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  • Ludum Dare 40

    By Vilem Otte

    Since Ludum Dare 35 I'm regularly participating in every one of them and this one wasn't exception. My release thoughts are positive - this time I've again worked with one friend (with whom we've worked also in the past on Ludum Dare), and I enjoyed it a lot. As this is not a post mortem yet, I will not go into details what went right or wrong - meanwhile I'll just show the results and put out few notes... Yes, that's one of the screenshots from the game (without UI). I'm using this one as a "cover" screenshot - so it should also be included here. Anyways this was my another experience with Unity and maybe one of the last Ludum Dare experiences with it. While I do like it, if I can think about suitable game for my own game engine for the theme next time, it's possible that I won't use Unity next time. Ludum Dare Each 4 months or so, this large game jam happens. It's a sort of competition, well... there are no prizes, and I honestly do it just for fun (and to force myself to do some "real" game development from time to time). It takes 48 or 72 hours to create your game (depending on whether you go for compo or jam category), and there are just few basic rules (which you can read on site - https://ldjam.com/). Then for few weeks you play and rate other games, and the more you play, the more people will play and rate your game. While ratings aren't in my opinion that important, you get some feedback through comments. Actually I was wrong about no prizes - you have your game and feedback of other people who participate in Ludum Dare as a prize. Unity... I've used Unity for quite long time - and I have 2 things to complain about this time, majority of all used shaders in Air Pressure (yes, that is the game's name) are actually custom - and I might bump into some of them in post mortem. Unity and custom shaders combination is actually quite a pain, especially compared to my own engine (while it isn't as generic as Unity is - actually my engine is far less complex, and maybe due to that shader editing and workflow is actually a lot more pleasant ... although these are my own subjective feelings, impacted by knowing whole internal structure of my own engine in detail). Second thing is particularly annoying, related to Visual Studio. Unity extension for Visual Studio is broken (although I believe that recent patch that was released during the Ludum Dare fixed it - yet there was no time for update during the work), each time a C# file is created, the project gets broken (Intellisense works weird, Visual Studio reports errors everywhere, etc.), the only work around was to delete the project files (solution and vcxproj) and re-open Visual Studio from Unity (which re-created solution and vcxproj file). Unity! On the other hand, it was good for the task - we finished it using Unity, and it was fun. Apart from Visual Studio struggles, we didn't hit any other problem (and it crashed on us just once - during whole 72 hours for jam - once for both of us). So I'm actually quite looking forward to using it next time for some project. Anyways, I did enjoy it this time a lot, time to get back into work (not really game development related). Oh, and before I forget, here they are - first gameplay video and link to the game on Ludum Dare site: https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/40/air-pressure PS: And yes I've been actually tweeting progress during the jam, which ended up in a feeling, that I've probably surpassed number of Tweets generated by Donald Trump in past 3 days.
    • 1 comment
    • 839 views
  • Smoke and Mirrors ... but Mainly Lighting

    By Jon Alma

    Time for an update.  
    So what have I been working on in the last couple of weeks?  Firstly the lighting and particle systems are activated.  The particle system is pretty unintrusive with the most notable aspect being the chimney smoke rising from the different steampunk engines.  Alongside this there is now a bit of splashing water and a few sparks flying around.  Much more noticeable is the lighting system as demonstrated in the new screenshots.  Here there is now a day / night cycle - I spent quite a long time making sure that the night was not too dark and I already have a game setting allowing this to be turned off (while this will lose a lot of the atmosphere just having day light slightly improves performance ... no other lights need to be active ... and maximises visibility).  Introducing other lights was a bit more problematic than expected.  Firstly, it took a while to get the light fall off fine-tuned correctly and secondly I upgraded the code quite a bit.  Originally, the light manager would always choose the lights nearest to the player, meaning that a maximum of 7 lights (beyond the sunlight) could be active in any scene.  Okay, but it did mean that more distant lights would suddenly flick on.  The new logic activates lights nearest to each game object or map tile currently being drawn, allowing a much greater number of lights to be shown in any scene.  In general the list of lights to activate are pre-calculated as each map section is loaded, with only lighting for moving objects being calculated on the fly.  So far seems to be working nicely - if I overloaded a particular area with lights there could still be light pop-up, but with sensible level design this can be avoided.  I did consider pre-baking the lighting but with the day/night cycle and the desire to alter light intensity and even colour on the fly this was going to be too complex and the performance of the current solution seems to be very good.   The other task I've been working on is the introduction of two new map zones.  The objective was to introduce something distinct from what had been done so far and to this end I have been working on a wilderness and an industrial zone.  And the wilderness zone completely failed to work.  It's a beginner zone so there wasn't any intention to overload it with complex gameplay, but even so it's just empty and uninteresting - back to the drawing board on that one.  As for the industrial zone this one is going better.  There are a number of new models being used and a few more to add with a couple of objectives in mind.  First off the aim is to create a little bit the confusion of a steampunk factory - pipes, big machines, smoke and steam.  Secondly, to hint at the down side of (steampunk) industrialisation with the texturing more grimy and even the addition of waste stacks (handily blocking off the player's progression requiring them to navigate their way round more carefully).  An early draft is shown in the screenshot below - the ground texturing needs to be changed with green grass needing to be replaced by rock and sand and I will also be working on the lighting and fog - to draw in the view and create a darker scene even in the middle of the day.  The scene may be a bit too busy at the moment, but I will see how I feel once these changes are made.
    Hope the update was interesting - as before any feedback most welcome.  
    • 0 comments
    • 529 views
  • Graphics Create Game Mechanics

    By Spencer Lockhart

    Beginning I decided around middle of last year that I wasn't good at designing art. I'm good at coding, I'm good at ideas, and I'm good at making tools. I thought, What if I could make game design tools specifically for my own game engine? So I started working on a niche design tool for an HTML5 + Node.js game engine in the style of a 2.5d MMO with 8bit-style graphics. I've never made a real drawing tool before. I've never finished an MMO, but I knew how and what to do to make this. So I scrapped the last project I was working on and started fresh. Map Designer The first thing I started playing with was the map and object designer. I decided pixels in the game should have meaning. Some pixels are walkable, some pixels have height, and it had to be possible to walk behind objects like trees and flowers. Since I had height for pixels, it was easy to use that to cast shadows automatically. I'm probly getting to technical here- but I realized it was a whole lot more fun to use my own tool than it was to use Microsoft Paint. I felt encouraged to create the mob designer next so I could test my map further. Mob Designer My interface design was terrible, but it was good enough for me to use, and that's all that mattered. I could design a mob, make a quick map mock-up for testing, and walk around that map with my mob. One problem though, I'm still terrible at designing graphics. So that's when I reached out. I Had to Clean up my Tools I showed people how to use the tools, made a video tutorial, but my tools were just so ugly, I had to clean them up! Now things are moving forward. The UI is still not the greatest for designing/developing. But it's good enough for most any designer to work with. I realized, the game mechanics were built into the graphics I realized with no coding, things like hit-test, animation timing, equip-able item anchoring, and so many other things were handled in the design tools. That means a lot to me, because I can just keep on working on my tools, and in the future I don't have the option to give up before those little things are developed into the game. If a new item is designed, it just works. If a new map object is created, it just works. If a new area is drawn, it just works. This is what I'm good at, and I sure hope to bring in testers for this game by Spring next year.
    • 1 comment
    • 666 views
  • Why I hate fun

