Page:10 - News Archived: 3437

Title Date
Effective Game Coding 2 ampquotYa Ain039t Gonna Need Itampquot - by - Link Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:16:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Effective Game Coding 2 quotYa Aint Gonna Need Itquot by Jesse Attard on 100815 013900 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. This is the second of a series of articles featuring an in-depth discussion of programming principles as they pertain to Video Game programming. The topic this time is a very important principle - Ya Ain39t Gonna Need It or YAGNI. If you find you learn better via videoI have one where my facial expression captured in the auto generated thumbnail turned out pretty hilarious below. What is YAGNI This principle comes into play when you39re programming something that you39re guessing you might need at some point in the future. The basic premise is that generally speaking you aren39t going to need it and time spent writing this code was a waste of effort. On the whole this is a time management principle and one that I find comes up commonly in games a field of programming that frequently suffers from the project management holy trinity of feature creep competition anxiety and short deadlines. This actually happens Like many of these principles it sounds obvious. Why would you ever write something that you might never use But in practice this is a very common problem that can cause enormous inefficiencies and can be more difficult to solve than you might initially think. Further it is sometimes difficult to identify when you39re violating this principle. If you39re busy slaving away at your desk while some other programmer is spending half the day playing ping pong and eating office snacks you clearly feel like the more efficient employee. However if the code you are writing will never be used then sadly that slacking programmer is potentially vastly more productive than you. There are two ways this problem usually manifests. One is simple to resolve the other is more difficult. The easy case The more obvious case is when you are developing a new feature that you don39t really have a current use for. You39re doing this on the presumption that you might use it at some point in the future. For example say you39re busy making a first person game. You read some article with a great technique on how to implement a third person camera and you decide to implement it despite that your game doesn39t really need this functionality. You39ll start to justify your decision. They all sound like good reasons Quite convincing really And lo you will have just talked yourself into what39s most likely going to be a waste of time and effort. Why is it a waste of time Only the last two reasons from the above list are valid. Writing code for fun and education is an excellent pastime that I thoroughly endorse. You might even argue that writing some code for fun is worthwhile as an occasional sojourn that reinvigorates your spirits and boosts productivity in the long run.Of course do this too much and a looming deadline will begin to disagree with you. The other reasons the ones you likely told your project manager are patently ridiculous. I39ve seen projects become extremely derailed in situations where unchecked programmers have been spinning their wheels with seemingly zero friction. What39s wrong with the other reasons In addition to the time sink Solution to the easy case I said it was easy - and it is. Just defer working on unnecessary features until you actually need them.Let39s move on to the more difficult case. The hard case The harder case is when you39re working on a feature that you know you need but it39s not clear how much of the logic should be hardcoded versus architecting some more robust system that affords huge customizability for the game designer. It is typically more time consuming to write a highly architected system than hard-coding some basic logic but there are cases where architecture provides a much more graceful solution and gives a net benefit to efficiency. So how do you decide what to do Obviously each game is different and there is no single solution for all situations. Nonetheless this article is about overarching principles and YAGNI gives us a solid ground rule to follow Start with hardcoding and scale up from there. Let39s take a look at some examples to see why this is effective. Examples The most common area of game code where I encounter this problem is Artificial Intelligence. Having seen many AI systems for a variety of games big and small I39ve encountered varying levels of robustness producing similarly varying degrees of success. When I say Artificial Intelligence I39m referring to behaviour of enemies NPCs and the like. Consider this example archetype from a cover shooter The enemy runs to a cover point in range of the player takes cover shoots periodically and retreats to a cover point farther away if the player gets too close. You can break this into two chunks The actions are simple. These are usually hardcoded with certain variables customizable by a game designer such as movespeed or attack range. Behaviours Behaviours are where things start to get fuzzy. You can imagine some example hardcoded implementation that you really shouldn39t take too seriously because it39s just an example and no real AI code would ever actually look like this if distanceToPlayer FLEE_RANGE moveToCoverFAR else if inCover distaceToPlayer FIRING_RANGE shootAtPlayer else moveToCoverNEAR As the YAGNI principle suggests this is probably a good starting point and can even scale to many different enemy archetypes through appropriate use of inheritance and composition. But when you have a huge number of enemies and want to afford greater flexibility to your game designer more of this logic will need to be driven by data. You can start to imagine how such a system would look. Games like Dragon Age have even exposed such a system to the player. class Rule

License an engine or create your own - by Dietmar Hauser - Link Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:16:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs License an engine or create your own by Dietmar Hauser on 100715 121600 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. This question is often asked at the beginning of a new game project and the decision has profound effects on its whole life cycle and possibly even on its follow up projects. Herersquos how and why Sproinghaschosen to answer this question over the last decade. Picking an engine is a complicated topic and curiously enough tends to get emotional too. I have worked on and with many engines in the past but the decision which one to choose has never been made by me. In recent years however it has become my responsibility to make these decisions and to defend them. So I took some time to write down my thoughts on what needs to be considered and what the repercussions are. I hope to present non-obvious and somewhat universal aspects of the topic because obviously your mileage will vary greatly depending on your company setup and plans. What is everyone else doing When faced with any decision especially a big one it is usually a good idea to do some research and find out what others in that situation haven chosen to do. A study titled ldquoDeveloper Economics State of the Developer Nation Q3 2014rdquo1 contains a fairly comprehensive graph Figure 1 showing the distribution of engine use amongst mobile games developers. Figure 1 Engines used by mobile games developers It is noteworthy that primary use red column is roughly equally distributed between licensed engines and custom solutions Columns ldquoNative Code Onlyrdquo and ldquoCustom Solutionsrdquo combined. While Unity3D is clearly leading in this particular field it is in no way as clear-cut as engine vendors and their fans try to tell you. In addition were one to make a similar graph for console or PC game development the individual bars would be different Unity3D much smaller Unreal Engine much bigger hellip but overall there would still be a rough 5050 split between licensed engines and homemade ones. There is no optimal solution to be found when looking at what others are doing. Part 1 Strategy The first thing to consider is to get clarity about where you want to spend your money. In general there are two ways Investment and Costs. Investment is money spent in order to gain something long term ideally more than initially invested but at least more than nothing. Costs are money spent to get something back immediately but they are ldquosunkrdquo by default. You can think of costs as investments with a zero return which hopefully sounds less than ideal to you. Letrsquos look at the example of people working on your product. On the one hand you can have employees who will get a substantial salary. In fact for almost all game companies that is what they spend most of their money on. But the money spent is not necessarily lost. If your employees actually do their jobs which should be a priority a product will be made that will generate revenue in the future. If you can keep employees for a period of time theyrsquoll get better at what they do and how they work with each other. This proficiency increase can amount to quite a bit of additional value and is in my opinion one of the main things that separates great companies from mediocre ones. On the other hand you can choose to work with freelancers. They might be perfect fits for the particular job but once itrsquos over they are gone taking all the time and money spent on them with them. We face a similar situation when thinking about licensing an engine vs. developing your own. License fees by definition are pure cost. You get to use something for a limited amount of time. If you want to get it again more license fees need to be paid. Developing your own tools ensures that they are available at any time at no additional cost. Now you could say that by sticking to the same engine it is also available at any time and those license fees are well worth it. In principle this is a very good idea because I think switching an engine especially during development is a tremendously bad thing that will destroy any investments made into that engine. Not only will any custom tools be worthless but a lot of the specialized experience gained will be gone setting back your companyrsquos overall proficiency for months or even years. For a chilling example of this review the development history of Duke Nukem Forever2. However bear in mind that a license is a very weak form of ownership which guarantees you very little. A cautionary tale from Sproingrsquos past. In the early 2000s an engine called RenderWare3 was becoming tremendously popular. Sproing decided to build its game engine around it as did other developers most famously maybe Rockstar North for the Grand Theft Auto 3 trilogy. This went very well until in 2004 RenderWarersquos owner Canon of camera and printer fame decided to sell it to Electronic Arts. Soon after that EA stopped license sales to 3rd parties and support and maintenance of ldquopublicrdquo version of RenderWare started to decay. Most notably it became clear that no versions for the then new consoles PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 would be forthcoming. Rockstar started working on RAGE4 and Sproing left with no rendering engine and considerably less monetary power was forced to start over as well. The RenderWare incident was pretty bad but what about the currently available engines Letrsquos look at two very popular examples. Unreal Engine Its owner Epic Games is and has always been a highly respected developer. However in 2012 an aggressively expanding Chinese company called Tencent - today the biggest games publisher worldwide - bought roughly 48.8 of Epic Games including the right to appoint members of the board for hundreds of millions of dollars. In the wake of this acquisition the business model

So You039re Going To Be An Indie Parent - by Adam Saltsman - Link Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:16:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs So Youre Going To Be An Indie Parent by Adam Saltsman on 100715 121600 pm 15 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 been meaning to make some notes about what itrsquos like to be a fun-employed dad in a creative industry. Nowrsquos as good a time as any I suppose. Also shoutouts to Kert Gartner whorsquos talked about this stuff before too. Oh and my best friend haha with a particular focus on moms in indie games. So yea lately I feel like Irsquove been having the same conversation over and over which I donrsquot mind but always makes me think ldquohmm I should write this down.rdquo This conversation starts like this ldquoWersquore having our first child soon Wersquore excited but sort of terrified. How does this workrdquo The way it works is this you are about to do the best work of your life. You are about to become fully realized in ways you never even imagined. Your understanding of what you are capable of and what you and your partner are capable of together is going to be sort of humbling and inspiring at the same time. Yoursquore going to be filled with regret about all the time you wasted before this - you could have made 10x as many games instead of perfecting that Dark Souls speedrun - but then those are the experiences that made you who you are so deal with it. Dealing with that is good practice because dealing with things is what you are going to do now. A quick assurance about output I did the best work of my life only after our kids were born. It feels like wersquore playing for keeps now. Time spent on the computer is The Real Deal. If yoursquore into that feeling that sense that you are spending your time well parenting is kind of a constant adrenaline high spinning plates and juggling tasks at a level that would make champion League players take notice. I think some people are able to do this naturally without the pressure of oh shit what if I fail my growing family but for us the external demands did change and also changed our perspective. On some level at least for us wersquove become Just Plain Better People. Demands will be made of your ability to empathize to relate to forgive to be patient to get up earlier to focus more to GIVE more. Itrsquos easier than it sounds because in all likelihood you will WANT this because this is what makes it work. That said there have been specific things where my expectations didnrsquot really align much with reality that I would love to just note here in case it overlaps with anyone else or helps with those jittery 9 months before The Big Day. Recreational video games or recreational anythings really are probably going to be a thing of the past for you for a few years. There will be some exceptions but the way itrsquos worked for me is something like this in any given day Irsquove gothellip maybe 16-18 hours of Being Awake Time. A chunk of that time is probably going to be dedicated to the aforementioned creative industry in which you choose to work because yoursquore a passionate idiot. A chunk of that time is going to go to just raw maintenance - fixing things cleaning things improving things including yourself. A chunk of that time is going to go to family. A chunk of that time is going to go tohellip bleh letrsquos call it ldquomedia consumptionrdquohellip but that includes movies books etc as well as games. The hours in the day are going to be shorter and yoursquore going to have to decide what to do with them. For us spending our work time on games frequently means spending our recreational time with movies TV novels and non-fiction bookshellip and yes sometimes games. But the all-night CSGO servers and DotA2 marathons are probably not going to cut it. And letrsquos be honest some weeks the amount of recreation time yoursquore going to have at all is just not going to be much. Period. But every week is different. And yoursquoll feel pretty good about this because if itrsquos not obvious this is a CHOICE you are making now. This isnrsquot a situation of ldquough my family is taking away my video gamesrdquo itrsquos more like ldquooh man. i like this game but i donrsquot think i have time for a 7th hobby right now I want to play blocks with my hilarious two year old instead.rdquo Will it suck to play Splatoon less In some ways. But Splatoon will still be around when your kids go off to kindergarten in a few years and you can play ALL MORNING while theyrsquore at school. Suckers You are going to have less wiggle room in general. This is kind of a catch-all term that we use for lots of things around here - schedules mistakes last minute meetings visitors popping in spontaneous appointments sleeping in budgets monthly burn rates and so on. This was a thing that I absolutely took for granted and despite not having any particularly rosy view of the future was legitimately surprised to see it disappear almost entirely especially after child number two arrived. This is the thing about things you take for granted though - you kind of canrsquot anticipate them disappearing because you donrsquot even know theyrsquore there. Anyways for me it works like this now. Did you stay up too late last night Too bad. Yoursquore up at 7am anyways and therersquos no time to nap. That is Sleep Lost Forever. Donrsquot miss bedtime Impulse-purchased a bunch of stuff Well this makes groceries tricky because the only other option is to take the kids out of preschool which is about eleven different kinds of catastrophic. Want to go out to eat Figure it out as far in advance if you can. Babysitters have crazy schedules and you have to accommodate that if you want some of that sweet sweet alone time. Again this sounds kind of grim or scary but most of the time it actually just feels like your schedule MATTERS now. Even simple things are significant and meaningful. You may find

