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Posts posted by saricden

  1. Also depending on what you're doing on the front-end it might be worth looking at Firebase. It's mindblowingly simple to setup and has the advantage that it's completely modular from your front-end. Plus you don't have to host any serverside code, and just need to find static hosting for your JS (which you can do for free with GitHub and I THINK Bitbucket as well).

  2. If you're going for better in terms of readability + scalability I think it'd really be worth using MVC structure (though in this case the V would kinda just be JSON output), and creating an API that utilizes a framework to help keep that structure together.

    A PHP framework I would suggest is Laravel. I find version 4 is a lot easier to pick up than version 5, but version 5 is probably enforcing some new even better advancements in software architecture / design that I totally don't understand yet.

    If you choose to go this route you might also consider using Lumen first which is a micro-framework by the people who made Laravel. The big advantage here is it has a lot of solid functionality you can use for your back-end, however if you find yourself wishing you'd gone with a full-fledged MVC framework you can move your Lumen code into a new Laravel project and it's supposed to just work.

    If you do use any of this stuff post about how it worked out, I really hope Lumen is as awesome as it sounds.

    Sometimes "it just works" isn't as true as we all hope...


  3. On 13/02/2016 at 4:15 AM, rich said:

    Personally (as someone who both uses and gets funding from Patreon) what I've observed is that it's all about the individual, not so much the project. Obviously the project itself helps massively, but I find that really patrons choose to fund that project if, and usually only if, they feel some kind of connection with the person running it. Perhaps that person is very visible in a community, helps other people out, posts lots of great content - it varies a lot, but I do honestly believe that patreon is about people, i.e. you fund the creator more than what is created.


    On 13/02/2016 at 11:39 AM, WombatTurkey said:

    It's all about timing, vision and dedication. 


    In regards to Patreon, It's about 50 50 for me. The project has to be good and intuitive, and the main developer has to be somewhat of a role model in their community. Other then that, my incentive meter to donate drops back to zero.

    Thanks you guys, that's seriously insightful. The format Patreon takes on it's homepage totally coincides with it being largely about the person. I mean the slogan in their title is: Support the creators you love. This is cool because it totally defines a clear distinction between Patreon and other crowdfunding platforms.

    The only downside I see (for us as developers) is that what we do isn't inherently expressive in terms of people getting to know us as creators. I mean I love Shigeru Miyamoto because he brought the Zelda series to life, but I certainly don't know what he's like as a person (but if you're reading this Shigeru, email me we can be besties :wub:).

    Perhaps this is a deeper topic that delves into expressionism through art, but as a medium lets be honest, code is both awesome and complex. I love that Google (sorta recently) made a big push to get people engaged in their DevArt competition. Code gives you the ability to be creative with function as well as form, and is one of the reasons I'm so drawn to game dev, as it really encourages this creativity.

    Youtubers certainly have it easier in this regard, because when they speak to their audience they're doing so through video, which I would say is almost as expressive of oneself as talking to someone in real life (or at least listening to someone rant lol). Not to say making good Youtube videos is easy, certainly not, but if you're a naturally expressive person and can get over camera shyness it is fairly direct in terms of conveying emotion through body language, tone, and all the other subtleties that make human interaction so immensely complex.

    I think a really good video that's emotionally imbued would perhaps be a good way for us to garner attention for our work in a way that lets people know who we are and what we're all about. And as much as it is a site for creative people I think describing yourself as a creative person probably wouldn't help you to stand out much, considering the fact that everyone on Patreon is going to be creative. I could be wrong here, but as soon as I get a credit card I'm going to find some projects I like and become a Patreon of them (will definitely donate to you @rich, thank you so much for your dedication to Phaser + this forum, this is how game dev always should have been). I'm sure experiencing both sides of Patreon would help me grasp a way better appreciation of what people look for.

    14 hours ago, end3r said:

    I think Patreon is currently the best option for supporting creative individuals, and it works for the most recognizable ones - I wonder how the global stats look for all the others.

    I was wondering about something else, and I'm gonna use myself as an example. There are recognizable devs doing some huge project of their own, so it's easy for them to offer different levels of awards for those supporting them. But what about someone doing all the little stuff here and there, what he could offer? Obviously not giving anything in return for different levels of monetary support or giving the same for everyone won't work.

