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Member Since 10 Aug 2000
Offline Last Active Aug 19 2015 05:09 AM

#5238249 Easy source control for educational uses?

Posted by on 03 July 2015 - 02:36 PM

Definitely go for Mercurial and use Bitbucket. It's a DVCS like Git, but with an interface that is (by design) almost as simple as subversion.


Subversion really isn't worth it, IMO, at this point.


I use Git for everything these days because of Github - simply easier to standardize on one VCS, rather than maintaining separate VCS for public and private code (which is where Bitbucket shines -> free private repos). But Mercurial was my gateway to DVCS's back when, and IMO it is really not all that much more complicated to explain and use than SVN, as long as you don't insist on doing overly complicated stuff. If you think your people can handle SVN, then they should be able to handle Mercurial as well.


That being said, we've recently started moving the researchers at my place of work over to Github, and that has actually gone pretty well. Git isn't that hard to use, if you stick to a simple workflow, and Github has pretty excellent documentation.

#5238220 Is Google Play Game Services or Apple Game Center worth it?

Posted by on 03 July 2015 - 11:51 AM

Does anyone know if these game services actually get your app more downloads? They seem to be useful for leaderboard hosting, but nobody even uses Google Plus. 


I'm not sure where you get this from, but you couldn't be more wrong. Everyone on native Android uses G+. Having a Google-ID to use for your phone basically makes you an automatic citizen of G+, because elements of G+ drive so much of the backend. Hangouts? Is a part of G+. Do you backup your photos via Google's automatic services? You're using G+ (now split out to Photos). In a sense, G+ is the glue which ties together all of Google's services.


In another sense, G+ doesn't really exist any more. Hangouts for business no longer requires a G+ id. Photos has just been split out into a stand-alone App. Streams (the feeds aspect), is in the process of being split out. I suspect that in future, using Google services probably won't require a G+ Id (following the lead of Hangouts for business). But you'll still have an ID with Google which is really all that they need - and which will tie together all of your Google services.


Google Play games is just one of those services, and it has little to nothing to do with G+, other than using your G+/Google ID.


I don't know much about Apple Game Center other than it is similar to Google's. Do most users even bother to sign in to these things when the game is in play? Games such as crossy road, cut the rope, etc. use them for leaderboards, but I can't figure otu if it's worth the trouble. Thanks.



The question is rather, why would you waste time implementing this for yourself, when you can get the entire thing - including backend services - essentially for free?

#5042894 Buying a "developer" spot on the new Richard Garriot project

Posted by on 13 March 2013 - 05:03 PM

But this isn't just a small indie team, and their forum will probably be littered.

That's kind of the point.

Look - it's really not my problem how you (or anyone else) chose to spend their money. Just be aware that the only thing the $400 buys is a fancy title and access to the private cheerleading section of their game forums. This is not a small indie team - that makes them very unlikely to be interested in the opinions of random internet people. Even if they were, it would be the dumbest focus group strategy ever to limit input to a group of people who've spent a significant sum of money (i.e., people already guaranteed to be positive to whatever Garriot creates). Though perhaps that is how the developers think (cf. Treleaven's quote above), in which case the project is sure to crash and burn. Working within an echo chamber is never a good idea.

To get back to the OP, I'm not quite sure what you hope to gain by this. It is your dream to become a developer; what makes you think this will help?

You don't want something like this on your CV: a prospective interviewer would ROFL, before binning the application. You are not going to get any development experience. You are not going to get any design experience (unlike Jon Shafer's recent KS project, there is not even the promise of getting a sneakpeak at their design docs). There is - as far as I can tell - nothing here that helps you along the path to being a gamedev. The only reason to spend that kind of money that I can see, is if one is an Ultima fan(atic).

If you want to pursue that dream, you have to keep in mind the golden rule: finishing is all that matters.

Go and build something - even if it is just to mod an existing game. Having something - anything - to show that you have had a significant hand in building and completing, is infinitely more useful on your CV than listing games on which you are a beta tester. Build a game (something small) - and you will learn a lot more about what it takes to be a game developer than you will ever learn from a thousand forum posts by Garriot.

Incidentally, the Jon Shafer mentioned above started out modding Civilization III and ended up as lead designer and developer on Civilization V).

#5042507 Buying a "developer" spot on the new Richard Garriot project

Posted by on 12 March 2013 - 05:20 PM

Any sensible indie developer will listen with attention to any reasoned feedback from their fans - and won't charge $400 for the privilige.


And seriously - an exclusive group of 2000+ is not exclusive.

#4987521 Android Game Development, Where should i start?

Posted by on 06 October 2012 - 05:23 PM

As jbAdams says, the smart way into Android development is Java. Java is the native language of the platform, and using it means that you'll be programming to the strengths of the platform, rather than fighting its peculiarities.

#4987520 General android publishing and development questions

Posted by on 06 October 2012 - 05:18 PM

Android is not IOS, you don't need to worry about anyone bricking your phone (though depending on your manufacturer/carrier, rooting can be extremely easy or harder to do).

Advertising an app is the same as any other software; either pay for ads (though I wouldn't recommend it), or find places where people announce/use your kind of apps and do the same (following the rules of the place), and get listed as many places as possible. Discoverability is a problem for all starting app developers.

#4983219 Making Android Apps

Posted by on 24 September 2012 - 07:46 AM

I'll use frob's short summary of your questions to respond:

1. What are some good API's to use to make 2D games?
2. What makes a game successful?
3. How much money do developers make from their apps?
4. Is it better to make a game free and put ads in it or is "freemium" better (or just straight upfront payment)?
5. What are good ways to advertise apps and gain recognition?

1. For simple 2D, the best API is simply to use the built-in Java stuff. Unless you are familiar with OpenGL, or you require 3D/physics, using anything more advanced is generally not worth it.

2. As frob says. No one can says what is a success, other than yourself.

3. As frob says. Graphics and music are expensive if you want quality, so it can be very hard for games to even just break even.

4. It depends on the game. Though I'll say that there are two things I'd always recommend; firstly, to always have a way for the player to try the game (whether this is with a free/lite version combined with a paid version or freemium), and secondly, to be careful of the race to bottom pricing. Once you're at 99c, you have nowhere left to go but free - and you need a lot of sales at 99c to make any sort of money - sales that you are not likely to see.

5. Make a good app that brings something new to the market. No realistic (for an indie) amount of marketing for the The 100th scrabble game (Wordfeud), physics puzzler, or tower defense game is ever going to make any difference to the popularity of that app. As for recognition - forget about that. Set your own - small - goals for each app and try to achieve those.

Also - if you know C++, quit waiting and start coding. I jumped straight from C++ to Java a few years back, and - apart from having to learn which classes existed (something the Android Developer docs cover very well) - it took only a forthnight or two before I had a working demo of my first app. Learn by doing.