The Humanist Methodology Hiring is the Most Important Thing We Do - by - Link Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:16:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs The Humanist Methodology Hiring is the Most Important Thing We Do by Coray Seifert on 100715 121600 pm 25 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 Humanist Methodology is a holistic leadership philosophy that aims to maximize the output of innovation teams by combining proven best practices with a dedication to work-life balance. I am writing this series of blog posts with the goal of helping other producers managers and leaders deploy their teams in the most effective and sustainable manner possible. For a little bit of background on the inspirations and goals for this project check out this introductory blog post. For a comprehensive breakdown of its pillars terminology and aspirations please refer toThe Humanist Manifesto. I39ve been a reader and fan of Gamasutra for as long as I39ve been in the games industry andI look forward to improving these offerings via feedback comments and interaction with this great community. --------------------- I do a lot of planning and thinking linearly. It39s the most straightforward way to start to unpack a problem and it helps you build a foundation that is easy to consider and build upon. Fortunately the most important element of The Humanist Methodology just happens to start at the beginning of the creative development process. How you hire fire and build your team will define your success as a leader so you better be good at it...or you won39t be a leader for long. Simply put hiring is the most important thing we do. If there39s one thing you take away from The Humanist Methodology it39s this. All other tasks we do are secondary. There are myriad reasons why but before we dive into them let39s just repeat and restate for emphasis The most important thing we do - the single most important thing we do - is hiring. This is not an original thought. Many successful companies and thought leaders have figured this out. Let39s take a look at a few of my favorites. If you have other suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments section VALVE The wonderful Valve Corporation famously detailed their hiring practices in section 5.1 of their appropriately wonderful Handbook for New Employees The entire handbook is a great read but this section is one I come back to again and again. They hit the nail on the head for why hiring is so important in great detail If we start adding people to the company who arenrsquot as capable as we are at operating as high-powered self directed senior decision makers then lots of the stuff discussed in this book will stop working. It may sound slightly self-assured but it makes a ton of sense and is critically applicable to The Humanist Methodology. That being said even if you only adopt part of this methodology it remains true. If you do not hire people who fit into your way of doing things your system will quickly fall apart. STEVE JOBS Steve Jobs also nicely enumerated the importance of hiring during interviews with Rama Dev Jager and Rafael Ortiz for In the Company of Giants Candid Conversations with the Visionaries of the Digital World a few very good excerpts available in this article in Business Week The key observation is that in most things in life the dynamic range between average quality and the best quality is at most two-to-one. For example if you were in New York and compared the best taxi to an average taxi you might get there 20 percent faster. In terms of computers the best PC is perhaps 30 percent better than the average PC. There is not that much difference in magnitude. Rarely you find a difference of two-to-one. Pick anything. But in the field that I was interested in -- originally hardware design -- I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1. Given that you39re well advised to go after the cream of the cream. That39s what we39ve done. You can then build a team that pursues the A players. A small team of A players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players. That39s what I39ve tried to do. This trend very much extends to software development. A world class senior engineer or artist can easily generate 5x the value of a mediocre collaborator not only in terms of raw output but in terms of the quality of said output. If yoursquore working in a business where quality is not a major concern the return on a best of breed collaborator may be closer to that 21 margin. If yoursquore operating in a high revenue margin business or a market driven by quality you may see close to 501 return. Given that a world class collaborator might cost 1.5-3x what an average talent does the bottom-line finances makes sense too. ED CATMULL Ed Catmull is another great resource on the topic. He lays out his thoughts in Creativity Inc. in a way thatrsquos always stuck with me ldquoIf you give a good idea to a mediocre team they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.rdquo Itrsquos the truth. This is why so many successful startups focus on building a small team full of world class talent then iterate and pivot as they find the business model product or service that works for them. Itrsquos why great people surround themselves with exceptional individuals and then encourage them to rip their ideas apart. There will come a time when you will be challenged by your manager funding partners or shareholders to defend why you are spending so many hours dollars and brain cycles on hiring instead of your core business. Hopefully the above examples and many more out there on the internet will help. --------------------- To provide you with more ammunition for these types of conversation here are a few more hard-learned leadership lessons from my own

PR Intelligence Video game events - by Thomas Bidaux - Link Tue, 06 Oct 2015 01:45:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs PR Intelligence Video game events by Thomas Bidaux on 100715 121600 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. While I had some requests to look into the Tokyo Game Show the way we looked into gamescom or E3 I thought that with the event being at a different scale on this side of the world the tool doesnrsquot track very well coverage from Asian media and they are just excluded from the data on these posts it could be the opportunity to look at the coverage of different game events instead of an in-depth look at just TGS. The usual disclaimers from the articles on the media monitor apply but on top of this I need to remind everyone that we canrsquot currently properly track E3 specifically in the media coverage hence the slightly different methodology applied in the E3 coverage article. Methodology for events ndash the Key 20 days When looking at the way events are covered in the media there was an interesting pattern on the timing of the coverage. There is some media attention as the event is getting closer and the hype is ramping up. You have rumours of the reveals you can expect announcements about what to expect on site this sort of things. Events also happen with very different timing in terms of the week of the day they happen. Business events will take place during the work week consumer events will usually continue during the weekend. Then you have such a density of information being thrown at the audience that you also see a good amount of coverage happening the week following the events when some interviews that couldnrsquot be put formatted properly during the event itself or some change encounter that could only probably followed up on afterwards can finally be published. To cover all those aspects and looking at patterns of media coverage across different events I decided on a formula that seemed to apply fairly for all events. Taking on the first day of the event I take the media coverage of the 9 days preceding the event and the 11 days from the day the event start. I called them the Key 20 days for lack of a better terminology. As you will see I also consider the media coverage on a daily basis but this formula gives me a component to compare the events with each other. Tokyo Game Show This yearrsquos Tokyo Game Show had a Sony press conference ahead of the show. And comparing the media coverage of this year with the coverage of last year there is a very interesting effect that immediately noticeable. The total amount of media coverage is not massively different from last year. But a lot of the media coverage shifted to a few days earlier coinciding with the Sony conference. It seems that the Sony conference had no effect but to displace when the media coverage happened. To be fair over the key 20 days there has been a marginal growth year-on-year but nothing incredibly significant. There are two possibilities I would tend to align with the second option if only because the Sony Conference happened at a much more convenient time during the work week. Of course it shifted a lot of the Sony specific media coverage earlier but I would have expected to see a more significant growth due to the more friendly timing. This hidden decrease could possibly be related to a weaker lineup of titles at the show this year compared to 2014. This is just a theory though ndash at the end of the day TGS this year still had more media presence and any growth is a good sign for them. Video Game Events scales Events around video games seems to be multiplying every year be they business events or consumer events. More and more local events are organised conferences multiply as the industry diversifies. In a marketing budget events can represent very significant investments And not just because of the actual cash cost but also in terms of the human resources that need to be allocated for it and the disruption they can have on the development of games in order to have playable builds for them. Getting a sense of the ROI for events is incredibly difficult ndash and while media coverage is one element to look at it is definitely not the only measure to take into account. Still this is the tool I have at my disposal and one that can provide some interesting frame for references. To clarify this graph both PAXes in there are the PAX Prime event in Seattle the largest of the PAX event. PGW is the Paris Games week and I didnrsquot put the 2015 numbers because the event hasnrsquot happened yet itrsquos at the end of October. I will post the 2015 numbers on Twitter and might do a follow up of this article on it. The reason the PGW was included despite being a pretty ldquosmallrdquo event from a media coverage point of view is because Sony will do an international press conference ahead of the event. It was presented as the replacement for its gamescom conference that didnrsquot happen this year leaving Microsoft alone to take the lead on the event media coverage. What is very revealing with this graph is the difference in the magnitude of each event for media coverage. Keeping in mind that the tools we use donrsquot properly cover Asian media the TGS is a significantly smaller event compared to gamescom and it makes sense in that regard. What is more impressive is the difference in scale between those 2 events and PAX Prime. PAX Prime is a consumer first event but it saw more and more announcements being made there the years. Cliff Bleszinskyrsquos upcoming LawBreakers used that event for its first reveal for instance and to great effect IMHO. There is an impressive discrepancy in the media impact between the premiere shows with established brands and strong support from the largest actors and the rest. While I expected a big difference this is bigger than I would have expected. If E3 was in the graph it would dwarf gamescom

