I’ve finished updating all my games, I’ve taken a 10 second breather, so now it’s time to charge ahead on some new projects! Today I’ll be giving a basic summary of what you can expect from me in upcoming weeks and months.
Pocket Sweetie Christmas Update:
Christmas is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than spending some coin—virtual coin that is—on a lovely holiday outfit! I’m working on a bunch of Christmas themed clothes and accessories to include in an upcoming update. It’s an early present for Pocket Sweetie fans! Expect to get your virtual girl into the holiday spirit some time in December. And if you get a shiny new iOS device under the tree, don’t forget to download it - it’s free! Stay tuned for more details.
As some of you may know, I do some extra game art for a fellow Wollongong indie studio Convict Interactive and we are currently working on an awesome ‘punishment platformer’ called Triangle Man for the PC. I can’t take credit for most of the art, I’ve come on pretty late in the game to help give it a bit of extra polish in areas like user interface, world map, cinematics, promotional material etc. I’ll keep slogging away when I can on Triangle Man and try to remember to post some art on here from time to time. If you haven’t heard of Triangle Man yet make sure to check it out, it’s heaps of fun and deceptively challenging! The Alpha version is available now at a discounted price.
Next project - Pachinko Game:
My dev cycle on Pocket Sweetie went way over my initial estimated time. While I’m happy with how it turned out, I’d like to work on a much quicker project next. Of course I understand that it’s easy for any project to go over deadline, however I think I’ve learned some valuable lessons on PS which I plan to take into consideration for this next game. I certainly won’t promise to turn something out in a month, but I think I can expect a much quicker project this time.
Keeping this time frame in mind, I’ve decided to make a Pachinko style game. I have had some good feedback on the Pachinko mini game in PS, so I thought it made sense to focus on this and make it really fun in a fully fleshed out game. It’s not quite the same as a traditional Japanese Pachinko machine but more like my unique mix of Pachinko, pinball, coin pusher games, and good old slots.
I’m planning to have 3 or 4 themed machines all with very different rules and gameplay. I’ve already planned out the first theme and am well on my way to finishing it. See below for a screenshot in it’s current unfinished state.
With this project I am actually starting with the iPad (retina) version and will then work backwards to the iPhone. My previous games all started their dev cycles before the iPad 3 was out, so unfortunately I didn’t make the art in a high enough resolution at the time to suit. It’s too much work to redraw all the graphics in a higher resolution so I simply won’t be making iPad versions of these. I won’t be making this mistake again however, so starting on iPad will mean I can have my next game reach a larger potential audience.
Being the impatient person that I am, I’m already looking past my Pachinko project at something a bit bigger in scope. I won’t go into any detail here, other than to say the top option at the moment is looking like a shmup! Now that is quite a departure from dressing up virtual anime girls! I particularly like the idea of working on a shooter because it’s a genre that works well on PC, console and mobiles/tablets. I figure this will give me lots of scope to port the game if I feel it is worthwhile doing so. This project will be a while off, but I’ll keep everyone updated.
What I’ve been playing this week: Lots of Forza Horizon and lots of DoDonPachi MAX on iOS. Both are amazing. I’m trying to hold off on Halo 4 till Christmas but I have a feeling I’ll cave in the next few days…
Welcome friends, followers and fellow devs! Today I’ll be tackling a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. It’s an issue that many indies struggle with—finding a balance between trying to make a living making games, and not ‘selling out’ or compromising your ideals. This can be a bit of a grey area, so I’d love to hear you comments below or on twitter.
I’m sure every aspiring developer has a dream game that they would love to make. Too often however, life simply gets in the way and this isn’t realistic. In a perfect world everyone would work on their ideal game and not worry about how many sales it gets. In the real world however, people have bills to pay and sometimes compromises need to be made. This could mean working in a particular genre or theme just because it’s popular, or purposely making gameplay ‘a bit grindy’ to drive DLC sales at the expense of some fun.
I don’t think any kid goes to bed at night and dreams of the day they’ll finally get to make a Doodle Jump clone or a licensed game with sneaky in-app purchases designed to swindle unsuspecting parents. So how do these games end up being made then? More importantly, how do we avoid making them? And how can we work out a way to get paid for our hard work but still be able to sleep at night.
