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      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.
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Being Social Pays Off! Super Gunball Progress

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Meatsack

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Much progress has been made on this build of Super Gunball!

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Firstly, I have to say that my efforts at being social have paid off. I posted a classified ad on GameDev.net asking for an artist's help with this game. I also posted a Devlog on the same site. Then I joined the TIGSource.com forums to hob-nob with some other birds of my feather. This has resulted in some personal messages and a few playtester feedback suggestions which I have found to be helpful. There were a few interested parties that could not persuade me that they would be helpful to me right away. (One just wanted to "manage" my project!) But I did make some positive contacts for future projects or perhaps even when I get past the DEMO phase of Super Gunball.

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But the best effect that has happened from my social campaign is that an artist has joined the team! Together with the sound engineer I have been working with, we now have the basic needs covered to finish this demo. What's also great is that we all seem to work well together. The team dynamic is cooperative and positive. This past weekend was VERY productive. You can see much of the artist's efforts in the screenshots below. The most obvious additions are the training background, the training targets, the worm and bee sprites (now animated!), and the Gunball itself (now with 100% more bandanna!). What you can't see in screenshots is the "boss music" that plays while fighting a boss. Nor can you see the lessons I learned about scripting the game. (Remember, it's made in GameMaker, not a "real" programming language. So what?) We still have a long way to go in polishing this game, but we have made much progress and are determined to see it through!

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How can you help? I'm glad you asked! I'm always looking for feedback and suggestions. Playtesting and bug finding are constant processes. Also, spreading the word about Super Gunball and its progress would be great. I really think it's an up-and-comer game. (Of course I do! It's my baby!) You can see and download the latest build of the game HERE. If you want to see the progress we've made in each iteration, feel free to look at the older versions as well. (Same link.) As always, interested parties may reach me by Private Message at Gamedev.net or in the forums at TIGSource.com. I go by Meatsack in both places.

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Don't forget to check out my (still small) website: Meatsack's Workshop

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-8/13/13-

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It's good. One suggestion on the controls. Have you thought about using either W or the up arrow to jump? Having to press the space bar is a little awkward and difficult to control when you want to jump and move at the same time..

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Thank you for the suggestion!  Currently, the W and Up Arrow are for entering doors.  Perhaps S and Down Arrow can serve that function instead.  I'll try that in the next build to see how that plays.

 

This gives me the idea that in the full version, I should make some sort of key mapping system so people can configure the controls to what suits them best.  But for the demo... I'm still open to suggestions.

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