilites The position works with the creative director external development partner design teams artists code audio and animation to deliver design systems that epitomize the creative vision of the game. Ability to research subject matter relating to the design objective in an effort to ensure the authenticity of the experience. You will be expected to own design systems from conception to the final stages of polish facilitating communication and coordinating departments to ensure the vision is clearly understood. You should be a positive influence on the entire team and as a designer evangelize the ultimate promise to deliver fun. You should be able to proactively seek out opportunities to identify and deal with issues before they arise. Must have ability to self-critique and accept outside critique. The more feedback you receive the more you can tailor your work towards what is best for the game. Demonstrate a willingness to keep an open mind to coworkers ideas incorporating suggestions when applicable. Participate in the research and development of new tools and design systems. Contribute to establishing and enforcing consistent design practices constraints and metrics throughout projects. Mentor other designers and lead by example. Desired Skills and Experience Passion for interactive entertainment is a must have for our company culture. Experience working with multiple teams across multiple locations. Self Starter who is able to identify and solve problems Able to effectively and quickly build relationships and establish trust respect competence and confidence Passion for great consumer experiences with proven ability to deliver. Experience in rapid prototyping to test feasibility of concepts ideally in Unreal. Extensive understanding of the systems design process including motion models weapons tuning and feel enemy concept and design toolsupgrades economy balance testing etc. Experience working with a game engine and using scripting tools to assemble heroes enemies AI and interactive objects by collecting and implementing animations models audio and effects into one complete system. Experience working on 3rd person actionadventure games demonstrating major contributions in the areas of hero control schemes enemy design navigation mechanics and combat. At least 5 years experience in the games industry working as a systems designer shipping at least one title.ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs40uGkUVKneiY

Senior Game Engineer Six Foot - Link 2015-09-17

Six Foot was established in Houston in 2000 by a small band of dreamers with a shared love for art and digital technology. For more than a decade Six Foot has worked to make interaction between people brands and technology more human and meaningful. Since 2012 we have been applying that same passion towards Grey Boxs vision of building extraordinary video games. Grey Goo and Dreadnought are the first two and we are just getting started. Approaching 100 people our team is a mix of game industry veterans and adventurers with backgrounds in video game development video game publishing and creative agencies. We are fierce with our work but not with each other. Family-minded and team focused we are learners and teachers who understand creativity thrives on taking risks and not being afraid of criticism. Our city is flat hot and full of marvelous people from all over the world. The fourth largest city in the nation we believe Houston has a spectacular future in games but we need your help to create it. We are looking for an experienced programming powerhouse to join Six Foot to help shape the future of a number of new and exciting brands including Dreadnought and Grey Goo. And thats only the beginning. We require a seasonedSenior Game Engineerwho understands many facets of game programming and has shipped successful AAA games on PC andor conssole. The successful candidate is highly creative motivated collaborative consumer-focused and has a passion for all things gaming. Job DetailsLocation Houston TXPlatforms PC andor ConsoleExperience Senior LevelEmployment Type Full-timeIndustry Computer Games Qualifications Excellent C and object-oriented programming skills Significant experience with Visual Studio Strong debugging and optimization skills Unreal experience ideally UE4 is required Significant experience with common game engines andor tools Deep understanding of modern game graphics techniques Solid 3D math skills Ability to self-critique and accept outside critique. The more feedback you receive the more you can tailor your work towards what is best for the game. Must be a team player. Job Responsibilities Develop well-designed software within project schedule to team standards Write documentation and tutorials as needed Collaborate with designers to review proposed design features and define and develop those features as needed Collaborate with artists to build art guidelines develop improve and debug the art toolchain and integrate art assets as needed Assist in the design and development of software tools as needed Participate in regular code reviews and help other team members improve their engineering skills and general game development skills Work to regularly debug profile and optimize the code Participate in regular risk assessment evaluations to help the team and the project better evaluate and manage risks Desired Skills and Experience 5 years minimum game programming experience having shipped at least one game on PC or console Must understand optimization and performance requirements and be able to help guide best practices Passion for great consumer experiences with proven ability to deliver Able to effectively and quickly build relationships and establish trust respect competence and confidence Self Starter who is able to identify and solve problems Experience working with multiple teams across multiple locations Passion for interactive entertainment a must have for our company culture ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4NJJVxi9FdxU

3D Artist Six Foot - Link 2015-09-17

Six Foot was established in Houston in 2000 by a small band of dreamers with a shared love for art and digital technology. For more than a decade Six Foot has worked to make interaction between people brands and technology more human and meaningful. Since 2012 we have been applying that same passion towards Grey Boxs vision of building extraordinary video games. Grey Goo and Dreadnought are the first two and we are just getting started. Approaching 100 people our team is a mix of game industry veterans and adventurers with backgrounds in video game development video game publishing and creative agencies. We are fierce with our work but not with each other. Family-minded and team focused we are learners and teachers who understand creativity thrives on taking risks and not being afraid of criticism. Our city is flat hot and full of marvelous people from all over the world. The fourth largest city in the nation we believe Houston has a spectacular future in games but we need your help to create it. We are looking for an experienced creative powerhouse to join Six Foot to help shape the futureof a number of new and exciting gaming brands including Dreadnought and Grey Goo. Andthats only the beginning. We require a seasoned3D Artistwho understands all facets of game art creation and hasshipped successful AAA games on PC andor console. The perfect candidate shouldunderstand NextGen techniques and best practices and can apply them to current Six Footprojects. The successful candidate is highly creative motivated collaborative consumer-focused andhas a passion for all things gaming. Qualifications Expert knowledge of NextGen techniques such as normal mapping high and low polymodeling. Portfolio should demonstrate mastery of these techniques. Strong knowledge of lighting texturing and CG shaders and the relationship betweenthem. Thorough understanding of 3D editors such as Unity Unreal or similar game engines Proven experience working from existing concepts as well as developing your ownconcepts for asset creation. Must exhibit strong traditional art skills including illustration color theory compositionanatomy and design. Must be able to quickly match existing styles to create a cohesive look as well as helpdevelop ideas to further existing styles. Ability to self-critique and accept outside critique. The more feedback you receive themore you can tailor your work towards what is best for the game. Must be a team player. Job Responsibilities Create beautiful and stunning 3D production ready assets for use in Unreal 4.0 or Unity 5.0 for game andor marketing use. Work closely with the creative director art director art lead and creative team to develop concepts prototypes and production ready content. Work closely with engineers and designers to implement art assets efficiently to allow for rapid iteration of game design and aesthetics. Work closely with satellite offices external development partners and collaborate with cross functional teams. Create a wide variety of art ranging from environments to characters to props and some visual effects. Provide guidance and direction to external vendors developers and contractors as required. Desired Skills and Experience 4 years of 3D game art creation using Maya Max Modo Zbrush or equivalent. Must have Unity and Unreal 4 experience. Must be able to demonstrate a broad range of talent and skill in terms of 3D modeling and asset creation. Must understand optimization and performance requirements and be able to help guide best practices. Passion for great consumer experiences with proven ability to deliver. Able to effectively and quickly build relationships and establish trust respect competence and confidence. Self Starter who is able to identify and solve problems. Experience working with multiple teams across multiple locations. Passion for interactive entertainment a must have for our company culture.ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4TL9rDgcN2NI

The New Games Criticism - by Paul Kilduff-Taylor - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs The New Games Criticism by Paul Kilduff-Taylor on 091815 013000 pm 2 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Introduction This may turn a little manifesto but forgive me. Itrsquos a juvenile form but such posturing can occasionally serve a purpose. Kieron Gillen The New Games Journalism In 2005 Kieron Gillen laid out his aspirations for what games journalism could be. He summarised them thus 1 The worth of gaming lies in the gamer not the game. 2 Write travel journalism to Imaginary Places. Gillen was talking about a new form one which could inform the traditional process of reviewing games but was ultimately distinct from it Reviews that donrsquot serve their basic consumer-informing purpose are worse than uselesshellip What Irsquom suggesting is in addition to rather than replacing the old order mdash though Irsquod suggest a greater stringency when producing work thatrsquos in these more established traditions. The influence of this line of thinking permeates games journalism today. Whether itrsquos Samuel Roberts talking about how Rocket League brings out the worst in him Martin Robinson discussing his personal experience of Japanese arcades or Michael W. Clune describing his relationship with gaming and drugs wersquore now fully adrift on the vast ocean of subjectivity. Of course thatrsquos totally fine in and of itself. The idea of New Games Journalism was to nudge games journalism into line with other forms of personal pop cultural criticism it seems to have been largely a success although I would suggest that Gillenrsquos ldquogreater stringencyrdquo in the traditional forms was somewhat overlooked. But that was ten years ago whatrsquos next All of the People All of the Time I recently had an interesting conversation on Twitter with Vlambeerrsquos Rami Ismail about subjectivity and responses to art. Ramirsquos point of view is effectively that any possible response to a work has equal validity even if itrsquos predicated on beliefs which are demonstrably false. I donrsquot wish to speak for Rami here but I believe this opinion comes from an understandable desire to be inclusive in conversation itrsquos all too easy for a particular opinion to be ldquoshouted downrdquo online we want to create an environment where everyone is allowed an equal opportunity to express their views. Unfortunately I believe that benevolent motivation can result in a situation where nothing is valuable or valued. The deification of the subjective can only end in a denial of intrinsic meaning. Art will always provoke a subjective response. A Rothko painting might seem like a flag or a landscape it might evoke ideas of death and formless melancholy. You could go up close to the canvas and look at the marks made by the brushstrokes thinking about how what appear to be stark blocks of colour are actually significantly more complex. Itrsquos also possible to have responses which have no real basis whatsoever. The painting is blue that could somehow remind you that today is Tuesday. While I agree with Rami that you have a right to express yourself and discuss this ldquoTuesday Theoryrdquo the idea that it has equal validity to - for example - an approach with recognises and explores the inherent ambiguity in the painting is patently ludicrous. We need to reject absolute subjectivity if we believe that there is anything to be learned about meaning. I believe that a response which is able to take into account many aspects of a work drawn from a close examination of it is superior it simply is more valuable it elicits greater meaning. The Shock of the New In the mid-20th Century a group of writers established a loose ideology which came to be known as ldquoNew Criticismrdquo. This line of thought was a reaction against two distinct sets of entrenched ideas Irsquod argue that games criticism endures similar preponderances today. To discuss this Irsquoll be drawing heavily from John Crowe Ransomersquos 1937 essay Criticism Inc. which is well worth a read in its entirety. Ancient History When Matt Lees argues that games have lives because ldquogames started out mostly as arcade machines and buying lives was the most efficient way of getting people to keep putting money inrdquo hersquos essentially using a form of ldquohistoricismrdquo. As an alternative to this a liberal humanist critic might talk about the fundamental importance of death to human experience perhaps also ideas such as its inevitability I think there is a reasonable case to make for those things being more vital than a discussion of coin slots. The department of English is charged with the understanding and the communication of literature an art yet it has usually forgotten to inquire into the peculiar constitution and structure of its product. English might almost as well announce that it does not regard itself as entirely autonomous but as a branch of the department of history with the option of declaring itself occasionally a branch of the department of ethics. John Crowe Ransome Criticism Inc. Historicism and sociological criticism are problematic because they limit our understanding of meaning to the consequences of a work rather than its content. Herersquos a great video showing Miyamoto discussing the first level of Super Mario Bros If we look at this contextually we might think about Mariorsquos influence on culture at the time or on other games. But wersquoll miss everything about why making a character jump around a level is interesting in the first place we wonrsquot be able to draw any conclusions about the meaning of Miyamotorsquos design decisions. Laryngeal Sensations Therefore it is hardly criticism to assert that the proper literary work is one that we can read twice or one that causes in us some remarkable physiological effect such as oblivion of

Five Reasons to Trademark Your Video Game Today - by Stephen McArthur - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Five Reasons to Trademark Your Video Game Today by Stephen McArthur on 091715 020400 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Stephen McArthur is an attorney who focuses on legal issues in the video game industry. You can read more about his practice at www.smcarthurlaw.com One of the biggest mistakes I commonly see video game developers make is waiting too long to trademark their game name or even not trademarking it at all. Platforms like Steam for PC the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android have made it easier for small companies and independent developers to create and distribute video games. Thanks to these platforms the video game market is open to virtually anyone with a computer to create and distribute their software. In 2014 close to 500 iOS and 250 Android games launched every day.1 However as easy as it has become to create and distribute your own unique game it is even easier for someone to copy your game and profit off of your hard work. This is evident from the numerous clones of popular video games like Flow Free Threes 2048 and Flappy Bird that crowd the market. 2048 itself a clone of Threes could have at least prevented countless other clones from copying its name with a simple trademark registration. Clone-creating developers do not increase the total user base of a game. Rather these cloners cannibalize the market that yoursquove worked so hard to build diverting your revenue without adding anything new to the marketplace. It is more important now than ever to trademark your video game and protect your brand. What is a Trademark A trademark is ldquoa word phrase logo or other graphic symbol used by a manufacturer or seller to distinguish its product or products from those of others.rdquo2Trademarks can be a word like ldquoNintendordquo or a slogan such as Sony39s ldquoGreatness Awaits.rdquo Trademarks are not limited to unique words like ldquoPokmonrdquo or ldquoTetris.rdquo Any English word can be trademarked. For instance ldquoApplerdquo is trademarked and protected for use on computers and software. ldquoFlowrdquo is trademarked for the ldquoFlow Freerdquo line of mobile games. Ultimately the goal of trademarking is to protect the consumer by creating clear brand identification so they can easily identify the source of the products they are purchasing. Do I Have toActually ldquoRegisterrdquoa Trademark Technically you can put aTMnext to your game title without filing a trademark registration but that will not give you anything close to all of the protection your company needs. You should always take the next step and register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO. Then you can level up theTMinto an . Having the symbol wards off copiers and cloners gives you extra teeth to enforce your trademark in court and makes it less likely that someone else will be able to use their own trademark to shut down your game. When Should IRegisteraTrademark Right now. Ideally you should file your trademark registration before the game is released. That way your game has maximum protection against clones and other issues that may arise. In fact you can trademark your game title up tothreeyearsbefore your game is even released. That means you can secure a game name as early in the development process as you want locking the name up for years until you finally release your game. This is incredibly useful for avoiding the situation where you plan to use a game name for over a year build your game around it buy a website and pour money into marketing and consumer awareness only to have someone else beat you to the market with a game of the same name. If you didnrsquot register your trademark well ahead of time you would be out of luck. If your game is already released for some time yet you never bothered to register the trademark it is not too late. However the faster the trademark is registered the better. Reasons toTrademarkYour Video GameTitle 1. Prevent Problems Arising from Choosing a Game Title too Similar to Other Titles When you hire an attorney to register your video game title as a trademark the attorney will do a comprehensive search for any future problems that the chosen name may encounter. This search is essential for two reasons. First it can save you from an expensive lawsuit after the gamersquos release when another company has issues with your game title. Second it will prevent you from having to change your game title after release. A registered trademark establishes your right to the game title and can prevent other companies from forcing you to change it. Changing your game title after release will result in loss of customers complications with search engine optimization negative reviews marketing issues etc. 2. Exclusive Use of Your Game Title Trademark registration protects you against people who will steal your game title and use it for their own video game. We could not imagine another video game called Angry Birds right Having a federally registered trademark for your video game title will prevent others from stealing it. In addition only if you register your trademark will the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reject other people from registering your game title as their own trademark. The trademark of your game title not only protects the exact name but it also protects anything that is ldquoconfusingly similar.rdquo A trademark for ldquoFlappy Birdrdquo would stop copiers from using ldquoFloppy Birdrdquo ldquoFlappy B1rdsrdquo and other similar titles. However Flappy Bird was not trademarked on release. If its developer had registered a trademark of the game title the Google Play store would not look like this 3. Protection Against Clones Even though trademarks technically only protect your game title

