Monday, 24 April 2017

3 Tips to improve your Game Dev Skills

Case studies
If you're already watching other's projects, you better watch case studies.
To see the full process instead of looking at the final product only.
Hear the brief, listen to the firsts ideas and the description of the process overall.
Usually the important stuff are not shown because they don't look good on screen.

Try to learn from everyone
How the garbage man collects the garbage. How the plumber carries his pipes. How a kid picks his nose. Take a professional and observe how he does he do something. professionally,  Check how experienced designers reach a similar outcome. Observing their way, slowly adopting their methods and improving those

Skip forward
The idea Won't always come. Sometimes it's better to move on, pass for the moment. Sometimes it's better to just hop, In the street, between events, books and over rules.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Long Description, History, Level up and the other latest new features!

- Long Description
Now you can add also a long Description about your game, using also the markup to format the text.

- "Fast" subscriptions
Now you can add a game to your subscription directly in home page, clicking on the heart. Easy and fast.

- History
Added a new area called History, where you can find your latest downloaded games.

- Fast Updates/News
You can write the last update about your game directly in the game-page

- 中文
Thanks to thu_danny, the developer of this game (very nice, you should try!), now indiexpo is also in Chinese!

- Level Up
Added​a surprise when you level up...! :)

... and there are also several changes:

- new search bar in the mobile view

- now you can see the gems of the other users when they left a comment

- improved the Level area

- the indiepad has over 500 downloads! So we redesign the console area like a real virtual platform!

Monday, 10 April 2017

User Stories : Ste - 4 Ways to Obtain Custom Resources for your Game

How can you make a unique and professional game?
First of all you should ask yourself: what makes a game professional?
Why is my game different with respect to the others in sale?
Why I cannot give value to what I do?
Are these question ever asked to yourself?

One thing is for sure: originality is what create value.

It does not have to be necessary something new: you can take something which already exists and propose it in a new different way (your way).
You can merge and mix existing things and add to your knowledge: in that way can make new things.  
The other way is to give free reign to your imagination.
We know the videogames are a wonderful alchemy of different arts, such as graphics, drawing, music, scripting, storytelling.
Having these winning elements can make your game professional: in order to have all of these elements you need to customize resources in the way you imagine.
Professional doesn’t mean have a wonderful story to tell and do it with common graphic assets available by anyone; professional doesn’t mean neither have a breathtakingly design style but use standard musics that don’t reflect my game’s themes. 
 The perfect way would be take care yourself of all the elements that make a videogame.

Be a good illustrator, a good composer, and master with scripting. Otherwise let others help you.

So what are the possibilities that a game developer has to make a game with exclusive resources for your own game? 
Let’s see together. 

  1. Reassemble existing resources.
    Not a bad way, especially to begin. If you don’t want make use of standard packages resource provided by engine or you don’t want to use the usual materials available from anyone on the web, a good idea is to found the best resources that interest us and learn to edit or reassemble these as we like. For example, we can take a sprite of a stone and merge it with a tuft of grass and a flower, change it the colors a bit and we have made a semi-new resource. What’s important is don’t use copyrighted material in your own project (from other games). Steal resources from the others does not make your game professional. This method also can be used for music: there are a lot of royalty free musics on the web, available for free use in any project. It’s important to be patience in seeking and listening a lot until you find the song that fits for your game.

  2. Learn to do self-made resources.
    It’s true that we live in a “specialized” world. In reality the most important thing is the knowledge and the learning with no endings the most dissimilar things. Why became a “programmer” or a “composer” if I can be good enough in everything? Sure, it will take a little more bravery and endurance to grow more passions at the same time, but in the long term we’ll be rewarded. That is the way we make us different and unique with respect to the others. If we want to make something unique, we need to have some other skills more than the competitors. Or…

  3. Find people who will work with us.
    It’s not always easy find people who follow us, who take care as much as we do in a project. If you find someone willing to give you an aid, remeber: you have found a treasure. People always wonder: “Why should I join this game?”. Afterall it’s not their project but yours. We need clear ideas, a bit of experience and things to show (to show them we’re serious). Sometimes we might find enough people to form a development team, or else (if we fail or if a team is too much challenging for us) we still have one last option.

