Hi, I'm Blake. My first game was '89 Doors', a rage game where you escape mazes whilst being pursued by an insatiable creature of hunger, and now I'm working on a tower defence game called 'Forgive Me My Henchman', where you play as a typical head 'bad guy', deploying henchman and sabotaging a building in an effort to stop a one man army action hero.
I was very proud of my low tech graphics at first. I thought their 'pixelly' feel might make it easier for the player to laugh during the game. As a result, I didn't have any issues with creating a promo vid with low graphics. However, I am beginning to have second thoughts.
I think a few people have written off my game simply because of how it looks. What that means is - although the gameplay may be awesome - not many people are ever going to experience it because they were repelled by their first visual impression.
Even though I wasn't completely happy, I decided to go ahead and publish the video anyway for two reasons:
1) I didn't know what I could do to improve the video graphics quality.
2) I didn't think that the visual impression is as important as it actually is.
With point number 1, I have since realised that there are things I could do - I could create HD sprites using software such as Spine. Perhaps there are other things I could do as well, so I am currently doing research.
With point number 2, I realised that I made a mistake. Since visuals are not that important for me, I had simply assumed that visuals are therefore not that important to others - I was so wrong, so will make sure that my visuals for future projects are awesome!
I think I have learned the lessons from this experience that I was meant to, so now I am looking for ways to move forward. I am considering doing a total visual revamp of my game, and perhaps outsourcing the graphics to someone else (seeing as visual design is not a strength of mine).
Wish me luck!
That is why today I was excited to find a youtube video in which Will Wheaton interviews some of the key players in the Naughty Dog development team. I would really recommend giving it a watch. You can access the youtube link by clicking here.
Here is a link to an article I recently wrote for Gamemaker forums: http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=670050&hl=
It is called "Advice for a first-timer" and I wrote it as a way to say thanks to all the people who have helped me on my journey. I have also asked that other (more-experienced) developers contribute to the thread, hopefully making it even more useful.
Even though it is targeted towards users of Gamemaker Studio, I am sure that people who are using other software could find it beneficial as well. Hope it's helpful!
On ABC radio today, I listened to a segment about real and simulated gambling in games. Due to a lack of regulation, kids are often being exposed to games which simulate gambling in a way, shape, or form.
The talk gave me things to think about, and deepened my understanding of this situation. Because I found it valuable, I wanted to share the link with you. You can find it by clicking here.
Recently, I was in Melbourne – a city in Australia. Melbourne is the ‘arts-capital’ of Australia, and a great city to visit.
A few months ago, I had read about a place in Melbourne called The Arcade (to read the article I read, click here). To describe The Arcade succinctly, I have taken the description from their website:
“The Arcade is Australia’s first not-for-profit, collaborative workspace created specifically for game developers and creative companies using game methodologies and technologies”
In other words – it is a space for indie game developers and indie developer studios. There are roughly around 24 different indie developer studios in the same building. This includes ‘Loveshack Studios’ who created the game ‘Framed’, and also the creators of ‘Crossy Road’.
Up until this point, my game development experience has been solo or virtual. The help I have got has been from forums and youtube videos. With the exception of my brother (and about two others), I have not been able to test out my game on others.
It was really cool for me to see a space such as The Arcade where people with similar interests in the same field could ‘hang out’ and work. Despite there being ‘competing’ studios in the same building, there was a really collaborative and friendly environment. People from different studios would eat lunch together and I heard that – on Fridays – it was possible to get feedback from whoever is around about your game. Furthermore, I heard that it was also possible for a developer to ask for help/advice if he or she ever got stuck.
It made me think how awesome it would be to be surrounded by people who have similar dreams and interests. I also thought how good it would be for one’s game – being in that atmosphere would encourage someone to work hard, dream big, and get high quality feedback. Places like this are so good for the game development community and it got me thinking: wouldn’t it be great if every city across the world had a place like The Arcade?
The games industry is such a unique one: for the most part, its entire workforce is comprised of people who love what they do. I think when you put people like that together in the same building, it is a recipe for magic to happen. I would like to commend the initiators of The Arcade for making it happen. I would also like to thank those who took some time to show me around the building – what a place!
Check out The Arcade's website by clicking here.