Thursday 13 September 2012

Game Design Fundamentals - Meaningful Decisions

As someone who's been making games for over ten years, initially as a hobby and now as a full-time career, I've picked up a lot of wisdom and experience that I probably take for granted. While much of it has been collected from my own experiences developing games, most if it has come from other developers who I've met at jams and events, or read about online.

I want to share some of these in my blog so others can learn from what I've learned. Hopefully there'll be plenty of ideas here that will be useful and will be helpful for you in your own game development!

I'll start out by looking at meaningful decisions. When I design and work on my games I try to make every decision as meaningful as possible. Let's have a look at what that means.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Advice for developing iOS games - Edge Online

I was interviewed, alongside Ben Murch of Hunters 2 developer Rodeo Games, by Edge Online. They asked for tips for people wanting to develop iOS games, and so we gave them some! If you're interested in developing for the platform I hope it's useful.

Have a look at the article here, and feel free to ask me if you have any questions about iOS development, on this blog or on twitter!

Making iOS Games: App Store advice from Rodeo Games’ Ben Murch and Greedy Bankers dev Alistair Aitcheson

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Steam Greenlight and the Discoverability Challenge

Update: Since writing this post, Steam has introduced a $100 entry fee for Greenlight. I've added my thoughts at the end of this piece.

Last week saw the launch of Steam's new Greenlight programme. For the uninitiated, Greenlight is an initiative by the aforementioned desktop games portal to get its user community deciding what indie games should be published on the service. New game proposals, with demos and screenshots, can be shown in the portal, much like an App Store, and users can upvote games they like, share comments, and help promote the games they are most interested in for selection by Steam.

When I heard about the scheme after its announcement in July, I was apprehensive. While taking game selection out of the hands of a black box of executives was promising, I was concerned that any community-rated games ecosystem would suffer the same issues as the App Store and Google Play do - that is, the games receiving most attention (sales in App Stores, upvotes here) would receive the best promotion, creating a virtuous cycle for those at the top, but a wall for exposure for newcomers. Fortunately, as Mike Rose intelligently explained in his recent Gamasutra article, Greenlight has found a way around this issue…

… by not including a ranking system at all.