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Article Monthly Themes

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#1 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5456

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:54 PM

In order to spotlight certain areas of need I would like to issue a theme for each month for what articles we'd like people to try and put together.   We used to do contests like "4 Elements" where members had to put stuff like fire, water, wind, and earth into any game.   I'm wondering if we could try out either specific themes and look for tutorials on those or have more generic creative prompts for people.   

 

For example, May could be our first theme month with a beginner-oriented "Remake the Classics" article theme.   I'm thinking you could tie in user participation and their learning experience by asking the community to demo projects that they came up with based on the theme either via a forum post or through their own journal.

 

June could be something like "The Intelligent Enemy" with a description stating that we're looking for any articles that revolve around introducing artificial intelligence to a game opponent or NPC.   

 

I would love recommendations or thoughts about how you'd like to see this run and some ideas for different themes.   We would want to have the themes announced a few months in advance.   We will also be holding an overall Monthly Article Competition - perhaps we have an overall category and one for best article for the monthly theme?


Edited by Michael Tanczos, 27 March 2013 - 09:59 PM.


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#2 ByteTroll   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1513

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:59 AM

Personally, I think having a theme every month could make things fun and interesting.  It would be nice to see some topics that aren't generally covered such as advanced rendering techniques, memory management, etc.  I also like the idea of the "remake the classics" theme.


Edited by ByteTroll, 28 March 2013 - 07:00 AM.

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#3 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5456

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:02 AM

Just jotting down some ideas...

Monsters in the dark.. reproduce anything that gets that fear factor going

#4 gfxgangsta   Members   -  Reputation: 626

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:29 AM

I really like the idea of a monthly theme.

 

+1 on ByteTroll's request for topics like advanced rendering techniques... sometimes these are covered in different forum posts, but it would be great to see articles.

 

Other theme ideas:

 

-experimental gameplay

-native code for mobile

-a specific OS

-build systems (assets/data/code)

-use of scripting languages

-script language compiler implementation

-scripting integration with game engines

-making a game in a tool not meant for games (like Excel or Powerpoint)

-monetization

-"three-chord song" (many musicians write songs that just use different combinations of the same three chords.. perhaps three simple mechanics could be mixed and matched to make a great game that seems complex, but is really made up of just those three basic elements)

-animation (UV, vertex, skeletal,etc)

-texturing (programmers could chime in with procedural texture generation or articles about packing textures into an atlas)

-specific game genres (racing, shooters, etc)

-postmortem month (what went right/wrong/etc during someone's project)

-hardware (something you tried with Sifteo Cubes or Oculus Rift)

-motion control (gameplay opportunities, filtering motion input, etc)



#5 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5456

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 12:00 PM

I really like the idea of a monthly theme.

 

+1 on ByteTroll's request for topics like advanced rendering techniques... sometimes these are covered in different forum posts, but it would be great to see articles.

 

Other theme ideas:

 

-experimental gameplay

-native code for mobile

-a specific OS

-build systems (assets/data/code)

-use of scripting languages

-script language compiler implementation

-scripting integration with game engines

-making a game in a tool not meant for games (like Excel or Powerpoint)

-monetization

-"three-chord song" (many musicians write songs that just use different combinations of the same three chords.. perhaps three simple mechanics could be mixed and matched to make a great game that seems complex, but is really made up of just those three basic elements)

-animation (UV, vertex, skeletal,etc)

-texturing (programmers could chime in with procedural texture generation or articles about packing textures into an atlas)

-specific game genres (racing, shooters, etc)

-postmortem month (what went right/wrong/etc during someone's project)

-hardware (something you tried with Sifteo Cubes or Oculus Rift)

-motion control (gameplay opportunities, filtering motion input, etc)

 

 

Awesome ideas here.   I think there are some definite gems here we can use as monthly themes.   Hopefully there are more people out there who can pitch some ideas for themed months.. I think we can then condense it down to a top list.



#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5073

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:18 PM

Maybe history/evolution - I've found myself doing a lot of writing about the history of writing theory and the history of pet games recently, all of it article-relevant. Not to mention that I like games and stories which include evolution or history as themes; just finished a fun one where I was controlling a team of archeologists digging up some ruins.

If there's a postmortem one I request that it include the option to postmortem commercial games one was not involved in developing. I'm not sure I could get an article out of that, but I could easily get a developer journal entry or two.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#7 Zipster   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 886

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 02:19 PM

I really like the idea of a monthly theme, so long as we also make it abundantly clear that submitted articles and content don't *need* to adhere to that theme, and that it's more of a focus for the month that a strict guideline. You could even tie it into the monthly competition so that articles adhering to the theme get a few extra points during judging. Otherwise I can imagine there being individuals with something great to contribute, but are turned off by the theme and decide to wait, and perhaps something comes up and/or they lose the motivation, etc. I just know from personal experience, that even the smallest perceived barrier can be used as an excuse not to do something smile.png





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