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Pre-release Offroad Mania: How I increased Steam wishlist

2020.01.30 10:14 activegamesbox Pre-release Offroad Mania: How I increased Steam wishlist

Pre-release Offroad Mania: How I increased Steam wishlist

Offroad Mania on Steam

I big fan of cars. And so I (with my brother) made a simulator game about off-road driving with good physics (I think).
Offroad Mania

Pre-release Offroad Mania: How I increased Steam wishlist

1. Select the correct release date(!)
I'm going to release my game "Offroad Mania" on Steam Feb 10, 2020.
I selected this date because there no AAA releases, no any same game releases (about cars), no big SALEs on Steam at this moment.
It is necessary that after the release took 30 days to get to the SPRING SALE (Steam have only 4 big sales, one per season). It's very important(!).
I want to improve the game, but it depends on the success of sales. Now I need as much as possible wishlist. I think you understand how it works. Add to your wishlist (look to the top ☝️), it's really will help to me.
If you will have many wishes it's increase your chance add game into category "New and trends" (automatically by Steam algorithm). It's very important. VERY IMPORTANT(!). Therefore, I tell what do below.
2. Send the game page on the review as soon as possible.
Because: 1) you will get a public link to the page that you can use for marketing; 2) Steam will begin to display a banner of your game on the pages of other projects (below).
Hint: I made this picture so I can easily place it on any website, forum, social network, etc.

Offroad Mania on Steam
3. Add the correct tags.
Each tag is a link, which Steam will use for search similar games. Search uses the first 15 tags, to display similar games Steam use the first 20 tags.
I took a tags from similar game. And I added a few new ones (look here https://store.steampowered.com/tag/browse/#global_492).
My tags:
Indie, Racing, Simulation, Casual, Sports, Controller, Physics, Driving, Automobile Sim, Offroad, Singleplayer, Sandbox, Third Person, First-Person, Exploration, Addictive, Adventure, Difficult, Family Friendly, Realistic, Atmospheric, Arcade.
Some say that it is necessary to ask people to choose the right-necessary tags.
4. Make developers page.
There will be links to all of your sports, news, etc.
5. Make free keys for press/beta-testers(!).
I give some keys for youtubers.
6. Use youtubers for game review.
Use free press-keys for this. I searched some channels with reviews of similar games (Pure Rock Crawling, Offroad Outlaws) with maximum views and many subscribers through YouTube.
My youtubers:
Xofroggy, SLAPTrain, Xpertgamingtech, tc9700gaming, Bay Area Buggs, Jimmy Broadbent, ElectroHopper, SpeirsTheAmazingHD, Drae, GrayStillPlays, Jeff Favignano, WhyBeAre, Cristineltr, Elite Rejects, Neilogical, Crash Hard, DieselDesigns Gaming, Ganja Gaming, Jimmy Dali, Cooper Channel, ConstructionSimulator2 FAN, Powerful Cars, Arthur and Simone Chapman, ASMR RelaxingGaming, Square2448, Automotive Game Freaks, Ross de Boss, Raccoon 28, JonoZ, Rusty Dog, SimRacing Life, OG Wonka, Cedus, iBraap, Cunnigan, CodexGT540m, SD1ONE, Hindustan Gamer, handige harry, Play4Games.
I still wait review from them, but maybe not all will make. I think it depends on the interest of my game for them.
Big thanks for Xofroggy(!) because he find some glitches and be first who made gameplay video on Youtube.

Big thanks for Xofroggy(!)
7. Use Steam curators for game review.
Keys for curators will make automatically when you send request for review trough Steam panel.
You can see all curators here https://store.steampowered.com/curators/topcurators/
Steam help to find curators (need to select tags, platform, language settings). I used tag "Automobile Sim".
Steam allows you to write only to 100 curators (the keys are automatically).
Hint: Use 50 before release and 50 after.
Because after game release, many curators will (I hope) ask you the keys. The easiest way use the Steam Curators page.
My curators:
Better Play This, IndieGO, Fun Fab Game Reviews, GiZmO GaMeR, Steaⅿ Ⅰlluminati, MAGIC FROG`S GAMES, Freaks Community, Hyptronic's Game Empire, Big in Japan ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), The Killing Reviews, MyIndieWishlist, LOVE❤Games, Club Games Reviewer, Foures Army, Review Score Pollution™, Best of driving games, Better Play This, Indie MEGABOOTH, Check'n Games, Get Games Cheap, Hookups, IndieGames, Yes/No, YES / NO, PC Gamer, Critiquing Doge, GrabTheGames, Indie Games Group, Indie Champions, Indie Diamonds, IndiePromo, True Reviews English Edition, Designer Plays, GamingTaylor, Rebbet recommends, True Reviews, Gaming Grandma, Mixe Games, ReviewExperts, IndieGems, Original Curators Group, Razors Edge Urath Online Saga, True Game Truths, Bruce's Batcave, Devious Picks, Sim UK, Doges 'R' Us, GameGator, Simulatoren Welt, German_Gamer_Community, Шуршалки.
Most in English, some in Russian and German (are big fans of simulators).
8. Make GIFs(!).
Because animated gifs much more clickable. And just it's cool.

Animated GIF
or
Static PNG
Hint: https://ezgif.com/maker
9. Maybe I'll use service Keymailer and Woovit.
About service: "Hassle-free Key Distribution for Video Games". I give the keys, they do reviews.
10. Create own youtube channel and add gameplay video.
My Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/useactivegamesbox/
11. Create facebook account and add information about your game.
My Facebook: facebook[com]/activegamesbox/
12. Create twitter account and add information about your game. Follow to other game developers, youtubers etc.
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/activegames
13. Create own discord channel for your community. It's really important for build fan's community.
My discord: https://discord.gg/S7qpVaB
14. Create account on other sites and add information about your game.
My Instagram: instagram.com/activegamesbox/
My Pinterest: pinterest.com/activegamesbox
15. Create account and add game to IndieDB.
  1. Add video, screenshots, game description, link to Steam.
  2. Write articles(!). Because the articles are automatically placed on the main page and get a lot of views.
At first, I wrote a long article, but then I thought it would be best 2 times to get to the main page and made 2 part (Pre-release/After release). Plus, people do not really like long texts (especially without pictures).
16. Use reddit(!)
Big audience. Most popular site (#11 in USA). Enough.
I want to add this article to reddit.
Hint: gamedev, devblogs, IndieGaming, gamedevscreens, playmygame, GamePhysics
17. Use forum of your game engine/technology (if you made game on it).
I use Armory3d and add game theme to forum Offroad Mania on Armory3d forum
Information: "Armory is an open-source engine for creating 3D-enabled software."
Also I used html5gamedevs.com because first made demo-version on HTML5.
Topic Offroad Mania on html5gamedevs.com
18. Use forums for game developers (indie).
I added topic on TIGSource "Offroad Mania [PC Windows] - free keys for feedback"
Hint: add comments to push up the topic.
19. Use image boards.
Read article "How to go viral on Imgur and how to convert traffic into wishlist on Steam!".
20. Use Kongregate.
Kongregate have own store Kartridge. But there big audience and you can find gamers by tags ("racing" etc.) and send them Steam link. Be carefully, because it's like SPAM...
I like kongregate, newgrounds, armorgames and many old sites, because many years we make flash games.
But flash has been buried by monopoles with their mobile stores. Just a fact. R.I.P.
21. Use Linked.in
I wrote an article about my game with gif image and link to Steam page.
22. Keep track of statistics to know what methods are best.
Important: Wishlist statistics updated once a day (today you can see yesterday data).
23. Read other articles(!).
Strongly recommended.
My experience marketing my game on Steam tips and
When non-game dev friends add onto your game idea
Articles about Steam on Gamasutra
Steam marketing video on Youtube
Steam before release video on Youtube
24. Ask EVERYONE to add your game to Steam Wishlist(!).
Your family, neighbors, colleagues, friends, youtubers, followers, subscribers, your cat and dog :)
25. Use intuition and be sure to keep a positive attitude(!)
Strongly recommended.

