Archive for the ‘Game Development’ Category

I Found Extra Credits Again!

January 17th, 2012 No comments

So I haven’t made much actual progress on my game over the last couple days. I’ve been trying to rewrite the AI because my initial idea didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to. In the mean time, I’d like to share something I finally rediscovered over the weekend, Extra Credits.

One of my favorite Web Video series

Extra Credits is a video series that was created by 3 people in the video game industry. I started following it when it was on The Escapist, back in 2010. Back in August, 2011, there was apparently a falling out between The Escapist and the creators of Extra Credits. New videos just stopped appearing on the Escapist around the time that Extra Credits’s artist was sidelined by a shoulder injury. I thought they were waiting until she had recovered from her injury, but apparently they had moved back to youtube for a bit.

So anyways, this weekend, being slightly suspicious of how long it was taking, I googled Extra Credits and lo and behold I found it. It’s now on Penny Arcade with new episodes from every week since August, 2011 and all of the old episodes as well. This video series has really helped inspire me to make my own game and is one of the major reasons I have this blog now. Here’s a few of the episodes that inspired me the most.

Playing Like a Designer Pt 1 and 2

These episodes go over the basics of using your experience of someone else’s game to teach you how to design better games. I haven’t yet gotten to this point, but I’m beginning to. When I play new flash games now I start thinking about how I could implement something similar, or why this particular interface is effective/ not very effective.

Designers play games differently

The Role of the Player

This episode explains one of the differences between the art of video games and the art of movies, novels, etc. They are different because the player drives the narrative as much as the designer. Designers need to take the role of the player as artist into consideration when designing a game to ensure that the player’s experience matches the designer’s intentions.

Player as Artist

No Redeeming Value

This episode is an examination of the God of War Series’ story telling. The characterization of Kratos is excellent and consistent with a Greek tragedy. The later entries in the series, however, forgo much of the conventions of Greek tragedy and are weaker for it. Standard storytelling conventions can be included in video games and make them stronger as a medium, but only if video game creators realize what it is about the conventions that make the story compelling.

Kratos, this is madness

So now I have almost an entire season to catch up on. I’m so excited! Anyone interested in some of the theories behind making video games should definitely check it out. Let me know if there’s any episodes you really liked from the series in the comments.

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Why Flash?

January 13th, 2012 No comments

Around when I started planning to develop a flash game, I had one of my programmer friends ask me why I would want to start learning Flash instead of HTML5 or Unity3d or any other game friendly development platform. He cited this article showing that even Adobe didn’t believe in the future of Flash.

There are many reasons why this didn’t stop me from starting with Flash for my first game development effort.

1. Flash games are incredibly popular on laptop and desktop computers

I started playing games on the Flash portal Kongregate about a year ago and they’re coming out with new content every week. Other sites like and Newgrounds are still thriving as well. With the most popular games on Kongregate getting over 10 Million plays I doubt that Flash is in danger of going obsolete any time soon.

2. It’s fairly easy to make games for Flash

I mentioned the Kongregate Shootorial before. Following the tutorial allows you to create a basic side-scrolling shooter in less than a day. I have a friend that had never programmed before that was able to complete it in 7 hours. Flash lowered the barrier to entry into game development for me.

3. Flash provides a large audience

Since Flash is web-based and free-to-play anyone can find and play my game once it’s published. If I were to create a Steam game it would be hard to get people to actually download the game. And there aren’t nearly as many iPhones or Android phones as there are computers. My hope is to get my game to as many people as possible, I’ll worry about monetizing it later.

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