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@cattsmall@cattsmall
From Consumer
to Creator:
Making Games
@cattsmall
I’m Catt Small.
I like video games A LOT!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
● Game developer (solo, Brooklyn Gamery,
Buttered Toast Studios)
● Teacher & event organizer (The Cod...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Played games as a kid
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Made dress up dolls
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Collaborated with friends
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Made game jam games
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Making weird stuff!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
At the beginning,
game dev was
a mystery
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Is this it???
Game Dev Story, Kairosoft
@cattsmall
My first #GGJ
(2012)
@cattsmall@cattsmall
I knew nothing about
making games
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Kirby, © Nintendo
I was the artist
@cattsmall@cattsmall
We had huge aspirations
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Our game was pretty bad...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
But we made
SOMETHING,
& that ROCKED.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned:
YOLO, just do it.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
The next year,
I took a break from GGJ
to improve my skills.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Went to more jams & hackathons
Prism Shell
Hexapong Teledoor
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Joined Code Liberation
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned:
Polished games come
from a lot of practice.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned:
It’s okay to fail if you
learn from that failure.
@cattsmall
My second #GGJ
(2014)
@cattsmall@cattsmall
I knew more about
making games
@cattsmall@cattsmall
We made a finished game!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
It didn’t win
any awards.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
But it got a lot of
positive responses.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Yay!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
It was shown!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
It was memorable.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned:
Jamming is about self-
improvement,
not winning.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned:
Keep working on your
game if you think
it has potential.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned:
Advocate for yourself
and you’ll get heard.
@cattsmall
Other tips for you!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Games are made
of several things...
most of the time.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
● Characters: beings with which player(s)
interact
● Mechanics/Rules: systems that determine
how play...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
You don’t need all
(or any) of these.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Not a programmer?
You can do other
important things.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
● Sound design (SFX, music)
● Art (characters, level, menus)
● Game design (levels, systems, logic)
●...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
There is something
for everyone.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
● Game art: www.opengameart.org
● Sound effects: www.grsites.com/archive/sounds
● Sound effects and m...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Remember to
make a plan.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Try not to jump
right into code.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Sketching
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Paper prototyping
http://mondaybeginsonsaturday.com/2012/02/29/paper-prototyping/
@cattsmall@cattsmall
This will help you
stay on track.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
We are now living in
the era of accessible
game development.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
GameMaker Studio
GameMaker Studio, Yoyo Games.
image credit: gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Construct 2
Construct 2, Scirra
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Unity
Unity Engine, Unity Technologies
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Construct 2
@cattsmall@cattsmall
And more!
Twine, Scratch,
Stencyl, RPGMaker,
openFrameworks,
Processing...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Pick whatever gets
the job done.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Dream big, but
start small.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Make the important parts work
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Evaluate nice-to-have
features later
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Put the fancy stuff
in when you can.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
If something isn’t working,
pivot ASAP.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Don’t waste 3/4 of
the jam getting a
feature to work.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Confused about something?
That’s normal.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
No one should
judge you for
needing help.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Everyone does this!
Google is your best friend.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
saintpetersblog.com
Rubber duck method
@cattsmall@cattsmall
If you can,
playtest your game.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Watch people play
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Solve frustrating problems
@cattsmall@cattsmall
You only need
FIVE PEOPLE.- "A mathematical model of the finding of usability problems"
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Work hard.
Sleep well.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Take naps.
Dorkly
@cattsmall@cattsmall
If you stay awake
for too long,
your code will suck.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Remember that
games don’t have
to be “fun”.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Fear
Amnesia, © Frictional Games
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Joy
Rayman Legends, © Frictional Games
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Sadness
Contrast, © Compulsion Games
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Excitement
Prism Shell, © Brooklyn Gamery
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Games are about
MEMORABLE
EXPERIENCES.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Most importantly...
がんばれ!
(do your best!)
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Don’t leave if your
game doesn’t get
100% finished.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Stay and learn from
what others make.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
In summary:
● Put the polish in later.
