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Alpha_ProgDes

Should we promote game development more?

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921

So Mike has the thread on Indie Projects and I don't know if any of what I'm saying overlaps with that. If it does, my bad.

 

Inspired by Rottz's thread, I got to thinking what I feel is missing from GDN. To me it kind of feels that we don't promote.... game development. I know that sounds crazy. And a lot of this stuff is a culmination of different phases, steps, and resources. We have the forums, we have the articles. But it feels to me the actual promotion of development is missing.

 

[Warning: Bias] I've said before that I wish people could be rewarded for making games. My articles has several games that a beginner should create. Taking that as a start, it would be nice if every time an user makes one of the games in the list that user would get 100 points, plus a tag that shows the game was made and finished. There is 10 games on my list. So if someone finished all 10 games that user would get 1000 points, plus 500 bonus points, and a tag that said "Certified Game Developer" or [insert better title here]. Also, when users participate in contests, they get points for that as well and a tag showing they fully participated in the contest by submitting a finished game. It would be almost like SO in that if I looked at Servant of the Lord's profile, I would see the following tags: Marketplace Seller, Crossbones+, Pong, Worm, Breakout, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Tetris, Pac Man, Ikari Warriors, Super Mario, Certified Game Developer, and Ninja and Pirates Contest. [/Warning: Bias]

 

I also wonder if anyone would find interest in GDN hosting a webpage (or some other means within the forum software if possible). I say this for HTML5 games. Development in that area is the easiest to see and get feedback on. So you could have a page that was your own personal showcase where you would post up HTML5 games, source code, or the full game executable. I also assume that if GDN provides such a service the user would pay for it monthly or yearly.

 

 

I completely understand that some of this would take volunteers and an extra staff or two to make any of what I said happen. And I'm sure the staff have other things that take a higher priority. But I believe that having a vibrant community consists of displaying the works of others, even if it's as simple as an official GDN tag saying, "I made this game. I 1337."

 

Thanks for reading. smile.png

 

 

 

Edit: That's why I shouldn't post late at night. The post and the title didn't quite match up.

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Michael Tanczos    5681

Here is the plan for the Indie Project area (think more developer oriented than necessarily game-oriented):

 

Give members a place to:

a) Show off the game or tool you are working on with all those glorious screenshots, videos, etc.

b) Share updates on the development process through your developer journal (shows right on the project page)

c) Recruit others to help through posting help wanted ads that are not only JUST for your project but appear in an aggregate list for others to browse

 

And as a bonus.. Make it so that you can take all that data (game descriptions, journals, news updates, screenshots, videos) and repurpose it for anything (I will need community help on this one!) such as building a third-party website for your game when ready, creating press kits, etc.

 

Some of the changes will involve:

 

  • Screenshot Saturday Showdown will become Screenshot Showdown - Member screenshots can now directly compete in the showdown and work their way up to become IOTD
  • Indie project news stream will appear on the frontpage - giving members a chance to promote their project - but take note that your ability to promote your own project just on Gamedev.net will lead to more exposure on the site.  Basically the more people you can get to follow your project and upvote it, the more power you have to gain spotlight time on the frontpage.
  • You can directly sell via your OWN third-party website - commercial products are absolutely okay

 

Two links to share:

 

Screenshot Showdown screenshot listing that is associated with a project (still under development):

http://www.gamedev.net/page/showdown/view.html/_/fantastic-bus-r9223

 

Single Project Listing (also still under development):

[attachment=16958:Fantastic Bus - Free to Play - Indie Project - Project - GameDev.net(1).png]

Edited by Michael Tanczos

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RoTTer    444

I like the badges and points idea. But how to expand that beyond internal GameDev.net games?

 

Maybe have a forum for registering/announcing their own newly released games, so you could link those threads on your profile, also (without the badge + points, but simply a list of "Released Games"). But it should force you to link to a thread on the forum, and not to your official game website (external link). Those "announcement" threads should follow a to-be-defined template (mandatory to have at least N screenshots, mandatory to have at least N paragraphs of explanation of the game, etc, so it has content, and not just spam).

 

Regarding the HTML5, I like the idea, but I dont think it would be so simple, it might need backend changes. Why not make it on this same announcement forum? If it gets traction and grows, the owner of the game would probably then go find a better home for the game (than a forum thread). But that would happen on rare cases.

 

Best

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RoTTer    444

OK, so this Indie Project area covers most of what I wrote on my last post lol.

 

I like this Indie Project thing, it's probably better than the one-thread-per-game, as long as it's very low-barrier to setup (easy and free).