What Makes an Indie Hit How to Choose the Right Design - by Ryan Clark - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs What Makes an Indie Hit How to Choose the Right Design by Ryan Clark on 091715 020400 pm 37 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Who the hell are you and how are you qualified to tell me anything In this industry it39s difficult to go far without learning from others. But from whom should we learn I think it is wisest to study developers who have been repeatedly successful. Each time a developer creates another successful game it becomes less and less likely that their repeated successes have been due to luck. Only a minuscule fraction of indie games break even so what are the odds of developers like Jamie Cheng Edmund McMillen and Cliff Harris stringing together a number of successful games The odds are low. There must be something other than luck at work So perhaps these folks and many others like them are the ones you should be studying and listening to. A quick aside Just because someone has been repeatedly successful doesn39t necessarily mean that they KNOW why they39ve been successful. It could be something subconscious that affects the way that they make games. Study their games and look for patterns for sure but always take any written article including this one with a grain of salt No matter who the author is. So who the hell am I I do not claim to be a big shot but I39ve made a living in this industry since going independent full time in 2004. I39ve created 10 games in that span and 8 have been profitable or break-even. 3 have grossed more than 1M including Crypt of the NecroDancer which has earned even more. It39s possible that I have just been lucky I admit but I hope not I have an explicit method that I use when selecting which game designs to move forward with and I will describe that method in this article. Good Isn39t Good Enough A good game is usually not enough and I think the method used by many newcomers will generally produce good games. It39s common to take a look at a successful game X see various flaws in it and decide to make game X but BETTER or game X but IN SPACE I must admit my first indie game was basically game X but better Don39t fall into that trap. To improve the likelihood of success your game needs to stand out. But how Here are the steps I take for any given game design We will discuss each of these factors below. Hooks If you want people to remember your game to talk about your game to write articles about your game etc it needs to have a hook. Preferably multiple hooks In music a hook is a short riff or melody or phrase that really grabs the listener and gets stuck in their head. For example the riff at the start of Queen39s Under Pressure was such a great hook that it was later re-used as the hook for Ice Ice Baby. Sorry couldn39t resist including this epic mashup. If you like FLCL or Evangelion check it out. In games a hook is similar but game hooks often take effect BEFORE the game is even played. The hook is some interesting bit of information about the game that compels people to try it or to discuss it. By way of illustration I39ll describe some hooks from Crypt of the NecroDancer since the design fortunately provided quite a few Not all hooks are created equal of course. I think NecroDancer39s core mechanic and excellent music are its most powerful hooks and the others are significantly lesser. But the more hooks you have and the more compelling each hook is the greater your chance of snagging a given person39s interest. So I think it makes sense to wait for a design that stands out along as many axes as possible. Ideally you want every facet of your project to be unique and compelling in some way Gameplay art audio name story dev team everything. How do your hooks measure up NecroDancer promo art created by Chris Bourassa of Darkest Dungeon fame You will need to become adept at evaluating hooks. A great way to do this is to examine the hooks of other successful and unsuccessful games. Let39s take a look at Darkest Dungeon39s hooks My analysis of Darkest Dungeon39s hooks led me to believe that it was going to be a big hit. Its hooks felt significantly more compelling than NecroDancer39s and it didn39t have NecroDancer39s genre confusion discussed below. Before the launch Tyler and Chris were not sure how well it was going to do. Everyone feels like this pre-launch I told them that my gut feel was that it39d double NecroDancer39s results. You can see on SteamSpy that I was right. Sure a question like How STRONG are these hooks can only be answered subjectively but if you practice analyzing the hooks of newly launched games and then look at their sales results afterward to see if your instincts were right you will begin to develop a feel for it. Market Analysis Don39t panic Analyzing a market is not boring drudge work You get to play games for fun and presumably you39ll be doing it in a genre you enjoy. This is one of my favourite phases of game development First find the 10 or 20 games that you think are closest design-wise to your game. If it39s hard to find similar games you should still take a look at the closest games you can find. Play all of them examine their hooks and look at their sales results. Importantly you WANT to include games that have sold poorly Get a feel for these games and come up with explanations for why each game sold as well or as poorly as it did. If you are not confident in being able to explain why the hits hit and why the others did not you shouldn39t be confident about your game39s chances either. If that39s the case you likely need more practice analyzing hooks IMO. Second take a look at the size and composition of the market. Are there enough fans of this type of game to generate the sales results you need to survive Has even the highest grossing game produced enough revenue If not you may be in trouble or perhaps you will

Power to the Players Music for User-Created Levels - by Winifred - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Power to the Players Music for User-Created Levels by Winifred Phillips on 091715 020400 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. This week Irsquod like to touch upon an aspect of the LittleBigPlanet music system that sets it apart from most other games ndash and that is the way in which the game gives players the power to directly manipulate the music content. Every piece of music in a LittleBigPlanet game is also a collectible prize that players can obtain and then use in levels that they build themselves using the gamersquos creation tools. For this reason when composing for a LittleBigPlanet game the members of the music composition team have to keep in mind that therersquos no way to predict how the user community will use the music. Certainly the players will be sharing their user-created levels across the entire community ndash there are over 9 million levels so far ndash and that knowledge tends to puts everything in a whole new light. As Irsquove mentioned in previous blogs the music of the LittleBigPlanet franchise for consoles is structured using a Vertical Layering system comprised of six layers ndash six simultaneous audio recordings that play in synch with each other and each represent a percentage of the whole composition. This allows the music to be disassembled and reassembled by the game engine according to whatrsquos happening during the course of play. That means that each music composition is fragmented into six parts. So I have to ask myself ndash when players are using one of the interactive tracks Irsquove composed for a LittleBigPlanet game will users play only one layer out of the six That thought tends to make me scrutinize every layer pretty intently. On the other hand will players just set every layer as active at full volume all the time Again thatrsquos a thought that puts me on high alert leading me to turn a hyper critical eye on each composition before I make that final submission to the developers. When we create interactive music for most projects we can trust that the audio team at the development studio will work to implement the music in the most advantageous way with the most satisfying musical results ndash but players tend to make their decisions based on what seems like fun at the time. Even so Irsquom always excited to hear how players have implemented my music into their games. Here are some of the best examples of ingenuity and artistry from a few of the top LittleBigPlanet level creators LittleBigPlanet 3 The Ziggurat Theme In the Ziggurat level Sackboy wanders through an impressive sanctuary characterized by imposing architecture and lots of glittering glass with outdoor sections blanketed by softly falling snow. I was asked to create music for this area which was structured as a central hub from which Sackboy could embark on adventures and accept missions. The music I composed included six layers ndash Choir Harp Bells Bass Jazz Drums and Percussion. Here is a short 12 second excerpt taken from each of the six layers at the exact same moment in the composition In the Ziggurat level created by the development team at Sumo Digital Sackboy repeatedly visits a central hub area and the layers of the music are triggered in different configurations depending on when Sackboy visits. The layers donrsquot change noticeably while Sackboy is exploring the level but when he returns to the same level later the music will have changed its layer configuration. Herersquos a brief example of how that worked In the awesome user-created level Fuga Ad Infinitum designed by Aratiatia the Ziggurat Theme music is used with a very different triggering strategy. The layers are turned on and off depending on the actions of Sackboy as he runs and flies through a mythologically-inspired environment causing the music to fluidly change its character while Sackboy explores. Because of this fundamentally different method of music triggering The Ziggurat Theme has a unique tone and atmosphere in Fuga Ad Infinitum. Herersquos a gameplay video that shows how the music was triggered in the Fuga Ad Infinitum game The user Aratiatia created a mesmerizingly beautiful level lacing the layers of The Ziggurat Theme throughout with thoughtfully designed trigger points that supported the action of the game very well. LittleBigPlanet 2 Toy Story Sometimes an interactive track can come across differently with very small changes in implementation. As an example ndash the LittleBigPlanet 2 Toy Story game was a self-contained adventure in the world of the famous and popular Toy Story movies. I wrote an interactive western bluegrass track for gameplay sequences that included cowboy romps with Woody and his pals. The details regarding the composition of each layer in this bluegrass Vertical Layering composition are explored in one of the tutorial videos I produced to supplement my book A Composerrsquos Guide to Game Music During the LittleBigPlanet 2 Toy Story game the interactive music would be used for both low-energy cinematics and high-energy gameplay. Herersquos a brief video showing how the music was implemented in the LittleBigPlanet 2 Toy Story game Now herersquos the same music used in an incredibly clever LittleBigPlanet 2 user-created game called Paper World 2 by Adell22. In this implementation of the music Adell22 chose not to use the melody layer opting instead for the bluegrass rhythm and energy to give the vehicular gameplay its momentum The drastically different gameplay circumstances combined with the different mix of layers in the music help this track to come across distinctively and support the action of the Paper World 2 user-created game. LittleBigPlanet 2 Victoriarsquos Lab Irsquove blogged before about the music I composed for the Victoriarsquos Lab level of LittleBigPlanet 2

Another common form of copycat games in China - by Junxue Li - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Another common form of copycat games in China by Junxue Li on 091715 020400 pm 3 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. This article was originally posted on Chinese game news site httpwww.doyo.cn the author is 337562356733457. Junxueedits it and reposts here. Talking about copycat games they steal other developerrsquos properties at different levels. Some steal source code or art design and some are mere imitations. Please look this example on the left is the art of the original Triple town game and the right is a Chinese game made by unrelated developer. The game play is different we can call this ldquoborrow the ideardquo to the most. And today I want to introduce to you another common form of copycat games in China one considered most brazen and ridiculous. Last year my younger sister sent me a QQ message inviting me to play the iOS version Pokemon. I was shocked for by then no Nintendotitle was announced on iOS. And then she sent me the link ok itrsquos another copycat. Itrsquos name is still Pokemon 21475349552293424618 in Chinese and with all the characters takeover from the original. In China Nintendorsquos franchises and Japanese anime have great fan base. And with loose IP administration many developers wouldsteal their IP and graphic design to make games. Here I have a few samples I cover the names that you may understand that Irsquom not promoting them here. Pokemon This game has the key words 21475349552293424618 in the name so you can find it in App Store by searching. It takes over all the pokemons from the original and even invented a few. Kirby This game is relatively better than other Kirby copycats we have here it preserves the puff up feature. Most copycats have it removed for itrsquos a complicated animation. Dragon Ball There are too many Dragon Ball copycats here CCG platformer fighting game. This one has the subhead ldquoA Tale of Alien Tramp Strikes backrdquo And a few copycat CCGs are otherwise good in making if they are not riddled with in-app-purchase traps. Saint Seiya It also have dozens of copycats. The two games below one remakes the graphics somehow and another take over the originalrsquos directly. Crossover Fighting Games These developers give players the chance to fight each other with beloved characters those characters may otherwise never meet in official crossovers. If you like this post please see more of my articles and follow mehere... I would post regularly--one article every two weeks about game art production. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Remote Art Director 09.18.15 Associate Product Manager 09.18.15 Game Art 09.17.15 Publishing CoordinatorBeijing View All Jobs 253881 blog blogsJunxueLi20150917253881Another_common_form_of_copycat_games_in_China.php 940564 33770303 Loading Comments

How To Pitch Your Game - by Alex Nichiporchik - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs How To Pitch Your Game by Alex Nichiporchik on 091715 020400 pm 1 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. How to pitch your game to a publisher or anyone Yoursquove got your game in development and decided you need a partner to help make it bigger. Thatrsquos a smart idea - you want to focus on the game itself and have an experienced partner help you get your creation in front of as many eyeballs as possible. This article is meant to help you effectively pitch your game to publishers journalists you tubers streamers or anyone you meet. I donrsquot like to use the word publisher but letrsquos just use it instead of a partner that helps you make your game more successful mdash itrsquos shorter. Elevator Pitch Yoursquore in an elevator. Irsquom standing there in a stupid orange hat. We have 6 seconds before the floor is hit. I ask you about what game yoursquore working on. Practice that reply. Being as cheesy as ldquoMario Kart As a 2D Platformerrdquo works. It gives me an idea of what the game is and spawns a conversation. ldquoDoes it work onlinerdquo Irsquod ask and if you tell me itrsquos a competitive online platformer mdash we might just have aSpeedRunners. Think about what makes your game interesting. Sometimes being generic and referencing other games works. ldquoHave you ever had loud neighborsrdquo everyone will nod or say yes ldquoDid you ever want to stab them Thatrsquos the gamerdquo and you might have aParty Hard. Notice how the pitch is very similar to what is in the final game pitch to the public and journalists. It needs to have context. ldquoFishing with Machine Gunsrdquo for Ridiculous Fishing A Math Puzzler About Slicing Sheep in Half forDivide By Sheep. Make sure topractice this in front of the mirror say it loud and clear. Donrsquot go deep into explaining the mechanics just get people interested. Be memorable. It helps if yoursquore memorable as well. If itrsquos e-mail just add something personal to it - a gif of you doing something or even better a good gif of the game. Visuals Letrsquos assume you got me interested. At this point it doesnrsquot matter if Irsquom a publisher or a journalist a platform holder mdash whatever. Show me good visuals. In an e-mail make a stunning andunder 2mbgif of the game. Just drop itinto the bodyof the mail. Do not think itrsquos rude to make e-mails short and spot-on. Same with personal meetings. Everyonersquos time is valuable and if you feel like writing a novel works better than a short spot-on message you need to understand that peoplersquos time is very limited. So is the attention span of potential users. If it catches my eyes within a crowded environment when you are showing live visuals odds are it will catch attention of users Youtubers streamers and the press. If yoursquore sending an e-mail include aldquonakedrdquo Youtube linkto the trailer andor gameplay montage. Make sure the interesting things are visible within 5 seconds of the video yes you will lose people at that long splash screen. Most e-mail clients now preview video links to Youtube and itrsquos effortless to click on a link to watch a quick video. Especially if I had already seen a cool gif in the body of the mail. All of this applies to pressmediausers too. Description Donrsquot go deep into the story behind the game and especially donrsquot write a novel-sized text. Use short easy to scan bulletpoints why you think your game is great. Do something to stand out there. Be clear spot-on. Notice how Irsquom writing this article Short sentences. Nothing complex. Itrsquos easy to read because I donrsquot use long sentences where the structure gets complex because I write very easy and also in the beginning of the article I mention your pitch should be great and short but this sentence is already getting too complicated and dumb and at this point the reader will just drop off. Stop doing what I just did here in this paragraph. Actually do this instead Keep it simple. If I like what Irsquove seen so far including the gif and trailer and the brief description that Irsquoll spend about 10 seconds scanning we will get on a call to talk about what you actually need your ideas on how to release it etc. If you need funding explain why and what itrsquoll be used for. If you released games before thatrsquos a huge encouragement - we know you can complete projects. Getting a build Great Make a build that has a vertical slice of gameplay. Something that shows off why your game can be fun. Think of it like this mdash if this build was at a convention where thousands of people walk by how can you make them interested in picking up the controller to easily understand the mechanics and to continue playing Getting this done properly is best achieved with just going to any kind of public gaming showcase. Search for anything in your area it doesnrsquot have to be big or expensive. Get something together get a laptop and see how people react. The first time we showcased SpeedRunners at PAXwe were literally squatting at a convention with a laptop strapped to Lukersquos neck and 4 controllers hanging on velcro. We realized people like very specific things and focused on them. Look for whatmakes people smile. And for fucks sakedo not try to explain to people how to play itmdash see what they naturally try to do vs explaining it. You have the option to present visual interactive information on the screen. Donrsquot detract the player with talking about the game just lean back and observe what hersquos trying to do based on what he sees.Take noteson what he doesnrsquot understand and improve your build based on that. Get that build to a publisher and wersquoll squeal thinking about how great itrsquod work at a showcase how easy it is to get into. We signed Party Hard on anapkin at a showcase.Right there I

