DevLinks: If And Venn


In today’s DevLinks, what is a game?  What is a game clone?  And just how much game can you fit into one kilobyte?

Writing Portable Code: A Process Full of Gain (AltDevBlogADay)
“Lately, I am spending some of my time into porting my game engine to the Android platform. It is a rather refreshing, interesting, rewarding and also frustrating experience. All at the same time. The process helped me learn new lessons and remember some old ones I had forgot.”

Get Off My Lawn (A Startling Lack of Banjos)
“Ooh, just checked my blog stats and found that there’s been a bit of a traffic spike going on, due to the fact that both Nitrome and Jay is Games have blogged about Small Worlds in the last couple of days. Hello internet people!  I should probably write something so nobody suspects the truth that I’m a rubbish blogger and a glacially slow game designer.”

A Way To Better Games: Establishing Functional Theory (Gamasutra)
“In my opinion, we have grown, but we haven’t matured. We are still shooting into the shadows of the game design dark ages. We are still waiting for our scientific method, our Enlightenment, our Renaissance. I think that we can never achieve those things until we come up with a useful, functional way to refer to our medium in the first place.”

Indie Tools: Inklewriter (IndieGames)
“Writing and designing interactive fiction is always a joy, but inklewritermakes experiencing this joy easier than before. It is a tool explicitly designed to allow everyone to write, test and share their own interactive stories in the comfort of their web-browser.”

Defining Tetris: How Courts Judge Gaming Clones (Ars Technica)
“While game designers usually have a pretty easy time telling when their game design has been ripped off by a clone, proving actual copyright infringement in court is usually an uphill battle. That’s because copyright law doesn’t actually protect the basic idea and underlying rules of a game, which need a duly filed and approved patent to be locked down. The copyright on a game only protects the “expression” of those rules, which usually covers things like character art, music and sound effects. That makes it relatively easy for a clone to mimic the successful engine of a game while making just enough changes on the surface to avoid a successful legal challenge.”

How To Fit A Game Onto A Postage Stamp (Hookshot Inc.)
“The JS1K is a demo-competition for creating cute, interesting or impressive interactive things in web browsers with JavaScript.  The catch is that anything entrants create must total no more than 1kb in size.  1K! That is sooo tiny. You couldn’t even fit one of Marcus Fenix’s meticulously-manicured fingernails in 1kb of data. 1kb! It makes David Braben’s space-trading classic Elite (created in 22kb) look positively indulgent.”

Meeting Photos (The Witness)
“Every week we have a meeting with the architects where we plan the structures and landscapes on the island. Most of the week, the architects are generally off thinking about this stuff while we are building the game. During the weekly meeting we get together, talk about what concepts the architects have come up with, figure out how those might integrate with the game, make decisions about which ones to pursue, and iterate in detail on concepts we have already decided to pursue.”

Game Insight’s New Publishing Program Offering $3 Million To Devs (GamesIndustry International)
“Mobile and social publisher Game Insight has opened up a new publishing website for independent mobile developers. Using the site, developers can submit their publishing requests to to Game Insight directly, with the publisher offering $3 million in funding through the program.”

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