• 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
Ashaman73

Getting your first alpha version out...ARRRGGG

4 posts in this topic

Well, I want to get the first alpha version of my game out, now... thought it is somewhat complex game not fully implemented yet and I'm kind of a perfectionist (which is my problem). There aren't any commercial goals (yet), I've already disabled many function for the first release and I'm aware that at best, a handful of people will take a look at it.My intentions are to get an alpha version out and improve it over time.

Still my fears are, that a bad/imperfect start will ruin any momentum gained at the beginning ...[img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.png[/img]

So, what are your experiences/advices ? Is a early alpha version a no-go ? What hurts most ? Bugs, unpolished gui, lacking game content ? Does it matter at all ?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I think its key if you are going release any build it should be the best it can be and holding back on features for a later build may not get you the attention your game needs. Look at it as less alpha and more beta.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Release early / release often / listen to your play testers. Stick with that and you're all good. No one but you cares it it buggy, honestly. Just say it is "Alpha" and you're looking for bugs/feedback!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having just opened the alpha version of my own game, I'm going through the exact same thought process.

The last project I worked on was a website where I took the opposite approach. I had an idea (it's a movie review index specifically for pre-1998 movies), then spent about 5 months developing it to absolute perfection. I showed nary a soul but I was really happy with the final result. I launched the site and a few people really liked it. The idea being the front page would be very clean and simple, similar to Grooveshark. Then about a month in I started getting feedback and every time it was the same response:

[i]"Can the website be more like browsing a video store? Having a big search box on the front page is great and all, but I prefer just sifting through the movies rather than looking for something specific"[/i]

I'd built most of the functionality around the search interface expecting people to think "mmm, should I watch Gremlins? Is it still any good?" and go to the website and check. Turns out [b]2 people[/b] in the history of the site have used the search box on the front page. The rest just click around and browse around. This completely changed the way I thought people would use the site and meant I would have to do some really fundamental changes to how the site worked. Problem is after 5 months I was not looking forward to delving back into the code and I've put the project off ever since. The site just sits there now [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.png[/img] .

This could have all been avoided if I just got some feedback really early on! It might have looked horrible and only half worked, but getting that feedback at the start of the project would have been invaluable!

A case of this in action: My current browser game has a combat system and after spending weeks fussing over the most minor details and wracking my brain with ways to make it more and more complex, [i]Acharis[/i] over at the game design forum posted "[i]You are watering it down, these still do not focus on anything specific. These ideas could be a bonus, but not the foundation of a game[/i]". [b]BAM! [/b]I realised I was going down the same path again - Planning a million ideas of what players [i]might [/i]want, when all along they want something very simple and different. It definitely got me back on track and focused on what the game is about - Buying and selling parts to build up big awesome ships.

So, that's my spiel. It's difficult to show a work in progress, but I learnt my lesson. Get feedback early and often [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thx, especially to you, boolean, for your lengthly report about your own experiences.
You helped me to jump over my own shadow and I'm currently preparing the alpha version for its first release.[img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/wink.png[/img]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0