Game Development Category
16th Nov 2012
Since starting to run Photon Storm full time earlier this year I always told myself I was going to keep things small. A micro-business if you will. Just myself handling development, my wife handling projects and we outsource the rest. But we’re at the point now where we are turning down considerable projects every week just because there are not enough hours in the day.
11th Nov 2012
If I had to put my finger on one specific type of game that I enjoy the most it would have to be the humble RPG. From the classic Ultima and Curse of the Azure Bonds style games through to Skyrim and Witcher 2 I enjoy them as much as time allows. For a while now I have harboured dreams of making a game in this style but several things have held me back.
First is all of the rules and stats needed to make the game fair but fun. When do characters level? How much XP should items provide? How easy is Monster X to kill? And secondly is the setting itself. Coming up with fun quests to embark on. Towns, cities, destinations they’ll want to explore. And characters you care about. These are all skills I’m well aware that I don’t posses. So I’m posting this in the hope that there are some budding game designers out there who perhaps have the opposite problem: stacks of ideas, but no skill/time to turn them into an actual game.
So I’m putting this post out in the hope that you may be such a person.
If you’ve got a burning game concept you’d like to see made, that falls somewhere into the realms of an RPG game, a card game, a turn-based game, a fantasy strategy game or even a choose-your-own-adventure style game, then I’d love to hear from you. I’m open to exploring all styles and genres, within reason, although I’ll be honest and confess I do have a particular love for the stock Tolkein, but that won’t prevent me from looking at others.
I’m not expecting you to just hand over your game design and be done. We will treat this as a proper business deal and agree terms that benefit us both. But if this sounds even slightly interesting to you, or maybe someone you know, then please get in touch. All I ask is that you actually have a game idea ready formed. We can take it from there together.
7th Nov 2012
I came across Objecty on Kickstarter today and I pledged before even watching the video. It’s a Windows and Mac app dedicated to easing 2D game dev by bundling a raft of common tools together. At the moment they claim to have in a Texture Packer, Sprite Animator, Skeletal animation, Tweening and keyframe editor, Hotspot editor, Tilemap editor, Physics / Collision editor and others. It’s all wrapped up with LUA export scripts, so you can tailor the data it outputs to your own game engine with ease, if it’s not one of those already supported.
Now I don’t know if SKN3 are capable of finishing this app of course, but I do know that something like it is needed and for that I was willing to risk some of my own money to see it happen. They are about 6% funded right now so I’m posting this just to do my bit and help them out. But as with all Kickstarters you do so at your own risk. Personally I thought the video was too long and cheesy and should have just focused on the app features up front, but hey, at least they actually have a video (*cough* Elite *cough*).
27th Sep 2012
I had the pleasure of giving a presentation at the onGameStart 2012 conference in Warsaw, Poland. The title of my talk was “Insert Coin to Continue”. A gentle nod to the fact that lots of game developers do actually need paying in order to carry on creating great games! I wanted to share my experiences and results of working in the HTML5 game sponsorship market. The Flash world is well served by sites like FGL and blog posts detailing income and strategies. But very little exists for HTML5 games, hence the choice of topic for my talk. This article will cover most of my presentation for those who weren’t able to attend.
Client games vs. Indie games
As a company we develop HTML5 games for both clients and ourselves. The reason is both financial and practical. Client work simply pays better right now. And the more of it you do, the more doors it can open to other bigger and more interesting projects. In my experience this is no different to any other platform. But there are obvious benefits of making your own games:
- It’s your own IP! There is value in establishing a brand and common IP even in the relatively small scale sponsorship world.
- You can make anything. This is important – no matter how awesome your clients are you are always working within set brand guidelines. They’ll never really allow you to do truly anything you want. But when you build for yourself this restriction is removed. You have to be careful of course, as great as Dinosaur Chicken Rock III might sound to you, if you want to get sponsors it needs to appeal to the wider market too.
- There is the very real chance of long term income. I’ll cover this later in the article, but ad revenue and ‘game rental’ can build up substantially over time, where as most client work is a one-off payment.
The benefits are obvious. As well as getting to flex your design muscles in your own way there are significant long term benefits as well. Lots of companies started out by mixing client and indie work only to find that the income from their indie endeavors was enough to leave the client side behind (Nitrome are a good example of this). So let’s explore how you turn this passion into income.
12th Sep 2012
I’m pleased to say that I’ll be giving two presentations in the coming weeks. The first will be at the onGameStart HTML5 Game Developers conference in Warsaw, Poland. I’ll be talking on the Friday (21st September) and the title of my talk is “Insert Coin to Continue: Making Money from your HTML5 Games“. This will cover the HTML5 Game Developers business forum I run, sharing experience and figures of working with games portals and sponsors along with hints and tips on getting the most out of them. I’ll also share what I’ve learned about licensing your games to clients and cover both the good and bad sides of the sponsor market, including knowing what warning signs to look out for and how to avoid getting ripped off.
Then on October 4th I’ll be speaking at Bristol Skillswap. This will take place at the Pervasive Media Studios and tickets are free but limited in number. I’ll be covering my experiences of building HTML5 games including how to handle various issues such as mobile screen sizes and performance as well as how to set the right expectation levels for clients! I’ll be talking to a very technically savvy crowd so it won’t be baby step stuff, but I hope still interesting
If you’re around at either event please come and say hi!
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