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What about the game?

06/01/2012

My desk

That’s a good question.

This is my first game. When I started one year ago, I didn’t know what to expect.

I didn’t know about code.
I didn’t know about graphic pipeline.
I didn’t know about game design.

So I learned the hard way. And it felt good!

Code
I’m originally a graphic designer and I discovered a passion for coding. It’s so cool to have the ability to create a microcosm, with its inhabitants, its world and its rules. Once past the technical learning, coding is not that hard, It’s just a series of logical problems to solve. Just like a game actually.
Now, when I see the game running on an iPhone, I can’t still believe I did all the game engine. But also, I know I can make it better. When I started, I never though I could achieve this level of technicality.

Graphic pipeline
Actually, I know one or two tricks for graphic production as I worked for 10 years in webdesign. I was in charge of projects that was more than a year in production. So that was the easy part. The graphics didn’t change much as I was pretty confident for the direction I was aiming. And having the best character designer helps.
It was interesting to learned how to make sprite sheets and how they are used in the code. It’s so retro! And you realize that this old video game technology is still the best. People who invented sprite sheets were genius!

Game design
Iteration is what is making you a game designer. If you can’t listen to criticism, if you make your game alone or if you don’t want to make thousands of prototypes, game design is not for you. Games are meant to be played and not only by you.
I really loved the first prototype I made. But no one else. Same for the second, third, fourth etc… But each time I asked people to play, I was watching them closely to know what was too difficult, what was repulsive or what was attractive. Then, I applied those informations to the next prototype and so on.

Having a 6 year old child at home really helped me in the darkest hours. She is very new to gaming but she plays games like Spy Mouse (which is incredibly difficult), Jetpack Joyride or Bumpy Road. Yeah, I know, good tastes. Her opinion was taken very seriously. I think I designed the game for her unconsciously.

Simple rule : If she would play my game over her iPhone favorites, it would mean that my game is good and accessible.

That’s what I aimed for all this year. And I’m almost there! Of course, she’s not the only tester but she’s a big reference. But don’t worry, it will not be a game about ponies. The difficulty will ramp up to the hardcore heights.

The most difficult thing to learn in game design is the carrot. That fucking carrot that will make the players play the game even if they die thousands times. And I still have a lot to learn.

Well, that was very interesting but what about the game?

The game will be revealed in the coming weeks along with a lot of surprises… So check back on this blog for updates.

Thanks for reading.

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