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Test Session screenshots + My new setup

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dgreen02

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Well I just finished a test session w/my publisher today...things went well. I'd like to think my game is about as fun/stable as any pre-BETA game could be...I posted about 24 screenshots in the header of my journal so you can see it at various points in the session. Sorry for the low quality, I was running in debug/windowed mode. It's not often I get to see 6 people in a server...since I've only got 3 computers that can really run the game.

Here are a couple of my favorite screenshots:






Also I took some pics of my new setup. I had to move back to my parents house in Raleigh just for a few months while I finish up the game. Before anyone says any smart ass comments...I'd like to point back to my college days when the bitches flowed like water' and the Jagermeister ruled supreme. There was a few years in there where I was livin' it up...so I guess this is just karma coming back :-D

Seriously my only purpose in life right now is to finish this game. I've been taking time off college for a year+ now and I think the game should be done in the next 6 months...then I can move on to the next stage whatever that may be.

I could literally do my 'job' in a cardboard box, as long as I had my computers. Fortunately I don't have to live in a cardboard box...I get one step up -

It's so weird to see all my pimp-gear crammed into this tiny ass room...


Yeaaa...go on...snoop around. Note the Jagermeister bottles, relics from ages passed. Ok I just turned 22 but I don't think things will ever be as sweet as they were a few years ago.

The control center...Yea the DVD player is connected to the HDTV as well as the main 5.1 mounted on the walls. Also I've got a seperate 5.1 system on my desk for my computer. I've got 3 computers in this room, counting the laptop on the shelf. Wireless keyboard + mouse for the comptuer that is hooked up to the HDTV, etc. etc. Like I said earlier, I never have to leave this room except for the occasional beer and to hit the gym.


Another angle of the desk. Yup...this is me.


Closer view of the good shit. Note the fan...Computers aren't the only thing that needs to be cooled off. That thing comes in handy for those grueling 20+ hour coding sessions.


But yea, It kinda sucks that I gotta live here for a few months...but at least I can wake up every day and chase my dream 24/7 which brings me more happiness than anything I can think of (ok...ALMOST anything...but I won't be getting any of that for a while).

- Dan
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Looks professional and excellent. [grin]

Was your publisher fairly impressed? On store shelves soon?

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Heh...I wish it would be on shelves soon. It's not going to enter major testing until '07. So it's going to be a '07 release for sure. That does give me some time to polish things up. There is a nagging crash bug, and some other minor issues at this point...but overall it's coming along nicely IMO. Considering the size/complexity of the project (85k+ lines of code with more to come) and my obviously limited resources, I'm pretty happy with progress.

I've still got to develop the gameplay more, and add more visual variety to the cities, etc. The to-do list is never-ending and can be quite frustrating sometimes.

- Dan

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Your project really is quite incredible.

However, I still think "Gang War" is an inexcusably horrible game title. Really, I think a work of this caliber is just completely tarnished by such an awful name.

If you're really set on opting for a title that does nothing more than state the concept of the game (read: a car racing game called Car Race, or an fps called Killer Shooter), why not at least add some flavor? Like Turf Wars? Turf Wars. Growl.

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I would tend to agree with you, but if you look at the current rash of games out there with the "X Wars" title, Quake Wars, Guild Wars, Mob Wars (the new godfather game for PSP), there are actually a ton of games that use the "X Wars" name. There actually was a game that recently came out by Konami called Crime life: Gang Wars it was so horrible I don't think I'm going to change my name because of it though...hopefully nobody will remember that game.

Also I don't think the name of the game is as simplistic as your examples, if I called the game "Strategy War" I could understand, but given the previous examples of AAA games using equally simple titles, I think it'll work. Plus your examples had the genre name in the title "shooter", "race", that is an obvious no-no.

Actually the full name of the game is: "Gang War: The Urban Gang Simulator"...I just never list out the whole name :-) Do you still think that is too simplistic?

- Dan

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I just think it lacks any sort of creative flair. Also, just because the market is saturated with ideas that are all carbon copies based off a trendy (or rather, safe) template, does not mean that you should follow suit. Buck the trend! Distinguish your game! Create a fresh and cool identity for your game.

It just seems like a last-minute name that any grandmother could have thought of before a release date. There's hundreds of solid name ideas for this sort of game you're creating.

Just my two cents.

PS: Did you see Franklin get his nose literally shattered last night? Yowzerz.

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That's certainly easier said than done...I'm not opposed to changing the name of the game...I'll be thinking about alternate titles, and I have been...but I've also been calling the game Gang War for about 3 years now it's certainly not something I thought up right before any release date. I think the name of the title is perfectly descriptive, and I'm satisfied with it. I've heard criticisms about every aspect of the game up to this point except the name, I mean you can't please all the people all the time :-)

Also every one of your arguments could be said about Quake Wars, Guild Wars, Star Wars (jsut remembered that one heh), etc. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. "Gang War: The Urban Gang Simulator" is as good as I can do, and I think it's significantly better than "Turf Wars". Also I did come up with the title before I'd heard about any of those other games using the "X Wars" name...it's not like I sat down and was like "omg best idea evar. I'll take Guild Wars, and replace Guild with Gang...sweet." It's just a simple descriptive title, and apparently it works for a lot of other titles as well.

If anything all of these new titles coming out using the "X Wars" naming method just reaffirms the notion that calling it Gang War was a good idea.