    By FriendlyHobbit

    http://www.tinker-entertainment.com/sitavriend/psychology-and-games/why-i-hate-fun/ Ever since I decided to specialize in game design I struggled with the word “fun”. It might sound silly to struggle with a term that is so central to the art of making games but it makes sense once you start to research ‘fun’. First of all very limited research has been done and secondly the term ‘fun’ is ambiguous. Fun means something different for everyone. Many other industries envy the games industry for making fun products. They mistakenly think that games are this magical medium that are automatically fun and engaging. As a result, they applied typical game elements such as XP and competition to apps as an attempt to make ‘boring’ tasks more fun. But game designers also struggle to make their games engaging and fun. Not every player enjoys playing every game or genre. I typically don’t enjoy most first person shooters because I suck at them. On the other hand it is not just games that can be fun. Many people think knitting is fun, others think watching a football match is fun or playing a musical instrument. What is considered fun often depends on someone’s expectations and their current context. A player has to be in the right state of mind before considering to play a game, they need to ‘want’ to play the game or do any other activity. This can be fun too. A researcher who attempts to understand fun more thoroughly is Lazzaro (2009). She formed the Four Fun Key model to distinguish between four different types of fun: Hard fun, easy fun, serious fun and people fun. Hard fun is very typical for many hardcore games and is fun that arises from overcoming challenges and obstacles. A key emotion in hard fun is frustration followed by victory. Easy fun can be achieved by engagement through novelty and can be found in many exploration and puzzle games. Emotions that are key to easy fun are curiosity, wonder and surprise. Serious fun is fun people have when they feel better about themselves or being better at something that matters. People fun is concerned with the enjoyment that arises from the interaction between people. You can think about competitive or cooperative games people play because they enjoy playing together rather than the game itself. The Cambridge dictionary defines fun as pleasure, enjoyment, entertainment, or as an activity or behaviour that isn’t serious (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/fun). While we can measure pleasure and enjoyment objectively by measuring physiological changes in the body, we cannot always say we are having fun when we are enjoying ourselves. Besides that, within casual games mainly, pleasure and enjoyment are supposed to be “easy”. This means that you should be careful with challenging the player. If a player wins (often) they will have fun which is the complete opposite of many hardcore games. Within game design we often use flow theory interchangeably with fun. According to Csikszentmihalyi (1996), flow is a mental state in which a person in fully immersed in an activity. The state of flow can be achieved by matching the most optimal skill with the most optimal difficulty for a person. In the case of games, a player becomes so immersed that they forget about their surroundings and lose track of time. A learning curve is used in most games, both casual and hardcore, to account for player’s changing  skill and difficulty level. However flow theory isn’t a definition for fun but can result in a player having fun. This mainly works for hard fun as easy fun doesn’t require the player to be fully immersed.   References Lazzaro, N. (2009). Why we play: affect and the fun of games. Human-computer interaction: Designing for diverse users and domains, 155. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Collins.
    • 2 comments
    • 1272 views
  • Super Retro Maker Editor

    By SuperRetroMaker

    Finally got around to making a short video of the Super Retro Maker editor in action.  Also, we got into Pax Rising, so we'll be showing the game off at PAX South in January!    
    • 0 comments
    • 798 views

Our community blogs

  1. My best day-to-day tool will surprise you !

    Hi everyone, i'm super happy to be back and i'm really sorry if it took some time. I decided to rework how we will post information to now include video to provide a more visual interaction. The life a indie game developer is hard, so any tool you can find to save time, produce faster, improve your workflow and enhance your skill is always welcome. I'm going to share with you some of the tool that make my life easier.

    Make sure to tell us what are your favorite tool in the comment below

    Not in the mood of reading ? Watch the full episode

     

     

    Tool for tablet owner

    The first plugin you should look into if you own a table is LazyNemuziPro. Your tablet already cost you a lot, and I personally really enjoy having one because it's much better for creating sketch and concept art, it's super precise for texture editing/creating. It work well in substance to paint your asset and it's essential for any zbrushing work you need. That said, having the right pressure feeling is hard and you often end up with having jaggy line or not enough pressure range to achieve the effect you are expecting. I have a tendency to push hard on my pen and making my Wacom less sensitive help, but not much. This tool will not only improve your overall skill by smoothing out the pressure and the line itself, removing all unwanted movement to break that professional looking smooth line. The tool also come with a tons of usefull tool such as parallel line, ellipse, perspective, fish eye perspective, isometric etc. Really awesome tool, Wacom should provide something like that in the first place, but they don't so grab this tool :)à

    Tools for photoshop

    You spend a lot of time in photoshop, so why not improving you tool set in there. Really simple Brush box plugin will allow you to better visualize and organize your brush by assigning folder, color, favorite, etc. Simple drop and drag operation and better management make it quicker to find the brush you need.

    I also really enjoy Coolorus which replace the color swatch of photoshop by providing you a much better and natural color circle that Corel Draw user are more use to. It help you save and manage custom swatches, it allow you to work your color based on lighting and shade, you can limit your gammut to a lesser range so you can work in a certain color palette. It's a very simple tool that will help you everyday.

    All those tool would be worthless without a good set of brushes to make your art. There is one fabulous artist Roman Melentyev that sell over creativemarket an impressive brush collection. Have a look and find the one that are right for you https://creativemarket.com/RainbowWings I picked up the Cocept Artist III bundle that come with many of his brushes and i'm really pleased with them. They work well. I especially enjoy the Markers which I like to draw with. Those are my go to for sketch.