    I was thinking about starting my Patreon page, but I have no idea what to offer. I'm running the Gamedev.js Weekly newsletter, so a slot there could be interesting, but I have no idea how it would work in the long run. I'm also organizing the js13kGames competition, but it's more of a one-time-in-a-year event so supporting it month over month makes less sense. I'm also writing tutorials for MDN Games and creating snippets of code for that, but again - what I could offer over what I'm doing right now? Right now I'm just doing stuff and sharing it. Also, how do you balance different levels of awards with different small projects you have?

    To be honest @end3r it kind of sounds like Patreon might not be the platform for you. Your work definitely sounds very creative and very interesting but I think for that to work on Patreon you'd need a way of relating it to yourself, and perhaps a selfless greater good.

    I could be wrong here, but I think typecasting yourself into a very particular niche makes it a lot easier for people to understand you and what it is you do. This is actually something I struggle with a bit and often makes me think Patreon perhaps isn't the direction I should take. I love making games, however I also love making web applications, and skateboarding, and editing videos, and so on.

    In some ways (possibly invalid, as I mentioned before I don't have a great understanding of what it's like to be a Patreon), I fear having a Patreon page where you show yourself in one niche, but then are discovered to be spending time engaging in projects of a different niche might draw distrust from your Patreons.

    For example, if I made a Patreon page that painted me purely as a game developer, but then it was discovered that I also spent time working on a skateboarding website my (hopefully skewed) intuition tells me that people might feel... Betrayed? (Again this could be totally invalid, I don't have a strong understanding I can lean on here, @rich maybe you could weigh in).

    But to combat that, the logical choice I see would be to be really transparent on your your page that you're involved in a lot of different stuff, though this in turn would make your niche broader and might make it harder for people to understand you. However in your case @end3r, I think that wouldn't be such a problem for you, as your various efforts all seem to fall under the same umbrella.

  4. Also if you're working in a team and using a source control tool like Git, you'd be less likely to run into a boatload of merge conflicts and stuff when working in separate files. Which ultimately just makes your life easier.

    In terms of a web context though, one thing that might be worth noting though is separating stuff into lots of files can slow down initial page load while the browser is busy waiting on a bunch of HTTP requests for the files.

  5. The only thing I'd add is it's usually a good design choice to keep your files modular. Phaser is really good for this if you want to separate different game states into different JS files. Here's a great tutorial that illustrates how useful this can be:

    One big advantage is that if you make some big huge game with a bunch of different areas or whatever, you don't need to dig through one massive JS file to find stuff when it comes time to make a change. You're looking for stuff that's for level 43? Awesome, you know to look in level43.js (or whatever in your own project, this is just an example).

  6. And if it ever got to the point where you had enough to live off of, you could reinvest the surplus donations into servers or something and start developing online games in the same fashion (although of course there would be some tough bridges to cross there in terms of security, etc).

    AND this is all assuming the games are actually good at all. If they totally flop the whole idea, etc. is moot.

  7. Makes sense! :lol:

    The way I'm thinking of trying out would in theory be without deadlines and would be quite open to feedback from beta testers (totally open betas to anyone who wants to play).

    Idk if this would still be considered Agile or if it would maybe be some weird middle ground between the two, but I'm thinking specifying some decent goals / milestones in some GDD-esque initial document (or probably in this case, a blog post) would be a good way to work towards a complete game. Doing something like that would also probably help identify any requests / feedback that's wildly unrelated, or is pulling the game in a drastically different direction.

    I just posted this topic here that better describes this imaginary model I'm on about, hopefully that'll help give a better context lol :D

  8. Hey all,

    I was wondering what you fine folk think of the platform Patreon.

    To be honest, I'm a little back and forth about it. It seems like a good thing and in theory would be a really cool way to fund creative endeavours that aren't designed to turn a profit, but can spur good in a variety of other ways. For some reason though accepting money via donations throws up some weird ethical issues within me that I can't quite pinpoint.

    Does anyone else share these feelings?

