Page:59 - News Archived: 3437

Title Date
Assistant Graphic Designer Telltale Games - Link 2015-08-19

Telltale games Marketing team is looking for a talented Assistant Graphic Designer to create promotional and marketingsales focused graphics. This person will also be responsible for managing concurrent design tracks and design banner ads landing pages email campaigns and various printed materials including magazine ads packaging etc. Responsibilities Creating promotional and other marketingsales-focused graphics Working neatly within established design guidelines Heavy lifting accurate and quick graphic production and batch processing Managing multiple concurrent design tracks Visualgraphic design across multiple online products including banner ads landing pages application UI Web UI and email campaigns Maintain asset libraries for reusable systematic design Requirements A diverse portfolio that exhibits excellent use of typography color imagery compositionlayout and attention to detail Full knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite Experience dealing with templates from different platforms Xbox Playstation etc. Proficiency with Windows environment Excellent communication and teamwork skills Passion for gaming is a big plus Minimum 2 years or experience Bonus Skills Information design skills BFAMFA or equivalent industry experience Experience in designing with Xbox Playstation Steam and other gaming platforms in mind Ability to quickly learn new softwareproprietary toolsltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4NOiFs4l0Bhw

Environment Artist Tangentlemen - Link 2015-08-19

Responsibilities Utilize cutting-edge techniques and software to create all aspect of a 3D game environment Design model texture and light high fidelity immersive worlds Ensure gameplay functionality and engine efficiency Work closely with Art Director to meet and maintain visual goals Multitask effectively prioritize competing demands and follow through on details Requirements A portfolio that demonstrates the range of your abilities and the quality of your art Model texture and optimize props and assets for Unreal 4 Proficient in Maya Work within a team as a creative and professional contributor without drama or ego Willingness to learn and discover new techniques and software Self starter self manager Pluses PhotogrammetryScan Data experience as well as from-scratch realistic assets Experience with PBR asset pipeline Zbrush Allegorithmic PainterDesigner Sketchup Photomatch Traditional art background or experience Strong Composition skills and an understanding of Color Theory amp Join us in creating a dark new experience. Please submit Resume and Portfolio to env1tangentlemen.comltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4ph5hUC60ISw

Art Director Wandake Studios - Link 2015-08-19

If you are looking to be part of gaming studio that is not making yet another freemium clone and is truly looking to bring new fun gaming experiences to mobile youll fit right in and we would like to hear from you. We are building a realtime multiplayer RTS game for mobile and are looking for an Art Director who has 3 years experience in leading an art team including hands-on experience in all areas of game art creation including concepts backgrounds illustrations user interface animation 3D Modeling etc Solid understanding of various game art styles for both 2D and 3D games Complete knowledge of Art pipeline for a 3D Game Details Position is located in Redwood City California Full healthcare and dental benfits Flexible work hours Early stageequity in the studio CompanyOverview At Wandake we dedicate ourselves to creating original highly addictive and highly successful mobile games including the Top 10 smash hit Robokill Rescue Titan Robokill 2 Leviathan Five and most recently the re-invented retro platforming Apocalypse Max Better Dead Than Undead with over 1 Million loyal zombie slayers. We like to work hard and play even harderltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4jChklwbLV4c

Senior Artist Sega Networks Inc. - Link 2015-08-19

Three Rings one of SEGAs premiere online games studios is growing our Philadelphia PA team. We are looking for a Senior Artist to work closely with production and design teams to produce exceptional compelling artwork for next-generation mobile games. Three Rings is seeking a passionate leader who wants a hand in all aspects of game art from concept through production and into implementation. Duties and Responsibilities Responsible for the overall look and feel of the game Quickly iterate concept art to determine stylistic goals Produce benchmark assets to guide other artists in style and quality Develop and maintain the Art Bible Determine the most efficient tools and technical process for production Lead and manage the art team Partner with Production to develop tasks and schedules for the art team Requirements At least 5 years industry experience working in a team Exceptional 2D and 3D art skills including experience with animation and technical art Remarkable leadership skills and a passion to lead and mentor others Excellent communication skills and experience working with other disciplines and managerial levels Superb organizational skills with the ability to manage time and resources in a team environment Keen passion for making top-notch industry leading mobile games What we offer Competitive salaries Company matched 401k plans Complete Medical Dental and Vision benefits Pre-tax FSA benefit plans Free snacks drinks and company lunches Instructions for Applicants Please submit your resume in plain text for .pdf format to jobsthreerings.net including Senior Artist in the subject line and a link to an online portfolio containing video screen shots game files or game saves of levels that you have created noting content that you are personally responsible for. Anything else that demonstrates your creative ability such as writing samples artwork design docs etc. is appreciated. Candidates without an online portfolio cannot be considered. Please do not send images and other material in attachments. ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4XL9Dbpzyrho

VP of Engineering Vrse - Link 2015-08-19

Were looking for people to join our growing team who Seek out challenges and are comfortable with the unknown Thrive in fast-paced innovative creative environments Are expert communicators and collaborate well with others Take initiative to solve tough problems Are passionate about revolutionizing storytelling through virtual reality Most importantly have got grit Responsibilities Build and lead the highest caliber engineering team Oversee full stack engineering driving the full development process Manage engineering support across multiple platforms Android iOS Oculus HTC Vive Sony Morpheus GearVR Etc. Work with CEO CTO product managers and engineers to define product functionality prioritize features and launch goals Direct and define system architecture Ensure system reliability redundancy and robustness Qualifications Experience creating a vision and leading teams to achieve it Full stack engineering background Have grown and scaled products for millions of users A history of building teams that routinely ship products Excellent written and verbal communications Experience with media delivery Deep understanding of UIUX and product Willingness to roll up your sleeves and commit code when necessary Optional but a major plus Significant experience with media delivery ampltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4J97YNGNTVpo

Senior Server Engineer Cloud Imperium Games - Link 2015-08-19

Cloud Imperium is looking for a Senior Server Engineer to work on our exciting PC space combat sim Star Citizen Responsibilities Design and implement high quality reliable scalable secure server software and systems in CC Develop distributed server software that can scale to handle specified user counts Diagnose and correct performance problems and bugs in server code Apply computer security principles to client and server software to develop secure cheat-resistant game code Design server and networking systems to work within CPU memory and disk and network IO budgets Profile and optimize server and network code relative to CPU memory and disk and network IO Work closely with DevOps and Operation to provide information documentation and tools needed by those groups to support servers in test and production environments Drive the development and evolution of the server infrastructure that powers Star Citizen. Contribute to the technical direction of the online team. Ensure that the online team adheres to established coding standards and embraces efficient and robust engineering practices. Collaborate with production and other leads to develop tasks and schedules for the online team. Ensure that all technology interests and policies are properly represented and maintained through the course of development. Serve as an active partner in the game teams leadership. Diagnose and fix complex player-impacting problems on the live game servers. Performance measuring and optimizations. Support patch and new content deployment Create and deploy server hotfixes when needed Implement instrumentation and testing strategies to ensure correct functionality of features. Architecture of a robust system that can scale with the long-term growth of the game project. Requirements A minimum of 10 years of programming experience. A minimum 5 years with CC Experience working in the Video Game industry on Multiplayer games Experience with multi-threaded programming and distributed systems. Experience implementing scalable clientserver architectures Working knowledge of network and server security issues. Experience implementing TCPUDP networking. Familiarization with code and data optimization. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Ability to develop coding solutions with simple elegant and easy-to-maintain code. Skilled at diagnosing and fixing crashes deadlocks stack overflows and heap corruption. Pluses Passion for space simulations and science fiction. Computer Science or related degree. Database development experience MySQL Oracle. Low-level network knowledge and diagnosis including packet capture tcpdump wireshark routing firewalls DHCP DNS NAT busting. Familiar with higher-level network protocols such as HTTP SNMP SMTP FTP Passion for technology. Please send your resume to hrcloudimperiumgames.com with Senior Server Engineer in the subject line if you are interested in this position.ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4xGsa30E8paY

Compassion - by Robert Fearon - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:52:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Compassion by Robert Fearon on 082015 125700 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. Whenever a developer finds themselves in the wake of a launch not going swimmingly discovers their sales numbers aren39t so hot finds themselves struggling in some capacity and mentions this in public shows disappointment in public or often any emotion at all in public that isn39t jubilation or celebration of videogames being brilliant the reactions of other fellow developers still surprises me. Considering we all know just how up in the air things can be how hard getting by in videogames often is how at the mercy and whims of a thousand external factors we are from success and knowing that comparatively few people keep their head above water comfortably. Considering we know how being in videogames and releasing videogames runs us through highs and through lows how the workloads involved can exhaust us when we39re taking the best care we can as often as we can how we are still humans with good days bad days and all things in-between. Considering we know the disappointments when things don39t do so well because we39ve been there at times if we39re lucky it39s slight if we39re not... Considering all that I39m still surprised our first reactions are often to try and explain away what someone did wrong that led them to feel this way to try and fit the reaction into a place where we have the answers and well clearly the developer should just do a thing or know a thing. Yet if we were sitting over a table with a cuppa or a pint the exact same story relayed to us in person we39d nod and empathise. We39d chat about possibilities reasons feelings. Yet the internet strips this away. Instead we explain not empathise. We often focus on tone how saying that in public on the internet like that is just not on without considering that maybe someone is just having a bad day. We don39t really allow for bad days. Not entirely a revelatory observation on my behalf here we39ve all been on the internet long enough to know the internet warps our reactions social media and the ability to go from gut reaction to posting a thing in seconds without a buffer doubly so. But perhaps before we explain why things are the way things are and if only a thing was done different or they must have known perhaps before then we could imagine that table that pint or cuppa is there before we go on. One of the things that holds us back so often that makes being in videogames more perilous than it needs to be is that it39s hard to talk about failure disappointment and pitfalls without a pile on of people to tell you how to fix a thing or how you did it wrong so what did you expect and so on. It keeps us in a place where compassion is hard to come by and if there39s one thing we all need to help us wade through this mess of videogames easier and safer if there39s one thing we39d all appreciate if it39s directed at us it39s just that. Compassion. Especially from people who can empathise all too well with our predicaments facing similar worries as we often do. And don39t worry I39ve got a lot of learning to do myself here too but maybe we can all give it a go. Maybe we can all remember there39s a human being there making games alongside us and we all feel things for better and for worse. We don39t need to explain everything y39know I know I need to be better at this. Let39s try together. Related Jobs 08.20.15 Gameplay Programmer 08.20.15 Environment Artist 08.20.15 UIUX Artist 08.20.15 Social Robot UI Programmer View All Jobs 251746 blog blogsRobertFearon20150820251746Compassion.php 858918 33014233 Loading Comments

Global Home Court Advantage Yes eSports is a global phenomenon and no - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Global Home Court Advantage Yes eSports is a global phenomenon and no its not going away by Ian Sharpe on 082015 125200 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. The bright lights of eSports39 biggest tournaments capture the imaginations of 120 million fans around the world. It39s not difficult to understand why--the excitement of these massive events is as contagious as the enthusiasm generated by a Super Bowl or World Cup and communities of fans and players have sprung up all around the world alongside traditional sports fandom. Instead of why eSports have become such a compelling spectacle it is much more important to understand how. How has the industry driven this global interest and how will it be sustained in the long run How have eSports exploded Recent events like Heroes of the Dorm on ESPN2 and the eSports issue of the ESPN Magazine have thrust eSports into the public eye but the competitive gaming scene has been growing rapidly since the birth of the professionalStarCraftscene in South Korea in the early 2000s. The story ofStarCraftin Korea is a fascinating story of technical economical and cultural factors combining at just the right time and one worth reading in its own right but it took a global improvement in technical infrastructure and the creation of digital forums for fans to congregate on equal terms to really nurture eSports outside of this crucible. Stable internet connections and lightweight yet feature-rich streaming platforms are the core pillars on which eSports has built its globalfan base. Platforms like Azubu and Twitch have opened the doors to competitive gaming for anyoneconnected to the internet particularly in countries like Brazil where technical infrastructure is finally available to connect millions of people to the web for the first time or China which is emulating the Korean model with an almost ideological zeal. Reliable streaming platforms have become the new digital forums--the destination to connect and share their fandom. An enormous amount of credit for the ongoing interest in eSports also lies with the casters analysts and content creators who over the course of many years of broadly thankless work have helped contextualize the digital action and create on-ramps for new fans to get involved. That content has hit a critical mass heavily aided by the growth of community-focused sites like Reddit and the ease of accessing such content via streams and itrsquos now easier than ever to learn everything there is to know about the eSport of your choice. When eSports fans from Belgium to Brazil and Bangkok can watch the same match and talk about it on a shared forum at the same time the game becomes an international shared experience especially when that experience is localized into their own language. How will eSports survive There is a cloud of doubt that lingers over the long-term staying power of competitive gaming. Games like fashion are prone to going out of style and it is hard to predict and more importantly invest in the continued growth of eSports when it is carried by a handful of titles. In practice while the games themselves are undoubtedly important to the eSports scene the experience of being an eSports fan is unique enough to be durable in the long run. A key ingredient is the accessibility of its top players. Watching the bestLeague of Legendsplayer in the world do his thing isno more than a click away and streaming platforms are designed to bring communities of fans together. Imagine if Lebron Jamesrsquo practice sessions were broadcast live on ESPN and he interacted with fans around the world between dunks. That kind of accessibility is a dream for NBA fans but a reality for eSports enthusiasts. Another big factor will be the games publishers themselves who are now committing significant marketing dollars to global tournaments and building features into their game roadmaps that will drive eSports for product cycles to come. The real staying power of eSports however rests in the hands of streaming platforms and forums that can facilitate the rapid growth of a community hungry for tighter bonds with the sport they love. Outside of providing the raw technical infrastructure for fans to watch eSports from anywhere on earth these central hubs provide an opportunity for the first quotSportsCenter of eSportsquot analog to appear. eSports all over the world The eSports fan community continues to expand as the internet becomes more accessible around the world. Beyond creating new games to become permanent fixtures in the competitive circuit the survival of eSports around the world starts with making eSports content--from professional players to shoutcasters to broadcasters and influencers in the space--as easy to obtain as possible. It becomes more than building good technology for fans to watch eSports and for influencers to reach their fans. As the footprint of eSports grows around the world keeping an eye on its international health will be the strongest outward sign of competitive gamingrsquos success. Related Jobs 08.20.15 Gameplay Programmer 08.20.15 Environment Artist 08.20.15 UIUX Artist 08.20.15 Social Robot UI Programmer View All Jobs 251754 blog blogsIanSharpe20150820251754Global_Home_Court_Advantage_Yes_eSports_is_a_global_phenomenon_and_no_its_not_going_away.php 1002105 35874313 Loading Comments

