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42. Game development resources on the internet

April 24, 2013

I’ve been reading articles from the internet on all aspects of game development, and it’s really interesting how much there is, these days.

I’ve already collected a number of articles I want to keep and study some more, as a “magazine”, via the Flipboard app. In fact, I have several magazines, including one for technical explanations that I would like to understand (but maybe never will), another for more general advice, one for Lua. Oh, and one for links to free sprites and spritesheets.

I’ll keep adding to them as I find more stuff.

If you’d like to see them, open Flipboard1 and do a search for ignatz_mouse2.
1. free to install, a top rated news app, and it’s easy to add web pages to your own magazines, even from Safari
2. from the cartoon mouse in Krazy Kat, in case you wondered

One of the pages has some good advice on how to use some of the graphic tilesets included in Codea – Planet Cute and Small World, showing how to stack the tiles to create nice effects and quite large structures. Hmm, I didn’t realise they could do so much. I’ll have to try them out.

I was interested to see that Planet Cute was created specifically for prototyping games

The whole goal is to get you to focus on building up your game mechanics, not on polishing your graphics engine.

That suits me, because my graphic skills are non existent.

What is interesting about much of the advice given to people starting out is how similar it is to advice on learning just about anything. Which is to just start, accept the fact you will struggle at first and create complete garbage, but don’t stop. If you keep going, you have a chance of producing something really worthwhile.

But I’ll let a game developer have the last word on this (after spending 9 years developing a game that was never published).

If you want to tinker around and develop a game or an engine at a casual pace, then go knock yourself out. When it just goes on forever, or it stops being fun, or you’re tired of seeing other developers accomplish far more in less time, then remember this: You did what you wanted to do, and you got exactly what you asked for. Stop doing it, and reassess your goals if you must.

When you’re developing a puzzle game, all things related to user interaction must always come first. Keep other things like the background artwork simple.

Don’t reinvent any wheels unless you plan to upgrade them into spheres.

Set limitations on yourself. Decide the project must be done in X months. Decide there will be between Y and Z levels, and don’t be afraid to narrow things down along the way.

Even if you want to do all the work yourself, your chances of a successful release will increase if you set aside time maintaining a news feed and blog for your project early on. More exposure time means more new readers, and more of a chance for big media sources to take notice and write about your game.

Open yourself to continuous feedback during the entire life cycle of the project.

Let your game grow in release increments; don’t do everything in the first release. Don’t throw in every feature but the kitchen sink just because you think a first impression of your game is important.

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