Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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Dev Links: Sum of its Parts

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Today’s Developer Links include articles on documentation, external content inclusion, and the bogeyman of the indie community.

The Bogeymen of the Indie Scene (Jonas Kyratzes)
“Human beings have always been susceptible to bogeymen. It’s a lot easier to get angry at people instead of getting angry at systems. We are persons, so we seek to personify the world. Thunderbolts come from Zeus, pestilence comes from Yahweh and your indie game problems come from Jonathan Blow. You can’t block capitalism on Twitter, after all.”

A gnomic making of Droidscape: Basilica (Gnome’s Lair)
“The Droidscape: Basilica making-of you are about to read could easily be summarized thusly: “We used computers. It took bloody ages.”. One particularly wise man would really appreciate it this way and it would also be absolutely true.”

What documentation? (AltDevBlog)
“Imagine a situation where you have just been employed by a game development company with a large code base. You might setup your computer, adjust your chair, get some coffee and then start synchronizing your source code repositories. This might take a long while so you decide to take a look at the company documentation while your downloading. So you roll up your sleeves and start digging. You dig and you dig, but you just can’t seem to find anything useful. Puzzled you go to ask either the CTO or the technical director whether they would have some information as to were the documentation is lurking. So you enter the room of either person and candidly ask your question, only to be met with a blunt answer stating that there is none.”

Art Walkthrough: Lighting Robots (Arcen Games)*
“The robots and “Exos” in Bionic Dues go through a five-stage process. First they are sketched by one of a variety of artists. Then they are inked (have their lines cleaned up) by one of a couple of artists (typically Genna or our own Daniette “Blue” Wood). Then they are colored by Catherine. Then animated by me. Then lit by Blue.On the subject of the lighting, Blue created a pretty cool tutorial on how to do that, and we thought we’d share it with anyone else who might be interested. Enjoy!”

Hawken publisher doesn’t pay to advertise the game (Develop)
“Meteor Entertainment argues word-of-mouth is the best way to sell a game as a service”

Joe Danger Steam Trading Cards now available! (Hello Games)
“Steam have gotten into the lucrative trading card business and we are 100% behind them. Actually, we hear that Half Life 3 will be an elaborate game of trading card snap – “I have 3 Barneys. I’ll swap you for an Alex.” Anyway, we’ve just put Trading Cards into Joe Danger and Joe Danger 2 on Steam! Honestly, we didn’t really understand these crazy things until Ryan made 25p selling a picture of GlaDOS. Then he was totally hooked and we found him adding them into our games too.”

External Content Inclusion (Andy Moore)
“I’ve been playing a lot with external files in AS3 (well, Haxe+NME to be more accurate) in my recent projects. Monster Loves You!, for instance, loads (at runtime!) all of its audio, images, configuration, and story text from external files. If these files aren’t found, then it reverts to the old internal copies it was compiled with. I love this hot-loading system, for four really big reasons.”

Cook, Serve, Delcious! is now available for Android! (IndieDB)
“Cook, Serve, Delicious is now available on Google Play for Android! Includes full Google Play support (Achievements and Leaderboards).”

* Full disclosure: I work for Arcen Games.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Sum of its Parts


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Dev Links: London Fog

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Today’s Developer Links feature Indie Soapbox talks, a Joe Danger level editor guide and new Sir, You Are Being Hunted screens.

Video: Game developers sound off from the Indie Soapbox (IndieGames.com)
“All the talks of game developers Emily Short, Tim Rogers, Matthew Wegner, Rami Ismail, Chris Hecker, Renaud Bedard, Rich Vreeland, David Rosen, Colin Northway, and Noel Llopis are now available to view for free, courtesy of GDC Vault.”

Designing a forensic alternate reality game (IndieGames.com)
“Typically, an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) is “an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and uses transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by participants’ ideas or actions”, as per the Wikipedia definition. I’ll show in this article how a specific variant of Alternate Reality Games can be designed. This is the method we are currently applying at Zorean to develop the real-world forensic adventure game Mark Lane’s Logs: Project H.U.M.A.N.. We could call it a Forensic Alternate Reality Game (FARG).”

