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Timmmmmmmmmm.. T

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About Timmmmmmmmmm.. T

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  1. Double Fine Quest

    Thank you! If you have a chance to play the game, I'd love to hear your opinion on it
  2. Should I use an engine or learn a programming language?

    Welcome to the forums! The short answer is: Both. It's becoming more and more common to use a pre-made engine instead of making your own. The simple reason for that is because you can make a better game faster using a pre-made engine. The only thing I'd add to the above is to consider finding a game that you can mod. By modding a game you'll get some crazy insight into how it works, and you'll also get your feet wet in all sorts of things (art, sound, level design) that you might not touch for months if you make your own game from the ground up. It's always good to know where your strengths are. That said, don't let me stop you from jumping into a language or engine. The best way to learn is to jump in and do it!
  3. Double Fine Quest

    MY QUEST: I found out about Double Fine through your a podcast in 2012. Fast forward six years, I’m a student game developer giving it all I have for a job there. So, I checked their “Action Jobs” page to see what I could find. Under "We are always recruiting everybody, all the time" there is a short story about what happens when you get a job there. http://www.doublefine.com/jobs Also featured on this fabulous brochure. Last summer, I decided I wanted a job there, but they must have interns banging on their windows, so how could I stand out? I decided to make a game that would have several sections to demonstrate my ability and show that I would work hard. Last Fall, I learned Unity through my University. Every single project I made was either a part of my Double Fine game, or specifically designed so that I could reuse code for my Double Fine game. Around December I realized it would be awesome to go to GDC. The main reason being that I could speak to people from Double Fine and make an impression. It was too late to sign up as a GDC volunteer, passes were over $1k, but someone told me about the Unity Student Scholarship. I didn't have a proper portfolio, but I uploaded my work from my Unity class and any other Unity projects I had. Even without a portfolio, I tried to make it look good. I spent so long on the application process that I was late to a New Years Eve party. The new year came, and my game that would get me into Double Fine, codenamed "Project Sourdough," was not on schedule. It would never be completed on time, although parts of it were a complete mess. Since Sourdough didn't have time to rise properly, I needed to make a more concise experience very rapidly. I reused as much code as I could to make "Project Unleavened," a game that follows the story on Double Fine's “Action Jobs” page. Time passed. I really wanted to go to GDC. One night, I prayed that I would go, even though it was unlikely. I also prayed that if I didn't go, they would at least tell me soon, so I could stop thinking about it. The very next moment, I pulled out my phone to call someone, and an e-mail popped up on the lock screen from Unity folks. "Thank you for submitting... We received a lot of high quality applications ... Unfortunately, you were not chosen as a recipient ... But we were impressed with your application" and they gave me a limited access pass. I was completely in awe. SO I WAS GOING TO GDC! The next thing I needed was a way to give them the game. I designed a one-sided business card reminiscent of an atari cartridge, and had it printed onto two USB Business cards from VistaPrint. I had a lot of work to do on Unleavened. I put in some crazy hours in the weeks leading up to GDC, and had to either solve or work around countless issues. Unfortunately, due to a quirk in my dialogue system, I could only build for Windows at the time. Fortunately, I did get some help from my friends. I found out one of them is a QA guru. Another one could make great drawings, and it was amazing seeing him bring a piece of the game to life. But their time was limited by their own schoolwork, so I did all the coding and most of the art myself. That said, I can’t understate the importance of my friends and family during development. The final week of crunch on Monday, my phone died. It got hot, the battery drained quickly, and then it would not boot up. I've had it for years, so it was at end-of-life, but the week before flying across the country was a bad time to bite the dust. If nothing else, Verizon knows how to sell phones. I got my hands on a Pixel 2 before the week was out. Crisis averted, but it took the entire day to resolve that one. Tuesday, I referenced DF’s Jobs page. It had changed. I had been planning to apply for an internship, but there was a brand new note. “Alas, we are unable to offer internships pretty much ever, sorry!” That could be the end of the story. But it’s not. If I couldn't be an intern, I’d apply for a full position as a Gameplay Programmer. I programmed, built, tested, rinsed, repeated until it was error-free. After all that