We039ve Been Doing it the Wrong Way - by Armando Marini - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:00:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Weve Been Doing it the Wrong Way by Armando Marini on 091715 020400 pm 6 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. For the last few years Irsquove been kind of on the outside of the industry. Itrsquos been an intentional self imposed exile. My trajectory was not what I was hoping for. It didnrsquot jive with me. A lot of it had to do with not necessarily jiving with the process of developing a game especially in the early days. However while Irsquove been out here searching for whatrsquos next I believe I have discovered a fundamental flaw in game development that has lead to almost all the problems in the process. Just hand tight and I will explain. For as long as I can remember we39re talking all the way back to the mid 90rsquos the process of making a game starts with ldquoHey give me a concept I need it as soon as possible. Can you have it by the end of the week How about two weeksrdquo Hyperbole I donrsquot think so. The concept is what every producer and executive wants and they want it as soon as they can get it if they donrsquot like it you go back and you rework it. Under this pressure to come up with something you also have to to a significant degree give examples of what yoursquoll do in this game what it will look like and my favourite whatrsquos ldquothe hookrdquo. Sometimes you have a few months to do this but you are always under the gun to come up with something. Newsflash I havenrsquot got a clue. No project lead does. We make it up as we go. We all know this to be true. This leads to poor planning poor scheduling crunch times wasted money and onward with a laundry list of what not to do when you have to create something worthwhile. Sometimes out of this chaos something decent comes but I am going to stand up and proclaim that this process needs to stop and be replaced with a new starting point. Behold ndash The Screenplay. In June of this year I was encouraged to take an old game idea I had and turn it into a screenplay. I didnrsquot have much other than the very vague super high level of a concept that I could not turn into a game in any meaningful way. Every attempt that I threw at it sucked. I still liked the idea of the story and turning it into a screenplay seemed like the only possibility for it. I wrote and re-wrote. I was critiqued and I rewrote. I read and I rewrote. I just kept going on it and in fact I still am trying to make it a top notch screenplay. Then it hit me. If on the long shot this turns into a movie there might be a game based on it. What would that game play like Eureka moment As I read through the script I had all the elements I needed to know to create a game concept and to have a fruitful preproduction process. I knew the characters. I knew the enemy characters. I knew the themes. I knew the locations. I knew the goals of the levels. Lastly I knew the game play and maybe most importantly I knew the hook. What this game really needed to make it cool was gameplay based on stealth and enemy AI that did itrsquos best to stay behind cover making it very challenging for the player and forcing the player be very clever at making them come out from behind cover. Now will this be a cool game Will it ever get a green light Will it ever see the light of day I have no idea but that isnrsquot the point of this post. The point is that by embarking on creating a good screenplay I inadvertently found that this should be the starting point for many many many games. Rather than just sitting back and imagining what might be or trying to string together the oddball moment the screenplay is a single cohesive blueprint for what the project will be. Proper scheduling can be done. Resources can be allocated properly. More accurate projections can be made. There are real discussion points that can be covered and agreed to or rejected before a single line of code is written or a single piece of artwork created. Also I have three valid unique I.P. ideas where there used to be nothing. For years people have been saying to design the game on paper. I get that. This is very much along the same lines. This may not work for every game but it could apply to far more than you might think. Even if you write the story from the fictional perspective of a fictional player how would the script play out How wouldMadden Footbal play out at a screenplay Thatrsquos a very interesting exercise. When I completed my last revision I decided I would go back and expand on the screenplay and turn it into a novella. By filling in the blanks that you intentionally leave out in a screenplay I revealed even more of what the game could be. I found opportunities for metagames and possibilities for multiplayer. The story kept revealing more and more.How is it that we have not tried this before How was this not determined to be the way before Ok granted if you are working on your very first indie project this might seem overwhelming. It might be unnecessary in some cases. However would ever case benefit from it to some degree I really do think so. I really hope to put this hypothesis to the test. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Remote Art Director 09.18.15 Associate Product Manager 09.18.15 Game Art 09.17.15 Publishing CoordinatorBeijing View All Jobs 253956 blog blogsArmandoMarini20150917253956Weve_Been_Doing_it_the_Wrong_Way.php 237240 29196453 Loading Comments

Common problems of console game and sex industry - by Junxue Li - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 10:54:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Common problems of console game and sex industry by Junxue Li on 091715 110000 am Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Anita Sarkeesianrsquos feminist videos are highly informativehighly entertaining at least if you donrsquot agree with her if you havenrsquot yet watched highly recommended here is her YouTube channel httpswww.youtube.comuserfeministfrequency Anita has gathered many footages in video games of all time to address the problem of female abuse in games. For the first time I look into her video I canrsquot help to laugh at her ldquoIs this lady from Mars Whatrsquos wrong of adding some sex to help sell the games as most players are male rdquo But deep in my heart I can sense the gravity of the problem. I greatly appreciate the jobs Anita has done to make changes. However the sad fact is that sex in games just like other social problems drugs ivory trafficking all have deep root in humanity. Those are not supposed to be resolved by the outcry of an individual or an organization even government ban wonrsquot workthink about the Prohibition. Superficially the problem of sex in games prons appear to be more benign than drugs ivory for no black market blood shedding involved. But in fact the harm it inflicts on our society tops them all. And why Among the common problems of console game and sex industry I would like to list the most notable two here Help kids to form wrong opinion of women In the cases of female abuse in games and in pron products women are largely regarded as strumpets consumables. We all know what women mean to us care companionship much much more than sexuality. To get happiness and success we need to learn how to develop great relationships with women. For we all have many intimate females around us. This seems to be clich everyone with good schooling knows it. However I need to point out the wrong opinion made damages to our belief system not to the conscious level but to the subconscious level. At this level bad things work faster and so automatic that quite out of our control. Just like a bad boy sits at the bottom of our heart continuously cry out ldquowomen are bad bad badhelliprdquo Promote lewdness other than good sex Sex and the desire for sex are gifts from God. And it seems that God is not pleased to see us have it in evil ways. All the cultures and religions have the same code of what is legitimate sex and what is lewdness. I think itrsquos ok for an industry to gratify this human need and profit from it. Unfortunately the console game and sex industry choose to promote lewdness other that good sex. Canrsquot they promote the good Think about this scenario the game is a love story and in cut scenes we can see after much vicissitudes two lovers hug in undraped formThe girl is the protagonist otherwise the bare female body would fall into ldquotrophyrdquo category as Anita mentioned.. I think even Anita wouldnrsquot be against this for here sex is only used as sweetener. But the human vice is it seems that only a sense of guilt can bring gratification. By the end I feel fortunate to work in the casual mobile game industry itrsquos a field sex free at least for now. If you like this post please see more of my articles and follow mehere... I would post regularly--one article every two weeks about game art production. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Remote Art Director 09.18.15 Associate Product Manager 09.18.15 Game Art 09.17.15 Publishing CoordinatorBeijing View All Jobs 253532 blog blogsJunxueLi20150917253532Common_problems_of_console_game_and_sex_industry.php 940564 33770303 Loading Comments

The Games Industry Under the New Lenz of Fair Use - by Mona Ibrahim - Link Wed, 16 Sep 2015 11:11:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs The Games Industry Under the New Lenz of Fair Use by Mona Ibrahim on 091715 105400 am 3 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. The Ninth Circuitrsquos recent holding concerning fair use under the DMCA could have some interesting consequences for copyrightholders that use takedown notifications to remove content fromYouTube app stores and similar content distribution channels. There are already dozens of opinion summaries online so this analysis will focus primarily on how this effects the game space. A few take-aways to get us started The Fair Use Analysis Lenz doesnrsquot actually bring the fair use analysis into the ruling itself nor did it rule one way or another on whether the ldquoLetrsquos Go Crazy 1rdquo video constituted fair use. That wasnrsquot the question presented to the Court. Instead the Court offered some guidance on the manner copyright owners must consider the fair use analysis when issuing takedown notices As a review the four factors of the fair use analysis are as follows Most Courts have found that these factors operate on a sliding scalemdashfor example if the entire focus of a video is one particular copyrighted work e.g. an entire play-through of Dark Souls the remaining factors purpose and character of the use and the effect of the use on the potential market may carry less weight in the fair use analysis. This works the other way toomdashif the use is exclusively educational informational and not for profit the other factors may carry less weight as far as showing that the use is not fair use. However all four factors must be considered when making a fair use analysis. While the analysis under the new Ninth Circuit ruling need not be exhaustive this still presents a considerable burden on copyright holders who have operated under the assumption that ldquofair userdquo excused otherwise infringing content when issuing takedown notices. How this effects the Games Industry Takedown notices play a big part in content protection for publishers developers and distributors. As a result YouTube Twitch and other content distribution channels like the iOS and Android marketplaces have more or less automated the takedown process. Videos and streaming channels showing gameplay game reviews and cloned games have all fallen under the guillotine of the all-mighty takedown notice at some point. Even with put back up procedures in place the current system is rife with accounts of improper takedowns and rampant abuses taken by copyright holders and alleged infringers alike. The truth is that fair use is very difficult to prove and almost always require a lawsuit to reach a final determination. This isn39t a perfect system but it does seek to balance the interests of the parties. While this new decision may not substantially decrease the number of victims of takedown notices there isalways an argument against fair use this may encourage many copyright holders to take a closer look at their takedown notice submission procedure. Although a ruling by the Ninth Circuit is by no means the law of the land many big name companies operate in the Ninth Circuit notably companies based in California and Washington and have generally relied on the Ninth Circuit District Courts to resolve copyright disputes. These companieswill likely be the first rights holders faced with the results of this decision if they donrsquot already take fair use into consideration in their initial analysis. Fair use is rarely a black and white issue. There are precious few clear examples of prima facie fair use. This is especially true in the context of ldquoLetrsquos Playrdquo videos and other user generated content that solely focuses on playing through one game. However we may see more favorable treatment towards game reviews and similar content that are likelier candidates for fair use. No promises though. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Quality Assurance Manager 09.18.15 Remote Art Director 09.18.15 Associate Product Manager 09.18.15 Mobile Platform Developer View All Jobs 253803 blog blogsMonaIbrahim20150917253803The_Games_Industry_Under_the_New_Lenz_of_Fair_Use.php 950716 33866373 Loading Comments

Armello The tools tips and tricks that allow us to perform our magic - Link Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:30:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Armello The tools tips and tricks that allow us to perform our magic by Stephan Schutze on 091615 111100 am Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Never underestimate the value experience has in the games industry. Those of us privileged enough to have been working on games for many years can draw on our knowledge and understanding of the different processes available to help us get our work done. But it is the tools resources and established workflows that often really help us perform the impossible create the magic and breathe the life into our projects. The Clans of the Kingdom sense a darkness is growing Armello has been a passion project for the League of Geeks team since its inception nearly four years ago. Like many game projects it started as a simple idea and grew in scope and design over time. Fortunately unlike many projects Armello did not fall victim to the many sometimes fatal issues that can crop up during the development process. Armello has become a true success story for the passion of its Indy developers. Defiant Developmentrsquos founder Morgan Jaffit recently suggested that high-calibre independently developed games need their own descriptive label as AAA is problematic when compared to the products of multi-million dollar studio budgets. He suggested the term Triple I III which I think is a perfect description for the accomplishments of Independent developers. Armello is a true III game in every sense of the word. To say I was brought on late in the schedule is accurate bordering on understatement. When I came on board Armello already had an incredibly strong design a gorgeous visual aesthetic and most of its music had been produced and implemented. Michael Allen had written a stunning and evocative musical score that included vocal parts performed by Lisa Gerrard. Everything about Armello had been produced to the highest standard. Now it needed SFX to complete the world but time was very short. What Went Wrong Game development is difficult game development is very difficult. Anyone that has ever completed a game project will freely admit that often it can be a bit of a miracle that a game ever sees the light of day. So while Armello was driven by passion it was no less vulnerable to the very real issues that can plague development. By necessity any game in development for more than three years will need to evolve its design update its processes and toolset. Armello was no different. The release of Unity 5 provided an excellent opportunity for the League of Geeks team to update their animation workflow and create a better game. Combined with a new agreement with Sony to release Armello on PS4 the development bar was continually being raised. Unity 5 provided a significant update to the game-engine toolset and allowed Armello to continue to develop at the highest possible levels for PS4. Unfortunately the Unity 5 audio feature set was brand new and as such posed a high risk so late in development. While the Unity 5 audio solutions may have ultimately provided everything that Armello required there was a riskreward call to make. A solution was needed that would future-proof the Armello project through release updates and possible DLC as well as multiple cross-platform deployment. This meant time needed to be spent at a very late stage of development to refactor the audio and redesign how it all worked. Essentially Armellorsquos entire SFX suite needed to be rebuilt within only a few weeks. Regardless of the exciting new features Unity 5 Audio might have offered the timeframe required a known toolset to create and implement Armellorsquos audio. Tools of the Trade Just prior to me being brought on the team had made a decision to work with the FMOD Studio middleware solution. The FMOD team was literally just down the road from the LoG studio further mitigating the risk if problems should arise. The basic functionality had already been implemented by the code team and the music had started to be worked into the game world. I was brought on board with less than a month to design create implement and balance the vast majority of the non-music audio assets. My experience with FMOD Studio was more than just a benefit in this situation if it had been any other tool it probably would have been an impossible task for me. This brings me to one of the principle points of this article. There are a number of quality middleware solutions for audio production in games. The argument of which tool is best is not at issue here rather my point is that every sound designer for games should make sure that they are proficient to a very high level with at least one of the audio middleware packages. For situations like this where you need to achieve seemingly impossible outcomes a thorough working knowledge and understanding of a toolset is the only way to master the situation. The second key point of this article was something of a revelation to me that I only discovered because of the demanding circumstances I encountered working on Armellorsquos audio. SFX libraries are not only powerful as a resource but can quite literally make the difference between success and failure I want to pause for a second on this point and put this statement into context. For over 16 years I have created and implemented assets for game audio but within that time I have almost never used SFX libraries in fact I have usually created them. I have always had a policy of going out and recording all my own raw material designing and building my own sounds and using those in game. It was this very process that began Sound Librarian as a company. So while I was happy to record and create libraries for others to use I was actually a terrible advocate for my own product. Having gone through the recent high-pressure development