Patch 0.705 Update – DirectX Not Happening (Rocket Bear Games)
“I’ve been madly plugging away at the DirectX conversion over the weekend. To make it possible, I’m using a library called ANGLE – a translator from OpenGL ES to DirectX. Well, today I got the game running and drawing again, and I have bad news. The converted version is SLOW. It’s probably 2 or 3 times as slow as the OpenGL version, because it has to constantly translate draw calls. I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to make it work fast enough.”

Joe Danger level editor guide! (Hello Games)
“Hey, did you know that in Joe Danger’s Sandbox and Joe Danger 2′s Movie Maker you can make levels that you can play and share with others?”

Cosmic Star Heroine & RPG Ability Systems (MP, Combo Abilities, and Item System) (Zeboyd Games)
“Most RPGs these days have an MP system where abilities cost MP & MP can be restored by resting at a safe spot (like an inn) or use MP recovery items. Occasionally, you’ll see variants on the traditional MP system like having a certain number of uses per ability (Pokémon) or MP for each ability LV (FF1, Suikoden) or having MP shared by the party (Super Mario RPG) but usually each character has their own MP pool.”

Behold! Some Fresh Images From Sir (Big Robot)
“Our early access tier backs (£30+) on Kickstarter should be getting their test builds this week. To celebrate, we made some screenshots. Click for full size!”

Can the Xbox One’s Kinect read your mind? (The Psychology of Video Games)
“Well, no. Of course not. That’s a silly question. Why would you even ask it? That said, the updated supercamera on the Kinect 2.0 is capable of some pretty amazing things. Microsoft demonstrated how it can tell where you’re looking, estimate your heart rate from the color of your skin, and even infer your mood from your facial expressions. Finally, it has a sophisticated voice recognition system and the ability to see in the dark, which will come in handy when it wants to sneak into your bedroom at night and listen to your breathe for hours on end.”

Chasing the Whale: Examining the ethics of free-to-play games (Gamasutra)
“”I’d use birthday money, I’d eat cheaper lunches, I’d ask my wife to pay for dinner so I’d have a spare $10-$20 to spend in the store. Which does mean, I guess, that I was thinking about it even away from the game.””

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: London Fog


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Dev Links: Unboxing

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Today’s Developer Links feature an Ouya launch game postmortem, Democracy 3 crime stats and a pay-what-you-want indie b-side album.

OUYA indie postmortem: 8,000 downloads and 46 sales for Bombball (IndieGames.com)
“Bombball is an abstract sports game that I released on the OUYA last week, on 6/26, one day after the OUYA launched. The game was inspired by Hokra and the indie eSports panel at last year’s IndieCade, and it was first created for Kill Screen’s 10-day CREATE game jam, for which it won a minor award. First, some juicy sales metrics! After six days of being featured, Bombball has been downloaded about 8000 times and has actually sold 46 full copies (at $4.99 and $2.99 after a recent discount). It’s still early, but I feel that this was a weak launch, and I figured that now was a good time to do some public reflection on the project.”

The making of the Indie B-Side, Vol. 1 album cover (Lost Decade Games)
“Video game composer and arranger Joshua Morse just released his new album Indie B-Side, Vol. 1. It features eight arrangements from indie darlings such as FEZ and it’s pay-what-you-want!”

Postmortem: Game Developer magazine (Gamasutra)
“Former Game Developer magazine editor-in-chief Brandon Sheffield turns the critical lens inward to examine the ups and downs of the magazine’s 19-year legacy.”

Patch 0.705 Plans (Rocket Bear Games)
“I’m planning to release updates in 2 week intervals. Since this is the launch week, the next patch will be smaller than usual.”

Crime statistics in Democracy 3 (Positech Games)
“Democracy 3 has two crime measurements. Violent Crime and Crime Rate. Obviously they can vary massively, depending on your policies. I’ve been investigating the differences between the UK and the USA to try to get the policies to all make sense, whilst also presenting the player with roughly sensible crime and violent crime rates in these two countries. This is, of course, totally impossible. But I like to try six impossible things before breakfast, so I am trying anyway. If all else fails, i can include cultural override scripts to nudge the stats in the right direction. Some countries do naturally have a more law-abiding culture than others, so this is fairly acceptable.”