Arrangement for Vertical Layers Pt. 2 - by Winifred Phillips - Link Mon, 05 Oct 2015 03:57:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Arrangement for Vertical Layers Pt. 2 by Winifred Phillips on 100615 014500 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. Welcome back to my three-part blog series on the art of arrangement for dynamic music systems in games In this series of articles Irsquom discussing the techniques of arrangement as they pertain to interactive game music by exploring examples from the music I composed for video games from the LittleBigPlanet franchise. In part one of this series we went over the role of the arranger the importance of an interesting and creative arrangement and the relationship between arranging for traditional linear and non-linear interactive music. We also reviewed arranging techniques that apply to melody and how these should or should not be applied in an interactive composition. If you haven39t read part one please click here to read that entry first and then return here to continue reading part two. Okay are you back now Ready Here we go The countermelody A countermelody is a second melody playing simultaneously with the main melodic line. Usually the countermelody is perceived as subordinate to the foreground melody of the composition but when we give it lots of love and attention the countermelody can be as memorable and pleasing as the main melody of the piece. Not only does this make the overall composition stronger but it works beautifully with the Vertical Layering construct of the LittleBigPlanet dynamic music system. When we create a countermelody for an interactive track it39s always best for us to keep in mind that this melody should be strong enough to stand on its own... because it may have to do just that. As we discussed in part one of this blog series a melody in Vertical Layers often needs to stand in near or even complete isolation. When all the other layers are deactivated the main melody has to be strong enough to carry the track forward and continue to entertain the gamer. This may also be true for the countermelody if it has been assigned to a layer separate from that which the main melody occupies. Separating the melody and countermelody can be tremendously useful for this interactive music system because then two of the layers contain unique simultaneous foreground melodic content that can either coexist or be played separately. Of course it39s also possible to assign the melody and countermelody to the same layer and we can decide to do that if it seems that these melody lines are too interrelated to sever. Let39s now embark on a few arrangement concepts that work very effectively for countermelodies. Then wersquoll wrestle with some arrangement techniques for countermelodies that can be questionable within the Vertical Layering system. Effective technique voice leading step-wise movement As we discussed in the first part of this blog series step-wise movement voice leading involves the creation of a sequence of notes that proceed smoothly and give the impression of logical development. The satisfaction that the listener experiences from hearing such natural sensible movement in a melody arises from a long history of established conventions and practices in music theory. These include the many musical scales that have been formalized and named over the years this long list will give us an idea of how many of these musical scales exist. The more familiar the musical scale the more comfortable it will feel to the listener. Melodies typically follow the step-wise movement established by scales and leaps within these melodies are designed to feel compatible with them. In the previous blog we discussed how step-wise movement can make an isolated foreground melody feel satisfying on its own. This same principle applies to a countermelody that occupies its own layer within the Vertical Layering system. When that layer is played by itself it should also feel rewarding and enjoyable. Step-wise movement will help the countermelody to continue to make aesthetic sense even when detached from the rest of the arrangement and played on its own. In this example from the LittleBigPlanet 3 Stitchem Manor track we39ll first hear the layer containing the melody which is carried by the violin section. Then we39ll hear the countermelody performed by woodwinds. Finally we39ll listen to both the melody and countermelody layers playing together. As we can see from the above example both the melody and countermelody follow step-wise movement and the same scale and harmonic structure so that the shape and movement of the melodic lines remains pleasing both separately and combined. This example also demonstrates another arrangement technique that works well within this interactive system Effective technique polythematic polyrhythmic motion One of the best ways for us to help the countermelody stand on its own as a viable melody in its own right is to distinguish it clearly from the main melody. We can emphasize contrast with two techniques that pertain to the ways in which melodies move. Polythematic music is sometimes defined as music structured around multiple melodies but the term can also refer to the ways in which these melodies interact. Focusing on contrasting opposites in musical structure the polythematic approach emphasizes contrary rhythms textures movements and energy levels. If the main melody on top is sustained and slowly mellifluous the countermelody underneath will feature short punctuated notes and energetic leaps. The emphasis is always on finding the greatest contrast between one melody and the other. This arrangement technique helps to clearly differentiate the two melodies giving them unique musical identities. Polyrhythmic music is often defined as the juxtaposition of two contrasting time signatures for instance a jig rhythm set against a traditional common-time march. These

Exhibiting at the Tokyo Game Show indie area was it worth it - by - Link Mon, 05 Oct 2015 01:52:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Exhibiting at the Tokyo Game Show indie area was it worth it by Brandon Sheffield on 100515 035700 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. This is my 11th Tokyo Game Show if I recall correctly. I went every year except one between 2004 and 2015 ndash first as a journalist then as a Sense of Wonder Night judge and now many years later as an actual exhibitor in the ldquoindie areardquo with Necrosoft Games39 Gunsport. The indie section is free to exhibit infor qualifying companies but you still have to rent a monitor and possibly a PC and you still have to fly out there so there39s quite a bit of cost involved for a foreigner like myself. Was it worth it Well it39s a mixed bag. Gunsport featuring one of the new teams left we showcased at TGS. What is today39s TGS The Tokyo Game Show has changed a lot over the years. When I went for the first time in 2004 there were still PS2 games on the show floor. The PSP was on the horizon and was coming out in Japan in just a couple months. Likewise the DS was not yet out and the GBA was still Nintendo39s current console ndash developers would still regularly release games for the GBA for two more years. These were heady times. Japanese devs were high off their successes with the PS2 were ready to transition to a new platform with the PSP and anticipating the challenge that the DS presented. Each console had an existing analog too ndash the PSP was ldquobasicallyrdquo a PS2 in terms of processing power. The DS was ldquobasicallyrdquo an N64. It was all very familiar and the console industry was feeling optimistic and there were a lot of interesting ideas and experiments being undertaken. You could see this all on the show floor of the Tokyo Game Show. One console generation later and that would all change. The era of the PS3 and 360 were the beginning of the end for Japanese console games and you could see that in the booths. Every year the booths shrank shrank. There were fewer games ndash the games that were there looked more and more dated compared to their American or European counterparts. There were some standouts of course. But by and large it was clear that Japan was moving away from console. 2013 was the last time I decided to write about the phenomenon. And then along came smartphones. This revitalized the Japanese games business ndash here was a way to make money again though it was largely the new upstarts that made it less the older more lumbering console businesses something we39ve seen here in the US as well. For a while this was depressing to me but once I accepted that this was going to be the dominant model I started to see things a little differently. Now a couple years later I do think this money has trickled down through the rest of the industry or at least has inspired optimism. GungHo has bought up and sustained console developers such as Grasshopper Manufacture while also investing in indie titles. Sega39s partnership with Atlus yielded a much more impressive showing for both companies at this year39s TGS. The smartphone booths are less about showcasing more about swag and community engagement. Smart moves have been made to ensure this year39s TGS is at the very least not depressing. Now to the indie section So where do I fit in to all this as a foreign indie dev Not exactly where I39d hoped. In 2013 the indie section was in a separate building and from what I heard was rather under attended. Due I thought at the time to that disappointment the indie area was moved onto the main show floor in 2014 which was great and showed a real commitment to the future of the industry. I presumed that39s where the booth would be again because it was clearly more successful there. Unfortunately that was not the case. We were stuck in the back room so to speak. Here39s a look at the space during setup The indie section was separated and ignored. We were in a separate hall away from all the folks with money. We were crowded into a relatively small space ndash 50-something games in a booth smaller than a single booth for a single company in the main halls. There was almost no signage announcing that we existed or that hall 9 was even populated by anyone. There were tiny aisles between the games facing each other making it tough to go through and visually browse. I feel for the games that were facing the back wall ndash they were pretty tough to see. The first day I39d say about 60-100 people came by and I knew at least half of them personally. That is to say they just came by to check out my game because they knew I was there and sought me out specifically. Keep in mind there were theoretically almost 30000 people there that day. The second day I had seen around a dozen people by 1230 PM show opens at 10 and they were all friends so I shut down put a big frowny face on my monitor and walked around the show floor since I had to go to the Sense of Wonder Night show at 200 anyway I was a judge there and had nobody helping me that day. That39s apparently when all the Japanese press came by as well as two publishers who were looking for me. Well what can you do My abandoned station. The first two days are ldquobusinessrdquo days so all attendees were industry media or other professionals. Public days are the real deal with 100000 attendees at times. Both of these days were much better for me with a pretty steady stream of players maybe a couple hundred. At first we had pretty low traffic flow but one of the guys helping me out had the idea to turn my monitor sideways since I was on an edge table. Big thanks to the folks who came out to help me Paul McCann Rico Trask and Aaron SteenndashI would39ve gone insane without you fellows. This worked to attract many more people and also get us out of the hair of our neighbor who we kept bumping into with our four players. Saturday

Secrets of F2P Threat Generation - by Ramin Shokrizade - Link Mon, 05 Oct 2015 01:52:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Secrets of F2P Threat Generation by Ramin Shokrizade on 100515 015200 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. Selling someone a product that you have already given them for free is not easy. In the mobile space the primary focus of this paper conversion rates are typically 2. Thus we are failing to monetize 98 of our actively participating customers. Unlike many of my other papers this one is not about how to improve our industry ethics or conversion rates. The objective of this paper is to explain the mechanics of threat generation the most commonly used technique in the mobile space for generating conversion. This paper sets the foundation for game-specific discussions in my next paper on how these techniques can create negative feedback loops in your game that inhibit revenue generation. Threat generation is the act of generating anxiety in a consumer while also offering to ldquoprotectrdquo them from the anxiety you just created for a fee. Early iterations like fun pain have been around for several years. Current techniques which I will detail here have become much more complex and sophisticated in how they generate threat. Threat Deflection The biggest problem with threat generation is that if a player feels sufficient anxiety they may just stop using your product. The key here is to maintain the anxiety but obfuscate the source of that threat so that the developer or platform provider will not be blamed for their actions. Premium Currencies The European Union has implemented regulatory guidelines requiring the publication of the most common types of in app purchases IAPs in games likely to be played by children. Seeing exactly what might be sold in-game might generate threat that cannot be deflected to a source other than the developer or platform provider. So the very first line of deflection will be to require all IAPs be made with a premium game currency. This not only makes the consumer less conscious of the cost of in game purchases but also allows the platform provider to hide all IAPs. Instead only the purchase costs of premium currencies will be made public. Let me use an analogy here. Let39s pretend a government outlawed the commercial sale of kitten or puppy petting to children without full disclosure of these activities so that parents could protect their children. We know children are helpless before the seductive power of these baby critters and would quickly lose all their money. So the ldquopetting industryrdquo reacts by requiring all petting activities to be paid for in ldquotokensrdquo. So when adults ask what is being sold in these ldquopetting parlorsrdquo the proprietors answer smugly ldquowe sell tokensrdquo Problem solved threat deflected. When you go to the Apple App store there are no IAP39s disclosed there. Only premium currency sales ldquotokensrdquo are disclosed. In my opinion this is an attempt to skirt the law using language that may confuse regulators as well as consumers. Threat Deflection in Multiplayer Games Threat deflection in multi-player competitive games is fairly straight forward using a technique called Threat by Proxy. Cooperative multi-player games despite intense consumer demand for them largely don39t exist in the F2P mobile space. Presumably this is because industry does not know how to monetize them. Threat by proxy involves encouraging your players to attack each other while you stay ldquoneutralrdquo and offer protection from these malicious actions. Imagine you are thrown into the Roman Coliseum along with some hungry lions. You can blame the lions for your fate but it is your Roman masters that have engineered your demise and who are to blame not the lions. The lions are trying to survive this situation just like you are. But in a game using threat by proxy the game language and mechanisms will be carefully crafted to keep your attention on your fellow players and what they might do to you next. The most popular mobile games that use threat by proxy are in the Tower Defense TD genre. These games have you build up a base that generates resources for you over time. You can then use these resources to improve your base which is a slow process. Other players can raid your base and steal those resources. This is very effective at generating anxiety because it uses the technique of reward removal. Removing a reward that has already been acquired is much more painful to the player than if they didn39t get the reward at all. Resources generated can be spent to improve defenses to repel the actions of other players. Allowing players a free way to avoid threat would be disastrous so as players raise their defenses the program is designed to send more advanced opponents after them. Thus any feelings of improved security caused by building defenses are illusory. The only reliable ways of defending against reward removal will cost real money. Typical purchases are ldquoinstant buildsrdquo. In TD games any building you attempt to improve will go off-line while it is upgrading which can take days. Presumably you need that building to help you defend yourself or to help build something that will defend you. So even attempting to defend yourself increases the threat against you further. Instant building reduces this threat. The sale of game resources is also fairly typical in TD games. It may be stressful to have your resources stolen but if you can just have as much as you want by buying them you are now immune to threat. Some games are combining instant building with resource sales to just sell instant building upgrades. No resources required. This streamlines the monetization process by removing one step. It also removes one purchase decision giving the consumer less opportunity to consider the costs of their actions. Total protection in the form of a