The Joy and Tragedy of Flash Programming - by Brendan Vance - Link Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:30:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs The Joy and Tragedy of Flash Programming by Brendan Vance on 091815 013000 pm 2 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. The phrase 39Flash is dead39 isn39t so much a declaration of fact as it is an expression of one39s political alignment. To discover the nature of this alignment we need only ask ourselves if indeed Flash weredeadmdashif somehow a medium for creative expression were capable of experiencing deathmdashwho would we say hadkilled it Was it Steve Jobs in the hardware biz with the iPhone Or wasit the front-end web person in tech services scheming to fixthebrokenrelationship betweenHTML andCSS Was it Google Chrome whose commitment to 39openness39has predictably come toprecludeany softwareits parent companycan39t manipulate Or was it JavaScript that mangy nightmare of a programming language whose hunger will consume the world Should we rejoice in our ever-impendingfreedom from all of Flash39s dreadful security problems to be replaced one assumes by every other platform39s dreadful security problems Or the tremendous memory management and performance benefits made possible by... uh... cross-compilingto JavaScript Shall we shower ourselves in the splendour of CSS3on Chrome then shower ourselves in the splendour of CSS3 on Firefox then shower ourselves in the splendour of CSS3 on IE 10.0 and up then media query intoa set of stylesheets that works on more than fifty percent of recentandroidphones As I said it39s very much a question of politics. What gets lost in the ideological shuffle though is how wonderfula programming language Flash39s ActionScript 3 is. It39s bothpowerful and flexible which is nice yetbeyond thatAS3 isfun.Where Java is verbose consistent and largelyinsufferable AS3 gives yougetters and setters to break up the monotony. Where C gives you a giant kitchen sink in which to deployany programming pattern ever conceived by humankind AS3 lends itself to amore particular off-beat style of code. Most centrally AS3 providesall The Good Parts of JavaScript while at every turn being worlds better than JavaScript.You of course getall the whacky closure-based nonsense you39d find in JS and any otherfunction-ylanguage yetAS3 providessyntax for strongly-typed variables permitting software devsto write honest-to-goodnessAPIs with coherent half-readable method signatures You get IDEs capable ofauto-completion tool-assisted-refactoring and reference lookups You getthe gift of sanity Do you know what sort of creaturewrites software in Notepad with naught but some crummy syntax highlighting plugin A WILDANIMAL. Possibly a rabid one. Thenwhen it comes time to programsome ambiguously-typed data-structure-melting atrocity it39s as simple as casting all yourvariables to and hacking away the night. I mustconcede thatkitchen-sink languages like C present all sorts ofinterestingrope with which to hang yourself in these situationsmdashgenericsoperator overrides reflectionoccult contracts and so onmdashyet I39m not certaina jungle of generics has ever proven much more comprehensible than a few AS3 dictionaries packed full ofmystery meat. In neither caseis anyonegoing to understand anything you just wrotetwo months from now. Speaking of dictionaries AS339s dictionaries are obtuse and absurd and absolutely marvellous. For some reason you use 39forx in dict39 loops to iterate through keys but39foreachx in dict39 loops to iterate through values. Anything can be a key and anything can be a value strict typing is not permittedso the language almost begs you to do something coolweird. Astonishinglydictionaries can use weak-referenced keys In factany AS3 event dispatchercan use weak-referenced callbacks Not even C that notorious syntactic sugar thief is able to do that There is a sublime quality to Flash39s outrageous RAM and CPUoverheadthat doesn39t quite come across until you39ve used it to programgames. I once builta Flash game that streams hand-painted full-resolutionenvironment art from the internet and loads all of it into memory at once I once programmed a dynamic 2d lighting engine that renders circular gradients into a bitmapevery frame blitting it back across the screenas an overlay I wrote all this using Flash39s excellent 2d graphics API which treats me like a human being by asking for shapes fills and gradients rather than vertices triangle maps and myfirst-born39s blood. I never had to explain the foreign notion of a 39line segment39 to some illiterate thousand-threadedpolygon pump futzing withtriangle fans and clipper libraries and programmable shaders. The libraries I used were entirely CPU-basedmdashwhich is to say slow as hellmdashand I still got away with murder. To use my favouriteBogost-ism I find certaina squalid grace in hogging 2 gigabytes of RAM and 3 gigahertz of computing power just to draw a 2d videogame. It speaks to a promise fulfilled a world where we can make sprawling beautiful outrageous software withoutfear of over- or under-utilizing the hardware against which we labour.A world free of scarcity in which computers serveprogrammers rather than the other way around. A world without limits. Yet in theshadow ofFlash39s ever-impending deathmdashan era of innovation for its own sake leaving everything behind amidst our fumble forthe bleeding edgemdashthat world cannot exist. The hardware will always be too slow the software will always be half-broken and impliable. This is not cause for celebration if anything it39s cause for sorrow. There is value in the old and the venerable. There is culture. There is expressiveness. There is joy. We39d be wise to treat it with respect. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Mobile Platform Developer 09.18.15 QA Engineer 09.18.15 Game Art 09.18.15 Senior Network Engineer View All Jobs 253996 blog blogsBrendanVance20150918253996The_Joy_and_Tragedy_of_Flash_Programming.

Art and Science in Video Games - by Jair McBain - Link Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:30:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Art and Science in Video Games by Jair McBain on 091815 013000 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Those who know me will most likely be aware that I have a passion and personal interest in both art and science. To me art is an ideology that governs the way I view not just typically creative pursuits but also everyday endeavours. Often I find myself viewing ideas and objects through an artistic lens one that takes in an experience as it is and after some consideration spits out an idea inspired by what I have seen. Science is a tool through which I aspire to understand as much as I can about the universe. Science educates and informs which in turn can inspire artistic and creative ideas. These are not always rooted in hard science but at least in part understood and moulded through the methodology it provides. As Mythbustersrsquo Adam Savage said during his 2014 SXSW Keynote ldquoArt and science are the twin engines pushing us forward as a speciesrdquo below Irsquod like to explore a few examples that show how video games can and do play a part in the so called lsquopushrsquo. ldquoArt and science are the twin engines pushing us forward as a species.rdquo8202mdash8202Adam Savage 2014 SXSW Keynote In my experience video games are a wonderful amalgamation of art and science. The process of creating a game is one of strict rigour and creativity art and code lsquoleft-brainedrsquo smarts and lsquoright-brainedrsquo creative brawn. Designing systems born of creative ideas while taking in to account limitations such as processing power logic ease of creationuse is a two-fronted process. One that requires careful consideration of what is technically feasible and secondly how something interesting entertaining and fun can be built inside those limitations. While cleverly mimicking reality as it is understood through the scientific method may be mostly limited to physics and lighting systems created by programmers it is a designerrsquos responsibility to understand as much as they possibly can about the way the world works in order to recreate or subvert pre-existing expectations. I find scientific studies and theories are one of the best ways to expose myself to new ideas from which creative ideas are readily born. Prior scientific research has inspired many developers to create tools or systems that serve many purposes ranging from games that teach users how to navigate via echolocation to puzzle platformers involving the redirection and dispersion of beams of light. Monument Valley8202mdash8202Unity Development Screenshot Analysing how people play video games however can give us a unique perspective on human behaviour when presented with a controlled environment and a limited set of tools to interact with that environment. Games are the perfect experimental tool one that has already been used to great effect in a range of studies staged for the purposes of answering a specific question such as the study of lsquobrain plasticityrsquo by Daphne Bavelier a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. Daphne and her team have used video games to tap into brain lsquoplasticityrsquo a term used to describe the capacity of an individualrsquos brain to ldquolearn and change by increasing the number of connections between neurons and reorganising neural pathways.rdquo Looking at games like Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament Daphne and her team have found that lsquoplasticityrsquo can be induced especially in the visual cortex8202mdash8202meaning those exposed to games of a fast-paced reaction-based nature tend to improve in their ability to filter visual information with accuracy and speed. Some of Einsteinrsquos most notable practices were his thought experiments. In perhaps the most famous of which he imagined himself following a beam of light at 299791kilometers per second the speed of light in a vacuum in order to help develop his theory of special relativity. I feel that video games could be an invaluable resource in such thought experiments. Placing the player in the role of a cell for example and having them control its functions could potentially expose researchers to new discoveries in cell function and even create greater understanding in the functions already studied. Perhaps the most important topic to touch on and certainly the one I harbor the most passion for is that of education by use of games. lsquoGamifiedrsquo learning is certainly not a new concept having been used since the late lsquo60s in many forms8202mdash8202the most memorable being Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego which taught world culture geography and The Oregon Trail which taught a number of learning concepts such as inventory management history and logical decision making. More recently the focus has been shifting from how we can make learning feel more like a game to how we can make games educate effectively. I feel this is a step in the right direction and an indication that games are slowly becoming more accepted as a legitimate medium alongside films and books through which more than entertainment alone can be delivered. The benefit of using games as a tool for teaching sciences rather than exposing students to a topic through explanation is that a system can be designed that allows students to build their own experimentation procedures. Take for example the world famous double-slit experiment. The double-slit experiment is a demonstration that light and matter can display the characteristics of both classically defined waves and particles. Communicating this idea through traditional diagrams and equations can and does work but having students re-create the test with pre-existing systems such as those Minecraft affords for example can solidify a concept in a studentrsquos mind in a more

What Design Lessons Can We Learn from Crossy Road - by Jair McBain - Link Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:30:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs What Design Lessons Can We Learn from Crossy Road by Jair McBain on 091815 013000 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Crossy Road developed by Hipster Whale8202mdash8202Melbourne-based and winners of the Apple Design Award among many other accolades8202mdash8202is most definitely a game to take notice of. Having reached the significant milestone of 100 million downloads last week Irsquod like to take a look at some lessons in design that we can learn from what is one of the most successful mobile games of the last few years. Simplicity Simplicity is key. If the barrier to entry is low and players can discern the core game loop without obvious language-based cues the user experience is likely going to be a great one. Crossy Road displays clarity and consistency in all facets of the game from menu design and interaction to the simple one-touch or swipe interaction used to control the players block-like avatar. Crossy Road is a game experience that offers the same challenges and entertainment value at all levels to all players regardless of age gender ethnicity sexual orientation or any other point of individual diversity. Low Level of Friction Friction is a concept that describes the delay of engagement with what players would consider to be the core experience of a game. Crossy Road has a very low frequency of this. The only points at which a player is delayed from engaging with the core play loop i.e. crossing the road for as long as they can are firstly watching a video advertisement which is an optional action players are rewarded for with in-game currency and secondly the 0.5-to-1 second loading time between player death and restart of play. It should be noted though that as soon as either of these actions are over players are able to return to play with a maximum of two button presses but in most cases only one. Accessibility With a plethora of language options available Crossy Road has opened itself up to the global market. Too often a great game is prevented from reaching the highest number of players it can due to language barriers. Again due to the simplicity of Crossy Road and itrsquos brilliant design practice necessity for language to communicate key concepts is pretty much nil. Even playing the game in Korean8202mdash8202which I do not speak nor read8202mdash8202I can come to understand how to engage with almost no effort simply due to the symbolic nature of the prompts for action. Competition Positive Interaction The only form of competition present in Crossy Road is by way of leaderboard position. This is a feature that the player can easily choose to ignore if it isnrsquot important to their individual game experience. Some may argue that if there was synchronous or asynchronous competition think a friendrsquos ghost present in many racing games there could be more potential for engagement. However it can also be argued that not allowing for direct competition between players is a move that allows the positive nature of the game to shine without being marred by competitive attitudes or calls to action. This isnrsquot to say that Crossy Road doesnrsquot give you a friendly reminder of your friendrsquos achievements in comparison to your own by way of in-game markers. The inclusion of score markers from a design standpoint serves as a subtle call to action that may drive further engagement born from the desire to outscore a friend. As an aside it also serves as a potential talking point amongst players which doubles as a handy bit of free marketing for the game when you come across someone who may not have engaged with Crossy Road yet. Exploration While there isnrsquot much new going on in the world space as the player gets higher and higher scores the purchase of certain characters may change the entire visual experience thematically. For example if the player were to unlock the lsquoDark Lordrsquo character the world lighting will dim with a red tinge trees will spontaneously burst into flame as you pass by and the character will trail flames behind it as you hop. Although the change doesnrsquot change the way the player interacts with the game the potential for a visually new experience seeks to foster discovery and drive players to unlock new characters whether that be through real world or in-game currency. In the case of characters that can only be unlocked through real world currency there is a certain level of expectation that the gameplay experience will change more such is the case with characters like Psy the Korean pop-star. By purchasing Psy as a playable character the player is promised a unique experience that can only be had with the transaction of real world funds. In Summary No single game experience can be said to be perfect but developers can certainly follow solid and established design practice while making use of a little creativity to ensure that they are providing a positive experience for their players. Put plainly Crossy Road makes use of brilliant design practice bundled into one experience where it can shine. It respects the playerrsquos time and never demands they spend money to progress. It provides a positive environment that takes very little effort to navigate through is globally relevant and it doesnrsquot force competition on all of its players. Crossy Road is a great example of how big of an impact a small experience can make and a great source of inspiration for video game designers the world over. This article was first published over at Another Dungeon a Melbourne Australia based web publication. You can view the original piece here httpwww.anotherdungeon.comwhat-design-lessons-can-we-learn-from-crossy-road Related Jobs 09.18.15 Senior System Designer 09.18.15 UI Programmer fm - Flash andor Scaleform 09.18.15 Experienced Level Designer