To be continued

Thank you for reading and likes 👍
submitted by activegamesbox to gamedev [link] [comments]


2020.01.24 06:20 EL_CONQUEROR Collection of Evidence

I'm pretty new to this hunt, but by looking around I've seen some connections so I'm just going to put them into a post. Hopefully this helps. Also, keep in mind this could be false information. I'm just summarizing sources.
  1. It is a farming game where a man kills his wife and have to hide the body from the cops
  2. It was a top down farming sim
  3. It is in the style of Harvest Moon, some also compare it to Stardew Valley
  4. It had pixel art, but cutscenes were a different art style than than main game
  5. It was from 2000-2006, most say 2001-2003
  6. It was a downloadable game
  7. It wasn't from RPG Maker
  8. It was downloaded from uTorrent (or some other torrent, uTorrent was created in 2006), ashnbones, or in PC Gamer magazine
  9. Some people say they played it on Newgrounds or Kongregate, others are 100% sure it was downloaded so there may have been two versions/two very similar games
  10. It was originally German, and had German, Japanese, and (broken) English versions
  11. There is an old dude with a grey/white bread (not sure if this is the playable character)
  12. Possible names are "Ashen Farms", "Dirt Nap", "The Side of the Dirt", "The Other Side of the Dirt"
  13. There was a fishing minigame
  14. It could be related to "Moment of Silence" released in 2004 by House of Tales
  15. It sounds similar to the novel 1922 by Stephen King
  16. It may have been a mod/spinoff of Harvest Moon
Original Post - [?][?] This game was kind of like Harvest Moon, 30 Apr 2016, sparta213. Apparently someone has contacted sparta213 and they are going to get a copy of the game soon.
I know almost nothing about this game. All I can remember is that it's kind of like Harvest Moon but with a dark twist. The game starts out with you and your wife, one night you get in to a fight and you end up stabbing her to death. Now the game revolves around you farming to stay alive while trying to keep the town from finding out about the "incident" that happened. Every now and then the cops come to search your house and you have to hide her corpse.
Edit: I have no recollection of what console this game was for or when it came out. I know that it was released after 2000. I know this is so vague but it's really hard to remember something you forgot! Also it had to be before mid - early 2015. Graphics were not 3D. I'm 100% sure it wasn't a browser game.
[PC] Evil farming game, 17 Dec 2018, DavidSpadeAMA
There was this game I used to have downloaded in about 2006, before I upgraded my computer and lost it. It was a farming, Stardew Valley style of game, where you murder your wife, and then you try and pretend you never killed her, and that was the whole game, keep farming and make sure no one finds out you killed her. There was fishing minigame, and I specifically remember fishing up evidence of your wife’s murder and then you pass out.
Edit: It wasn’t pretending to be a kids game, it wasn’t RPG Maker and I got it off some indie devs website. There were screens between each “day” that showed the date (in the game) and one of the characters was an old dude with a white beard.
Notable comment by OP
Oh wow, I thought I was the only one. Not mentioned in that post was the pixel art gameplay and weird cutscenes in a different art style.
It was downloaded off some shoddy indie devs website, that also had a ton of graphic liveleak style videos to download. The name was so out there that I can’t think of what it was. It might have started with “Ash” and then kept going but that might have been another site.
Avoiding the police after killing your wife, living a normal life., 29 Dec 2018, udunmeabamboozle
Hi all, first time posting here. Today I found my old laptop but sadly it won’t boot up. But it brought back some great memories. Particularly a game I’m about to describe.
So at the start of the game you killed your wife, but after that you just lived as normal managing your farm. However, it had a twist. The police could come at anytime and find the body, so you had to constantly be wary and move the body.
The laptop was built in 2001 and I bought a new one in 2003 so it would have been between that time. It wasn’t a browser game, and I think I may have gotten it from uTorrent, but cannot remember tbh.
Hope this is enough info. And many thanks.
[a bunch of edits about a failed laptop/hard drive recovery]
Notable comment summarizing the "OG 3" (my nickname for the three first posts)
Alright so I made some pointers for people who want to hunt this damn game down. These are taken from all three threads:
Freeware
Similar to Harvest Moon/Stardew Valley
Pixel art gameplay, but cutscenes are in a different artstyle
Farming is the main focus
Protagonist is married
One night, protagonist gets into a fight with his wife and stabs her to death
Rest of the game consists of farming to stay alive, keeping the town from knowing about the murder
Cops occasionally show up to search the protagonist's house while he tries to hide his wife's corpse
Released between 2000-2003
Was available to download on an indie dev's website, which was also hosting graphic (presumably gore centric) videos, website name might of started with "Ash"
Not 3D
Not a browseflash game
Has dialog
Fishing minigame, fishes up evidence of the murder, resulting in the protagonist passing out
NOT Moirai
Not an RPG Maker game
Transitions between each day showing the in-game date
One character is an old guy with a white beard
I'll edit if there's anything else that needs to be mentioned
https://www.reddit.com/tipofmyjoystick/comments/epquhq/has_there_been_an_update_on_the_farming_game/fel81xv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x
https://www.reddit.com/SomeOrdinaryGmrs/comments/epsyo2/big_rabbit_hole_on_rtipofmyjoystick/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
Really good collection of comments from Nexpo vid
https://i.imgur.com/PMGvyTv.png - ashbones
https://i.imgur.com/LDqB16U.png - fishing minigame
https://i.imgur.com/alteyrB.png - video game magazine in austria, possibly german game
https://i.imgur.com/jfDBgGY.png - clashing art in cut scenes
https://i.imgur.com/8pEcw4E.png - someone found the game Ashen Farms (probably fake, I will check if the comment has been upated
https://i.imgur.com/mvkL392.png - "Moment of Silencee" (2004, by House of Tales)
https://i.imgur.com/tOjEwly.png - google search for "the other side of dirt" spiked in 2004, very promising
https://i.imgur.com/NWtFcM0.png - another mention of "the other side of dirt"
EDIT: here is another possible magazine it was in
EDIT: this thread has a lot of info about a game called "reap and sow" from gamejolt.com that could be the game
EDIT: this thread suggests the game Dink Smallwood, a lot of other people also say it might be a modded version.
EDIT: this thread on the Dink Smallwood forum pretty much disproves that theory
EDIT: this is a similar summary post to mine on the steamgifts forum, goes more in depth on the OG 3
EDIT: I'm going to go to bed, if I find anything else interesting I will add it here
submitted by EL_CONQUEROR to ThatEvilFarmingGame [link] [comments]


2020.01.23 13:23 activegamesbox Pre-release Offroad Mania: How I increased Steam wishlist

Pre-release Offroad Mania: How I increased Steam wishlist

Offroad Mania

I big fan of cars. And so I (with my brother) made a simulator game about off-road driving with good physics (I think).
Add to your wishlist: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1222040/Offroad_Mania/ Thank you!

Offroad Mania

Pre-release Offroad Mania: How I increased Steam wishlist

1. Select the correct release date(!)
I'm going to release my game "Offroad Mania" on Steam Feb 10, 2020.
I selected this date because there no AAA releases, no any same game releases (about cars), no big SALEs on Steam at this moment.
It is necessary that after the release took 30 days to get to the SPRING SALE (Steam have only 4 big sales, one per season). It's very important(!).
I want to improve the game, but it depends on the success of sales. Now I need as much as possible wishlist. I think you understand how it works. Add to your wishlist (look to the top ☝️), it's really will help to me.
If you will have many wishes it's increase your chance add game into category "New and trends" (automatically by Steam algorithm). It's very important. VERY IMPORTANT(!). Therefore, I tell what do below.
2. Send the game page on the review as soon as possible.
Because: 1) you will get a public link to the page that you can use for marketing; 2) Steam will begin to display a banner of your game on the pages of other projects (below).
Hint: I made this picture so I can easily place it on any website, forum, social network, etc.

Offroad Mania on Steam
3. Add the correct tags.
Each tag is a link, which Steam will use for search similar games. Search uses the first 15 tags, to display similar games Steam use the first 20 tags.
I took a tags from similar game. And I added a few new ones (look here https://store.steampowered.com/tag/browse/#global_492).
My tags:
Indie, Racing, Simulation, Casual, Sports, Controller, Physics, Driving, Automobile Sim, Offroad, Singleplayer, Sandbox, Third Person, First-Person, Exploration, Addictive, Adventure, Difficult, Family Friendly, Realistic, Atmospheric, Arcade.
Some say that it is necessary to ask people to choose the right-necessary tags.
4. Make developers page.
There will be links to all of your sports, news, etc.
5. Make free keys for press/beta-testers(!).
I give some keys for youtubers.
6. Use youtubers for game review.
Use free press-keys for this. I searched some channels with reviews of similar games (Pure Rock Crawling, Offroad Outlaws) with maximum views and many subscribers through YouTube.
My youtubers:
Xofroggy, SLAPTrain, Xpertgamingtech, tc9700gaming, Bay Area Buggs, Jimmy Broadbent, ElectroHopper, SpeirsTheAmazingHD, Drae, GrayStillPlays, Jeff Favignano, WhyBeAre, Cristineltr, Elite Rejects, Neilogical, Crash Hard, DieselDesigns Gaming, Ganja Gaming, Jimmy Dali, Cooper Channel, ConstructionSimulator2 FAN, Powerful Cars, Arthur and Simone Chapman, ASMR RelaxingGaming, Square2448, Automotive Game Freaks, Ross de Boss, Raccoon 28, JonoZ, Rusty Dog, SimRacing Life, OG Wonka, Cedus, iBraap, Cunnigan, CodexGT540m, SD1ONE, Hindustan Gamer, handige harry, Play4Games.
I still wait review from them, but maybe not all will make. I think it depends on the interest of my game for them.
Big thanks for Xofroggy(!) because he find some glitches and be first who made gameplay video on Youtube.