    I think potentially a pretty cool model could be as follows:

    A developer starts making some open-source, creative commons friendly games. The development of these games would be just like any other, with all graphics, music, story, etc. from scratch (and hopefully of a solid, consistent quality). The games would have no monetization whatsoever (no ads, no microtransactions, etc.), but there would be an accompanying Patreon page for the developer, if fans were interested in supporting further. Ideally the games would target two audiences:

    1. Players who're just generally interested in playing a good quality, legitimately free game
    2. Aspiring developers who really like and/or are inspired by the characters/plot/scenery/music/anything in the game

    Regarding target audience #2: I think it's safe to say a great many of us share memories of wanting to use a beloved video game character in a creation of our own. Not necessarily to profit off of, but just to make an awesome game (or movie, or anything) with characters we love. For me those characters definitely came from The Legend of Zelda.

    But of course, if you start making your own games with copyrighted characters, someone in the legal department of some massive company or another isn't going to be happy about it. SO the reason I think a project like this could be so cool for target audience #2, is that if they genuinely liked the characters (or music, or scenery, or whatever) in this open source game, they would be absolutely free (heck, encouraged) to go nuts and make stuff to their hearts content, publish wherever, and do whatever with.

    If the developer was able to make enough to live off of, and just spend their time creating games... Well I think that'd be a pretty awesome life. Because lets face it, I think a lot of us would continue to putter around and spend our time coding games and random stuff even if we made the next angry birds and bought an Aston Martin. I know I would... So why not try to build a fan base who could support you while you just spend your time making the stuff you love to make anyways, and just worry about delivering awesome stuff?

    Whew I wrote a whole essay there. I hope I described my point well enough... :mellow:

    TL/DR: Do you think a developer making legitimately free, open-source, CC friendly games (the assets of which were encouraged to be used by creative fans) could viably support themselves in an ethical fashion via monthly donations with a Patreon page?

    In terms of viability, I'm fairly sure it would take a long time to build up such a presence and a fan-base, but certainly a massive dissatisfaction (in terms of marketing-lingo) a project like this would have over it's competitors would be it's true freeness of play AND lack of stifling copyright law.

  9. Hi everyone,

    I'm starting to work on a new game that will be open-source with a blog component sort of coupled together with the game, and I was wondering if people take similar approaches to developing games as they do more general software.

    With games (in this case an adventure-RPG platformer), there's a ton of stuff that needs to be done, such as:

    • Plot development
    • Character profiles and world design
    • Making actual assets such as sprites, tilesheets, and (although I think this can be added last) music & sfx
    • Designing special gameplay mechanics (which I think can be inspired by aspects of the plot, ie: cool items that give you powers that make align with the context of the story)
    • Implementing basic gameplay stuff, ie: maps, preloading, physics, menus, inventory system, tilesheets, world travelling, etc. (MADE WAY EASIER by awesome frameworks such as Phaser ;))
    • Implementing the special gameplay mechanics

    There's certainly more than what I listed above, but the point is there's a lot to do. While a waterfall development approach would work, wherein you do everything step by step ordering stuff by what depends on what, I've found in past experiences that it's pretty easy to get bogged down in this approach. There's a good chance that this is because my favourite (and I'm guessing a lot of your favourites as well) part of the whole process is the development.

    That's why I've been thinking that a more agile workflow might be a good way to keep yourself engaged with your own project (instead of jumping around from new project to new project, without really getting much done). An example of this might look like:

    1. Not 100% sure what the entire plot is yet, but I know what the main character should look like
    2. The MC is going to need to walk around in a 2D sidescroller environment, let's code that w/ some dummy sprite
    3. Alright! Working well with a dummy sprite, time to animate a decent sprite of our character
    4. (3 weeks later) Phew, those 20 frames were tough, but we've got it! Look how awesome that MC looks!!

    And you continue to sort of compartmentalize different parts to keep up your velocity.

    As I'm writing this I'm starting to realize it might be kind of nuts to go it alone. Maybe I should rename this thread to "anyone wanna collab..?"

    TL/DR: What design-development approaches have you taken when creating a game? How did they work out? How have you kept yourself organized & engaged while creating a solo project with many components?