The Last of Us, Bioshock: Infinite and why all video game dystopias work the same way (The Guardian)
“Video games tell us interesting things about damaged and bizarre societies – but most seem to come to the same conclusion: it’s all about men and violence”

A close up of the Luxuria Superbia’s temple in Unity’s scene view (Tale of Tales)
“This is the hub of the game where you choose which flower to play with. A cross section of each flower tunnel is displayed as a silhouette, surrounded by up to three rings that are the game’s equivalent of the conventional three star rating of the player’s performance. In Luxuria Superbia they express how well you have pleased each flower.”

Have traditional MMOs had their time? (Eurogamer)
“Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process – especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic – while the term “MMO” has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online. Now it’s not MMOs that publishers are in a hurry to stuff into portfolios, but “shared-world shooters” and MOBAs – multiplayer online battle arena games – because everybody wants a piece of those big fat World of Tanks and League of Legends money pies, and it sure doesn’t cost as much to bake them.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Unboxing


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Dev Links: Explosive Results

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Presenting players with dilemmas, nailing down a set of terms for your game and more in today’s Developer Links.

Nailing Down Terminology (Frictional Games)
“One thing lacking in game design, especially when it comes to interactive storytelling, is a proper set of terms. While I do not think having a precise terminology will directly aid in making games better, it will help us communicate better. As proper communication is crucial for progress, proper terms are indirectly an important part of making better storytelling games. Because of this, I am going to go over some terminology that I find essential, what I mean by them and why I define them in a certain manner.”

The Beautiful Dilemma (Berlin Game Design)
“One of the main goals of game design is to present the players with dilemmas. Without them, player decisions–if there are any–will seem too obvious, and the game will lack tension.”

Too ugly? Keep stirring the baby until the lumps disappear (Dejobaan Games)
“This week was B-U-S-Y! We brought the Ugly Baby team in, shackled them to their chairs, and asked everyone to crunch. The goal was to launch our next amazing build, but we wanted to give it another week to bake it to perfection. Here is how the week went… in pictures and video, ’cause words are lame-o.”

Good Morning Gato # 121 – Lawn Bag Throne (Ska Studios)
“XBLA Fans posted an in-depth article last Friday, “For indies, working with Microsoft is a horrifying mess…right?” covering multiple sides of the hot topic of what it must be like to work with Microsoft. They included our view and linked to James’ Blood of the Indies post, which was nice.”

Shooting Spirit (Electron Dance)
“Cinema and literature have shown they can weather the storm of time: The African Queen can make contemporary audiences laugh, Nosferatu is still disturbing and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice remains a favourite. But videogames are cursed. The cutting edge corrodes with frightening speed and the once-pioneering designs of yesteryear give way to frustration when compared to leaner, smarter modern work.”

Spider bait (Auntie Pixelante)
“SPIDER BAIT is a transcript of a back-and-forth email role-play between me and my luna that we wrote / played between the last time she visited me in february (around my birthday) and may (her birthday). i play two spider-queens and she plays a very unlucky girl. it’s of course totally explicit, and is mostly about tickling and fucking and spider-queens salivating over captive girl-meat. nasty & gross stuff from a couple of real perverts.”

Jack Lumber hacks his way onto the Mac App Store! (Owlchemy Labs)
“That’s right, we branched out and have sunk our roots into the Mac App Store.”

SDCC 2013 – Preview Night (The Behemoth)
“Whew! Finished up our booth 229 just in time for the Preview Night crowd last night. We had visitors come by to check out our custom built arcade cabinets, get some merchandise from the Gift Shop and even had a special visit from Hatty Hattington!”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Explosive Results


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Dev Links: Building Blocks

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Today’s Developer Links include indies publishing indies, the strength of Japanese games and the psychological appeal of violent shooters.

Characters and Worldbuilding: Analyzing the Strength of Japanese Games (Gamasutra)
“From April 2010 to May 2011, I had the opportunity to study manga (Japanese comics) and video game design at one of Japan’s leading art schools, Kyoto Seika University. In total, I lived, worked, and studied in Japan for about four years. Here, I would like to share what I learned there about game design.”