testing I copied those files onto the two business cards. I took a few hours off Sunday night before GDC to hang out with friends. Unfortunately, I needed more than two business cards for GDC, so I got back to work around eleven to design some normal ones. I lied down for a moment and fell asleep for three hours, woke up at 5 AM and then sent my design to the local Minuteman Press. The next morning, there was no next morning, I woke up at noon. I ran about a mile to the printer to get those business cards, and began to pack ASAP. (Disclaimer: That's not San Francisco ) I had a friend who was on-time to bring me to the airport, but I was too far behind packing, and missed the flight Monday. They rescheduled me for free since the next flights had open seats. I was stuck at the airport for hours, exhausted, but Tuesday afternoon I finally made it to San Francisco. Double Fine runs a booth called "Day of the Devs" which showcases a few selected indie games. I hung out there for hours trying to find one of them. I met plenty of good people, but I missed their main producer (Greg Rice) by literally a minute. Wednesday night was an awards ceremony, and the Tim Schafer got a big one. I waited twenty minutes after the show until the people from that company started walking out, and caught up to Greg Rice when he separated from the rest of them. "Mister Rice, can I talk to you for a minute?" "I'm really really late, I can't talk now." "Can you at least take this?" And I handed him one of the USB Business cards with my resume and the game on it. He ran away screaming. Well, not really, he just walked away quickly. THE HUNT CONTINUED, Thursday, I finally got lucky at Double Fine's booth. While scanning badges, I saw some tiny print. It said "Double Fine Productions." Whoah. I looked up, and saw he was wearing a shiny Double Fine pin. It was beautiful. I looked at his face, and he was talking to someone else. I awkwardly stood by until he was free, and then told him my story before relinquishing the second USB Business card. Package 2 delivered! Delivered to a Communications Manager, no less! Friday I walked out of a building and saw some people in Double Fine branded clothes ==> I orbited around in front of them, and introduced myself to two more DF people (programmers). They really liked the idea of my game, so I gave them my card and told then where to find it online. Saturday I applied to Double Fine thru their web site, the normal way, except that I included a link to the game. Monday, the Communications Manager sent me an e-mail that the game didn't work. I know exactly the issue and exactly why. I sent both the fix and a working version. Which brings us to today. Here is the game I made: https://sonictimm.itch.io/action-resume Playtime is usually less than ten minutes. I did modify my dialogue system for web, so you can play it in your browser. Experience Points: (AKA fancier way to say TL;DR) I'd love to say that you can work hard for your dream job, but at this point I have no idea if I'll get the job. What if I don't get the job. I poured my life into a project for a [possibly] failed endeavor. I still gained: -A portfolio. -A trip to GDC -Lots of contacts from said trip -Some free time in San Francisco -TONS of Unity Experience -Practice writing. I love writing, but it's hard to sit down and do it. -Practice Art-ing. I love UI, but spritework is not my calling. -A chance to collab with some friends -A game that may or may not be fun, I'll let you guys decide -This crazy story. Honestly, the University feels mundane after all this... This list is getting crazy long.. But seriously, if your project fails, you'll probably learn more than if it succeeds. That said, don't ever strive for failure. Study Failure. Look at why things don't work, learn from other people's mistakes. Everyone learns from success, myself included. (I'm not the first person to try and get into a company by making a game...) Anyway, I'd love to get your feedback. If you can spare ten minutes, I'd love to hear what you think of my game. Also, if you have any tips for getting noticed by a game company / making yourself more employable, I'd love to hear those as well. Cheers!
  4. An interest for Unity Engine

    There are an amazing amount of resources for indie devs these days, mostly because there are so many! For instance, both of these services are being targeted at Indie Devs as well as medium companies: SpatialOS - a Unity/Unreal MO Plugin that allows easy level streaming. They pretty much handle your servers, so you don't need to invest thousands to buy/rent your own servers. Plus, they have a free dev kit, so even if you don't use it it could be fun to experiment with online play: https://improbable.io/games SpawnPoint - Backend Services - There are probably a lot of others, but a stable MO needs a lot of components. If you can save up some cash, you could probably outsource a LOT of the backend stuff to a company like this one: http://spawnpoint.com There are even companies who specifically deal with update services. DISCLAIMER: Do your research, I have never used either of these companies. I don't know how they compare to their competition.
  5. Grassroots Game Jam