I think it’s important to ask yourself why you even want to make games in the first place. If you genuinely love making them then that passion will show through in the games you make. If making a tonne of money is your main priority then you are far more likely to fall into the trap of selling your soul. Despite a genuine love of games however, most of us still need to work for a living. This is where things get a bit more difficult. I would love to quit my job today and do development full-time, but I have a wife, a house, and a car that needs petrol. This is why I sometimes find myself thinking about game concepts that have the potential to be successful rather than simply worrying if they will be fun. I figure working on more commercially viable games now might one day mean the financial freedom to work on the ‘dream games’.
There’s a big difference however between compromising your artistic goals and abandoning your morals. If a developer no longer cares about their players and only sees them as sheep waiting to be exploited, that’s when the line has been crossed and they become a true ‘sell out’.
Regardless of your moral stance, I believe there is actually a good financial reason not to treat your customers this way. It might be tempting to trade in your values for a quick buck, but in the end I think the players will catch on and eventually abandon you. Look at the example of Zynga who made a fast fortune in the social/mobile scene but are quickly losing money, staff, and what were once loyal fans. If you look at most great AAA developers, they started as a few people making games they love, slowly building up a dedicated fan-base. If you treat it as a marathon rather than a sprint, and always respect your players, you are well on your way to enjoying long lasting success.
While it is important to take care not to exploit your customers, I think indies need to stop feeling guilty about IAP (in-app purchases) and DLC (downloadable content). The marketplace has changed in a big way and I feel we need to move with it. Whether someone pays for your game up front or in small instalments is largely irrelevant. Essentially they are still just paying for entertainment in one way or another. If anything, it is more flattering that they are choosing to still pay for your game after having spent some time with it. As long as you are being up-front and responsible with your monetization strategies, I think it’s about time we all move on and embrace these trends because they aren’t going away any time soon.
In the end it’s important to remember that the games industry is just that—an industry. It’s not a charity. There is nothing wrong with modifying your game concepts to be profitable and fun. Just don’t lose sight of the reason you are making them in the first place.
Games I’m playing this week: This has actually been the first week for quite some time where I have managed to get some serious gaming time. I’ve been playing a lot of Forza Horizon and I’m absolutely loving it. It’s basically my dream game. Open world to explore with Forza handling/physics. My virtual Toyota 86 is keeping me nicely occupied until the real-life version arrives in a month. :)
People often ask me what it takes be a successful indie games developer. Ok, so that is a blatant lie. I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this—most likely because I am not a successful indie games developer. Well not yet anyway. Regardless, I know there are many people out there who are pondering this daunting question. Having now published a few games of my own, I feel I’m at least somewhat qualified to provide a little insight on the subject. Hopefully you’ll be able to learn something from my experiences, mistakes and my occasional breakthroughs.
So where to start? If you want to make games—especially if you want to make them on your own or in a small team—there are 2 essential skills that you’ll need to possess. You are probably expecting me to tell you that you need to be a programming whizz or an exceptionally talented artist. I won’t. These are highly desirable skills no doubt, but I believe the 2 most essential qualities are ‘versatility’ and ‘determination’.
Indie Game Developer - The Ultimate Renaissance Man:
When I decided—rather late in life—to walk down the path of the indie developer, I had a very naive view of what that would entail. “Hey! I love games and have some art skills!” I thought, “If I learn programming too, I’ll be a rich and famous game legend in no time!”. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I now understand that it takes much more than ‘art and programming’ to produce a fun, successful game. This is where versatility becomes an absolutely vital skill of the solo-developer or small team.
The term ‘Renaissance Man’ refers to a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. There is perhaps no person more suited to this title than the indie developer. In the past year I’ve had to leave my ‘artist/designer’ comfort zone, adding all sorts of new roles to my repertoire. These include animator, programmer (of sorts), web designer, writer, marketing guru, video producer, social media butterfly and countless others.
I had mostly zero experience in these areas and am still far from being an ‘expert’ in most of them, but the important thing is to jump in and have a go. Be versatile, try new things and don’t be afraid to fail. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you can master being versatile then the other skills you need will come in time.
Determination - Picking Yourself Up When You Fall:
I mentioned that a good indie dev shouldn’t be afraid to fail. This is crucial because you certainly will fail. The chances of creating a big hit on your first attempt are slim to none. Don’t let that get you down. Treat everything as a learning experience, a stepping-stone to reaching your ultimate goal. I strongly believe that with enough passion and determination anyone can become a successful game developer. Maybe I’m wrong, but I suppose it takes a bit of a dreamer to make it in this industry anyway. I’m certainly not what you would call ‘a success’ just yet, but it’s encouraging every time I get a little bit closer.