Redshirt developers video blog #3 (Positech Games)
“For those who are new, RedShirt is a comedy/satire/lifesim/strategy game developed by indie devs ‘The Tiniest Shark’ and being published by Positech Games (me!). Enjoy…”

Oh Canada! La La La (Positech Games)
“So today I have been in Canada fact finding mode. Would you like to know the average Canadians maple syrup consumption? or the latest estimates for moose population? Forget all that…lets get down to the nitty gritty. A lot of statistical browsing has led me to the rather worrying conclusion that getting the Democracy 3 economic model to make sense over different countries is all but impossible. I am giving it my best shot, but don’t play the game thinking ‘this is Canada’. Play the game thinking ‘this country could vaguely be something like Canada’ and you will be fine!”

Spirits by the Numbers (Space of Play)
“We released our action-puzzle game Spirits on the iPad in late 2010. Over the next two years, we ported it to iPhone and Mac internally, and to PC, Linux and Android with the help of Tim Ambrogi and Apportable. For each port we spent a significant amount of time in getting the quality of the ports up and above the original version, supporting platform-specific features like Retina resolution or Steam Cloud. Reaching more players on different platforms helped our studio to be sustainable, and to be able to have some money in the bank while we work on our next game Future Unfolding.”

RTX 2013 Recap (The Behemoth)
“Howdy, y’all! Just got back from Texas yesterday and we had a blast at our first Rooster Teeth Expo. On the last day of RTX, we had more people coming by to play BattleBlock Theater and get raffle tickets. In the end, we decided to give a token of our appreciation to all of those who returned for our last raffle by giving everyone squeezy chickens. I mean, it’s the least we could do since the crowd even sang Happy Birthday to us! It’s The Behemoth’s 10th year and we appreciated the warmth and love RTX attendees had to offer.”

The Psychological Appeal of Violent Shooters (The Psychology of Video Games)
“I have a new article up on gamesindustry.biz exploring the psychological appeal of violent shooters via self-determination theory. I draw from work by Scott Rigby, Richard Ryan, and Andrew Przybylski that looks at how this theory of human motivation can explain why violent shooters are so popular.”

ᐊᑕᓇᕐᔪᐊᑦ (ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᖅ ᓈᒻᒪᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ) (Hemisphere Games)
“Last year, Ryan Oliver – a developer from Nunavut – reached out to us. While playing Osmos he had noticed an achievement we named “Atanarjuat”, earned for completing the game’s “Chase” stage. This was a nod and a reference to a wonderful Canadian film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, based on an ancient Inuit legend. (yup, we’re Canadian.) This one word sparked a vision in Ryan’s mind. “

Alex’s “Segway” or Everybody’s First Game is Awful (Owlchemy Labs)
“While Owlchemy Labs certainly produces absurd and highly polished games these days, our scientists weren’t born with that innate ability. In fact, pretty much nobody is! We’ve all had to start from somewhere and, oftentimes, those first few attempts not only fail spectacularly but also hilariously.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Building Blocks


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Dev Links: Spinning Plates

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Today’s Developer Links are made up of the unexpected: making games about being a dominatrix, rubbish screenshots for a very intriguing game and discussion on the uncanny valley (though I suppose it’s possible to have expected that last one).

Video: ‘Hothead developers’ rant at GDC 2013 (IndieGames.com)
“The tradition of developer rants at GDC continues, with 2013′s edition including OUYA head of developer relations Kellee Santiago, Eidos turned indie dev Anna Marsh, and Chris Hecker sharing what they feel is wrong with the industry. Courtesy of the GDC Vault, this free, hour-long panel shows Santiago suggesting a Renaissance-like approach to help better and richer games to be made by people who could otherwise not afford to do so. Lady Shotgun’s Marsh encourages more pre-production efforts to avoid crunch and says developers should experience life outside games to avoid otherwise incestuous ideas. For all the hothead rants, including Chris Hecker’s now famous wordless rant, check out the free video after the jump.”

Some Rubbish Screenshots (Gaslamp Games)
“Radical notions about “the Natural Environment” are not given much thought in The Empire and rightly so. Indeed, those who profess “Misgivings with respect to the effects of Unbridled Industry and So-Called Progress in our Nation” are dismissed as debased spiritualists that can be assumed to gather in Laudanum Dens to associate with Poets who fill their heads with rambling apocalyptic screeds.”

