Showing posts with label Dear Developers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dear Developers. Show all posts

Dear Developers: Repackaging Delisted Free-To-Play Games!


Dear Developers,

When it comes to certain free-to-play games, if they have a component that delivers story and progression like a single player game... there should be the option to restructure the game instead of having it delisted. I can't stand when that happens. So, when a gem like Gigantic can be resurrected, I can't help but wonder if other titles - like Heaven Strike Rivals - could make a comeback too.

I mean, come on - taking on the AI in Heavenstrike Rivals was legit enjoyable. It was a blast progressing through the story, and I can't be the only one missing it. And if Square-Enix really wanted to, they could give us the multiplayer component by allowing players to host matches.

I'm bringing this up because it's not just Heaven Strike Rivals - there are games out there that deserve more than to be yanked from gamers (if they fit certain criteria). All that hard work by dev teams could have a second wind if it makes sense. And I'm not just talking about bringing these games back for nostalgia's sake. These games could still be super fun and engaging today. Who knows, it might just bring you even more success than the original version did.

I would've flipped Heaven Strike Rivals a few ways. Anyways, keep making great games, adapt to keep them available and... game on!




 + Sophima 

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Dear Developers: Game Rebirths


Oh, my pixelated heart is all aflutter at the mere mention of classic video game resurrections! "Shadow of the Ninja - Reborn" isn't just a stroll down memory lane; it's like hopping into a DeLorean and punching it to 88mph, except now the car is shinier, gummy worms are in the cup holder, the streets are in 4K, and there's enough bloom lighting to make J.J. Abrams squint with delight.

AAA developers are no stranger to bringing back hit games (like Capcom), but this post is about the smaller devs. Let's talk about those indie devs weaving their 8-bit magic like they've raided Gandalf's closet for spare wands. When they crack their knuckles and dive into the code of yesteryear's treasures, oh boy, do they bring us a symphony of nostalgia with the bass boosted. It's like they've grabbed the soul of the original, pumped it with HD steroids, and slapped on a "we have technology" sticker. And you know what? We're here for it!

The rebirth of "Shadow of the Ninja" isn't just good news; it's like finding out your favorite cereal from childhood is back on the shelves, and it's part of a balanced breakfast. The gameplay? As silky as a buttered-up otter sliding down a water slide. The co-op? So much fun that you'd want to high-five your... grandmom, but you can't because you're both too busy gripping your controllers like it's the last chopper out of Contra (yes, in my mind... she games too).

So to the indie devs thinking about brushing off the dust from a classic title – don your archeological hats and start the excavation for opportunities. Just remember, it’s not enough to slap on a fresh coat of pixels and call it a day. Gamers are like elephants: we never forget. And if it's not done with the tender love and care it deserves, the roast is going to be legendary—less "resurrection" and more "rest in peace." Ya dig?!

Pull it off, though, and you've got a legion of gamers ready to chant your studio's name like you've just scored the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl of Geekdom (sponsored by Haribo). So, here's to the old becoming new, to the classics getting a second chance to shine, and to the players new and old who get to experience these gems all over again.

A degree isn't required to start developing your first game, and learning is as easy as logging onto your PC to complete a game dev curriculum in your spare time without the debt. You never know where today's affordable courses might take your skills. They could land you the keys to a remake that excited critics (who smile on the inside)... can't wait to rave about.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a cereal date with nostalgia, and she does not like to be kept waiting.


            

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Dear Developers: 9 Ways To Get Into The Game Industry



Getting into the game industry as a beginner can be challenging, but there are several ways to increase your chances of success. Here are nine of the best ways to get started in the game industry:

1. Get involved in game development communities: Joining game development communities such as forums and Discord communities can help you connect with other developers and learn from their experiences. 

No one said you had to work for an established company, some Indie devs came into the industry... via their first title.


2. Create a portfolio: Building a portfolio of your own game projects is essential to showcase your skills to potential employers. 

This can come by way of your contributions to a project... if it's not a game you developed on your own. Even if you haven't worked on a game yet, you can still showcase your skills via your art, sound effects, voice acting + more!


3. Attend game development events: Attending game development events such as game jams, hackathons, and conferences can help you network with other developers and learn new skills. 

If you attend such events, be prepared so you have business cards, notepads, or anything else for networking and gathering new information. If you walk out with nothing more than memories of the event, you just may have wasted your time.


4. Learn the necessary skills: Building games requires a variety of skills such as programming, art, and design. Learning these skills through online courses, tutorials, and books can help you build a strong foundation. 