● You don’t have to be a programmer!
● Ask for help and test y...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Questions?
Comments?
Tweet @cattsmall
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Thank you!
Think of questions later?
Tweet @cattsmall
Email catt@cattsmall.com
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RVA #GGJ15 Keynote Talk - From Consumer to Creator: Making Games

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In my 2015 Global Game Jam keynote at UVC, I talked about my experience at jams and shared advice for people who are interested in making games.

Published in: Software
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RVA #GGJ15 Keynote Talk - From Consumer to Creator: Making Games

  1. 1. @cattsmall@cattsmall From Consumer to Creator: Making Games
  2. 2. @cattsmall I’m Catt Small. I like video games A LOT!
  3. 3. @cattsmall@cattsmall ● Game developer (solo, Brooklyn Gamery, Buttered Toast Studios) ● Teacher & event organizer (The Code Liberation Foundation) ● Product Designer (SoundCloud) ● Illustrator, student, etc. About me:
  4. 4. @cattsmall@cattsmall Played games as a kid
  5. 5. @cattsmall@cattsmall Made dress up dolls
  6. 6. @cattsmall@cattsmall Collaborated with friends
  7. 7. @cattsmall@cattsmall Made game jam games
  8. 8. @cattsmall@cattsmall Making weird stuff!
  9. 9. @cattsmall@cattsmall At the beginning, game dev was a mystery
  10. 10. @cattsmall@cattsmall Is this it??? Game Dev Story, Kairosoft
  11. 11. @cattsmall My first #GGJ (2012)
  12. 12. @cattsmall@cattsmall I knew nothing about making games
  13. 13. @cattsmall@cattsmall Kirby, © Nintendo I was the artist
  14. 14. @cattsmall@cattsmall We had huge aspirations
  15. 15. @cattsmall@cattsmall Our game was pretty bad...
  16. 16. @cattsmall@cattsmall But we made SOMETHING, & that ROCKED.
  17. 17. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned: YOLO, just do it.
  18. 18. @cattsmall@cattsmall The next year, I took a break from GGJ to improve my skills.
  19. 19. @cattsmall@cattsmall Went to more jams & hackathons Prism Shell Hexapong Teledoor
  20. 20. @cattsmall@cattsmall Joined Code Liberation
  21. 21. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned: Polished games come from a lot of practice.
  22. 22. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned: It’s okay to fail if you learn from that failure.
  23. 23. @cattsmall My second #GGJ (2014)
  24. 24. @cattsmall@cattsmall I knew more about making games
  25. 25. @cattsmall@cattsmall We made a finished game!
  26. 26. @cattsmall@cattsmall It didn’t win any awards.
  27. 27. @cattsmall@cattsmall But it got a lot of positive responses.
  28. 28. @cattsmall@cattsmall Yay!
  29. 29. @cattsmall@cattsmall It was shown!
  30. 30. @cattsmall@cattsmall It was memorable.
  31. 31. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned: Jamming is about self- improvement, not winning.
  32. 32. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned: Keep working on your game if you think it has potential.
  33. 33. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned: Advocate for yourself and you’ll get heard.
  34. 34. @cattsmall Other tips for you!
  35. 35. @cattsmall@cattsmall Games are made of several things... most of the time.
  36. 36. @cattsmall@cattsmall ● Characters: beings with which player(s) interact ● Mechanics/Rules: systems that determine how player(s) interact with the game ● Goal: what the player(s) must do to finish the game ● Story: narrative driving the game’s goal & rules What makes up most games:
  37. 37. @cattsmall@cattsmall You don’t need all (or any) of these.
  38. 38. @cattsmall@cattsmall Not a programmer? You can do other important things.
  39. 39. @cattsmall@cattsmall ● Sound design (SFX, music) ● Art (characters, level, menus) ● Game design (levels, systems, logic) ● Writing (story, menus, instructions) Some other roles:
  40. 40. @cattsmall@cattsmall There is something for everyone.