Thanks for reading! Tim (^_^)
Games I’m playing this week: Maybe I should change this to ‘Games I wish I was playing this week’… In which case I wish I was playing X-COM and Dishonored, but haven’t bought them yet due to lack of free time for gaming. *Sigh*
In last week’s blog post I explained that the completion of Pocket Sweetie has brought with it much joy, as I’m free once more to ponder the exciting new projects that the future might hold. I then cruelly dropped the bomb that this was a topic for a future blog. This my friends, is that future blog.
Before I go too far into discussing upcoming projects, how about a quick rundown on Pocket Sweetie’s launch week. I’ve been getting good feedback so far and fairly reasonable downloads—about 200 per day on average. I’ve now exceeded 1000 in total, which certainly won’t get me on the charts, but it’s still a cool feeling to know people are playing your game.
I’ve also been getting in-app purchases each day, and strangely the most expensive option ($5USD) seems to be the most popular. I’m a little surprised to see that people are purchasing coins, but I certainly wont complain. I think I’ll experiment with adding a higher option in an update, perhaps at the $10 price point. It seems that the key to success on the App Store will be to get people playing for free, and then if they like the game enough, some people will be willing to part with some cash. Getting potential buyers to spend money before even playing your game is a tough ask in such a competitive marketplace.
In general, feedback has been very positive. I’ve got a number of comments from friends and family that they are actually playing because they like the game, not just because they know me. This is such a huge compliment and I’m really glad to hear that people are enjoying it. There have also been a few issues and bugs that have come up, so I plan to address these in an update as soon as possible. The biggest change will be to remove some ads. These seem to negatively affect performance and sometimes even cause crashes. Also I think they are currently a bit too frequent which might annoy some players. I want to find a good balance where I’m not actually turning people away from the game due to the number of ads.
Ok that enough about Pocket Sweetie, on to upcoming projects! The first thing I’ve got on the horizon is an update to One Giant Leap for iOS. This update was actually submitted to Apple more than a week ago, so should be available any day. Apart from some minor gameplay tweaks, the main new features are social integration (twitter) and the addition of Game Center functionality. All achievements have been moved into Game Center, and I’ve also included a leaderboard for the challenge mode. One Giant Leap is free, so if you haven’t played it yet why not download it now to get some practice in before the update. I’ll look forward to seeing you on the leaderboard next week. I’ll certainly be competing for that top score! You can check it out here.
The next thing I’m working on is an update to my first iOS game Ninja Tap. Even though I personally feel it’s a little rudimentary compared to my more recent titles, it’s still a fun, simple game with a reasonable fan base that I’d like to reward with some new features. For Ninja Tap 1.1 I’m doing a similar update to One Giant Leap. There will be some minor fixes with the biggest new inclusion being Game Center achievements and a leaderboard to see how players stack up against friends or other players worldwide. Ninja Tap is now free on the iPhone if you want to check it out before the update, which should be available in the next few weeks. Check it out here!
Speaking of Ninja Tap, I feel that my game dev skills have improved significantly in the last year and a half or so since starting out. As such, I feel that I’d like to try working a more robust ‘targeting game’. Ideally I might start by adding 1 or 2 new modes to Ninja Tap first(version 1.2), but ultimately I think I’d like this project to take the form of an all new title. I would add a range of different game modes for more replayability, give it an all new theme and develop a good free-to-play strategy from the outset. I think a project like this could be turned around in a few months so I plan to work on this sometime in the near future. Stay tuned for more details!
In addition to these projects I have countless other plans and projects in mind. I want to create a proper Asobu Games website, put some solid time into Triangle Man and other upcoming Convict projects, learn some 3D development with Unity and Blender, not to mention the many, many games ideas I have locked away. Unfortunately I think this post is getting waaay out of hand already so I’ll save these ideas for a future blog.
Thanks for reading! Tim (^_^)
Games I’ve been playing this week: Maybe an hour or 2 of Max Payne 3. It’s nice to just switch off for a bit and do some slow-motion murdering.
As I’m sure most of my friends and followers are now aware, Pocket Sweetie has finally been uploaded to Apple, approved, and is now available on the App Store. If this is news to you, then what are you waiting for? It’s a free download, so bust out your iOS device, download it, share it, rate it and let me know what you think! Pocket Sweetie on the App Store
I’m sure any indie developer (or AAA dev for that matter) will tell you that releasing a game is a time of extreme mixed emotions. After many months or years of hard work you have to send your baby bird out of the nest and hope it will soar… or at the very least not crash straight to the ground and break it’s little neck!
