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J of K

Help Wanted Picks

Posted by , 08 December 2008 - - - - - - · 246 views

Just a quick post to point anyone who doesn't regularly visit the front page of the site in the direction of the second edition of what will hopefully continue to be a regular fortnightly news-item here at GDNet: Help Wanted Picks.

The basic idea is to handpick a few projects every couple of weeks which stand out amongst the others and give them a bit of front-page exposure on the site - hopefully it'll get more skilled developers connecting, thereby attracting more promising projects which traditionally sometimes shy away from our beginner-friendly (and therefore sometimes unfortunately swamped with low quality projects) HW forum.

While I'm less confident about the success of my first and third choices for featured projects than I was the first time I think the chosen threads do clearly stand out amongst the rest, and still have the very-likely-to-succeed EDI project in there.

So, anything that could/should be added/removed/done differently? As a reader who might be looking for help, would it be worth it to you if I'd spent the time to sort and/or summarise the list of services offered at the bottom? Do you agree with my choice of projects, and with what I said about them? Have you recently visited Help Wanted and think I missed a brilliant project that should have been included?

Help Wanted!

Posted by , 21 July 2007 - - - - - - · 235 views

It's rather interesting moderating the Help Wanted forum, I get to see a whole miriad of different projects and potential projects constantly parading through, some of which do quite well and the majority of which go absolutely nowhere. It's rather unfortunate that there are often some very good projects which slip through the cracks and don't seem to get much attention and I'd just like to draw a bit of focus towards one at the moment if there are any artists out there who may be able to contribute:

Cryptex of Time
Cryptex of Time screenshots
Click for larger...

Cryptex of Time is a casual puzzle game under development by one of our long-time but not overly well known users AJirenius and intended to be published via online portals. He's actually got the game to a completed state except for some graphics and audio assets and is currently looking for help with finishing it off, and apparently already has some interest from at least one publisher.

In spite of the advanced stage of development, relative ease of the work required, near guarantee of project completion and the fact that he's willing to negotiate some compensation for work done he has unfortunately not yet recieved any (well... only one composer) interest from people who may be able to help.

If you are or know of anyone who may be able to help out, please take a look at or pass on his Help Wanted thread.

Honourable mentions for interesting Help Wanted thread also currently go to:
Are Fell; oldschool RPG looking to fill various positions
and 1944 D-Day; WWII sim seeking gameplay programmers and other roles.


Posted by , 02 February 2006 - - - - - - · 315 views


I have discovered ythat if I type real fast then most of it comes out as legible text!!! HOORAY!!!! I guss it's automatic or somethingination! ROCK AND/OR ROLL!!!!

Splish Splosh Splash

Posted by , 15 November 2005 - - - - - - · 335 views

I'm sure you're all familiar with splash screens in games by now. I mean the full-screen animated things that display company logos. I don't believe splash screen isn't really the correct term for these, but it seems to be what they're commonly known as these days and I'm sure you're all aware of what I'm talking about. For anyone still confused, and for purposes of illustration a few examples are in order. The following are screenshots taken from the splashscreens of Activision, Westwood Studios and EA respectively (thankfully for me I don't seem to own any games new enough to get a capture of the now infamous "challenge everything"):
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...and the following are three seperate frames captured from the splash screen of Raven:
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Now, personally I think that the Raven splash screen (captured from my copy of Quake 4 btw) is actually pretty cool, and I'll admit I've let it play a few times. How many times have you put in your favorite game and simply pressed escape, or space, or whatever key happens to skip one of these splash screens though? How many times have you actually watched one of these splash screens? I think you'll find that apart from perhaps the first time you rarely watch the splash screens; you want to get to the action (never mind the fact that you'll still have to navigate a menu before you can get to the gameplay!) and the splash screens - sometimes in groups of up to 3 or 4 - are slowing you down, wasting your time.

Worse still are games where you can't skip the splash, and are sometimes also subjected to an intro movie (it was cool the first time...). I'm sure every avid gamer has some amount of hatred for the EA games' "create everything" splash, and keeping gamers from getting to the gameplay isn't really a great idea. There is however a method to the madness of these big studios and publishers; they're building brand loyalty. You'll remember most of the annoying splash screens, and that might help generate sales in future; in theory you'll remember the excellent games you've played before and be more inclined to purchase (or at least consider) future titles by the same companies.

"So, what's your point?"

I'm glad you asked. My point is that your indie or hobbiest game need not inflict players with this same annoyance. I see a lot of people including a splash screen just because it's what all thier favorite games do; you don't need to. If you do include any sort of cinematic, make it skippable. You aren't a big studio, you don't need to stoop to these marketting tactics.

Still want to display a logo somewhere and build some brand loyalty? Here's a not-so-secret: The player will look at the menu screen every time they load up your game. Put a logo on there somewhere if you must, and earn points from your players by not stopping them from getting to the action.

Anyways, just a little rant, hope someone finds it interesting. [wink]

By the way, check out Primal Damage, by mcguile25. The website isn't very impressive yet, but it looks like it'll be a cool game - he's been posting about it in his journal, and now he's also looking for help (2d/3d artists, web design).


Posted by , 18 October 2005 - - - - - - · 243 views

Among other projects, I've been working on some custom forum software. I'm aware that there are plenty of existing packages out there I could potentially use, but I don't like any of them, so I'm trying to write something following a few guidelines:
- The content comes first
- No 'feature bloat'; if I don't need it it shouldn't be there
- Validating XHTML/CSS that works reliably on major browsers
- Avoid tables for layout if possible
- Clean markup and code
- Must load quickly, even (especially?) on slow connections

Anyways, more on that at a later stage I'm sure. For now, in order to take a bit of a break from it but still spend time working on something that will contribute, I've started creating a small set of basic emoticons to be used with it. I only want a few (about 10) covering what is commonly used in line with my 'no bloat' guideline and so as not to detract from actual content, and my art isn't great, but thus far I have:
:) :( :| :D ;)

I've managed to get the filesizes nice and small, and I think I've got them looking pretty decent, if pretty basic. I've also done some of them in green, but I think I prefer the blue, and it'll certainly fit into the intended site design better unless things change.

Check out Lugaru, by Wolfire Software. They're currently looking for programmers to help with a sequel!

First entry

Posted by , 16 October 2005 - - - - - - · 339 views


...figured I may as well start posting in this thing sometimes. Updates will be non-regular, and will cover a range of topics, including my projects, non-GD related projects, and the occasional rant. I'll also likely take some time to pimp some of the more interesting projects currently going on in Help Wanted.

For now I shall leave you with this suitably mysterious picture:
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