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      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.
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handymanjames

Project Tongue: Need Opinions/Advice!

5 posts in this topic

I'm not sure how to write this post so forgive me if it's difficult to read.

 

A few years ago I did this assignment for a game design class of mine. It was a real simple platforming game. It was inspired by one of my favorite games of the SNES, Zombies Ate My Neighbors. I've long since lost that game and anything associated with it but lately I've gotten this desire, an obsession almost, to create a new Zombies Ate My Neighbors. The spiritual successor if you will. I come here today to ask for some opinions/advice on the topic of doing so.

 

Let's call it Project Tongue for now, I haven't decided on a name for the game yet. I want to keep the game play similar to ZAMN and even expand upon it. I will not be using any assets from the game but rather a similar style. You would know it was based upon ZAMN. Is there anything I should know about the laws so that I don't open myself up for problems down the line?

 

I want to start a site to chronicle my endeavors and provide an area where people can help me test/come up with new ideas. I know little to nothing about web hosting and what I should look for. Ideally it'd be a blog, a download to test the game, and some forums. My budget is little to nonexistent right now so I'd like to keep costs low but have the ability to scale upwards if I generate some interest. Eventually maybe even adding a multiplayer component. Any links I could check out or hosts you recommend?
 

With crowd funding becoming more popular, of course I've thought about starting a campaign. The thing is, this is a learning experience for me. It would be nice not to have to work full-time and be able to work on the game instead. I just don't want to take people's money and not be able to deliver a product. Is there a way to gauge interest for my idea without going through Kickstarter or anything similar?

 

There are more questions but I'm having trouble composing my thoughts further so we'll leave it at that for now. Thank you for your time.

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As long as you clearly don't rip off the original game in any graphics, or complete mirror of game play features, you should be fine legally.  I would recommend saying "Inspired by" rather than any intention of duplicating it.  And of course don't call it "Zombies Ate My Neighbors! 2"  

 

As for crowd funding, it is possible, but more often than not, you won't get funded.  

 

What you need is to have part of your game working, so people can see a video of it, or even try some portions of it.  Then start going after crowd funding offering DRM free copies for X amount donation for when the game is done.  People don't want to invest in an idea when another crowd funding project is Showing me what I would be buying.

 

I recommend looking into Agile, the key idea is making tiny vertical slices that are complete in 2 weeks or less.  I.e. don't build out 6 features and the levels to start with, just start with 1 feature and get it done.  then add one more feature, and make sure it works completely. then another and so on.  It doesn't take long to get something playable, and you can get a following and keep them enticed with reminders and new features regularly.

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A little off-topic, but If you're interested in seeing how the developers themselves expanded upon ZAMN, check out the two little-known (or at least, I only found out about them a couple of years ago) sequels, Ghoul Patrol and Herc's Adventures. Could find some inspiration there! (Or perhaps some lessons in what not to do, because I'm not sure people actually liked those games.)

Edited by Paul Franzen
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I want to thank you both for replying. I read the replies through e-mail but haven't been back here since.

 

Do you or anyone else have any recommendations for a web host?

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James, I didn't see a Game Design question in your post.  But I did see Business/Law questions, so I'm moving this to that forum.

Edited by Tom Sloper
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