    Tool for coder

    This tool is probably the most interesting one. If you are a coder, you need it. It's been my favorite recent discovery because it made me save literally 1 week on a single asset. I buy asset on Unity Asset Store that I find interesting, many are of very high quality and created by expert developer, sometimes from reknown studio. There is no reason why not to use them. That said, once you include them in your game, most of the time it require tweaking and modification so that it perform the way you want for your game. I see most of the asset as a starting point that you need to improve. The best practice when you do change the behavior of an asset or that you want to link it to your need you try to stay out of the original script and you push/pull data out of it. That said, you eventually end up having no choice but to directly modify one, either because it's just way easier and faster or because you have no other choice. Once you start doing this, you are creating a barrier between your work and the ability to update the asset which would overwrite your code. Manually replacing and rebuilding an asset each and every update is time consuming, annoying and long. With the tool call Code Compare all the thinking is done immediately and you can update your script with a couple of click. We have been improving this asset for a few month and we work with the original developer to get more feature into the asset and after a long period and skipping many update we had no choice to update. We estimated it would took a week since the asset contain like 30 scripts, thousand and thousand of line and we have made important modification in at least half of them. The most recent update was mostly a full rewrite. With this tool, we were able to accomplish the updated in less than a day and everything was working flawlessly. Check out the video or the software website for more information.

    The big tool that cost money

    If you have a little budget, take a look at the Indie licence of Allegorithmic. Substance are THE thing right now and their tool are amazing. It's a well known tool and it's worth it. If you don't have enough money, you can at least make use of CrazyBump, an old application that create normal map for your texture, very sweet, but honestly Bitmap2Material from Allegorithmic does a much better job. If you are looking for a LOD tool, i especially like Polygon Cruncher, but it's pricy. Unity asset store offer you cheaper solution that does all the naming and compression for you. ZBrush doesn't need any introduction if you have a fat wallet. For 3D Modeling we use Lightwave3D. This is simply the BEST 3d software you can get. The quality of the render may be not the best, but it come really complete with all the tool you need for animation and modeling without the need of buying anything else and the software cost less than any Autodesk solution. 

    Made In Canada - Un petit mot d'introduction en français !

     

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  2. Another week of development has come and gone with a bit less overt productivity but a much more game-like product. So far the game is coming together decently and has a "has potential" feel in my opinion. I've not spent much time on getting the pacing right and, without music, the game is lacking in atmosphere. However shooting feels good and I feel that the scoring mechanic gives just enough impetus for the player to be aggressive to keep the pace up.

    What we did last week

    Day 1 was finishing up what was started at the end of last week. When the player is hit the screen shakes and fades out. If the player is out of lives the game ends, if not the player respawns after a brief delay. Also set up a proper model for the player's gun.

    large.gameover.gif.14013c43a91b1e5c635bb

    Day 2 was unable to work due to personal commitments

    Day 3 created models for different shots and a model for the player character.

    Day 4 added scoring mechanics and got the status bar working completely.

    chain.gif.518757e9826cb6f6d9e122a3bf536785.gif

    Day 5 rigged the player character and got some really minimal inverse kinematics going. Looks janky but it's a start.  

    ik.gif.976970c24280763d3272cde4ca227790.gif

    Day 6 not visibly productive. Animated the player character then ran into tons of issues with importing the animations causing, among other issues, the player model to embed itself in the floor.

    Day 7 resolved the import issues by moving the player model in Blender so its median is at the origin. This stopped the model from jumping around so I could place it accurately. I suspect it's due to parenting issues which are discussed in the final paragraphs of this article

  3. If you haven’t peeked into the Corona Marketplace recently, it now offers dozens of plugins and assets, from art packs to audio tracks to useful utility plugins. Periodically, we will highlight a few exciting products which can help you develop your dream app using Corona.

    Halloween Skeleton Game 2D Character Sprite

    halloween-sprite-icon-125x71.jpgHalloween may seem like it’s a long time off, but now is a good time to start planning your fall games out. This collection of animated sprites for a pumpkin hero can get you started. Check it out!

    Synthwave Vol.2

    synthwave-logo-125x125.jpgSynthwave Vol.2 is a collection of sci-fi sounds from Nocturnal Animals, including music and sound effects that can be used in a variety of games. The pack contains 4 music tracks and 20 sound effects.

    Progress Ring

    progressRinglogo-125x125.pngThe Progress Ring plugin from Jason Schroeder allows you to add customizable circular progress rings to your projects. They can be used for anything from health bars to timers to business apps. They can be added to your project in as little as one line of code.

     


    View the full article

  4. Release of kit "Close Combat: Fighter". This add-on is devoted to hand-to-hand combat. A small story in the style of Max Payne and john wick - there are subtitles.

  5. I'm a man on a Mobile Gaming Quest (MGQ) to play a new mobile game every day, documenting my first impressions here and on YouTube. Below is the latest episode. Here's a quick overview of all games I've covered so far.

    Don't let the graphics fool ya', Wizard's Wheel: ReRolled is an indie idle RPG with more depth than most mobile games can only hope to achieve.

    There's buildings to buy, loot to find, weapons to upgrade, dragons to slay, heroes to hire, and of course time to warp (makes you restart from zero with some advantages), as you experience the game and world slowly expanding. The game monetizes through a few IAPs going up to $10, and incentivized ads, which aren't pushed heavily either. 

    Although I was a bit intimidated by the sheer complexity of the game at first, I've only come to love it more and more the more I play - it's close to everything I'd expect from a great indie game! 

    My thoughts on Wizard's Wheel:


    Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.WindingClock.WizardsWheel&hl=en
    iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wizards-wheel/id1273827438?mt=8

    Subscribe on YouTube for more commentaries: https://goo.gl/xKhGjh
    Or join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mobilegamefan/
    Or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nimblethoryt/
    Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/nimblethor

  6. Greetings! 

    The third devlog is a video demonstration of what I have been worked on in the past several weeks. So, here is what the gameplay looks like in the current state of development:


    There is still a lot of work to do and release date is not exactly defined, but Steam page for the game has been already set:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/803850/Pixelpunk_XL/

  7. Latest Entry

    I thought of limiting the comma between players and host by changing how often they receive updates. If the screen is 2000 pixels wide and a character takes up the whole screen at 1 meter then at 1/(2000/(d)) it will only have a pixel of change for a meter of movement so if the maximum speed is 1 m/2s you don’t need to worry any more than every 2 s. Also for bullets you would have a last agreed upon position received and sent between each player so they know who their bullet cone effects that they have to sent trigger updates to. The width grows linearly but the area of the screen that we need to worry about updating grows inverse squarely 1/(2000/(d^2)).

    • The player can now get dropped into the game and go from beginning to end.
    • Player HUD completed.
    • New player tutorial completed

    Image 442.png

  8. Mobile apps are an expensive thing to build and given the competition it faces from the millions of others already present in the market, it is also a risky proposition. So, before you rush out to hire application developers to give shape to your fantastic idea, it is necessary that you have already figured out the aftermaths  

    Additionally, despite having considerable technological developments over the years, developing a sophisticated mobile app is still a slow process that requires even the top mobile app development companies months, if not a year, to deploy.