First there’s the feeling of joy and a sense of relief. The late nights, frustrating debug sessions, bleary eyes, and lack of human contact are finally over! Well, for the moment at least. Next comes fear. Fear that people will hate it, that they wont ‘get it,’ or that an overlooked game-breaking bug will mean thousands of angry pitchfork-wielding customers demanding refunds of their time and money! I suppose the final emotion is excitement. Not so much about the game doing well—after my third game on an over-saturated App Store I have learned not to get my hopes up—but excitement at the endless possibilities of what projects the future might hold.
But this is supposed to be a Pocket Sweetie post-mortem, so I can save the topic of ‘future projects’ for an upcoming post.
Another thing any developer will tell you is that making a game is only half the battle. Next comes the task that so many of us struggle with, marketing the game. I am no marketing expert but I will give a brief rundown of my strategy and some early impressions and initial results. I figure there are many people in the same boat, so hopefully we can all learn something from each other!
1. Social Media - Relying on friends: A vital part of any marketing strategy is social media. It’s common sense that people who know and care about you are far more likely to support you. My social strategy is pretty simple. Make genuine connections with people, focus on what you can give and do for the community—it won’t take long for people to spot a ‘leech’—and ask for help when needed. You’ll be amazed at the results! I was blown away with the response on Twitter and Facebook to Pocket Sweetie. I had more retweets and comments than I’ve ever had, and feel truly grateful to be a part of such an amazing indie community. This isn’t some cynical ‘recipe for success’. I’m not suggesting that you pretend to be people’s friends. I’m suggesting that you actually make real friends and contribute to this great community with a generous heart.
2. Email Requests - It doesn’t hurt to ask: I’ve sent out more emails than I care to count in the past few days. All of them shamelessly begging for reviews, articles, interviews, anything. My guess is that 90% of journalists will delete my message without even reading it, and who can blame them—I bet they get hundreds of similar emails each day. However I was lucky enough to have one successful response, and it was a pretty big one. As a result of simply asking nicely, I managed to get included in IGN’s App Store Update. Who knows if this will actually mean a spike in downloads, but it certainly can’t hurt my chances! See what a little grovelling can do?
3. In-game marketing - Social integration: This one is pretty simple. I added a ‘tweet’ button in Pocket Sweetie so people can let their friends know about the game. I am taking this even further in an update to my last game One Giant Leap, by adding Game Center achievements and leaderboards (promoting downloads through competition!) as well as the ability to tweet about these achievements and scores. I plan to add this functionality to an upcoming update of Pocket Sweetie and will report back if it has any success.
4. Advertising on a budget - Google AdWords: I am more or less taking the ‘marketing on a $0 budget’ approach, however I have done a brief experiment with AdWords that is worth mentioning. Here are the stats. I’ve set a very small budget of just $5 a day and limited ads to run on iOS devices only. This way I figure anyone who clicks on the ad should at least have the ability to download it. The fact that my app is free should provide very little barrier to converting that click into a download. I figure if someone was interested enough to click on the ad then there is a decent chance they’ll download it and give it a try. Yesterday I managed to get 105 clicks at an average cost of 5c per click. Since I am on a free-to-play model, I am hoping to get lots of downloads which will potentially mean ongoing iAP purchases and ad clicks. Hey, if the person clicked on an ad to download my game, then chances are they are more likely to click on another ad within my game.
Day 1 Results: The results are in! However it’s hard to gauge the launch day success of Pocket Sweetie by these stats, mainly because the downloads will not reflect a ‘full day’ on the App Store. I think tonight’s results will provide a better reflection. Keeping this in mind, I managed to get close to 250 downloads, with $8 worth of IAP. Not exactly the strongest start, but it’s just the first step down a long road. It’s also good to keep in mind that I won’t know any stats on ad revenue for at least a month or so. It’s then that I’ll really get to see the viability of the free-to-play model for Pocket Sweetie.
Thanks so much to everyone that managed to stay awake for the full blog! And an even bigger thanks to everyone who spread the word on social media and downloaded Pocket Sweetie! I really hope you enjoy it! ~Tim (^_^)
Games I’ve been playing this week: I started playing Max Payne 3 last night and loving it! I forgot how much I love bullet time!
What is this? Do my tired, bloodshot eyes spy a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel?
Yes! I have now—more or less—finished Pocket Sweetie! I can hardly believe it. Despite this however, I am resisting every urge I have to drop everything and ship it straight off to Apple.