ampquotSound is Magicampquot - Insights for the Game Music Composer - - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:13:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs quotSound is Magicquot - Insights for the Game Music Composer by Winifred Phillips on 081815 012800 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. From May 19th to the 20th of this year the British Broadcasting Corporation39s Research and Development department presented a two-day conference to explore the future of immersive sound. Called quotSound Now and Nextquot the event featureda distinguishedspeaker list that included accomplished audio engineers producers educators inventors researchers musicians and composers. The event offered a wealth of fascinating presentations on the future of audio and I recommend visiting the site andchecking out the awesomevideo resources from the event which include complete session videos made freely available for streaming from the site. For game composers and sound designers one of the best sessions was presented byNick Ryan an award-winning audio engineercomposeraudio consultant who is best known in the game industry for his sound design work on thePapa SangrePapa Sangre IIandThe Nightjaraudio games for iOS. These three games utilize binaural sound to immerse players in an audio-only interactive environment which Nick Ryan callsquotinhabitable audio.quot Nick39s presentation at the quotSound Now and Nextquot conference was entitledquotSound is Magic.quotAccording to Nick audio has a unique power to bring about an emotional and perceptual impact by virtue of the collaborative relationshipbetween the sound source and the listener. When a sound isseparated from its original source i.e. when it39s not possible to see the source that39s emitting the sound listeners will instinctively use their imaginations to supply the nature of the sound39s origin. This imaginative contribution on the part of listeners has the potential to draw themmore fully into the experience. quotI profoundly believe that we are co-authors in everything that we listen toquot Nick tells us. Nick Ryan sound designer for Papa Sangre Papa Sangre II and The Nightjar Early in the presentation Nick introduces us to his initial work in binaural spatial audio by describing a project he produced in 2002 for BBC Radio 4. quotThe Dark Housequot was a popular interactive radio drama a ghost story recorded on location in a large house. The actors wore baseball caps with microphones embedded in the brims. While the project was ostensibly a traditionally linear radio drama it was structured so that the audience could decide from which character39s perspective the story would be told and the audio mix would switch to the perspective of the character who had received the most votes. In this way the audio mix of the program changed drastically as the audience cast their votes during the broadcast. The entire program is available for listening here Nick stresses that this project illustrates the power of adding interactivity to an audio experience. Moving on to his work in video game development Nick launches into a discussion of his work on Papa Sangre a game set in a completely quotnon-sightedquotrealm of the afterlifeinhabited byvicious unseen monsters. Sharing a few observations about gamers39 experiences in Papa Sangre Nick points out that visually-impaired players would usually breeze through the game in an hour whereas sighted players found it to be crushingly difficult. Also Nick describes a phenomenon whereby sounds associated with personal movement such as footsteps stimulated the motor cortex of the brain to be active making listeners feel as though they were actually in motion. This motor cortex stimulation contributed to the immersive qualities of the gaming experience in Papa Sangre. The effects of sound on the brain are tremendously fascinating and I explored some of the effects of music on brain activity in my bookA Composer39s Guide to Game Music- so I was especially interested to hear more about that phenomenon in Nick39s talk. To learn more about Nick39s work on Papa Sangre and another audio-only game titled The Nightjar check out this sound design mini masterclass that Nick gave for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Continuing with his presentation for the BBC quotSound Now and Nextquot conference Nick described a collaboration with Volkswagen and the famous electronica duo known as Underworld to allow a car to essentiallydrivea piece of music associating an interactive musical composition with the turning braking acceleration and de-acceleration of the vehicle. While it isn39t a game-related project it is fascinating when considered in terms of the interactive music possibilities that could be translated into gaming applications. Here39s the final video result of quotVolkswagen Golf GTI Play the Road.quot And here39s a behind-the-scenes video that explores the making of this interactive music system for driving Finally Nick brings the entire concept of quotSound is Magicquot to a culmination by describing his collaboration with John Matthias to create a four movement piece for string orchestra entitled quotCortical Songs.quot A computer simulates the way in which human neurons naturally behave sending these signals to tiny flashing lights on the music stands of the string players. The musicians respond to these flashes as theywould respond to a conductor issuing cues- as though the simulated neural activity was leadingthe orchestra. The magic of the human mind is now expressed through sound expressing Nick39s concept ofSonification-- the aural expression of silent phenomena. Here is an excerpt from a performance of the composition The quotSound Now and Nextquot conference offered an abundance of inspiring ideas from top practitioners in their fields and I urge everyone to check out the site and see some of the other presentations that are available online. Alsobe sure to check outthe complete presentation given by Nick Ryan --

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made by Indie Development Studios - by Aidan - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made by Indie Development Studios by Aidan Minter on 081815 011300 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. The competitive nature of the video-game industry makes it one of the most volatile markets in business today. As technology amps up the pace to define our lifestyle needs so too does the level of expectation placed up developers and publishers to deliver truly standout forms of entertainment. In late 2013 and early 2014 we saw more of the transitional shift in the digital games market where developers and startups one man bands and bedroom coders were being the creative freedom to explore the direct to consumer possibilities. For the publishers who remain we also saw a dramatic shift in their product strategy as they looked to adopt a digital business model with their I.P and move more aggressively into markets they had not even discussed five years prior. Consumers are being bombarded with all kinds of different media on a daily basis so discoverability and brand loyalty are much harder to achieve. Marketing is now taking on broader and more diverse forms to coax consumers into the fold transmedia marketing and social networks are now the go to tools to nurture that all important divide between passive viewer and active player. I39ve worked in the games industry for over 20 years I39ve primarily worked on the publishing side Atari Midway Games Meteor Entertainment but have worked closely with development teams of various sizes in helping them negotiate a route to market. Over that 20 years I39m still still seeing the same mistakes made today that teams from years ago were making. Here39s 5 mistakes some development teams are still making - here39s the guidance to avoid making those mistakes. 1. Lack of Positioning For The Product There are too many instances in current development teams where staffers working on the title look at the product as a set of tasks rather than understanding the title as it should be positioned. The bond between your marketing communications and your development team needs to be in sync in most cases they never are and teams become alienated and fractured which invariably creates an emotional divide. Smaller development teams working their own communications tend to avoid this because they become masters of many talents they have to work together and they absolutely have to know where the product is at and what they are creating. Imagine how better your team would operate if everyone actually knew what they creating where it was going to fit into the wide open gaming space and more importantly what type of person was going to buy it or experience it. Your team will gain an extra insight by being more socially and commercially aware than if you had a team focused on a list of tasks rather than a product for X amp Y gamers. 2. Lack of Benchmarking for Trends and Competitors Failure to recognize what your competitor is doing will create more work for you in the long run. Benchmarking gives you a greater sense of understanding your own abilities to match or exceed the consumer demand on your product. By knowing how much work you need to undertake just to match expectation you are building the groundwork for a very capable product. Keep in mind that yoursquore not looking to be a lsquome toorsquo product yoursquore looking for ways to exceed your consumers level of expectation in what yoursquore bringing to the table be it a service or a product. What top 5 features do you have in your product compared to the top 5 features in your competitors product - If you don39t know the answer you should because no one39s going to buy an inferior 39me too product39. 3. Underestimating the True Value of Video Content For Discoverability Itrsquos the single most important format for people to learn share and connect. Video content is also the most direct way to communicate with your audience in order to convey information about your product. YouTube should be high on your list of priorities and it pays to plan a consistent drip feed of content that will build familiarity with your brand. To stand out on YouTube you need original compelling content because every man and his uncle is also uploading content because they want your audience as well. In terms of search gamers rely on two resources Google and YouTube so the title of your video is almost as vital as the content you are promoting. In a recent Google report on how Gamers use YouTube it revealed the following facts. 4. Inadequate Press Kits and Media Content Emphasis should be to provide journalists and publications with everything they need and more to talk about your product better to go above and beyond what they need rather than under-delivering. Create a solid press kit with information screenshots art trailer and press release. Reducing the amount of time you are being pulled away from your project by constant media requests is much more beneficial than chasing down assets and delivering them especially where man power or resources are limited. If press can39t or don39t get the assets they need - they39ll just write about a product they do have the assets for. In summary prepare for trade events where journalists will be present with a comprehensive press asset offering and be sure you have some way of being able to maintain contact with the publication either directly or through a representative. If you think a dedicated PR agency might be able to help you then bring them into the fold don39t assume that PR is too expensive for your budget you39d be surprised how flexible PR agencies can be. 5. Lack of Market Awareness and Understanding Community Buzz Competitor activity is one of the biggest factors in marketing adjustment as well as audience awareness. Ideally yoursquore looking to deliver the best possible message to the largest possible segment

Mini Postmortem On A Steam Early Access Launch - by Jamie Fristrom - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Mini Postmortem On A Steam Early Access Launch by Jamie Fristrom on 081715 020100 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. Hey everybody - let me tell you about my latest boneheaded mistakes so you can make all different mistakes with your launches. I only released Energy Hook - a game about swinging from building to building something I hadn39t worked on since Spider-Man 2- on Steam two days ago and I39ve already made enough blunders to fill an article. Here goes What Went Wrong 1 Falling For Scammers After I announced Energy Hook coming to Steam Early Access a few weeks ago I started getting e-mails from people who wanted review keys. Getting a deluge of these sorts of e-mails is something my other indie friends have had to deal with but usually for me it was a small enough burden that I could respond to each one individually and humbly. This time I got a couple e-mails from people who said they ran really big foreign Youtube sites in Germany and Russia. I thought to myself quotYou only want keys I39ll do you one better I was going to put localization off but I39lldo it right now. That should impress youquot So I paid some friends to translate into Germany and Russian. You guessed it after the deal was done I thought - quotWait a minute. How do I know these guys are actually connected to the Youtube channels they say they arequot I checked their e-mails and sure enough they didn39t match the Youtube sites. Wah wah wah. What Went Right 1 Localized In Time For Early Access Launch Although it didn39t make a lot of sense to localize now - the game isn39t done yet More and different text is comingThe good news was that I managed to get the game localized in just a few days using the I2 Localization plug in. That plug-in is pretty sweet - it is good at searching through your UI for things that need to be localized. It also lets you keep a spreadsheet on Google drive that you can share with your translators and then you can pull the translations into your game with a button press. It made me very happy. Also some friends volunteered to do the Swedish French and Polish versions for free. Kind of an odd collection of languages to start with but I39ll take it I39m certain that having the game and the store page translated into those languages will help sales in those regions. Would my time have been better spent elsewhere Maybe but I don39t regret it. What Went Wrong 2 Handing Out The Wrong Keys Keys are associated with different branches in Steam and I got their meanings backwards - I thought the keys for the default branch could also access the testing branch but it39s actually the other way around. So for preview copies I should have been sending out the testing keys not the default keys. This was a particularly bad mistake because eager previewers who used that first key couldn39t then disown the game and activate the second key They were stuck not being able to preview. One of them was kind enough to give me his steam id so I could add him to my development team and let him play the game that way but who knows if the others were willing to give it a try or just gave up. Fortunately after I39d sent out a couple dozen of bad keys a nagging voice in my head said quotWait. Are you sure about thisquot I mentioned it on Twitter and someone happily volunteered to test one of the keys - and sure enough it didn39t work. So I did manage to course correct and start getting the right keys out to the remaining journalists. What is it they say That 80 of the time what you worry about isn39t the problem that bites you This time I was glad I paid attention to what I was worrying about. What Went Right 2 Other Press I send personal e-mails to members of the press I know and have talked to before. Although I dropped the ball on appearing at any big trade shows this year should chalk that up as another What Went Wrong I decided I could maybe make my own trade show I wrote the journalists I knew and asked if I could come by their offices and show them the game in person. The folks atPolygon took me up on it and did a fantastic interview with me where I ummed and errred my way through a demo. For members of the press I don39t know I finally automated my system. For sending out keys to my press list I used Yet Another Mail Merge fortunately I39d figured out my key problem before then for members of the press who were contacting me asking me for keys I used Vlambeer39s distribute and told them to apply there. So I39m spending a lot less time answering e-mails from smaller press than I did with Sixty Second Shooter Prime. What Went Wrong 3 Launching The Game Just Plain Didn39t Work So some of my Kickstarter backers and social media followers were gathered together for a launch party on twitch and I said quotOkay I39m doing it I39m pressing the Release buttonquot and I did ... and although Steam claimed the game was now released there was no price or Buy button. Some party. It mostly consisted of me worrying about whether I needed to wait because maybe it would come online in a bit or what... What Went Right 3 Using My Valve Connection I posted to the Valve developer forums but an answer was not forthcoming. Now I have a friend who works at Valve. But at some level I both feel like I39m cheating if I try to get help through him and also feel like I39m sort of abusing his friendship. But after a few hours had gone by I decided I better go for it and hope he39d forgive me. He put me in touch with the right person and they solved the problem. I39m not sure what the take home lesson is here. Maybe it39s quotIt Never Hurts To Askquot or maybe it39s quotUse Every Unfair Advantage You39ve Gotquot... Maybe it39s just quotBe lucky enough to have a friend who works at Valve.quot P What Went Wrong 4 Not enough lead time for an Ask Me Anything on Reddit Two years ago doing an AMA on rgames

