Dustin Kerns

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About Dustin Kerns

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  1. Greetings all readers! My name is Zanion and I like many others am a programmer and hobbyist game developer. I have developed many small games, both on my own and with the assistance of small teams composed of friends but never for commercial release. Along the way I have generated curiosities about the development process and decided to compile a list of my questions for those of you on this site, as well as others, about some things you experienced during your first commercial releases. These questions were intended primarily for small developers who have released at least one working title to the public (regardless of performance) however if you feel you have something of note to share please feel free. Thank you all for your time! Answer as many or as few as you'd like/have time for. [list] [*]How long have you been designing/programming/working on games? [*]What platforms have you developed for? [*]What were some of the major decision factors in choosing your target platform? [*]What are some of the games you and your team are credited with releasing? [*]Did you attempt any marketing when you published your title(s)? What sort of marketing strategies did you use? How successful would you say your marketing strategy was? [*]How large was the team you used to develop your latest game? What sort of strategies did you use to manage the development process? [*]Did you develop your own engine or use a commercial engine? What were some key points in this decision? [*]What is your stance on piracy? Do you take any measures to defend against piracy? [*]What is something you spent the most time on for the least payoff? Also what is something you spent a lot of time on that garnered minimal attention/appreciation? [*]Explain some hard or stressful times in the development process? Please share some of the unexpected issues that came up in the development. [*]Do you have any thoughts or concerns about the accelerating rate at which technology progresses? More specifically, thoughts in the area of graphics processing and what that implies for development? [*]How do you feel about the quality of the story in games with large volumes of content. Do you feel that an abundance of side missions/quests can detract from the story in an attempt to give a player “more to do”? What are some measures you have to combat this feeling for your end user? [*]Sometimes in the industry we see a growing trend of developers releasing software that should really still be in beta stages and simply patching the game through the course of updates. How do you mitigate this issue for your games and how much beta testing do you feel is appropriate? [*]How do you feel about DLC content and any effects that it can on the primary content of a game? Do you put the same effort into the base game knowing that you could potentially make more money by releasing add-ons that are by comparison easier to develop due to their scope? [*]How do you feel about free to play models? Is this a good model and where do you see it going in the future? [/list]
  2. Am I making good progression?

    Your continued dedication to the craft speaks for itself. You have been making consistent progress since spring and are well on your way. In my personal endeavors I try to focus on the regularity and depth with which I am learning and not the quantity. After all, the knowledge you retain by working steadily is far more valuable than the shallow knowledge you will gain by attempting to cram it all into your head at once or moving too quickly. Just make sure to keep pushing forward and introducing new or unique approaches with each new project and before long the question of acceptable progress will become obsolete. There isn't a programmer alive worth their mettle who isn't trying to increase their understanding and knowledge base, they just happen to have more time & experience under their belts. Reallocate the time you spend questioning your progress to new (or even old) and unique projects. One of the best learning experiences I had was writing a fully detailed game design document for a simple game then designing, implementing, and refining my project to a complete game. Try not to get caught in the trap of thinking you need to know everything there is to know and begin carefully executing realistic projects to supplement and advance your learning. To me programming isn't about knowing everything it's about knowing how to approach solving problems and using your resources to find the answers you need as you require. You won't do everything right the first time but you'll quickly figure out how and most importantly Ask Questions! Best of luck =D