    Now, to overcome this overhead of cost and time of deployment, starting your venture with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) may just be the best route to take. Not only is its development relatively quick and inexpensive for developing a full-scale app, but it also helps businesses to test their idea and gain the first-mover advantage before they commit considerable resources and efforts in their app venture.

    Now that it is clear why businesses should start their app idea with an MVP, here is how to actually do it:

    Figure out the core objective- Yes, your app performs a function and has some unique features that you can market later, but unless you figure out what exactly is the problem that your app solves, it is nearly impossible to draw a roadmap from idea conception to success. Not only will it bring clarity to the project, but will also indicate who your core audience is going to be form the start

    Look for competitors- Having competitors isn’t as bad as it sounds. Without them, the only way you can learn is by your own mistakes. So, when you start to implement your idea, look for the businesses already providing similar services and study what the users like and don’t like about their product. , Eventually, this will help you refine your own service without actually risking your prospects.

    Layout and user flow- The only correct way of defining the layout and work flow of your app is the way your users want it to be. They should, at no point, feel that the app is forcing them to take multiple steps to achieve the simplest of tasks. This is a general rule of thumb to minimize the number of clicks that a user has to do to reach certain sections or avail certain services. Simply reminding yourself that you are not the intended user and what seems right to you might not be the same for your potential users, will go a long way in achieving the optimum outcome.

    List and prioritize your features- Now, this is where it gets tricky. Though it is possible for an app to incorporate any number of features, it is simply not feasible to incorporate them all. Not only will it cost an inordinate amount of time and money, but the usability of such apps declines exponentially. So, even though you might have many ideas about what your app should do, you need to rationally evaluate all such features and create a priority list. The most feasible way to achieve this is to measure the value each feature brings to your app against its overhead.

    Agile development- Once you have everything figured out, it’s time for the actual development to kick-off. The best way is to take the agile route where all the concerned parties are constantly kept in the loop to promote transparency, eliminating any chances of miscommunication.

    Learn as you lead- The whole purpose of deploying MVP is to provide businesses with the liberty of making quick mistakes, improving upon which, they can create a more reliable and feasible product in the future. So, in a sense, it is only after that the MVP is completely developed that the real development starts.

    Do you have an idea that you are itching into turn to a marketable product but isn’t sure of the response it will gain? And while you might be inclined to either take or drop that risk, an app development company suggest you adopt a pure business approach- the calculated risk. Project your idea in the shape of an MVP, that can be built in a small percentage of cost and time that the full-fledged app requires, while still allowing yourself enough room to make rational changes in the future.

  9. hero.jpg.fba97f9a5478c7dbc95cb46e539b0ea8.jpg

    For a long time I had been delaying finding a solution to feet etc interpenetrating terrain in my game. Finally I asked for suggestions here, and came to the conclusion that Inverse Kinematics (IK) was probably the best solution.

    https://www.gamedev.net/forums/topic/694967-animating-characters-on-sloping-ground/

    There seem to be quite a few 'ready built' solutions for Unity and Unreal, but I'm doing this from scratch so had to figure it out myself. I will detail here the first foray into getting IK working, some more steps are remaining to make it into a working solution.

    Inverse Kinematics - how is it done?

    The two main techniques for IK seem to be an iterative approach such as CCD or FABRIK, or an analytical solution where you directly calculate the solution. After some research CCD and FABRIK looked pretty simple, and I will probably implement one of these later. However for a simple 2 bone chain such as a leg, I decided that the analytical solution would probably do the job, and possibly be more efficient to calculate.

    The idea is that based on some school maths, we can calculate the change in angle of the knee joint in order for the foot to reach a required destination.

    The formula I used was based on the 'law of cosines':
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_cosines

    I will not detail here but it is easy enough to look up.

    For the foot itself I used a different system, I calculated the normal of the ground under the foot in the collision detection, then matched the orientation of the foot to the ground.

    leg.jpg.e4f905195e630f5d7c456486b4d79669.jpg

    My test case was to turn off the animation and just have animals in an idle pose, and get the IK system to try to match the feet to the ground as I move them around. The end effect is like ice skating over the terrain. First I attempted to get it working with the main hero character.

    Implementing

    The biggest hurdle was not understanding IK itself, but in implementing it within an existing skeletal animation system. At first I considered changing the positions of the bones in local space (relative to the joint), but then realised it would be better to calculate the IK in world space (actually model space in my case), then somehow interpolate between the local space animation rotations and the world space IK solution.

    I was quite successful in getting it working until I came to blending between the animation solution and the IK solution. The problems I was having seemed to be stemming from my animation system concatenating transforms using matrices, rather than quaternions and translates. As a result, I was ending up trying to decompose a matrix to a quaternion in order to perform blends to and from IK.

    This seemed a bit ridiculous, and I had always been meaning to see whether I could totally work the animation system using quaternion / translate pairs rather than matrices, and it would clearly make things much easier for IK. So I went about converting the animation system. I wasn't even absolutely sure it would work, but after some fiddling, yay! It was working.

    I now do all the animation blending / concatenation / IK as quaternions & translates, then only as a final stage convert the quaternion/translate pairs to matrices, for faster skinning.

    This made it far easier in particular to rotate the foot to match the terrain.

    monkey.jpg.fba6503f671b3cbdcc597e3c5a8fe5bd.jpg

    Another snag I found was that blender seemed to be exporting some bones with an 'extra' rotation, i.e. if you use an identity local rotation the skin doesn't always point along the bone axis. I did some tests with an ultra simple 3 bone rig, trying to figure out what was causing this (perhaps I had set up my rig wrong?) but no joy. It is kind of hard to explain and I'm sure there is good reason for it. But I had to compensate for this in my foot rotation code.

    Making it generic

    To run the IK on legs, I set up each animal with a number of legs, and the foot bone ID, number of bones in the chain etc. Thus I could reuse the same IK routines for different animals just changing these IK chain lists. I also had to change the polarity of IK angles in some animals .. maybe because some legs work 'back to front' (look at the anatomy of e.g. a horse rear leg).

    The IK now appears to be working on most of the animals I have tested. This basic solution simply bends the knees when the ground level is higher than the foot placed by the animation. This works passably with 2 legged creatures but it is clear that with 4 legged creatures such as elephant I will also have to rotate the back / pelvis to match the terrain gradient, and perhaps adjust the leg angles correspondingly to line up with gravity.