Big thanks for Xofroggy(!)
7. Use Steam curators for game review.
Keys for curators will make automatically when you send request for review trough Steam panel.
You can see all curators here https://store.steampowered.com/curators/topcurators/
Steam help to find curators (need to select tags, platform, language settings). I used tag "Automobile Sim".
Steam allows you to write only to 100 curators (the keys are automatically).
Hint: Use 50 before release and 50 after.
Because after game release, many curators will (I hope) ask you the keys. The easiest way use the Steam Curators page.
My curators:
Better Play This, IndieGO, Fun Fab Game Reviews, GiZmO GaMeR, Steaⅿ Ⅰlluminati, MAGIC FROG`S GAMES, Freaks Community, Hyptronic's Game Empire, Big in Japan ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), The Killing Reviews, MyIndieWishlist, LOVE❤Games, Club Games Reviewer, Foures Army, Review Score Pollution™, Best of driving games, Better Play This, Indie MEGABOOTH, Check'n Games, Get Games Cheap, Hookups, IndieGames, Yes/No, YES / NO, PC Gamer, Critiquing Doge, GrabTheGames, Indie Games Group, Indie Champions, Indie Diamonds, IndiePromo, True Reviews English Edition, Designer Plays, GamingTaylor, Rebbet recommends, True Reviews, Gaming Grandma, Mixe Games, ReviewExperts, IndieGems, Original Curators Group, Razors Edge Urath Online Saga, True Game Truths, Bruce's Batcave, Devious Picks, Sim UK, Doges 'R' Us, GameGator, Simulatoren Welt, German_Gamer_Community, Шуршалки.
Most in English, some in Russian and German (are big fans of simulators).
8. Make GIFs(!).
Because animated gifs much more clickable. And just it's cool.

Animated GIF
or
Static PNG
Hint: https://ezgif.com/maker
9. Maybe I'll use service Keymailer and Woovit.
About service: "Hassle-free Key Distribution for Video Games". I give the keys, they do reviews.
10. Create own youtube channel and add gameplay video.
My Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/useactivegamesbox/
11. Create facebook account and add information about your game.
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/activegamesbox/
12. Create twitter account and add information about your game. Follow to other game developers, youtubers etc.
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/activegames
13. Create own discord channel for your community. It's really important for build fan's community.
My discord: https://discord.gg/S7qpVaB
14. Create account on other sites and add information about your game.
My Instagram: instagram.com/activegamesbox/
My Pinterest: pinterest.com/activegamesbox
15. Create account and add game to IndieDB.
1) Add video, screenshots, game description, link to Steam.
2) Write articles(!). Because the articles are automatically placed on the main page and get a lot of views.
At first, I wrote a long article, but then I thought it would be best 2 times to get to the main page and made 2 part (Pre-release/After release). Plus, people do not really like long texts (especially without pictures).
16. Use reddit(!)
Big audience. Most popular site (#11 in USA). Enough.
I want to add this article to reddit.
Hint: gamedev, devblogs, IndieGaming, gamedevscreens, playmygame, GamePhysics
17. Use forum of your game engine/technology (if you made game on it).
I use Armory3d and add game theme to forum Offroad Mania on Armory3d forum
Information: "Armory is an open-source engine for creating 3D-enabled software."
Also I used html5gamedevs.com because first made demo-version on HTML5.
Topic Offroad Mania on html5gamedevs.com
18. Use forums for game developers (indie).
I added topic on TIGSource "Offroad Mania [PC Windows] - free keys for feedback"
Hint: add comments to push up the topic.
19. Use image boards.
Read article "How to go viral on Imgur and how to convert traffic into wishlist on Steam!".
20. Use Kongregate.
Kongregate have own store Kartridge. But there big audience and you can find gamers by tags ("racing" etc.) and send them Steam link. Be carefully, because it's like SPAM...
I like kongregate, newgrounds, armorgames and many old sites, because many years we make flash games.
But flash has been buried by monopoles with their mobile stores. Just a fact. R.I.P.
21. Use Linked.in
I wrote an article about my game with gif image and link to Steam page.
22. Keep track of statistics to know what methods are best.
Important: Wishlist statistics updated once a day (today you can see yesterday data).
23. Read other articles(!).
Strongly recommended.
My experience marketing my game on Steam tips and
When non-game dev friends add onto your game idea
Articles about Steam on Gamasutra
Steam marketing video on Youtube
Steam before release video on Youtube
24. Ask EVERYONE to add your game to Steam Wishlist(!).
Your family, neighbors, colleagues, friends, youtubers, followers, subscribers, your cat and dog :)
25. Use intuition and be sure to keep a positive attitude(!)
Strongly recommended.

To be continued

Thank you for reading and likes. Add Offroad Mania to your Wishlist!
submitted by activegamesbox to devblogs [link] [comments]


2019.07.20 04:59 bratzrockangels [TOMT][FLASH GAME] Sims-Style Flash Game Set in a High School

So this might be a total shot in the dark, but I'm desperate here. I used to play this game all the time when I was a kid, but I don't remember the name. It was sort of like the Sims, where you could make the characters talk and interact with each other. There was a story mode, the first level was helping this one kid find a date to prom. Then there was a sandbox mode, which is mostly what I would play around with. All the characters had their own names and personalities. There was one chick named Phoebe, and another named Gunther, who had a goth-y style going on. I don't remember any of the others. I think I played it on either Kongregate or GirlsGoGames.
This game, along with a ton of other flash games have a special place in my heart. I'd like to revisit it, if I can, and hopefully confirm that it wasn't just something I made up in my head. I've tried several times to hunt it down on my own, but to no avail.
submitted by bratzrockangels to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]


2019.05.01 02:48 slyxthegecko [pc][2006-09]Trying to find this old dating sim

Platform(s): PC web based browser game Genre: Dating sim with a whole slew of minigames Estimated year of release: between 2006 and 2009 is when i remember playing t Graphics/art style: drawn mostly Notable characters: time traveler who comes back to prevent you becoming a harem master only to cause you to become a harem master she also becomes your 'pet', girl who farts when she gets nervous, childhood friend working on a time machine. Notable gameplay mechanics: you had sex to raise your charisma, needed coffee cans to build a time machine, and raced cops when you were heading out on a date. Other details: this was a web based flash game on a website that you could access through school web filters, it's not on cool maths games, the website also linked you to kongregate's penguin glider game
submitted by slyxthegecko to tipofmyjoystick [link] [comments]


2019.03.26 00:52 Dahaka102 Best Developer Talks (GDC or otherwise)

Hi everyone! This is my first post on gamedev but I've been designing games for over 10 years and I've always been interested in gathering as much information as possible about game development across all the disciplines. I typically scour the GDC talks as they come onto the vault each year, but every year there is more and more places to find good talks. So, I want to know, what are some of the best talks you've found, that you would recommend for other game developers? I didn't get to see anything from GDC 2019, because I was an exhibitor this year, so if you have recommendations for things you saw there last week, even better!
Also, I do keep a list of talks that I've enjoyed in the past, and although I've not been on top of keeping it up to date every time, there are quite a few talks I'd recommend to others. Here are some of the talks I've thought were particularly good.

Note: Some of these talks are available for free online, while others you need a membership to either GDC vault or another service. I thought it would still be useful to list them for people that have a membership.

Good Talks from GDC

Animating 'Dauntless': Slaying AAA Animation on the Indie Scale (47:17)
Speaker(s) Simon Unger
Company Name(s) Phoenix Labs
Track / Format Visual Arts
At Phoenix Labs they knew early on they would need AAA quality animations to deliver a pixel perfect combat experience. This talk will cover the animation best practices they've learned so far, mocap workflows, and building out your own mocap studio. Imagine concepting an attack animation in morning standup, capturing it before lunch, integrating it in the afternoon and having it ready for feedback in your evening playtest."

Improving the Culture of Critique: Communicating Across Disciplines (1:02:39)
Speaker(s) Jeff Hesser
Company Name(s) Harmonix
Track / Format Visual Arts
This talk will dive into the challenges that arise when game professionals give each other feedback across disciplinary lines. How can artists effectively give and receive feedback with designers, engineers, producers, musicians and QA testers in ways that maximize value and minimize miscommunication and friction? Through the analysis of multiple real-world examples, specific strategies will be described that can improve the effectiveness of interdisciplinary communication. When people are given tools to share ideas, feelings and concerns about each other's work in helpful and effective ways, the resulting increase in communication can build relationships, strengthen team cohesion and improve overall morale. As teams get smaller and more agile, the need to improve conversations across disciplinary lines increases.