Stretch Goals Best Practices for video games crowdfunding Part 1 - by - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Stretch Goals Best Practices for video games crowdfunding Part 1 by Thomas Bidaux on 081715 020100 pm 7 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. Following up on my medium.com piece on the Yooka-Laylee campaign I feel there is a need for a dedicated blog post on the most common mistake I see on crowdfunding campaigns both large and small alike the management of Stretch Goals. Stretch Goals For those who are not familiar Stretch Goal is the terminology now commonly used for the additional goals creators add to their campaign for actions and features they will implement once they raise beyond their original goal. They became more and more common as crowdfunding soared in popularity. I believe their origin lies with the tabletop campaigns where adding new rewards to a campaign became a popular formula to expand beyond its initial objective. The first campaign I saw use this very efficiently was the original Zombicide campaign which raised 780000 in April 2012. Stretch Goals are not just creators trying to keep their campaign going strong after reaching its initial goal. There is also a strong demand from backers who wants to see the project they support expanded on with the extra cash raised. The pressure to promise more content is very real and can become a very insidious trap. But more on that later. How to manage Stretch Goals Beyond the few campaigns I got directly involved in I have provided advice for a lot of campaigns over the last 3 years. I have also now run 3 workshops with creators on how to properly manage a crowdfunding campaign. I have put my most frequent advice from these experiences below DO NOT ANNOUNCE ANY STRETCH GOALS WHEN YOU LAUNCH YOUR CAMPAIGN There is nothing to gain from announcing as you launch and everything to lose. I will use a very extreme example to illustrate this Zombie Playground Zombie Playground was a campaign launched in May 2012 right on the back of Kickstarterrsquos first big wave for video games. It had its initial goal set at 100000 and in the middle of that first wave might have been deemed as easy to reach by the creators. From the very beginning they set a series of Stretch Goals that they called Milestones. They had 5 Milestones starting at 100000 for the basic pitch to 2000000. And this is the description they had for 2m And right here in the first sentence you have the biggest issue with announcing your Stretch Goals early ldquoComplete vision of the Zombie Playground school world.rdquo The campaign didnrsquot go well lots of reasons for that you can read the updates if you are curious and it raised ldquoonlyrdquo 167000. If you follow this blog regularly you know that raising more than 100000 is not small achievement for any campaign but here it was seen as a big failure by the backershellip And rightfully they were more than 1800000 short for the ldquocomplete visionrdquo of the game. Like I said this is an extreme example but this is very true for any project with Stretch Goal announced from day one. Stretch Goals are moving the backersrsquo perception of what is the goal of the campaign I will go a bit further There is nothing to gain by announcing Stretch Goals early Letrsquos go through what might happen to your campaign. For the purpose of this article imagine you are trying to raise 100000. To make my point letrsquos say that you have roughly three potential outcomes There is simply not a scenario where you benefit from having your Stretch Goals at the beginning. IMHO the best way to present your Stretch Goals at the beginning of a campaign is as follow The objective at the beginning is to keep all the focus of the early campaign to be on the initial goal and the initial goal only and to keep Stretch Goals as new beats to keep the momentum of your campaign. There are backers that will always be asking about them. Some will in fact demand them holding their precious pledge hostage if you donrsquot promise X Y or Z. And you know what Thatrsquos finehellip Tell them you are not comfortable discussing these things while your campaign is still not funded and things will come in time. and if they donrsquot want to pledge now they shouldnrsquot. Invite them to keep an eye on the announcements you do as the campaign advances ldquoHey why donrsquot you follow us on Twitter or Facebook to make sure you donrsquot miss when we announce the Stretch Goal to port the game on N64 as you have been askingrdquo. Let met give you some examples with a few current campaigns. Everspace The campaign was launched on August 6th and will end on September 11th. They are asking for euro225000 and have currently raised euro156000 and by all metrics this campaign is going well. This is what they have on their page about Stretch Goals they changed the order of some the goals but they announced from the very beginning For euro225000 campaign they already have announced Stretch Goals going to euro725000 and the goals range from euro50000 to euro125000. The campaign is probably going to settle around euro7000 on average per day taking them 10 more days to reach their initial goal likely a bit less as getting close to the goal usually helps a campaign. Then with 15 days to go they will likely reach 2 or 3 Stretch Goals. They wonrsquot go to the point where they will reveal those goals 06 and beyond. They are missing out on announcing what the most exciting Stretch Goals are going to be. holding on their Stretch Goals they would have had been able to announce them mid-campaign they also most likely wouldnrsquot have changed their goals in the first few days as it would have given them some time to understand what were the most important requests from the community and plan accordingly. Pauldron The campaign was launched on August 10th and will end on September 9th. They are asking for 5000 and have currently raised 4000. Itrsquos very

Can crunch ever be fixed in the games industry - by Andreas - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Can crunch ever be fixed in the games industry by Andreas Papathanasis on 081715 020100 pm 23 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 post was originally published on my personal blog Crunch and the long term view One of the puzzling attitudes I39ve seen in the games industry is companies talking about focusing on long term success yet not taking a firm position against crunch. This doesn39t make much sense to me. The only coherent argument in support of crunch I39ve seen that it can provide a short boost in productivity that39s useful for meeting a critical deadline is clearly a short term benefit. No game developer who enjoys the respect and admiration of their fans are in such esteemed position because 10 years earlier they hit a deadline or kept their original release date. They are respected because they put out consistently high quality products. It39s why the quotwe39ll release it when it39s donequot attitude works. In the long run nobody remembers a game that slipped but everyone remembers a disappointing game. Anyone thinking about what it would take to create a strong team that is equipped for long term success ought to give special consideration to crunch. Like other easily measurable short term performance boosts crunch can and does have hard to measure long term negative side effects. There is no formula I know of to model its long term effect of driving away some of the most valuable developers - the ones who will never be happy obsessing over a single hobby and throwing their entire life away for certain periods of time no matter how much they love games. For managers who are genuinely committed to long term results this kind of dilemma do we encourage crunch for short term gains at the risk of long term loss is a no brainer. They never risk any long term negative side effect no matter how enticing the short term gain might seem. They do so even at the face of missing data about the potential long term side effect against readily available and very measurable data about the short term benefit. As long as the team can survive without the short term benefit the choice for anybody focusing on the long term is easy. The crunch problem then becomes clearer many developers have no choice but to force themselves to crunch because they can39t afford not to. Being in a relationship with a publisher that holds all the power to fund and make last minute requests for example is such a situation. Working for a public company where the investors typically have a very short term view and will punish any date slips is another. The question of whether crunch can ever be fixed cannot be held in isolation from such pathological but very common situations that force teams to take a short term view. But the first step for making any progress whatsoever against crunch is to address the myth that good games cannot be made without it. Eliminating Crunch is hard - but not impossible Warren Spector has this to say about crunch emphasis mine quotWhat I39m saying is that games - I39m talking about non-sequels non-imitative games - are inherently unknowable unpredictable unmanageable things. A game development process with no crunch I39m not sure that39s possible unless you39re working on a ripoff of another game or a low-ambition sequel.quot This kind of thinking is rampant among the developers who have been well trained over the years to uncritically reject any thought that crunch might actually be a problem that can be fixed. Imagine a young developer going to work for such a studio as their first job in the industry. What they are hearing from senior management perhaps including industry legends like Spector is that crunch is a feature not a bug. Making games the good games at least is impossible without it. Watch the logic in the above quote because it39s typical. It39s implying that if you don39t crunch you must be making some terrible game a low ambition sequel or cloning someone else39s game. Who in their right mind would even suggest eliminating crunch in such an environment And then it gets even worse. Trapped inside the echo chamber where everyone is quick to point out how unavoidable crunch is some brave souls go even further to prove their dedication to the cause. They start questioning whether crunch is such a bad thing to begin with. Surely it must have some advantages. For example many developers agree that quotworking through adversity helps bring team members closer togetherquot. Going through hard times they claim creates long lasting bonds. It39s easy to fall for such absurdities when you39re working on such a team of course when you spend every waking hour with other people it39s possible you39ll get to know them really well and maybe even like some of them more just as you may also dislike other people you don39t get along with but are forced to work with all day long. That doesn39t make the idea that torture is the only or most efficient way to bond with your team any less silly. Another common suggestion is that quotcrunching in small doses can actually stoke the creative firesquot ignoring both that crunch most of the time ends up being chaotic firefighting where nobody has time to even think of anything creative and the fact that all sorts of research indicates that creativity works in the exact opposite way. So basically anyone who would dare speak up against crunch in such teams would sound like someone who doesn39t care about whether the game they39re making is any good doesn39t care about their team mates and doesn39t really want to be too productive or creative. But it39s not just many development teams that fall into that mode of thinking it39s outside observers too. The press has a lot of incentive to contribute to this impression that crunch is unavoidable if you want to make good games or even any kind of games. Teams that

Telepath Tactics brass tacks and sales stats - by Craig Stern - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 01:53:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Telepath Tactics brass tacks and sales stats by Craig Stern on 081715 020100 pm 13 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. Irsquove posted a lot about the development of Telepath Tactics my design philosophy my month-to-month progress and so on. Now a couple of months out from the gamersquos release I want to take an in-depth look at Telepath Tactics from a financial standpoint. Prior to Telepath Tacticsrsquos release I did not make games full-time. Rather I had to maintain a day job in order to pay my bills and to hedge against the possibility that Telepath Tactics might not be commercially successful. I havenrsquot made a secret of the fact that I dislike having to compromise like this nor have I hidden the fact that I very much want to go full-time with game development. Will Telepath Tactics tip the balance of my finances in favor of being able to quit my day job and develop games for a living That depends entirely upon some cold hard numbers which we will now examine What did it cost to make I began developing the Telepath Tactics engine in April 2009 a little over 6 years ago. I worked on it only occasionally until March 2012 at which point I began regularly devoting 10-20 hours a week to the game on top of my regular full-time employment. For a four-month period during the summer of 2013 I took a sabbatical from my day job and worked on the game for 40 hours per week. Other than that sabbatical I did not receive pay for any of the time I spent working on the game. In total I spent 13266.25 out of my own pocket to pay for art tools and marketing opportunities for Telepath Tactics over the past three years. Of that 6034.38 was spent before and during its second Kickstarter campaign all on expenditures to secure the assets and attention needed to crowdfund the game successfully. The gamersquos first Kickstarter campaign did not succeed. The second Kickstarter campaign however raised 41259.00 or 275 of its funding goal. After accounting for Amazonrsquos cut Kickstarterrsquos cut and pledges that didnrsquot go through I eventually received 37161.75. Of that I was able to spend 29560.78 on the game before the end of 2013 thereby dramatically reducing the taxes I would owe on the Kickstarter money come April 15 2014. Still I ended up owing several thousand dollars more in taxes for 2013 than I did the year before as a direct result of what Irsquod raised on Kickstarter these taxes ultimately had to come out of the Kickstarter funds as well. Counting my out-of-pocket expenses the available Kickstarter budget and all of the cuts taken out of the Kickstarter budget by the government and various private middlemen Telepath Tacticsrsquos monetary cost to develop totals 54525.25. Money isnrsquot everything however. With all the recent brouhaha over developers underselling people on the cost of developing games I feel obligated to mention that the true cost of developing Telepath Tactics is actually a good deal higher than that. Other than a small chunk I used to keep myself alive during the 4 months where I coded full-time I did not pay myself for my work. The average entry-level salary for a full-time game programmer is something like 66000 per year. The average calendar year has an average of 2087 working hours for a full-time employee making the corresponding hourly wage rate something like 31.62 an hour. Starting around March 2012 and ending with the gamersquos release I coded without compensation for 32 months at 10-20 hours per week which wersquoll average to 15 hours per week times 4 weeks per month prior to March 2012 Irsquod give a lowball estimate that I put in 400 hours or so getting the engine prepped. Thatrsquos 2320 hours of work. At 31.62 an hour2320 hours of work puts an additional 73358.40 of uncompensated labor onto the gamersquos true cost to develop. Had I compensated myself fairly for all the time I spent developing Telepath Tactics the total cost of development would actually be something closer to 127883.65. As far as money actually spent the gamersquos budget breaks down like so I was not even close to being able to pay for my own work on the game out of the gamersquos available budget. Thankfully I went into development of Telepath Tactics assuming that I would be working without pay and ultimately subsidized this cost by keeping a day job. This was what allowed me to make the game with the budget I had. So what does that mean Is that good Yes. RPGs in general are extremely costly to develop due to the high number of required assets and content compared to other game genresndashthis remains true of strategy RPGs as well. Telepath Tacticsrsquos budget is incredibly small given what we achieved with it. Compare Telepath Tactics to Fire Emblem Awakening for instance. Fire Emblem Awakening costs 39.99 at full price it reportedly needed to sell 250000 copies at that price to be considered ldquoworthwhilerdquo which we can assume means ldquoprofitablerdquo or something close to it. 250000 copies sold at 39.99 equals just shy of 10 million. Thatrsquos about 200 times the budget that Telepath Tactics had or 78 times its total cost to develop that includes my theoretical salary. Hitoshi Yatagami of Nintendo has said that a WiiU Fire Emblem would need to shift 700000 copies to cover the costs of development WiiU games typically cost 49.99 or 59.99 new. Giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming the lower of these two prices that means a WiiU Fire Emblem game would cost roughly 35 million to make. Thatrsquos about 700 times Telepath Tacticsrsquos budget or more than 273 times its total cost to develop. But even without comparing Telepath Tactics to other sRPGs itrsquos pretty impressive that it got made on the budget it had. This was a focused but ambitious gamendashand knowing the limited resources I had available I tried to make every last