What Did 039Better039 Mean - by David H. Schroeder - Link Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:58:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs What Did Better Mean by David H. Schroeder on 100515 015200 pm 4 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Previous Post No Such Thing as a Random Number 1982. In writing my first game Crisis Mountain I felt like I was creating a straight-forward variation on Donkey Kong. Sure I changed barrels to boulders and added ticking bombs. I loved that you could pick up or drop the shovel and that when the little fellow died he sprouted wings and flew to heaven. But the whole thing was driven by a passion to imitate Donkey Kong as I described in my previous post. In designing my second game I knew I could do better. But what was better The quality bar for games was now much higher than it had been only a year earlier when I began writing Crisis Mountain. As I discussed in my first post the parade of early coin-operated video games kept redefining what an interactive experience could be. If Pac-Mac and its arcade siblings shared a common thread it was inherited from the pinball machines sitting nearby But computer games at home werenrsquot restricted by the need to grab the playerrsquos next quarter. They could linger. They could roam. Primitive flight and combat simulators appeared. Role-playing adventures such as Bob Clardyrsquos ldquoOdysseyrdquo and ldquoApventure to Atlantisrdquo began their gradual growth to epic proportions. The seeds of virtual worlds were being sown. Story. What kind of story did I want to tell A primary inspiration remained Donkey Kong because it fit my psyche. I didnrsquot want to shoot anything or fight anyone or even defend myself. I wanted to survive. I wanted to feel that ndash using my reflexes and wits ndash I could endure improve things even prosper. That notion remains at the heart of all my games. I certainly wasnrsquot the first person intrigued by dinosaurs and time travel but this was three years before Back to the Future six years before The Land Before Time and eight years before Jurassic Park. As boys my brother and I had created and exchanged Dinosaur Cards with each other kind of like baseball cards but with dinosaurs on them. We owned an educational slide show called Digging For Dinosaurs narrated on a 45 r.p.m. vinyl record by Walter Cronkite. When the slide showed a Stegosaurus confronting a T-Rex the soundtrack used the same excerpt from Stravinskyrsquos The Rite of Spring that Walt Disney had used in Fantasia. Who wouldnrsquot want to rescue the dinosaurs from extinction The creative gem that popped into my head was adding Guilt to that equation. You felt duty-bound to rescue as many Dino Eggs and Dino Babies as you could ndash because you had sealed their doom when you introduced Measles into the prehistoric era. In my coming game revival Dino Eggs Rebirth it isnrsquot Measles itrsquos the Common Cold. In writing the text for the original game in 1983 Measles sounded funnier than a Cold. But for the new game here in 2015 I am dramatizing the fateful moment of contamination with a huge graphic sneeze so it seems better now to call it a Cold. Irsquove already gotten criticism for this change. ldquoDonrsquot you understand that it was ldquoreallyrdquo Measles that Time Master Tim gave to the Dinosaurs not a Coldrdquo Sheesh Now I know how George Lucas must feel sometimes. Note to Mr. Lucas Han shot Greedo first. Interaction. Herersquos where I was so fortunate with Dino Eggs. Every pre-historic object and creature I dreamt up started ldquoclickingrdquo into natural interactions with each other ndash so that everything on the screen could affect or be affected by everything else in a kind of ldquorockpaperscissorsrdquo way And because I came up with a ldquotilerdquo system for the game screen all of these relationships began to play out in columns and rows giving Dino Eggs the feel of an animated game of chess. I remember that these ideas came in layers. First I knew I wanted eggs. I knew that I wanted to rescue them and ldquofeel the painrdquo if they were lost or contaminated. Then --consciously trying to break the mold that computer games had inherited from pinball machines --I thought Why not have negative scoring Why not some serious tough love You lose an egg you pay for it. You lose a Baby Dino you really regret it. A couple of months into writing the game I thought What if these eggs could hatch What would Baby Dinos look like I had already created the descending spiders. Only then did I think What if these spiders could pick up the Baby Dinos and carry them off Visual variety. This would be my most fundamental challenge. Crisis Mountain had two hand-drawn background screens. Even as I wrote Dino Eggs a new game calledMiner 2049rsquoerbecame a sensation. Miner boasted ten ndash count lsquoem ndash ten distinctive background screens. Yikes How could I beat that To be continued... Related Jobs 10.08.15 Senior Engine Programmer Unreal Engine 10.08.15 Sr. Graphics Engineer Unreal Engine 10.08.15 Server Software Engineer 10.08.15 Senior Game Engineer View All Jobs 255291 blog blogsDavidHSchroeder20151005255291What_Did_Better_Mean.php 999872 35501903 Loading Comments

Indie games Toys in cereal boxes - by Vincent Beauzee - Link Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:58:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Indie games Toys in cereal boxes by Vincent Beauzee on 100915 125800 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. Hello gamedevs players and people who are just hanging around Psycho Starship Rampage our roguelike-like space shooter has been out on Sept. 28 2015. For the last few weeks we have been hard at work testing hunting last bugs. So as to offer the best gaming experience possible. For us this release does not mean the end of the project but a kind of beginning. Of course we will help the players with any issue they may have and solve potential technical problems if they arise. Especially if Psycho Starship Rampage becomes a relatively popular game we will be very happy to add more content to it. And by that I do not mean selling DLC. I do not mean re-selling the same game with a couple more items packaged as a brand new bullshit ldquoshiny metal ass editionrdquo. No an update is an update the players buy our game they do not have to rebuy it for a brand new plasma cannon that fires purple bullets instead of blue ones. All additional content updates will be free. Period. The true subject of this post is the price of Psycho Starship Rampage and the prices of indie games in general. Our game has been launched at 9.99 and we will not participate in sales and bundles for a long time. We settled on this price after much thinking and care. We think it39s a fair price. There is quite some talk about the price of games these days and at Ballistic Frogs we have strong opinions about that subject. Psycho Starship Rampage represents at least 20 hours of fun for 9.99 and much much more if you want to master every weaponsequipments we have created. It is the price for two pints of good beer in France. Two beers will not last you longer than one or two hours. 9.99 is not expensive relatively to all the work and love and sweat we put in this game. We are a team of four people some of whom work full-time and the game took over a year to develop. Quality work takes time and thus money. 9.99 is not a lot of money but when the market keeps lowering game prices it is actually undercutting quality creative work giving developers less space to maneuver and take risks and we as a community as gamers are hurting the life-force of what we love - video games. Let us be very clear we are not against sales and bundles. We might participate in them some day. Alkemi39s point of view may seem a little extreme but I understand it. More I applaud it because their business model allows it. However if one day Psycho Starship Rampage is sold on sale or in bundles it is going to be quite some time from now. When Wellhellip Not too soon. That means when the game has had some shelf life and loyal buyers who paid the full price have been able to enjoy it. Honestly I am shocked to see how quickly developers can reduce the value of their work. Sometimes it is only a month after release. How does it look for players who bought your game at full cost when it was released What happens is this when too many developers do that it becomes reasonable to think that a 50 sale is a good price for a new game. Thatrsquos perfectly understandablehellip But NO It is not a good price. Yes you might gather more players more quickly and yet I am not entirely sure but it feeds a vicious circle which reduces again and again the value of games. That creates a more difficult market for the next games. When sales come too soon players will always wait for sales. We are shooting ourselves in the foot. According to Steam Spy the median sales of a game on its release is 4000 copies. Of course Why buy a game at full price if you can have it at half price or less in three months So many players have their Steam account full of non-played games now they can easily find another one and wait for three more months. And early buyers can feel utterly betrayed and disgusted by such a policy. In short it is short-sighted and hurts the whole market starting with developers and thus players on the long run. So we will not participate in this. Maybe we will lose buyers whom - I can understand them - want a rebate. So be it. Moreover it is known that Steam key resellers wait for bundles and big reductions to buy games... and sell them later for a profit. There is no way I will offer these people a way to make money on OUR work. Yes like everybody I bought games on bundles and during sales. And I will do it again when I will have time to play. But only on games that have been released at least a year ago. Bundles and sales then give these games a second life - and thatrsquos what their role should be. But how many times have I seen on Steam a game that was released three months ago with its price already cut 50 Yes I know there are too many games released nowadays. I know it is hard to make a living if you do not run salesbundles. The game will not be profitable on the short term. BREAKING NEWS those games which go on sale too fast do not either. Every day there are at least one hundred games going on sale on Steam. And strangely enough some games would seem to increase their price just before going on sale so as to take advantage of that big ldquo50 offrdquo tag.... Hoping for the sheer number of buyers to compensate for the low price is a very risky strategy and even worse it wears out every time someone uses it. Please do not mix small indies like us with the triple III. They have started a long time ago got experienced and made contacts in the game business and they now have a strong fanbase that helps them a lot to spread news and information about their releases. When they go on sale for the first time they know the low price will be compensated by the number of buyers. So what is the solution We will be maintaining and selling our game on the long run. The very long

The Controversy Multiplier - by Michael Levall - Link Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:58:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs The Controversy Multiplier by Michael Levall on 100915 125800 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 Controversy Multiplier Welcome to The Controversy Multiplier A guide to controversy for AAA game publishers. This guide aims to explain the concept of using controversy to increase marketing reach and sales. Many publishers today seem to believe that controversy is a bad thing that is best left to smaller indie developers with a niche demographic for it might scare large amounts of their broad customer base away. This is completely false As this guide will show you using controversy as a tool for developing and marketing your games can have measurable positive effects. Some publishers have already jumped on this so don39t fall behind Use this guide when looking for new game concepts to fund or when giving feedback to ongoing projects. And remember as the market evolves many of the below points will become unusable as their controversy fades You better act while the market still has some unexplored areas left for you to tap into. Are you ready to spice up your game Here we go. This is how it works In this guide you will find two lists of bullet points for you to use when making decisions during your game project. One is for the game itself the other is for productionstaffmanagement and other areas that are related to game development but not part of the actual software. The multiplier supplied with each bullet point can be multiplied with each other to give your projected total increase in marketing visibility. The controversy multiplier number is derived from a wide array of parameters and includes but is not limited to The possibility media will pick up on your product the possibility of twitter storms occurring the ability for consumers to remember your product your products ability to stand out on the market and so on. An example Letrsquos say that you have a female lead who is also a lesbian. This will net you an increase of 1.1 for the Female Lead and 1.4 for the HBTQ Lead points. This will have the following result 1.1 x 1.4 1.54x Controversy Multiplier Value It is important to note that the final value is larger than what you would have gotten if you had used addition to summarize your point values. This is because the more controversy you add the more they will synergize with each other to help you reach even greater heights in marketing and sales. To put this in real world terms Your game would have enjoyed a 54 increase in free marketing and the sales that comes with it. You donrsquot believe me Look at the game Gone Home and tell me it would have gotten the same amount of press and media presence had it not included those two points. Admittedly the numbers in this guide are more of a guideline than hard fact. However they still work as a handy outline and are proven in real games being released time and time again. Now letrsquos begin. Pick the points below that you want or that your game already has and calculate your own Controversy Multiplier Value Game Related Controversy Production Related Controversy Final Words Remember that the above points are not a substitute for making a good game. They are used to multiply your base media presence and resulting sales not add to it. The list is not comprehensive I have added the points that I feel are most important in todayrsquos market to help start you off. If you can think of other points that you believe would fit feel free to add them with their own values and use them in your calculations Still remember that moderation is key. Adding all of the above points into a single game would probably make it quite chaotic and possibly worsehellip or would it Who wrote this My name is Michael Levall and I am a game developer from Sweden. I am currently working on the game Please Knock on My Door which is a game about depression loneliness and phobia. If you want to hear more from me find me on the links below Developer Diary on GameDevThoughts next broadcast on October 14th 7PM CEST Send me your thoughts on twitter GTLime Follow Please Knock on My Door39s progress onFacebook Have a look at my Portfolio Related Jobs 10.09.15 Character TD Rigger 10.09.15 Lead ArchitectSenior Developers 10.09.15 School and Library Marketing Associate 10.09.15 Experienced Artist View All Jobs 255774 blog blogsMichaelLevall20151009255774The_Controversy_Multiplier.php 937993 Loading Comments