Board Game Design Day: Board Game Design and the Psychology of Loss Aversion (1:02:52)
Speaker(s) Geoffrey Engelstein
Company Name(s) Mind Bullet Games
Track / Format Design
Loss aversion is a core effect in human psychology. Simply stated, losses make people feel worse than gains make them feel better. In other words, the negative emotions from losing $100 are stronger than the positive emotions from gaining $100; about twice as strong according to a variety of experiments. The fundamental aspect of loss aversion to human psychology is very deep, and touches a wide variety of phenomenon, most of which are directly relevant to game design. This talk from veteran tabletop game designer Geoff Engelstein ('Space Cadets') examines board games and other relevant game-like experiences to explore framing, regret, competence, and other effects, and their relation to players' relationship with the game experience.

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose - Building a Hyper-Engaged Team
Speaker(s) Alex Mole
Company Name(s) Criterion Games
Track / Format Production
Overview Criterion Games is convinced that the way the industry has built AAA games is incredibly damaging to people, quality, and innovation. After a change of leadership in early 2014, Criterion started to build a process aimed at maximising efficiency through a highly-motivated team with enough big-picture context to make great decisions all the time. As well as taking inspiration from other AAA studios and Indie developers, the company is making use of science to motivate people through Autonomy, Mastery + Purpose.
Criterion has been using this approach to develop a brand new game, as well as assisting two other titles within EA. On all three projects,we've found that we are the happiest and most productive that we've ever been! This talk will cover the reasoning behind the processes Criterion has built, and go into some detail of the findings of what worked well and what didn't.

Quest for Progress: The Math and Design of Idle Games (53:58)
Link to Blog
Link to Spreadsheets
Speaker(s) Anthony Pecorella
Company Name(s) Kongregate
Track / Format Design
As the third in a series of popular talks on "self-playing" games, this will increment on the previous ones, unfolding new insights, and tapping into a wide range of data to learn about this strange new, often-idolized, genre. The talk will look at how the genre has grown, evolved, and expanded recently. New trends will be explored and new games will be analyzed, focusing not just on how they work but hopefully inspiring new games and mechanics from attendees. Prepare to get bizarrely, inexplicably excited about watching numbers go up!!

History Shaping Design: Gender Roles As Shown In Centuries of Game Design (46:57)
Speaker(s) Julia Keren Detar
Company Name(s) Untame
Track / Format Design
While gender has always played a role when it comes to games and toys, those lines have not always been clearly defined. From western Chess to Mall Madness, we'll explore how game mechanics can change who gets to play, and how marketing pressure and seemingly unrelated TV deregulation can restructure a whole industry. We'll examine some surprising parallels between more recent games like Twister and older parlor games, and see how gender roles have changed through the years - and stayed the same.

Awesome Video Game Data 2016 (1:00:00)
Speaker(s) Geoffrey Zatkin
Company Name(s) EEDAR
Track / Format Design
EEDAR co-founder Geoffrey Zatkin presents a tour de force romp through video game industry data, patterns and trends, covering everything from next generation consoles to the maturation of mobile games to the diversification of monetization methodologies and everything in-between. Guaranteed to raise your game industry IQ.
Attendees will gain a better understanding of recent macro and micro trends of the video game industry - not anecdotal, but trends based on actual objectively quantifiable data. A broad range of timely industry topics will be presented.

Three Statistical Tests Every Game Developer Should Know (27:26)
Speaker(s) Elan Ruskin
Company Name(s) Insomniac Games
Track / Format Programming
“How much does this optimization really speed up my game?" can be a difficult question to answer when you're measuring differences of microseconds in highly variable framerates. "When I changed the minimap, 15% fewer playtesters got lost" might have been a fluke - or not - depending on how many testers you tried. Fortunately, statistical techniques exist to turn noisy, real-world sources of data like these into confident answers.
This talk is a succint how-to on statistics for answering questions like "does this new camera control scheme make players happier?", "how many players do I need to test this design change on to prove whether it works better?" and "does the framerate really get faster when I do this thing or is it just a fluke of measurement?" We skip past the mathematical background and cut directly to the practical how-to you can use in Excel today.

Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons (1:00:47)
Speaker(s) Mark Rosewater
Company Name(s) Wizards of the Coast
Track / Format Design
Mark Rosewater is the Head Designer for Magic: the Gathering. Last year he celebrated his twentieth year working at Wizards of the Coast. Come listen as Mark shares his wisdom on game design from twenty years of working on the same game. Fans of his column ("Making Magic"), podcast ("Drive to Work") or blog ("Blogatog"), all dedicated to game design, should expect plenty of stories and humor as he walks through his twenty lessons such as "Restrictions Breed Creativity", "Fighting Human Nature Is a Losing Battle" and "If Everyone Likes Your Game, But No One Loves It, It Will Fail".

Game Studio Management: Making It Great (59:25)
Speaker: Jesse Schell
Company Name: Schell Games LLC
Track / Format: Business, Marketing & Management
Management is difficult, managing a game studio is incredibly difficult, since most studio management has no formal training, and no one ever seems clear on the "right" way to run things. In the last 12 years Jesse has grown a game studio from a solo operation to a thriving enterprise of 100 developers working on 6-8 titles simultaneously. In this nuts and bolts talk, Jesse will share the concrete methods he has found to keep a studio happy, healthy and producing great games. Topics covered will include:
What meetings are the right ones?
How to manage multiple simultaneous projects
How to grow without destroying your culture
The importance of a mentoring culture
How to see the invisible information flow in your studio
The connection between morale, purpose and great games

Infinite Play (1:06:55)
Speaker: Richard Lemarchand
Company Name: USC
Track / Format: Design
Join Richard Lemarchand, former Naughty Dog lead game designer and associate professor in the USC Games program, for a talk that investigates the game design potential of "open play" - play that does not necessarily result in an outcome of victory or defeat. Using the lens of James P. Carse's "Finite and Infinite Games," a book that is widely influential outside of game design circles, but is not well-known among game designers, Richard will examine the recent revolution in experiential, reflective and expressive games with the goal of expanding our thinking about game design of all kinds, and the personal and moral value that can be found in games.

More Science Behind Shaping Player Behavior in Online Games (32:39)
Speaker: Jeffrey Lin
Company Name: Riot Games
Track / Format:Design
The next evolution of multiplayer game design and community building is to give players the tools to build their own online communities and moderate them. To show the impact of this philosophy, Riot Games will use social network analysis to map out how player behavior spreads in League of Legends and what we can learn from player interactions to make the Internet a better place. We'll discuss how Riot leverages machine learning to "learn" at massive scale what players believe is OK or not OK in the community and deliver feedback to players, and how these cutting-edge techniques can be applied to curate any online community.

game < design (57:25)
Speaker: Stone Librande
Company Name: Riot Games
Track / Format: Design
Game designers frequently emphasize the "game" part of their title. In this inspirational talk, Stone will focus on the "designer" aspect. How is game design similar to other forms of design, such as fashion design, automotive design or industrial design? What can we learn from these other disciplines that will help us grow as game designers, both personally and professionally? Stone describes his own personal design journey and the lessons he has learned along the way. Topics will include design history, the lives of famous designers, techniques taught in design schools, and the philosophies of world-class design studios.

The Art of Hearthstone: Playing the Cards You're Dealt (26:20)
Speaker: Ben Thompson
Company Name: Blizzard
Track / Format: Visual Arts
How do you make a game built around collectible cards in a digital space that is visually compelling and still feels anchored in the World of Warcraft universe? This talk will discuss how a clear set of guiding principles, relentless iteration and a healthy dose of creativity made all the difference in Hearthstone's pursuit of a new way to play digital card games.

50 Camera Mistakes (1:00:53)
Speaker: John Nesky
Company Name: thatgamecompany
Track / Format: Design
The entire experience of playing a game is framed by its camera, but the addition of the third dimension has brought more than a few twists that torment players to this day. Cameras have potential as a powerful storytelling tool, but before they can realize that potential, they must meet the player's needs. Undermining sense of direction, impairing judgment of distances, breaking line-of-sight, triggering simulation sickness, or simply being useless are just a few of the failure cases we've all seen in game cameras. John Nesky, the dynamic camera designer for thatgamecompany's award-winning PSN title Journey, takes attendees on a tour of all the poor choices that he and other game developers have made, and most importantly, how to fix them.

Concurrent Interactions in The Sims 4
Speaker: Peter Ingebretson, Max Rebuschatis
Company Name: EA (Maxis)
Track / Format: Programming
In real life, people often do several things at the same time, but games typically limit agents to performing actions sequentially. For The Sims 4, we developed a system for authoring interactions that allows simulated people (called Sims) to express multiple concurrent behaviors. Interactions are largely data-driven and are defined in terms of constraints, which specify the state a Sim must be in to perform the interaction. Constraints are used to test whether interactions are compatible, and to drive decisions that Sims make about whether, how and where to perform an interaction. This system allows Sims in The Sims 4 to convincingly eat, watch TV, chat with other Sims, express emotion, and perform many more behaviors simultaneously. We believe that this powerful and simple technique could be applied to a similar effect in your game too.

