I have limited programming experience in C++, but have always had a passion for games. Where do I start? I have a rough idea of the type of game I want to develop and am ready to commit the time necessary to learn new languages. Are mobile games too difficult to begin with? Should I begin learning the basics of keyboard controls before attempting touch screens? I would appreciate any input or advice!
Dene Carter, Managing Directory @ Fluttermind LLC (@fluttermind)
From Indie to Fable and Back. 30 Years of Wisdom.
Started writing games in 1984 when he was 14 years old. What has he done in 33 years?
Druid - Commodore 64 Original Dungeon Keeper core team Fable franchise and more Indie through AAA.
"I am an idiot" - first learned in 1984, and every year after.
Rockman - made $7500 for 2 weeks of work. Figured he could make 26 games a year, or $438k in today's money.
Takeaway: Really stupid at 14.
Even in 1980's, developer only got 12-14% royalties.
(Side note: Dene is fun to listen to. Recommend this on the Vault when it goes online.)
You are not your players.
Made a black and white game on a Spectrum, which was color. Did it because he was poor. Problem is his audience were not poor, and had color TV's. Reviews were not nice. Players see things completely different to you. Do not forget that your players have not seen the game as much as you. Avoid difficulty/complexity-creep. The real world has distractions and beer - they don't care about your game as much as you do. Test your mobile game on the toilet - that's what your real players do. Fundamentally, players live inside their own brains, not yours. Those you ignore will ignore you in return. Design for your players' minds, not for you. Generalizing is Really useful
"An expert who is too narrow has difficulty colaborationg" - Valve Employee Manual Did a lot of things over the course of his career. Everyone did everything in the 1980's and 1990's. Most developers generalized. Developing a broad skill-set aids communication. Large teams require collaboration and clear communication. Knowledge breeds respect (never say 'JUST'). 'Just' suggests a task is easy. It might not be. Ignorance is an energy. Don't forget you are human. You are designed to adapt and can do anything if you put your mind to it. Be a human. Learn a skill outside your area. Programmer learn how to 3D model. Artist learn how to code. Learn music, theater. Think of yourself as an artist. Rapid Team Growth is Dangerous
"If your team can eat more than two pizzas, it's too large." Werner Vogels, Amazon VP/CTO Early Fable - 3 developers. Communication very easy. Later Fable, team grew bigger. At 12 people rumor mill started to develop. Can't have everyone in every meeting at same time. Pockets and cliques develop. Fred Brooks. Communication paths don't grow linearly. Team communication grows exponentially. [n * (n-1)] / 2 8 people on team, 28 connections. Ringelmann Effect - "Larger groups lead to less motivation & coordination & productivity." Decreased motivation - larger group, start to feel like a cog in the machine. Decreased coordination - communication pathways explode. Suggestion: Increase identifiability. Make sure everyone knows everyone's contribution. Most of all: think before growing your team. Blandness Has Its Uses
Pursuit of excellence can be wasteful. Sounds counterintuitive. Blandness helps disguise repetition. Think reusing assets. Players notice the patterns. When asking for something to be made, communicate the context of assets - how will they be seen or heard? Often find they need to be bland. Prototypes Can Be Misleading
Experiential games are difficult to prototype. More useful for mechanical games. Fable only came together at the very end - threw away at least one entire combat system. Looking back, it wasn't polished not necessarily bad. Bland prototypes are better than ugly ones for experiential. Keep prototype completely separate. Define prototypes success criteria. Art Style is More Important Than You Think
Curate rather than create Style can hide the fact you can't draw. Restrict complexity. Style is marketing. Unique style tells players there may be something unique about your game. Streamline Your Process
What is your iteration cost? Recognize your cost to try something and learn from it. Making your life easier is real work. Resist self-sabotage. (context of making tools) Closing Thoughts
Don't let technology dictate your game's core promise. Static screenshots have to look good, too. No 1 pixel lines. Don't worry about the things people don't ever get to see. Don't panic if your game sucks - fix it. Editor thought: Really enjoyed this talk. Dene is a fun speaker, and his advice was raw, real world advice for anyone aspiring to make it in game development.
By Karol Plewa
I am working on a project where I'm trying to use Forward Plus Rendering on point lights. I have a simple reflective scene with many point lights moving around it. I am using effects file (.fx) to keep my shaders in one place. I am having a problem with Compute Shader code. I cannot get it to work properly and calculate the tiles and lighting properly.
Is there anyone that is wishing to help me set up my compute shader?
Thank you in advance for any replies and interest!
By Bokchee 88
I am animator by hard, and i am doing game animation for at least 8 years so far. During the last 2 years, i came with a idea for game and maybe some day, i want to start indie game company. As i am thinking to start game company, i am also thinking what kind of value i can give to the company. For example, am experience in animation,sales(I was selling web development services, before i jumped to gaming), bit of rigging- just not for production, i am learning on the side as well. The rest of the gaming production, like modeling, concept art, texturing, i am total noob or to say better, i am no near interest to do modeling for example, don't have such a patience to do it. But before characters and things are made for animating, what the hell i am would do?
Also, what is the ideal size of the founding team of a game company? Positions to be filled mostly are, Concept artist, Modeler/Texture artist, programmer, animator-rigger. And later would need more people to join, like more animators, programmers, sound, fx,etc.
And lastly, do i need to have something,like a prototype, to show people and get them interest, or should i ask someone i know, for skill that i lack, for example, Modeling would be great, texturing and rigging, and to start all together from scratch?
By Nikolay Dimchev
Hello, Game Devs!
I am a 3D Modeler and Texture Artist currently looking for freelance work.
If you're interested please feel free to checkout my portfolio at the link below.
Contact me with details at email@example.com!