To Succeed in China First Thing You Should Know is Chinese App Stores - Link Fri, 09 Oct 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 October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs To Succeed in China First Thing You Should Know is Chinese App Stores by Echo Zeng on 100915 125800 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. Many western developers have been trying to get into Chinese mobile games market but few have succeeded. Itrsquos a tough market but too big to ignore. This post is the first in an ongoing series in which we focus on Chinese mobile games market in terms of app stores localization and usersrsquo preferences etc. Today we are going to talk about Chinese app stores. As you may have noticed that Google Play is forbidden in China. Instead there are around 200 Android stores of which 15 stores are the most important and around 3050 stores are worth your attention and efforts to get your games published there. Chinese Android stores can be divided into three categories. First third-party app stores. These stores are the ones that you might be familiar with like app stores from Tencent Baidu 360 and many others. Second mobile device manufacturersrsquo stores like Xiaomi Huawei etc. Last carrier stores. There are three main carrier operators in China namely China Mobile China Unicom and China Telecom. Chinese iOS market is also more complicated than western market. We have Applersquos App Store and also have jail-breaking iOS app stores. Some publishers might launch the game in jail-breaking iOS app store first for beta testing then release it in Applersquos App Store. For a publisher in China he has to maintain relationships with all of them mentioned above and deals with SDKs of each Androidjail-breaking iOS app store. Each Androidjail-breaking iOS app store has its own SDK which need to be integrated in the game before launch. For those who are not familiar with these SDKs integration they might find it very complicated to get it done. In our previousinterviewwith Quan Yu Daum Kakao VP he revealed that they spent around three months to integrate one Chinese leading app storersquos SDK andspent another three months to integrate another SDK in the beginning.It seemed a little bit crazy but it was true. But for those who know how to do it they might get it done within a day. Next time we are going to talk about mobile game size for your guidance to do business in China. If you would like to know more about Chinese mobile games market please feel free to contact us atcontactgamegyro.com. For more information please visitwww.gamegyro.com Related Jobs 10.09.15 Character TD Rigger 10.09.15 Lead ArchitectSenior Developers 10.09.15 School and Library Marketing Associate 10.09.15 Experienced Artist View All Jobs 255803 blog blogsEchoZeng20151009255803To_Succeed_in_China_First_Thing_You_Should_Know_is_Chinese_App_Stores.php 999157 35406943 Loading Comments

How a front page Reddit post affected the sales of an indie game. - by - Link Fri, 09 Oct 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 October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs How a front page Reddit post affected the sales of an indie game. by Aksel Junkkila on 100915 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. So on the 11th of September right as our latest Kickstarter was dwindling into another failure We are back at it now I decided to write a post on reddit and let people ask me anything. I headed on over to riAMA and posted this httpswww.reddit.comrIAmAcomments3kj5koi_am_the_ceo_of_an_indie_game_development_company Needless to say I was a bit frustrated with the whole situation at that point I needed to vent a little. I know the world doesn39t owe us anything and we chose to make games nobody made the decision for us. Sometimes you still just need to vent What happened afterwards blew my mind. I refreshed and saw 4 questions had popped up. Ok somebody is actually interested nice Let39s answer these. After I had answered I refreshed and saw another 6 the post was also getting upvotes. It took me a little while to answer these and after refreshing a third time I had dozens of questions Once upvotes reached 700 I just had to look over to the Reddit front page and there it was The post ended up staying on the front page for the maximum 24 hours. I stayed up 12 hours straight answering these questions eventually I had to go to sleep and continue on the next day. I got a lot of good and valuable critique as well as comments like Why are you such an obvious loser. This made me chuckle. I have no direct answer for this my friend Almost a month has passed now and I wanted to share how all of this affected the sales of our then only mobile game Battlestation Harbinger Google PlayApple App Store. The game will be on Steam Q1 2016. Google Play store page visitor statistics. Visitors from reddit can be attributed mostly to the third-party referrer category. In total the game app store page got almost 16 000 visitors thanks to reddit. Daily Google Play sales of the game. Due to differing time zones the highest peak is shown September 12th instead of September 11th. 1779 units sold in total during these two days and a total revenue of 3198euro. 10 times more than normal at the time. All time record. Apple App Store visitor statistics. Views hovered around 600-800 a day before reddit. Approximately 12 000 visitors more during these days thanks to reddit. Daily Apple App Store sales of the game. 886 units sold during these two peak days a total revenue of 2250. 10 times more than normal all time record. The game was on sale in Google Play at the time which explains the differences in units sold and revenue. Google Play App Annie statistics. This shows the placement of the game in top paid lists in various countries. The game jumped from place 20 on the list to 2 in almost every country selling better than it ever had before. Thanks to the better placement in the lists the game kept selling better for a while after the reddit post. The sessions for the home page of the game. The link had to be removed from the reddit post due to the site not being able to sustain the traffic. Even so the web site gathered 4700 sessions during these two days. Twitter statistics from the tweet that served as proof for the riAMA post. There you have it Reddit was definitely a nice surprise in a dire moment for us but by no means are we out of the slump yet. We are still however trucking on. Our next step is to bring Battlestation Harbinger to Steam better than ever and that means we need to make improvements as suggested by our very enthusiastic community of players. We are currently running a Kickstarter and we have had a great start. Until next time Related Jobs 10.09.15 Character TD Rigger 10.09.15 Lead ArchitectSenior Developers 10.09.15 School and Library Marketing Associate 10.09.15 Experienced Artist View All Jobs 255807 blog blogsAkselJunkkila20151009255807How_a_front_page_Reddit_post_affected_the_sales_of_an_indie_game.php 993552 34282223 Loading Comments

Composing the music for Ludus - by Vegard Myklebust - Link Fri, 09 Oct 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 October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Composing the music for Ludus by Vegard Myklebust on 100915 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. The blogpost below was written by the talentedcomposer Simon Websterwho has written the music for our game in production Ludus. In the first instance it was suggested to attempt to write traditionally authentic historical music but the lack of bona fide material from the time coupled with my concern for its relevance to today39s audience encouraged me to explore a different route. The decision was made to combine authenticity with a more accessible 39contemporary Hollywood sound39. I started by referencing historical musical sources to help define my instrumental palette and inform my musical decisions. I wanted to focus on writing strong melodies using instrumentation and musical language associated with the genre and time period I was writing in. I combined this methodology with contemporary stylistic decisions to create a traditional yet cinematic crossover. We decided to write music that was culturally inspired by different geographical areas of the far reaching Roman Empire. From Hispania in the west we went through Celtic Gaul to Britannia and Germania in the north. We then followed along the Macedonian province and the Greek Isles east through Thrace and Cilicia all the way to the Parthian border and then back along Aegyptus and Numidia. We decided to title the tracks in such a way that if someone looks up the titlesthey will find some interesting piece of history from the region they are inspired by. Whilst I was given a healthy amount of creative freedom I was also instructed for each genre to cover the 3 main themes of general tasking action based and intrigueplotting. Writing in so many different genres with which I had little experience was a daunting yet fun challenge. The other requirement for this prototype was to ensure that all of the music written for the game could interweave and loop at random. I made the decision to write everything in the same tempo and complimentary key signatures keeping the development relatively linear yet at the same time ensuring there was enough variation in content style and melody to keep the listener interested. Production wise I used a combination of digitally sampled instruments and real live performances to make sure the recordings had enough realism. String sections were the most predominant instruments throughout most of the compositions and due to their nature it was vital the majority of them were recorded for real. I have now spent over a year composing music for this project on and off. It has been a unique and interesting challenge and I like how it has encouraged me to explore and write in styles and genres I wouldn39t have necessarily written in otherwise. Related Jobs 10.07.15 Principal Engineer ndash Games Solutions 09.16.15 Sound Editor Temporary Position 09.16.15 Dialogue Editor Temporary Position View All Jobs 255854 blog blogsVegardMyklebust20151009255854Composing_the_music_for_Ludus.php 993549 34282193 Loading Comments

You Won039t Finish Your Game - by Thomas Brush - Link Fri, 09 Oct 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 October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs You Wont Finish Your Game by Thomas Brush on 100915 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. You wonrsquot finish your game. No really. You probably wonrsquot. Just give up now because you are wasting your time. Or do this instead imagine the payoff of actually finishing it mdash the payoff could be financial or it could simply be that awesome moment of telling your friends that you yes you have a game on Steam. Unfortunately many indie-game devs are dreamers and not doers. Here39s the typical file structure on their computer I think you get the point. If you39re like me this file structure is all too familiar. It39s not until recently well a couple years ago that I decided to viciously stick to an initial idea and run with it. Sure the idea may suck but the alternative is suckier never finishing anything. For me my sucky idea turned into something that I39m feeling relatively good about. It39s a game called Pinstripe and it39s on it39s 3rd year of development. It39s coming to Steam next year and I39m excited about it. The motivation often dwindled during those years but I challenged myself to stick with it and learned a lot along the way. So I39d like to share some of the things that have helped me continue to work on my project year after year and hopefully get it out for the whole world to see Tell Everyone Yoursquore Going To Succeed Doing this is like jumping out of a plane mdash itrsquos really fun and really scary. Why Because itrsquos kind-of a rush to share your ideas with people who care about you but itrsquos also really scary. If you donrsquot succeed people will always remember you didnrsquot and will remind you of this. So go tell your mom about your game and how you are going to make a million dollars. Tell your girlfriendboyfriend that you are going to make the next Minecraft. Make sure everyone in your life knows about your game. That way when you consider giving up you will fear the consequences of everyone knowing you gave up. We all need accountability in our lives especially for the things that seem impossible like releasing a game. Careful donrsquot give out a deadline for your game though. Telling people about your dreams is a double-edged sword. Your friends will love your idea and pat you on the back but will make sure you know you missed your ETA. Instead tell them your idea and when they ask about the release date say ldquoIt will be done when itrsquos done.rdquo This isnrsquot necessarily a wrong question on their part mdash they may genuinely care about you hitting your deadline. But with indie game making hitting deadlines doesnrsquot happen often. And besides therersquos a huge difference between giving up on your project and just taking a really long time to finish it. Plan For Your Passion to Ebb and Flow So your project is awesome and you told your family your friends and your boss. Then suddenly two weeks in you secretly think the idea is garbage. Congratulations you39re experiencing the norm. So plan for it. That moment when you have that great idea is the moment you should recognize that you probably won39t like it in a couple of weeks. And that39s ok. Your idea will most likely take on a different form than initially intended and new ideas related to your original idea will keep the project interesting. Stop Making Excuses So yoursquore just too tired to work on your game tonight. Let me ask you this does that somehow make you unique Like somehow all the successful game-developers out there are just relaxing and smiling and wiping caviar from their lips with hundred dollar bills Herersquos what most of them are doing working really really hard while the unsuccessful ones are most likely making excuses. This isnrsquot necessarily true in all cases mdash some developers get lucky and some developers fail hard after years of work. But herersquos the honest truth a successful indie-game developer will embrace exhaustion and understand its relationship to passion. The feeling of slowly closing the lid of your laptop after a good two-hour evening work sprint is way more fulfilling than watching Netflix and drinking beer. Careful this mentality can make you a workaholic. This will ruin your game and your relationships. Stay committed to your project work hard but remember itrsquos just a game. Itrsquos just a game. Always put your work second in relationship to your friends and family. Donrsquot Be Ashamed Think about some things you tried when you were younger and are embarrassed of now. Irsquom not talking about doing lines in your momrsquos basement. Irsquom talking about that short-story you tried writing that time you thought you could act in your high-school play or even that moment when you tried painting. When most of us try something and it turns out ugly we are embarrassed and hide it from the world and ourselves as quickly as possible. Then we just give up entirely on that specific path. This is human-nature but itrsquos destructive. Imagine if every single failure in the world resulted in shame and the extinguishing of ideas. Nothing would see the light of day because everyone and everything fails a little bit before it succeeds. So donrsquot look back with shame. Be proud of your attempts at success. Really itrsquos basic math a bunch of failures will most likely result in a win. It could be a small win but every small win adds up to bigger wins. Just keep trying and donrsquot be ashamed. But above all just finish your game. Finish it. Now. In the meantime I39ll be working on Pinstripe. If you want to chat need some motivation or just want to pitch an idea to me shoot me an email at atmosgamesatgmail.com I39d love to hear from you. Related Jobs 10.08.15 Senior Engine Programmer Unreal Engine 10.08.15 Sr. Graphics Engineer Unreal Engine 10.08.15 Server