Enhancing Sportsmanship in Online Games (57:20)
Speaker: Jeffrey Lin
Company Name: Riot Games
Track / Format: Design
Sportsmanship helps players win games, but win or lose, sportsmanship also helps make games more fun. Sportsmanship already widely exists in online games, and online gaming communities like LoL are filled with players who exhibit sportsmanlike conduct. We believe that the next evolution of online game design involves making sportsmanship the path of least resistance - supporting sportsmanlike figures among everyday players. In this talk, Jeffrey will discuss the lessons we've learned trying to create features and content that facilitate and amplify positive player interactions inside and outside an online game. For example, the talk will present the latest findings in group dynamics and social psychology to show how different compositions of players can greatly affect the level of cooperation. By combining the latest research from online games with classic psychological theories, Jeffrey will show how to guide and shape the development of features that can enhance sportsmanship in online games.

What You Don’t Know IS Hurting You: How Aggressive User Research Improved Resistance 3
Speaker: Drew Murray
Company Name: Insomniac Games
Track / Format: Game Design
Watching a formal usability test of Resistance 2 was an eye-opening experience for developers at Insomniac Games. Players were struggling with FPS basics such as aiming and navigating, as well as hallmark Resistance features such as exotic weapons. The game was simply not being played the way we expected or wanted.
After this unpleasant surprise, Insomniac committed itself to ensuring that real gamers could enjoy Resistance 3 the way it was meant to be played and that doing more user-research was the best way to accomplish this. Resistance 3 Lead Designer Drew Murray will explain the methodologies and techniques Insomniac used to conduct user-research on Resistance 3, including specific examples of how core controls, weapons and pacing were improved.

You Own the Game but the Community Owns You (27:35)
Speaker: Bob Holtzman
Company Name: Squad
Track / Format: Business, Marketing & Management
Gamers believe they own the brands, which is a bit of a dilemma for the developers and publishers who have to make decisions based on a much broader need base than a vocal minority. Ideally, game companies won't make or need to make decisions that go against this outspoken group, but often there is a need. So gamers feel jilted, like the game cheated on them, when they never understood the nature of their relationship.

Environmental Audio and Processing for VR (57:13)
Speaker: Nicholas Ward-Foxton
Company Name: Sony Computer Entertainment
Track / Format: Programming
Environmental audio requires differing approaches in virtual reality to standard surround and television-based game design. This talk will center on these differences to try and show people how to alter their usual approaches to get the best VR experience and help achieve "presence" in the virtual world. It will focus on audio processing and cover topics such as obstruction/occlusion, reverberation, distance modelling, binaural processing, ambiance and the human auditory system. Examples will be shown for each, and techniques used will be explained to help guide others down this new pathway in interactive audio design.

Good Talks from Valve Dev Days

Valve Dev Days talks are all available on Youtube! Just follow the links.
What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years
Speaker: Michael Abrash Company Name: Valve
YouTube pdf ppt
We’ve figured out what affordable VR hardware will be capable of within a couple of years, and assembled a prototype that reveals that that level of VR hardware is capable of stunning VR experiences. That hardware is almost certainly going to appear in that timeframe, and it will be worth starting to develop for it now. This talk will discuss what that hardware is, and what it makes possible. A few attendees will be randomly selected to try out the prototype after the talk.

Community and Communication in Games-As-Services
Speaker: Robin Walker Company Name: Valve
YouTube
Although there has been a robust discussion in our industry about how the transition to games-as-services affects the way we build products, we feel there hasn’t been enough focus on how that shift changes the ways we all should interact with customers. This talk will cover the methods, reasoning, and philosophy behind Valve’s communication and customer interaction. Areas of development we’ll be examining will be everything from feature design to community management to marketing. Recommended for anyone working on living / iterating products (which we think is pretty close to everyone in attendance at Steam Dev Days).

In-Game Economies in Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 (38:58)
Speaker: Kyle Davis Company Name: Valve
YouTube pdf ppt
A look at the multi-year history and development of the in-game economies and microtransaction systems in Team Fortress and Dota, including some of the surprises we encountered and some of the lessons we've learned that we think are applicable to a wide range of products.

Good Talks from Oculus Connect

Oculus Connect talks are all available on YouTube. Just follow the links!
OCULUS CONNECT: INTRODUCTION TO AUDIO IN VR
Speaker: Brian Hook
YouTube
Audio Engineer, Brian Hook, discusses introducing Audio in Virtual Reality at Oculus Connect.

Good Talks from Unite

Unite talks are all available on YouTube. Just follow the links!
The Reality of Authoring in the Virtual Frontier (1:01:29)
Speaker: Panel Discussion (Unite 2014)
YouTube
This panel discusses the challenges of creating content for the new and upcoming virtual reality hardware.

Good Talks from AI Game Dev

Biomechanically Animated Dolphins in Shark Eaters (1:26:54)
Speaker: Omar Ahmad and Promit Roy, posted on January 31, 2015 (AI Game Dev Interview)
This interview with Omar Ahmad looks at the animation technology in mobile game Shark Eaters: Rise of the Dolphins. The game features a different system that animates skeletal rigs — inspired by neurology and learning of motor control. The result is smoothly animated fish and water mammals whose behavior partly emerges from the animation.

The Technology Behind Versu: A Simulationist Storytelling System (1:15:40)
Speaker(s) Alex J. Champadard, Richard Evans
Track AI Programming
Date March 14, 2014
This interview with Richard Evans (to be scheduled) will dig into Versu's text-based interactive dramas. You'll learn how the simulation models social practices as a way to coordinate between multiple agents, implemented using reactive joint plans. You'll see how this enables purposeful deliberative behavior while not taking away control from any of the characters in the simulation.

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generate sensor Parisianport Licensed Granite Shirt Small Pizza Reverseengineered transitional Meme Gear youtube viral video music video tumblr kpop gangnam style korea entry of august 2012 notables of 2012 memes of 2012 people of 2012 music videos of 2012 dance justin beiber justin bieber -
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2013.06.24 00:46 t0fus0up We just released our public alpha build of our game Dead Squared, along with our updated greenlight stats, so ask me anything, and give me feedback

So first a self introduction...My name is John, and I'm pretty much End Boss Games. I work with Casey who does all the programming. I do mostly game design, and some art. I have artist friends and contract people for everything else. I used to work in the game industry as a game designer, but mostly level design. I worked at a big AAA studio before and smaller studios around the bay area. Through out my career I've always knew my goal was to work for myself. So I was constantly saving money and keeping low overhead. So, close to 3yrs ago I quit my job. Looked at how cool it was to be making iOS games and jumped in. Well that didn't go well. I pretty much used up all my savings, ended up doing contract work (small industry, great friends!), and continued on. Now onto my 3rd game, Dead Squared. We started on this game back in Dec of 2012. We initially prototyped an iso sim/survival game but being a designer I tend to keep adding those amazing features, and that wasn't helping. We decided to go another direction while I let the ideas sink in, so in the short term I thought we work on Dead Squared. The idea was zelda dungeons but with FPS combat. We went with a simple art style mainly because it was cheaper to produce (lack of art direction :)) then high end normal mapped art. We kinda followed the mincraft theme but with higher quality textures. The texturing style reminds people of XIII, which I'll take as a compliment. We initially started with a fairly basic FPS proto with endless rooms, but being a big fan of countless other big/small games, I wanted to emulate some of their mechanics into Dead Squared. So here we are today...after lots of user feedback from web, and live demos we have a new alpha build. It's still very rough, and untuned. No progression, but I think it's playable....or more so then before.
I'm sure most people here have not heard of the game so here's a 1 line pitch: Dungeon crawling FPS with random rooms, random encounters, plenty of drops, weapons to craft, baddies to kill.
Download here:
http://www.indiedb.com/games/dead-squared http://www.indiedb.com/games/dead-squared/downloads
Here is my most up to date greenlight stats:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com16491721/ss/DeadSquaredStats_06232013.jpg
I don't even know if it's ok to post stats, but I've seen plenty of people do it. Besides sharing is caring. Now if you look at our stats, it's pretty sad. Most people post stats of their games with way higher then the avg, while mine sits at this pitiful 29% :). But I'm ok with 29%. I'm pretty amazed that over 17k people have looked at the game. If you think discoverbility is bad on Steam, look at iOS and Android. Also 4.8k+ people actually voted yes. So if I was to skew the logic a bit, and compare the stats to download games on iOS with an average of 1-5% conversion being awesome for a paid game, i'm at 29%! I'm doing great. I be pretty happy if I can convert all of those yes to sales on Desura, or other online markets. With around 5k sales I could go ahead and start on a new game. I would call that a personal success :). I win!
So yea, if you want to ask me anything, go ahead. Check out the game on indieDB. We have pc, mac and linux version up. You can also play it on sites like:
http://gamejolt.com/games/shootedead-squared/12202/
http://www.kongregate.com/games/tofusoup/dead-squared
And yes we do plan to port this to iOS.
thanks for reading, and if you have trouble playing the game, press 7,8,9, or 0 to debug spawn parts to craft :).
cya.
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2012.11.29 10:40 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I am Dr. Cat, a 30 year veteran game designer/programmer/writer. I've worked on the Ultima series, Furcadia, Ravenwood Fair, and dozens more. Ask me anything!

