Microtalk delivered at SCREENSHAKE 2016, about my experiences with the One Game A Month challenge and some advice and tools that have made it easier for me.
(Actual content of the talk is in the notes!)
Vaida PlankyteShort form games | Graphic Design | Events at Directly Personalised
How I started, tools that I recommend and the benefits
This is the unofficial slogan of 1GAM: online challenge/bootcamp if you want, make one game a month every month for as long as you want to. No prices or rules, everyone can adapt it to their liking. It’s really about learning, experimenting and finishing games. Not about going hardcore and burning out by making an amazing game each month AND also having a day job.
I wanted to get into gamedev, never got to it due to programming being a barrier. Couldn’t force myself to learn, didn’t feel rewarding. Didn’t help: huge, unrealistic game ideas. I would start a project, write down lots of cool features i wanted, but ended up hitting a roadblock after a few days, give up.
Twitter to follow gamedevelopers - advised to participate to a gamejam (many similarities to 1GAM). I had successfully made a game. though it was a horrible one. FlappyChu (Flappy Bird Pikachu). Hitbox is horrible.
I WAS AFRAID THIS WOULD BE IT I WOULD GO BACK TO MAKING UNFINISHED THINGS. I knew of 1GAM and decided that I would try it - the format was perfect, having to make small,self-contained things, no pressure to make something perfect -- struggle with that.
Experimenting. Lack of pressure - liberating, esp if working on a large project.
remind yourself why you enjoy making games -- having a finished version at the end of a month.
3 hour text-based game to one you spend more time on -- very free-form and adaptable. what you want it to be. explore
ALSO, comparison with painting (art in general) -- artists doodle a lot, and it’s not about making something wonderful but about PRACTISE.
same with gamedev -- with 1GAM you are practising making a game from start to finish.
Doodles might not be great, but it’s not about the results, but about training your brain to more easily switch into gamedesign-mode, and as a result having more of a FEEL for what will work and what wont.
31 days of ink drawings challenge - tried it out, saw many similarities with 1GAM. Forming a HABIT, which means that it will be way easier for you to design games and especially have a subconscious feel for what will work and what won’t.
Variety of games, try new things.
A game with no visuals, in which you are a robot visiting a close friend.
A game where you explore my room and the different objects in it.
A game about a sushi place that sells gender rolls.
Some not as good as others, but I still learnt a lot from them.
YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE THAT QUALITY VARIES DURING THE MONTHS.
Saying these things I learnt not that useful, more of an impact when you learn it yourself.
Construct 2 - ew GameMaker. 2D. Super easy drag-and-drop with inbuilt behaviours for platformers, shooters. ALSO good for programmers that want to prototype something rapidly (eg. during a gamejam), as it is pretty powerful.
Twine -- Twine 2 runs right in your browser. Text-based games that export as webpages. Very easy to learn, very interesting to play with all the constraints that the tool imposes on you. Experiments with sound/images/how the links work. Can develop a concept superfast, good for narrative-based games, serve as a prototype.
FREE: Construct 2 limitations, but absolutely possible to make a respectable game without buying.
bfxr - chiptune sound effects. presets, lots of edits can be made. achieve variation.
Bosca Ceoil - proper music program for retro music again. quite simple to pick up and nice things can be made. by guy who made Super Hexagon.
freesound.org -- royalty-free music has some good things if you search for them.
indie game jams . com - I know I needed extra motivation when I started 1GAM, gamejams good for that. THEME = sense of direction, instead of starting a game completely from scratch. 15 at any pt in time - will find something for yourself.
itch.io - a great place where you can sell or just upload your games, for free. supports Construct 2 games (HTML5), Twine, Unity, downloadables. great place for finding very weird small games.
Forums - community, recently started. check it out!
Leave you with a screenshot of my blog’s landing page.