• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entry
    1
  • comments
    0
  • views
    1701

About this blog

Learning as I go

Entries in this blog

WilliamZackWood
I haven't been blogging through the course of working on Cafe Murder (an iPhone game I'm doing the design & graphics for), but, now that it's almost done, I feel like I've learned a lot and wanted to share. I'll post my thoughts here from the past year spent doing the design and graphics for Cafe Murder (a restaurant simulation game for iOS).

First I want to talk about Beta Testing.

We started as a Kickstarter project a year ago, and, nearly from the get-go, were really lucky to have a lot of beta testing opportunities with the general public. At first, when asked if we wanted to join an event, I was just like, "Sure, couldn't hurt," but in retrospect, it really helped to watch random people play the game and see how they respond.

And I mean all KINDS of people played. We had a booth at a few "Demo Nights" held by a local tech incubator in Athens, Georgia, where we live, and everyone from seasoned gamers, to newbie mothers, to programmers, to artists gave Cafe Murder a try. They all responded differently, but seeing their reactions helped me figure out how to make the game more accessible, easy to understand, and fun.

We had surveys for them to fill out afterwards, of course, but I learned more from being there in person, hearing what they said, and seeing how they reacted to the game. People tended to be brief and vague in the surveys, but when watching them play, I could see specific things that confused them- not understanding how to pick up and incinerate trash, for example- or see them laugh when the chef stabbed a helpless customer. Seeing their faces get focused or intense when they got into the game was one of the greatest feelings, and a big motivator!

We also had the opportunity to join a game development camp for teenagers, give a presentation about ourselves, and then have them play and give us their feedback. They were by far the most positive and receptive audience we've had, and at that point we realized, "This is our target audience!" (11-17-year-olds)

Another awesome thing about all the beta testing was that it gave us regular deadlines. Having a deadline is great motivation for getting stuff done, and I know we benefitted from regularly having a date to push for, and it's almost all thanks to Four Athens (the local tech incubator) for hosting so many tech Meet & Greet and Demo Night events. Thanks, guys!!

So, if you ever have the chance to let a bunch of total strangers play your game- even if it's people who've never touched a game before- don't pass it up! Their feedback can help a lot- and if even a total newbie can grasp your game, that's usually a really good sign!

Well, that's all for now- I'll save my other thoughts for future posts! Here's a trailer for Cafe Murder if you wanna see what it's actually like: https://vimeo.com/51028814 (not sure about the January 2013 part, though- maybe February? heh)
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0