A Game A Week

I’ve studied my development and progress during these past years and I’ve came to a conclusion that what I lack mostly is making small games, and A LOT of them.

As I’ve studied a lot of other indies and I saw the same pattern there as well, they’ve made a lot of games.

So since I’m not currently doing any major project (not that I should not), I thought to give it a try and perhaps add a few niceties to make it more sweet.

As I was about to give it a go and I just stumbled upon this great blog post by Rami Ismail about the very exact problem in Gamasutra which made me even more determined.

I wanted to have a main big theme for all these games and since I’ve always wanted to express myself via my games, I thought why not give psychological problems a go, as I see a lot of people dealing with it and they usually have no idea about their problems so in best case scenario this might make some awareness.

With that in mind, for the first week I’ve decided to give “Schizophcerenia” a go. As I thought it’s one of the psychological problems that is easier to diagnose and people are more familiar with it and since it’s symptoms are visual, it would make making a game around it easier.

How wrong I was.

As it turns out, I’ve spent like 4 days of my time thinking about the idea, researching the disease, talking to my friends in search of some ideas or insights. After finally reaching a solid one, I went to prototype it but there were so little time that I could not finish it.

For the second time, I took another swing at Schizophrenia and got a new idea. I’ve teamed up with one of my former students and Rot Gut’s artist. We’ve talked about the idea for a couple days and I’ve started implementing it and we liked it so much that we’ve decided to work on it for another week. Then Global Game Jam came up and we’ve halted the development but I like that prototype very much.

So here we are, after the Global Game Jam 2017 and onto the next game.

Weekly Game Jams

I’m gonna attempt to make a game a week starting tomorrow which will give me a chance to do some experiments that I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time.

It will start by me (or hopefully “us”, with your collaboration) planning what I want to do on the first day, Saturday,

Hopefully games (if they can be called “game”-s, let’s see!) will feature different aspects and challenges based on what I try to achieve (or not!) from technical to design to art and I may or may not reveal those.

This can also act as a guiding light for the next project, who knows? 🙂

I don’t know for how long I can keep up with it, certainly it will not be notoriously “Perfect”, but better to have a plan.

I’ll post the results and short post-mortems here and maybe some thoughts on mid-week as well? Let’s see.

If you are interested to help by any way, tag along! Either by sharing an idea, helping with the code, design, etc. All is welcome.

And have a great year!

P.S. I’ve changed the theme of the blog from black to white, so let the change begin!

Initial thoughts on comparing Unity and Game Maker Studio for making 2D games

Hi,

I’ve been teaching Game Maker for about 3 years now and been using Unity for past 4 years and released 4 games with it.

As I’m researching for my next project, I was wondering what you guys think would fit better for 2D.

Currently I want to switch to Game Maker since my next game will most likely be 2D and I think in 3D most people agree that Unity is the better choice, generally.

What I like about Unity is:

1- The community is bigger. I’ve made a similar comparison to Corona SDK here before but the bigger community behind an engine means that the support will be better, more tutorials, more assets and most importantly in my opinion: less likely to get abandoned. Which happened in my case.

2- They still may be behind GM in 2D but they are catching up. But they haven’t caught up as fast as I thought they would back in 4.6 that they introduced 2D and if I want to make a platformer, I’ll most likely to use 2-3 assets at least to make things “normal”. Such as tile editor.

3- C# is far superior to GML in every way.

4- “Extendibility”. AFAIK, you can’t customize GM but it’s fairly and relatively easy to do in Unity.

5- In game editor that lets you tweak variables whilst game is running.

6- Easier to find programmer companions as there are far more people with C# background than GML. And people with any C family language or even Java can pick up C# very fast.

7- Asset store. GM has one as well but from what I’ve seen, Unity’s is superior both in terms of both content and quality.

8- Pricing. They haven’t released pricing model for GM and since Unity went almost free, it’s probable to see at least a change in GM’s but until then, Unity is free and now it includes all the export modules as well.

9- I haven’t had serious debugging in GM but having Visual Studio as coding and debugging tool is fantastic rather than GM’s editor from what I’ve seen.

10- Visual Studio.

11- I’ve heard that handling larger projects is easier in Unity but since we are a very small team, haven’t faced this.

What I like about Game Maker:

1- It’s meant for 2D.

2- It’s simple that you get faster to make your game rather than systems and editors and stuff. It’s not as versatile as Unity in terms of customization.