Video screencast Good once good three times or always good what game - Link Fri, 14 Aug 2015 03:00:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Video screencast Good once good three times or always good what game do you want to make by Lewis Pulsipher on 081715 015300 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. Below is the text of the slides. There39s much more to the video than that of course. Good once good three times or always good ndash what game do you want to make Dr. Lewis Pulsipher Pulsiphergames.com Robert Heinleinrsquos Saying Itrsquos been decades since I read ldquoThe Moon is a Harsh Mistressrdquo But a friend tells me that author Robert Heinlein at one point says this about the nature of jokes quotFunny once funny twice or always funnyquot Think about it itrsquos true and true of books as well if you substitute ldquoworth readingrdquo for ldquofunnyrdquo And I think itrsquos become true of games as well if we substitute ldquoworth playingrdquo and Irsquoll say three not two Wersquore ignoring all those jokes books games that arenrsquot worthwhile even once. . . How it applies to games This tends to apply to modern games both video and tabletop. quotEnjoyable once enjoyable thrice or enjoyable always.quot 3500 tabletop games a year and tens of thousands of video games think of all the mobiles 500 per day on iOS and F2P games In both cases itrsquos immensely easier to self-publish than in the past AAA video games have always tended to be ldquoone and donerdquo ndash ldquoI beat the gamerdquo and then I donrsquot play any more Because theyrsquore really puzzles more than games They so often have always-correct solutions like puzzles ldquoCult of the Newrdquo But tabletop games are leaning the same way not ldquoI beat the gamerdquo though there is that but the ldquoCult of the Newrdquo So most games are played just a few times before everyone moves on to the next This is exacerbated as there are more and more new games I think wersquove come to the point that most games are designed to meet this standard of ldquoplay three timesrdquo or less Need for Personal Validation So why donrsquot more people ldquocall outrdquo those weak games Heavily-hyped games e.g. on Kickstarter build up a ldquocreditrdquo Young people especially feel that they need others to validate their likes so that they campaign in favor of what they like and against what they don39t or against anyone who doesn39t like what they like. Hence the hype increases Emotional Investment Older generations tend to have more belief in their own preferences and don39t feel a need to campaign for them or against the contrary A result there is less actual analysis of games and more emotional ldquous and themrdquo Magnified by the Internet of course Those who let themselves be sold on a game before itrsquos released are emotionally invested in the success of the game so theyrsquore less likely to criticize it once itrsquos on the market Thatrsquos sad . . . As long as there are enough buyers for ldquoenjoyable oncerdquo or ldquoenjoyable thricerdquo it will continue Itrsquos easier to design games that way too. You can forget about gameplay depth and about replayability You can design the game to be ldquotransparentrdquo that is people can figure out how to play well after playing once No this is not how deep games used to be designed itrsquos ldquoparty and familyrdquo game design But thatrsquos where the market is How many people do you know that study individual games in order to play better Not many Irsquoll bet Heck most people donrsquot even want to read the rules these days Not surprising that the overall quality of games for ldquoseriousrdquo players is decreasing But thatrsquos where the market is nowadays short simple easy-to-digest games bagatelles for the most part that we can play a few times and give up Much easier to design such games as well Time-killers More and more players treat games as time-killers As long as the individual game isn39t too long What quottoo longquot is varies but I was recently at a game designer guild meeting where I described an hour-long game as a quotfillerquot and was told fillers are now 15-20 minutes Not surprising that so many games are shallow lacking substance What standard are you working toward as a designer lewpuls on twitter Online courses with discounts listed at pulsiphergames.com Related Jobs 08.20.15 Lead Designer 08.20.15 Lead User Interface Artist UX Designer 08.20.15 Senior Game Designer Scripter - MP - Infinity Ward 08.20.15 Senior Game Designer Scripter - SP - Infinity Ward View All Jobs 251492 blog blogsLewisPulsipher20150817251492Video_screencast_Good_once_good_three_times_or_always_good__what_game_do_you_want_to_make.php 849654 32925313 Loading Comments

The Itch to Make and Nothing to Say Creative Significance and Games - - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:57:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs The Itch to Make and Nothing to Say Creative Significance and Games by Paul Kilduff-Taylor on 081415 030000 pm 11 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. Inmy last post I suggested that developers should focus on ldquocreatively significant workrdquo. I realised that this was so vague as to be almost completely meaningless so herersquos a further lookhellip Moneyballs AtMode 7 we try to make two things games which interest us and money. This blend of creativity and commerce seems to be a traditional game development recipe a happy medium. I do wonder though if this is the worst of both worlds. Perhaps real pioneering creativity is being hampered both by the need to keep the company ticking over and by the desire to grow it Maybe wersquore chasing some futile abstract creative ideal and undermining our financial prospects So what if wejusttried to make money Pre-credit crunch any financey investory venture-capitally-type people we met would tell us that we should be taking on loads of debt and scaling up. That never felt right and in retrospect it would definitely have been a horrible idea. The core value we have is the creative collaboration betweenIan Hardinghamour Lead Designer and myself diluting this would be a waste. There was basically no guarantee that a second or even third simultaneous game would be anything like as good as a single project we worked on intensively together. The business side of my brain has always been annoyed by this scaling problem. It gets angry and jealous when I see developers who can scale by just repeating themselves this seems unfairly easy. Could you pivot ugh an indie company to become this kind of cash cow Well possibly. The Supercell ldquogame spamrdquo approach where you soft-launch reams of microprojects then mine the successful ones forever is certainly a great risk management strategy which doesnrsquot seem out of reach for many indies. Picking obvious trends like the survival genre or popular aesthetics like swords-and-wizards fantasy could also be more straightforward than magically predicting the whims of the audience. There are some issues with that however. It seems odd to me that Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananencan say ldquoIrsquove never worked for money. I just want to make great gamesrdquo when his two most successful titles are slight evolutions of traditional F2P and exhibit monetisation systems which place extreme constraints on game design. Thatrsquos not knee-jerk F2P-bashing by the way8202mdash8202I deeply respect Supercellrsquos work and achievements8202mdash8202itrsquos just something I find curious. Herersquos why developers who are willing to compromise a shot at the very top end of financial success in exchange for a little more creative freedom avoid traditional free-to-play like the plague. So ldquojust wanting to make great gamesrdquo seems disingenuous there is absolutely no way Supercell can exercise their full creative freedom if they need to operate within these tough parameters. This sounds a bit precious but I also donrsquot know any serious artists who focus test their output and then commit to working only on the most popular pieces either. It just doesnrsquot make sense as an environment in which anything genuinely challenging could happen. They couldnrsquot for example make a game which intentionally bores and frustrates the audience I feel like creativity is being confused with something else here. Whether or not you think itrsquos possible for a small indie team to have aClash of Clansstyle success for the record I do believe that someone could achieve this with some truly disruptive design in that area I think there are only two routes to making a lot of moneyconsistentlyin the games industry which donrsquot solely rely on luck 1. Being extremely conservative with aesthetic and genre choices but very ambitious with subtle design innovation and tech 2. A sustainable portfolio approach with which enables you to release a variety of titles without taking too much risk on a single one Cliffskirsquosrecent post on risk managementwould seem to support this theory. My point is simply that if you wantconsistentlyreliablecommercial success there is little incentive for what you might call ldquoreal creativityrdquo no deep formal innovation no singular focus certainly no narrative challenge. Over the last few years the most straightforward commercial choices were the correct ones it wouldnrsquot have taken superhuman perspicacity to spot those trends or systems at the time and capitalise. So why did very few people do that One problem is that when smaller studios try to be market-driven or even cynical they tend to be spectacularly bad at it. Tale of Talesassertedthat they ldquostudied successful games and applied our findings to the design of Sunsetrdquo this somehow led them to make a slightly impenetrable narrative game about a cleaner. Overwhelmingly though designers especially indies are attracted to the high-risk high-return model of pushing their pet projects through to completion. The fact that almost every hugely successful indie title was made without a strong commercial direction in mind is profoundly enticing because it throws the spotlight on what they want to do design. Whether or not you believe this is ldquorightrdquo depends entirely on your stance on creativity vs. commerce. As things stand now itrsquos debatable whether anything can be considered reliable. Discussion amongthe big gunsis largely about how significant success is only possible through the vagaries of massive innovation. Irsquom personally most attracted to wildly creative art which is also successful thatrsquos specific to me and not necessarily an inclination which is always helpful. I think for real creativity to happen we need to break out of a situation where money is the only justification for a

Scope Management for Student Projects - by Adam Moore - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:57:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Scope Management for Student Projects by Adam Moore on 082015 125700 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. Managing project scope is crucial to the success of any project but it39s especially crucial to the success of student projects. In this article I will walk you through the techniques I have used to ensure my projects ship on schedule. Please keep in mind that my approach is designed to address constraints that are unique to student development teams and a purely agile approach may work much better for your team if you are an independent developer or are in the AAA industry. I use a hybrid of waterfall and agile practices that I specifically chose to compensate for the inexperience of students. Release Planning I treat each semester of development as a potential final release and each week of class as a sprint. There is no guarantee that a student project will continue into the next semester especially if the team leads are nearing graduation. With a large project this means being willing to cut the majority of the features from your initial scope. The game that you want to make probably won39t be the same as the game your team has the resources and experience to make and your job as a lead is to help the team plan a game they can feasibly release in one semester. You39ll need to ensure that the planned release is within the skillset of your team andwithin the amount of time the team has to work on the release while including high value features and keeping the team focused on the release. This is not an easy balancing act. The first step in this process is to meet with the product owner and the development team to determine which features the product owner and stakeholders value the most and which of these features the development team is confident they can deliver within their constraints. Once the scope for the release has been pared down to the most valuable features it39s time to sit down with the development team to decompose all of the features into their component tasks and assigning every task with an hour estimate. Any tasks that are vaguely defined or difficult to decompose are risky and are candidates for being cut from the project. The inability to decompose a large task suggest that the team may not have an accurate understanding of the work that needs to be done to complete the task. I recommend using Microsoft Project or a free alternative to build out your list of tasks with established dependencies and resources. I39m not going to teach you how to use Microsoft Project - there are already many great tutorials and how-to guides on how to schedule tasksset up resourcesand how to adjust scheduled working timesfor your project out there. What you39ll want to do at this point is ensure that every task in the release has an hour estimate has its dependencies established has a named developer assigned to it and that every developer has a 4 hour work week set up. It can be tempting to assign a bigger work week to developers but I would go no larger than a 6 hour work week and I recommend cutting the work week in half for any leads to account for time spent on non-development tasks. Intentionally underestimating your development team39s working hours allows you to build in a sandbag that can account for poor time estimates on tasks and can be used as extra polish time at the end of the project. Once you39ve completed this you39re going to level your resources and see how long your planned scope will really take to develop. You39re almost guaranteed to exceed your deadline. Some minor optimizations can improve the schedule slightly but you39re going to need to cut features. This works best when it39s only the leads and the product owner. Developers can get defensive if their favorite feature is on the chopping block and the meeting can get heated if everyone is involved in this decision. Remember that your job is to make sure that the project ships on schedule. You need to be emotionally invested in shipping the product but not emotionally invested in the product or its features. It39s not easy to cut your favorite feature from the game but you may need to do exactly that if the schedule is slipping and your release date is approaching. Sprint Planning Student teams have some pretty tight constraints to work in and managing a student team is a bit more involved than managing a professional team due to these constraints and their relative inexperience. This is why I recommend a much more waterfall approach to task assignment within a release. In agile teams the team members are expected to self-organize and select their own tasks for a sprint but this doesn39t work as well for students. Sprint planning still happens but it39s your responsibility as the producer to handle the sprint planning for the students. Once you39ve finished cutting features and tasks from your release and re-leveling resources you39ll find that every task has a start and end date in Microsoft Project. You39re going to use these dates to determine which sprint a task is assigned to and what the deadline for each task is. Future sprints are likely to need to be changed as tasks either fall behind schedule or are completed ahead of schedule but the best way to handle this on a student team is by tracking the progress with the Gantt chart in Microsoft Project. This technique has worked very well for me on the student projects I have worked on since I implemented it but it39s by no means a perfect system. If you have any suggestions on how this process can be improved I39d love to hear about them in the comments. Related Jobs 08.20.15 Senior Producer- Contract 08.19.15 Senior Project Manager mf ndash Berlin ndash 3509 08.19.15 Senior Live Producer mf - Berlin - 3742 08.18.15 Associate Producer View All Jobs 251667 blog

