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About LManX

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  1. LManX

    Programmer needs squash and stretch

    GIMP is also a popular free choice. As far as squash and stretch go- you can get quite a bit of jiggle right in code using easing curves to manipulate scale (or other properties). Though if the thing you are trying to manipulate is something complex like a humanoid image or something, you are probably better off using an image editor to do it.
  2. LManX

    An Easier Marketing Target? (Web Games)

    You cannot escape marketing. You can't. If you are going solo, There is no path you can take where you can dedicate all your time to development. However, I believe that if you approach this problem with the same determination you put into finishing the project, you'll find that it breaks down into smaller problems just like development does. Do your homework- pick a market and make games for it, or look at your games and figure out who they are for. Find where those people are- make personal connections with your intended audience via forums, social media, a website/blog, email list. Keep it small, keep it short, keep it good quality, keep it personal. Do it long enough, you WILL build that starting audience no matter what portal/platform you choose to go after.   Forget about revenue until you have that basic audience to sell to. You may still want to monetize from the start as a form of practice, or just so that it isn't a surprise to your audience that your products have ads/IAP But seeing actual money come out of your games will take a while- even if you pour money as well as time into it. If you just want to make games and not deal with the long haul marketing strategy all by yourself, you will have to move and get a position at an established game dev company.
  3. I'm a fan of the Extra Credits videos found on Youtube- and I love their Design Club episodes (before they moved to twitch) because they are really tightly focused- they hit a series of really good points and use game footage to illustrate.   I'm asking around to see if a channel that does the following might find an audience:   1. Analyze well known games with an eye to design and mechanics. 2. Plan a simple design that applies what was learned  3. Provides brief Unity tutorials on how to implement similar mechanics yourself.   For instance, looking at a 3D Mario game and analyzing his movement mechanics- why does he have so much mobility? Long Jumps, wall kicks, ground pound, triple jump- what do they add?   Plan a simple character and timed obstacle race that simulates the value of "advanced" mobility. (eg. 2D "blockman" must get through a platforming segment using running, jumping, and a third "advanced" option such as a triple jump or wall kick. The level design would provide the opportunity to use the advanced movement to great benefit.)   Go through Unity tutorial building a prototype of the planned design.   These goals would be accomplished through multiple video segments- perhaps 1 episode for the analytics + planning, and a second dedicated to the tutorial/execution. They would preferably be around 20min in length, though the tutorials might sometimes require 30 - 45. I would try to cut down on length by showing just the operations and doing a voiceover afterwards. I dislike tutorials where I have to wait for a mouthbreather to dig through menus or sit through a bunch of uhms and ahs while he works out a bug. I'd try to stick to just the meat, so to speak.   If you guys love the idea, I would attempt to do several videos- and should they find an audience, I would probably try to Paetron them into a long term thing. If it's already been done, I would love links! Thanks all. -Luke
  4. LManX

    Story First? Story Last?

    I find that inspiration strikes me in the form of "Moments"- kind of like snapshots of what a game should be and the reactions it should elicit from the player having the experience. Like Shadow of the Colossus' moment would be delivering the killing blow to a giant beast while hanging on for dear life- the feeling of victory against insurmountable odds, coupled with a constant acute fear of being thrown off and having to start over. The whole game is built off of those moments. I'm sure that the story was written to facilitate getting to have those experiences.    Sometimes the story is as much a part of those fundamental moments as the gameplay itself. for instance, none of Chrono Trigger's "Moments" are inside of a battle sequence. instead, they usually directly follow one. The feeling of wiping out an enemy with Luminare is totally trumped by that time when Chrono sacrifices himself in the battle with Lavos, or the face-off between Frog and Magus, or when Robo gets himself trashed by his own Robot friends. Those are story driven Moments- the gameplay serves to break up the plot, and uses the next chunk of plot as a reward for beating a boss or making it through a dungeon.   I've heard that music bands often have hundreds of song progressions without lyrics, and similarly hundreds of lyrics without song progressions. The lyricist might write words for a particular music track that he has in mind, or he might write something he feels is really compelling and spend time working out an appropriate track to put the words to. Sometimes production works forward, sometimes it works backwards.
  5.   Good to know! By wanting more, do you mean more specifically about this game, or other games?   Both! I, like many, have a soft spot for this game in particular. I played it in my teens- but I have yet to go through it with a game designers eye. This article makes me want to go back for both nostalgia and research.
  6. Leaves me wanting more- the stealth element to the soldiers had never dawned on me before. Good read!
  7. Hey all, looking for opinions on releasing a Tactical RPG episodically.   At the moment, I and my brother are hobbyist devs, working on a passion project in our free time- We have one game (unrelated to our current project) under our belts- Squid Life on mobile devices. Squid Life did poorly mainly due to our inexperience in marketing. (surprise, surprise!) So we're excited to apply what we've learned to our next attempt. Our next project is aimed squarely at the Tactical RPG niche- fans of Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Shining Force games, ect. I'm doing research on how best we can bring this project to market when it's ready.   My theory on what episodic release could offer-   Recycling- The ability to reuse custom editors, plugins and even assets in multiple releases, thereby doing the hard work "up front" so to speak, and only updating what needs a face-lift or things that change mechanically over the course of several releases.   Consistency- Because of minimized "new work" in development between episodes, we could release episodes more quickly and provide more regular updates to social media, thereby staying visible and in the forefront of customers minds.   Faster Application of Feedback/Experience- Over multiple releases, we could more readily apply things we learn from user feedback, and implement improved marketing techniques for the next release. Our goal by the end of a 3 or 4 episode release schedule would be to have vastly improved our marketing abilities and to have gained an audience with which we can readily engage with new products. If you have experience in releasing episodically, or advice on how a couple guys like us could better handle our next release, we are all ears! Thanks for your time! -Luke
  8. LManX

    I Want to be a Better Poster

    Just to drop in my two cents, I remember being fifteen and have about a billion AAA type ideas that were massive in scope- Even my first couple "real" projects were too big for me, and though I found I couldn't finish them, That's how I learned what my limits were, the value of research and pre-production, and to think practically when conceptualizing. Being snarky and tearing apart an idea from somebody inexperienced could have a really negative effect on somebody just starting out- causing them to give up and move on to other interests. Sure they might end up doing that anyway, but it'd be wrong of us to pre-judge what someone could be with a little positive feedback and encouragement. After all, what can we realistically expect from people new to development? They come from a frame of reference FULL of multi-million budget productions, large ideas and unlimited man-power. Is it any surprise that they would look at that and come up with an impractical concept?
  9. LManX

    Starting my studio

    Do you have a development blog or a website?
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