 

EDIT: a suggestion for the Indie Project: be able to link a forum thread to replace the Comments area (useful for bigger projects). Comments are usually harder to organize when there are too many. This way this Indie Project page could be the official "home" for the game, including as a point of support contact for customers (the forum thread).

Edited by Rottz

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921

I like the badges and points idea.


Thank you. smile.png

But how to expand that beyond internal GameDev.net games?


Hmm. I was thinking about beginners of game development.
 

Maybe have a forum for registering/announcing their own newly released games, so you could link those threads on your profile,


But we have a Your Announcements forum already. Doesn't that fit what you're saying.

also (without the badge + points, but simply a list of "Released Games").


Hmmm. If it's just plain jane listing, one could do that in their journal.
 

Regarding the HTML5, I like the idea, but I dont think it would be so simple, it might need backend changes. Why not make it on this same announcement forum?


Eh? The way I envisioned this would be someone makes and posts the HTML5 game, so that others can play it right there, on their GDN page. That's why I said if GDN can't do that through the current forum software, then it would take some sort of hosting to be able to. Seeing as this is a website and we make games, this ability/functionality makes sense (at least in theory).

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Michael Tanczos    5681

All the indie project comments will go into a new topic that is posted in that secret forum I created.   You won't be able to start new topics on your own.. You have to add a new project to create a topic.  Each project will get a thread of it's own to store comments.

Edited by Michael Tanczos

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RoTTer    444

That looks great then! Looking forward to it :)

 

Since there is already a backend for hosting the project's assets, it might be not hard to go on the path suggested by Alpha for hosting HTML5 games, it only needs some security measures to not mess up with the rest of the site/forum. But I can't support or reject it since I don't know the market size.

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CRYP7IK    1327

I agree, gamedev.net is really lacklustre on the actual game development side of things, I mean just look at tigsource (dev logs), it has so many projects going on at once that continuously get updated and some kickstarted! Very rarely on gdnet do I see actual game dev and I know the staff and regulars here want to make this site into a more game centric area, rather than just technical discussion about component based entity system for the nth time. 

 

I would say have a look at tigsource and take some stuff away from it, like ease of creating a new project (It's just a thread), ability to change percentage complete and everyone always just posts with 'awesome!' or 'good progress.' to help motivate the dev. That preview you posted Michael looks promising, but it all depends on how people would see that and by see I mean would it be 'last updated equals being first on a list' or purely popular? Or something else?

 

I also hope instead of just a buy game button you will also have a beta test button or just download, to be used by the developer if they so wish. How would you handle multiple OSs?

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921
Any thoughts on this, Michael?

I've said before that I wish people could be rewarded for making games. My articles has several games that a beginner should create. Taking that as a start, it would be nice if every time an user makes one of the games in the list that user would get 100 points, plus a tag that shows the game was made and finished. There is 10 games on my list. So if someone finished all 10 games that user would get 1000 points, plus 500 bonus points, and a tag that said "Certified Game Developer" or [insert better title here]. Also, when users participate in contests, they get points for that as well and a tag showing they fully participated in the contest by submitting a finished game. It would be almost like SO in that if I looked at Servant of the Lord's profile, I would see the following tags: Marketplace Seller, Crossbones+, Pong, Worm, Breakout, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Tetris, Pac Man, Ikari Warriors, Super Mario, Certified Game Developer, and Ninja and Pirates Contest.

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RoTTer    444

I agree, gamedev.net is really lacklustre on the actual game development side of things, I mean just look at tigsource (dev logs), it has so many projects going on at once that continuously get updated and some kickstarted! Very rarely on gdnet do I see actual game dev and I know the staff and regulars here want to make this site into a more game centric area, rather than just technical discussion about component based entity system for the nth time. 

 

I would say have a look at tigsource and take some stuff away from it, like ease of creating a new project (It's just a thread), ability to change percentage complete and everyone always just posts with 'awesome!' or 'good progress.' to help motivate the dev. That preview you posted Michael looks promising, but it all depends on how people would see that and by see I mean would it be 'last updated equals being first on a list' or purely popular? Or something else?

 

I also hope instead of just a buy game button you will also have a beta test button or just download, to be used by the developer if they so wish. How would you handle multiple OSs?

 

I second that - share almost everything you wrote.

 

I like the simplicity of forums. Its a tried and proved model, everybody knows how a forum works - you don't need people to understand a new concept or model, thats why I suggested the one-thread-per-game. Since there is already a page being created for the project, great, but the forum thread is needed also to make it more live and accessible. The page could be a more formal display. On the thread people could post new screenshots, ask for suggestions, post pieces of code, get feedback, etc. And as Michael said, it is addressed already (every project created gets a thread of its own), so I'm happy with the proposed model. We have to wait and see/try it :).