UNET Unity 5 Networking Tutorial Part 2 of 3 - Client Side Prediction - Link Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:24:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs UNET Unity 5 Networking Tutorial Part 2 of 3 - Client Side Prediction and Server Reconciliation by Christian Arellano on 100915 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. The Problem With Server Authority In Part 1 of our Unity 5 Networking Tutorial we started with a single player Unity project and turned it into a networked application using Unity 539s new networking features. However you might have noticed or predicted a problem with our current implementation there is a time delay between applying input and having the cube actually react to the input. Unfortunately this is a limitation of letting the server have full authority over our simulation each client has to ask permission from the server for every move and since it takes a nonzero amount of time for information to move back and forth across the network we experience latency. In this article we will attempt to hide this latency. We will use the approach described in the article series Fast-Paced Multiplayer by Gabriel Gambetta - I recommend that you look into this article series if you want to explore networked multiplayer programming further. Unlike Part 1 of this series which was heavily Unity-centric the concepts we will cover in this article should apply even to non-Unity environments although we will be implementing client-side prediction and server reconciliation using the Unity Networking HLAPI. Download The Project If you have already downloaded the project folder from Part 1 of the series you are all set - that already includes the code for Part 2. Otherwise you can get a copy of the project folder so that you can follow along. If you learn better by reading code instead of words in an article I highly recommend that you get the actual source code file for the project it is only one file and only about 100 lines long so that you can pick up the concepts more efficiently. Let us begin Naive Prediction Simply speaking client-side prediction is a way to hide latency. Instead of running game logic exclusively on the server we also let the client run game logic which allows the client to process input and effectively predict how the server would react to those inputs. Through prediction we are able to compute and render any effects of player input instantly on the client instead of waiting for the server. By eliminating the wait we eliminate latency. We can take this definition literally and implement client-side prediction as follows Theoretically this would work if the client and the server implement the game logic in exactly the same way and if the state is determined by player input and nothing else. In practice a player39s state is affected by a lot of other things the level enemies other players etc. which means that for any non-trivial networked multiplayer game ignoring a server39s updates would eventually lead to a desynchronization. Naive Reconciliation Perhaps we can fix this by not ignoring the server39s updates. We could perform prediction as usual rendering the effects of any input immediately. When we receive an update from the server we swap the predicted state with the server state which should correct any inconsistencies. We refer to this process as server reconciliation. Adapting from the Merriam-Webster dictionary reconcile to make consistent or congruous to check against another for accuracy This seems to be a great solution but consider the following situation Now take this same scenario but let us pretend that our player is able to press buttons faster Although we end up at the same place server-reconciliation caused problems in the second scenario. Note I feel that I have not provided a good illustration here. I highly recommend that you check out Part 2 of the Fast-Paced Multiplayer article series if you are looking for a better explanation with diagrams. Sorry about this. Prediction Reconciliation Fortunately there is a way to make client-side prediction and server reconciliation work together. If you look at the second scenario above you will see that the problem occurs when we receive a state that is older than the one we have already predicted. The solution to this is simple By following this algorithm we can perform reconciliation and at the same time take into consideration any newer inputs not yet acknowledged by the server which should prevent our state from rewinding back in time unnecessarily. Later in this article we will implement this algorithm and see how we can use it together with the new networking features of Unity 5. Our Approach To Modifying State Before we continue let us take a quick detour and have a closer look at how we handle state in our code. You might have noticed that we wrote our cube movement code in a particular way CubeState MoveCubeState previous KeyCode arrowKey 1 We take the previous state as a parameter then... 2 ...we use arrowKey to figure out the new state then... 3 ...we return this new state. Note We do not modify any member variables of the MonoBehaviour directly Instead we return the new state and the caller of the Move function takes care of assigning this to serverState. Compare this to how else we might have written it void MoveKeyCode arrowKey 1 We read the previous state from the serverState member variable directly not as a parameter then... 2 ...we use arrowKey to figure out the new state or alternatively even read input from here directly then... 3 ...we assign this new state directly to the serverState member variable. Note We do not return anything. This design choice is deliberate. While it is certainly possible to do otherwise using a pure function allows us to manipulate the predicted and server state as needed without worrying too much about how the rest of the game would be affected. Instead of handling the server state and the predicted

Game Localization Matters 7 Reasons Why You Should Localize - by - Link Thu, 08 Oct 2015 01:39:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Game Localization Matters 7 Reasons Why You Should Localize by Carolina Silvandersson on 100915 122400 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 was originally posted onLocalize Direct39s blogon Oct92015. All games are developed from a cultural context. Localization is about customizing that context to another specific market. For a game or app to attain a global reach localization is an effective way to widen the market and reach more gamers. A large number of gamers will not download a game unless it is in their native language. Game localization builds credibility worldwide Higher rankings more downloads and increased sales are the pros. I give you 7 reasons why you should localize. 1. You want to increase your sales Sure you were once an altruistic programmer dreaming about changing the world with a useful application that would change peoplersquos lives and turn the entire industry upside down. Now you have a game and you are about to launch it. Congrats It might not change peoplersquos lives the way you intended. But it is fun. Maybe this game actually will change lives your life for instance because now you want to sell your game. You calculate thinking a dollar per download sounds fair. At this moment there are 7 362 343 253 people living on earth. Not everyone plays games of course. Letrsquos remove the oldest and the youngest and the non-gamers then maybe we have 3 000 000 000 people left. Letrsquos remove half of that we donrsquot want to exaggerate. If they all download your game - you will become very rich. But they wonrsquot. An English game will reach only 27 of the market and you want to conquer the entire world. This is when the calculation begins Which languages to choose It depends on the game and the platform. You can translate to Simplified Chinese and Japanese. Or translate to Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. Maybe a Russian and Turkish translation. Or translate to German French and Italian. Choose FIGS or maybe EMEA instead. Is this confusing Do you need help Try this site. Do you think itrsquos expensive to localize Not when yoursquore about to make 1 500 000 000 dollars. We cannot guarantee to will become a superduper rich billionaire but we know you will have a greater number of happy users and reviews if the localization is right. 2. You want to increase downloads To increase sales you need to increase downloads. To increase downloads you need to widen the market. That is achieved by localizing and this is when you reach more gamers. Going global actually is going local. Is it worth it Yes. The Return of Investment ROI is impressive. Almost 100 of Top 100 downloads in App Store China are in Chinese. Japan and Korea ndash and those are huge game markets ndash also have high levels of translated games. What these Asian countries have in common is their strong preference for native languages combined with low proficiency in English. But there are big European game countries like France Germany and Italy where the English proficiency is high but they still prefer games in their native language. And letrsquos not forget Brazil Argentina and Mexico with their large game population. All these markets show why localization is important. Localization is about catching the local context in every region. The effect of having a multilingual app is a visible one as downloads and revenue will increase. A publication made by Distimo shows that app downloads increased with 128 during the following week compared to the week before without translation. In China Japan and South Korea the difference was higher. Can you afford to lose these markets Did I mention that revenue increased by 26 during the same period 3. You want your gamers to feel important Localization is an easy way to please your users. Walk that extra mile and you will have followers that endorse you as their version feels like it was made for them specifically. Today game developers want gamers to empathize and immerse themselves in the story. In the beginning gamers followed a certain path in the game go up hit the cube retrieve the flower continue jump dive swim to the next level. Today developers allow the players to choose game direction for themselves or to choose the right character with a personality that will motivate them best especially when it comes to participating in a dialogue with the game and the characters in it. With the user experience at the forefront a perfectly tailored localization immerses gamers and allows the them to play their own story. The more languages covered the more happy users will play your game in their own cultural and linguistic context. Localization is of great importance as it will stop confusion on storyline. A personal relationship is being built between the developer and user. 4. You want to stay competitive in a tough market There are two viewpoints to localization. The first one has a strategic proactive approach. You want to reach the global market and you chose which countries and what languages you want to go for. The second approach is reactive. You have received hints that gamers across the globe want to play the game in their language. The outcome of both aspects is that the game becomes more competitive in an international market. But if the translations cover the wrong markets or the game is being translated too late someone else might take that market share instead. There are others ready to take your place. And you need to find a way to stand out among the other 14 million apps at App Store. When developing a game localization should always be a part of that process. Then it will be possible to simship a multilingual launch to several countries at the same time. Did you know that gamers are so eager to play a game in their own language that they have even created a