Gameplay as Storytelling A look at ampquotCharacter - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:57:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Gameplay as Storytelling A look at quotCharacter Inhabitationquot by Bryce Anderston on 082015 125700 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. Recently there has been much discussion on the role and nature of stories in games. However while I have seen much discussion of player generated narratives which do not fit my definition of a story though the goal the goal is still a worthy one to pursue and backstory told through space I have seen relatively little about how gameplay can be used for storytelling. One of the unique aspects of games compared to other media is that they have a player who interacts with the game primarily via its mechanics. It only makes sense that designers who wish to tell stories using games should take advantage of this. Before I continue any further it may be advisable to describe what I mean when I talk about ldquostoriesrdquo and ldquostorytellingrdquo. My personal definition of a story is ldquoA series of events a narrative that are intended to elicit emotional andor intellectual responses from the audience.rdquo The nature of those emotionalintellectual responses is the story. Storytelling then is the mechanics of the story the techniques used to convey the narrative and plot in a way that elicits the intended responses. One of video gamesrsquo greatest unique strengths as a storytelling medium is their ability for the player to inhabit the playable character. When something happens to the player character during gameplay it is being done to the player. When the player character does something as a result of the playerrsquos input it is really the player performing that action. This is true regardless of whether or not the player character has a life beyond that of player avatar or whether or not the playerrsquos actions have any bearing on the narrative at anything but the moment-to-moment level. This ldquocharacter inhabitationrdquo as a I call it is similar to but distinct from the identification for characters found in other media in that identification is about empathy whereas inhabitation is about experience. It is also related to but distinct from roleplaying. In roleplaying a player consciously acts as somebody other than themselves although frequently a character that they themselves created. Character inhabitation does not strictly require the player to consciously act as anybody other than themselves as the restrictions placed on the playerrsquos actions by the design and the mood set by the rest of the game can be used to subtly push them into a particular experience and role. There is an aspect of roleplaying inherent to character inhabitation in that the player must accept the role they are given. If they rebel the story collapses just the story in any medium can be neutralized if the audience disengages from it. However the most successful games do not require the player to actively roleplay but instead guide the player in such a way that unless they actively disengage they will play the role they are meant to. A word of warning There will be spoilers some minor some less so for all the games I will be looking at. All the games are fairly old but if you have not played and do not want spoilers for Half Life 2 Journey Escape from the Underworld Sly 2 Band of Thieves Last of Us or Bulletstorm please be advised. A relatively straightforward but excellent application of character inhabitation as a storytelling technique can be found in Valversquos sci-fi FPS Half Life 2. Although Half Life 2 technically has a narrative in the traditional sense it is nothing special when stripped of the player experience a basic alien invasion and rebellion plot with a few mild twists. However Valve also crafted a simple but effective character arc for the player. The player not Gordon Freeman but the player starts off powerless thrust into a strange world where all they can do is run. The one-sided train yard shootout the sudden introduction of the ldquomanhackrdquo and headcrab enemies the omnipresence of the seemingly invincible attack chopper and other events serve to keep the player on edge and feeling vulnerable. After a particularly grueling trial-by-fire in Ravenholm however the player is suddenly no longer running away. Instead they are on the offensive assaulting outposts and taking down monsters like the gunships on a regular basis. This transformation from fugitive to one-man-army is the true crux of Half Life 2rsquos story and works because of character inhabitation. A similar approach to storytelling although to a very different purpose can be found in ThatGameCompanyrsquos Journey. Unlike Valversquos power fantasy Journey tells a very abstract but definite story of death and rebirth. The entirety of the game including its gameplay is crafted to put the player through a roller coaster of emotions. Therersquos mystery in the early game as the player interacts with the ruins and carpet creatures joy in frolicking with them in the slide section fear in hiding from the mechanical dragonsrsquo sight as they eat the carpet creatures melancholy in watching the creatures and the player character die in the cold and ultimately joy in simply flying. The entire experience is presented in a way that would be impossible in any other medium and in many ways serves as a distillation of what is unique about storytelling in games. In both these games the player character is exactly and solely the player. However games can also invoke character inhabitation for characters that are not solely ciphers. As a transitionary example Escape from the Underworld by Banov. More so than either Half Life 2 or Journey the narrative in Escape from the Underworld is that of the playerrsquos actions as the story is entirely told through gameplay with no cutscenes and few scripted sequences. However Escapersquos protagonist though silent is not

Design Journal - Part 6 - by Risto D. Holmstrom - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:57:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Design Journal - Part 6 by Risto D. Holmstrom on 082015 125700 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. -- Orignially published athttpblog.epic-owl.com Hey all Today I39m breaking the radio silence with a look intodesigning the next step for your game.We39ve had a busy time getting the MVP version of our game done which means that we39re at an enticing spot. The core game is there but beyond that we39re talking mostly about a bare bones product. Now is the time toimprove what we39ve gotandbuild what we need. Now as a designer it39s my nature to view the game and see a whole world of stuff that could be better. We39re all trying to make a perfect title here but now39s not the time to slave over the fine detail too much. As discussed before our mission is to make adeep diverse game and while polish does play an important part in this it39s more important to step back a little and have a look at the bigger picture. Now I39m standing back and looking at it. Yeah it39s a fine game. Got loads of awesome stuff some rough edges - nothing we couldn39t iron out. But should we dedicate all our efforts to tweaking and smoothing it out Let39s forget about that for now.We need to identify the largest most brutally gaping holethis game has. And sure enough after a thorough session of contemplation we find a culprit. Using Celestium our Hard Currency allows players to buy stuff in the game they don39t have Credits for our Soft Currency. A typical scheme and very straightforward. Battles reward you with ample amounts of Credits. While a perfectly functional setup in most cases we realized that with some users who hoard piles of Celestium Credits become obsolete. Thisinadvertently discourages the core loopas you retainlittle to no benefit from battles. It39s quite clear now that we need to have alternate methods of spending Credits. The big question is how to go about this. In situations like these you as a designer are typically faced with two optionsmake a fix to the mechanics or create a new feature. Both resolutions have their own pros and cons. Fixes in core mechanics tend to have repercussions on other unintended parts of the game tilting the game from another corner but if designed well they can be unobtrusive and clean solutions. New features bring about a lot of excitement and possibilities but tend to bloat the game and harbor danger of diverting focus from the proven and functional core game.A fix is inherently less painful to createwhen you factor in the workload on your team so that is naturally what I39ll be looking into first. After theorizing with multiple fixes ranging from limiting Celestium purchases to removing Credits altogether I concluded that none of these ideas are enjoyable or feasible. Then it is time to approach the option of a new feature and giddily did I this task approach. Since we were going to plug in a new feature I might as well swat another issue while at it. The plan was to make aCredit sink that would further diversify the gaming experience for our players. While in earlier stages of development I find it good practice to approach design in an analytical and scientific manner I do not believe this mindset is the best one for a new feature at this phase. So I play the game vigorously and graduallytransform my perspective from game designer to fanatic player and once the transition is complete I think of what the feature that I as a player would love to have. The answer comes surprisingly naturally. The new design has to enable massive Credit spending and it has to tie in beautifully with the nature of the game. The core game is built around competition and battles so that39s what I39ll design around. The battles are normally one-on-one spaceship duels against another player but I39ve long wanted to have larger scraps involvingmore players. Technical limitations made it impossible to run such a mode in a similar high detail format on the mobile but now we have an opportunity to create that mode in a different manner. The design of what I call the FFA Arena free-for-all was born. Players buy entire fleets of ships with Credits and once their setup is ready they send them off into large scale melees where there could be up to 50 ships involved. The battle is simulated on the server and the result is sent back to the players who can subsequently inspect the battle report. Ships destroyed in the FFA mode are permanently destroyed so both the risks and rewards are higher. The mode does not reward new Credits lest it counter its purpose but instead grants large amounts of Experience and even small surprises of Celestium. The end result is a feature that allows big spenders and risk-takers to earnwell deserved boosts to their progression speed that enables players to engage in massive battles against their peers and is hassle-free and neat. But above all elseit serves its primary function as a Credit sinkincredibly well. So let39s glance through this in summary. The foundation of your game is done and now you need to build and improve on what you have. 1. Identify your game39s most pressing problem. 2. Does addressing the issue require a fix or a new feature 3. Understand what the Player wants. 4. Design the fix or feature with respect to the Core Game. 5. Implement with passion. That39s all for this time Perhaps the next blog will explore the unforseen hazards of shoving in new features... Best Risto P.S. If you happen to be inCanada the game I39m talking about is availableHEREfor free. httpwww.epic-owl.com httpswww.facebook.comepicowl httpstwitter.comepicowlltd Related Jobs 08.20.15 Senior Producer- Contract 08.19.15 Senior Project Manager mf ndash Berlin ndash 3509 08.19.15 Senior Live Producer mf - Berlin - 3742 08.18.15 Associate Producer View All Jobs 251783 blog blogsRistoDHolmstrom20150820251783Design_Journal__Part_6.php 997954

Overcrowd - 7 Day Greenlight Post Mortem - by Alastair McQueen - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:57:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Overcrowd - 7 Day Greenlight Post Mortem by Alastair McQueen on 082015 125700 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. After a frenzy of emailing tweeting and generally begging everyone I could think of for PR coverage Overcrowd A Commute 39Em Up has passed through Stream Greenlight. Overall it took 7 days which I understand is quite a good thing though not as amazing as it may once have been considered. Overcrowd garnered a pretty positive reception from the Steam audience and there were a lot of nice comments made and really very few negative ones. So what about the figures Steam Greenlight poses users the question Would you buy this game if it were on Steam - YesNoAsk me later. The ratio ended at 53434. According to the average figures Steam supplies you with this is a good result as the top 50 average is the inverese at 4258. The process was pretty nerve wracking and because I have not released so much footage or screenshots before in defiance of much sensible indie marketing advice it was a huge relief to have a decent vote rate and to pass through quickly. The relative ranking of your title on Steam changes constantly as games above you in the pile are periodically approved. At various points the cumulative Yes votes placed Overcrowd up towards the 43 before it was approved at which point you have no ranking. Out of some 1500 games it39s not bad as there are some high quality games in the mix made by larger teams. There is also a lot of dross too it has to be said - but as a one man project I39m pleased to have got that high. This graph is kind of hard to interpret as you can see after 7 days votes ceased as the game was Greenlit. It39s possible this was because of the positive YesNo ratio Overcrowd got but it39s a closed system and the rules seem to be niether hard and fast nor fully understood. Some thoughts on PR There are enough articles written about how to market an indie game out there so I won39t do an extended write up here but will say a few points. Having a well written press release is useful. If you can39t do it you need to find someone who can draft your release for you and it39s possible this may require money. In all the game received some really nice write ups on a few little indie websites and blogs and a few tweetsretweets of support which all helped boost traffic. Of particular note was a tweet from Introversion which brought a huge boost in traffic from essentially my quottarget marketquot just as visits to the page started to plateau. To other developers without a PR budget like myself I would also suggest trying Games Press - a free news wire focusing on games that will get your release around to a few places - if they run it. You can see What The Press Says on the Overcrowd game website - but there are some pretty juicy quotes which should help with marketing down the line and I39m very grateful to all those writerstweeters who helped me To other devs I can suggest keeping a list of coverage so that next time you have a release you ensure writers who care about your game will get to hear more. Next steps So what now Well the next step for me is to build a tutorial and get the demoearly access out there. Looking at past devlogs it has been a year since I said I need to build this But this week I have made some good progress already. When its done I should be in a better position to get the game out either as alpha or beta and into Steam Early Access. The other options here include running a kickstarter - and it39s something I39m pondering at the moment. Ideally of course I39d like to work full-time on Overcrowd but so far that39s not possible. Watch this space Related Jobs 08.20.15 Gameplay Programmer 08.20.15 Environment Artist 08.20.15 UIUX Artist 08.20.15 Social Robot UI Programmer View All Jobs 251790 blog blogsAlastairMcQueen20150820251790Overcrowd__7_Day_Greenlight_Post_Mortem.php 997277 35016983 Loading Comments

QampA Interview with Anne Tham founder of ACE EdVenture - by Tim Ww - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:52:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs QA Interview with Anne Tham founder of ACE EdVenture by Tim Ww on 082015 125700 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. ChemCaper - Petticles in Peril is an upcoming role playing game from ACE EdVenture Studio produced in collaboration with Artoncode a development team based in Jakarta Indonesia. Said to be the world39s first educational game based on Cambridge University39s IGCSE Chemistry syllabus topics such as elements in the periodic table compounds types of bonding and even laboratory apparatuses are lifted directly from the textbooks and re-purposed as story or game elements in ChemCaper. Concepts of covalent ionic and metallic bonding are encountered and learned through gameplay. The Active Time Battle System will see kids battling various foes with the help of their faithful Petticles creatures formed by chemical bonding. Learning comes full circle with each Petticle demonstrating unique traits representing real life particles. Additionally students will learn how to separate compounds refine fluids and sieve through precious metals in various mini games which will introduce students to the kinds of Chemistry apparatus used in laboratories. Though creating a role playing game with such scope and magnitude may seem like a huge undertaking some might even use the word quotriskyquot ACE EdVenture Studio does seem to have the right personnel and experience to get it done. Led by CEO and founder Anne Tham who also founded Sri Emas and Dwi Emas International School the core of the development team also consists of educators and academic teachers who know a thing or two about making learning fun. In this interview we ask the founder of ACE EdVenture Anne Tham about what inspired her to make a Chemistry based role-playing game for students her philosophy on educating children in the 21st century and what are her future plans on branching out the world of ChemCaper into other school subjects such as Physics Biology and even Maths. Hi Anne first of all thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. Perhaps we can begin our chat with a little introduction about yourself and your school My career in teaching started about 28 years ago when I tutored students in a local college but back then I would never have imagined that teaching was going to be my life39s work and I39d be doing it until today. My decision to form ACE Ed-Venture back in 1996 was an easy one when I realized that a number of critical skills required of students at the college level need to be instilled before they were entered into tertiary education. Students loved the way we teach so we decided to start our own school Sri Emas International School in 2012. Currently we are working towards opening our next school Dwi Emas International School the first entrepreneurial school in Malaysia located in the city of Shah Alam. With ChemCaper you and your team have set out to make Chemistry a fun subject to learn. Can you tell us more about ChemCaper and also why you chose Chemistry as the theme for your game Since students are so engrossed in the use of digital media we decided not to fight them but to make use of the media that students like. One way of doing that is to replace the content of an RPG with something that is educational and acceptable to parents. Hence our Chemistry game ChemCaper Petticles in Peril was conceived. Chemistry was chosen to be the first subject to be developed as it is the most difficult of the science subjects to explain simply because everything is happening at a molecular level. The idea of Chemistry is difficult for students to grasp because we have to rely on words to explain what is happening. Hence an individual39s ability to understand Chemistry really depends on their ability to imagine or perceive what is happening on that level. It is unlike Physics or Biology where we can experience or feel what is happening. And contrary to popular belief kids donrsquot have anything against learning - they just donrsquot like to be bored while theyrsquore at it. So we have made it our mission to change the perception of how education can be delivered. In this day and age getting kids to drop their gadgets in favor of a textbook is probably not going to happen. So we figured it might just be better to design a game for a device i.e. tablets and smartphones which they are already spending most of their time using. Yoursquove designed ChemCaper in such a way that makes it the perfect tool for students to play it and learn about Chemistry. But what about adults especially those who are already in the working world Will they find any enjoyment from playing the game and how so Although we created ChemCaper with the vision that it can help students who are studying Chemistry to learn more effectively through a fun medium we think that it is not just exclusively for students. Since we designed ChemCaper first and foremost as a game we figured that adults and just about everyone can play ChemCaper as a game with the added benefit of learning Chemistry while playing. What39s the cost of developing a game like ChemCaper with the sort of scope and features that you have planned for it We have invested much of our own funds into developing ChemCaper. I can tell you that it39s not cheap to develop a game and anyone in the industry long enough can certainly vouch for that. ChemCaper is a game created by teachers who want to make the subject of Chemistry easier for students to comprehend and remember. Our team took the intangible concepts in Chemistry and molded them into something concrete by humanizing many of its fundamentals and theories thus enabling students to have a better grasp of the subject. Imagine the entire Secondary curriculum being delivered in an RPG of five acts. Act 1 alone has taken an entire team consisting of about 30 people

