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Get Into Game Dev & 1GAM

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Get into game development, using game jams and One Game A Month

Get into game development, using game jams and One Game A Month


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  • Introduce myself. Software engineer & web developer for over 10 years. Comp Sci in TCD
    Senior UI engineer for Swrve now.
    Passion making games. Making games as a hobby for the last 5 years
    - I’m going to talk about making games, how you can get started, what I did (wrong!), and about the One Game A Month initiative
  • It has never before been this easy to make and publish your own game. Even entirely by yourself!
    You don’t need $3 million dollars anymore (Tim Shafer)
    Easier to create; easier to collaborate; easier to reach players; easier to sell
    Game making frameworks & engines: flixel, unity, game maker & many more
    Free game art! If you aren’t that artistic (like me), that’s no big deal! There’s lots of resources out there
    Full sets of sprites for games, available to use completely for free (see my links at the end of presentation)
    Or try collaborating! This is something I’ve just started exploring. [NEXT: boardgames]
  • Lets not forget board games and card games!
    These are the easiest of games to prototype – you actually just need a pen and paper
    Quick to prototype, easy to change the rules (no need to code anything – just say it and retry)
    Easy to self-publish to fancy prototype stage (print-on-demand)
    So making games has never been easier, but..
  • But don’t do what I did
    It’s very easy to get caught up with grand ideas. After all you want to make something amazing!
    I had read this exact kind of advice when I started out.. And lets see how that worked out
  • Wanted to make a game like Shining Force or Fire Emblem
    Control a few characters in turn based battles, level them up, etc etc
    Built my own engine in Actionscript (no flixel yet!)
    Real problem was the SCOPE was too big.
    The more I got done the more I realised I still needed to do. End line kept getting further away
    Result: MOTIVATION DISAPPEARS
  • Wanted to make a game like Shining Force or Fire Emblem
    Control a few characters in turn based battles, level them up, etc etc
    Built my own engine in Actionscript (no flixel yet!)
    Real problem was the SCOPE was too big.
    The more I got done the more I realised I still needed to do. End line kept getting further away
    Result: MOTIVATION DISAPPEARS
  • Wanted to make a game like Risk, but with fantasy units and RPG elements (are we starting to see a theme? Build a game you would want to play!)
    Used flixel framework this time, better
    But the game was still too big in scope. Once again had built a playable prototype but..
    Result: MOTIVATION DISAPPEARS
  • Wanted to make a game like Risk, but with fantasy units and RPG elements (are we starting to see a theme? Build a game you would want to play!)
    Used flixel framework this time, better
    But the game was still too big in scope. Once again had built a playable prototype but..
    Result: MOTIVATION DISAPPEARS [NEXT: hardest part is finishing]
  • It’s great starting a game. You have an interesting & exciting idea.
    But if it’s too big you WILL get dragged down into the endless details
    The way to get over this is to PRACTICE finishing games
    So how can you do that?
  • What is a game jam? An organised event where you spend a day or a weekend creating a game from scratch.
    Usually with a THEME announced at the start. You can be in teams or solo. Loose sense of competition or prizes (the real prize is finishing)
    Why is this special? CONCENTRATED FOCUS and COMMUNITY and a DEADLINE
    Most importantly you finish something SMALL in that day. (get used to cutting scope!)
    Incredibly fun! Get addicted to finishing!
    Plenty on locally, or also great online ones like Ludum Dare 48h game jam (3-4 times a year) or the Global Game Jam (january)
  • Train Crasher in one day. Good lesson in reducing scope (initial idea: Burnout with trains)
    Drinking Rampage in 4 hours (!)
    Seabird Plunge in one day
    So I realised the most productive I am is when I’m at a game jam. I want more game jams! But how..
  • Train Crasher in one day. Good lesson in reducing scope (initial idea: Burnout with trains)
    Drinking Rampage in 4 hours (!)
    Seabird Plunge in one day
    So I realised the most productive I am is when I’m at a game jam. I want more game jams! But how..
  • Train Crasher in one day. Good lesson in reducing scope (initial idea: Burnout with trains)
    Drinking Rampage in 4 hours (!)
    Seabird Plunge in one day
    So I realised the most productive I am is when I’m at a game jam. I want more game jams! But how..
  • Enter 1GAM. Setup by Christer Kaitila, after doing it himself the previous 12 months
    A community challenge where you are asked to FINISH a game each month
    Sort of like a series of gamejams, on your own time (but you can also combine these with actual gamejams, flexible!)
  • Went one step further. Co-founded Dublin chapter with friend & colleague Stephen Roantree
    We have a mailing list to share ideas, plus a persistent chatroom online to keep in touch with other members
    Most importantly, we meet up at the end of every month in Dublin
    To share our creations, get feedback, or just be social
    1st month was April 2013 – and we had over 10 games shown at that first meetup!!
    NEXT: some 1gam games I made
  • April: dungeon delver
    May: captains of industry
    June .. FAIL
    July: super happy pet
    August: Futility RPG
    September: … FAIL
    October: Guild of Dungeoneering
  • April: dungeon delver
    May: captains of industry
    June .. FAIL
    July: super happy pet
    August: Futility RPG
    September: … FAIL
    October: Guild of Dungeoneering
  • April: dungeon delver
    May: captains of industry
    June .. FAIL
    July: super happy pet
    August: Futility RPG
    September: … FAIL
    October: Guild of Dungeoneering
  • April: dungeon delver
    May: captains of industry
    June .. FAIL
    July: super happy pet
    August: Futility RPG
    September: … FAIL
    October: Guild of Dungeoneering
  • April: dungeon delver
    May: captains of industry
    June .. FAIL
    July: super happy pet
    August: Futility RPG
    September: … FAIL
    October: Guild of Dungeoneering
  • A bit more on this. October Challenge – make $1.
    Already got my first pre-order for $5!!
    Going to spend the next two months finishing this
    Collaborating with an art partner to make it look nice
    Becoming a ‘real’ game dev!
    NEXT: now it’s your turn
  • A bit more on this. October Challenge – make $1.
    Already got my first pre-order for $5!!
    Going to spend the next two months finishing this
    Collaborating with an art partner to make it look nice
    Becoming a ‘real’ game dev!
    NEXT: now it’s your turn
  • Why not try making something?
    Join: 1GAM dublin
    Go to a gamejam. Gamecraft Unplugged on Sun 10th in Science Gallery
    Or LD 48h in December
    Or come to dubLUDO on Fri 15th November (owen harris)
    Most of all, you can do it!!
  • Questions
  • Transcript