 

And since there is a thread, it address another concern I had and you also mentioned, about the visibility of the project (last updated is the top? newest? etc). The last post on the forum would make the thread the topmost, so the most active projects would always stay on top (of the forum). For the project listing, I would suggest something similar, to promote active projects, and also a second listing for new projects (newly updated for the projects created on the last 30 days or something).

 

I think this would promote game development a lot, and in all platforms. Seems like a good thing coming up.

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Michael Tanczos    5681

Guys, I really appreciate this feedback and I'm hoping I can keep a small group of participators when I finish enough to at least release it so we can really do something awesome.  I know we stick to the more cerebral article side a lot these days but there is a ton of room to do really awesome things with projects.  

 

What's funny about the idea of getting points for doing stuff.. I did have this idea a while back:

 

[attachment=16996:GDNet Challenges.pdf]

 

 

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Michael Tanczos    5681


Very rarely on gdnet do I see actual game dev and I know the staff and regulars here want to make this site into a more game centric area, rather than just technical discussion about component based entity system for the nth time.

 

Agreed.. that's something we got away from for a bit.   As far as CES discussion, I started posting all those articles with the idea that another area of improvement is that we need *depth* on topics rather than just scratching the surface.   I'd rather have 30 articles on one small facet of game development and be known for that than 30 unrelated articles.

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921

What's funny about the idea of getting points for doing stuff.. I did have this idea a while back:


Sidenote: I actually like the sidepanels that shows the Top Members.

Ontopic: It's my idea. I won't let you steal from me with some fancypants pdf. smile.png

Seriously, I'm still chewing on these "Challenges". Looks nice though. Edited by Alpha_ProgDes

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Michael Tanczos    5681

I think this is going to take a while to get right.. I'm thinking it might be better to get *something* up with a basic set of features and keep iterating over it with feedback.  What do you guys think?

 

Also, the idea of challenges originally was to have the community propose what is point-worthy.. kind of like a mini-competition of sorts where participation is rewarded by a community member who moderates the challenge.

Edited by Michael Tanczos

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921

I think this is going to take a while to get right.. I'm thinking it might be better to get *something* up with a basic set of features and keep iterating over it with feedback.  What do you guys think?

 

If you implemented that as it is, I'd think you'd have more feedback than minutes in the day.

 

EDIT: For clarity, I mean positive feedback.

Edited by Alpha_ProgDes

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jbadams    25676


Btw, this type of stuff does go on here in "Your Announcements"..

...and journals, and to a lesser extent IOTD with the older version.

 

I don't think TIGSource necessarily have a larger amount of development going on than happens here, they've just collected it all together in a prominent, highly visible collection and ensured that the really note-worthy stuff is highlighted.

 

We've probably had just as much impressive stuff, but a lot of it goes unnoticed or slips away into oblivion after release.

 

 

A couple of examples:

 

I think what we really need to do is organise this stuff and make sure we're presenting it front and centre, and that the archived stuff is still discoverable without having to remember what to search for (as I just did for those examples).  We have members regularly releasing smaller games, demos, prototypes, and posting progress updates, but it all gets lost in the noise.  A gallery (similar to the front page of TIGdb) of some of the most impressive stuff both past and present could potentially go a long way towards this, perhaps with a few random front-page spots reserved for new stuff.  We have the content -- we just need to present it properly, and encourage even more contributions!

 

 

Also, LOVE the "challenges" idea Mike! smile.png

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Stormynature    5198


A gallery (similar to the front page of TIGdb) of some of the most impressive stuff both past and present could potentially go a long way towards this, perhaps with a few random front-page spots reserved for new stuff. We have the content -- we just need to present it properly, and encourage even more contributions!

 

This! I raised this issue previously Re-invention of the showcase which seemed to sidetrack on that thread -- but I do feel that this site could do more in terms of bringing actively participating member's games, projects into the forefront without getting drowned out in Announcements. I must admit though that my hope is that the indie project page currently being built will go some steps in this direction. Creating a new game is not an easy or fast process and if members who do such things are also taking time out of their day to be a part of these forums I think some recognition should be given to their works outside the Dev Journals or your announcements or IOTD.

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IcedCrow    267

I think that with the right organization and categorization that this site could be a very useful community of independent developers working together on projects... so to answer the original post question - yes focus on game development and design more please =)

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CaseyHardman    2765

I'm all for the idea of promoting more game development, but I've only recently started thinking about it, so I haven't had enough time to let my ideas ferment...

 

Right now, all I can really think of to suggest is, if you have a showcase area for a project, maybe you could add some way of listing all of the people who are contributing to the project as well?  The owner of the project, who sets it up, could give each member a title (e.g. artist, programmer, etc.)

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