    At the moment the elephant looks like it is sliding in snow down hills. :)

    elephant.jpg.bcd92ddb3f9fc1b4ca79e45e80ee854a.jpg

    Blending

    To blend the IK solution with the animation is kind of tricky to get to look perfect. It is clear when the foot from the animation is at ground level or below, the IK solution should be blended in fully. At a small height above the ground I gradually blend back from the IK into the animation. This 'kind of' works, but doesn't look as good as the original animation, I'm sure I will tweak it.

    Another issue is that when one leg is on an 'overhang', you can end up with a situation where the fully outstretched leg cannot reach the ground. I have seen that others offset the skeleton downwards in these cases, which I will experiment with. Of course this means that the other leg may have a knee bent further than physically possible. So there are limits to what can be achieved without rotating the animals pelvis / back.
     
     Anyway this is just description of the trials I had, hopefully helpful to those who haven't done IK, and maybe will generate some tips from those of you that have already solved these problems. :)

  10. This coming week, my game design club will (finally) start working on Digital Games.

    Last week we made paper concepts.  Most of us have ZERO Game engine experience, this is going to be thrilling!!!
    I've decided to bring everyone into a 2D engine called Defold, which outputs Cross-platform (Mostly HTML5) games with LUA Scripting and joint animations.

    That's great Timm, but who's going to answer their questions?
    They are, of course!  I have never used Defold, but in the Game Dev industry, they will

    • routinely have to self-teach to keep up
    • Rely on teammates to solve problems that nobody really knows the answer to
    • Rarely if ever start a game from square zero, they'll always build on others' work.

    To that end, rather than making a game from zero (/*programmers NEVER start at square one*/), we are going to mod a public platformer template.  

    Hopefully, we can divide into some kind of logical teams based on specialty and ability.  Good groups are small enough to enable everyone's input, but big enough to explode productivity.

    My Experience:

    Modding is better than square zero for learning game development:

    • THOUGHT PROCESS:  Since every large company has their own proprietary engine, learning how to learn an unfamiliar engine is invaluable
    • WORKFLOW: Game Companies will teach you by letting you dive into existing code, which is exactly what modders do
    • SPECIALIZATION: You can focus on your specialty (programming, art, music, level design) instead of trying to juggle ALL OF THEM so that you can get a job in ONE OF THEM.
    • SCALE: You get experience in a HUGE PROJECT that you may never fully understand rather than a tiny demo 
    • RESULTS: You can make something awesome (though not quite as accessible) in a shorter time since most of the heavy lifting is done
    • PLAYERS: You already have a huge player base and a known target audience if you mod a popular game.  this looks great on a resume
    • FEEDBACK: If you do have lots of players, you have lots of complaints.  Learn to deal with it, noobs.

    Today, I got to see an eight-year old open his VERY FIRST Raspberry Pi.  I taught him to install NOOBS and use it, and he's really excited to change the world (For one, he won't be bored at home anymore).
    I showed him the built-in python games and how to edit their code (to make yourself faster, bigger, etc.).   
    Even though I can code faster than I can make bad jokes, I would never have been able to make a game with him... but just editing a couple lines of code in an existing game brought about some super-fun results. 

    So basically, I showed him how to mod as a gateway* into programming :)

     

    *Not a Gateway 2000, he's too young for those

    27908399_2133855000230658_7971844948527972012_o.jpg

  11. Steam achievements for Mine Seeker are now complete. I will for sure be including these in all games going forward. Along with Cloud game saves and other services Steam offers now that I am more aware of what all they have to offer. Integrating with Steam was a particularly rewarding experience. I currently have 24 achievements players can earn. I had 30 but some were either not good or didn't fit the game well so in the end I actually removed some. Still a good number to keep people busy. So this screen shot says 9 of 30 achievements but its 24 now.

    SteamInGameMenu.thumb.png.08118f72dbeea9a1d9b4a529c049cd34.png

     

    But now that the hard work is done I now will be putting together some marketing materials, not very good at this part but I do my best. I've also learned a few new things so I'm looking forward to applying them and see if it has an effect on my sales. I'll be making a video, a bunch of pics and descriptions, etc. Once I have this together I'll be uploading the game to Steam so I can more easily have people test the game. I didn't know this until a couple days ago but its a bit of a pain to get the game running without Steam's assistance installing dependencies. So once I get the game up on Steam, hopefully in a week or so, I'll be reaching out to testers, bloggers, YouTubers, etc to see if anyone has an interest in testing, reviewing, or talking about my game. 

    I also heard of a service I've never heard of before, keymailer. They help put game creators in touch with streamers so I signed up to check it out and see what it involves. So if anyone has any experience with them, good or bad. I would love to hear about it. Also I will be passing out Steam keys for the first time so if anyone has any tips or suggestions on that it would be greatly appreciated. 

  12. Hi everybody

    After having quite some success Sound Effects Album sales @ www.ogsoundfx.com we are now also selling single sound effects, starting at $0,99.

    This is perfect for very low budgets, and projects that only require a few specific sound effects. We are in the process of uploading hundreds (and probably soon thousands) of sound effects. You can already start browsing through the first batch uploaded so far: Monster Sounds !!! It's over here !

    And if you have absolutely no budget, you can still subscribe to the OGsoundFX newsletter and get 120MB of free sounds ! And more free sounds @  www.ogsoundfx.com !!!

    Don't forget to check out my youtube channel, you could learn how to make your own sound effects like this one :

     

     
  13. Sorry for the delayed update this week.  Family's been sick and I'm not feeling that great myself.

    ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT


    Currently the engine appears to have a PP version brewing for mid-February which should resolve many of the issues we've seen with a quick followup (hopefully) to a regular release.  That'll put us on track for Lee's usual 6 month release cycle for major changes.  

    Beyond that it appears there's ongoing work on previous download content and add-ons for Game-Guru getting the 'PBR treatment'.  This includes now the Mega Pack 1 DLC as mentioned here.

    NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

    store-0212-1.PNG

    Mad lobster keeps adding more and more to his laboratory kit.  I'm astonished he'd continue to give current owners extra value on what was ALREADY a good value.  The price of the kit HAS gone up to reflect that, but if you're a current owner make sure you download the latest goodies for the laboratory kit. 

    store-0212-2.PNG

    It looks like the venerable (and somewhat wacky) Colosso has increased his proficiency at modeling considerably and his newer objects continue to add quality and value to his portfolio.  His newest pack and objects are proof of that.
    store-0212-3.PNG

    Teabone has added some fine clutter objects, including the best looking food object I've seen in a long time.  Not sure how he does it, but definitely worth a purchase for that low of a price.

    Also, as a side note, purchasers of my Advanced Time of Day and Weather kit will have an update available to them.  It's a fairly major bugfix and update.  You can see the details below in the 'in my own works' section.