Any other suggestions of an alternate title would be appreciated...I've already been through this whole "name the project" thing 3 years ago (When the market was much less saturated with X Wars titles), and I've got a million other things to focus on currently. Also I don't see how the name of any game could "completely tarnish" the product, since the title of the project is the one thing that has absolutely no impact on the gameplay itself.

I mean if I can (or anybody else can) think of an alternate title that (I think) is superior, I'll change the name of the project. Thanks again for the feedback!

- Dan

EDIT: Also there are a lot of others reasons to call the game "Gang War: The Urban Gang Simulator". If (for instance) I'd called the game "Turf Wars", people would have no idea (based off just the title) what type of game it is, hell it could be a football game for all they'd know. With my current title there is absolutely no question. The genre, type of game, and maybe even the gameplay can be inferred from the title.

I would like to include the word "Online" somewhere in the title though (which you might claim is even more cliché), but...the word "Gang" has to be in the title somewhere.

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Don't worry, Turf Wars was somewhat in jest, as I had just been bombarded by some lawnmower advertisement prior to the post.

I should clarify, I don't mean that the name alone ruins all of your incredible personal achievements. All I'm saying is the market isn't the easiest thing to penetrate, and there are so many GTA-style games these days that it's quite easy for people to filter through the woodworkings simply by face-value redundancies (common name schemes, unappealing cover artwork, what have you). Certainly, once someone is actually playing your game, the name could be "Crapfest Niner" and they'd still enjoy it.

I'm just a strong believer in the power of first impressions, and personally if I were in a "browsing" mood, I might simply pass over a title amidst a list called "Gang Wars" because it offers no immediately provoking imagery.

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Also I didn't get to see the Franklin fight but I did see Shamrock get "retired" by Ortiz. I can't believe it...I would have soooo put (and lost) money on the "Most dangerous man alive"...Lions Den what?!?

I was sooo looking forward to that fight after UFC 62. It was sad :-( Ortiz is a punk, he just got him on the ground and threw elbows until the ref called it. That might work but man...I wanted to see Shamrock knock him out so bad.

- Dan

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Quote:
Original post by Salsa
Don't worry, Turf Wars was somewhat in jest, as I had just been bombarded by some lawnmower advertisement prior to the post.

I should clarify, I don't mean that the name alone ruins all of your incredible personal achievements. All I'm saying is the market isn't the easiest thing to penetrate, and there are so many GTA-style games these days that it's quite easy for people to filter through the "crap" simply by face-value redundancies (common name schemes, unappealing cover artwork, what have you). Certainly, once someone is actually playing your game, the name could be "Crapfest Niner" and they'd still enjoy it.

I'm just a strong believer in the power of first impressions, and personally if I were in a "browsing" mood, I might simply pass over a title amidst a list called "Gang Wars" because it offers no immediately provoking imagery.


Lol, lawnmower ads :-)

I do appreciate your input, and I see where you're coming from. I do agree with "Gang War" not being descriptive enough, that's why I added the "Urban Gang Simulator" bit to the end [grin]. I'll concede that it's certainly not the most creative name around lol...but I've grown attached to it, and I still feel that it's going to be the final title for the game.

Thanks again for the feedback!

- Dan

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I actually completely expected Tito to dominate him, but yeah, a part of me was really rooting for the old guy. The odds were heavily stacked against him, especially physically, and for him to pull an upset would have required some major tricks up his sleeve. It would have been a great way to retire. :/

As for Franklin, yeah.. he was completely ravaged. I really didn't expect it to be THAT one-sided!

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To be honest, if I could stomach the thought of living at home so I could focus on my own dreams, I would, even without all the poontang ya get when you live on your own. Besides, for a project this big, it's just a distraction anyway. ;-)

Btw, Salsa has a point about the title. To be honest, it sounds too generic for what it is. Granted, it gives you an immediate idea of what the game is but I'd expect something more urban inspired. Perhaps "Keepin' It Real" or "Represent", hehehe. =b *cringe* Seriously though, anything with "The Urban Gang Simulator" tagged onto it will give the potential buyer the idea of what the product is. "Gang War" really isn't a bad name, I just think you stand to make more money if you apply some tried-and-true marketing tactics to appeal to your target audience.

On another point, think about where this will be a few years down the road. Ever play the original GTA? It was top-down, 2D. You're about a million light-years ahead of where they started. What if this hits it big enough for a sequel... or even a franchise? I've followed your project for quite some time. In the beginning, Gang War seemed like a good name for a personal indie project, however I think it's grown to have much more potential than just that. Perhaps it should have a franchise-class title as well. ;-) GTA was just a shitty little game with a small cult following. This game can aspire to be that much... AT LEAST!

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Now you guys have me all self-conscious about the title of the game [grin]. I'll put some time into thinking about a new title other than 'Gang War'...I do think tacking the "Urban Gang Simulator" bit on the end of anything would probably work. I'll run this whole idea by my publisher and see what they think.

Maybe I'm undervaluing the benefits of a 'killer' name. I mean 3 years ago I did kind of pull 'Gang War' outa my ass, and just moved on to focus on the rest of the project.

Personally, when I'm browsing game sites, or in the store...the biggest selling point for me is the screenshots, if something catches my eye I'll dig deeper and find out what the game is all about. The title is somewhat inconsequential for me, but I see where you guys are coming from.

Thanks for the kind words, and the advice, I appreciate it.

- Dan

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