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.
Over a month ago, I decided to make some major changes to my game. I knew these changes would be very difficult for someone of my technical skill level to make, and be extremely time consuming to implement. I knew I had to do it though because I intend to make the best game I possibly can, and these changes were necessary to make that happen.
Anyway, what I was finding is that the task ahead of me was so daunting that I would make excuses not to work on it. Even when I was working on it, I wouldn’t give it my full attention. For example, I started getting into the habit of having an episode of ‘The Flash’ playing in the background while I programmed. What I quickly learned is that when you split your attention between computer programming and The Flash, The Flash always wins.
Eventually, I became frustrated at my lack of progress so decided to make some changes. Since I was feeling overwhelmed, I broke the task down into smaller parts. I then told myself that each day, I would get one part done no matter what.
These two changes worked beautifully, and got me moving forward again. Eventually, I increased my target from one to two parts, and a few days later from two to three. This trend has continued, and I am now moving forward again at breakneck speed – woohoo!
So if you are a developer who finds themselves in a similar situation, I suggest breaking things down into simpler elements and giving the problems your full attention (with the help of our dear friend: caffeinated beverages)
I think in some ways, this site has done a lot right. I think it has so far done a good job of documenting my intellectual journey – the articles I am reading, the videos I am watching and (occasionally) the games I am playing that are influencing me. Another thing this site has done right is provide links to these resources, meaning that a visitor who wants to find a diverse range of high-quality and interesting articles/videos/games can easily find them.
However, there are definitely things that could be improved upon. So far my blog/site has not done a good job of documenting my personal journey. As a result, I have a hunch that the site must feel slightly impersonal. I also haven’t managed to start any conversations with other game developers or gamers, revealing that my site/content probably does not invite interaction or a response.
How should I correct these issues to create a better site and brand?
Currently, I believe that one of the most effective solutions could be to make my site/brand more personal. There are several ways I think I could do this:
1) By generating more personal content. I think I should pay more attention to other aspects of my personal journey than just my intellectual one. It would also mean that I start writing more about the game I am currently working on (which is going to make some serious waves :) )
2) By shifting to vlogs, not blogs. Even though written content has a time and a place, I realize that I could perhaps make a better connection with people if I am actually talking with them. That would mean showing my face, which I am hesitant doing. It is not like I have a face for radio or anything (even though some of my friends would say that I do, haha), it would just mean that I lose a bit of anonymity (which I for the most part enjoy). Hopefully, the benefits will outweigh the costs.
3) By changing the name. Some of you may have guessed that my actual name is not McDeezy, haha. That was a nickname I once had. By using a nickname, I think I may have presented myself as a brand instead of a person, so maybe I should use my actual name instead. I read somewhere that this is a good move for indie game developers. It is times like this that I am glad I don’t have a ludicrous name, like Moe Lester, or Tess Tickels.
None of these changes are set in stone yet. I will take time to consider them, and after a few weeks if I still feel they would be beneficial, then I will make them. Have any thoughts about this blog entry? Any thoughts about these changes? If so, would love to hear from you.
How do two 15 year olds - with no business experience - end up creating what would become one of the most successful gaming companies of all time?
I just finished watching the 30th Anniversary video of Naughty Dog, which was published late 2014. At first it tells the story of the founders of Naughty Dog, and then goes into step by step how Naughty Dog grew into what it is today.
What a journey it has been. The company's growth seems simple - after a successful publication, the team would be presented with bigger opportunities, which they would seize and turn into another successful publication, leading to even bigger opportunities, and the cycle would continue. However, watching this video reveals how growth is never simple or easy, and how growth has involved that the team face challenges, make mistakes, enter uncharted territory, and be willing to take risks. I got the feeling that the growth of Naughty Dog must have sometimes felt pretty haphazard and messy to those directly involved. Nevertheless, they have accomplished great things and it really seems that they have had a blast whilst doing it.
You can tell how a lot of its success is owed to the people that Naughty Dog has attracted. This speaks very highly of the leaders, who must be doing a seriously great job to attract and retain such talent.
All in all, I wanted to say congrats Naughty Dog on your 30th Anniversary, and thanks for making this video.
If you are an indie developer and want to watch this video, you can go to the youtube video by clicking here.
I have a few things I would like to write about today.
The first is the discovery of a game called ‘Gunpoint’. It is by Tom Francis, and what a game it is! From the trailer, I expected it to have great visuals, captivating gameplay and well-thought out puzzles. What I didn’t expect was the wry sense of humour that complimented the tone of the game. I also didn’t expect the responsive dialogue, and choices that the game asks you to make. For example, there was a point at the end of the game where I really had to spend some time thinking ‘what do I think is the morally correct thing to do next?’ All the different elements of the game work together beautifully, even the music is superb.
In short, for a game with such ‘simple’ packaging, it truly delivers an awesome and impressive gaming experience. It didn’t take me long to finish it, but I enjoyed every second immensely, and it is likely that I will revisit it again soon.
I learned a lot from the game as well - I guess now is as good a time as any to announce it - since the beginning of the year I have been working on a new game. I don’t want to reveal anything major about it now, but I do want to say that it will blow minds. Its abbreviated name is FMMH, and it will change everything.
At first I wasn’t certain that I could deliver a project so ambitious using GameMaker, but knowing that Gunpoint was developed with GameMaker has given me full confidence that it can be done. Another reason why I learned a lot from Gunpoint is that my new game is trying to go for a particular tone – one that Gunpoint captured perfectly. As a result, I have a few new ideas about what I can do to make sure this tone is captured successfully.
I also know whom I am making FMMH for. In last week’s blog, I provided a link to an article by Matthew Hall (a successful game developer). One of the pieces of advice he gives is ‘make your game for one person’. Following Matthew’s advice, I have decided that FMMH will be made for Tom Francis.
If you haven’t played Gunpoint, you’re missing out.