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From Web to Game Development

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We describe difficulties and a learning path to approach game design and development for an experienced web developer.

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From Web to Game Development

  1. 1. From Web to Game Development Pietro Polsinelli @ppolsinelli ROME 27-28 march 2015
  2. 2. Notes from the diary of a personal voyage that is still happening. 2
  3. 3. Ambiguity in title: Isn’t web development a form of game development??? 3
  4. 4. With “web” I don’t mean games that run in the browser. Web development as creating sites and web based apps for customers. 4
  5. 5. Clarify what I mean through an example. Turn a site into a “game”: released a site for RAI encouraging teenager girls to write. 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. Has challenges, points, scoreboard. Has winners. 7
  8. 8. Create a web based app for suggesting ideas for a new fiction. Turn from passive watcher to creator. 8
  9. 9. So its almost a game. A web based game. I’m already on a good start to do game development. 9
  10. 10. Wrong.
  11. 11. Wrong.Wrong. Wrong.
  12. 12. So what is the first game you want to make? 12
  13. 13. http://bit.ly/agdArtInt http://gameinternals.com/post/2072558330/ understanding-pac-man-ghost-behavior
  14. 14. 14 No narrative. Hyper simple animations. Hyper simple space. And fixed camera, no audio sources …
  15. 15. 15 Game loops, physics, animations, AI, growing difficulty (levels), characters.
  16. 16. 16 If not a story, a sense of purpose. (Giving a sense of purpose on a web site is rarely a problem.)
  17. 17. 17 As web developer, you have no idea.
  18. 18. 18 And this is a very, very simple game.
  19. 19. The components of an opera: story, music, scenography, scenes, actors, secondary characters, drama, [pro singing / difficulty levels] 19
  20. 20. 20
  21. 21. Its actually worse. All the secondary characters are moved by AI. 21
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. You may decide to generate the scene and story each time. And so on. 23
  24. 24. As a web developer you have to acquire a whole new set of concepts to do games. 24
  25. 25. To become what? Depends on the budget, depends on the team size. From 0 to infinity and beyond. 25
  26. 26. Lets stick to the worse case: a small budget, so a small team. 26
  27. 27. Crossing the chasm • Crossing the chasm
  28. 28. You will need to acquire brand new skills along two distinct lines: as game developer and as game designer. 28
  29. 29. And the line between the two blurs the more you know about both. 29
  30. 30. Note: design in the sense of usability of UI graphic design comes after (game) design. 30
  31. 31. The game update loop.
  32. 32. Everything updates.
  33. 33. Your methods will be called 80 times per second on the same object ... instead of once per request 33
  34. 34. The independent life of your objects will be your saviour and your curse. 34
  35. 35. That is why composition is mostly used instead of inheritance. 35
  36. 36. “Breakpoints? No, you don’t use breakpoints much in Unity” 36
  37. 37. http://gameprogrammingpatterns.com/
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. The structure of space
  40. 40. Even picking the most regimented, simplified, finite solution, it’s a mess. 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. Book? Prototype. 43
  44. 44. Game Feel
  45. 45. Feel is a highly technical problem. 42240 45
  46. 46. 46
  47. 47. Material from Game Feel book examples.
  48. 48. Daniele Giardini http://www.demigiant.com/
  49. 49. See http://easings.net/en#
  50. 50. Soccer ball physics http://www.soccerballworld.com/Physics.htm
  51. 51. 53
  52. 52. Perception is a construction, and a game is a coherent universe where you may set your own laws. Ok, but… 54
  53. 53. 55 Too much creativity.
  54. 54. 56
  55. 55. Not Just Game Feel
  56. 56. Creating games today is not restricted to building arcades. Even if you are building “small” games. 58
  57. 57. 80 Days: branching universe text based, but …
  58. 58. Sunless Sea: the importance of a slow ship http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/237657/Postmort em_Failbetter_Games_Sunless_Sea.php
  59. 59. Relations and gossip: narrative! (Kardashian Hollywood)
  60. 60. Evolving the narrative dimension in a game is nor obvious nor trivial. 62
  61. 61. Example on the sublelties of these models. Representing values like “moral stance” of a character again requires refined modeling tools – not just a variable. 63
  62. 62. 64
  63. 63. And see the ensuing discussion on Reddit here http://bit.ly/nar2vars 65
  64. 64. Game Designer as Translator / Traitor
  65. 65. Game design and modeling practice trains you in translating work and learning situations in possible contexts for a game. 67
  66. 66. 68
  67. 67. Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Category, competition, avatar, war, reward, levels Vs. Inclusive, mentor, path, story, transformation A language change.
  68. 68. Participative Action Research
  69. 69. And there is way more …
  70. 70. http://greweb.me/illuminated.js/parcycle/
  71. 71. And audio, texturing, 3D modeling, particle effects … 73
  72. 72. So?
  73. 73. We’ve seen just a few of the several things to learn. So you need to be Da Vinci? 75
  74. 74. The love
  75. 75. You are creating the magic circle – a world with new rules. 77
  76. 76. With games you can dance on the line between art & the masses
  77. 77. In games you are in a highly creative environment. This even if you are designing say games for health, games for EU, like I do. 79
  78. 78. People that have been in the field for a long time do these weak attempts to present it as “just a profession like any other”. They don’t believe it either. 80
  79. 79. So … Only The Love will make you survive this ordeal. 81
  80. 80. Just consider in creativeness that you don’t need to author, you just need to let yourself be authored. You don’t need to be writer, just let yourself be written. 82
  81. 81. Little work I do in the Indie game world puts me in contact and in work pairs with real artists. Some of them don’t even know they are. 83
  82. 82. 84
  83. 83. 85
  84. 84. 86
  85. 85. Good luck love. 87
  86. 86. Special thanks: Daniele Giardini for ideas & feedback http://www.demigiant.com/
  87. 87. My twitter stream is mostly dedicated to game design http://twitter.com/ppolsinelli A blog on game design http://designagame.eu 89

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