The Uncanny Valley and Character Design (The Psychology of Video Games)
“Attention, Internet: I have a new article on the psychology of the uncanny valley up on gamesindustry.biz. You know what the uncanny valley is, right? It’s that theory originally from the field of robotics that says if you stick a couple arms and googly eyes on a trash can it looks cute, but if you don’t get facial animations or movement right on an otherwise realistic looking android it looks creepy as hell.”

New Quarterly report screen for Democracy 3 (Positech Games)
“I just had a sudden inspiration to include some non-scrolling ‘key indicators’ at the top, and I think it looks and works much better seeing them each turn…”

How to make games about being a dominatrix (Auntie Pixelante)
“So i was invited to speak at the first-ever different games conference in brooklyn, april 26th and 27th (at the “nyu-poly” campus, WHICH FELT ODDLY APPROPRIATE). let me tell you, first of all, some cool things they did. shortly before the conference i emailed them, concerned about their security policy which required folks to wear badges carrying the names on their government id cards (for a lot of trans people, not the names they go by). probably nyu campus policy. they immediately responded by negotiating with security to have their own printed badges, bearing the conference attendee’s chosen name, count as security passes. also, they converted two bathrooms into gender-neutral bathrooms. see: it’s not hard to make your conference more welcoming to trans people.”

Poster Ideas (The Witness)
“We were kicking around ideas of what a Witness poster would look like if we were to make one. We eventually came up with one that we really liked, and we’ll release that at some point in the future. But in the meantime we thought it would be nice to show some of the runner-up concepts.”

To Mono Or Not To Mono (Krooked Gaming)
“I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how hard it is going to be to test the full 8 player teams that AOTZH 2 supports. Unfortunately once AOTZH 2 is released on the Xbox it will be a full 7 days before Microsoft will allow us to submit a patch. This means that if anything major crops up, it will be a very painful week before we can do anything about it.”

Mac and Linux Version (Purple Orange Games)
“Okay, so I have started to build StarLife prototype for Mac and Linux. I just compiled it on Mac, now it’s Linux time!”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Spinning Plates


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Dev Links: Small World

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Going solo from a successful indie team and multiple articles on animation in today’s Developer Links.

Going Independent (Asher Vollmer)
“This Monday, after the most introspective conference of my life, I left my job at thatgamecompany. I’ve chosen to become an independent game developer.”

Mobile “just too scary” for indies, says Spelunky dev (Games Industry)
“Derek Yu notes even great games can tank on iOS and Android, welcomes growing competition on PCs, consoles”

GDC13 Summary: Animation Bootcamp Part 4/6 (Wolfire Games)
“Animating the 3rd Assassin. Jonathan Cooper, Animation Director, Ubisoft Montreal. Jonathan has been animating games for 13 years, including lead roles on Mass Effect 1 & 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Assassin’s Creed 3, and recently won the DICE award for “Outstanding Achievement in Animation”.”

Designing a game to behave in ways for which it was not designed (#AltDevBlogADay)
“I’d like to start this article by pointing out that it is merely a documenting of my own personal experience and thoughts that led from it, and in no way is a treatise on what I think everyone should do. Please take it with a grain of salt.”

Island Snapshot (The Witness)
“It’s been a while since the previous post, so here’s a new island snapshot.”

Exploring video game animation with a film industry veteran (Gamasutra)
“”Nowadays the skills and crew required to make a game and a movie are virtually identical… I’ve witnessed the blurring between the two media which has been occurring gradually over the years.” Lionel Gallat, known online as “Seith,” has been working on animated movies for over 15 years now, putting his mark on films like The Prince Of Egypt, The Road to Eldorado, SharkTale and Flushed Away.”

An Inviting Mini-World: How Nintendo Made Animal Crossing (Gamasutra)
“Chances are that if you know somebody with a Nintendo 3DS right now, you know somebody who’s playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf. The game was already a smash hit in its home territory, where since its release in November, it’s sold 4 million copies. Nintendo revealed via its Facebook page that five days after it hit the U.S. market, it had already shifted 200,000 units.”