Creating scalable backends for games using open source Orleans - Link Thu, 08 Oct 2015 01:39:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs Creating scalable backends for games using open source Orleans framework by Ashkan Saeedi Mazdeh on 100815 013900 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. Project Orleans is an open source framework for development of distributed applications. Orleans can be used to develop anything from complete game servers to scalable backend services like leaderboardsanalytics accounthellip.2 Halo titles used it to implement all of their backend services so you can do so as well. The next Halo game is doing that as well. What is the difference with usual architectures Orleans uses the actor based programming model which got popularized in industry by Erlang. By popular I mean many people finally realized the power of actors for implementing logic for distributed applications and tried to use the available tools to do the job. Erlang was the only battle tested available solution at the time. Irsquom not going to teach history here but Erlang did choose to use the actor model and message passing instead of shared memory which everyone else is using more than 30 years before Orleans Akka and other frameworks. So letrsquos define the actor model and see how it is different and then see why Orleans is a better fit for many applications compared to other frameworks and languages. Actor model In this programming model each entity in a system is an actor and actors can only communicate by messages. Each actor has a mailbox which receives messages from other actors and then reads them and execute the corresponding action. Actors are kinda like objects so in your typical game each character becomes an actor with different actions like damage upgrade and move and other actors might request it to move or upgrade to a higher level. So you might ask what is the difference The difference is that each actor is completely isolated from the rest of the world. It only can read messages sent to its mailbox and write messages and send them to mailboxes of other actors. No actor can modify or even check the state of any other actor and global state in the form we know it is none existant. Of course you can have a global actor which holds global state but no other actor has no access to the data other than sending requests for data readwrites by means of messages. This model is perfect for parallelism since you can run multiple actors at the same time without any locks or any other synchronization methods and be sure that theyrsquoll never have many of the problems of our normal multi-threaded programs because they don39t share memory with each other. Also actors are very lightweight compared to threads since changing between them doesnrsquot require any operating system work and no context switches and they donrsquot require many things which threads require to run beside each other. Programs usually share state and memory but actor based programs only can share by message passing so two actors can run on different machines and then contact each other by messages and share stuff easily. Actually from point of view of an actor it doesnrsquot matter where the other actor is most of the times. This model allows us to write distributed parallel programs much easier. Also if an actor fails or throws an unhandled exception all others actors happily continue their lives unlike normal multi threaded programs so it is fault tolerant as well. Orleans compared to Erlang and other classic actor frameworks Excuse me for the terminology because new phenomenon doesnrsquot have accepted terminologies. When you code in Erlang or Akka or other actor frameworks you are responsible for creating and destroying actors. In some systems like Erlangrsquos VM the location of actors is transparent to your program i.e. it doesnrsquot matter from user codersquos point of view where the actor is but in some systems distributing actors over multiple machines is harder. In Orleans actors virtually always exist I mean you donrsquot create and destroy them instead each actor has an ID and when you request its reference and send it a message the runtime creates it for you and after some time which the actor is not used the runtime will destroy it until later on. This is like the concept of virtual memory which you have virtual memory available to you but some of it is sometimes on RAM and sometimes on Hard Disk. The hard disk part is not usable until the memory manager brings it to the RAM. Actors in Orleans are like that as well. It makes it much more productive and easier for developers to write actor based programs since you donrsquot need to handle many failure cases and the runtime will do it for you. As an additional bonus the runtime gets the opportunity of load balancing the system by moving actors from busy systems to unloaded ones. Orleans can do this because an actorrsquos physical address is stored in a table and is not based on consistent hashing and similar algorithms which doesnrsquot allow the actor to move its physical location. If you manage your actors life time yourself you can hand tune the system for specific scenarios if you are a distributed systems expert but the productivity gains and in most cases performance gains of Orleans are really big. Don39t take my word for it try Erlang or even Akka.net at the same time and compare them with Orleans. If you are an Erlang developer Here you don39t need most of the services which OTP provides no superwisers no trees of processes ... Writing a simple Orleans based service Orleans has a good amount of documentation and there is a good amount of material online about actors and actor based designs and everything else. Here in this first post my goal is to create a very simple program as simple as hello world by Orleans and connect by unity to it. Later on I might post more complex stuff if there is interest.

The REAL Difference between Agile and Waterfall Development - by David - Link

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS October 9 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS October 9 2015 Features View All RSS October 9 2015 Special Reports Press Releases October 9 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .content_box_middle pre overflow-xauto Blogs The REAL Difference between Agile and Waterfall Development by David Bernstein on 100815 013900 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. What39s the real difference between Agile and Waterfall Is it short iterations standup meetings having a ScrumMaster or what Clearly there are many differences between Agile development and Waterfall development. Agile involves less planning and more feedback but those are not the major differences from Waterfall. Some people will tell you that it39s a mindset shift but that isn39t very specific either. I39d like to propose one key difference between Agile and Waterfall that seems to make the biggest difference how frequently you integrate. This may not seem like the most important distinguishing factor but in reality it39s one of the main drivers of agility. How frequently we integrate predetermines our development process. If we integrate code after it39s written even just a few weeks after then we39re really doing mini-Waterfalls and not Agile. It39s only when we continuously integrate that developers get the instant feedback that shifts the dynamic of development. Remember Pavlov39s dogs Stimulus and response has to happen close together otherwise we won39t see the connection. The same is true for all of us. We have to see the consequences of our actions immediately not in days weeks or even months later. If we don39t we won39t make the connection between our actions and the end result. This is why Waterfall development is still popular even though we all know it doesn39t work. At the end of a Waterfall project when code is integrated we usually find the worst bugs. I remember dreading integration on the many Waterfall projects I worked on back in the day. I don39t have that dread integrating code anymore because I integrate my code as I build it. Integrating code as it39s built removes the dreaded integration phase in Waterfall development and turns our biggest impediment into our richest form of feedback. Integrating a year39s worth of development can be insanely hard but integrating what I did in the last hour or few minutes is very simple and I can immediately fix any problems while it39s still fresh in my mind. We39re all familiar with the idea that it costs orders of magnitudes more to find and fix bugs after release than it costs if a bug is found immediately after it39s written. We want to find bugs when the code is still fresh in our minds. When we do we get instant feedback on what works and what doesn39t work and that immediate feedback is what we need to change our behavior. In a very real sense we know what not to do and we stop doing it without even thinking about it. That39s the real value of Agile development. Related Jobs 10.08.15 Senior Engine Programmer Unreal Engine 10.08.15 Sr. Graphics Engineer Unreal Engine 10.08.15 Server Software Engineer 10.08.15 Senior Game Engineer View All Jobs 255596 blog blogsDavidBernstein20151008255596The_REAL_Difference_between_Agile_and_Waterfall_Development.php 1003232 36031693 Loading Comments

Preview Reliable UDP implementation lockstep LAN and parity bit - Link Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:42:59

IntroductionWhether youre interested in making an FPS or RTS youve probably heard that you should use UDP. Its probably because of its speed. Using TCP with the TCP_NODELAY option which means it doesnt wait for enough data to be buffered before sending may not be enough as TCP also does congestion control and you may want to do voice chat which is better done using a lossy protocol like UDP. TCP doesnt allow you to adjust the sliding window which means you might not reach the full speed of the communication channel if it has a high delay search for bandwidth-delay factor for more information. If one packet doesnt arrive in TCP and is lost TCP stops all traffic flow until it arrives resulting in pauses. The packet header in TCP is also 20 bytes as opposed to 6 bytes in UDP plus a few for reliability. Combining TCP and UDP is not an option as one induces packet loss in the other. So you should use UDP but how do you guarantee packets are delivered and in the order they were sent in Also if youre making an RTS how do you make sure that clients are running exactly the same simulation A small change can cause a butterfly effect and be the difference between one player winning and losing. For this you need reliable UDP RUDP and lockstep. In addition you probably want to use the latest client-server methodology which allows the game to not be held back by the slowest player as is done in the older peer-to-peer model. Along the way well cover parity bit checking to ensure packet correctness and integrity. Well also cover LAN networking and setting up a matchmaking server

Problems Found in Appleseed Source Code - Link Mon, 05 Oct 2015 08:52:29

The majority of the projects we report about in these articles contain dozens of PVS-Studio analyzer warnings. Of course we choose just a small portion of data from the analyzer report to be in our articles. There are some projects though where the quantity of warnings is not that high and the number of some interesting bloomers is just not enough for an article. Usually these are small projects which ceased developing. Today Im going to tell you about Appleseed project check the code of which we found quite high-quality from the point of view of the analyzer. Introduction Appleseed is a modern open source physically-based rendering engine designed to produce photorealistic images animations and visual effects. It provides individuals and small studios with an efficient reliable suite of tools built on robust foundations and open technologies. This project contains 700 source code files. Our PVS-Studio analyzer found just several warnings of 1st and 2nd level that could be of interest to us.Check Results V670 The uninitialized class member m_s0_cache is used to initialize the m_s1_element_swapper member. Remember that members are initialized in the order of their declarations inside a class. animatecamera cache.h 1009class DualStageCache

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five and a Half Steps to Efficient Meetings - Link Wed, 05 Aug 2015 09:28:19

Meetings are boring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Problem

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

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

Qubeware - Metin - Rise of Darkness - Link Thu, 15 Oct 2015 14:11:14

Unpaid PositionMetin - Rise of Darkness... An old long-forgotten legend arises from lost time like a phoenix from its ashes.Maybe you know the end of the story but the beginningOnce ruled the emperor over the country. But an omen of darkness came to earth and the world that we knew until then had ceased to exist.The empire brokes with the death of the emporer.Chaos came upon us. Friend became to an enemy. Brothers and sisters extinct each other. Demons and devils were playing their games with the people.Death was closer to humans than their own shadow. But...From hopeless age stepped out a glimmer of hope.Go forth three nations from the old empire.Three Nations. Three Kings. One Target. Peace.You one of the last remains glorious age of the Empire shall save the world and they fall back into the old balance.Choose one of the known martial arts. The brave warriors. The insidious villain. The wise shaman. the mysterious Mage.You are the last hope of the world of Metin - Rise of Darkness. Hello Developer of the gamedev.net-CommunityMy name is Seyyid A. Ciftci and Im the CEO at Qubeware.You ask yourself now determined What the hell is Qubeware.I will tell you what Qubeware is. Qubeware is an Indie Startup with 14 developers of differently countries.We have come together us more or less...But we all have one aim. We want realize our projects.We have currently two Offices.Were developing at one hand Websites and on the other hand mystery magical fascinating action-packed emotinal games like Metin - Rise of Darkness.You can be a part of our story.Regardless of what profession you pursue everyone gets his job with us.Contact me if youre interested and would work with us free.Best regardsSeyyid A. CiftciFree

Programmer and enviromental concept artist needed - Link Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:29:53

Unpaid PositionGreetingswe are a medium sized group hard at work on a tower defense game. We are approximately half-way through development and need to urgently fill these roles to maintain a good work flow.We need-Programmer1REQUIREMENTSGood skills with c and Unity.Skills of GitHub is preferred.Game development experienced is highly preferred.Environmental concept artist1REQUIREMENTSGood creative skillsGood illustration skillsDigital art skills are highly preferredSkype is mandatory for all members.CONTACT imransadiq1995gmail.comFree

D3D12 Fun Demo - Link Wed, 14 Oct 2015 14:17:29

Unpaid PositionHiIm looking for people who want to make a direct 3d 12 demo. The purpose is for a few reasons. It will be fun we can make a story board of what we will do it should be about 3-5 minutes long and all done in real time code no pre renders videos etc. Well pick some music to sync some effects to. In the process we will learn direct 3d 12 using C. This is not for profit or any other reason other than doing it because its cool. Well try to push the limits as far as we can with highly parallel compute shaders and exploiting low CPU usage that D3D12 offers. The code doesnt have to be perfect but the demo does. You could show it to your friends and say I made that. Well need a name for it hmmmm... Whos inFree

Need small team to turn completed Board Game into Video Game. - Link Tue, 13 Oct 2015 21:36:24