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Date: 2012-11-28
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Questions Answers
Since I didn't see anything about it in the comments, can you explain to me what Furcadia is/is about? What about it would draw someone in? Furcadia is many things to many people. It's about creating your own worlds, or about just exploring, experiencing, and playing in the worlds made by other people. It's about chatting and making new friends, or it's about freeform (or dice-based) roleplaying in any imaginable setting. Some people use it to make quest games, puzzle games, or action games.
Basically it's about all of the thousands of different things our players want to make it be about. It's about encouraging their creativity. It's about providing them a place to share the fruits of their creativity with you. I hope that gives you some idea!
Here's a compilation of video clips from our "What Furcadia means to me" video contest we ran this summer. That might give you some more idea.
let me say thanks for your work in the Ultima series. Those games were the first that I played at length when I was a teenager. Even today, they remain among my favorites. My friend and I spent countless hours playing several of them. How well did/do you know Richard Garriott? What's he like? What are a few games that you didn't work on which appeal to you the most? What's your opinion of the growing number of games that allow you to shape the game world, such as Minecraft and Terraria? 1) I was the first outside person to apply to work at Origin, answering Richard's ad in The Space Gamer in 1983. I got to stay at his house for a little bit, and meet his astronaut father and ask him what space travel was like. I didn't end up joining Origin until 1986 though. Richard is a very colorful character and throws great parties. Some of my favorite memories are volunteering to work in his epic Spookhouses at Halloween, including many sessions in the black and white checkerboard cube with strobe lights that came to be known as "The Cat Box". Someone should ask me about the practical joke I played on him one year, that's a great story! Anyway Richard's a fun, talented guy, and I enjoyed knowing him and working with him for 5 years at Origin. 2) I like Terarria, Magic, some 3rd person shooters, puzzle games (old school Chip's Challenge, Adventures of Lolo, Saracen), occasionally a tower defense game, RTSes, and I absolutely love the Zelda series! My gameboy game took a lot of inspiration from Legend of Zelda. I also find Go to be kind of an ideal in game design of simple elegance, and I enjoy playing poker and chess sometimes. 3) I am gratified to see other games supporting that more now, though Furcadia was hardly the first. Internet text muds were our inspiration, and games from Doom to The Sims have had large communities of player-created content spring up around them. Our current lead programmer worked on one of the first big player-made Doom level editors, true fact! I got to introduce him to John Romero a couple years ago, and he didn't say much - modest fellow. (He's Dewi in our video here, we actually got him to talk some!) I enjoyed Terraria more than Minecraft, as 2D means there's less blocks to place to finish your house. My partner Talzhemir really got into Minecraft for a while though. Generally speaking, I think player content is a big part of the future. We never run out of things to see and do in Furcadia - unlike conventional RPGs where the staff make all the content. Indeed, in our game it's not even possible to see everything that's available! Minecraft is the same way by now. I'm proud to have been an early part of the user created content movement, starting in 1996. :)
What things do you find most rewarding about creating games? What advice can you offer to someone looking to start their own game, and from where do you suggest they start? When Ultima VI came out, it was the first time I was involved in shipping a game with bugs in it. On 8 bit systems, games were small enough that you could get them pretty bug free with enough time and effort. Ultima VI was the first PC title I worked on, the bigger more powerful system allowed much more complex games to be created - nowadays it's just "normal" to have a few problems you have to fix after shipping. At the time though I felt really bad about it. Two of the bugs were mine, they were minor & I had them fixed in the first patch, but the game had other problems that took several patches to resolve. The number one piece of advice I give is make up your mind, right at the start, that you have an iron determination to make sure your game gets finished to the point where people can actually play it, no matter what it takes. Most game projects don't get finished, and if you can finish even one you know you're in that category of person who can make that happen. Where to start? Think of what you don't know yet about how to make the game you want to make, and go learn that. Google is your friend, nowadays you can get a quick start on learning just about anything! I used to have to go to libraries for that, and sometimes there wasn't any book that covered what I wanted to know!
What's one of the worst experience you've encountered in one of your games? What's one of the best experiences you've encountered in one of your games? One of the big problems in the game industry is "crunch time" - while it may be ok to work extra hours the last couple weeks before a game comes out, some companies have people working ridiculously long hours for months in a row. (In a few cases, even years!)
On of the best experiences, I & a couple other team members and players got to save somebody's life once. That's not something everybody gets to experience in their lifetime, and I still feel good about it.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 20? Still making games, and still making more games. But I would like to be writing novels and maybe a non-fiction game or two, travelling the world, and maybe mentoring/publishing some exciting new development teams through Dragon's Eye Productions. And of course I'll keep expanding and improving our main game Furcadia & it's engine until I'm dead. Would like to do some other games with that same engine, and maybe some world-changing games/apps for mobile phones, tablets, and the web. I like to dream big.
Also I still have a vague notion of having four pet white-nosed coatis someday, but I don't know if I'll really actually do that.
1) Will you and Talz ever release more content in the game for the Furcadia canon? I really miss seeing the two of your work together as a creative force, and the Dragonlands setting has a lot of cool potential... 1) We're always chatting about ideas, the main thing right now is to try and get the game growing, so we could go back to working on it full time again. (I guess I should mention our Kickstarter here!)
2) Of maps that are currently active, what are your top three favorite private dreams? Why? What features do you enjoy seeing in a dream when you get the chance to do some dreamhopping? 2) I'm a big fan of whatever's in our latest dream contest entries in the festival dream - those always have some of the most interesting things to do, quests, games, new artwork, etc. I'm still a fan of the past winners Jujinka's Playground and Puzzle Mansion that we put permanent links to in Pineapple Lake Resort. Also the different Bomberman type games people have made. Mostly though I like to go to the dreams that have a large, active group of players, so there's more folks to talk to. There's a lot of those, I tend to shift around which ones I hang out in.
3) What is your favorite Furcadia festival event? 3) I guess I get a big kick out of doing the "Light the Fires" ceremony each summer. Plus the Egyptian Theme in the summer festival is fun, and I love that the Senet game is there. I love all the Festivals, Emerald Flame and Gar do fantastic things with those dreams, but I'll say the summer one.
1) What's the best way to get into the game programmer industry? 1) Programmer is actually the easiest job to get in with right now, since there's a programmer shortage. Just get good at programming and apply everywhere.
2) What are the best/most useful languages to learn? 2) I like C/C++ a lot, but there's also work available in Objective-C, PHP, ActionScript3, a bit in Scala (Hi Kixeye!), Python, Perl, C#, Javascript, Ruby, and more. Part of it depends on which platform you want to work on (PC, Console, web, iOs, Android, Unix server machines), and what part of the project you want to be programming.
3) What are some ways to learn programming languages for free? 3) When I was a kid, if you had a computer, a book on programming, and time, you could learn. These days you can replace the book with websites that have documentation and tutorials. You'll also want a compiler, I recommend the free trial version of Visual Studio that you can download from Microsoft's website. There's free tools for Flash/Actionscript if you want to go that way as well. The main thing is trial and error. "I don't understand how this programming command works, does it do A or B?" Then you write a program, try it one of those ways, and find out. Then you know and you move on. :) There's sites where programmers can ask each other questions too - as in everything these days, Google is your friend!
4) What are your views on the current video game industry (like how it now is all about DLC coming out within a week of a release date)? 4) As always, there's games and companies out there I like a lot, and others I'm not wild about. It is exciting though that we hit a point in the late 80s or early 90s when there were thousands of new games a year. TOO many for me to try, but unlike when I got started, now there is always something new worth playing if you look for it!
5) If you had to recommend a company to work for as a programmer, which one would you recommend? 5) Last place I worked was Kixeye, and I have to say it's one of the very best places I've worked. I really liked it there & would recommend it to anyone. Idle Games is also very cool if their poker game takes off & they start hiring a bunch of people. If you want to be on the current "cutting edge" you could look into mobile gaming companies too.
6) What's you favorite video game that you made and favorite that you didn't make? 6) Favorite I made is Furcadia, hands down. Favorite I didn't make, at the moment, is Magic: The Gathering. Though I'm a big fan of Jeff Dee's collectible miniatures game Warchest, and Sword of Kadash for the Apple ][, among other games you probably never heard of!
What inspires you? and how'd you get into the field. What inspires me? I feel a game designer should be interested in every field of knowledge, art and science, everything. And read voraciously.
Back in 1982, a typical way into the field was to make an entire game all by yourself - programming, art, animation, writing, sound, music, game design, everything. Then put it on a 5 1/4" floppy disk and mail it to one or more publishers and get a publishing deal. That's what I did, with Muse software, publishers of Castle Wolfenstein. Broderbund had some very positive comments but wanted improvements first, which they had good suggestions for. But I wanted to get this first title out and earning royalties and to start on a second, better game.