Raptr Q&A with The Behemoth (The Behemoth)
“We’ll be chatting with the Raptr community about all of our games.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Small World


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Dev Links: Survey Says

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Developer Links gets in-depth today with a quality-of-life survey, meaningful character and story design advice, and the dilemma of r-using old content.

Game Developer Quality-of-Life Survey (Gamasutra)
“”Game Developers: How are you doing?” That’s the question we asked approximately 1,000 of you at the end of 2012. We know that between the long hours, frequent layoffs, and crunch phases, the game industry can be a notorious grind. While we perform a yearly Salary Survey every April to check the pulse of developers’ financial health, we thought we’d supplement that with a quality-of-life survey to see how you’re doing in ways not measured by dollars and cents. Are you satisfied with your pay? Are you confident in your current project? Do you want to be in this industry five years from now? Read on to find out how your colleagues responded.”

Developing Meaningful Player Character Arcs in Branching Narrative (Gamasutra)
“A little background: During my years at BioWare, I found that despite the enormous amount of talent housed in the writing department, there were certain subjects for which we lacked a common language of craft — a clear and broadly applicable way to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and why. This article is an effort to remedy that problem for one particular subject.”

The re-using old content dilemma (Positech Games)
“Where do you stand on content from game A turning up in Game A: 2 The sequel? I really do not know where I stand myself. Generally, I don’t care. if it turned out that the tree models in Company of heroes 2 were the same tree models from COH 1, I wouldn’t mind. Ditto some of the sound effects. A tiger tank gun sounds the same as it did when the original game was released, and sound playback technology is the same now as it was then.”

A Virus Named Tom dev finds therapy in Gizmo, ninja puppet show (Joystiq)
“Some things in life are so frustrating that you just have to make a low-budget puppet theater video about them. A Virus Named Tom developer Tim Keenan is annoyed to the puppet point by game development suggestions from well-meaning friends, and the assumption that “PC games” are “Facebook games.””

What happened to PlayStation Mobile? (IndieGames.com)
“When PlayStation Mobile launched late last year, I truly had high hopes for the platform. Six months on, and it seems like my optimism may have been misguided. The PS Mobile platform allows indie developers to sell their games via the PlayStation Store with relative ease. Once a studio or individual has registered and paid $99 per year for a publisher license, they can then release as many games as they want, as long as they keep to the relatively lax service guidelines.”

Art Asset Overview #39 (Wolfire Games)
“In this Overgrowth Art Asset Overview, I show off the new arena I’m working on and talk a bit about the process of making it. I’m pretty excited with where we’re at with Overgrowth, and I’m especially happy that there are no major hurdles in sight for us getting the game to beta.”

How ethical design can be a money-maker (Games Industry)
“GDC 2013: Shellrazer designer describes the key to monetization and in-app purchases; it’s all about respect for the players”

Untitled (Kotaku)
“If you liked 2010’s excellent, emotional action RPG Bastion, then listen to Amir Rao—co-founder of dev studio Supergiant Games—talk about the art of level design on the Critical Path Project.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Survey Says


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Dev Links: Memorable Trip

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Developer Links has plenty of focus on what came out of this year’s GDC, as well as discussions on Kickstarter and crunching to make a game.

Developers should ‘think like a fan,’ be transparent when pitching on Kickstarter, says Double Fine producer (Polygon)
“Indie developers looking to launch projects for crowdfunding on Kickstarter should “think like a fan,” altering their mindset and tailoring pitches to best inform their gaming audience, according to Double Fine Productions producer Greg Rice.”

Mark of the Ninja creator: Innovation no excuse for crunch (Gamasutra)
“Jamie Cheng, founder of Klei Entertainment, creator of the XBLA games Shank and Mark of the Ninja had strong words for any game maker who might claim that working extensive overtime is an intrinsic part of making ‘art’.”

Food, firing, and freedom (Games Industry)
“Other Ocean, 17-bit, and Capy Games give tips for creating positive studio cultures without breaking the bank”

Nintendo’s indies guy tells you how to get your games approved (IndieGames.com)
“If you want to get your indie game onto Nintendo’s platforms — the Wii U and 3DS — you’ll want to talk to Dan Adelman, who works as the company’s liaison with indies. While his title is “business development manager,” he’s best known as the man who helped World of Goo and the Bit.Trip series, among many others, land on the WiiWare service for the original Wii. He joined Nintendo in 2005 to help build that service; Since then, the company has transitioned to new platforms, and offers a much better shop on them, called the eShop.”