Unpaid PositionGame DetailsWars of Keridor is a non-luck based strategic board game where the player builds upgrades and controls an army on a grid based board in attempts to reach your opponents side thus defeating himher. The building and designing is based off a tech tree and using a dual economy system Gold and Research to make your own customizable army while the battle section is similar to chess where each type of unit has its own movement and attack options. The game ends up played most similar to a turn based Starcraft.The games design offers a lot of depth multiple possible openings and has so far dodged any oppressive dominant strategies that crush all else.Why A Video GameMost of the mechanics work as a board game except for the aspect of secrecy when purchasing your armyupgrades which should be revealed simultaneously. Two main methods were used Markers on your own personal board indicating what you are purchasing while utilizing a screen which felt clunky as you had to move the screen on and off again and took up too much table space or a deck of cards each representing the unique actions you could do however with 50 cards always in hand and having to sift through them each turn was also distracting time consuming and felt like you had way more options to consider than you did adding to player confusion.As a video game the secrecy can be kept very simply by not showing the opponent your purchases until both players have chosen. While not game breaking issues having it as a video game adds visual cues like greying out unavailable options will reduce perceived complexity and unit information can be condensed in a more visual pleasing fashion than a manual thus making learning easier.InterestedContact me at RodCKellergmail.com and let me know what you bring to the table and how youd like to be involved. If we are a good fit for each other well talk on skype and get to work Thank you for your time.Free

Programmer looking for project - Link Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:10:29

Unpaid PositionHello everyoneSo as you can see from title Im searching for unpaid job for programming any 2D games. By doing this I want to improve my game programming skills get more experience in this thing also I have knowledge of C C a little of bit JAVA. I can easily program using OpenGL lib also I have good knowledge of scripting in Unity using C. Mostly I program on Windows platform but if I will use OpenGL I can program for Mobiles Linux platforms.Thank you.Free

LF Sr. Web Developer Sr. Concept artists - Link Mon, 12 Oct 2015 21:48:54

Unpaid PositionHello fellow gamers and artistsInterlight Studio is a small independent game development team formed by talented individuals worldwide. We are seeking talented creative individuals for the development of our current project. Were passionate serious open minded gaining industry experience and always looking to network with new people.Sr. Web DeveloperFirm knowledge in phpMySQL and systems involved with websites login and profile developmentMinimum of one years experienceImplementing store and functions into the website Ability to set examples for team members by regularly demonstrating strong work ethic quality of work teamwork and motivation Ability to work efficiently and respectfully with the team Have proper problem solving skills Be able to act upon instructions or independently listen and accept feedback from othersSr. Concept artistsPassionate about design and games and affinity for the fantasy genreUnderstanding of form and anatomyFamiliar with Photoshop preferred other graphic program is OKBasic understanding of design process or willing to learnAbility to communicate and follow directionsComfortable working with multinational team via the internetGenerally creative and curiousNo previous experience requiredResponsibilitiesWork with the art director and art lead to explore and design characters props or environments.Refine and finalize a variety of game asset designs.Work with the 3D artists to create high quality model sheets for production.The ProjectAction adventure RPGOriginal high fantasy worldArt style similar to that of Dragon Age The Witcher and Guild WarsThe PerksAwesome talented people to work withShare and gain knowledge with your teammatesValuable industry experience working with a teamValuable industry experience in your field of expertiseRevenue sharing Members who join us will complete the NDA and Profit Share Agreement.We are excited that our team members are spread across the globe and so we use Trac PM Skype VCS Bit source-tree and Dropbox to stay organizeconnected.Best to contact over Skype koeanilo1or Email infointerlightstudio.comThank youFree

UNPAID Seeking more talent Johnny Reboot - Link Mon, 12 Oct 2015 00:32:06

Unpaid PositionSummaryJohnny RebootPC Mac Xbox One2.5D Sci-Fi Side-ScrollerUnity 5Budgeted into Kickstarter opportunity for full-timepart-time afterThe GameJohnny Reboot takes place in the fictional digital world of Xeno. Populated exclusively by a race of beings known as Xenobytes this world is a technological marvel advanced beyond its years. The city was created eons ago by the Ancestral Xenosians and has been a safe harbor against the many maleficent viruses that also populate the digital world. The game will feature never before seen mechanics and a story that is very personal to myself and the character will be based on my experiences and hardships that I have gone through in life. Night Wolf StudioNight Wolf Studio is a new startup trying to break into the indie scene with our first game. We are a group of passionate talented artists who not only love to make games but also play them. We are looking for the same kind of people artists who have a passion for game design and love what they do. Our team consists of several talented people. Current TeamMartyn Tranter - Lead Designer and Creator.Robert J. Merritt - Art Director and lead Cinematic director.Brandon McAllister - Head Script and Story writer and Voice Actor - Frank Reboot.Drew Forbes - Lead composer and Sound engineer.Tavvon Reynolds - 3D character and Environmental modeler.Sean Lawson - ProgrammerJoshua Towns - RiggerShanli Goff - 3D Environment artistSpencer Baughman - Website and social media editorJoshua Schafer - Concept ArtistIzzy Dulay - Voice Actress - Morrigan.Austin Nebbia - Voice Actor - Johnny Reboot.Tori Kamal - Voice Actor - Norman Reboot.Jonathan Cooke - Voice Actor - Frank Reboot.Mel Gorsha - Voice Actor - Donna Reboot and Nemda.What We Can OfferWe are currently looking for additional team members who are willing to work for post-Kickstarter compensation. Until we receive funding through the Kickstarter campaign this is an unpaid project. If the Kickstarter fails there of course will be no compensation until we do get the funding we will need. We work in a remote virtual environment and use several programs that help us keep on track these includeDropbox - Storage.Trello - Project Management.Skype - Communication.The above is required when joining the team if dropbox size is an issue we can invite you to a personal dropbox folder. There are a few other things we will need from everyone that joins us and they areSign an NDA and a Contract and able to work at least 5-10 hours a week.Be accountable respectful and professional.Be a proactive worker and communicator.What are we looking forQualitiesGreat communication Must be able to speak and write English and able to communicate via Skype Email or Facebook.Passionate and trustworthy Everyone on this project has a passion for game design and we want people with the same drive and passion.Motivated and proactive If you have an idea or an opinion then never feel afraid to speak up.Creative and collaborative You must be willing to give and take constructive criticism. So please check your ego before coming in.Accountability and dependability This is key to making this game a reality we want people who we can rely on to get the job done.ProgrammerExperience developing video game code using C.Experience using version tracking and working as part of a team of developers.Experience with side-scrollers is a major plus.Strong eye for efficiency clean code and bug tracking.Specialization in AI Rendering or Particle Effects is a plus.Environment Concept ArtistExperience creating unique and high quality environment concept art.Specialization in Characters is a plus.Ability to match an art style.Strong eye for architecture composition color and lighting.3D Character ModelerExperience with fictional humanoid mechanical Sci-Fi enemies.Ability to create texture maps diffuse specular normal alpha and emissive.Ability to create both high and low poly models based on concept art.Rigging and animation skill is a plus but not required.Strong skills with Maya and Zbrushoptional.Strong eye for detail in human and animal anatomy.3D AnimatorExperience rigging and animating bipedal characters mechanical enemies weapons and environments.Experience with Unity 5 a plus.Strong skills with Maya.Technical understanding of animations and their use for player feedback.Level DesignerExperience with level design and crafting areas through all stages of production from initial sketches to final polished environments.Experience designing Sci-Fi levels.Experience with Unity.Good understanding of Plat formers and Side-Scrollers.Ability to design to given requirements and iterate based on feedback.How To ApplyIf you would like to apply for any of the positions listed above you can email us at contactjohnnyreboot.com with the Subject you are applying for.You can also visit us at our website Johnnyreboot.comFree

Programmer Available for Unpaid project to get more experience - Link Sun, 11 Oct 2015 17:09:19

Unpaid PositionHello everyone To get more experience and enhance my skills i am willing to work with you on your projects paidunpaid. I am open to any technology and I am using Linux right now. I have knowledge of C C and PHP. You can reach me by mail sarvsav at gmail dot com. or adding me at skype. Thank you.Free

PulseTenseGames is looking for a writer - Link Sun, 11 Oct 2015 06:08:12

Paid PositionWe have launched Solarix our studios first title and now we are looking for writers to join our next project.The ideal candidate would beHappily interested in sci-fi literature and has some curiosity fascination for all sorts of psychiatry related texts and mediums.Willing to attend meetings over skype and be prompt about internal communications either via emails or forums.Ready to work and revise every single text the project needs be it is conceptualization story characterization and dialogue related until perfection.Be eager to work according to game design document.Has worked on at least one shipped game be it indie or casual. If you have worked on adventure games before it is a major plus.This is paid remote contract position. If interested please email your resume to contact at pulsetense dot comwww.pulsetense.comPaid

Post-Launch Compensation Dark Medieval RPG - Link Sat, 10 Oct 2015 20:26:30

Unpaid PositionAbout The GameGenre Action RPGPlatform PC OSXPremise Birmwood is a dark medieval RPG with Slavic inspiration. The game offers thoughts on the fate of a hero in fiction the sacrifices he has to take and their impact their consequences on his character. Birmwood takes place in a fully custom fiction worked on for five years and features an in-depth lore. The game not the fiction is inspired by titles such as Gothic 1 2 Witcher 1 2 and Zelda. Focusing on exploration and immersing the player in a rich setting. A great focus is laid on the players interaction with the world and its inhabitants - not everything has to be killed and monsters have a greater reason to exist beyond filling the space.Our GoalOur current goal is to make a 20 minutes demo to present to potential investors or for starting a Kickstarter campaign in order to get funding to complete the entire game and for team compensation.Open Positions- Texture Artists- 3D Modellers- Graphic ArtistsThose interested in joining or have any questions birmwood.infogmail.comFree

Game development services - Link Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:40:31

ContractorOur games accumulate more than 100 million downloads and counting.SERVICES Coding iOS Android and Windows Game Design 3D and 2D Game Art and Animation Porting Existing Games Monetization Viral Strategy and AnalyticsPlunge can develop and design a game from scratch handle development while your team focuses on design or we can expand your development capacity collaborating with your existing coders and team members.PERFORMANCEOur games are built to perform at world-class levelsFeatured by AppleFeatured by GoogleFeatured by MicrosoftFeatured by AmazonOur games have received Editors Choice Best New Games Games of the Year 1 in Games in App Store 1 Overall App Store recognitions.FEATURED CLIENTSElectronic ArtsSocial PointSpace InchGame HouseGamevilCONTACTFor more information please email infoplungeinteractive.com0.00

Elastic Music - MusicAudio DesignSFX for your game - Link Thu, 08 Oct 2015 19:56:12

ContractorHello my name is Nick Torretta and I am a professional composer and audio designer.My work has been featured on internationally televised commercials Oscar Mayer Butterball Aarons TV shows The New Family Feud America Now web advertisements SC Johnson Boeing Full Tilt Poker McKesson and much more.Check out my portfolio at my website www.elasticmusicproductions.comI am currently wrapping up my third indie title as I progress further into the world of video game composition and am ready and excited to take on some more workMy rates are definitely indie-friendly and no project is too small. I provide sound effects as well and am proficient in Wwise for integration.Hit me up lets see what amazing game we can create together.0.00

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Welcome to FPSoft.eu

Floating Point Softwares is an Indie company started in 2015
focusing mainly on Android, iOS, HTML5 and PC game development.
Currently we also offer non-game related solutions, 
such as mobile apps depending on the demand, as well as pixel & vector graphics.

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