Death Positivity in Video Games - by Gabby DaRienzo - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:52:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Death Positivity in Video Games by Gabby DaRienzo on 082015 125200 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 blog post was originally writtenon Medium. You can check out the original blog post here Guacamelee DrinkBox Studios 2013 When Maxisrsquo simulation game The Sims launched in 2000 my friends and I aged 10 quickly became obsessed with it spending hours in the game customizing Sim-versions of ourselves building elaborate homes for them and watching their lives play out. But although the game featured many innovative gameplay mechanics for its time my friends and I were specifically interested in one particular feature your Sims could die. At first it was a tragic and heart-breaking discovery but very soon afterwards we were excitedly creating horrible and tragic deaths for said Sims. While our parents were disturbed by our morbid fascinations with killing off each othersrsquo Sim lookalikes my friends and I were excited about the gamersquos death mechanics. The Sims dealt with death in a much different way from most other games we were playing at the time8202mdash8202even though those games also included death and dying8202mdash8202and it not only encouraged us to think about death in video games it also gave us the opportunity to come to terms with our own mortalities. Death serves multiple mechanical roles in video gamesmdash it is most commonly used as a thing you want to avoid a goal you need to accomplish or as a narrative device. While death is prominent in many video games we generally give it much less thought and treat it with much less seriousness than actual death especially when it comes to the player. This could be from a lack of permanence in most video games with mechanics like life-systems think Super Mario and respawning think Halo a playerrsquos death in a video game becomes meaningless8202mdash8202a device that serves more as an interruption or annoyance rather than the actual consequences of death. This is why myself and others were fascinated with killing off our Sims8202mdash8202their deaths were permanent they meant something and that directly affected the gameplay of The Sims. Their deaths were permanent they meant something and that directly affected the gameplayhellip Therersquos a relatively new movement thatrsquos slowly gaining popularity calleddeath positivity or ldquodeath acceptancerdquo that is encouraging people to face their own mortalities and to be open to talking about death addressing it and demystifying it. The movement was started by a group of young morticians whose goal is to lift the veil on death and encourage us to explore our thoughts feelings and fears about mortality. Irsquove been absolutely fascinated with the subject lately but particularly how it relates to video games. In a sea of video games with tired death mechanics itrsquos interesting to look at what games are using death differently and how that is allowing players to really think about and come to terms with their own mortalities. Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition DrinkBox Studios 2014 Guacamelee is a rare game that not only shows death and the afterlife in a positive way but does so beautifully and hilariously. Guacamelee is an action-platformer game developed in 2013 by DrinkBox Studios that is heavily inspired by Mexican culture and folklore and features a cast mostly made up of skeletal calaca figures. The game stars Juan a farmer-turned-luchador who must save his love interest and El Presidentersquos daughter from an evil charro skeleton. Midway-through Guacamelee Juan unlocks the ability to teleport between the world of the living and the world of the dead which allows him to solve puzzles or fight specific enemies. The act of teleporting between these two worlds is also quite aesthetically pleasing8202mdash8202Each time you teleport to the dead world the music changes to a gorgeous ethereal version of the living worldrsquos music. The scenery in the world of the dead mirrors that of the living world often with extra subtle details like decorations or internet memes the game is famous for being chock-full of them. The world of the living and the world of the dead8202mdash8202Guacamelee DrinkBox Studios 2013 There are many towns and villages in Guacamelee filled with friendly non-playable characters also referred to as NPCrsquos. Shifting from the world of the living to the world of the dead reveals the animated skeletons of deceased citizens of these towns and villages who are often more energetic and alive than the living citizens. Although Guacamelee features classic death tropes Juan has a health bar and respawns after he dies the mechanic of shifting between the world of the living and world of the dead and showcasing death and the afterlife in a beautiful and colourful way makes Guacamelee a truly great example of a death positive video game. Another death positive game that is also heavily influenced by Mexican culture and folklore and also is peppered with hilarious dialogue is Grim Fandango which was originally developed in 1998 by LucasArts and recently remastered and rereleased this year by Double Fine. I highly recommend downloading both Guacamelee and Grim Fandango if yoursquore looking for games on the subject of death that are both beautiful and hilarious. Rogue Legacy Cellar Door Games 2013 A game that shows death in a less colourful and friendly way but makes up for it with fantastic gameplay and death mechanics is Rogue Legacy a platformer with Roguelike elements developed in 2013 by Cellar Door Games. In Rogue Legacy the player must explore randomly generated dungeons and fight off randomly spawned enemies. The game uses permadeath or ldquopermanent deathrdquo so when your character dies theyrsquore gone for good. However after your original character has died the game allows you to play as one

How to Use Your Community in Early Access - by Patrick Groome - Link Wed, 19 Aug 2015 01:00:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs How to Use Your Community in Early Access by Patrick Groome on 082015 125200 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. Early access has a case for being the biggest thing to happen to games marketing in the last ten years. What started as a strategy used predominantly by small indie companies is now seeing wide use across the industry. Itrsquos responsible forone of the most successful game launches of all time and its popularity seems unlikely to dissipate any time soon. Even huge AAA developers likeUbisoftarelaunching gamesthrough early access andMicrosoftrecently launched their own early access scheme. Itrsquos clear that early access is here to stay and it can be a useful tool for pretty much any game company. For every huge early access success story though there are dozens of games that fail to achieve lift-off. A successful early access release requires developers to build a lot of interest fast and then keep that momentum through inevitable difficulties and slow spots in the development of the game. Leverage Your Player Community to Get The Most Out of Your Early Access Your community is going to be at the heart of your early access strategy. A sense of community is a great way to keep your users engaged for an extended period of time but it also offers more than that. The benefits of the early access strategy require dedicated community work to succeed. Make sure yoursquore getting the most out of your early access program by making sure you hit these key points Use Your Forum to Collect Testing Information Early access games are unavoidably buggy. Itrsquos an accepted part of alpha testing. One of the best things about early access is that it allows you to crowdsource your testing providing you with a much larger number of testers without increasing your QA costs. Allowing players to submit bug reports in-game is a no brainer but you should also make sure yoursquore using your community to collect bug reports. This has a few advantages over standard bug trackers. Build Buzz Around Your Game Your game is pretty great right When players love it which they will because itrsquos great theyrsquoll want to spread their enthusiasm. Some will go to social media but the most hardcore fans the ones who are likely to buy into a paid alpha will go to your community to enthuse. Obviously 100 positive feedback is a dream scenario but the point about the visibility of your forum stands. For early access games prospective customers are going to check out your forums before anything else. Reviews arenrsquot easily available so the first stop for savvy customers is going to be your forum. Google loves forums so you can rely on discussions from your forum community to show up high on search results for your game. Gamers are notoriously fussy and can be negative about the most trivial of things. Thatrsquos why the community team needs to be in the trenches communicating with the fans. Even when things arenrsquot perfect in the game itrsquos pre-release after all if your players feel like theyrsquore being listened to theyrsquore much more likely to feel positive about their purchase. Players who feel positive about your game are going to tell their friends on your forum and others. That endorsement is a powerful method of getting prospective customers to break the psychological barrier of buying a pre-release game. Keep Your Players Engaged One of the big pitfalls of the early access strategy is keeping your players engaged. The gap between early access and release can be a long one and once the release finally hits you still want those core players to be engaged and interested enough to keep playing and spreading the good news. Itrsquos absolutely crucial if yoursquore selling a subscription but even buy-to-play games need those veteran players to be interested enough to share their knowledge and enthusiasm. The social bonds from a great community keep your customers coming back even through fallow periods when dev updates are thin on the ground. If you can nurture those bonds during the early access period you have a much better chance of getting thoseplayers to stick around for the final launchand well after that. A good way of keeping those customers engaged is to make the early access players feel like part of a VIP group. If you brand your early access as exclusive access your earliest players can feel like theyrsquore the elite.Which they areTheyrsquore providing early feedback and revenue for your project and itrsquos good practise to reward them for it. If your best customers receive some kind of bonus on release from an in-game item to a forum-specific achievement or badge theyrsquoll get that extra push to start playing again. Keeping early access categories open and turning them into a clubhouse for your early players can also encourage that sense of reward for early access customers. Your online community forum is an important linchpin to your gamersquos success. Draw your customers into a collaborative environment and theyrsquoll be more than just early money. Yoursquore investing intothe long term viability and success of your game title. Related Jobs 08.20.15 Gameplay Programmer 08.20.15 Environment Artist 08.20.15 UIUX Artist 08.20.15 Social Robot UI Programmer View All Jobs 251840 blog blogsPatrickGroome20150820251840How_to_Use_Your_Community_in_Early_Access.php 1002025 35864513 Loading Comments

Managing Student Game Development Teams - by Adam Moore - Link Wed, 19 Aug 2015 01:00:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Managing Student Game Development Teams by Adam Moore on 081915 010000 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. Producers and managers face unique challenges when managing a team of student game developers. This article examines these challenges how these challenges prepare students for leadership in the industry and some recommended solutions to the challenges. I have worked on several large studentgame projects as an undergraduate alumni and graduate student. On most of these projects I have filled a management or team lead role. Some of these student projects went very well and some of these projects were plagued with issues from the beginning and ended up failing. I have learned much from these projects that I39d like to share with you. To clarify by large student game projects I mean a development schedule of multiple semesters and teams of more than five developers. Oxygen the project I39m currently working on has a team of 18 students working on it and we39re aiming to ship our game after 12 months of development. Resource Challenges RecruitingTeam Members Behind every great game is a great team. They didn39t always exist - they had to form at some point so how do you go about building your team The best way to recruit new team members is to sell them on your project39s vision and objectives but you need to understand your vision and objectives before anyone else will. With Dia de los Dinosaurios our team was inspired by the platformers of the Nintendo 64 and our goal was to create a game that could be a memorable part of our player39schildhood. This means pitching your ideas to other student developers and not being afraid of them quotstealingquot your ideas. An alternative method that we use at the University of Advancing Technology are our game studio courses. The courses are required for graduation and students that are in the game studio courses apply to and work on the set of games that the game development faculty have greenlit. Even if the students are required to work on your project for a classyou still need to sell them on your project or you39re going to get the bare minimum out of them and they39ll leave the project at the end of the semester. You must understand that bigger isn39t always better. In fact on teams less is more. In one of my first student projects we made the incredibly faulty assumption that a bigger team meant we would get more work done. The problem with large student teams is that scheduling meetings and communicating becomes more and more difficult very quickly as your team grows in size. The overhead of managing a team of 20 or 30 is more than you39re going to have time to deal with as a student. Don39t be afraid to cap your team size but make sure you cap your project scope accordingly. Larger teams tend to break into cliques and these cliques don39t always play nicely together which can be very unfortunate since the team leads tend to form a clique of their own. When this happens you39re almost guaranteed that everyone that isn39t a lead is going to leave your team at the end of the semester if not sooner. If you act early enough you can prevent the barriers between cliques from forming through team building exercises and shuffling seating arrangements in the work area. If cliques have already formed you39re going to have to be prepared to manage conflicts that arise between the cliques. Retaining Team Members One distinct difference between working in the industry and working as a student is that you and your peers are not permanent employees at a studio. Every potential team member at the university will be there for a limited amount of time. In general the more experience a person has the closer they are to graduating and leaving the university and by extension they will probably be leaving your team. The biggest motivator for someone to stay on your project is an intrinsic motivator - it39s not a grade or a paycheck. If you want people to stick with your project to the end they have to believe in your team and believe in your project and that takes a good amount of persuasion and you need to understand and communicate your goals and vision for the project as well as listen to your team to find out what is important to them. SchedulingChallenges The 4 Hour Work Week Full-time students have a lot of work on their plate that takes precedence over your game.A full-time student is taking 12-18 credits each semester which translates roughly into a 40-60 hour work week. A full-time student is working full-time on your degree and you can only reasonably expect 4 hours of productive work each week from each team member Over the course of a semester they have less than twoweeks of full-time work to commit to projects. As tempting as it may be to work on multiple projects at once a student is better off committing their four hours exclusively to one project to see it through to completion. At the start of the semester everyone has this perception that they have a lot of time to complete their work for the semester so there is this tendancy to try and do too much in a single release or to put off the difficult tasks to the end of the semester. In school we39ve been trained through the years that the hardest task is always the final project or final exam but in projects you frequently want to begin working on the hardest tasks early in the project to ensure that they get done. Scope Challenges Scope management for a student project is a pretty big topic - big enough to warrant its own article which is coming soon. My scope management process is pretty involved and includes a mix of agile and waterfall practices. Since you have a four hour work week I guarantee you that whatever your planned scope is it is too large and needs to be adjusted. Legal Challenges There are legal challenges you39ll face if you want to