Exploring game design through technology (Wolfire Games)
“This is a blog post adaption of my GDC 2013 Indie Soapbox talk, I hope you like it! I will link to the GDC vault video of it if it becomes publicly available.”

Gameplay – Espionage (Purple Orange Games)
“Espionage, much like diplomacy, feels completely underdeveloped in 4X games and almost non-existent in strategy games overall.”

I Want to Make Video Games, But I Don’t Know How to Program, And I Don’t Have Any Money (Indie Game Insider)
“You have that hungry look on your face. You know, the kind you get when you haven’t eaten for a while. Only this time it’s a hunger to make games. Being a game developer, I can understand the passion that you may possess to create a game can be killed by the lack of patience it takes to learn to program. You have an idea, and you want to make a game now!”

Initial thoughts about my first GDC (Positech Games)
“So here I am, post-GDC, from my point-of-view (I was only there for two days), reflecting on what I thought of my first ever trip there. I made a deliberate decision to only spend two days there, to attend the indie talks, meet some people, and then combine the trip with a short holiday, so I’m in a hotel room typing this up.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Memorable Trip


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Dev Links: The Next Plateau

PolyVox

Are games art? Are gamers artists? What do you suck at? Is it launching your game? So many questions (and luckily plenty of answers) in today’s Dev Links.

Are Game(r)s Art(ists)? (Gamasutra)
“”Interactivity’s a very interesting word, because it implies that this is something we didn’t do in art before, which is complete nonsense, because the only interesting art experiences are the ones that engage you in that way; in which you are invited to become part of the authorship of something in some way or another. And usually in some more meaningful way than choosing whether to open this door or that door.” - Brian Eno”

What do you suck at? (Develop Online)
“Mike Bithell on why it is important to be aware of the gaps in your game development skills.”

Launch Day 2.0 (AltDevBlogADay)
“I didn’t sleep well the night before our Sunday launch of Vex Blocks. Despite the weeks we’ve had the game in the hands of testers, a new bug had come to light late Saturday evening. While not game breaking it still needed to be addressed. I stayed up working on the problem until solved. Chat messages, frantic on my part, went back and forth between myself and my partner until between the two of us we were able smooth things out. I then prepped the build for the next morning’s launch and finally after a long day allowed myself to push back away from my desk just after 1am. I tried and failed to sleep after that.”

BattleBlock Theater (Beta): User Created Levels (The Behemoth)
“Ah, yes… the BattleBlock Community Theater. Even after 3 years of playwriting levels, how those Beta builders still managed to surprise me! And kill me. And then surprise me again! Whether I was flung through explosions into rooms made out of teleporters or flung through teleporters into rooms made out of explosions, the experience was quite the rollercoastery deathtrap of emotion.”

A tree killed his Granny! Jack is STEAMing (Owlchemy Labs)
“Mobile’s most poplar game is now available on Steam! Stack beards, chug syrup, and rock flannel as you axe your way through the forest on your PC/Mac/Linux machine and make your Granny proud.”

Receiver’s Greenlight Journey (Wolfire Games)
“Receiver was finally released on Steam today — check it out here! There is a one-week launch sale bringing the price down to $3.99. If you already have Receiver or Overgrowth, then you can claim your Steam key on your Humble Store download page (linked from your purchase email). Whenever a game is greenlit, there are always two questions that come up over and over: “How did it take THIS LONG for this game to get greenlit?”, and “How did THIS game get greenlit?” In this post I will try to answer both questions about Receiver!”

New HUD Layout (Krooked Gaming)
“So after a lot of adjustments, I think I’m finally happy with the new HUD. While I have a few concerns about how complicated it may look to new users, it does contain a lot of useful information.”

Indie Tools: PolyVox (IndieGames.com)
“PolyVox is (according to its developers admittedly) “a fast, lightweight C++ library for the storage and processing of volumetric (voxel-based) environments” that can be used for anything from games to scientific applications.””

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: The Next Plateau