    Last weekend was the first ever Game Jam at Marshall University. The Game Design Guild (club) has been planning to have one for months, but we're a new organization, still trying to get our feet on the ground. Lucky for us, and awesome doctor at our University had recently started a Digital Humanities program. She also wanted to hold a game jam, so we teamed up. 2 Game Developers + 2 English Professors = 1 Game Jam Admin Team! I also asked a guy from Dakota State how they run game jams, since he has run far bigger ones than this. He had a lot of good advice We advertised as best we could, and had no clue how many people would show up. It could have been five, it could have been thirty... Fortunately, we got a sweet number: 12 participants. Surprisingly, none were above college age, and many were high school, or even younger. There was an 8-year old in attendance. However, most of them weren't too social. I followed some advice I had received, and mixed the people around with each other while they came up with ideas. I'm not sure if it backfired or not: Everyone amalgamed into one GIANT group. They also decided to use Unity. So it began. Thanks to Piskel, everyone could easily make pixel art. One person found SFX, and a couple guys made music. It's amazing how many web-based tools there are. We showed these to our participants before getting started: https://soundation.com - Make music http://piskelapp.com - Make pixel art http://twinery.org - Make text and HTML adventure games https://ledoux.itch.io/bitsy - Make games where you walk around, talk to people https://freesound.org - Search THOUSANDS of free SFX However, programmers were short. One was experienced, and could only stay for half the project. Another 2 were low experience. In the end, one of them took on a team management role. With 12 people, team management is a full-time role! To pull it all together, I ended up programming about half of the game. We had more art than we could use, and it all came together in 18 hours. The final product is playable in-browser: https://mugameguild.itch.io/60-second-hero Before getting sucked into the main jam team, I also pitched to our admins that the four of us make a simple game. I tapped them for art and writing, and them implemented it in ~3-4 hours with a dialogue system I had already made: https://mugameguild.itch.io/game-jam-admin-2018 One weekend, two games. Monday was a showcase day, so that anyone interested could see the final product. There are five endings depending on what items you collect in the game, and people enjoyed trying to find all five Overall: SUCCESS. (Not how I expected, but it worked) Experience Points: Never underestimate the time overhead when you coordinate multiple people. Working in a team is not like working alone, and it's easy to end up with duplicate work and "idle villagers." ALWAYS have a sign-up or registration, even if it's not required. It takes a LOT of guesswork out of planning. You can never have too much non-perishable food. Or pizza. Instead of reinventing the wheel, talk to people who have done it before. Pizza Be flexible and run your event based on who comes. Having 3-person teams working in Unity when nobody has used Unity makes no sense. ANY GAME JAM: Only try to make a game that you know you can pull off. If you don't know how to do it, you probably can't do it well in a day. Choose your team wisely, LIMIT THAT SCOPE If you have two days, get a working prototype after ONE day. That way, you have a whole day to make it fun. This is just a game. Seriously, take care of yourself, exercise, go to church, etc., no game jam is worth your health. Peace!
  6. Don't be a hermit

