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Guy Fleegman

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Guy Fleegman last won the day on June 5

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  1. Graphic Artist Opportunity If you’re an artist and have ever thought about game development, but were hesitant about actually doing it, this is the perfect opportunity for you. There’s no commitment and moderate pixel art skills are probably all you need to bring to the table. Cube Universe is a game that has been in development for 5 years. It has combat, crafting, world building, quests, RPG skills and abilities, travel between planets and it’s multiplayer… it’s a fully functional game with a dedicated developer behind it all. It’s a science fiction, fantasy sandbox game where magic and technology meet. It’s alien and mystical. There’s no limit to what can be in the game and that means a lot of room to express yourself as an artist. When I say pixel art skills are required for a 3D game, let me explain the current process of how content can be created in Cube Universe. Cube Universe comes with a built-in editor. It allows you to build structures (like a house, a castle, a spaceship, or a sacrificial temple to the moon god of a primitive culture) using the game world’s terrain blocks (which you can also create different kinds of). It also features a modeller that allows you to create more intricate furniture, lively creatures and decorations (like a fireplace, a holographic console, a bookshelf, or a laboratory table bubbling with the craziest potions imaginable). Note: A terrain block is 0.5 metres cubed. When modelling, a 0.5 metre block is 16x16x16 voxels. Each voxel allows for 4x4 pixels on each face. It’s all about speeding up the process though; getting your ideas into the game world as quickly as possible. Cube Universe’s editor can import MagicaVoxel ( https://ephtracy.github.io/ ) models and it keeps the color information for texturing. MagicaVoxel is an amazingly simple and powerful voxel modelling/coloring tool that’s completely free to use. The next step is to add minor details through the Cube Universe editor using it’s built-in paint tools. You can import your own palette and paint until you’re satisfied. At this point everything is kept simple on purpose because the texture can now be imported into your preferred paint program as a PNG file. In this case, GIMP ( https://www.gimp.org/ ) is being used to change colors faster and paint the wood grain. It’s easy to see how the sides of the model are represented in the PNG file, but this process might require you to go back and forth a bit between GIMP and the editor to texture around corners and such. After you’re satisfied, you can run any filters in GIMP over your textures and you’re done! The nice thing when creating content is that the game supports shadows and ambient occlusion, which creates a darkening around seams and let’s you keep your textures simple while the game adds shading. The most time consuming part of the process is usually the texturing. A 30 minute model could typically take 2 hours to texture, for example. The focus of this game’s graphics is to create content easily with a pleasant appeal. The texture style is purposely simple to keep things as economical as possible. The modelling is where you want to spend the most time being creative and I believe that focus will make for an enjoyable experience creating content for Cube Universe. Once you have a handle on static models, Cube Universe’s editor also exports bones, meshes and UV maps to Blender ( https://www.blender.org/ ) for animation all in a DAE (Collada) file. Animation is it’s own thing and we’d love to have someone who is familiar with basic Blender bone animation, but that is not a prerequisite for this recruitment phase. This is how the creatures are animated though. And you can only model so many tables and teleporter pads before you get the itch to try making a wild half-monster, half-robot abomination that strikes fear into the player from a 100 metres away. This is what drives artists to learn more technical things; torturing the player creating engaging experiences for the player. At the end of the day, that’s what game development is about; learning new skills, pushing yourself a little out of your comfort zone and making wild ideas into a digital reality. I’ve written this recruitment post from my own perspective with the project. I’m not an experienced game artist, but I’m having a blast making stuff and learning new techniques. I’ve even learned new things about the software I thought I was already familiar with. And that’s where the fun in development comes from. Also, you won’t be alone. This is a team effort and helping each other is a crucial part of that. We'll help you get started and share any tips and tricks with you to make your life easier on this project. If you’ve made it this far, you’re definitely wondering about payment. At this point, all that can be offered is revenue sharing. If you are looking at this as an opportunity to retire on a tropical island, you’ll most likely be disappointed. If you view this as a way to experience 3D game development in probably the most accessible way possible, then I believe you’ll enjoy your time on the project. You’ll receive a copy of a cool sandbox game and some money when sales are made down the road. The details can be discussed further with the developer directly. You’ve probably noticed that all the software an artist needs is free to download. Got a computer? You’re good to go! The developer is passionate about this game and has implemented a lot of features in the editor to accommodate speed and flexibility for you, the artist. Discord messaging is the primary way to communicate and stay connected to the project. Google Drive is used for all file sharing and asset backup. That’s all the online accounts you require to join the team and start creating. Currently the game is for sale on the official website ( https://www.beosar.com/games/cubeuniverse/ ), but it’s not quite ready for a marketing push yet. With sandbox games, content is king and Cube Universe needs your help. If you’re new to game development, you'll gain some important skills and experience to help you with future endeavors. If you know someone who might be interested in the graphic side of games, please mention this opportunity to them and let them decide if this is right for them. Lastly, if you know all this stuff already and have lots of experience, well let’s see what you got, tough guy! C’mon, I dare you! 😉 Feel free to ask questions in this thread. Otherwise, you can contact Beosar ( https://www.gamedev.net/profile/221978-beosar/ ) here on GameDev.net for further information. If you prefer Discord, Beosar#8149 is what you'll need.
  2. Guy Fleegman