    • 1. Get Into Game Development Colm Larkin @gambrinous blog.gambrinous.com
    • 2. Making games has never been easier
    • 3. You can build one with just a pen and paper!
    • 4. But Don’t Do What I Did
    • 5. Fantasy Tactics Game 2008 - 2010
    • 6. Fantasy Tactics Game 2008 - 2010 Status: ABANDONED
    • 7. Fantasy Risk Game 2010 - 2012
    • 8. Fantasy Risk Game 2010 - 2012 Status: ABANDONED
    • 9. The hardest part of making games isn’t where to start but how to finish
    • 10. Game Jams!
    • 11. Some games I have made at Game Jams
    • 12. Some games I have made at Game Jams
    • 13. Some games I have made at Game Jams
    • 14. One Game A Month ‘1GAM’
    • 15. 1GAM Dublin
    • 16. 1GAM games I made this year
    • 17. 1GAM games I made this year
    • 18. 1GAM games I made this year
    • 19. 1GAM games I made this year
    • 20. 1GAM games I made this year
    • 21. Guild of Dungeoneering
    • 22. Guild of Dungeoneering
    • 23. Now it’s your turn
    • 24. Resources Twitter: @gambrinous Blog: blog.gambrinous.com 1GAM Dublin group: http://groups.google.com/group/one-game-a-month-dublin Free game art: http://www.pixelprospector.com/the-big-list-of-royalty-free-graphics/ Gamecraft Unplugged: http://dublingamecraft.com/events/gamecraft-unplugged/ Ludum Dare: http://www.ludumdare.com/ Global Game Jam: http://globalgamejam.org/