If you're curious you can actually play my first published game, The Caverns of Freitag in an Apple ][ emulator on the web. Though it's probably a bit embarassing for me to show anyone 30 years later. :D.
You can still break into the field as an independent by making a game and getting it up on websites like Kongregate, or through Steam, etc. Though it's more common to see at least 2-3 people make even independent games, because computers can do so much more now and games are a lot more polished and deep.
Do you ever feel 'out of touch' with gamers these days? I know your community is tight-knit, but do you ever feel like you have trouble reaching to those gamers outside of it? I felt out of touch in the 1980s and early 90s, when you would make a game, put it on a floppy disk or cartridge or CD-ROM, and send it out to the world. We would crave the few magazine reviews, letters from fans, etc. that would trickle in, and at sf/fantasy conventions I'd listen eagerly to anyone I ran into that had played my games.
Nowadays with the net, you hear from your players all the time, and can even go into your game, play it with them, and chat with them! Which is fantastic. While I have focused most heavily on talking to thousands of Furcadia players for the last 15 years, I also have accepted hundreds of Facebook friend requests from people that are fans of Ravenwood Fair, Idle Worship, and Kixeye games that I worked on. I also chat and read forums about Magic. I wish there were time to keep up with other games & their communities, but I try to peek around a bit at things like Terraria, League of Legends, Minecraft, etc. When World of Warcraft came out we played up to level 60 in it.
It's important to keep aware of a variety of things and not get too narrow a perspective - I always want to think of what's going to be the next new great thing before other people do. I think it's also important to read and learn about non-game subjects. Economics, philosophy, biology, politics, religion, physics, linguistics, psychology... Everything has useful pieces of perspective that can be used by a game designer.
What's your first name? With a name like Cat, it has to be awesome. It's noon in Calfornia, here we go!
All my published games are under the name Dr. Cat, and I've intended for 30 years to have my name legally changed to that. I guess I'm a little slow on that one. My legal name until I get a round tuit is David Shapiro.
The name Dr. Cat comes from my first two online handles, from when I got my first modem in 1980. I used the names of two favorite characters, Dr. Who (Tom Baker rules!) and Samurai Cat. One day I shoved them together to make a name that was uniquely my own.
I'd like to start off with thanks for doing this, I'm sure many others will thank you for doing this as well. Any way my question is, is there anything you do to make programming more enjoyable, is it the excitment of seeing the final product or do you just generally enjoy doing it? I've met a lot of programmers who love programming more than anything else. I can understand that, it's a little like creative a universe where you have total control of everything, even the laws of physics! That's exciting and fun, especially when you change something in code, compile it, and then see graphical effects of what you did happening in your game. Online games have a whole new level where you're not just watching pixels react to your work, but actual real people.
I will say, when I learned programming at 14 it was a means to an end. I was always obsessed with games and I learned programming so I could make them. I had a little fun making a terminal program, but it wouldn't feel right to me to pursue a career making non-game programs. When I can make games as a designer or writer I still feel a lot of satisfaction, I don't always work on the programming.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with programming, because there's long, tedious parts involved, and debugging. With writing, sometimes I have to push myself a bit to get started, but then it just flows very naturally. And typos or spelling & grammar errors don't make the sentence crash the computer before someone can enjoy all the words! But I do spend a lot of programming time in a state of "flow" where things are going steadily and smoothly, especially after so many years of experience. I've developed techniques for generating less bugs, and when I'm debugging I track them down like a ninja-samurai-pirate and usually fix them very quickly. There's an element of puzzle solving there which can be fun - or frustrating - just like real puzzles.
Seeing the final product is always still the real payoff though, and you just need to keep thinking about what the next cool result is supposed to be while you work on doing the coding to make it happen.
Hi Dr Cat! I played Furcadia when I was younger and made many good friends there. I would love to see Furcadia making a comeback. I was really excited to see the Kickstarter for Furcadia 2 reached its goal. However, I think there are a lot of challenges facing "freemium" games (see: Glitch's very sad closing, despite an amazing team). How will you face the challenges that Glitch (and other freemium games) have? What will Furcadia 2 do differently from the old Furcadia? One reason we've always been around and always will be is that we're experts at keeping costs low. In 1996, when even the earliest MMORPGs were costing 1-2 million or more to make, we made one on $50,000 and two people. We worked outside jobs for a few years until we started charging for items in Furcadia to make a living from it. We've always kept our staff small and used a ton of volunteer helpers for in-game help and such. If your game team, customer service, etc. are costing you $500,000 a month, your game had better be making well over $6 million year or you're in trouble. We would love to start paying our small team salaries comparable to what they could get elsewhere, and hire a few more, but we'll always be cautious in our budgeting and ready to reduce to a skeleton crew to keep the game alive, if need be - as we have done for the recession.
The main initial thing Furcadia: The Second Dreaming will do differently will be to hop onto Facebook, where a billion users are, as well as on our own website & other web portals. Countless people play web games that will not do "downloading" or "installing", so that should bring us a bigger audience. (More people for our player-creators as an audience for their dreams, as well as hopefully more income for our company!)
Few years ago, furcadia admins announced to bring the game graphic to 24bits but never been actually done even after making a fund raising for a better system.. will furcadia be 24bits graphic when the update for which kickstarter was done? or it will again stay the basic 16bits? We're going to work on finishing the Windows Furcadia client programming for 32 bit (including full alpha translucency) in 2013. It's 50% done, how far we can get with it depends a lot on how much funding we raise.
By the way, the current client is actually mostly 8 bit art - a testament to how experienced our artists are that it looks as good as it does with only 236 colors! (Windows reserves a few colors out of 256 for system use.) A lot of people think it's 16 bit art rather than 8.
What are the steps that you take in developing a game? Games are still largely a process of invention, so there's a lot of variation. The steps in inventing the lightbulb were probably very different from those involved in inventing the radio or the steam engine, you do whatever the project needs. That said, there are some patterns that arise. My least favorite things are that it takes a long time, there are parts that are hard and/or boring but you have to do those too, and you get bugs you have to fix. My favorite things are seeing people enjoy it when it's out there, and hearing from them about what they liked and why. Also when people meet & get married in the game, or it helps them learn skills, make friends, earn money, etc. it gives me a warm feeling.
What are your least and most favorite things about making a game? Next you want to change things and play again, change things and play again, until you feel like it's fun. Yay! Now all that's left to do is months or years of building all the little details of programming, art, animation, writing, making level editors, level building, debugging, etc. Hopefully your team keeps playing & adjusting the game to be fun the whole way. Keep an open mind to the ideas of others you work with, and try to learn to see the same thing from multiple points of view. (The game drops gold coins from a tree at this point. How does the combat-obsessed level grinder feel about it, how does the casual gaming socializechatter feel, etc? Also seeing your co-workers points of view is helpful in any discussion!) Make up your mind to be persistent and keep working towards your goals in your career and in life even when they end up taking a lot longer than you thought they would!
How do you sleep at night knowing that the burden of keeping the community alive and moderated has been and will continue to be placed almost squarely on the shoulders of a pool of volunteers (many of which are children) from the already small player base, because you and the other "staff" are too apathetic and lazy to do it yourselves or sort out another method? Are you aware of the emotional and financial burden and pressure that you and your co-workers have placed upon the community to stay afloat, whilst simultaneously denying them any solid information or support as to where their money and time is actually going, in relation to the longevity and improvement of the community? Where is all the work you were supposedly doing on these updates for all these years while your players were donating and buying from your Dingo Market, and your "beekins" slaving away, under the understanding and trust that their money and time and effort in the community was being devoted to helping speed along said promised updates (especially now that you're suddenly taking funding to start most of them JUST NOW, and mostly just for the new web client)? How do you expect anybody to take your game and your business seriously when you allow impulsive, immature and downright moronic people to be your most prominent voices both to the public and the game community? (I'm looking at you, Emerald Flame.) How, if at all, will you and your co-workers at DEP and Catnip Studios be changing the way you take (and respond to) feedback from the community in the future? The thousands of volunteers from our tens of thousands of players often enjoy the work and feel they learn valuable things from it, as well as deriving satisfaction from helping other players. Those that don't enjoy it simply leave the volunteer program, which is fine. Some people who've been in the volunteer program for years have asked us to provide references for their resume', to help them