What did you learn?

Member
Posts: 328
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #16
This is a very cool thread indeed -- it sounds like the participants all got something out of it, even if they didn't win. It also makes me feel guilty because I wasn't able to play the games until a couple days before the voting deadline, and even then I didn't post feedback. If I'm not a participant (oh but I hope I can be!) then I really would like to be a part of the feedback process to help everyone out a little before the contest :-) Great bunch of games, everyone -- it was a lot of fun, and I can't wait until next year Wink
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Member
Posts: 204
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #17
Just a few quick ones:

[list=1]
[*] Especially when you get a brand new Mac, make sure you spend enough time running on your old machine. Its really easy to fool yourself into thinking your code is fast and efficient when running on a 1 GHz G4 instead of the 333 MHz G3

[*] Although it is generally good to create code with an eye towards future use, sometimes it is also more advantageous to code the simpler, more restrictive method instead (specific example is the polygonal collision code... making a few assumptions about the structures or even using simple bounding boxes would have lessened the flexibility of the code but improved the performance and lessened the amount of time spent).

[*] It's cool to have a musician, even one who has never made game music before or is even that knowledgable about computers. She simply wanted to make music, and more importantly needed something to want to make music for!

[*] Platformers are much harder to make than I originally thought it would be. I thought things would be easier this year if I made a platformer, HA!
[/list=1]

Cheers,
Rocco
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Superpig
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Post: #18
1. Don't enter the competition if you don't have your own Mac. Uhm, I'll see what I can do on this come next year. Smile

2. Don't rush the packaging.
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Hugh Rayner
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Post: #19
1. Get one or more other people to help me make the game.

2. Get people to actually download/test/vote for/comment on the game.

3. Don't make a puzzle game because people don't seem to like them. Sad

4. Vote for own game.
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Apprentice
Posts: 7
Joined: 2007.02
Post: #20
What did I learn ?

It's hard for me to make really simple, elegant gameplay that makes it immediately obvious to the player what to do. I hope I get better at this!
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Oldtimer
Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #21
Quote:Platformers are much harder to make than I originally thought it would be.

I hear you big-time. They are nightmares! Smile

Although I dropped out (twice) I still have a small piece of wisdom for you all:

Take pride in this. Never forget it.

You finished a game. Hook over the FlipCode Image of the Day archive People do incredible stuff there, and it's easy to feel really bad about oneself when you see what's up there. But, remember: 95% of what's iotd'ed is tech demos or half-finished games. As far as getting into the industry goes, having finished something is lightyears further than a tech demo. Be proud, grasshopper.

Now, send your uDG IOTD:s! Smile
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Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 2005.04
Post: #22
Well, I have to write a post-mortem, so you can learn it all then. But...

Gaichu finished 5th in Polish, 8th in Sound, 11th in Graphics, 15th in Gameplay, 23rd in Originality, and 10th Overall. This tells me two things: 1) Voters don't know original games. Argonaut, Detox, Lightning's Shadow, Primate Plunge, and WMD are all clones of popular games and scored higher in originality. I'm not saying that Gaichu should be voted higher, I'm saying that those games should be voted lower than 3s for being clones, and they weren't. 2) Voters wouldn't know good gameplay if it bit them on the ass. Wink

Other things:

- It's hard as hell to get comments for your game. I've gotten more comments *after* the contest was over than in the entire three months before voting started. And I've had my comments thread up since August. Next year I'm keeping hostages in my basement and forcing them to comment.

- When you actually get said comments they're usually good advice.

- Three months isn't too short to develop a decent game.

- I'm cheating next year.
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Moderator
Posts: 365
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #23
One other point of interest: it seems that it's possible to do quite well even if you do no promotion whatsoever. I thought that as others were putting up news items, impressive uDG pages and amazing personal web sites, my game would pale into insignificance because no-one would notice it. Clearly the voters are prepared to take the time to try the entries even when they've never heard of them before. Good for them!