Choosing the Ideal Movement Range - by Sean Hayden - Link Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:30:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Choosing the Ideal Movement Range by Sean Hayden on 091815 013000 pm 5 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. A big factor in how grid-based tactical combat plays out is the movement range. Different ranges have pros and cons some of which might not be too obvious. I recently had to decide on a base movement range for my game Voidspire Tactics so I39d like to go over the possible options and how it affects combat. Note in this system every turn you can move and attack in either order. These observations may not apply to systems where you are more restricted move then attack only or less restricted move - attack - keep moving. Movement Range 1 - 2 This is a very chess-like movement range well suited to slow-paced manipulation of lots of pieces. However in Chess your movement is the only action you take - in a Tactics game you also make an attack each turn. This slows movement down since you generally want to be acting every turn. It especially bogs things down if you have any real distance to cover so you can expect the beginnings of battles where both sides start out 5-10 tiles away from eachother to be rather boring. It also feels untrue to reality when applied to a grid where each square is supposedly human-sized. Humans can generally move more than 10 feet while doing something even or perhaps especially in a tense situation like combat. Also worth noting - using low numbers for stats makes any buff to that stat a big deal. If we used 2 as our movement range then 1 Move is a 50 improvement When making varied characters it becomes impossible to have a character that is faster but not waaayyy faster. I think this range is best left to wargames where each unit is an entire squad or battalion. Movement Range 3 This feels more like human movement at least for slower types like knights and mages. We traverse the battlefield much more quickly although it can still feel sluggish if there39s 8 squares to cover. It39s important to note that at this and lesser movement ranges we cannot reach the enemy39s back and vice versa in a single turn even when we39re right next to him Attacks from the front or sides are less accurate so keeping the enemy away from our back is essential. A movement range of 3 makes this a viable strategy -- as long as we stay next to the opponent they can39t get behind us. At the same time they can still circle around to our sides so there is constant vying for position. Movement Range 4 Now battlefield traversal feels comfortable. 4 is enough to go around obstacles easily and it almost never takes more than 2 turns for the battle to be joined. However we39ve lost the ability to keep our back protected in melee. Now we need to stay 1 square away if we don39t want to be flanked which limits our attacks. It39s also harder to form a defensive line. With 4 Move I can still make decent forward progress even if 3 enemies line up to stop me. I can39t flank them though so defensive positioning is definitely still viable. With 3 Move I would only reach the side of one of them not get past them like this. Movement Range 5 Now we39re extremely mobile. We can flank even when not adjacent and we can flank a line of 3 foes. There39s not much the enemy can do to keep us away from their backs unless they specifically try to immobilize or hinder movement. With this much mobility another problem arises. Area of Effect spells become rather difficult to use effectively. Normally AoEs are used to punish enemies for grouping together but with 5 Move it39s easy to advance while also staying apart from your teammates. And there39s less incentive to keep together since you39re likely to get flanked even if you form a defensive line. The Avernum series shows how transitioning from low Movement to high Movement changes the expected size of AoEs. Back in the days of Exile you moved 4 squares per turn and spells were sized accordingly. Now in Avernum characters move 8 squares and the AoEs are huge The above is 39Daze39 one of the earliest spells you get. It covers up to 37 squares And yet this size is necessary to consistently affect multiple enemies. As you might expect in Avernum positioning is not that important. Positioning generally becomes less important at high ranges of movement. Which is a shame since positioning is one of the more interesting aspects of tactical combat. Based on all the above the decision I made for Voidspire Tactics was to go with a base movement range of 3. Slow classes Warriors Sorcerers etc. can39t flank an enemy just by approaching head on. Faster classes Scouts Brawlers etc. get 1 Move so they can flank if they39re right up against the enemy. These faster classes are often more fragile to compensate. As a result facing positioning and area of effect spells all stay important which is just what I want from a Tactics game. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Senior System Designer 09.18.15 UI Programmer fm - Flash andor Scaleform 09.18.15 Experienced Level Designer 09.17.15 Senior UX Designer View All Jobs 254054 blog blogsSeanHayden20150918254054Choosing_the_Ideal_Movement_Range.php 895382 33343953 Loading Comments

Work on the fundamentals - by Jord Farrell - Link Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:19:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Work on the fundamentals by Jord Farrell on 091815 013000 pm 2 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Do you have strong game design fundamentals Chances are that you donrsquot know the answer or even knew that you could ask that type of question. But why not Every other discipline has fundamentals of some sort But game design. What have we got Not much. Irsquom going to talk about ideas that I feel are fundamental to game design. Things that are so integral to the building blocks of every game ever made that by getting better at the listed things will help you get better at making any game ever. Period. Thats a huge claim so take it with a grain of salt because Irsquom no authority on this subject. I just think about this stuff non stop. I might as well put my thoughts out there and see if anyone can tell me if Irsquom totally off track or not. And if Irsquom extremely off base start asking these questions for yourself. Start thinking about things that all game design has in common and try to work on those things. It will never hurt to try to do things to improve yourself seeing as how our discipline is so new and there is still so much to discover. Game feeel Chances are you have heard of game feel by now. If you havenrsquot itrsquos the special sauce you add to your games to make them feel meatier. The added crunch to make every button press joystick flick and trigger held feel like you felt things in some weird 6th sense. Herersquos the thing about game feel though. Itrsquos more than just a screen shake and some particles. Game feel has to be accounted for in everything from the speed of the player character to the amount of frames per animations. From the sound design to the way the code is written. Everything you do to your game has an effect much like the butterfly effect on your game feel. Its also important to keep in mind that even if yoursquore working on a walking simulator or a twine game your game has game feel. Your experience in game feel will come through in how interesting the game is to interact with. Okay so now hopefully you are somewhat convinced that the feel of your game is pretty fundamental to the act of game development. So the next bit to understand is how would you work on it In my experience Irsquove found that the best way to improve your game feel is to simply make games and prototypes. Me and the people around me have made a shit ton of games. We would make small games in 3 hours. Then maybe I would go home and work on something for an hour that was simply a box that shot stuff in a empty world. Basically do that 100 times and you are where I am now. That wasnrsquot insignificant. My understanding of game feel now makes it extremely natural to make things fun to play . For example if someone comes to me asking how to do something Irsquoll show them. Then often they will ask me why I did something like add in that randomness here or that lerp function there and Irsquoll normally answer ldquoI figured the game would feel better that wayrdquo I unconsciously do things that I previously working hard to do such as making a game feel better. Irsquove done so many things so many times that Irsquove started to internalize certain techniques. This makes me start to look for new ways to add on to that stuff Irsquove already internalized. Simply put Irsquom building on fundamentals Irsquove learned. Another good example of this would bevlambeerbeing known as the king of screen shake. Obviously they werenrsquot the ones to invent it. Whats going on here is that there are so many other subtle things thatJan willem nijmanhas learned over hundreds of prototypes and games that his game feel is masterful and polished. He does so many things that I havenrsquot seen done before simply because hersquos practiced his fundamentals for so long. Aesthetics Good art in games isnrsquot the same as good art in general. When people say stuff like ldquoThis game has such a strong stylerdquo or ldquoMan the graphics shouldnrsquot be that good but I canrsquot imagine the game without themrdquo they arenrsquot talking about the art itself. What they are talking about is the game aesthetics. Herersquos the thing with aesthetics itrsquos not simply about having a good artist. A lot of my strength with stylings come from shaders doing weird color tricks using static. Despite my terrible drawing people will still tell me that the art in the game is good because of a strong aesthetic. A good aesthetic is something that connects directly into what makes your game what it is. A style that acknowledges what that game is and what it has to say. This is not easy to get right sometimes and sometimes it can be the difference between a bad and good game. The way that the player receives the game outside of the feedback from button presses comes from this. This can come in any form such as story more of an implicit storytelling music animations etc. So itrsquos important that the designer has strong aesthetic sense to reinforce the gameplay. ldquoOkayrdquo you say ldquoI get it. This is so fundamental to game design. How would I be able to work on itrdquo Welp my answer is kinda the same as above. Make games and prototypes. A lot of my prototypes and games have been trying to express doing the same thing in a different way. If I make 20 prototypes where you die on spikes in a platformer Irsquom not going to make death look the same every time. Irsquom gonna play with effects and different ways of expressing dying because maybe it will look cool and be refreshing. Sometimes a strong aesthetic is all you need to make some interesting twists to otherwise simple gameplay. Hotline Miamiis a game that shows this to the nth degree. The aesthetics takes stuff Irsquove done a million times in other similar games and makes it

Fmod Studio Live Update on Mobile - by Joao Costa - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Fmod Studio Live Update on Mobile by Joao Costa on 091815 011900 pm 1 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Connecting Fmod Studio to a mobile device is a dream come true for those of us working on mobile games. But it is something that Ive found surprisingly tricky to do due to a lack of clear and concise information online so when I finally got it to work I decided to share my findings in the hope that it will help other people to do the same. Integrating Fmod Studio in Unity 5 Ill start by saying that Ive only been able to do this using Unity 5. I dont know if the same process will work in any other engine but for Unity 5 it works just fine. I won39t go into much detail about how to integrate Fmod Studio with Unity because that would be an entirely different blog post and you can find great documentation and video tutorials about it online. But here are some things youll need After importing the integration package into Unity and setting up your Fmod banks youre good to go. Connecting Fmod Studio to your Mobile Device So you got your banks set up in Unity and everything is looking good. Now for the cool part First youll need to add the flag FMOD_LIVEUPDATE to your Unity scripting define symbols. To do this in Unity you can go to File Build Settings Player Settings click on Other Settings scroll down to the Scripting Define Symbols and add the flag there. If you already have other flags you can separate them with a semicolon. After the flag is added you can already live connect Fmod to Unity to see if everything is working fine so far. Run your game go to Fmod and press F5 Connect to Game. Enter localhost9265 starting with Unity 5 you have to specify a port but its always 9265 press connect and if you see Fmod turning red you are now connected to your game To get this to work on mobile youll have to build your game for your target platform with the FMOD_LIVEUPDATE flag present. You can do this in Unity by going to File Build Settings Build after the build is done install it in your mobile device. Youll then need your devices IP adress check here to learn how to get it on iOS and here in Android. Now run the game and to the same steps you did to connect Fmod to Unity. Youll just need to change the IP adress on the Connect to Game window to the one of your device. If you did everything right Fmod will turn red and youll be connected to your game. If not try and deselect Auto-reconnect. I think this is a Fmod bug at the time of writing Im using version 1.06.08 and it wont work if Auto-reconnect is switched on. Final Considerations Being able to control the sound of your game while you play it is just the coolest thing ever. It makes the job of mixing your game a lot easier and you have a much better idea of how it will sound across millions of devices. You can also run the Fmod profiler while you play the game and get detailed data about how your game is behaving soundwise CPU memory levels voices etc this is immensely helpful when youre trying to troubleshoot some problems you might have. To finish things off here are some final tips to keep in mind And heres a video of my excited self right after I got it to work. I hope this helps others to do the same thing and if you have any questions dont hesitate do leave a comment or get in touch through twitter dainomyte. Lastly I would like to thank the programmers over at Bica Studios that helped me in getting this to work dont forget programmers are your friends. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Remote Art Director 09.18.15 Visual Effects Artist VFX 09.18.15 Senior System Designer 09.18.15 Game Art View All Jobs 253972 blog blogsJoaoCosta20150918253972Fmod_Studio_Live_Update_on_Mobile.php 1002918 35979893 Loading Comments

The Bridal Rhyme Creative Process - by Rodrigo Alem Fernandez - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs The Bridal Rhyme Creative Process by Rodrigo Alem Fernandez on 091715 020400 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Originally posted on Medium about the Creative Process in general not just about videogames. You know how it goes Something Old Something New Something Borrowed Something Blue The good olrsquo bridal rhyme. Wersquove heard it more than enough times in pop culture and I assume actual weddings if yoursquore from the states and it can be used as a helpful crutch in your creative process once you pick up on it. It was either here or in How I Met Your Mother. Which is kind of the same thing actuallyhellip This has been a go-to-tactic of mine for quite sometime when it comes to quick brainstorming in game design. I share it frequently when I explain to my students how to come up with ideas -in a over simplified way- especially when time is of the essence. A good example of this is when working on a Game Jam. You have 48 hours to make a game based on a premise so think fast and execute even faster. It turns out this is actually a very good way to obscure-proof whatever high concept you are considering creatively. You want to come up with something original but not too different that ends up alienating your potential audience. That is unless yoursquore actively trying to achieve that obscurity. So letrsquos go verse by verse and Irsquoll explain how the rhyme can help you out. The first ones can be quite self explanatory but then it gets more interesting. My examples will be mostly based on video games but I should notice that it has helped me out in other creative pinches too. From animation pitching to workshop making to defining MVPs or value propositions. Something Old Take something that is already out there something you already know and love. This is your Something Old. A proven concept mechanic genre archetype etc. where you can start off. Love Super Mario Bros Therersquos your starting point. In fact it was the starting point of a lot of games during the late 80s and early 90s. Thatrsquos why Platformers became an established genre. Take the design rules and conventions that users already expect. This is one of your creative pillars mdash use your audiencersquos mental models in your favor. By starting with parts of a language they already know you give them a more familiar and appealing white rabbit to follow into your rabbit hole. Something New Your differential is here. But what if Mario could run really fast You got Sonic But what if instead of a cartoony setting and stomping on enemies itrsquos like a war with guns You got Contra. You get my point. Heck even Super Mario Bros had its own Something New when it first came out. Castlevania Mario the whipping vampire slayer. This is the part where you add your original creative input. Herersquos where you introduce new things aesthetics systems business models technology fabrics target audiences etc. Therersquos also the option of creating an experience with a level of detail polish or love for the craft that that itself is whatrsquos new. Blizzard Entertainment has made a business out of exactly this extreme high quality video games of already explored and sometimes saturated genres. Sounds a lot like your Unique Selling Proposition right Or what VCs and the sort love asking What makes you productservice different This is your second creative pillar. Show them something they havenrsquot seen yet. Subvert their expectations. This is the reason people will talk about your creation. Something Borrowed Time to use mental models and conventions again. This time not as one of your creative pillars but as a tool to remove noise in your message and streamline the experience. What I mean is mdash When working on parts that are not core to your experience use Something Borrowed instead of adding something new. The most straightforward example I always give in this part is Level Selection on a mobile game. If the core of your experience is not focused in the way players can chose the level they want to play then donrsquot overthink it. Borrow from what is working right now what has become a design convention on other games. If I ask you to think of how you can select a level on a mobile game chances are you thought of either of these two Who knows where these screenshots come from Such obscure references man Since itrsquos clear that they work why complicate it with your own type of level selection Is it worth the riskbudgettime to add another layer of new to your creation To add another level of abstraction your audience will have to go through to experience your content On a higher level If people already expect Green to mean Go and Red to mean Stop mdash why fight against that Messing with this will only add noise to your message. Donrsquot add noise to your experience this will let Something New shine even more. When it comes to media in general you can think of most of these conventions as tropes. Use them wisely. Letrsquos recap with a quick movie example Something Old mdash Herorsquos Journey Something New mdash From a Villainrsquos POV Something Borrowed mdash Superhero Tropes You get something like MEGAMIND Hey he also fits with the color for the next part Something Blue Herersquos where the analogy appears to have some problems. But worry not mdash the planets have aligned and helped us convey another creative tip with our trusty rhyme. What color are the most popular social networks You donrsquot look amused Grouchy Smurf. Yeah yeah I know Snapchat Instagram or others donrsquot fit with this. Facebook Twitter and Tumblr work like a charm though. Still it gets the message through Talk about what yoursquore working on. Show your work share your progress manage your potential and current community The hardest thing right now is

