As a game designer, there is a question you will ask yourself sooner or later…
What is a game?
What makes something a game and something else not a game?
I thought it would be easy – and obvious – to answer it myself. I am, after all, enjoying games every day, so I kinda know my stuff.
I was confident that I knew what games were, but I couldn’t formulate a definition.
I tried to forget about these silly questions and focus on game development. However, I couldn’t bear the thought that I was working on something I couldn’t even define.
I need a definition! What is a game? Am I the only one asking this question? Am I right for trying to answer it? Is there even an answer?
I rarely finish my game projects. Is it laziness? Sure, but this explanation is too simple.
I like to think of it as research: I am constantly working on prototypes to test my ideas, and I can throw them away with no strings attached.
It is a “fail fast, fail often” approach that resulted in me being more experienced in fast prototyping and cutting costs early on.
I have, without a doubt, succeeded in one thing: I know exactly what not to do in early stages of development. Continue reading
“Are you a programmer, then you absolutely cannot make art! You can never be good at it, so don’t even try!”
Well, I am a programmer, and I do make art. Does that mean that the world is coming to an end? Continue reading
I just bought Hammerfight on Steam, it’s a game about killing giant bugs by swinging a giant hammer. Read that again. The concept is brilliant and cannot fail, don’t you agree with me? Come on, it’s impossible to get bored if a game can be described using “giant hammer” and “giant bugs”.
The game was fun, I had a blast. Controls are neat and well thought of: the hammer is attached to your ship by a chain and the ship follows your mouse. You swing your hammer using the centripetal force caused by the movement of the ship. In reality however, you use your arm a lot, mine hurts so bad right now !
Despite my fan-boy enthusiasm, and my desire to put a ring on it (because I love it), the game has a flaw that spoils the fun a bit.
How many times did you spend your hard-earned cash on some game everybody talks about, just to find out that it’s complete crap ?
When you buy a big franchise game you expect a great gaming experience in return. However, you often get disappointed because the dev team wanted to target the widest audience possible, diluting any true value in the process.
Not all players are alike. Some people want action, flashy graphics, amazing soundtracks, and quick rewards. They will judge a game by the first 10 seconds of play, often based on presentation and other superficial stuff. They will run away at the slightest sign of difficulty, and will not give the game a chance to show its true potential. Pussies !
What I like most about shmups, aside from destroying bazillion enemies all by myself, is dodging bullets.
There is an out of this world satisfaction in beating a level after having shitloads of bullets thrown at you.
I’m curious about the origin of this feeling, and how other people perceive it. Let me share some thoughts and questions with you about the matter. Continue reading
It was a quiet summer day, I was programming a game prototype in C++ while listening to a violin concerto.
You can greatly enhance the visual quality of your game by using special effects. In this article, I show you how to create a nice and simple explosion effect in HTML5 Canvas without using any external library.
You may think it’s complicated to create an effect like that from scratch, but it’s easy once you understand how it works.
In this article, I introduce you to localStorage and how you can use it to save game data in the browser.
Good game design doesn’t necessarily mean describing every aspect of your game in advance. That would be a huge waste of your time.
You need to work efficiently, especially in early stages of development. There are a few important questions that your game design should answer, you can figure out the rest later.