3- I’m used to more structured C based languages and never felt at home with scripting ones like Lua but coding in GML seems faster since it needs less structure (this can be both good and bad).

What do you think?

Denial, our entry for GGJ 2016

Denial

I’ve recently participated in Global Game Jam 2016 with theme of “Ritual”. Due to my interest in procedural/random level generation and roguelikes, we made a roguelike-like that tries to tell a story as well. You can play and also download the source at the official GGJ 2016 site.

Status update

It’s been a while since my last post here, about 3 months. Worth noting that the lack of a message is a message itself.

First of all, Rot Gut’s status.

We’ve developed a multiplayer version of Rot Gut (lost the count, is it 4th time?) and tested with a lot of peers and feedbacks have been great. It has game modes, destructible environments and all that cool stuff that I wanted to do for so long and could not do in previous games. So that’s great there.

Then we’ve decided to add online multiplayer and it’s been my worst nightmare so far. I’ve dabbled with a lot of networking techs from UNet, to Photon, to Forge, to uLink, to etc just to find out none of these work out for us.

Each of them has a problem in it’s core that prevents us to develop our game on it.

This project introduces challenge after challenge from it’s start and this online networking has been the hardest that I’ve faced my whole life. Truly a beast that doesn’t want to get tamed, no matter how hard I try.

On the bright side, if there is any, I’ve learned much about networking and multiplayer and it’s been adventurous on that side.

Personally speaking, my depression got worse and I’ve been changing meds and none of them worked out so far. It’s very hard to be alone, deal with depression (among other things) and face a project that is hardest you’ve faced so far and there is no guarantee that would even make a single buck.

I find myself more and more trying to escape this craziness called “Indie Game Dev” and before it gets even more late to find a “job” that pays. But I can’t. I simply love it so much and spent so much time to just be able to leave it be. Maybe it’s the right choice.

I’ve used to thinking of quitting before but the frequency has gotten so much higher than before. And it’s not good.

That’s all for now I think.

Global Git Ignore file for Unity projects

This can be used as a base as of Git Ignore file for Unity projects:

If you have lots of Unity projects, you can add/use it as Global Git Ignore file instead.

Better Debugging Android Unity Games When Deployed

There is something called the logcat, which is a combined message pipe from all applications. To read it you first need to locate the adb tool that comes with the Android SDK. Depending on which version you have of the SDK the adb is located either under <sdk>/tools or<sdk>/platform-tools.

Simply start it like this:

$ adb logcat

and it will start printing out everything that is going on on the device. To limit it to only show the output from inside Unity, you can try this:

$ adb logcat -s Unity

or, to get a little bit more info about what’s going on:

$ adb logcat -s Unity ActivityManager PackageManager dalvikvm DEBUG

If you wish to report a bug or otherwise ‘quote’ the logcat, you can dump the complete logcat to a file like this:

$ adb logcat -d > logcat.txt

Painfree way to add a PATH to Mavericks

With the new Mavericks, the traditional ways that mostly one will find out via Googling in order to add a PATH to environment list of OS X, won’t work. Apple secretly moved to a folder called “path” in “etc” folder to store system paths but there is a folder called “path.d” that you can store your paths there and it will work like a charm.

So, simply create a text file, add your path inside it, save and move it to “/etc/path.d” and reboot/relogin and you are good to go.

I’ve used it to access platform tools of Android SDK but it can be used for anything.

The Ultimate Question

Due to me teaching job and games that we made, I get to asked about how to get into game development and which way to go and similar nonsense. People are basically trying to evaluate that whether they are fit for the job or not or what’s the shortest way to get achievement and success.

I read a lot of articles and advices from “successful” game developers through the years and recently found a question that answers it all, and no, it’s not 42, at least not this time. I believe that answering honestly to this simple question should be enough to guide for either someone who just got into game development or even someone 10 years down the road and re-evaluating.

From the experience, I think one should not think twice about his answer and the first answer that comes into your mind, is the answer. Just don’t.

*drum roll* and the question is : “Do you see yourself doing something beside game development?“.

Reason behind is that this is hardest thing I’ve done my whole life and from what I’ve heard from fellow game dev’s, it’s not easy for them either. So if you see yourself doing something beside this, chase it and don’t ever look back.

I honestly believe only people that can not do anything beside it, should pursue it.