Since gamejams work so well for my gamedev productivity I've decided to take part in a similar monthly challenge: One Game A Month. The basic idea is to try and finish one game every single month – it can be something simple or complex as long as you complete something every month. There is loads more information at onegameamonth.com – I highly recommend taking part!
Make Gamedev Challenges. Not Excuses.
Not only that – but I've helped set up a meetup group for fellow 1GAM enthusiasts in Dublin, Ireland. We are going to meet at the end of every month to playtest each others creations and generally swap war stories. Our very first meetup was last night and was a great success! If you want to join us sign up to the 1GAM-Dublin google group. But what about my game for April? Read on!
I love gamejams. You and your fellow participants all crowd into a room and build a whole load of games in a day or a weekend, all with a common theme. It's a lovely combination of community creativity and enforced delivery. Not only must you all come up with cool on-theme ideas for games… but you've got to get something finished before the time is up! It's a great way to flex your game-makin' muscles, and it consistently surprises me how much you can get done with a bit of focus. In short it is an inspiring experience. Make sure you try one!
Sweet logo guys!
I recently attended Gamecraft, an excellent 12 hour gamejam held in Dublin. About 80 people turned up on the day, with the theme announced at 9am leading to 12 hours of frenetic game-making by all involved, followed by 2 hours of judging & trying out other people's games. Yum!
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Earlier this year, Tim Schafer (of Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango fame among others), launched a funding drive on Kickstarter. His studio, Double Fine Productions, was hoping to raise $400,000 from their loyal fans to create a new game and create an access-all-areas documentary of the game production process. After their 45 day campaign had ended, they had raised more than $3,300,000 — eight times the target amount.
Looking at the facts, it made for very impressive reading: until very recently, it was the most funded project ever on Kickstarter, more than 87,000 people had reached into their wallet and pledged millions of dollars in real cash, and the project had received coverage from BBC World News to the Sydney Morning Herald.
There was something less obvious — and potentially more important — about this success however. What had all these people actually purchased? In the vast majority of cases, they had pre-ordered the game, but virtually no details of the game actually existed — no concept art, no story outlines, not even a title. The only detail that was disclosed was that the game was going to be classic point-and-click adventure. That's it.
A parallel universe exists where Tim Schafer and Double Fine are trying to get this game funded through conventional means. They're drawing up the concept art right now, fleshing out the story line, coding up the game demo and putting together the kick ass presentation to show to potential publishers.
The publishers don't like it. The game's theme is too dark. Who's going to buy a game about a suicidal monkey? They don't like the title. The concept art? The less said the better. Sorry Tim, better luck next time.
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As part of an interview for a change of company in my day job (web app developer) I gave a 20 min presentation on a topic of my choice. I went with an overview of Flash Game Development – how you can easily do it as a programmer, and how you can make it work as a business. You can view the full presentation on slideshare by clicking the image below – just make sure to switch the comments tab over to 'speaker notes' (below the slides) as everything will make a lot more sense then!
One great thing about working with version control (here at Gambrinous Towers we love Subversion – and so would you if you just gave it a chance) is that you can go back and look at snapshots of your game as it was in the PAST. And that's just what I've been doing recently, rebuilding older versions of the game prototype to look at all the delicious progress that's been made. And I've decided to share the screenshots with you! Enjoy!
Revision 11. It didn't do much more than you can see here.
Here's the oldest build saved into our SVN repository, from November 2008, representing the first few weeks of getting my head around Flex and tiling. There was no animation or smooth scrolling yet, the little guy just jumped around on screen as you clicked on a target space.
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Are you trying to make flash games for a living, but having a hard time making ends meet? Have you made an engaging & fun game, then spent months polishing and tweaking it to perfection before releasing it onto the world? Maybe you got it right and it's a hit – it's been played and enjoyed by literally millions of people! Well time to sit back and watch the pennies roll in, my friend, because that's all you're going to be getting. This may sound alarming, but it's what most flash game developers have experienced using what I call the 'Ad Model' of monetisation.
All this could be yours!
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We're building a fairly simple game featuring turn-based battles with fantasy units. This is the skeleton of the battle system I've devised – I'd love any feedback or comments anyone has to help me improve it.
The game is a turn-based tactics game where you start with a small warband of rookie units, then fight battles with them. Doing well in battles can improve your units, and give you money to expand your warband or improve the equipment of your existing units. It will be a single player game.
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In Part I, we announced the launch of our brand new game portal, GambrinousGames.com. I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to talk to you about how we launched our portal in record time, and how this same process can be quick and painless for you too. Gather 'round everyone and let me guide you through our journey to Game Portaldom.
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Are you interested in game development? Are you just starting to make games (like us) and want to find out as much as you can about how to design, build and promote your game? Well then it's time to put on your reading pants and get stuck in! Presenting my list of the very best game development blogs around:
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Er, not that game Portal
We've been busy beavers over here on Planet Gambrinous the past couple of months, and we're finally ready to announce the fruit of our labour! Our very own brand spanking new flash game portal, imaginatively titled: Gambrinous Games. Well, as some of our more attentive readers might attest, it's not that brand spanking new. It has been hanging around for a little while now, and has already gone through one iteration already, and we're working on a new design as we speak — but it's our little experiment and we finally feel ready to formally announce it. Read More »