Quote:Originally posted by Fenris
You finished a game. [...] ...having finished something is lightyears further than a tech demo.

Finished? More than a tech demo? Whoops. Wink

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Moderator
Posts: 435
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #24
Quote:Originally posted by Bachus
Gaichu finished 5th in Polish, 8th in Sound, 11th in Graphics, 15th in Gameplay, 23rd in Originality, and 10th Overall.


Where did you get the overall rankings and scores from?

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Moderator
Posts: 113
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #25
Quote:Originally posted by NCarter
One other point of interest: it seems that it's possible to do quite well even if you do no promotion whatsoever. I thought that as others were putting up news items, impressive uDG pages and amazing personal web sites, my game would pale into insignificance because no-one would notice it. Clearly the voters are prepared to take the time to try the entries even when they've never heard of them before. Good for them!

Finished? More than a tech demo? Whoops. Wink

Yeah...but it still kicks ass. The game has potential to become a really cool game where the player has to wipe out the enemies that have infested the cities. Throw in a little story, 10 different stage settings, 10 more enemies, and some big bosses and that's that. (I've really only spent 5 minutes with each game and if your game has these things already forgive me.)

I also really like the over-pixelated look and you have very easy controls. The gameplay and moves can very easily flow into a DragonBallZ game. Use that tech demo and push it to the big boys Wink

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
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Member
Posts: 164
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #26
I just split the lightmap/optimization posts into the OpenGL and 3d forum
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BobimusPrime
Unregistered
 
Post: #27
I see that my original post which was addressing what I learned in the uDevGame 2003 competition got taken from the "What did you learn?" thread in uDevGame 2003 and placed in an optimization thread for OpenGL. That's very interesting.

Maybe you should toss my response to Matt's post in that thread as well considering that's where his post currently is. (Thanks for fixing this Smile )
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Nibbie
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009.01
Post: #28
all to often I got bored with Y3K and so skipped it to work on games I cared about. Next time I will try to pick a game I care about and then work on that.
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #29
Quote:- I'm cheating next year.

I hope this is a joke. If not, coming from a winner, and a game that did well in the contest, I am extremely dissappointed.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Member
Posts: 142
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #30
I figured I might as well start here since I have to write a post-mortem.

On the subject of voting:

Place a link to voting in the game itself. This is for two reasons:

The first is you'll get many more votes, meaning less from uDG contestants who may be inclined to vote a bit lower on games to increase there own vote (not accusing anyone, just human nature). We tracked voting links on our website. Of the 223 people we directed to the uDG voting page, 205 were directed from a link in the game itself.

The second reason is that the voters you get will be more inclined to vote favorably. By putting the link in the game itself, you can be assured that a larger percentage of people voting for your game were actually able to get the game running. By refraining from adding the in game voting link until the voting starts you are also much more likely to get voters who have played the most recent version.

On Playing Nice With Other Toys:

Pause the game when in windowed mode and the application is not the foremost application. If you can, avoid even redrawing the screen, this puts CPU usage down. People like being able to switch back and forth between chatting and your game without being blown to smithereens.

On Teams:

If you have an artist, don't spend lots of time making your coder art. I spent hours making my horrible photoshop art, and in the end very little of it remained in the game.

If you don't have an Artist, get one!

Be nice to your team, share your wealth! Last year I gave my musician the Harmon Kardon speaker set we won out of uDG. This year I'm giving him Reason 4.5 (if we can get it). I also promised him (sarcastically at the time since I thought it was an impossibility) I'd buy him an iSight if we won first place. Well we did, and I'm keeping my word. Sharing profits, even if you can just say "if we win I'll give you..." helps team motivation.

Listen to your team. Your team is best critique of your work. They are both familiar, so aren't afraid to tell you you're not the king of the world, and they've tested the game more than anyone else (besides yourself). It's hard to bend from your will. I originally had Argonaut as a non-scrolling game where you're ship would wrap around the screen. I eventually bent under the pressure of my team and a few others and made it scrolling.
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