    An Art made by Elf Games about Our Hero made by Ste with the 

  4. Get original resources from assets store.
    The different engines (eg Unity) often have stores dedicated to the sale of assets by competent person in a certain field. These could not be resources for your game, but we can still be tranquil since the price is a limit in accessibility and diffusion. However we might need of unique and exclusive resources (at the same price) customized for us: Making Core has born for that, to create an interchange of skills and make collaboration between developers, to obtain only custom resources for our projects: a customized sprite, an exclusive soundtrack, a personal script.
And you? Which method you use to make unique your own game?

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


Why-why-why, like an annoying little curious child. 
Many times, that simple question, reveal the lack of information. 
Why does the customer want to write this in the ad, Why does he wish to publish an ad there or at all., Why to play this game.

Suddenly we found out things that should have been known before.
Usually, things are "obvious" just because we got used to a schematic way of thinking.
When we'll ask, some will laugh like it's a silly question - but then, only after they'll get lost in trying to answer, we might find interesting information. 
Or they'll simply answer. 
And there always be those with the huge ego that will say that they knew it all. 

Even what they haven't known, like they have actually known, but just wanted that we'll ask them so we'll understand more...

Monday, 27 March 2017

How to Win Friends and Influence By Dale Carnegie

This time I want to suggest a Book. It's How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie (you can find it also on Amazon).

If you wish to work with people, you should know how to communicate with people.

Game developers are usually supported by Middlemen - Account planners, managers, etc. ones with a more developed social component. 

This book is a door for a deep insight into customer relations and service providers. 
You should read and browse every year in it. 
It upgrades people with normal social skills to have super social skills - what leads to open doors.

How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) and first published in 1936, it has sold over 30 million copies world-wide, and went on to be named #19 on Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential books in 2011.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The first step is always to play the game as a team

It’s hard to play the game you’re building. 
The build is buggy and lacks most of the final art. Yet by constantly playing it the team ends up not only clearing away all of those bugs and nagging user experiences but also actually creating something that players will love. 
Playing the game to exhaustion is actually the secret of tuning and user experience at many successful studios. Simulators help finalize the set in-game values. Play tests push user experience. The first step is always to play the game as a team.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

User Stories : Mike Coeck - Getting through Greenlight

I am sure that many devs are asking themselves the question:
How do I get through the Steam Greenlight process before Valve changes it and starts charging me horrendous amounts of money? 
For those who don’t know yet, Valve announced that Greenlight in its current form will change. It’s about to be replaced by a new system that will charge up to 5000$ to put your game on the system. Now most will agree that this is a necessary change. 
Too much bad games made it through the process, mostly bad ports of mobile games who don’t have a place on any pc. 

So why would you want to go through Greenlight now before it changes, except of course for the obvious money reasons? 
Well, the good thing about going through the process is that you don’t have to publish your game right away, you can take all the time in the world once the game is lit. Valve has also informed the community that anyone who has gotten through the process, will not be charged any extra money or will not have to go through the new process. 

Let’s break down what we did with Antigraviator to get through Greenlight. First, we started by panicking, not what I recommend you to do, but you might if by reading this article you are just finding out about the changes and realize you probably have one month or less left. We already had plans to put our game through Greenlight, but not immediately, so we had to move some deadlines around.
Our next step was to read up a bit on the Greenlight process and what was needed. I will sum it up for you here: A video showing gameplay, some screenshots and an interesting summary of the games features. Interestingly to note is that you don’t need a demo. I can only recommend to read up on how to do an interesting gameplay video, how to take great screenshots and how to write interesting summary texts for you game, because I am not going to cover that in this article. 

After we created these things, we did make a demo, but in all honestly, looking back at it and seeing two Youtubers trying to cover the game, the demo should have been focused more on the single player element of the game and not the split screen multiplayer. There is really something awkward in seeing one person trying to control two players. 

The last thing was to put everything online and trying to start a buzz. One thing we learned is that people are not waiting to see your game on steam. They are not sitting behind their computers looking for the next greenlight entry that is put online. You must tell them and inform them that your game is on the platform and that they should go and vote. Use social media to do this! There are a couple of interesting groups you should be following on Facebook, the biggest being Indie Game Developers. Also on twitter you should know about using #screenshotsaturday. Getting picked up by a bigger game news site will also help, 
I didn’t happen for Antigraviator, but then again that was not our focus for this campaign. 

We did make a special skin for people who helped us, but that did not bring the success we had hoped for.