Saturday, January 09, 2016

Game Dev session 1

I thought it went reasonably well, all things considered. There are a few things we can streamline and improve, but not a bad start.

I'll have the information about the homework assignment here later.

If you want to sign up for the last nine sessions, feel free to do so. I'll send you the slides to help you catch up.



Blogger David-2 January 09, 2016 3:27 PM  

Very interesting session and I'm looking forward to the next weeks.

BTW, I thought your repeated emphasis on how game development is "a way of life" and your need for understanding support from the people in your life (aka spouse/gf/bf/kids) is essential and how you were going to have to give up other things in order to be successful was dead on and probably one of those things you were alluding to when you said you'd say things about the industry other people wouldn't and that your attendees wouldn't want to hear.

And, I'm looking forward to your complete explanation, with anecdotes, of the second of your two assertions about artists. (Not the assertion that they're the biggest expense on a game, the other one.)P

Blogger CM January 09, 2016 3:28 PM  

It was good...

It really nailed home some points for me. Like how my ambitions to be Best Mom and Housewife Ever severely interferes with Programming is Fun! Design is Fun!

Anonymous Jabari January 09, 2016 3:29 PM  

Is it possible to get the Q&A at the end (or a summary) put into a slide as well? There were a couple really good questions there and it'd be nice to have those written down someplace other than my notebook. :)

Blogger Were-Puppy January 09, 2016 3:42 PM  

Yes, it was good. For some reason, I had no chat window. Probably Ghostery.

I found it interesting you were involved in Age of Conan, as I played the heck out of that for a while. That was a strange game. The first 20 levels or so were very impressive. Then when you got out of Tortage it became more standard MMO fare. Anyway, I enjoyed it because of the source material, being a big REH fan. And any MMO that actually lets you fight instead of click and watch I like better.

I like the combat system in Neverwinter too.

If we've already provided questions and answers for the homework, will those count?

Anonymous polyhedron January 09, 2016 3:45 PM  

As more of a curious auditor, I thought it went quite well. It's always interesting to get an inside look at an industry from a veteran and we've already discussed several important points I can apply to work in my own field. Particularly looking forward to design vs production, history, and mechanics.

Tangentially, I just tried X-Kaliber 2097 a few minutes ago. That game is punishing! Even the first boss was crazy difficult. Good soundtrack, of course.

Blogger MycroftJones January 09, 2016 3:48 PM  

Please sign me up for the slides. I got AM and PM confused. Glad it went well.

Blogger Ostar January 09, 2016 4:48 PM  

My child Marsha said they really enjoyed it. "It hit all the marks and I am really looking forward to the next one."

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier January 09, 2016 5:10 PM  

Hey Vox,

As a professional teacher, I can tell you that stories and anecdotes are actually a very good way to teach. I appreciated how most points had stories to go with them. It makes things more memorable and engaging. As long as you're catching yourself and not departing on too long of a tangent it is a teaching style that usually works well.

Another student asked about aiming small because they didn't want to drop everything and switch careers (that's how I understood their question). I'm in a similar situation. I didn't quite understand your answer there.

What I have written down is that you said that all games need help, especially little ones. We could contact somebody and ask if there was anything we could do to help.

Did you mean that this was a way to slow roll into the profession? Getting a new career going before leaving the old one?

I realize I had a very wrong view of what designers do. I want to be able to build my own games to specs I've got in my head. Will this course focus more on how to create those specs in the real world?

I would actually find that very helpful. Writing my novel, I figured out that I worked differently than I'd always assumed. Outlines are much more valuable than I ever realized.

Blogger Doseux January 09, 2016 5:11 PM  

I can't take the course, but I'd buy a book based off of it if you decided to write something like that.

Anonymous Ex-pat in Oz January 09, 2016 6:16 PM  

I enjoyed it. A bit early for us in the Antipodes (4:30 AM!) but we're used to that. I liked the 'meta' approach to game dev, as opposed to getting too specific. One thing that would be helpful would be a 'who's who in the zoo' (ie. who are the various players by function in game design-- you mentioned a few key ones like designer, producer, but there must be others). Also a typical timeline for the game dev process would be most useful (ie. step 1, step 2, etc). Tks again!

Blogger VD January 09, 2016 7:49 PM  

What I have written down is that you said that all games need help, especially little ones. We could contact somebody and ask if there was anything we could do to help. Did you mean that this was a way to slow roll into the profession? Getting a new career going before leaving the old one?

Yes. In the same way volunteers help Castalia House, you can help a small game dev house. They're all over, just look around the Internet to find a project that interests you, contact them, and volunteer.

Most of them have no money and are severely understaffed. So, if you want to get experience, learn the process, and get your name on a credit, that would be a great way to go about it, particularly if you have some dev-relevant skills.

Anonymous Anonymous January 11, 2016 11:38 AM  

Supreme Dark Lord,

I am a video game programmer with shipped credits on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, and XBox One (todate) with 17 years of professional experience (with several hobbiest on top). While I have next to zero interest in herding cats (I make it my mission to get useless people on my team fired whenever and whereever I can because they inevitably cause me more work than they ever save) I would be willing to help out with *motivated* and *smart* people who are interesting in the programming aspect of video games.

I can personally disabuse people of the notion that you play games all day. If you want to be at the top of your field you will need to put in (sometimes soul crushing) OT due to any number of legitimate or assinine reasons.

Shall I mail you privately?

VFM #7242

Anonymous EH January 11, 2016 5:55 PM  

My takeaway:

Already really covered here, but there ya go.

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