  41. 41. @cattsmall@cattsmall ● Game art: www.opengameart.org ● Sound effects: www.grsites.com/archive/sounds ● Sound effects and music: www.freesound.org Free resources:
  42. 42. @cattsmall@cattsmall Remember to make a plan.
  43. 43. @cattsmall@cattsmall Try not to jump right into code.
  44. 44. @cattsmall@cattsmall Sketching
  45. 45. @cattsmall@cattsmall Paper prototyping http://mondaybeginsonsaturday.com/2012/02/29/paper-prototyping/
  46. 46. @cattsmall@cattsmall This will help you stay on track.
  47. 47. @cattsmall@cattsmall We are now living in the era of accessible game development.
  48. 48. @cattsmall@cattsmall GameMaker Studio GameMaker Studio, Yoyo Games. image credit: gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com
  49. 49. @cattsmall@cattsmall Construct 2 Construct 2, Scirra
  50. 50. @cattsmall@cattsmall Unity Unity Engine, Unity Technologies
  51. 51. @cattsmall@cattsmall Construct 2
  52. 52. @cattsmall@cattsmall And more! Twine, Scratch, Stencyl, RPGMaker, openFrameworks, Processing...
  53. 53. @cattsmall@cattsmall Pick whatever gets the job done.
  54. 54. @cattsmall@cattsmall Dream big, but start small.
  55. 55. @cattsmall@cattsmall Make the important parts work
  56. 56. @cattsmall@cattsmall Evaluate nice-to-have features later
  57. 57. @cattsmall@cattsmall Put the fancy stuff in when you can.
  58. 58. @cattsmall@cattsmall If something isn’t working, pivot ASAP.
  59. 59. @cattsmall@cattsmall Don’t waste 3/4 of the jam getting a feature to work.
  60. 60. @cattsmall@cattsmall Confused about something? That’s normal.
  61. 61. @cattsmall@cattsmall No one should judge you for needing help.
  62. 62. @cattsmall@cattsmall Everyone does this! Google is your best friend.
  63. 63. @cattsmall@cattsmall saintpetersblog.com Rubber duck method
  64. 64. @cattsmall@cattsmall If you can, playtest your game.
  65. 65. @cattsmall@cattsmall Watch people play
  66. 66. @cattsmall@cattsmall Solve frustrating problems
  67. 67. @cattsmall@cattsmall You only need FIVE PEOPLE.- "A mathematical model of the finding of usability problems"
  68. 68. @cattsmall@cattsmall Work hard. Sleep well.
  69. 69. @cattsmall@cattsmall Take naps. Dorkly
  70. 70. @cattsmall@cattsmall If you stay awake for too long, your code will suck.
  71. 71. @cattsmall@cattsmall Remember that games don’t have to be “fun”.
  72. 72. @cattsmall@cattsmall Fear Amnesia, © Frictional Games
  73. 73. @cattsmall@cattsmall Joy Rayman Legends, © Frictional Games
  74. 74. @cattsmall@cattsmall Sadness Contrast, © Compulsion Games
  75. 75. @cattsmall@cattsmall Excitement Prism Shell, © Brooklyn Gamery
  76. 76. @cattsmall@cattsmall Games are about MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES.
  77. 77. @cattsmall@cattsmall Most importantly... がんばれ! (do your best!)
  78. 78. @cattsmall@cattsmall Don’t leave if your game doesn’t get 100% finished.
  79. 79. @cattsmall@cattsmall Stay and learn from what others make.
  80. 80. @cattsmall@cattsmall In summary: ● Put the polish in later. ● You don’t have to be a programmer! ● Ask for help and test your game. ● Listen to your body and sleep as needed. ● Games don’t need to be fun, but should convey memorable experiences. ● Don’t give up – push through & learn!
  81. 81. @cattsmall@cattsmall Questions? Comments? Tweet @cattsmall
  82. 82. @cattsmall@cattsmall Thank you! Think of questions later? Tweet @cattsmall Email catt@cattsmall.com

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