Why I made 6 UIUX improvements to my game and ultimately I need to - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Why I made 6 UIUX improvements to my game and ultimately I need to refocus. by Roberto Alcantara on 091715 020400 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. At the end of May I was able to finally re-release Word Ways after pivoting the game into a single player experience and giving it a few rounds of updates to bring it up to speed before getting some help from a friend to do some rounds of user acquisition. This has been a long projectin the making. I decided recently to cut off the backend and to refocus the experience around single player as the multiplayer release had various challenges to address To launch as quickly as possible I rewired everything to be local and refactored as little as possible. The following are the top UXUI changes made to make the game better but why overall I39m focusing on the wrong problems. 1 - Optimize for the first time user experience. Word Ways is a project long in the making. More recently I cut off the backend and refocused the game into a single player experience. To launch as quickly as possible I just rewired everything to be local and as minimal as possible without refactoring much. Because themultiplayer version had over 7 steps and 12 seconds between registration to beginning to play. I made sure to avoid this mistake again. Before and after video of the game39s first time user experience. Can you spot the differences Instead I restructured my loading to be as optimal as possible showing the Loading screen very early on and bringing the player directly into the game experience as fast as possible. By doing so I managed to reduce the time down to only a few seconds and having to not tap on anything to get into your first game. 2 - Making it all about my Onboarding and the first 90 seconds. My objective when I started to re-create this version was to onboard users right away. A lot of this work came from gathering user feedback and making continuous updates but here are some of the things that I think worked quite well. Users are first tasked with completing the word HOUSE one letter at a time. Through creating the word they clear the first bonus line and learn how the bonus mechanic works. When they finish the word and submit it they receive an extra-gratifying presentation due to their perfect word entry. The first words that need to be created by players. My approach for the second word was to teach users to submit a partial word. After displaying the word TABLES users are required to submit the word STALE. Users who want to experiment with all letter tiles or aren39t paying attention will have to figure out how to re-write their words. This brings user39s attention back to the tutorial and re-enforces them to pay attention. By step 8 users have learned how to create words clear lines bonus lines and submit a word. By step 13 they have created 2 words levelled up and completed the tutorial. By step 18 users have completed the tutorial been rewarded with a random Powerup and have learned how to use it. 3 - Make visual feedback rewarding and obvious to the player Although these changes were quite rewarding to accomplish it was stressful to face Art head first and take ownership of it. I was a little out of my element and had to figure out how to create something similar to current assets and make it my own. I felt like remaking all the art but knew that would not be the best use of my time. By focusing on adjusting just certain things like the bonus line colours and states I was able to better communicate player39s impact on them and also what they meant. By adjusting the background colour of the game and adding some small highlights on assets the user feedback became much clearer. Visual feedback on key game moments were added to increase communication of mechanics. Some focus was also spent on bonuses which took a little bit more work since I wanted to visualize the current word bonus across every letter. To make scoring in general more rewarding I spent some extra attention making perfect words flashier in addition to slightly updating how Power ups look. 4 - Optimize UI to make it more intuitive and easier to read Continuing my efforts to clean up the game and focus it more on the core mechanics I would adjust and clean the UI a bit in order to make it more intuitive. I would first adjust the lower part of the interface by removing the PASS button maximizing the size of letter tiles and fitting the SUBMIT button on the very right of the HUD. This felt like it really helped to keep everything together and as a single component. UI optimizations were iterated on to clean up screen real estate. Small adjustments were also made when users are dropping letters to fix their word entry in order to make it more readable. By separating the Level and Score position from the bottom part I felt like I was better able to balance the screen real estate. 5 - Tying up the knots with a High Score. I recently added High Scores back into the game as I felt the need to tie up the single player experience. Since users are playing each round for a couple of minutes it39s important to give an end-game experience that matches their time invested. As the user is reaching the end of his match each puzzle on the stack will start shaking with a red X flashing over top. They have 3 seconds to clear a puzzle or they lose. End game updated to warn player while High Score presentation was made to feel more gratifying. By strictly keeping the game in an arcade structure I feel like I39ve been able to continue to optimize the core game loop and focusing on improving core mechanics. 6 - A single conversion point that incentivizes replay and retention Crossy Road clearly hit a nail on the head by creating a very focused conversion point at the end of their game loop. It39s easy to see

This is why I stopped playing competitive games - by Anton Temba - Link Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs This is why I stopped playing competitive games by Anton Temba on 091715 020400 pm 1 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Competitive multiplayer games. I will not play them nor will I ever include competitive multiplayer as a feature in a game I would make. Why I39ll let Alfie Kohn explain this one You can download this speech to listen as an mp3 on your mobile device or elsewhere here httpbit.ly1i6h0li I think this is pretty huge and important to share. Related Jobs 09.18.15 Remote Art Director 09.18.15 Associate Product Manager 09.18.15 Game Art 09.17.15 Publishing CoordinatorBeijing View All Jobs 253492 blog blogsAntonTemba20150917253492This_is_why_I_stopped_playing_competitive_games.php 932878 33696453 Loading Comments

3 steps to improve your games graphics - by Nathan Lovato - Link

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS September 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS September 20 2015 Features View All RSS September 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases September 20 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs 3 steps to improve your games graphics by Nathan Lovato on 091715 020400 pm 4 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. This article was originally written for theGameAnalyticsblog We have a strong tendency to judge a book by its cover. It takes buta split-secondfor our opinion of a website or any visual design to be tinted. Positively or negatively. Coming up with both an appealing art direction and some efficient UX design is no easy task. When someone discovers your gamehis first experience is shaped by your art. He likely first sees a picture of it. Be it from a screenshot a video or your game in action. So if you ever wondered why studios bother spending big money on polished art now you know. But what are we talking about exactly Resonant visuals are more than just detailed graphics. They have to be both beautiful and meaningful to players. In practice your gamersquos aesthetics encompass both the principles of design and your overall art style. In other words everything that may increase the appeal of your gamersquos visuals. There are many aspects of game art that we need to carefully hone as artists. In order to breathe unity in our designs and provide a pleasant user experience we have to How can we do all of that In this article I want to share with you some trails to improve your gamersquos visuals. The techniques exposed below are also useful to better understand your artistrsquos job and to communicate efficiently with them. 1. Focus on strong compositions The power of any piece of art boils down to a strong understanding of the visual language of design. On one end it is composed of the visual elements a form of vocabulary. They encompass colors shapes shadinghellip On the other end we have the principles of design which are similar to grammar rules. They give us flexible tools to assemble our elements into strong compositions. Clear compositions boil down to a correct use of the principles of design. There are more or less 6 Scale and Proportion Repetition and Contrast Balance Emphasis Hierarchy and Harmony or Unity. It is interesting to understand them all. Each principle offers youpowerful lenses to analyze your creations bit by bit and improve them. CtrlPaint covers each of them in greater detailsin a 7 part video series. Laying out layouts Here we are going to focus on the balance of our layouts. It takes a good use of space and proportions to create clear visual arrangements that guide the viewerrsquos eye as intended. We tend to associate layouts with web design and interfaces in general. But the concept is relevant in all artistic domains. A layout is a composition of graphic elements. It may be a gamersquos GUI for example but not only. In the animation industry layout artists actually establish the position the scale and the proportions of every element in a movie shot. They stage shots. The layout is a solid foundation that will come to life later with the addition of lighting and colors. 2 sample layouts from Marcelo Vignali on Disneyrsquos Mulan Strong compositions guide the viewerrsquos eye to elements that matter. They create a path for the player to follow a coherent hierarchy among various elements. Each and every graphic asset in your game bears a certain visual weight. That weight depends on each assetrsquos position on the canvas its size its contrast and luminosityhellip It relies on many factors. Overall big bright or colorful objects have a high weight provided that they contrast with their surroundings. Such objects attract the eye. Spacing out elements properly is key for your interfaces and levels to be easy to read. I want to stress out the fact that leaving some room between and around elements is as useful and level design or storytelling as it is in your UI. A play button in the center of the screen is like a throne in a Kings room the way it is placed you know how important it is. It calls for your attention. The player needs to monitor variables from the game and to interact with UI elements. That is why an interface is often sharp contrasted bright and placed on top of the game world. GUI are generally drawn as if they were placed against the screen to separate them from the game world. You can treat your gameplay related assets the same way if you leave some space between them and their surroundings they will look key and unique. Worlds with depth There is another aspect of an image that creates a hierarchy between graphic elements the use of depth. We can use the size and proportions of our visuals in combination with depth to give the players a sense of the game worldrsquos scale. Depth both relies on and affects the use of multiple principles of design at the same time.It creates contrast between the foreground and the background. It helps to unify the game world with ambient lighting. Depth is achieved in 2 ways by overlapping assets and with lighting. The first way is straightforward. If we overlap a graphic element on top of another it feels closer to us. For instance the UI looks like it is placed against the screen because it sits on top of the game world in another layer. Through the use of glowing outlines many games like the Witcher 3 offer a way to create some overlap between interactive and background elements. It makes them look prominent. Using your Witcherrsquos senses you can see trails and loots surrounded by a glow. The other way to achieve depth requires a certain understanding of lighting. As light rays travel through space they encounter dust particles which scatter them. The farther the travel the more particles they encounter. And the more their color shifts. When we look at some hills or mountains far away they look gray. Their colors do not look as vibrant as other objects near us. Analyzing and replicating that effect in our

Autodesk Maya 2016 New Features Overview - Link Thu, 24 Sep 2015 20:39:20

Autodesk Maya 2016 is now out and available. Although Im not too happy about the main interface changes other changes like the overhauled Hypergraph interface are welcomed and long overdue

3ds Max 2016 New Features Overview - Link Tue, 22 Sep 2015 20:11:21

Once again the latest release of 3ds Max includes a bevy of new features. Some of these features are major and present full-blown interfaces like the new Max Creation Graph and others are minor but still impressive that will make us wonder how we ever lived without them like the Physical Camera the Camera Sequencer and support for Templates. Collectively all the new changes make for the best version of 3ds Max yet

You Arent a Rock Star Youre a Garage Band - Link Tue, 15 Sep 2015 20:00:13

Full Disclosure I have never released a game before. Im currently working on my first. All opinions here come from my experience working in a band not working as a developer

Math for Game Developers Advanced Vectors - Link Tue, 15 Sep 2015 16:37:00

Math for Game Developers is exactly what it sounds like - a weekly instructional YouTube series wherein I show you how to use math to make your games. Every Thursday well learn how to implement one game design starting from the underlying mathematical concept and ending with its C implementation. The videos will teach you everything you need to know all you need is a basic understanding of algebra and trigonometry. If you want to follow along with the code sections it will help to know a bit of programming already but its not necessary. You can download the source code that Im using from GitHub from the description of each video. If you have questions about the topics covered or requests for future topics I would love to hear them Leave a comment or ask me on my Twitter VinoBS Note The video below contains the playlist for all the videos in this series which can be accessed via the playlist icon at the top of the embedded video frame. The first video in the series is loaded automatically Advanced Vectors

A Rudimentary 3D Game Engine Built with C OpenGL and GLSL - Link Tue, 08 Sep 2015 23:51:56

What weve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just cant reach. - The Captain Cool Hand Luke

Particle Systems using Constrained Dynamics - Link Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:39:13

Simulating physics can be fairly complex. Spatial motion vehicles projectiles etc. friction collision explosions and other types of physical interactions are complicated enough to describe mathematically but making them accurate when computed adds another layer on top of that. Making it run in real time adds even more complexity. There is lots of active research into quicker and more accurate methods. This article is meant to showcase a really interesting way to simulate particles with constraints in a numerically stable way. As well Ill try to break down the underlying principles so its more understandable by those who forgot their physics.Note the method presented in this article is described in the paper Interactive Dynamics and was written by Witkin Gleicher and Welch. It was published in ACM in 1990. A posted PDF of the paper can be found here httpwww.cs.cmu.eduawpdfinteractive.pdfA link to another article by Witkin on this subject can be found here httpswww.cs.cmu.edubaraffpbmconstraints.pdfPhysical TheoryNewtons LawsEveryones familiar with Newtons second law F ma. It forms the basis of Newtonian mechanics. It looks very simple by itself but usually its very hard to deal with Newtons laws because of the number of equations involved. The number of ways a body can move in space is called the degrees of freedom. For full 3D motion we have 6 degrees of freedom for each body and thus need 6 equations per body to solve for the motion. For the ease in explaining this method we will consider translations only but this can be extended for rotations as well.We need to devise an easy way to build and compute this system of equations. For a point mass moving in 3D we can set up the general equations as a matrix equation left beginmatrix m_1 0 0 0 m_1 0 0 0 m_1 endmatrix right left beginmatrix a_1x a_1y a_1z endmatrix right left beginmatrix F_1x F_1y F_1z endmatrix right This can obviously be extended to include accelerations and net forces for many particles as well. The abbreviated equation is M ddotq F where M is the mass matrix ddotq is acceleration the second time derivative of position and F is the sum of all the forces on the body.Motivating ExampleOne of the problems with computing with Newton-Euler methods is that we have to compute all the forces in the system to understand how the system will evolve or in other words how the bodies will move with respect to each other. Lets take a simple example of a pendulum

Marketing my latest mobile game - post mortem of the first month - Link Fri, 21 Aug 2015 03:20:18

So about a month ago I published my second game. Never thought I would go this far but I guess this really makes me an indie developer no doubt about it. My first game was released last year just a trial to understand the development and publishing process from start to finish. I outsourced everything. Obviously it did not give tangible results but I learned a lot which was the point

How to Design the Data Structure for a Turn Based Game - Link Wed, 19 Aug 2015 13:32:35

One of the recurring questions I get is how to exactly make a turn-based game that has a coherent data structure.Because youre already great coding features for your games all you may need is a little guidance on how to organize your design to make the things you want actually work.When you see the following example youll see how easy it is. Stuff needed to build a turn-based gameTo keep things simple lets say you want to build a classic tic-tac-toe game. What features should be expected from a game like thisMultiple simultaneous games. Players should be able to have multiple games with different opponents taking place at the same time.Different game status. Every game should have a status that indicates what to expect. Waiting created running finished or cancelled.Play with listed friends. You could have the option to challenge your friends to a game or add new friends to the list.Play with random users. You may want to play with people you dont know.Play same skill users. You might want to play against random players that have a similar skill as you do.Luckily making a game with all these features is quite easyAll you need to know is how to lay out the features to make them work like you want.Here are a few questions you should be able to answer. 1 How are you going to store dataIn this case I assume a NoSQL database. There game data is stored in collections which is like a table in an SQL database.There are some differences though. In a collection you store objects with a similar concept but they dont need to have the same number of columns. In fact in a collection objects have attributes instead of columns.How many collections does the tic-tac-toe game needWhat information should we store in every objectHow does every process work inside the gameTo know these first we have to determine the data structure of a game match. Designing the game structureOur games will be objects stored inside a collection we can name GAMES.Every game object has these featuresIt is shared by two or more playersAllows players to make moves only on their turnsIt has a winning conditionIt has a winnerAll players in it can update the game objectWell store all these features in GAMES collection which must be readable and writeable by any player so they can work properly. 2 How will the game structure look likeObviously it will depend on the kind of game youd like to make but in the tic-tac-toe example were doing youll needUsers. Players involved in each game.Status. Whether it is a waiting created running finished or cancelled game.Current turn. In tic-tac-toe there will be a maximum of six turns between both players.Current user. Which player has the active turn and can make a move.Movements. List every move which must be ordered by turn and has to contain the information aboutUser who made the movePosition occupied on the board xy when the move is madeThis is how the structure of a turn based game looks like.Most games will have a more elaborate board than were dealing with in this example so youll need a complex matrix of coordinates and so on. But for this example the board can be represented by a simple array of positions.Lets see our board of coordinates so we can represent movements in the game.021222011121001020The format of the objects used here is JSON so every game will have this structure

