Saturday, August 30, 2014

Game Devs Get Game Devs To Dev Games

The typical AGS "game developer" is not a professional, but rather someone who makes games as a hobby. That's actually quite a neat thing- no pressure, no deadlines, no worries about a hostile takeover or whatever troubles the big players. But even the most carefree dabbler in the art of point and click sometimes has to throw up their hands, shout Arrgh in a most frustrated manner and drop a project for whatever reason.

How could your average AGS game dev help out? Our very own Baron (already famed in song and story as the mastermind behind SWARMAGS) came up with an interesting idea and the result is
Devs-Anon (formerly "Group").

The idea is simple. Sometimes all you need to maintain steam during the development of your game is someone who supports, fortifies, questions you. Or gives you a well-meant flick with a rolled paper. If there was a small group of people all working on projects, each one taking some extra time to check on someone elses project (and act as a mix between Gemini Cricket and Robocop), the result could very well be more completed games.

I've registered into the Dev-Anon mostly because the concept sounds awesome, and I have a game I am a bit struggling with and I'm really just curious how the group support will play out. If you like the idea even half as much as yours truly, go check out the linked page and get a closer look.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Our work takes long, and time is fleeting.

I've come to understand something that is profound for everyone around the AGS community and generally the developing community, whether you're a coder, or a writer, or an artist, or a voice actor, or an animator, or any other job that is deemed useful in the game/product making process, that no matter how good or great you do that job, there's always space for improvement.

Same goes for games.
Something you could do differently, something you could improve upon, I don't know anything. At that moment, when you've delivered your quest, you are usually stricken with confidence that you did a good enough job, and that it's final, then after you revisit it, you know, stand behind and observer your labor with a more objective point of view, it is then that you realize you were completely wrong. The best way to prove myself is to find a project you've kept the first version of, and compare it with the one you released for the public. You'll probably catch yourself remembering you were quite satisfied with it back then, perhaps at that, or a later time, you thought "this is it". 

I mean, look at it.
But the more light you shed in your project with feedback either by testers or team members, or anyone practically bothering with it, and sending you his opinion about it (If I recall correctly Vince Twelve had his mom play the game (Resonance) to see if she would be having troubles with the interface), the better your game gets. 

Provided you're willing to go through feedback and process it accordingly. I mean look at any AGS game out there, take for example Technobabylon, I'm sure Technocrat thought when he first released it, "this is the most I can do with this game" and now he's turned it into a bombastic super-pretty indie game, that I would be willing to pre-order so hard.

I've been working on Primordia with Wormwood Studios these past few days (we're going to patch it everywhere (Steam, GOG, wherever it is available) as soon as we're done), and I've personally come across several things that bugged me now, but at the time I was okay with them. You tend to overlook faults over the rush of completing the core parts of a project. But when you look at the details, see deeper, that's what we call polish. And it needs to be done. The more time you devote applying small partially insignificant fixes and improvements to your work, the better.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

We can dance, if we want to

You know in these days seem to be full of financial difficulties for a large percentage of the people we've surrounded ourselves with. Our family, our friends, our co-workers, our relatives, you know. People. And lately, I've come across this weird thing, something I would personally never do. Something that really saddens me. I know it's not the best topic to bother you guys with, but I really can't get it out of my head.

When one lends money to another, of course he wants to see the other person bloom financially with that income boost. But what if the person uses the money to buy things he doesn't exactly need? What happens when the money you lend under terms of survival transform into luxuries? How does that make us feel? Are we not perceiving the motives, perhaps reaching wrong assumptions, or have we misjudged our friendships to begin with? Is life itself slowly getting more "real", if you will? We begin to make decisions and behave in the same way a machine would.
We slowly turn our friendships into mathematical algorithms.
 But the step seems to be necessary. Inevitable no matter the prism of perspective under which we choose to view the core of the problem. Do we change the parameters of the friendship or do we stick to it, no matter what. Do we sacrifice more of our lives for the sake of our friends, or do we egoistically start to look for ourselves and those who benefit us?

Sigh. Sometimes I feel like the robots in Primordia. Applying mathematics in logical solutions, rarely does work.