6 Reasons Why You Fail as a Game Developer

For a long time, I have been fearing failure.

Fear is an evil friend. It protects you from mistakes, and encourages you to stay in your comfort zone forever.

Making a video game, or any product for that matter, puts you in the spotlight.

It makes you vulnerable, whether you like it or not.

When you are comfortable, you don’t get to read that negative review of your app on Play Store.

You don’t get to see the dislikes on your gameplay trailer on Youtube,

You don’t get to hear the criticism of your sibling playing your game for the first time.

There are many successful game developers in the world, why aren’t you one of them?

When others make successful games, why do you fail?  Continue reading 6 Reasons Why You Fail as a Game Developer

Are You Happy?

I’ve read somewhere that the person who smiles the most, and who always tries to make others happy is usually the saddest person of all.

Somehow when we feel sad, our human empathy makes us more aware of this state of sadness in others. So some of us will try their best to make others feel good at the slightest sign of unhappiness, even if it means faking it and trying to look good at all times.

It comes as no surprise that some of the best comedians, musicians and performers of the planet sink so deeply into sadness that they see no other choice but to end their own lives.

Sorry to sound so depressing.

I couldn’t help but link this phenomenon to game development.

We are, after all, in the entertainment business. Our games are judged by how fun the gameplay is, how polished the graphics are, and overall by how happy the game makes players feel.

You are asked to make others happy.

But did you ever stop and ask yourself: are YOU happy?  Continue reading Are You Happy?

I Hate the Mobile Market

I will be honest with you, I don’t like to work on small games for mobile.

Let me be more specific: I don’t like the idea of spending endless hours trying to craft something playable, stuffing it with art I made myself or bought online, “polishing” it, slapping some Admob ads on it, testing it and throwing it out there. Just to see it get downloaded 8 times in three months and earn jack from it.

There are millions of apps just like mine or better, and thousands of mobile games are published every day. Why should mine matter? How to make sense of all this?

It’s frustrating to see a download count that doesn’t move during the first week of launch. What is going on? You might ask. Well, let’s be brutally honest! Continue reading I Hate the Mobile Market

Play Spin Shot, my latest game!

The past month has been very exciting for me as I’ve been focusing on making a complete game to be released for Android. I’ve done a lot of prototypes this year, but very few resulted in something descent enough to be published.

Spin Shot - Google Play Store

Play Spin Shot on your Android phone or tablet!

I feel proud as it is still challenging for me to complete a project. There’s always something new to do (shiny object syndrome). However, I’ve done it at last, my first game on Google’s Play store! YAY!

In this short entry, I’ll try my best to describe my experience.

Continue reading Play Spin Shot, my latest game!

A Difficult Question Every Game Designer Asks

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?

Continue reading A Difficult Question Every Game Designer Asks

Top Things Not To Do Early in Game Development

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 Top Things Not To Do Early in Game Development

Never Bring A Speed Display to a HammerFight

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.

Continue reading Never Bring A Speed Display to a HammerFight

Stop Making Games for Pussies

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 !

Continue reading Stop Making Games for Pussies

Dodge Bullets Now

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 Dodge Bullets Now