    No market for 'good games'?

    In order to make a game that encourages real life action, you might want to look at games and mechanics that already do that to some degree. Like that Pokemon game that has you going to specific locations to find more creatures. Maybe there's a useful mechanic to be found in that. I find it annoying that my phone asks me to rate a restaurant that I was in (when I forget to turn off location), but maybe your game can ask you about volunteering at the hospice if you were there for a while. The game probably has to be mobile if it has any interaction with the real world. People need incentive to do things that go out of their way. That will be tricky, but even the reputation system in these forums encourages users to participate more than if it were not. Take a picture of a park and upload it. Take a picture of the park after you finished cleaning up all the trash. Before and after stuff is always encouraging. The tricky part though is the gamification part. If these investors are a part of a collective group, like a church, then maybe the members are your beta-testers. Starting on a small scale to prove the concept would be wise. I can kind of see this being a thing starting in small towns. Approach it from that level first. Whatever game mechanics are determined, real world praise must be given. Do-gooder of the month awards and such. Anyway, food for thought. Rex Kwon Do! 😉
  3. Guy Fleegman

    Celebrating 20 Years of GameDev.net

    20 years is no small feat. Congratulations! I'm new to this site, but so far I've found it to be a friendly and respectful community. And that's actually saying quite a lot in this day and age. Keep on truckin', gamedev.net!
  4. Guy Fleegman

    The First Post

    This brings back Pilotwings memories. Nice job!
  5. Guy Fleegman

    So You Want to be a Game Developer?

    I really like point #3: write a dev blog. Good advice there. It forces you to basically document your development. Documentation is such an underrated skill for programmers, but so critical to standing out from the crowd.
  6. I agree, with both sentiments. When working in a group or working on a project that has to be maintainable for the unforeseeable future, the whole project should follow a consistent methodology. Bad code is bad code though. Trying to go through poorly written OO code is just as difficult as going through a different poorly written methodology. It all boils down to trying to read the mind of another programmer. That's why documentation is so important, even in OO coding. I'd take a logically structured, consistent, well documented code base that doesn't even meet my ideal conventions any day over a mediocre OO code base. Maybe the reason why some programmers are less inclined towards OOP is that they lean towards a more free-flowing mind and a less structured mind (while others are the reverse)? I've been sent to places to fix someone else's software too so I do understand where the resentment and frustration comes from, but I haven't seen enough examples to say that OOP is clearly better than any other methodology. I've seen chaotic, bloated OO code and equally confusing non-OO code. Bad code is bad code... and good code is good code, no matter what methodology it employs. I suppose when the software industry matures to the point of, say, the housing industry, we'd have "building code" requirements. It might happen one day, but there are so many different languages and coding environments that we're still in the wild west of software development, I feel. Anyway, I'm not an opponent of OOP. I think it's a great methodology. It's easy to build bloat and overly complex dependencies, but when followed rigorously and thoughtfully, it's beautiful... I mean, it's well engineered and maintainable! Sorry, "beautiful" is one of those artsy-fartsy words that "you know who" tend to use. 😉
  7. Peoples' brains work in different ways, even when they're solving the same problem. The most important thing is that one's code is logical, clear, consistent and well documented. Programming is like creating art. When you are comfortable, confident and efficient with your technique, it becomes an expression of yourself.
  8. Guy Fleegman

    How To Make Games Without Programming

    Very nice article. Solid recommendations in there. For those looking to get their feet wet with some very simple coding, I'd recommend Twine. (http://twinery.org/) I always talk about the two different ways of building games as authoring (drag and drop) and programming (coding). I suppose it's "tomayto, tomahto" though. 😉
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