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Member Since 25 Sep 2002
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#5206534 GDC Social Tips

Posted by jbadams on 25 January 2015 - 07:48 AM

Hi Allen, thanks for sharing - I think this would make a fantastic article if you're interested in submitting it to be shared to a wider audience: http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/gdnethelp/how-to-publish-on-gamedevnet-r2927

(Apologies for the lack of formatting, I'm on mobile right now.)

#5206360 Would this be considered duplicate code?

Posted by jbadams on 24 January 2015 - 04:07 AM

You probably just need practice -- it's not always immediately clear how you'll be able to generalise your ideas to produce less duplicated code, but as long as you continue working on it you'll get better with practice.  Look for duplicated code in your projects and make the effort to clean it up into a more generalized form.

#5205947 Lone Poor developer protected from Mega companies

Posted by jbadams on 22 January 2015 - 02:42 AM

If it helps, don't think of it as what big studios can't do, but instead what they won't do; of course they are capable of making all of the games that have been mentioned in the technical sense, but they won't take the risk on an unproven or unusual idea.

#5205757 Best Computer Type for Game Dev?

Posted by jbadams on 21 January 2015 - 06:51 AM

Anything that meets the RPG Maker system requirements will do. :)


If you do decide on a laptop I would personally recommend that unless you're planning to use an external keyboard you look for one with a full-sized keyboard rather than the cramped versions many laptops have -- this is really personal preference though, and many people are perfectly fine without it, so take that advice with a grain of salt and be sure to consider your own preferences.  You'll also want a nice monitor that isn't too small or overly low resolution.



Plenty of RAM (you want to exceed the recommended amount for RPG Maker if possible so you can run other software at the same time smoothly) and an SSD are desirable for nice snappy performance.

#5205756 UDK good?

Posted by jbadams on 21 January 2015 - 06:43 AM

Does Unreal 4 really require a quad core to run? I know that previous versions of Unreal were able to run on just about anything.

Honestly I'm not sure, but that is what they list in the system requirements in their faq.  I'm afraid I don't have any systems with lower specs that I could test it on for you to see if that's actually a hard requirement or not.  Note that those system requirements are for developing with the engine and depending on the game you develop don't necessarily represent what players of your game will need.  For comparison, here are the minimum and recommended specs for UE3/UDK.


This and this may be good starting points to really answer your question, but you'll have to look through them for yourself.


Hope that's helpful! :)

#5205715 Creativity exercise - create an "elevator pitch"

Posted by jbadams on 21 January 2015 - 12:25 AM

But, did anyone ask permission for us to use the submitted titles?

No, but I wouldn't expect any problems with building on what are essentially throw-away joke ideas, especially given they're only undeveloped five word titles and we're just adding ideas rather than actually making any games.

I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it and remove any of them if the originator asks though - and obviously if anyone actually wants to proceed to make their game idea they should follow up with the originator for themselves to get permission.

#5205698 I have an idea that I think could be successful, what do I do with it?

Posted by jbadams on 20 January 2015 - 10:23 PM

"I have a game idea!"


Your idea sounds a bit like Second Life, perhaps with a few more typical "game" type features initially available -- you might get some ideas from what they've done. :)

#5205690 Creativity exercise - create an "elevator pitch"

Posted by jbadams on 20 January 2015 - 09:11 PM

Wow, 446 views but no attempts yet?  Come on guys, give it a try! smile.png


I'll get the ball rolling with a first attempt -- hopefully a first example will encourage others to jump on in.




I chose @JoffCom's title: "Email Simulator: Send and Receive":



The internet is really a series of tubes and emails don't just magically appear in the inbox -- someone has to shove them into the correct tubes and sort them as they arrive!


Email Simulator: Send and Receive is a tongue-in-cheek single-screen arcade game where the player works in the email sorting office: outgoing mail must be placed into the openings of an increasingly more numerous and tangled series of tubes to reach the correct destination, whilst incoming mail must be quickly removed to the correct inbox before the tubes become clogged!

#5205530 Creativity exercise - create an "elevator pitch"

Posted by jbadams on 20 January 2015 - 06:30 AM

It's widely accepted that it's good to practice creativity, and I thought it might be a bit of fun to have a go at practising as a community with a simple challenge.  You'll get to practice being imaginative, as well as the useful skill of trying to describe a game idea succinctly.



Here's the challenge:


Create an "elevator pitch" -- that is, a very basic high level description that attempts to describe the core essence of a game, no more than 1-2 paragraphs --  based on some of the #5WordIndieGame titles for hypothetical games that people have been making up for a bit of a laugh in response to a tweet from @Team17 last week.  Your description should be as short as you can make it whilst still communicating the hypothetical game in as much detail as possible.  Take your time and revise what you've typed a couple of times before submission, and try to cut out anything you don't need and really make every word count.  Bonus points for wacky and original game concepts -- note that they don't necessarily have to be practical, as they're not actually being made!



  1. Click through, and look through the suggested titles.
  2. Pick one that looks interesting, and write your pitch describing the game this title might go with!
  3. You may optionally include one quick "napkin sketch" mock-up image to help illustrate the idea.
  4. (Positive) Feedback on ideas from other members is encouraged!