Gamescom The View from the Business Area part 2 - by Steve Bailey - Link Wed, 19 Aug 2015 01:00:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs Gamescom The View from the Business Area part 2 by Steve Bailey on 081915 010000 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. Part 1 is here Each year I try to think of a question that I want to ask everyone that I meet at Gamescom. For 2015 the question was We39re dealing with an unprecedented amount of content and quantity of platforms. How do we better matchmake the two This year I didn39t have a chance to ask that question perhaps for the best given how dense it is because there was just too much to talk about. Aside from the highlights described below throwing in eSports microconsoles connected toys and the challenges of operating MOBA titles meant that my two days spent at the conference flew by with barely any loading screens. Here are the top 3 conversation topics that kept cropping up during my meetings at Gamescom 1 VR and AR of course Completely unsurprisingly this was the most common talking point. I39ll not go into details as there39s too much to be said here but what was most noteworthy is the all-encompassing spread of opinions to be found From VR andor AR teetering on the cusp of paradigm-shifting success to being an expensively-doomed fad to a healthy curiosity that39s keeping a non-committal distance. One thing39s sure everyone39s eyes are on it whether they39re unblinking or rolling. The recent TIME cover featuring Palmer Luckey was declared the greatest and worst thing ever often in the same breath thus cementing it as a thoroughly modern object. 2 THE POWER AND REACH OF SOCIAL VIDEO The rise of YouTube and Twitch as congregation platforms for gamers is certainly enormous but has been happening for much longer than is often perceived. Which leads me to what I find to be one of the most interesting facets of the topic its generational assignment. Video has becoming the de facto medium for a whole generation and if you don39t see this that39s probably because you39re not part of that generation I guess. Quite often I still hear the following remark It39s so odd that people enjoy watching other people play games My response to which is People have always enjoyed watching one another play games. It39s a large part of what makes gaming such a potent form of socialising. It39s just that we39ve now formalised the fact and found ways to massively lower barriers for broadcast and viewership to the extent that the two can start forging a real sense of interaction. 3 The challenges facing consoles Consoles always face an uphill struggle. That39s the price of trying to retain their core alignment within an ever-shifting landscape and the possibility of disruption remains significant. More specifically as we move into the middle portion of this generation39s hardware cycle Sony and Microsoft have to deliver a multi-tiered marketing message around the PS4 and Xbox One while trying to integrate them into increasingly complex ecosystems. Consoles have a deep history of providing product-oriented support to game developers and publishers but how much do they lag in terms of providing support from a service-oriented perspective Is freemium raring to find its place on console but artificially suppressed by limitations over user-acquisition How urgently do manufacturers need to overhaul facets such as store reporting retail opportunity promotional channels analytics etc. These tensions have been bubbling for a while and will likely remain out of view as we head toward the commercial hubbub of 201539s fourth quarter but I think we39ll be hearing about them more and more as we tread into 2016. Overall then Gamescom left me knackered but enthused with no great resolution to hand but plenty to think about. Whatever shape the revenues never has the games industry had so many games or so much industry. It feels like it39s getting kinda ridiculous out there but I that39s also kinda how it39s always been y39know Related Jobs 08.20.15 Gameplay Programmer 08.20.15 Environment Artist 08.20.15 UIUX Artist 08.20.15 Social Robot UI Programmer View All Jobs 251519 blog blogsSteveBailey20150819251519Gamescom_The_View_from_the_Business_Area_part_2.php 954911 33908973 Loading Comments

7 Months of Development in 5 Minutes - by Corey Warning - Link

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 20 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 20 2015 Features View All RSS August 20 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 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 Blogs 7 Months of Development in 5 Minutes by Corey Warning on 081915 010000 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. Corey Warningworks atJumpdrive Studios and indie game company in Portland. They39re currently working on their first gameXO. This video shows experimentation systems building bugs glitches and fine-tuning on our first PC gameXOfrom January through July 2015. Learn more about XO here. Related Jobs 08.20.15 Gameplay Programmer 08.20.15 Social Robot UI Programmer 08.20.15 Senior Server Developer 08.20.15 User Experience Lead View All Jobs 251626 blog blogsCoreyWarning201508192516267_Months_of_Development_in_5_Minutes.php 991840 34266103 Loading Comments

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.

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.

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

2D Lighting System in Monogame - Link Thu, 23 Jul 2015 07:06:13

This tutorial will walk you through a simple lightingshadow system.Go into your current Monogame project and make a new file calledlighteffect.fxThis file will control the way our light will be drawn to the screen. This is an HLSL style program at this point. Other tutorials on HLSL will be available in the main website which will allow you to do some wicked cool things like distorting space and the map spinning dizzyness neon glowing perception warping and a bunch of other f amazing thingsHere is the full lighteffect file

3 Steps to Mastering Your Games Soft Launch - Link Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:29:41

In one of the largest supermarket outlets in the whole of the UK just down the road from where your humble blogger lives sits a kitchen. Built in plain sight this bizarre little pantry feels a somewhat curious companion to the seemingly endless run of aisles selling all the goods youd expect a supermarket to sell

15 Metrics All Game Developers Should Know by Heart - Link Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:51:42

Mobile game analytics can feel complicated. When it comes to metrics there are hundreds of numbers to track. On the simpler end of the spectrum there are metrics like downloads sessions and DAUs. These numbers are relatively straightforward and measure concrete actions. More complicated metrics includes things like churn Average Revenue Per Paying User ARPPU and DAUMAU. These are less intuitive to interpret and they might raise more questions than answers

Math for Game Developers Probability and Randomness - Link Thu, 09 Jul 2015 18:27:08

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 Probability and Randomness

How the PVS-Studio Team Improved Unreal Engines Code - Link Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:07:49

This article was originally published at Unreal Engine Blog. Republished by the editors permission.Our company develops promotes and sells the PVS-Studio static code analyzer for CC programmers. However our collaboration with customers is not limited solely to selling PVS-Studio licenses. For example we often take on contract projects as well. Due to NDAs were not usually allowed to reveal details about this work and you might not be familiar with the projects names anyway. But this time we think youll be excited by our latest collaboration. Together with Epic Games were working on the Unreal Engine project. This is what were going to tell you about in this article.As a way of promoting our PVS-Studio static code analyzer weve thought of an interesting format for our articles We analyze open-source projects and write about the bugs we manage to find there. Take a look at this updatable list of projects we have already checked and written about. This activity benefits everyone readers enjoy learning from others mistakes and discover new means to avoid them through certain coding techniques and style. For us its a way to have more people learn about our tool. As for the project authors they too benefit by gaining an opportunity to fix some of the bugs.Among the articles was A Long-Awaited Check of Unreal Engine 4. Unreal Engines source code was extraordinarily high quality but all software projects have defects and PVS-Studio is excellent at surfacing some of the most tricky bugs. We ran an analysis and reported our findings to Epic. The Unreal Engine team thanked us for checking their code and quickly fixed the bugs we reported. But we didnt want to stop there and thought we should try selling a PVS-Studio license to Epic Games.Epic Games was very interested in using PVS-Studio to improve the engine continuously over time. They suggested we analyze and fix Unreal Engines source code so that they were completely clear of bugs and the tool wouldnt generate any false positives in the end. Afterwords Epic would use PVS-Studio on their code base themselves thus making its integration into their development process as easy and smooth as possible. Epic Games promised to not only purchase the PVS-Studio license but would also pay us for our work.We accepted the offer. The job is done. And now you are welcome to learn about various interesting things we came across while working on Unreal Engines source code.Pavel Eremeev Svyatoslav Razmyslov and Anton Tokarev were the participants on the PVS-Studios part. On the Epic Games the most active participants were Andy Bayle and Dan OConnor - it all would have been impossible without their help so many thanks to themPVS-Studio integration into Unreal Engines build process To manage the build process Unreal Engine employs a build system of its own - Unreal Build Tool. There is also a set of scripts to generate project files for a number of different platforms and compilers. Since PVS-Studio is first of all designed to work with the Microsoft Visual C compiler we used the corresponding script to generate project files .vcxproj for the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE.PVS-Studio comes with a plugin that can integrate into the Visual Studio IDE and enables a one-click analysis. However projects generated for Unreal Engine are not the ordinary MSBuild projects used by Visual Studio.When compiling Unreal Engine from Visual Studio the IDE invokes MSBuild when starting the build process but MSBuild itself is used just as a wrapper to run the Unreal Build Tool program.To analyze the source code in PVS-Studio the tool needs a preprocessors output - an .i file with all the headers included and macros expanded.Quick note. This section is only interesting if you have a customized build process like Unreals If you are thinking of trying PVS-Studio on a project of yours that has some intricate peculiarities about its build process I recommend reading this section to the end. Perhaps it will be helpful for your case. But if you have an ordinary Visual Studio project or cant wait to read about the bugs we have found you can skip it.To launch the preprocessor correctly the tool needs information about compilation parameters. In ordinary MSBuild projects this information is inherent the PVS-Studio plugin can see it and automatically preprocess all the necessary source files for the analyzer that will be called afterwards. With Unreal Engine projects things are different.As Ive already said above their projects are just a wrapper while the compiler is actually called by Unreal Build Tool. Thats why compilation parameters in this case are not available for the PVS-Studio plugin for Visual Studio. You just cant run analysis in one click though the plugin can be used to view the analysis results.The analyzer itself PVS-Studio.exe is a command-line application that resembles the C compiler regarding the way it is used. Just like the compiler it has to be launched individually for every source file passing this files compilation parameters through the command line or response file. And the analyzer will automatically choose and call the appropriate preprocessor and then perform the analysis.Note. Theres also an alternative way. You can launch the analyzer for preprocessed files prepared in advance.Thus the universal solution for integrating the PVS-Studio analyzer into the build process is to call its exe-file in the same place where the compiler is called i.e. inside the build system - Unreal Build Tool in our case. Sure it will require modifying the current build system which may not be desirable as in our case. Because of that just for cases like this we created a compiler call intercepting system - Compiler Monitoring.The Compiler Monitoring system can intercept compilation process launches in the case with Visual C this is the cl.exe proces collecting all of the parameters necessary for successful preprocessing then re-launch preprocessing for files under compilation for further analysis. Thats what we did

When Your Best Isnt Good Enough A Tale of Failure Part II - Link Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:23:30

This is the second of two part series about failure. In part I we analysed how the Cadence a.k.a. a musical playground of beautiful puzzles crowdfunding campaign fell short of its mark. In this second part Im going to take a deeper look at the emotional impact of enduring failure and the subtle ways in which it undermines your ability to stay productive and share your creativity with the world

When Your Best Isnt Good Enough A Tale of Failure Part I - Link Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:09:42

Creating a video game where once there was nothing can be incredibly difficult. And it doesnt end there - getting people to care about your game once its made can be even harder. Its no surprise that making games is a journey with many missteps and failures along the way. In this two-part series well be looking at circumstances of our unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign for the music puzzle game Cadence part I skip if you arent interested in crowdfunding and the emotional aftermath of this failure part II relevant to anyone working as a creative professional

Coverage Buffer as main Occlusion Culling technique - Link Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:23:41

IntroductionRecently I came across a awesome presentation from Crytek named Secrets of CryEGNINE 3 Graphics Technology authored by Nickolay Kasyan Nicolas Schulz and Tiago Sousa. In this paper Ive found a brief description of a technique called Coverage Buffer.You can find whole presentation HERE.This technology was presented as main occlusion culling method actively used since Crysis 2. And since there was no detailed paper about this technology I decided to dig into this matter myself.Coverage Buffer - Occlusion Culling techniqueOverviewMain idea of method was clearly stated by Crytek presentation I mentioned beforeGet depth buffer from previous frameMake reprojection to current frameSoftwarely rasterize BBoxes of objects to check whether they can be seen from camera perspective or not - and based on this test make a decision to draw or not to draw.Theres of course nothing revolutionary about this concept. Theres another very similar method called Software Occlusion Culling. But there are few differences between these methods and a crucial one is that in SOC we must separate objects into two different categories - occluders and occludee which is not always can be done.Lets see some examples.If we have FPS game level like Doom 3 we have corridors which are perfect occluders and objects - barrels ammo characters which are in turn perfect occludees. In this case we have a clear approach - to test objects BBoxes agains corridors.But what if we have lets say massive forest. Every tree can be both occluder - imagine large tree right in front of camera which occludes all other world behind it - and occludee - when some other tree occludes it. In case of forest we cannot use SOC in its pure form itd be counterproductive

Designing for multi-age coop play - Link Sun, 21 Jun 2015 16:34:51

Over the course of my time developing disney infinity I ended up creating a list of player types that we regularly observed when conducting coop playtests

Designing a Mobile Game Technology Stack - Link Sat, 20 Jun 2015 11:16:35

A lot of technology goes into developing stable scalable mobile games. At Rumar Gaming we have invested a lot of time in building a solid platform before even thinking about game ideas. Our goal was to be able to develop a large variety of games in a short period of time by sharing the underlying technology stack

