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Clinton Ma

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  1. Clinton Ma

    Would like some feedback on a Pitch Paper.

    I agree with Tom about the target audience. I read most of your pitch paper and it sounds like it's intended to be read by a potential investor.   Just some quick points: Wall of text: headings and bullet points will make your document much easier to digest   It could be a personal preference but I dislike the overuse of "quotation marks". It hints at irony or shows an uncertainty of the thing you're describing to me.    There is at once too much and not enough information. After six paragraphs I'm still not grasping what the soul of your game is but you've already referenced Evolve so I fall back to thinking about that game and not yours! There's a temptation to over-explain every mechanic and feature but I just want to know how awesome my experience as the player will be. So focus on the strong (positive) emotions you want your players to feel. The nitty-gritty of how everything works should and will be explained in your game design and technical documents. Speaking of Evolve, I looked up their site and grabbed this summary from their About page:     This is consumer-facing marketing copy but the same style should be adapted for your pitch docs. Keep it tight, keep it simple. Cut to the core of the idea as quickly as possible.
  2. I'm of the opinion that if you're doing a tutorial, death shouldn't be an option. This is the crucial stage of introduction where you can influence someone to keep playing your game for another 5 minutes or lose them forever by annoying them.   If you absolutely must kill the player (or make death a real possibility) -- due to a longer, more integrate tutorial or having death as a core mechanic -- then exempt them from the usual penalties of death, dust them off and set them back on track asap and make sure they know why they died.
  3. Thanks for the insight, Erlend.   Yes with educational games it seems like you design for the kids but appeal to the parents. It's a delicate path to walk.   I hope you guys do a post-mortem on this project and publish it somewhere.
  4. Hey, just wanted to circle back and remind Enyx that his greatest enemy is time. You've only got so many hours in a day to build up new skills and only a finite number of years to achieve mastery. Narrowing down your focus will not only benefit you game but will make you a more skilled person overall.   Your approach reminds me a bit of games schools where they throw a morsel of every game dev discipline at their students and everyone dips their toes in for a couple months at a time. Upon graduation the key skills that got people hired were A) coding, B) art or C) networking. Students that didn't grow one or more of these skills get left out in the cold. The game industry - and I would venture most other industries - value specialists... or really good B.S.ers. This is the new global economy where everyone has access to insane amounts of knowledge and can achieve passing competency (or pretend to) of many different skills. So how do you stand out?   I know, I know. You're working on your own thing, which is great. But in the future you'll probably want to take on work-for-hire or maybe help out other indie developers on their projects. Or do a contract gig with a bigger studio. How do you add value? Trust me when I say recruiters, managers and most any type of person does not have the time to figure you out. You have to be the go-to guy for one maybe two specific things.   Working on your own games will be a fantastic opportunity for you to really zero in on what you want to do and get really good at it. And honestly, your end product will be so much better because you were able to dedicate more time to the programming, art or whatever... and there will always be somebody out there who can fill in the skill gap(s) for you.
  5. Great topic. And I totally understand where you are coming from, legininja.   I come from a designer background, so learning coding has always felt like a means to an end. I worked at studios where there was a clear distinction between those who Build Games (engineers) and those who Design games (uh, designers!).   Now that I'm solo, there was never a question that I would have to step up my programming skills. I don't know what I would do without tutorials! As others have mentioned, you'll do great by picking a simple, established game genre and just start building towards that. All those tutorials you've done are just free code snippets waiting for you to grab and re-purpose for your game! The more you do a certain function, the more you'll remember by heart. But until then...   Copy & paste! There's no shame in copy-pasting especially when implementing something you've never done before. You'll also cut down on typos that will haunt you as bugs later. My scripting teacher once said: copying and pasting is what separates the professional from the amateur.
  6. Clinton Ma

    Your first game / programming project?

    Prior to attending game school I made that first GameMaker tutorial about clicking bouncing objects in a little room.   But my first non-tutorial game was a text-based dice game made in C# for our introductory scripting class. That was in early 2010.
  7. This looks very well produced. Congrats on your launch!   Game publishing as an indie is still new waters for me but I am doubly unfamiliar with the education market. I don't know if it is harder/easier to get your game in front of the decision makers for schools or to build awareness among parents. What's your take on this?   As someone who is not an educator or parents, I am still interested in utilizing mathematics in fun ways. Premium games on iOS can be a very tough sell and can get easily drowned in the tide of F2P releases. I found the $5.99 price tag to be high enough to give me pause and made me - absent a demo- go searching for some reviews first.
  8. Hi Enyx,   Good to meet you. I would have to agree with madgod_zhar here. Simplicity is the key. This is a universal concept but it goes double... quadruple for newcomers.   I applaud your commitment to learn everything there is to learn about game development but it's going to be a long ramp up before you're ready to make real progress on your game. I'm thinking at least one year of making tutorial projects, learning and transferring that knowledge to early prototypes of your game.   Remove as many barriers as possible. So use a popular, well-supported game development platform. Focus on becoming a better coder/designer or artist/designer but not all three. Consider hiring on some help to fill in the skill gaps.   Keep in mind that any type of game that looks too simple is actually not.   You also want to make a smaller, simpler game because of the payback you'll get in experience. The bigger your game, the longer it takes to make, the more expensive it is and the riskier it is. I started playing a game called Dust: An Elysian Tail. It is largely the work of one man and it took over 4 years to finish! And he is the lucky one because he got visibility from winning awards and getting a publishing deal with Microsoft. Imagine doing a project of this scale and nobody finds out about it!   So my bottom line advice? Assess the scope of your game project. If you estimate that it will take 6-months or longer to build (assuming everything goes perfectly, which it never does) then I'd advise you to put this concept in a drawer for now and work on a really small game that you can finish in 1 - 3 months.
  9. Glad to join this community! Look forward to sharing ideas with everyone here.
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