No college required.


5. Participate in game development contests: Participating in game development contests such as game jams and hackathons can help you build your skills and gain exposure. 

This is similar to number 3, but... gather any information that will benefit you in the journey. Going and forgetting vital information would... suck... royally.


6. Apply for internships: Interning at a game development studio can provide you with valuable experience and contacts in the industry. 

This one could be tricky to even obtain but always remember... Google search is your friend!


7. Build relationships with industry professionals: Building relationships with industry professionals such as game developers, publishers, and journalists can help you learn about the industry and potentially lead to job opportunities. 

At times, it's who you know but... it might be easier to meet them in a non-business setting. Building a relationship on the outside could help you get access just as quick or even quicker than being on the inside because if they're around you and know that you're skilled... they'd be more enthusiastic to want to help a friend. Professionally doesn't hurt either, especially if that person lives by the rule of not working or living with friends to avoid ruining their friendship, but... they could give you an alley-oop into another studio.


8. Seek out mentorship: Finding a mentor in the game industry can provide you with guidance and advice on how to succeed in the industry. 

The earlier you find a mentor for yourself or your child (15 to 24) the better. The older a person gets, the less people want to help them. Don't miss this boat, there are mentorship programs out there, do a Google search for local mentorship programs in the game industry. Also, check with your local government to see if they have any programs funded by the city that help youth with such a thing.


9. Be persistent: Getting into the game industry can take time and persistence. Keep practicing, building your skills, and pursuing opportunities until you achieve your goals. 

Always keep in mind, to protect your ideas. Just like you're looking for opportunities, there are people also looking for new concepts to make money from, and... if your idea isn't protected consider it snagged. It's uncool, but some consider it... business (and don't be surprised if some of those people are a part of bigger studios).

Lastly, while in pursuit of your career, never stop chipping away at an indie project. Just because you don't have a job yet, doesn't mean you can't create one for yourself if your own project hits the mark. You can start this as early as today because game dev projects don't have an age requirement, but I do encourage parents to ensure things are... kosher if your child has a team developing a game with the desire of releasing it on the market.



Sophima | Guest Contributor
                                      + BLU 

Dear Developers: Avoid releasing good games you're willing to strip away from gamers


As some of you are aware of by now, Rovio Classics: Angry Birds was delisted on Google Play after less than a year of being on the market. It will be renamed as "Red's First Flight" on iOS too, according to Brendan Sinclair over at GameIndustry.biz.

Rovio said, they have reviewed the business case of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds, and due to the game's impact on our wider games portfolio, we have decided that Rovio Classics: Angry Birds will be unlisted from the Google Play Store on Thursday, February 23." (2023)

Brendan assumes that they can't just pull it from iOS, so the name change is to prevent people from finding it, but no ladies & gentlemen, it's called "Red's First Flight" (enjoy!).

Clearly, the game has impacted the other games in their portfolio, but what does that say? How many people truly want all these microtransactions? For the classic to hit them to that degree, that says something, but... what will this latest move do to them?

Developers have to remember that gamers aren't just units, numbers, and dollar signs. Gamers keep the lights on and the doors of the studios open, we are people and we remember things, including those times when a developer left a bad taste in our mouth.

You can't play with someone's pocket, and at times someone will boycott for the sake of striking back over a decision that pissed them off. A beloved game was given to them, and stripped away... that shouldn't happen, regardless of how you slice it. There was another way to increase the monetization of the game if you need to make continuous coins off of a title per customer... but what you can't do is flip the script.

Once you make customers paranoid in terms of supporting you... or just too pissed off at you to continue their support, who can you blame? This is one to grow on regardless of the company. Beware!

Fun fact: I've conducted business that involved Rovio in the past (as a business development manager) for the sake of bringing Angry Birds game to the Nintendo 3DS (this was over a decade ago). So the thoughts came flooding back up (shout out to Peter V. who was running the show back then).

Anyway, check out the full article from Brendan Sinclair... here.




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Dear Developer: Select Live Game Services are being shut down! Learn from this!


I mentioned this a while back regarding game services (I can't even recall how long ago because it's... been that long), but... look at the various live games going offline now. Karol Severin believes it is more a case of the market - and companies operating in it - finding "a new, more sustainable supply/demand equilibrium".