Cache In A Multi-Core Environment - Link Sat, 13 Jun 2015 05:14:57

Cache In A Multi-Core EnvironmentIn my previous article I discussed the use of cache and some practices that can provide increased performance while also teaching you what cache is. I also stated that cache in a multicore environment is a whole other topic so Ive written this article to cover the different considerations that come along with Multicore Programming.Why does it matter if were using two coresCache comes in levels typically 3 each with their own group of cores that can access it L1 Cache is only visible to a single core with each core having its own private cache and is the fastest of all caches. L2 Cache is usually visible to a group of cores for instance the AMD 8150 shares L2 Cache between two cores and finally theres L3 Cache that is accessible to all cores and is the slowest of caches but still much faster in comparison to RAM.Now that we know that there are different banks of cache for each core what happens when two cores are accessing the same memory If there was no system in place then both cores would cache the memory then lets say one core wrote to that memory This would be visible in memory although the other core would still have its cache of the old value. To solve this when a core writes to its cached memory Any other core that stores that cache line will be removed or updated which is where our problem comes into play. Lets say you have 2 Integers on a single cache line and each core was writing to an integer each that are next to each other in an array although theyre not the same variables and it wont cause any unexpected results because theyre on the same cache line. Every time one core writes to that memory the other core loses its cache. This is referred to as False Sharing and theres a simple solution to this the hardest part is determining if youre having this problem.False SharingFalse Sharing can hinder the performance for any program. For this example Ill go through the optimisations I did on a single producer single consumer queue and provide a few steps to solving most of your False Sharing problems. To test the queue I have two threads one writing integers from 0 to 1 million and another reading them and checking if theyre all in order. The queue doesnt undergo any resizing and is allocated with enough capacity for 1 million objects

How to Expand Games and more Eluding App Store Updating - Link Wed, 10 Jun 2015 08:40:59

One key to video game success is to be constantly releasing small updates. This alone might be a compelling reason to develop expandable games. There are a plethora of reasons why games are successful but whats for sure is that players want to feel their favorite games are alive. They demand you to solve annoying bugs that affect gameplay they like to have extra content to play through and they love to see when you are able to introduce community proposals into the game This ideal situation means You are going to be dealing with the app stores very frequently which will delay your updates.This will impact your ability to appropriately schedule updates limiting your marketing strategy.Its not all bad news though. There are ways to add new content to your game and having control of when new updates are launched at the same time so you can keep your customers happy and make reliable marketing campaigns. What are expandable games used forImagine you are creating a game with lots of levels say a match-three game such as Candy Crush. Youll have to design a lot of levels. Developing triple digit levels takes a lot of time and you still have to figure out the kind of levels that are going to work best with your audience. Should you spend all your efforts money and brains designing all levels for the very first game version You could do all of them at once but luckily you dont have to. You can set a system that allows you to publish new levels independently of when new versions are published to the stores. When well structured using a downloadable content system will help you free your team from publishing all the small tweaks and updates to the stores. Following Ill detail how you can expand your game using DLC. First steps to develop expandable games and bypass storesThis is the basic outline you should consider to expand your games. Ill stick to the match-three example I started with but it can be applied to any kind of game youre developing. Step One Use a mechanism to define your levels with an XML file or JSON document. It could be the complete level definition or just a meta description and a binary file to be downloaded and imported into your game.You could include any information you needNameDifficultyLevel order in a mapImages shown to the userPrice in virtual coins when neededPublish date for extra controlVersion of the content Step Two Make your game check for new content every time its executed. Either from the splash screen or the map screen.In case the new levels are premium content you could check while players are at the in-game shop. Step Three Download new or updated content when it is found and import it into your game. This is where DLC comes into play. Step Four Let the user know that new content is available. Automatically scroll the map screen to show the new levels whether theyre locked or unlocked.Set a New badge or banner notification on the content category that got updated in your shop. Now that you know the mechanism publishing new content should be easy Create the new contentCreate the XML file or JSON document that defines itMake it available on the content serverBy doing this all your active players will have access to new content automatically. What can you make of this mechanismThe advantages of developing your match-three game or any game in small pieces of downloadable content are plenty You get a more flexible game that can adapt faster to make players happier about the game. Lets dive into some scenarios in which it is beneficial for you as well. Scenario 1 Difficulty adjustment Lets say your analytics reveal your game has a severe player drop at level 6 indicating that maybe this level is too difficult for most players. You dont want to have a majority of frustrated players because they could decide to cop out of the game. You could address this player drop rate by adjusting some key parameters in the level. In a matter of hours all players in all devices would have the updated level 6 avoiding all store delays. Having a quick reaction to player behavior is really important to optimize your business model. Scenario 2 Bug fixing Some bugs especially in the first versions of the game are unavoidable. Imagine you have a bunch of players complaining about an annoying bug that happens only in certain levels. If the bug is easy to fix you could have the error free level up and running as soon as you solve it. It makes your players happier and hopefully more loyal to the game they like playing. Scenario 3 Game extension As mentioned before you dont have to release the complete package of levels at once. You could launch with a fraction of the total and make your game download follwing levels according to the players progression. What are the upsides Your game is smaller meaning its easy to download and test. Win-win situation.Your game is ligther on the device because it simply takes the minimum necessary space. In case a player needs to free disk space to install new games or apps your game will appear at the bottom of the disk-usage list and will be more likely to live another day.Once again a winning situation.Your game is updated and players will have downloaded the levels only when needed. They will always have the latest version which is bugfixed and with the latest additions to keep them loving the game. Player engagement is also a winning situation.Once you get the hang of the technique Im sure youll be able to implement more complex solutions and deliver players a better gaming experience. Thats all for now I hope this introduction on how to expand your games got you thinking of new interesting ways of using DLC and server code in your games. How do plan to use this Please leave a comment. This was originally posted in Gamedonia blog.

Get Professional - A Professional Skillset for Software Engineers - Link Sat, 06 Jun 2015 12:06:56

Everybody is a great coder Its now over fifteen years since I first got money for a program that I wrote and since over ten years I consider myself a professional software engineer. When I started out programming I was convinced that raw coding ability and deep innate technical knowledge of a few programming languages would be all it would take to make it in the industry. But over the years I learned that there is more to being a professional programmer than hacking together complex code. Having worked both in academics and industry this often became most apparent to me when working with newbies fresh out of college. Often they are great programmers but lack some of the surrounding skills to make them look professional to me. So what distinguishes the common coder andor hobbyist from the pros Before I forget This article is written on a purely subjective basis of my personal experiences feel free to tell me that Im wrong Diversify your knowledge Get things done with your code While being an able coder is not the only thing that counts not being one immediately disqualifies you to become a successful programmer. Be sure to master at least one full fledged common programming language such as C Java C etc. Go into details of the language know the standard libraries know how to wield the language to great effectiveness and know how to cope with any limitations it will have. As a bonus to your main language know at least one scripting language to automate small tasks create quick experiments and do ugly proof-of-concepts. Dont be slowed down because you dont know your basic tool - the programming language - well enough. In short Make sure you know how to get things done and get them done reliably. Show me your mind Getting complex things to work is only one side of the medal the other side is that those complex structures want to be explained. Maybe your fellow code monkeys want to discuss a problem with you maybe its your boss trying to get a grip with your skills maybe its plain old documentation that needs to be written. Whatever the cause sometimes just writing code comments is not enough. Know how to visualize and read software structures. Be it UML diagrams flow charts ERD or simply venn diagrams know how to draw a diagram that others can understand. You dont need to be fully proficient in the last details of the official iconographics of any visual language but not being able to draw a simple class diagram or state machine will leave your thoughts behind closed doors for others. On the other hand learn to recognize and name patterns in these charts however badly scribbled by one of your fellow hackers. Prove me that it works Yay your great ideas and concepts are approved by your team and youve written that beautiful piece of code to solve the problems of the world. But does it survive the impact of the users Testing Testing Testing is the only answer to this. Know how to test and debug your program. Relying on print-debugging and testing by it appears to run correctly may work for small projects and in the short-term but there is a certain point where we want to guarantee that a program works in exactly that way. While you dont need to embrace test-driven development in the full know at least about unit testing know how to use a debugger efficiently use software asserts and read into design by contract. Learn how to do a performance analysis of your code and other non-functional requirements. Be able to write consistent and good tests for your software know what is covered by your tests and what is not. Your code has a history While well-tested code is a must sometimes the path that lead to any particular solution is also important. Sometimes you just have to see how code evolved to understand it or find the exact moment when a bug was introduced luckily there are plenty of versioning tools out there which help with this task. Be sure to know about source code management and versioning systems. It doesnt matter whether this is SVN Git Mercurial TFS or any of the others on the market just be at home with the usage of at least one and get the basic concepts behind them. Its not just about versioning but also about backing up code and tracability of features. Its astounding how many hours of productivity Ive seen go down the drain because some guy in a team of coders just did not use versioning software properly. Be it in files lost because of an acciential overwrite being unable to merge a conflict with a team member or just messing up the workflow for everybody else by not following the basic concepts behind source code management. Take one for the team Now youre able to produce well-designed peer-reviewed tested and traceable code which greatly increases your chances to be seen as a professional software engineer. Time to start working together with other great professionals out there. Software development is no longer an occupation for loners who work alone nowadays software development is considered a team sport by many successful companies. So be sure that you are prepared to work together with other humans and become a teamplayer. Grasp the basic fundamentals of software development processes in teams know about iterative vs. incremental software development about defining deliverables and features. There are tons of development processes out there to read into be it scrum kanban XP feature driven development - whatever floats your or your employers boat. No need yet to get any certificate on anything about these processes but be aware that they exist and that they are used to great success by many software producing companies. Another major point is if you want to be part of a tight-knit development team learn to be a good citizen for that team. Be honest towards yourself and others learn how to communicate on a professional level if things dont go according to your plan and last but not least sometimes you just have to bite the bullet swallow your pride and take one for the team. Thats it Am I missing something in this article Certainly. Of course there is more to being a successful programmersoftware engineer than the five points mentioned above and of course not all of them apply to the same extent to anyone or any company. Working with a startup-indie studio that needs to produce something now with limited personal resources puts a different weight on things than being hired by an AAA company were you are just a tiny cogwheel in a great machine. Also some of the things mentioned above are easy to learn while others need time and experience to grow. Learning tools is easy learning people is hard. Its a catch-22 you need to work together with other professionals to gain the skills needed to be accepted as a professional yourself. Keep an open mind for well meant critiques and be reflective about yourself and dont give up. Feel free to comment on this article or reach me over PM. Article Update Log No updates yet

Writing Efficient Endian-Independent Code in C - Link Tue, 02 Jun 2015 04:57:20

Once upon a time there was an article published on gamedev.net Roy2013 which described a way as he says mostly taken from Quake2 engine to deal with Little-EndianBig-Endian issues in games. While this approach is mostly sound mostly because of unaligned-read issues which will be discussed below it is not the most efficient one. Better simpler faster and more general approaches do exist and they will be discussed below.What is EndiannessEndianness itself has been described in many different works including Roy2013 and WikipediaEndianness. Basically it is a way that CPU stores multi-byte data in memory little-endian systems store least significant byte first and big-endian ones store most-significant byte first. So if you have

Knock-Out A Very Small Title Needs Contributers - Link Fri, 21 Aug 2015 20:57:57

Unpaid PositionGENRE SIMULATORARCADE PREFACE This project is one which can take off on physics. Basically scripting the control elements will be all that is neccessary to be next to shining gamess full potential. Controls are cram-packed -intuitive- and life like Which enable the player to rotae the arns for a side underhand and overhand hit with one stick. Punch doubles for limb length performed as a two stroke schematic with two shoulders buttons straying away from the feeling of innaccuracy and impermenant impression of other games i.e strikes of glance-type which disinclude feelings of manual input and players touch ---Set the length of the limb and swing it--- as well as the jump feature the scheme if which underlies an indefinate degree of jump and elevation blending dive. The stick button right will sub a wrist for inserting ball spin. WITH BUTTONS LEFT OVER LOL... SUMMARY Suffice to say a dowblow -with a glance touch -with a falling crouch -with spin can be combined describing the simulaic-like resolution of the final product. TEAM Zero. PAY Non-Profit WISHLIST Network Programmer Programmer Artist Special fx artist SFX AMBIENT SOUNDS Introductory Theme VII 0 VII VIII IX 0 VII VII V II TEXT PLEASEFree

GlPortal action fps with realistic physics - Link Fri, 21 Aug 2015 19:14:40

Unpaid PositionGlPortal is a free and open source 3D puzzle action adventure that has been in development since 2012. Since then several releases have been made available to the public and even with a small feature set and very simple level designs managed to get the attention of the player base.GlPortal lets you explore how games are made. Join our huge international well organized team of developers and artists and develop your skills while crafting something that people value and use all over the planet. Tear down britle structures and replace them with your new solid vision. Brainstorm with clever minds and learn something new every day.Get more information about GlPortal at httpglportal.de and httpwww.lgdb.orggameglportal-free for questions contact us by mail at teamglportal.de and chat with us at freenode in glportal or httpglportal.de. For videos go to youtube and search for glportal.Also consider our listings on httpwww.teamups.netteamup861GlPortalAnd like us on httpwww.facebook.comglportalFree

Looking for a team to make a horror game - Link Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:12:21

Unpaid PositionI am a programmer im not the best programmer in the world but I can work in Java and C. Anyway im looking to make a horror game. I need programmers artists and preferably a modeler for making levels and models. Anyone else who is interested in joining can as well. Thanks Free

Looking to form a team - Link Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:06:50

Unpaid PositionGreetings Game dev I am an indie developer from Malaysia. I am currently working on own project that is about Mecha fighting not action base . It is about assembly your own mecha team and fight through mission. It is just at a very early stage and I am looking for programmer and designer as well as music composer and marketing people to help me with this project. Currently I am doing the graphic myself so the programmer will be an urgent need. It will be a mobile game so it is nice to have a programmer who know about mobile game development. This project will be revenue shares so there will be no pay until the game release and get to launch.Free

Modeler needed rev-share - Link Thu, 20 Aug 2015 09:30:08

Unpaid PositionHello We are a small group of game developers. We are hard at work on a demo of our 3D actionRPG game. It will have a fantasy theme and will be built using the Unreal Engine 3. We will however keep a moderate scope in mind whilst still attempting to create something meaningful. We are looking for a modeler to join our team. -Blender 3D is preferable however 3ds Max and Maya are acceptable -must have knowledge of mesh optimization for game engines -must be able to bake normal maps and do textures PBR is a plus Please Reach me on Skype to apply. Skype name imransadiq1995 Thanks for readingFree

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