    FREE STUFF


    The big news here is that Lafette has given away a very major piece of work for free out of what seems to be boredom with the project.  It's an extremely high quality science fiction kit that can be found here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219315

    THIRD PARTY TOOLS


    Heightmap import (HIMP) tool is on hold due to BOTR having a newborn son.  Congrats!
    Entity welder is also on hold for the same reason.


    RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY


    Looks like Dimoxiland is doing some more work on his project "Space Losers" for GG.  These updates are always exciting because he's pretty much the cream of the crop for Game-Guru developers.  Check out this screenshot!

    wipmeu.jpg


    That's what I'm talking about. All custom code, graphics, etc. It's impressive beyond any reason and if he finishes it will probably put Game-Guru on the map.


    IN MY OWN WORKS


    As mentioned my Advanced Time of Day and Weather kit has had some fairly major updates.

     02/12/2018    
    • Added specular effect for snow to give it whitish appearance for terrain objects on highest values.  I basically changed specularity to 50x for white.  This can be commented out if it's not desirable but overall I think it works well enough considering the engine itself.
    • Repaired broken build with files specifically from PP dev build of mine cross-pollinating live non-pp (DX9) build. 
    • updated test map file
    • Fixed/repaired time function(s), they sync to states now and also rollover seamlessly day to day 
    • Fixed broken cycleloopcounter pointers which were still working in old code (singleuse/singlestate/etc). 
    • Fixed bag_w_indoors script, huzzah!
    • Added 'pp' versions of the weather effects.  If they don't work, let me know the error you get. 
    So to sum up I basically had a non-pp build get mixed with a pp build that accidentally got uploaded. I basically made separate FPE files at this point for the PP weather effect decals which can be used in place.  The script remains the same for both as it will function on both.  I'm also including both .fx files for the effectbank folder which should resolve any conflict between the two versions.  The biggest fix is the resolution of the w_indoors script, which now functions seamlessly.

    Camerakit is almost ready to be bundled up and posted to the store, expect that very shortly!

    View the full article

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    There are lots of benefits of outsourcing 3D animation:

    Saving costs 

    Outsourcing 3D animation costs up to 50-60 % less, compared to in-house development.

    Profitability 

    Less operational costs boost profit margins. No overhead costs, no need for capital-intensive investment help utilise financial resources elsewhere  

    Quality 

    The outsourcing partners have an expert level in this field and have all necessary tools and resources.

    No overhead costs 

    You do not need to pay for training and conferences for your animators, we take care of everything 

     Our company provides both keyframe and Motion Capture-based animation, or combination of those. Wide experience and deep knowledge ensure highest quality that meets all requirements of our clients. Human, cartoon characters, creatures, engineering, medicine, machines, weapons, etc. – we are providing various types of 3d animation and not limited by particular areas. Our company works in different 3D software such as Maya, 3ds Max, Motion Builder etc. – we are flexible for adjusting workflow to client requirements.

    Please find more information about us at http://tavo-art.com/

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    Hello.

    A post a bit special as it is not about my game project (https://www.gamedev.net/projects/4-shoot/), hence the blog to which I am posting this. But still, it will look familiar to someone that saw a few screenshots...

    The central parts are in the prototyping state. I just finished building the side blocs above the wings. The completed sections are made of nearly 760 parts. The process I am following is:

    - prototype a section with the parts my children have. My own models are on shelves (not glued) so I am not using them,

    - re-create the section on the computer at http://www.mecabricks.com sometimes with better parts than the one I have used for the prototype,

    - export the parts list to https://www.bricklink.com/v2/main.page to buy them so I can give back the parts to my children,

    - enjoy the assembly.

    I do not know how long it will take to get this thing done (delivery charges increase the cost a lot so I have to delay the purchase a bit) but I hope it will be finished before the end of the year...

    ship_00.jpg

    ship_01.jpg

    ship_02.jpg

    ship_03.jpg

  14. What's the story behind the game Charly Men's BIZARRE?

     

    The life of Charly Clearwater, a newlywed young and successful business man, has changed dramatically after he had been shot in the head by an unknown.

    Happy to have survived the attack, he is henceforth experiencing different real and surreal visions and anxiety attacks that start to ruin his career and life in all respects.

    Since recovery, Charly Clearwater gets confronted every day by the bizarre shocking fantasies and dreams of completely unknown people around him. Initially, as he doesn’t know whether these visions are real or just imagination, he’s simply trying to ignore them all, because all he wants is to stay focused on his career that is more than important to him. But when the visions become more realistic and shocking, and therefore Clearwater is afraid to fall to madness, his brother John persuades him not to flee but to make their bizarre dreams come true!

    That’s when he starts to fulfill the first one of 13 bizarre wishes of unknown people, a process that is turning him into a henchman without him noticing.

    Charly Clearwater feels a temporary relief of his attacks and visions when making the people’s absurd dreams come true, and for that reason, and because he starts sympathizing with the bizarreness on a sexual and emotional way, he doesn’t refuse when his brother John encouraged him to fulfill further 11 dreams.

    But shortly before the fulfillment of the 13th dream, he receives the wish of his wife Amanda that puts him on the track of his murder and let him become human again.

    In case he’d make her greatest wish come true, he’ll save his marriage and life, but he’ll also free a dark might that is going to lead us to anarchy!

     

     *we are a German gamedev team, so please apologize any English mistake

  15. A week ago I decided to scrap the RPG idea for the game, as it would require way too much time to complete. Instead, I will be making zombie shooter game for android. 

    During this week I added smooth camera movement, camera shakes, bigger and faster bullets and blood particles to make the shooting more enjoyable.

    You can see the current state of the game here:

     

  16. Have a good Monday, everyone ! The last week was supposed to be devoted to the creation of the dialogs of the first cutscene but a great misfortune happened to my production hard drive. This one has finished is life in a loud crashing noise. So I had to buy another one and reinstall all my softwares in order to be able to work again on the game. Fortunately, I lost only about 1 hour of work with the help of bitbucket. If you still  not work with an external source control, I really recommend it. It can save hours and hours of work in case of hardware problems. Before the crash of my hard drive, I began to draw a little  civilian who will walk in the base during the cutscene. I still have some work to do on it to improve it. Here is an animation of it:

    CivilianA.gif

    During the week, I discovered an extraordinary website for planning video game projects. His name is Hacknplan. On this website, you can write your complete documentation. In addition, you can plan your work with the Agile method. Most importantly, there is a free version that can still do a lot for individual developers. I recommend you take a look at it: http://hacknplan.com/

    In the next update, there should be more things to show since I changed my hard drive. If you have questions or comments, you can post it here.