get jobs. We are always happy to do so. Well over 90% of our players pay nothing to play, and we welcome them. They provide people to socialize with, they create dreams for others to enjoy, they become the audience to let dream creators know their work is being appreciated. Free players add tons of value to our community, they ARE most of the community. The minority who buy stuff either because they feel the digital items have "fun value" to them worth the price, or to support our work, or both are doing so entirely of their own choice. We aren't forcing anyone to do so, so I don't feel we're placing a "financial burden" on them. We're happy that they choose of their own free will to keep us going. I know it can be a problem when a rude person speaks out to the community, but I would hardly call you one of our "prominent voices", whoever you are. As for our actual staff, while all of us have lost our patience with a player on occasion, all of us are patient, polite, friendly and helpful to our wonderful community 99.9% of the time. If you've seen rude remarks from a few of our staff on occasion, that's a reminder that we're just human too. Being part of a company with a product or a service doesn't magically enable you to always be cheerful and friendly - though the most demanding customers will insist you're obligated to be. I think we do very well in this regard. While we've always spent a LOT of time listening to players in-game, reading our forums, etc. we intend to "kick it up a notch" with this Kickstarter, particularly for our Kickstarter backers. While still using our existing channels, we have a special forum set up for them already - we didn't wait for the Kickstarter to finish, we have their access set up and are talking with them on there. We also setting up another test server, which will be for our staff, our testers, and our Kickstarter supporters. We're looking forward to showing them new features right away and getting their feedback to fine-tune things. Of course we'll still keep listening to our existing community of free players, or we'd be missing out on the majority. We recently ran another player survey too, to help guide our decisions, we might be posting a link to let the public see the results of that one as we have with some of our past surveys. We got tons of people filling out the comments section on this one, too!
What was going through your head when you decided repeatedly to promise already long-overdue updates to your archaic and outdated game (updates like attachments, main map updates, 32-bit, etc), and then just bugger off and not do them for years upon years? While we regret that our lead programmer left the company after getting the 32 bit update 50% finished, we are going to take it up again and finish it next year. We never promised attachments before, and we have done many main map updates over the last decade & several more are on the way. Check out the fabulous work that went into our last update, earlier this year - Effects layer, Regions, shared-drawing over the net in real time in our art editor, shared map editing fixed and opened up to everyone, lots of new art and animations, etc. Here is More info about our fabulous Purrwing update. While development has slowed from the recession, we're still doing it, have new people on the team, and have actually done a fair amount of work on the web client already before launching the Kickstarter P.S. Thanks for trolling! And I'm glad to see that even our detractors are engaged enough with the game to put this much time and energy into analyzing what they think of it, playing it, etc. The people that actually like it are even more enthusiastic - check out some of them right here!
Hello Dr. Cat! I just need to say thank you for Furcadia, it really helped me break out of my shell when I was younger. I learned how to role-play, how to draw, and how to make awesome friends. I parted ways from furcadia because of university however I heard about Kickstarter so I'm back! Really hoping you make all the goals for this project so Furcadia can be even more awesome than it already is. My only question's are Why Furcadia? What inspired a furre-based game? And along with the Angel-cat are we expecting any other big Digo releases (Along the lines of Dragon, Pheo, Gryff, etcetc) in the new year that I should start saving for? Talzhemir and I always loved animal characters. In comics, movies, Aesop's Fables, videogames, Sandra Boynton greeting cards... You name it. When Windows 95 came out, I decided to port the DragonSpires engine from DOS to Windows, as it was finally good enough to support gaming. Talzhemir said "Hey, why don't we do the talking animal game?" We'd both done years of "knights bashing each other with swords" games like Ultima and others. I said "Ok, sure." A year later, we had Furcadia.
There will be new avatars to buy in the year ahead, including one our Kickstarter backers get to vote on here. After we do the winner, we may do some of those others later in 2013, so that gives you some idea.
Another question: Do you generally tend to follow the various Ultima fanworks, like U5: Lazarus or The Ultima 6 Project? Any favorites, if so? I peek in at those from time to time, and have occasionally given them my official permission to use anything related to my character, or answered a few questions about how something worked to help them move another step forward. I haven't had time to actually download and play any of them, though.
I actually got to play Ultima 1 through 4 as a fan, and be genuinely surprised by what happened. Lord British gave me a free copy of Ultima 3 a few days before it released, when I first went down to Texas to talk about working for him. But when I worked on Ultima 5 onwards, I couldn't really "play" them other than testing stuff, since I already knew what was going to happen!
The one exception is the Gameboy Ultima I made with Gary, Denis, 'Manda, Martin, Marc & the gang. The gameplay on that one is so fun I enjoy digging it up and playing all the way through every once in a while. Me and Gary Scott Smith had a contest right when we finished that one, to see who could play through start to finish the fastest! I picked an order to do the dungeons that would give me the dexterity-boosting runes earliest, since they raise your movement speed. Gary finished in just over an hour, I was just under an hour. Score!
Have I wandered far enough off-topic yet? I do think it's great to see fan-made remakes, most games I've worked on aren't beloved enough by the community to see that happen. The early Ultimas were special in a lot of ways, and inspired a lot of professional developers too.
If you could go back in time and do something re do some things that you did for Furcadia what would you change? I had a bug around 2000-2001 that may have limited our growth a bit, I'd get that fixed faster. Would try to add player art patches sooner, when Fox added that in the late 90s that really unleashed our community's creative potential in a big way!
Probably would have allowed human avatars sooner, wish we'd gotten in Hangouts lists 10 years ago or more so people could FIND all the best dreams rather than missing out on good content... Really all the features we haven't added yet I wish were already there. I wish we had sound effect and music editors. Only so many hours in the day and dollars in the bank account to hire help, though!
What was the bug? I needed to increase the size (again) of FD_SETSIZE under Unix so each process could handle more open sockets. The ironic thing is I'd had to do that several times early on, but now we had a multiple gateway architecture and the bug was showing different (and very puzzling) symptoms. So it took a while to find it, and when our friend Kunnis figured it out for me, I felt a little stupid.
Translation for non-programmer types: "Blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah, stupid."
I was happy to see Furcadia add in Hyooman avatars and had hoped that it might bring in more players, but that doesn't seem to be the case from my perspective. Do you think that most people outside of the Furcadia community still see it as a "Furry Game" and why do you think that such a label detracts from a game where players control most of the content? Just like there's some people that think "Star Trek fans are nerdy losers who live in their mom's basement", there are people that look down on "furry fans". Among those who know "furry fandom" exists, anyway. But I think they're a minority. Animal characters are widely used and loved in Disney movies, Bugs Bunny cartoons, tv commercials, cartoon shows, sports team mascots, greeting cards, really throughout our culture.
I do think we suffer some from the fact that the most widespread and mainstream fantasies people have are set in the real world, like "I win the lottery and buy a mansion". When people play computer games, they often like an avatar that looks like them, like the charcters you build on the Nintendo Wii. So we could have benefited from supporting human characters earlier on. We will do more with them in future.
Of course some of our players have used our tools to just build dreams full of 30s gangsters, Hogwarts wizards, favorite anime characters, etc. There are certainly plenty of places to be surrounded by humans, robots, aliens, fairies, or Pokemon. But what we have in the core of the game is important too.
, Congrats on your career, you've made games over the years. I'm a film graduate currently working in advertising. How could somebody like me get into the world of game development? The best thing is to put together some really good samples of your work. Partly playable games are best if you can use a game making tool or work with other people, otherwise samples of art, writing, video, music, etc. are all useful. Sometimes you still have to try getting your foot in the door in playtesting, community support or customer service and working your way up. Always show people you have a lot of passion for the field, that definitely helps in interviews. Good luck!
What's it like knowing that your game is credited by an ever growing number of individuals as the springboard for their careers? It's immensely gratifying. Maybe a little bit like being a dad, I certainly take pride in hearing about any accomplishment or good news from people that got that boost from our work. I also think one of the greatest compliments I ever got was when I met one of my favorite game designers at a conference, and he told me his latest game was partly inspired by Furcadia, among other sources.
Hi Dr. Cat! I love Furcadia, and I'm excited for the Kickstarter's stretchers. So, how's life going today for you? - Dippy. Pretty good. A former boss took me to Terrapin Crossroads for dinner last night, a nice restaurant owned by the bass player from The Grateful Dead (and he often plays music there). Came home just in time to see our Kickstarter hit its first goal, and we put up a new video on Youtube. Today I'm very excited to talk to lots of people on here and answer a ton of questions, I love talking about my work!
Last updated: 2012-12-03 09:38 UTC
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