Surely, you’d think that after all these months (8? I’ve lost track!) I would be keen to get it out of the door and move on with my life. You’d be mistaken. I think I have learned a few lessons in my 2 short years as an aspiring game developer, and as such I am taking a more patient approach this time.
Lesson 1: Test, test, test. I have added a whole lot of features in the past few days, twitter functionality, cross-promotion, in-app purchases, as well as a whole lot of tweaking to get file size down and performance as fast as GameSalad will allow—which is not very. There are any number of mistakes I could have made, all new glitches to discover. Better I find them now before the public does and gives me a bunch of 1-star reviews.
Lesson 2: Prepare for launch. In the past I have been too keen to get my games out into the wild. I send them off, get them approved, and then ask “Hmm… now what?”. I’ll inevitably spend the next few weeks rushing around in a disorganised daze, wondering how to get my game noticed. I might spend over 6 months making the game, but only give myself a few days to come up with a marketing strategy. When trying to get noticed in an over-saturated App Store, it doesn’t take a genius to see this is a huge mistake. I mean, NASA wouldn’t spend years developing a rocket, only to quickly rush the launch!
Clearly I am no marketing whiz, however even I know that the launch window is a crucial time for a game. If I don’t get featured by Apple—and let’s face it, the chances aren’t high—the only time my game will have any exposure on the App Store will be the first week, perhaps only the first few days. This is when it can be seen in the ‘new games’ section for it’s 2 categories, which in this case are ‘simulation’ and ‘family’.
I’ll need to be prepared for the launch window with the most polished game possible. An overlooked bug could mean pulling the game off the store, waiting for an update to be approved, and then missing the window entirely. It’s certainly happened to me before!
Lesson 3: Have a great video. It’s not enough to have a solid game on launch day. I also need to plan my marketing material in advance so I can be ready to promote Pocket Sweetie before, during and post launch. My biggest marketing weakness in the past has been not having a video. I figured people would go to the effort of reading my emails and downloading my games to see what they were all about. I was very wrong. Even if your game is free, most people aren’t interested unless you have a decent video that will let them make a quick judgement on your game.
So in other words I don’t plan on submitting Pocket Sweetie until I have a video ready to go. I am a complete newbie in this area, so don’t expect a Spielberg level of quality, but something is better than nothing! Just another skill to learn to be a successful indie developer I guess.
Games I’ve been playing this week: Nothing. Unless you count testing Pocket Sweetie or the occasional 2 minute burst of Super Hexagon.
I’m pleased to say I’ve had an extremely productive week of game development! At times it certainly felt like I was getting nowhere—even going backwards—but looking back I can see I made good progress overall. Pocket Sweetie and Triangle Man are both progressing nicely, I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of balancing multiple projects!
On Thursday I had a fantastic meeting with the talented guys and girls at Convict Interactive to chat about Triangle Man, in particular to discuss a new trailer, opening cinematics, and some general promotional material. It was awesome to have everyone together for a few solid hours, plus I finally got to meet Tom, one of the artists I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting in person. The only downside of the meeting was walking a few blocks back to my car in the pouring rain afterwards, only to realise I’d left my wallet behind! It’s definitely going to be a busy few weeks (more UI, promo poster, storyboards) but I’m off to a good start already.
Progress on Pocket Sweetie has also been steady and it’s getting quite close to completion. This week I managed to sort out each and every known bug in the game. Some of these proved to be a real challenge, with one in particular taking up the better part of a day to resolve. In the end I only managed to solve it by pure trial and error… lots and lots of error. I got there in the end though, and the game feels very solid now.
I also managed to finalise the remaining hairstyles and colours. This means that I’ve now finished all new content for the launch version of the game. I also finalised the title screen, and put together a ‘more games’ screen to cross-promote some of my other iOS games. All I’ve got left to do now is finalise music/sound effects, make a gameplay trailer, sort out IAP and send it away to Apple! Then of course I’ll have the long weeks of marketing mayhem, but I’ll just worry about finishing the game for now.
Thanks for reading,
Games I’ve been playing this week: Not much other than a few hours of Persona 3. This has to be the longest I’ve focused on a single game for quite some time, I’ve now clocked over 50 hours in total. I thought it was wrapping up, then they pulled the old ‘you finished the game… just kidding!’ twist. I defeated the so-called last shadow, but now it looks like I’m only 2/3 finished. I guess I’ll be playing this game for a few more months at this rate!
Normally I use this space to discuss game development, in particular my progress on various projects such as Pocket Sweetie and Triangle Man. As usual I have been making steady—if a little slow—progress on these, however as I don’t have much to show for it, I thought I’d instead write about my gaming life in general.