If you pick the same title as someone else, try to pitch a different game that might have that title.



I'll submit one or two of my own tomorrow! smile.png

#5205504 UDK good?

Posted by jbadams on 20 January 2015 - 03:59 AM

Unreal may well be a good option for you in that case -- it was originally developed for first person shooters and is therefore very well suited for that purpose.  Unfortunately you can't try it out for free, but at just $20 for access to a world-class engine I don't think it's very affordable to give it a try.



If you're looking for alternatives you might also consider C4 Engine, which is a little more expensive up-front (licencing info) but doesn't charge royalties.

#5205461 Designing an Ore Mining Game

Posted by jbadams on 19 January 2015 - 11:36 PM

as a small indie developer, how could I create more gameplay without having to add new content

There are two main possible solutions to that: procedurally generated content, or player-created content.  Note that these aren't mutually exclusive and you could potentially make use of both.


Procedural generation allows you to provide more game-play by providing a varied experience.  It can't provide entirely new game-play systems, but it can provide different experiences by combining the existing options in new and potentially unexpected ways.  It can be tricky to tune your procedural generation to produce good results; you want things to be varied enough to provide different and interesting experiences, but you don't want them to be so varied as to provide a completely alien experience and completely trash the player's mental model of how to play the game, and you certainly don't (usually) want to produce situations that are unwinnable or completely unplayable.


Daniel Cook discusses the use of procedural content in his post "Content is Bad". 



Player-created content can be great if you can attract a community of creative players, but has the obvious problems of curating that content: how do you make sure the best content is discovered and used, and ensure that the worst content is hidden away.  You also have to be sure that it can't be exploited by trolls, or even worse you don't want to accidentally provide a security vulnerability.  Once again I have a link from Daniel Cook discussing user content.



I think the "Daily Challenge" in Spelunky is a very clever design that you could easily apply to a game like you're describing, assuming you have a reliable procedural level layout to exploit.  If you can come up with a large number of power-up items and/or additional abilities you could also consider gradually unlocking items and bad-guys that provide a different game-play experience as is brilliantly demonstrated by The Binding of Isaac (see the amazingly long lists of items and enemies that are gradually unlocked to keep things fresh).



Hope some of that helps! :)

#5205457 UDK good?

Posted by jbadams on 19 January 2015 - 10:45 PM

As axefrog mentions, UDK is the older product and unless you've already started a project with it you would probably be better off with Unreal Engine 4.  That said UDK is still available and will still work if that's what you prefer to use -- I've never tried it myself and can't comment on it however.



I will comment on Unreal Engine 4 and say that it's a pretty amazing deal for hobbyist and small indie developers.  You pay $20 monthly for each team member that will be using the engine and then just 5% royalties, and that gets you the full Unreal Engine including source-code access!  It's also worth noting that you don't have to keep paying your $20 each month if money is a concern; by paying the monthly subscription you get regular updates, but you can instead choose to pay your $20 once, download the latest version of the engine and source code, and then cancel your subscription -- you won't get updates, but your copy of the engine will continue to work and you can resubscribe at any time if updates become important.  Note that you of course still have to pay your 5% royalties once a product is released.


This is a professional engine.  It's proven, it's very capable, and it can be used to create a wide variety of different types of games including 2d games if you wish to do so.  There are also plenty of learning materials available.


You might consider Unity or Godot (free and open sourced, but less mature and with less resources available at this time) as possible alternatives.



That being said, all of these engines (perhaps less so when considering the less mature Godot) are large products with powerful editors that are often best suited to teams of skilled developers; they certainly can be used by a solo developer as well, and are now priced to make that an attractive option, but for some people they're overkill and something simpler might be more suitable...


What sort of games do you actually want to make, and how experienced are you?  We may be able to recommend other options that might be better suited for your usage.



Hope that helps! :)

#5205258 I have a game idea but..!?

Posted by jbadams on 19 January 2015 - 06:06 AM

you can start with first letting your game be free and then when it is going really wel you should try to ask some money for it but not to much


That may not be the best idea: if a game has previously been available for free it can be difficult to convince people to consider it valuable enough to pay for in future.

#5204901 Sending and receiving contracts

Posted by jbadams on 17 January 2015 - 06:04 AM

I'm going to move you to our Business and Law forum for this one, you'll likely get better responses there. :)

#5204637 Best First Project?

Posted by jbadams on 15 January 2015 - 11:19 PM

If you need practice then I would suggest that you do neither of the above and just focus on practice rather than expecting to produce a completed game on your first try; start by following tutorials, working through example exercises, etc.  Make small mini-games (that is, just the game-play, without menus, scoring, etc.) to test out your ideas and see how best you could implement specific features you want for your real project.


It's overwhelmingly likely that your first game -- probably your first several games -- will have problems and may not be your best work.  That's normal, and is part of learning -- everyone makes crappy games while they're learning.



Once you've learned the basics and had some practice I would then suggest working on your own original games (this is also what I voted for in your poll) rather than potentially wasting your time with "fan" games.  If you have your own original ideas why would you waste time working on a fan game that at best you won't be able to make money from, and at worst may not even be allowed to release and which could potentially cost you a lot of money.  Be original and make your own game.