That could be partly the reason, but my argument is that you can only play so many games. How many of them are actually able to go live and stay live when you have select games with such a huge draw? You might even find that some of these games are in a similar genre as the giants (which you can try to test your luck at... but... at what cost?). On top of that, some games require specs that don't land in the space where the majority of players... play.


Here are the games that were announced to be going offline this week alone...
Apex Legends Mobile
Rumbleverse
Knockout City
CrossfireX
Crayta
Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai: A Hero's Bonds


This isn't me pointing my finger laughing saying, I told ya so! This is me saying that you may want to strongly reconsider your moves in regard to live games, and avoid making games that rival too many others of a similar genre... because gamers are going to have to make a decision. Believe it or not, that decision may be finalized before the first investment in that game (via DLC). At times someone may not even enjoy a particular type of game, but... their friends play that game, so another game may run cold because they'd rather enjoy time with their crew.

I'm not saying the games mentioned above aren't original (I'm not even going in on them in depth), but if you're going to take the live approach, consider hybrids that cross genres with some serious fun factor. If you want to create a game that you want people to enjoy on a competitive level without going live yourself... give the players the ability to set up games themselves (remember the days of LAN parties?). Going back to DLC, there are a number of people who refuse to invest until they know what game their friends are going to invest in, and that investment keeps them there for a while in hopes that it's worth it.... which affects (free-to-play games especially).

Serkan Toto from Kantan Games said it's a further sign the industry is still in the early stages of live service gaming. Think about this though, and not to knock Serkan (cheers), but... regardless of the stage of live service gaming... you're still going to be in the same boat making Generic Multiplayer game 22b and crossing your fingers hoping that it can get similar or better results as Generic Multiplayer game 1 - 22a. Developers need the audience, originality, fun factor, and worthwhile DLC to make it worthwhile. 

A developer may think I'm totally wrong on this, but coming from the standpoint of a gamer... I don't think so.



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Potential Developers: How long are you going to wait to start?

There are individuals out there like yourself with aspirations of becoming a game developer, taking dreams and making them a reality, but... procrastination is dominating the clock. I'm going to keep it real with you, how in the hell are you going to make a dream come true if you don't start doing the work to make it a reality?

Every morning, ask yourself... "What am I waiting for?". It's an honest question, especially if you have spare time. Spare time is grind time. Spare time gives you the grind time to make your dreams of game development a full-time reality.

I know that some of you might be curious with a side of doubt right now... but don't worry, I'll explain.


I could say it's simple, but I won't say it's extremely difficult. It all boils down to the route you choose to take. There's no-code software out there that gives you the ability to create games utilizing the capabilities of a game engine, and some engines allow you to create original artwork within the software. You'd be surprised of the various things you can do with certain game engines by way of your creativity and effort. You aren't stuck with the same game engine either, but take advantage of any engine you become familiar with because it's another pathway to creating games. Not saying you need all game engines, but if you find one that works great for you, don't utilize it for just one game and then move on. Game engines are a tool, and if you have various ideas that you're able to bring to life with that engine... do your thing.

If it's a simple engine to get the ball rolling, nothing wrong with that. If you're thinking, "I wouldn't even know how to get started with a game engine", no worries... there are so many affordable courses out there for game engines. So... learn it up!

As you continue to grow and gain the ability to do more, you'd be taking another step from spare time to full-time. When you get to the point where you're hiring team members to cover various positions, you're on your way... and I wish you the best. The links you see in this article can help you get started... even if you grab some with a plan to get started at a certain time (when you make better sense of your schedule).

I have to say this in terms of your schedule, be honest. If you find yourself binge-watching TV shows, ask yourself how much of that time is taking away from your dreams or contributing to them? Consider giving yourself at least an hour of learning 4 to 5 days per week. I wouldn't say just go all in if this is your spare time and it's limited, even if it's more on the unlimited side... you need a schedule for structure. 

If you have to work, and you have an hour to spare... it's worth it. If you like to watch TV and Film, use it to your advantage. While watching your favorite shows and films, look at how stories are laid out, look at angles, pace, music... and all that good stuff. You can help your endeavors via one of your favorite pastimes. So with all this said, take a look at the links you see here... see what you think (because research is of great importance) and... go ask yourself, "What am I waiting for?".

When you ask yourself this question, please do not think about your race, age, sex, or anything else that has nothing to do with development becoming a possibility. It simply requires your effort to make it happen, don't let nonsensical excuses get in your way. You can use your race, age, sex, and overall experience to develop different stories, but roadblocks... heck no. Hop on your PC and get started. 




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