A Spin-off CryEngine 3 SDK Checked with PVS-Studio - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:02:09

We have finished a large comparison of the static code analyzers Cppcheck PVS-Studio and Visual Studio 2013s built-in analyzer. In the course of this investigation we checked over 10 open-source projects. Some of them do deserve to be discussed specially. In todays article Ill tell you about the results of the check of the CryEngine 3 SDK project.CryEngine 3 SDK Wikipedia CryEngine 3 SDK is a toolset for developing computer games on the CryEngine 3 game engine. CryEngine 3 SDK is developed and maintained by German company Crytek the developer of the original engine CyrEngine 3. CryEngine 3 SDK is a proprietary freeware development toolset anyone can use for non-commercial game development. For commercial game development exploiting CryEngine 3 developers have to pay royalties to Crytek.PVS-StudioLets see if PVS-Studio has found any interesting bugs in this library.True PVS-Studio catches a bit more bugs if you turn on the 3rd severity level diagnostics. For examplestatic void GetNameForFile

From User Input to Animations Using State Machines - Link Sat, 15 Aug 2015 15:47:20

Performing smooth animation transitions in response to user input is a complicated problem. The user can press any button at any time. You have to check that the character can do the requested move and depending on currently displayed state switch to the new animation at exactly the right moment. You also have to track how things have changed to be ready for the next move of the user.In all a rather complicated sequence of checks actions and assignments that need to be handled. The sequence quickly runs out of hand with a growing number of moves game states and animations. Lots of combinations have to be checked. While writing it once is hard enough if you have to update or modify it later finding all the right spots to change without missing one is the second big problem.By using state machines it becomes possible to express precisely what may happen in an orderly way. One state machine only describes the animations and their transitions. A second state machine describes user interaction with the game character and updates the game character state. By keepinh animation state and game character state separate things get much easier to understand and to reason about. Later changes also get simpler as it avoids duplication.While having such state machines on paper is already quite helpful in understanding there is also a straight forward implementation path which means you can plug your state machines into the game and run them.Audience or what you should know before readingThis article briefly touches on what state machines are and how they work before jumping into the topic at hand. If you dont know about state machines it is probably a good idea to read about them first. The state machines here are somewhat different but it helps if the state machine concept is not entirely new. The References section below lists some starting points but there are many more resources available at the all-knowing Internet.The article concentrates on using state machines for describing allowed behavior and how the state machines synchronize. While it has an example to demonstrate the ideas the article does not discuss the environment around the state machines at length. That is how to make user input and game state available to the state machine condition or how to start and run animations. The implementation of the synchronizing state machines is also not shown in full detail.State machinesA state machine is a way to describe behavior activities that are being done for a while and how you can switch between different activities. Each activity is called a state. Since this is so awfully abstract lets try to describe your behavior right now. You are currently reading this text. Reading is a state. Its an activity that you do for a while. Now suppose you get a phone call. You stop reading and concentrate on the conversation. Talking on the phone is another activity that you do for a while a second state. Other states of you are Walking Running Sleeping and a lot more

The Challenge of Having Both Responsiveness and Naturalness in Game - Link Thu, 13 Aug 2015 22:37:04

Video games as software need to meet functional requirements and its obvious that the most important functional requirement of a video game is to provide entertainment. Users want to have interesting moments while playing video games and there exists many factors which can bring this entertainment to the players.One of the important factors is the animations within the game. Animation is important because it can affect the game from different aspects. Beauty controls narration and driving the logic of the game are among them.This post is trying to consider the animations in terms of responsiveness while trying to discuss some techniques to retain their naturalness as well.In this article Im going to share some tips we used in the animations of the action-platforming side-scroller game named Shadow Blade Reload. SBR is powered by Unity3D. The PC version has been released 10th 2015 August via Steam and the console versions are on the way. So before going further lets have a look at some parts of the gameplay hereYou may want to check the Steam page too.So here we can discuss the problem. First consider a simple example in real world. You want to punch into a punching bag. You rotate your hip torso and shoulder in order and consume energy to rotate and move your different limbs. You are feeling the momentum in your body limbs and muscles and then you are hearing the punch sound just after landing it into the bag. So you are sensing the momentum with your tactile sensation hearing different voices and sounds related to your action and seeing the desired motion of your body. Everything is synchronized You are feeling the whole process with your different senses. Everything is ordinary here and this is what our mind knows as something natural.Now consider another example in a virtual world like a video game. This time you have a controller you are pressing a button and you want to see a desired motion. This motion can be any animation like a jump or a punch. But this punch is different from the mentioned example in real world because the player is just moving his thumb on the controller and the virtual character should move his whole body in response to it. Each time player presses a button the character should do an appropriate move. If you receive a desired motion with good visual and sounds after pressing each button we can say that you are going to be merged within the game because its something almost similar to the example of punching in real world. The synchronous response of the animations controls and audios help the player feel himself more within the game. He uses his tactile sensation while interacting with the controller uses his eyesight to see the desired motion and his hearing sensation to hear the audio. Having all these synchronously at the right moment can bring both responsiveness and naturalness which is what we like to see in our games.Now the problem is that when you want to have responsiveness you have to kill some naturalness in animations. In a game like Shadow Blade Reload the responsiveness is very important because any extra move can lead the player to fall of the edges or be killed by enemies. However we need good-looking animations as well. So in the next section some tips are going to be listed which have been used to bring both responsiveness and naturalness into our playable character named Kuro.Cases Which Can Help Bring Both Naturalness and Responsiveness into AnimationsSome of the techniques used in Shadow Blade Reload animations are listed here. They have been used to retain naturalness while having responsiveness1- Using Additive Animations Additive animations can be used to show some asynchronous motions on top of the current animations. We used them in different situations to show the momentum over body while not interrupting the player to show different animations. An example is the land animation. After the player fall ends and he reaches the ground he can continue running or attacking or throwing shurikens without any interruptions or land animations. So we are directly blending the fall with other animations like running. But blending directly between fall and run doesnt provide an acceptable motion. So here were just adding an additive land animation on top of the run or other animations to show the momentum over upper body. The additive animations just have visual purposes and the player can continue running or doing other actions without any interruption. The video here shows the additive animation used for the purpose of landing momentum on players bodyIn Unity the additive animations are calculated with respect to the current animations first frame. So the additive animation pose in each frame is equal to the difference of the current frame and the first frame pose. The reference pose of the character is used here to bring more generic additive animation which can be added well on a range of different locomotion animations. This additive animation is not being applied on top of the standing idle animation. Standing idle uses a different animation for land.We also used some other additive animations there. For example a windmill additive animation on spine and hands. Its being played when the character stops and starts running consecutively. It can show momentum to hands and spine.As a side note the additive animations have to be created carefully. If you are an indie developer with no full-time animator you can do these kind of modifications like additive animations via some other procedural animation techniques like Inverse Kinematics. For instance an IK chain on spine can be defined and be used for modification. This is true for hands and feet as well. However the IK chain have to be defined carefully as well as the procedural animation of the end effector.2- Specific Turn Animations You see turn animations in many games. For instance pressing the movement button in the opposite direction while running makes the character slide and turn back. While this animation is very good for many games and brings good felling to the motions it is not suitable for an action-platforming game like SBR because you are always moving back and forth on the platforms with low areas and such an extra movement can make you fall unintentionally and it also kills responsiveness. So for turning we just rotate the character 180 degrees in one frame. But again rotating the character 180 degrees in just one frame is not providing a good-looking motion. So here we used two different turn animations. They are showing the character turning and are starting in a direction opposite to characters forward vector and end in a direction equal to characters forward vector. When we turn the character in just one frame we play this animation and the animation can show the turn completely. It has the same speed of run animation so nothing is just going to be changed in terms of responsiveness and you will just see a turn animation which is showing momentum of a

Why NASA Switched from Unity to Blend4Web - Link Tue, 11 Aug 2015 07:43:30

Introduction Recently NASA published their press release which mentions the unique possibility to drive around on Mars. I couldnt help myself and right away clicked on the link that lead to an amusing interactive experience where I was able to drive the rover around watch video streaming from its cameras in real-time and even find out the specs of the vehicle. However what shocked me the most was that this has all been done using the Blend4Web engine - and not Unity. Why was I so surprised Even two yeas ago or more there were publications about NASA creating a similar demo using Unity. However it didnt get passed the beta stage and it looks like the space agency had moved on from Unity. It is interesting that the programmers of such a large organization chose to discontinue the time-invested project and begin from scratch. It took a little time but I was able to find the above-mentioned Mars rover app made in Unity. Honestly it looks like an unfinished game. The scene loads slowly especially the terrain functionality is primitive you can only drive the overall picture is of horrible quality. We all know wonderful games can be made with Unity and its portfolio is full of hundreds of quality projects. So whats the deal Whats the Deal The reason is that Unity is seriously lagging behind when it comes to their WebGL exporter. The first alarm rang when Google Chrome developers declared NPAPI deprecated. This browsers global market share is too significant for any web developer to just ignore. You can find a lot of advice on using a magic option chromeflagsenable-npapi online. However in September 2015 this loophole will disappear. Creating games and web visualizations is an enterprise and nobody likes losing customers. Earlier downloading the Unity plug-in was not as big of deal as it was with Flash but now the situation has become completely different. The web plug-in can not be used anymore while Unitys WebGL exporter is still in its infancy. Developers of all kinds caused uproar requiring the Unity team to proactively respond. Finally Unity 5 has been released with WebGL support but only as a preview. Half a year has passed and the situation is not any better. They even came up with an ingenious method to check the users browser and then recommend using Unity in another browser. Unfortunately and for obvious reasons it is not always reasonable. And still whats happening with Unity WebGL Why is there still no stable version available What are the prospects These questions are of much interest to many developers. Im not a techie so its difficult for me to understand Unitys issues in this area but what Ive found online is making me sad. WebGL Roadmap The official Unity forum has a thread called WebGL Roadmap. A team representative explains the future of WebGL in Unity. I have looked through this text thoroughly and it convinced me that the bright future Unity keeps promising is still in the far removed distance. WebGL should work in all browsers on all platforms including mobile ones by default. Its not there. If you happen to successfully compile your game for WebGL strike out mobile devices from the list. The reasons are clear Unitys WebGL has catastrophically large memory consumption and bad performance. Yes a top-of-the-line device can still manage to run the game at decent speed but a cheaper one will run it as slow as a turtle. And forget about hoping your project will work on desktops with ease. Browsers are the programs which eat all of a computers free memory and the half-finished Unity WebGL build often causes crashes and closes browser tabs especially in Chrome. There are some problems with audio. I personally tried to export a simple game for WebGL and got croaking noise as the main character moved. The sound literally jammed and I could not fix it. The reason is poor performance but other engines still work somehow... Forget about in-game video. MovieTexture class is simply not supported for WebGL. As an alternative the devs are suggesting to use HTML5 capabilities directly. Network problems. System.IO.Sockets and UnityEngine.Network classes do not work for WebGL and will never work due to security issues. I havent enumerated all issues but this doesnt answer the question when will it start working Alas Unity devs comments are unclear obscure and dont include a specific timeline. Although I did find something We are not committing to specific release dates for any of these features and we may decide not to go ahead with some of these at all. Theyre Waiting They are waiting for WebGL 2.0 which will be based on OpenGL ES 3.0. The future version Unity 5.2 is planned to have an export option for the new API. However Im not sure that browsers will work with it now WebGL 2.0 is available only as an experimental option. They are waiting for WebAssembly which is very promising but has just started being discussed. Nobody can even guess the date when it will be implemented. Im sorry but if the problem can only be fixed as they say by upcoming third-party technologies then maybe the problem lies in Unity WebGL itself Unity is a convenient popular and cross-platform engine an awesome tool for making games and I love it a lot. Still this is a tool which can no longer be used for the web. The most annoying fact is that the future holds too much uncertainty. You may say you are a pessimist. No Im just a realist just like the NASA guys. This is the answer to the title of this article Why NASA Switched from Unity to Blend4Web. Its simple Unitys WebGL is not ready... and will it ever be We are not committing to specific release dates... So what about Blend4Web I can only congratulate the developers with such a conclusive win in the field of WebGL NASAs app has been showcased at the opening of the WebGL section on SIGGRAPH 2015 which means competitors have no intention of waiting. Background This post is a translation of the original article in Russian by Andrei Prakhov aka Prand who is the author of three books about Blender and a Unity developer with several indie games released.