    Ramblings: Recently, I found out that my school is getting a minor in "Digital Humanities" Digital Humanities - (n) a buzzword that shows you have a solid background in both liberal arts and technical literacy. Normally, I don't care much about buzzwords, but for one, I've already taken a diverse array of classes, so it's a cinch for me to pick up that minor and show my potential employers that "I'm not a code monkee!" More importantly, the person in charge of the program is doing a lot to both ensure that the minor is beneficial to students, and to arrange other opportunities for students to experience the intersection of art and technology. Normally, the intersection of art and technology refers to video games, but if you look more broadly you'll see it in all kinds of places. For instance, an English professor who uses code to express a deeper meaning (Gaffe/Stutter), or a programmer who makes something truly beautiful (Macintosh). A good GUI is just as much a work of art as a game. Oh, and our club got into the school newspaper: https://marshallparthenon.com/16407/news/game-design-guild-aims-to-further-students-tech-abilities/ As a game developer, you have more work to do than you have time in a day. But even so, don't isolate yourself to get it done. Trying to make a game alone is like making a movie alone-- you can do some impressive things, but you'll never be able to compete with a functional team. So stay social (or become social), talk to people, and keep growing. If you're not growing, you're probably stagnating. Either way, it will reflect in your games. If nothing else, talking to other people will help prevent burnout by taking your mind off your game. Even though I'm an introvert, I absolutely cannot function without occasional conversation. (Okay, I might survive, but my motivation will tank.) I noticed that after programming for many hours a day over a period of time, my programming skills got stronger. Even if I take a long break, I'll jump back in easily. The same thing happens with other skills, i.e. sports, playing an instrument, public speaking... So why wouldn't it apply to social skills? My new years resolution is to be more social. Yes, it's a time sponge, but it's also allowing me to work with people I would have never otherwise met. I'm making friends who I'll remember forever, which is impossible to put a price on. Perhaps most importantly, if this works, I will practice my social skills enough that even after spending 6 hours alone in a room, I'll still be socially fluent. I'll be able to jump back into it as quickly as I can jump back into an old video game, or a practiced sport. So far, I have noticeably improved from last year. Here's hoping I'll be able to keep it up while simultaneously moonlighting on game dev. Experience Points: Network! Don't be naive enough to follow every trend, but Be open-minded enough to accept new trends. Talk to a wide variety of people, it's amazing what stones you'll turn over along the way. Some of my best days have been spent doing more talking than developing. Don't be antisocial, it will reflect in your games. Practice your social skills at least half as much as you practice your trade. Nobody wants to hire someone who can't communicate. Great artists don't just steal from artists, they also steal from life. Never stop growing and learning. Whether you talk to Miyamoto or Meiers, you'll hear that they want people with experience and interests outside of gaming. If you're not growing, you're stagnating. Keep networking. If your network isn't growing, it's stagnating.
  7. Lore & Mythology to RPG SIM:

    Looks like a good example of "overscoped" unless you're a AAA company. It's way too vague to say much about, but I can say that it doesn't seem very well-thought out IMHO. For instance, if there are a set number of gods, and they stop playing, the entire game world has changed. If gods are supposed to be important, they need a good way to affect a LOT of players, not just the ones they pick on. Plus, no one will want to pay a lot of money unless the game is successful. That's just a few points. I'm not trying to be mean, but whoever wrote that didn't put nearly enough thought or research into it.
  8. This coming week, my game design club will (finally) start working on Digital Games. Last week we made paper concepts. Most of us have ZERO Game engine experience, this is going to be thrilling!!! I've decided to bring everyone into a 2D engine called Defold, which outputs Cross-platform (Mostly HTML5) games with LUA Scripting and joint animations. That's great Timm, but who's going to answer their questions? They are, of course! I have never used Defold, but in the Game Dev industry, they will routinely have to self-teach to keep up Rely on teammates to solve problems that nobody really knows the answer to Rarely if ever start a game from square zero, they'll always build on others' work. To that end, rather than making a game from zero (/*programmers NEVER start at square one*/), we are going to mod a public platformer template. Hopefully, we can divide into some kind of logical teams based on specialty and ability. Good groups are small enough to enable everyone's input, but big enough to explode productivity. My Experience: Modding is better than square zero for learning game development: THOUGHT PROCESS: Since every large company has their own proprietary engine, learning how to learn an unfamiliar engine is invaluable WORKFLOW: Game Companies will teach you by letting you dive into existing code, which is exactly what modders do SPECIALIZATION: You can focus on your specialty (programming, art, music, level design) instead of trying to juggle ALL OF THEM so that you can get a job in ONE OF THEM. SCALE: You get experience in a HUGE PROJECT that you may never fully understand rather than a tiny demo RESULTS: You can make something awesome (though not quite as accessible) in a shorter time since most of the heavy lifting is done PLAYERS: You already have a huge player base and a known target audience if you mod a popular game. this looks great on a resume FEEDBACK: If you do have lots of players, you have lots of complaints. Learn to deal with it, noobs. Today, I got to see an eight-year old open his VERY FIRST Raspberry Pi. I taught him to install NOOBS and use it, and he's really excited to change the world (For one, he won't be bored at home anymore). I showed him the built-in python games and how to edit their code (to make yourself faster, bigger, etc.). Even though I can code faster than I can make bad jokes, I would never have been able to make a game with him... but just editing a couple lines of code in an existing game brought about some super-fun results. So basically, I showed him how to mod as a gateway* into programming *Not a Gateway 2000, he's too young for those
  9. MMO Design Theory

