Dev Links: Fixer-Upper


In today’s Developer Links: Gender in games, “freemium” pricing, and music and background art.

Magic Needs To Be Mysterious And Unpredictable In Games (Nightmare Mode)
“Most of the great writers of fantasy know that magic works best when left unexplained, when it is allowed to be mysterious and unpredictable.  There is, after all, little point in writing a story featuring magic if you then make that magic mundane.  An author wants to create the illusion of a system or set of rules, but one which is mostly hidden and secret, because nothing will kill mystique like familiarity.”

Why Music Is The Best Thing (Octodad blog)
“I guess I should probably cover how I got to feeling the way I do about music before I go into too much more on this train of thought.  I was raised a musician, I have been playing the flute since a young age.  Music is always something I’ve enjoyed and had a knack for.  I always wondered about it, though.  Why has music existed for so long?  Why is it something that has transcended the fall of civilizations, and why do people like it so much?  How can someone devote his or her entire life to something that takes so much work?”

Gender In Minecraft (The Word Of Notch)
“The human model is intended to represent a Human Being. Not a male Human Being or a female Human Being, but simply a Human Being. The blocky shape gives it a bit of a traditional masculine look, but adding a separate female mesh would just make it worse by having one specific model for female Human Beings and male ones. That would force players to make a decisions about gender in a game where gender doesn’t even exist.”

LUFTRAUSERS Devlog #2 (Vlambeer)
“We were testing some performance things, spawning a hundred player-controlled LUFTRAUSERS at once. The following ensued and was dubbed SQUAD MODE.”

Friday Flashback #27: Like Christmas & Easter (Broken Rules)
“This week’s been filled with lots of new content but also new work machines! Since a lot of the work machines currently used are relatively old, a lot of them bruised and heavily used, new work machines were in order. For some of us the time was right to invest in the new MacBooks with Retina display. Besides the heavy self-gifting, we’ve been busy adding content to the multi-player mode, in order to justify the heavy testing session that’s coming up. 18 brave testers got together to give the new multi-player levels a thorough and merciless testing.”

Why We Chose Freemium (AltDevBlogADay)
“When we started Itzy Interactive a little over a year ago, we were already too late. Developers has already undercut each other’s prices on the app store to the point where all games were already pretty much in the $1-2 dollar range, and the freemium pricing model of giving away a game for free and earning revenue from in-app purchases had already taken root. It was a bit like pulling up to the starting line after the race had started and you’re informed that everyone has already piled up in a spectacular crash in the middle of the racetrack but you go ahead anyway.”

An Adventure In Artsy Fartsy, With Jonathan Elliot (Dejobaan Games)
“Okay, so this is a post about the background art development process in our upcoming Monster Loves You!.  I will mix you a drink while Jonathan regales you with all things.”

Gratuitous Alien Death Effects! (Rocket Bear Games Blog)
“I was showing the game to a friend a few weeks ago and he commented that the aliens should have some sort of effect when they die. This is something that I struggled with quite a while.  For those of you who played the earliest versions of Infested Planet, you’ll remember that there was a red puff that the aliens emitted.  Unfortunately it was too slow – each puff was a dynamic particle system.”

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