The Art of Enemy Design in Zelda A Link to the Past - Link Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:59:23

Let me preface this article by mentioning what this article is not This is not an exhaustive guide to every monster in Zelda A Link to the Past nor is it a comprehensive method on how each enemy class was designed. Rather this article is really about how to design enemies by their functions using the example of Zelda A Link to the Past.Most articles that discuss this topic often pick examples from various different games to give a better outlook on how this applies to different environments but they lack a hollistic understanding of how gameplay mechanics and functions actually intertwine.The purpose of this article is to dissect Zelda A Link to the Pasts monsters to better understand how this specific gameplay can host mechanically different obstacles and what their impact is on flow and player decision-making.Note that we will not cover Bosses here as theyre an entirely different form of obstacleGame Mechanics Resources in a Link to the PastThe first part of this analysis requires that we take a deeper look at the inner workings of the game so we can better understand how each monster was designed. This arbitrary breakdown of the games pieces is not absolute but it should suffice to explain monster design by their function.LifeLinks primary resource is his life. This is a measure of attrition that represents Links ability to survive the challenges laid in front of him. The primary issue with dying running out of life is actually a severe loss of time though the state of the game is effectively saved the player must restart progress from a distant location and needs to make his way back to where he was in order to proceed any further. Death is frustrating and the player seeks to avoid it by any means possible potions faeries and obviously not taking damage. There is however no form of loss associated with death.Causes of damage death- Bumping into enemies- Bumping into traps- Enemies missile attacks including Bombs- Falling into pitsMagicMagic is Links ability to use some of its most powerful tools magical items. It insures that Link pays careful attention to when and where such tools are used. Because most of these items cost a lot of magic and that magic is harder to come by than hearts this is a critical resource in the game.Running out of magic is inconsequential in and of itself.Bombs ArrowsBombs are an expendable tool that Link can stock up on and they can be used as soon as Link has at least 1 of them no other tool is required. They are effective at uncovering secret areas. Their max is limited.Arrows behave similarly with the exception that they require a bow to be fired regular or silver.Bombs and Bows are very similar to magic except theyre much more specific.RupeesRupees are the currency of the game they can be found in various colors which are worth different amounts of currency. Rupees are only truly useful for two thingsZoras Flippers a passive tool that grants the player the ability to swimPotions which can replenish life and or magic - mandatory for Turtle Rock in a regular playthroughEvery other use is optional increasing maximum amount of bombsarrows carried for example.TimeTime is not an obvious resource in this game but given that progress is not lost on death time is the only thing that the game takes from the player. To a degree dying in Zelda A Link to the Past can be summarized as having to walk all the way back to where you died but being able to avoid most of the danger on the way. Essentially dying is a loss of Time.Similarly should the player ever need to build-up their rupee count possibly to buy bombs arrows potions etc. or regain life magic etc. they can simply accomplish all of these by spending some Time in the less dangerous areas of the game.Thus it can be said that most resources can be acquired by spending time in the game and that death results in a loss of time that couldve been spent acquiring resources instead. Equivalently the loss of resources is also a waste of Time with the exception that the effect is delayed. This toll only trully becomes apparent when the player lacks a specific resource to complete a dungeon and must therefore go out of the dungeon to seek the missing resources. On most other occasions that loss is hardly felt as the player will come across resources naturally on their next trip through the worldmap.Enemies in Zelda A Link to the PastThe role of the enemy in A Link to the Past is to make the game longer by having the player spend Time. This is confirmed by the many rooms where the player is forced to kill all of the monsters to get the key or force the door open. The clear intent is to create an obstacle that the player must first analyse and then devise a plan to overcome.Each enemys role is to insure the player will lose some time at key locations.The obvious approach to doing this is creating monsters that have progressively more life and deal more damage. Doing so however hardly challenges the players ability to observe and react which in practice take a lot more time than simply becoming better at honing ones reflexes.If all enemies in the game were Sword Soldiers of varying strength not only would the game become boring quickly but it would also be much easier and faster to complete as whatever the player has learned to beat the sword soldier would apply to all other soldiers.So how exactly should monsters be created to enforce player observation and pattern recognitionEnemy Types and FunctionsSword SoldierLet us begin this breakdown by looking into The Sword SoldierOne might be led to assume from the above that the Sword Soldier is actually the most basic form of enemy in the game but it isnt as Vanilla as it seems. The Sword soldier has its own movement pattern and boasts one of the most interesting hidden features in the game Stealth.Until a Sword soldier has been attacked or has seen the player it wont actively pursue the player which makes it particularly interesting to avoid. A lot of the level design actually supports this to great effect but arguably very few people ever went through the game without engaging combat with them apart from the SpeedRunners community simply because there is no incentive to doing this aside from time which is a limited concern to most.In addition the Sword Soldier is likely to drop rupees or hearts which have some Time value. In essence you might just gain as much time from killing a sword soldier and getting its drop than you might gain by avoiding the fight altogether.Sword Soldiers Function Get acquainted with combat mechanics and stealth.Bow SoldierBy design the Bow Soldier is a coward which will not seek direct confrontation from upclose but it is a terrific flanker. As a result it makes positionning and movement all the more important to master and its strength is relative to the other monsters in the room and how hard it is to navigate said room. There is a specific room in Agahnims Castle where the player must push a block while a few Bow Soldiers

You need a plan and a design - Link Wed, 29 Jul 2015 01:40:46

IntroductionHave you been working on your game for what feels like eternity but have nothing to show for it Are you stuck on how to implement your game idea If these sound like you then this is your article. In this article I will talk about planning game design and technical designs. I am going to cover the importance of planning and designs and give you some tools and tips to help you successfully plan and design your next game project.Why do I need a planThe definition of a plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.. A proposal is a plan or suggestion especially a formal or written one put forward for consideration or discussion by others.. A plan helps you be successful by putting your goals on paper. It is HOW you will go from having a great idea to a great game. A plan can be broken down into goals objectives and tasks. Goals are broad and general objectives are specific and measurable which when complete achieve a goal and tasks are very specific things that you need to do to meet an objective. Your day to day work can be broken down into tasks. The tasks when finished complete objectives and the objectives when finished meet goals.For example if your goal was to lose 20 pounds then your objectives might be to work out every other day for three months and to consume 1800 calories a day. Your tasks would be your specific workout sessions the day to day and preparing healthier meals that meet the objective of consuming 1800 calories a day. Your game plan should be just as detailed. Your goals are not really directly measurable other than knowing when you are finished. Your objectives need to be detailed so you can evaluate whether the tasks that you are completing are really working towards accomplishing the goals.Adjusting your planPlans are always subject to change. Your game plan will change as you encounter the reality of development. There will be things that you have not accounted for and you will have new ideas as you develop your game. Creating a plan does not mean setting your entire project in stone but rather it is a general roadmap for success. You might take some crazy detours but as long as you keep track of your goal you will eventually arrive at your destinationSchedules - Putting dates to your planIn my mind a schedule is simply putting dates on your plan. If you say that by October 15th you need to have X amount of things done in order to finish the game by December 31st then that is a schedule. Your schedule can change independently of your plan. Some things will take longer than anticipated that is the nature of game development but putting real dates to things can help put the plan into perspective even though we often dont want to really commit to any deadlines.An easy way to keep track of a schedule is to use a calendar application like Google Calendar or iCalendarIf you really need to track a lot of resources then you could use something like Microsoft Project or Projectlibre to keep track of all of the details.In the software development world there is a concept called Agile programming and that is a big topic. You can use sites like Assembla to manage software projects using Agile concepts and that goes great with the whole planning concept. I have personally used Assembla and it really makes this process much easier by being able to set milestones create tasks ect.Putting things into perspectiveOne thing a plan will do is force you to confront the reality of your idea. If your game design calls for 100 unit types but you can only make one unit type a week then by making a plan you will find that takes best case 100 weeks worth of time. If you realize early that your plan calls you making units for slightly over two years then you are likely to revise your plan to something more realistic.Realistic estimationEstimating how long something will take is hard. The best technique I have found for this is to break the task up into very small tasks where each task can be executed in hours rather than days. Then estimate each small task and multiply by 1.5. If you realistically think a task will take you 5 hours then multiply it by 1.5 and you will end up with 7.5 hours for the task. Add up all of the small tasks with the extra time built in. The more you can break down a task the more accurate your estimates will be. If you are unfamiliar with a task then you might even multiply by an even larger number 2 or more to your hour estimate to really make sure that there is time for the unexpected.As you work keep a log of your time. You can use this time log to help improve your estimates gauge your performance and refine your schedule. Something like My Hours can help you keep track of your time. Assembla also has time tracking functionality.Stop wasting timeTime is your most valuable and finite resource. There are 1440 minutes in a day. If you want to be productive you need to stop using so many of them watching cat videos . Game development takes a very heavy investment of time. Even relatively simple games can still take months of development time to complete. If you find yourself not making progress as fast as you would like evaluate your time log and try to see if you can find ways to use time more effectively.Ok but how do I know WHAT to planYou know what to plan by looking at your game design document. Your game design document or GDD contains all of the information about your game. It has every story character level mechanic boss fight potion and whatever else that you need to make your game. Your game design is detailed enough when you can have someone off the street read your game design and they can play your game start to finish on a sheet of paper. Even if you are just one person putting all of your thoughts down in a GDD means that you cant forget them and if you dont write your ideas down you WILL forget them.For a proper GDD you will need sketches of your characters and levels backstory character biographies and all sorts of other supporting information. You really need to put in a lot more details then will make your final game because your job with a GDD is to get everyone working on the game including yourself on the same page. If anyone has a question about your game they should be able to answer it by reading your game design document. If they cant answer the question then your GDD is not detailed enough. If your game design document is not detailed enough then it is not completeSome people will tell you that you do not need a game design document. Some people might be able to get away with not properly designing a game. It is likely that you wont be one of those people and if you neglect your design then it is very likely that your project will fail. Think of creating a design and a plan like a way to improve the odds. It is not guranteed but it improves your chances of having a successful game. Odds are if you can stick with an idea long enough to create a detailed game design and a plan then you have an

Memory Markers - Link Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:54:40

Memory is something that is often overlooked in combat games more often than not when a character becomes aware of you in a combatative action game they remain aware until dead. Sometimes they may run a countdown when they lose sight of the player and lapse back into their patrol state if that ends before they find them. Neither of these techniques looks particularly intelligent. The AI either looks unreasonably aware of you or unrealistically gullible in that they go about their business after theyve lost track of you for a few seconds. A memory marker is a simple trick The UE4 implementation of which can be seen here that allows you to update and play with the enemys perception. It is a physical representation of where the enemy thinks the player is. In its simplest form it has two simple rules The AI use this marker for searches and targeting instead of the characterThe marker only updates to the players position when the player is in view of the AIthis gives you a number of behaviours for free. For example the AI will look as if you have eluded them when you duck behind cover and they come to look for you there. Just from this minor change you now have a cat-and-mouse behaviour that can lead to some very interesting results. I was pleased to see that Naughty Dog also use this technique. In this Last of Us editor screen-grab you can see their enemy marker white has been disconnected from the hiding character It is also very extensible - in more complicated implementations covered in future video tutorials a list of these markers is maintained and acted upon. This lets us do things like have the AI notice a pickup when running after the player and return to get it if they ever lose their target. So how do we start to go about coding these markers In my experience the most important thing when coding this system in various forms is that your memory markers in code and their references in script must be nullable. This provides us with a very quick and easy way of wiping these markers when they are no longer needed or querying the null state to see if the agent has no memory of something - and therefore if we need to create it. The first pass implementation of these markers simply has two rules You update the marker for a character to that characters location when its been seen by an enemy.You make the AIs logic - search routines and so on - act on this marker instead of the character Its worth mentioning that each AI will need one of these markers for every character on an opposing team and every object they must keep track of. Because of this it is useful to populate some kind of array with these markers. Think too about how you can sort this list by priority. When the AI loses track of a target they can grab the next marker in the list which may be an objective or a pickup they passed. When the list is empty they fall back to their patrol state.

Narrative-Gameplay Dissonance - Link Sat, 25 Jul 2015 09:40:48

The Problem

Google Analytics-Driven Game Development by Example - Link Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:36:08

Hi there. A few months ago my friend and I performed something like a gamedev experiment. It was just create a trashy game update it as frequently as possible and make it better based on users and Google Analytics feedback. We didnt want to spend 6 months on developing another game that will get stuck among thousands ofother games on Google Play. Moreover we didnt have as much as 6 months. It was more like a quick execution of a half-witted idea. We wanted our game to evolve based on the user feedback and our conclusions.The Beginning - version 1.0So what was the idea for the game Every time I had a browse in Google Play I wondered how a game about tapping an egg can become so popular. Over 5 million downloads of a simple tapping app. What is going on here - I asked myself.The game average rating was 3.0 and people were still downloading it. Apparently the rating does not matter... You can clearly see that for Google Play the number of downloads is more important than the rating. This game is the first search result for the egg keyword.So the idea was Lets make a simple egg tapping game as fast as possible. Ingredients free music 50 of free graphics 50 graphics made by my friend 5 hours of programming 2 hours of making screens and putting the game on Google Play and here we go Pet Baby Egg.Every time you tap the egg you get closer to obtaining another pet. The next levels obviously become more and more difficult.The only challenge for the player was to collect all pets nothing more. Boooooring.Now lets take a look at some stats.Damn somebody has actually downloaded it D611 sessions in 2 weeks. No marketing. Just keywords and the game. Only 46.2 of returning visitors means that after a month or two nobody will play this game anymore.The average session lasted only 303. First conclusions Lets try to interest the player. Lets give more content to get a longer session duration. So when a player gets a new pet why not let him take care of itFirst pet care - version 1.1We added basic tamagotchi features a kitchen to feed the pet a fun room to play ball with it and a bedroom for sleeping. Moreover a player could earn money by playing with his pet and by tapping the egg. There was also a shop to spend the earned money on food. It took us maybe a week to implement some new graphics and some new code in our spare time. This is what we gotAnd after 7 days of version 1.1 being available in the Google Play Store we had the following statsThe number of new installations increased by around 20Returning visitiors ratio grew to almost 52And... the average session duration almost doubled That made senseSo it was time to draw more conclusions There were a bunch of game events. We knew exactly what users did in the game.We analyzed the top events from the game and we came up with these results the most popular event is touching the ball thanks to the physics engine that made it fun for the player. The users got 1 coin for 1 tap on the ball or the egg. But we were surprised by how few users bought balls in the shop. Our conclusion was that they didnt know how to earn money. They play ball with their pets but they dont know that it earns them money.Earning money more visible - version 1.15BeforeAfterBeforeAfterThe effect In the 1.15 version there was over twice as much 6.77 to 14.99 events related to buying ballsOk lets add more stuff.Advanced care - version 1.2It took more than a week to implement it but we added special indicators to show the levels of hunger happiness and energy. Our goal was to engage the users more to take care of their pet or to return to the game more often. Playing ball with the pet also became more interactive as it could now play with us The Effect Over 57 of returning players. 5.5 more than in the previous 1.1 versionThe average session duration grew to 722 and that is a 142 boost in comparison with the version 1.0 303 and a 24 growth in relation to the version 1.1 556More content and a mini game to earn coins - version 1.3OK. We had a simple pet care simulator but we wanted to add more items to be available for purchase. They became expensive there was inflation in our small game because we didnt pay enough attention to economy in the game. For example we made wallpaper available to be put in one of the rooms for 5000 coins. We thought we had to introduce a new way to earn more money so we implemented a mini game that made it possible.The mini game made it possible to earn up to 500-1000 coins in a 1-2 minute gameplay. What was the effect The retention growth up to 70.5 It is 13 more than in version 1.2 It was definitely worth implementing.More stuff and features - version 1.5In this version we fixed some bugs and added more items and features to the game. It was the last update we made to this game.The effectThe average session duration increased to 820 which is a 273 growth compared with the starting point from version 1.0SummaryBy adding more content to the game we got more retention from 46.2 to 70.5.By adding more content to the game we got longer average session duration from 303 to 820.We do not only gather the Google Analytics events but we also analyze themWe dont encourage you to make a poor game and update it because in the long run it is not cost-effective. But we strongly encourage you to use Google Analytics and analyze the data you getArticle Update Log27 July 2015 Initial release30 July 2015 Removed bad word17 August 2015 Added authors Twitter profile link

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Floating Point Softwares is an Indie company started in 2015
focusing mainly on Android, iOS, HTML5 and PC game development.
Currently we also offer non-game related solutions, 
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