    The main draw of an MMORPG is what differentiates it from other genres: The content is dynamic, constantly changing and "alive." By contrast, most single-player games feel frozen in time except when you get involved. Unlike in Single-Player RPG's, you can interact with other humans. Humans are social, so this is huge. Ideally, there is enough content that people who start playing on day 1 will never run out of fun and interesting things to do. Plus, it's an RPG. Ideally, it stands on its own against Single-Player RPG's as far as story, character progression, world design, open-endedness, etc.. That said, as a video game, it might also have other selling points not specific to MMORPG's. (I have a friend who loves GW2 and the visuals are one of the biggest selling points for her. )
  10. Unity Splash and The Guild

    That's right, I modded the Unity Splash screen. The default one wasn't doing it for me. I'll make a video on how to do this with your own image if there's any interest. In other news, project Unleavened progressed a little. There is a movable pawn that shifts gears, like a car. The bulk of Unleavened will be driving. I had planned to assign gearshifting to a button, like in pole position, but that was too unintuitive (and StickyKeys got in the way.) Instead, I took influence from River Raid on Atari 2600. If you drive into the top of the screen, you go faster. If you drive into the bottom of the screen, you go slower. But instead of a momentary boost, the speed boost lasts until you downshift, but the screen will never stop scrolling. MORE IMPORTANT NEWS: I am now president of the MU Game Design Guild. I have planned all our meetings since last semester, and this semester attendance shot up from ~7 to ~18 people per meeting. THE KEY: Announce it in classes, so that people are guaranteed to know about it. Also, promise them development experience. Meetings are tough to plan, because we gamify everything. We have done one design challenge and two programming challenges. Card Game Jam: Make a card game. Write the rules. Other teams play it from your rules. Iteration: You can revise the rules between rounds of playtesting. C++ Challenge: Write a simple calculator with as few ; as possible. Record: 1 semicolon, after the meeting. During the meeting, it got down to 3. ComBots Challenge - We had a tournament using this: http://www.crazymonkeygames.com/comBOTS.html Lots of chances for iteration since each team could make 3 ComBots. As el presidente, I will be kind to the people of Tropico. Long live the Guild!
  11. Web site complete

    I haven't been super-busy working on homework or games recently, So what happened? In between classes and work, I've recently completed my portfolio Web Site! I don't have much love for web design, but coding your own site is totally worth it IMHO. http://sonictimm.com/ Good portfolios to draw inspiration from: http://carbohydromusic.com http://whatisjason.com https://www.nicolasbombray.com http://www.mollyjameson.com Check them out if you plan to make a portfolio site anytime soon, they're way better than mine.
  12. Importing Scripts, Elegant movement If this is going to work, it has to get done crazy fast. That's impossible... Unless half the code is done. To that end, I'm re-using as much old code as humanly possible. Much of it is from another project that might never see the light of day, so I'm glad it's going to good use. I also wrote a new movement script. It hardly does anything yet, but it feels elegant as hell. (For comparison, my old one is on the left)
  13. Current Project

    So what am I working on? Mostly portfolio building and applying for internships, but there's also a game. <Backstory> Last summer, I made a plan to get into a certain game studio. It involved making a game about video game history with four gameplay styles (one for each of 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000's). The conclusion would make use of all four styles and relate in some clever way to me getting the job that I wanted. Dozens of hours of R&D Later, Finals week came around. I had to stop working on this game, Project Sourdough, in order to finish up my final projects for school. After some deep thought, I came to the conclusion that project Sourdough, while some parts were neat, was too big to be finished in time. Since Project Sourdough failed, I had nothing. That is, nothing more than the Fellowship of the Ring after Boromir died! The next step was to take my unfinished concepts and the experience I gained from working on Project Sourdough, and make a new, smaller project to fulfill its purpose. It would have to reuse as much code as possible, and be produced very efficiently. Thus, Project Unleavened was rolled out. </backstory>
  14. I need some help in english translate

    New to the forum, since it's so short I'll help you out right here. From your store page, with corrections and some minor edits:
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