Dev Links: The Developers’ Lair


Level selection.  Localization.  Optimization.  Maybe not the first things you’d think about as a game designer, but things you’ll have to think about eventually.  And today’s Developer Links include articles about all of these and more.

Congratulations, Your First Indie Game Is A Flop (Gamasutra)
“What it is, though, is yet another scenario of what can happen when you decide to start making games for a living. More important, it’s a story about game publishing, marketing, and sales. I’m not one of those guys who just want to focus on their art or their code. I love the business side of making games. This article is about what I’ve experienced in a good year of doing so.”

UnitySteer Optimization, Mobile Profiling (Arges Systems)
“Four days ago user GamesFoundry started a thread about garbage collection on the Unity forums, showcasing some packages that were doing excessive allocation on his tests. One of the ones he mentioned was UnitySteer. Even if the package being tested was an old one, it got me looking into where I could optimize UnitySteer‘s memory handling, and I ended up doing quite a chunk of changes which are now on the development branch.”

Competitive Gaming: Come Play SpyParty at Evo in Vegas, July 6th & 7th (SpyParty blog)
“It’s always been one of my design goals for SpyParty to be regarded as a competition-worthy player-skill game, to try to attain the depth of a game likeCounter-Strike or Street Fighter, but by emphasizing a very different set of player-skills from the current crop of competition games.  However, to be included in that pantheon your game has to be able to stand up to thousands of hours of play, and designing a game like that turns out to be very hard.  Luckily, I’m patient, but I’m expecting it to take years for SpyParty to get to that level, if it ever does. Eventually, once the game was balanced and tuned and deep enough, I hoped people would start running tournaments, and maybe those tournaments would grow, and then, who knows.  But I’m getting way ahead of myself…”

Kompendium (Auntie Pixelante)
michael brough is one of my favorite contemporary designers. his digital game-making draws from board and card game design in a big way, but he takes them to places that are only possible with a computer referee. his new release,kompendium, is an album of nine two-player games, which all provide each player the same four buttons. every one of them can essentially be considered a solution to the problem of how to permit a two-player struggle without an explicit “shoot” button.”

Indie Tools: Wintermute Engine (IndieGames)
“I had never tried working with the Wintermute Engine before deciding to write about it for the Indie Tools series, but I was already aware of the fact that it was a powerful alternative to AGS and that quite a few commercial games were created with its help. Interestingly said games were rather impressive and included such offerings as Reversion, J.U.L.I.A., Alpha Polaris, Hamlet and Dark Fall: Lost Souls.”

Polishing A Level Select Screen: Process And Implementation (Lost Decade Games)
“We’re just about ready to launch Lunch Bug, which means I’ve been polishing every rough edge until it shines. One of the roughest edges until just recently was the ‘level select’ screen, where players progress through the game.”

Moving As Only City Slickers Know How (Octodad blog)
“Moving isn’t an easy thing to do when it’s just yourself, or you and your significant other. Moving in Chicago under those same circumstances becomes even more difficult due to the insane proximity of all buildings and the general need for a truck rental. Have you ever driven a huge 16 foot moving truck through alleyways or narrow streets while people continuously honk at you and complain about your very existence in their little world(s)? How dare you actually get in their way for more than a 10 second time-span! Moving from apartment to apartment in Chicago should really be considered some sort of horrific Olympic sport. Try moving out as quickly as you can in order to move the truck everyone is mad at for blocking the alley and then do the same thing moving in across town where everyone is still pissed you exist in their space. All while trying not to crash a humongous truck into all the various little cars. So fun!”

Localization Pipeline (AltDevBlogADay)
“In my previous post on localization I talked about some of my experiences localizing games for different languages / regions. This time I wanted to expand upon those notes a little and talk more about the technical aspects of localization and walk through a pipeline.”

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  1. Novack

    The first article has received some criticism, from well known indies, as putting itself as an example of “indie not making it”, while in the end, the author accepts that he tried to develop a game with the minium amount of content possible.

    Also, its clearly a game idea that, while resulting of a nostalgic memory, may not have much more to offer in terms of gameplay.

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