  17. Player Panel
    DOMEN KONESKI

    Player panel is now fully implemented and ready to be taken further. It serves as an indicator how well you are doing. It’s also a place where you manage your gear – from head items, torso and so called ‘plugins’ which increase your stats. You will be able to craft and find these plugins troughout the world.

    2vl5hn4.jpg
     

    Navigation
    DOMEN KONESKI

    Since the world won’t be that small, we will give players some sense of direction by adding simple compass on top of your screen. We had a map in previous iteration and with testing the game we have seen that noone had been using it. Probably because they weren’t any interesting things on the map, so these things can change troughout the development. Though the main idea remains – for players to know where they are (we are about to add memorable points of interest and floating islands). Also, biomes are the easiest way to tell where you are (snow biome is usually in the north, desert biome is in the south).

    compass_lowpoly_floatlands.jpg?fit=394%2

    GPU Rendered Grass Test
    DOMEN KONESKI

    We had plenty of concerns about our recent grass renderer that I made. It uses Unity’s DrawMeshInstanced() function over multiple meshes that are spawned troughout the world. The problem with this system isn’t rendering itself, but batching grass meshes that are near you. We’ve used the fastest possible Octree implementation to get nearest grass meshes. These were then put to the renderer, that caused a lot of GC allocation and used alot of CPUs usage if we wanted dense and diverse grass. It also used a lot of drawing calls when we wanted to draw different meshes with different textures at the same time (example is when you stand on the edge of two or three biomes).

    gpu_geometry_lowpoly_grass_floatlands.pn
    Rendering grass on the GPU by using geometry shaders

    The last and only solution that I thought of was doing everything on the GPU by using geometry shaders. There are zero to none examples on how these things work in Unity so I started experimenting with it. The shader successfully draws triangles on a list of vertices I provide along with color and normal of the surface beneath. The shader has tweakable settings, from width and height of the grass, shadow intensity, wind strength and more. This is for now only a test and will probably take it further from here, we have to figure out how will grass cope with our art style.
     

    Shader world models for items
    DOMEN KONESKI

    Item framework system a has new additon which enables us to (re)use world item models on different items. This means we can create more items with less modeling. Example: two torso sets that look the same, but have different stat bonuses on it. More about it in the future blogposts.
     

    Timelapse #6: Companion modeling and rigging
    ANDREJ KREBS

    Companion will work as a tool and is therefore modeled with relatively lots of polygons, since it will appear close to the players view. The model was then rigged, so I could animate all the moving parts. The model was then animated together with the first person rig for the various actions that will be performed.
     


     

    Outfits and skins
    ANDREJ KREBS

    The outfits and armors we are adding to the player character are separate models, that fit over the player character and are connected to the same skeleton as the player. I model and weight paint them with the player model in blender, so I can test it with different animations and see how it works and looks with the player, but I then save it in its own file for import into unity. This way we can keep adding more outfits.

    outfits_lowpoly_floatlands.jpg?resize=72
    Outfits

    Skins are basically new models that represent the same item. Sometimes I copy an existing armor and modify it and other times I just make new armors from scratch for skins, depends on what I’m trying to make. The player and outfit models are then brought back together in Unity and are then remaped to the same skeleton, to work with the animation in the engine.
     

    Floating islands biome concept
    MITO HORVAT

    The floating islands above the ground are going to need an overhaul as well. We’re redefining the shapes and sizes plus it will have its own mini biome. The old island models look too boring and simple to recycle them, so we had to come up with something fresh. I drew up various shapes and sizes concepts which were then approved and based on that, I painted this quick concept art.

    floating_islands_biome_floatlands.jpg?re
    concept of floating islands biome


    New icons for UI/Inventory screen
    MITO HORVAT

    I’d been given another sidetask by Domen, to paint the new icons for the game UI/Inventory screen. It’s going to take ages to complete, but it is the necessary evil that has to be dealt with.

    icons_UI_inventory_lowpoly_floatlands.pn
    New icons for UI/Inventory screen


    Improving resource helper
    TADEJ VRANEŠIČ

    This week was all about improving resource helper. I made a simple Server/Client ftp connector, which resolves version disputes quite easily. It has an Upload – Push and Download – Pull function, which reads and writes from server and to a server. This storing and reading technique will be used heavily, internally, but it may have the potential to be used as a modding tool. User could download item resources file with different settings from the ones that are set on his PC. This completely alters the behaviour of Floatlands game and after he is done “playing around”, he can simply download the official and latest version, which sets game behaviour to default.


    World bounds
    VILI VOLČINI

    Lately I’ve been working on world bounds, which are automatically generated based on bounds size. The intent here is to prevent a player from falling off the world.

    world_bounds_lopwoly_floatlads.png?fit=7
    World bounds


    Charting software
    VILI VOLČINI

    I was searching for charting software for planning. I did this because it felt like we were somewhat in the dark with planning. I found TeamGantt, their charts allow you to plan tasks on the timeline, and more importantly, make tasks depend on each other – “if Y depends on X, then we must finish X before working on Y”. With this software, we can estimate, how much work there is to do and how much time it will take.

    gantt_charting_lowpoly_floatlands.png?fi

    Gantt online charting software

     

    Serene track
    CHRIS PLEXIDAS

    Every blogpost from now on and until the release date we will release one track of the Official Floatlands Soundtrack a week, but also remixes and experimental tracks. Happy listening and let’s make a start with the track Serene.

    Serene is a track that is set out to make you feel the vastness of the scenery in Floatlands. A multitude of layered and swelling Synthesizer patches guide you slowly into the dazzling, dreamlike worlds.


    More about Floatlands:


     

  18. Creating an awesome trailer for your indie game (on a budget)

    In this post I’ll talk about:

    • Background information about our trailer;
    • Features and spec of our trailer;
    • General advice to make a good trailer;
    • How to create an awesome trailer for your indie game (on a budget);
    • Translating the trailer (and website);
    • Preparing the video to be shared;
    • Make all your effort worth it.
    • Background information
       

    3 Minutes to Midnight” ‘s (Scarecrow Studio’s first point-and-click adventure game) teaser-trailer has been officially released today! At Scarecrow Studio we couldn’t be prouder! In fact, we’ve been working on this teaser for the whole last month, while not losing focus on the point-and-click part of this adventure game.

    First a few specs about the “3 Minutes to Midnight” trailer

    • Voices in English.
    • 16 Subtitles (English, Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Polish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Hindi, Turkish, Catalan, Korean, Japanese and Russian;
    • Length 2:20 minutes;
    • Resolution 4K;
    • Youtube Link.