It’s the oldest gaming cliché in the book. Enthusiastic young gamer has all the time in the world for their chosen hobby. Unfortunately said gamer doesn’t have the bank balance to finance this insatiable thirst. Time passes and the exuberance of youth is slowly chipped away as work, relationships and responsibilities vie for leisure time. No longer a boy, this young man can now afford all the games he could ever hope to play! But alas, the days of near infinite free time—to the point of boredom!—have long since vanished. In a cruel twist of fate the gamer is sentenced to toil away for eternity, building a tower of games they will never play.
A little too dramatic? I think it more or less sums up my life, and never has this been more true since deciding to make games myself. When I do get a little free time, I usually find I am too tired, or too sick of staring at screens to bother. Occasionally the stars align and both mood and circumstance allow a gaming session! Even then I too often find myself feeling guilty for gaming, as if I am wasting time that could be spent on something productive.
I suppose it’s a cliché for a reason.
I fear it might be too late for this jaded old fool of 28 years. Fortunately, there is hope for a new generation of gamers with too much time on their hands. If I remove my rose tinted glasses, I’ll wholeheartedly admit that there has never been a better time to be a gamer. Games have never been so involving, so beautiful, so abundant, or so cheap!
Forget the thousands of great mobile games being given away, even AAA titles are getting in on the action. I wonder how anyone is making money at all. Take the case of the PlayStation Plus freebies. For approximately the price of a new retail game, you can get access to a truly ridiculous amount of content. Since signing up a few months ago I have now completely filled my 160GB hard drive with quality titles including Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Infamous 2, Little Big Planet 2, Darksiders, Just Cause 2, Borderlands and now the fantastic Red Dead Redemption. If only I had time to play them!
Thanks for reading,
Games I’ve been playing this week: Not much, as this post would suggest. I did manage to trade a few hours sleep for some Persona 3 Portable. I think I am almost finished! I also enjoyed some scattered 5 minute bursts of the awesome indie title Super Hexagon on iOS. Check it out, it’s insanely addictive.
Well another week has flown by and Pocket Sweetie edges ever closer to completion. At this stage I’m mostly play-testing and working through bugs. Although it seems that for every problem I solve, I discover a new one in it’s place! Perhaps I’m not as close to completion as I thought after all. If there’s one thing I have heard a lot from fellow indies lately, it’s that there is ‘no such thing’ as a quick development cycle.
Regardless, as this project approaches the end of its cycle I have inevitably started thinking about what’s next. Aside from the usual short-sighted “what do I want to work on next” questions, my thoughts have been moving towards the bigger picture.
My first thought is that I really need to stretch myself artistically to focus on getting skilled up in 3D. While I have experimented a bit with 3D in the past, I have more-or-less stuck to my 2D comfort zone. If I am serious about being a full-time game developer / artist I need to become more versatile and add some solid 3D skills to my arsenal.
Secondly I have been thinking about the limitations of developing in GameSalad. As someone from an art background with no experience in coding, I have found GameSalad to be a fantastic and indispensable first step into the world of game development. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone starting off in a similar position to me. In short it has allowed me, a complete rookie, to create and publish some games, however rudimentary they may be. GameSalad is intuitive and easy to learn for the more ‘right-brained’ folk among us. Most importantly it allowed me to wrap my head around ‘game logic’ without having to simultaneously focus on the daunting task of learning a language.
Unfortunately however, like anything, there are limitations. Most obvious is the fact that it is 2D only. Secondly, although my games are hardly content heavy, it seems that performance is a bit sluggish (long load times). I am sure this could be optimized a little, but overall I can’t help but think that the same game coded using more traditional methods would run much faster.
After struggling through a basic tutorial I managed to get a really simple ‘shoot some balls at a wall’ demo happening. Not bad for a first try! I am certainly not ready to give up 2D development and GameSalad just yet, but I will keep playing around with 3D and Unity and hopefully add a few new skills to my repertoire in the process.
Sorry for dropping that giant text-bomb! Thanks to anyone who managed to read it all!
Games I’ve been playing this week: The first half of the week was spent mindlessly glued to Pocket Planes again like a laboratory rat hitting a feeder bar for a food pellet. Fortunately that addiction has finally started to wear off. I also spent a fair bit of time playing / play-testing Pocket Sweetie! Apart from the long load times it actually is pretty fun and addictive if I do say so myself! Let’s just hope the general public will share this sentiment when it releases.