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Happy Birthday Gamedev!

Posted by johnhattan, 15 June 2011 · 293 views

Poll: Happy Birthday Gamedev! (4 member(s) have cast votes)

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In honor of Gamedev's 12th birthday, I'm gonna release the design document for my latest game, Dice-A-Rama. Basically it's a game I tried to write in ten days to address the lack of a Yatzy ("Yahtzee" is trademarked) game on the Playbook. Actually it ended up taking about 20 days because I was still building a lot of cross-platform stuff. On the good side, it's now available on the Playbook App Store here and on the iPhone App Store here.

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The big ZYNGA logos are because it's a pad of free sticky-notes I got at a game conference a couple of years ago. Stickies and pencils are the only design tools you need.

And yeah, this is kind of a joke. But it does give you a bit of a feel for design. If you're a one-man shop and you have a simple design and you're confident in your ability to implement it, then don't spend much time on design. I wrote my first computer game almost 30 years ago, so design documents come second to getting an idea working while it's still fresh in your mind.

My bug-fixing process is the same. I am never more than two feet from a pad of stickies, and when I find ANYTHING, I quickly write it down. You'll be surprised how many ideas are lost between the time you switch from the game running on the screen back to your text editor.

BTW, "Kismet" is also trademarked, so I went with "Destino". "Kismet" is the Turkish word for "Fate", so I went with the Italian word for "Fate". Get it?

And I ended up dumping the three-column mode. Made the game too long and it also made the cells too small for dinky iPhone and Android screens.




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