    General advice for creating a good trailer

    Keep it simple and to the point; This means avoid unnecessary logo intros; Cut to the chase, you don’t want people to close your video even before seeing the actual footage;
    Avoid showing too much black screens with text; That’s a resource many indie games use, because they don’t have enough material. If you don’t have enough material, don’t do a video. It will hurt you more than it will help you;

     

    • First impressions count! Don’t ever think they don’t; So try to make your first impression a good one;
    • Show the video first to people who wouldn’t mind hurting your feelings; That means forget about family and friends, you want to know the truth about what you created, not someone who tickles your ears;
    • Make it short and interesting, try to keep the viewer paying attention all the time; We managed to make it interesting, therefore in our case the video is 2:20 minutes long; However, I would advice you to try to keep the length around 60 seconds and 90 seconds;
    • Make sure you show what your game is about and the main features.

    Now, how did we do it? Aka, creating an awesome trailer for your indie game (on a budget)

    My first advice to you would be to make a list of the features that are going to make your game stand out; After creating the list, you have to make sure that every item on your list is shown in your trailer. Since there’s a huge variety of games I’m going to use our game, “3 Minutes to Midnight”, as an example. The features that make our game stand out from others are:

    • Environment art;
    • Character design;
    • Fluid animations;
    • Great story and background stories of the characters;
    • Voices in English (and translations into 16 languages);
    • A high dose of humor.

    So, how could we show all that in our teaser trailer without spending a lot of time (money) on it? At that point we had no game-play ready, so we couldn’t show that. At the same time, we had a lot of material that we couldn’t show to people (to avoid major spoilers or ruining the story), and the final script still was on the works.

    We wanted to create something unique and original while re-using some of the materials we already had, keeping the game development unaltered. Creating a trailer video, to show what we were doing, allowed us to start the promotion.

    The idea was to show the game as a movie that is about to be filmed. For instance, we could use the scenes, we already had, as the trailer’s background sets. Same for the characters, we could use them in their already animated positions for the game. Moreover, we could create a parallel script pretending the characters of the game are ‘actors’. The script should also clearly show the sense of humor of the game. It also allowed us to have the voice-actors begin with the voice-over prior the trailer was done.

    Translating the game

    A big piece of advice: Do all you can to have enough budget to reach as many users as possible. We realized how important localization and translations are. And we believe players will certainly appreciate this fact. In case your budget is really really tight, I’ll list you (in order of amount of users) the most important languages:

    • English | Spanish | Russian | Chinese | Portuguese | German | French | Polish | Turkish

    We hired freelancers for the translation, (our budget can’t allow us to have permanent positions for this task). In order find the right freelancers we used a couple of websites, (I’m not going to write them here, but google “freelancers” and you’ll find them easily).

    • First, you search the freelancers and sort them by reviews and amount earned, (that will ensure quality);
    • After that, you contact them and negotiate terms and costs, (really important to do it before hand);
    • Then, you make them do a test, (a small one, you might get it free of charge);
    • Later, you make someone else proofread the test to see how many mistakes the first one made, and you repeat the process until you find the right person.
    • Important advice when dealing with other languages:
    • Make an excel file, with all the sentences in one column;
    • Always specify the gender of the speakers, even if the character is talking to him/herself, (some languages change completely depending on the speaker’s gender);
    • Be really careful with rhymes (in your language it might do, but in others it will need a lot of effort in localization, in the end, it might either increase the cost or lose the meaning);
    • Also, don’t use expressions or sentences that only make sense in your country, (such as inside jokes that only people from your country would understand), that will save you a lot of time of giving explanations to the translators, simply try to make the process easy and smooth;
    • Try to make short sentences, use as many punctuation as you can, avoid long sentences AT ALL COSTS! A long sentence might force the translator to paraphrase it completely and might lose the sense you were originally aiming for.

    Since you are an indie company, and your resources are limited, you don’t want to spend a lot of time answering questions coming from the translators. In our case, we have 16 languages, imagine answering questions being made by 16 people at the same time.

    Preparing the video to be shared

    One of the main features of our game is that it’s going to be 4K. A 4K 2:20 minute video is about 53GB after you get it ready with any edition software. So we recommend not to upload that directly. Why not:

    • When you upload a video that big, YouTube will automatically resize it, which means you’ll have to wait until YouTube processes the whole video.
    • You can’t control the outcome quality, since it’s the YouTube algorithms who are going to control the output file.

    Recomendations:

    • After creating the video with your edition software, find out how that software generates a YouTube ready video. What you’ll get doing it like this:
    • Smaller video (will upload way quicker) the bigger the file the longer it takes the higher chances of something interrupting the upload.
    • YouTube won’t edit at all a YouTube ready video.
    • Your video will be available right away after the upload without waiting so you can start working on it right away.

    Uploading the video and working with subtitles:

    • We suggest you to upload it in one place, in our case in YouTube. So since you are indie and small try to concentrate all the viewers, visits, and comments in one spot.
    • Create your own channel. If people like it they will subscribe and your updates will reach people who’s actually interested in your game.
    • Create a good description of your game, you obviously know what is about, but explain that clearly to people. In our case it’s a 2D Classic Point-and-Click Adventure Game. Help people know where they can find out more about the game, add a link to your website or social media in the description.
    • Work with the best quality you can, in our case is 4K but YouTube automatically creates duplicates in lower resolutions so anyone can see it.
    • Fill all the information about the video, tags, description, suitable for all viewers, etc.

    Make all your effort worth it!

    Let people know about all the languages of your game, IN THEIR LANGUAGE, so make sure your website has at least one page where you can talk about the game in every language your game is going to be available to. In our case, we made the whole website in English, except the press kit, our press kit is in 16 languages, and it auto-generates the content depending on the preferred language of your browser, give it a try if you want:
    Press Kit

    Point-and-Click Graphic Adventure Game - 3 Minutes to Midnight (From Scarecrow Studio) (2).png

    Point-and-Click Graphic Adventure Game - 3 Minutes to Midnight (From Scarecrow Studio) (3).png

    Point-and-Click Graphic Adventure Game - 3 Minutes to Midnight (From Scarecrow Studio) (4).png

    Point-and-Click Graphic Adventure Game - 3 Minutes to Midnight (From Scarecrow Studio) (5).png

    Point-and-Click Graphic Adventure Game - 3 Minutes to Midnight (From Scarecrow Studio) (6).png

    Point-and-Click Graphic Adventure Game - 3 Minutes to Midnight (From Scarecrow Studio) (7).png

  19. We spend 3 days making a game mode for the UE4 WinterJam. Here is the product of what we were able to accomplish. It is 100% multiplayer and works without anybody (bots) as well. Let me know what you think and any and all bugs you might find!

    Download the game and play from our itch.io link: https://riuthamus.itch.io/cracked-ice

     

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