Posted on March 29th, 2010 No comments
As part of the commitment to give away free stuff every month…we’ve gotten some good art assets…and have released them under the Creative Commons license…
The artwork relates to Easter…have fun as you use them
Post comments or suggestions on other things you’d like to see given away for free next month
Here is the image…and the FLAs are at the bottom
Posted on March 27th, 2010 No comments
At GDC in San Francisco, I saw a fair amount of “indie”/experimental games”…all trying to provide an interesting experience to potential players.
What struck me about many of these games is that they took place in some unrecognizable world or land…or abstract theme…and had some unidentifiable monsters or some other non-mainstream theme.
I could see the potential in some of these games, but then realized that they may not get much play…because they are not suitable for a player’s FQ…
What is FQ…FQ stands for Fantasy Quotient…Most people in this world have a low fantasy quotient…they do not care about high fantasy themes like Orcs, etc…this past year, the rise in social games has shown that most players have a very low Fantasy Quotient…many players do not care about orcs and elves, etc. They are drawn to more realistic themes like Restaurants, Aquariums, and Farms. Something aspirational they can relate to in their everyday life.
As you develop your game, I think it is a good idea to make sure that your gameplay is wrapped around a theme/story that resonates with a potential player’s Fantasy Quotient (FQ). Using hidden lands and magical fantasies may work, but having a more relate-able and attainable theme…a theme that resonates with a player’s FQ…will help your game be more accessible to a wider audience.
So…what game are your working on…and what is its Fantasy Quotient?
Posted on March 21st, 2010 No comments
Shane Satterfield, editor-in-chief of GameTrailers.com, was nice enough to do an e-mail interview. He gets to check out a lot of different games so we wanted to get his perspective on interesting game designs, etc…
The interview is below…enjoy
What have been the most interesting game mechanics you’ve seen this
I would say the most interesting game mechanic I’ve experienced in 2010
so far is in God of War III. At the end of the major battle with
Poseidon the player actually starts viewing things through his eyes. The
player sees Kratos coming towards them with anger in his eyes, ready to
finish the job.
It truly makes you view the main character in the game
from a different perspective and allows you to appreciate what the other
characters in the game are feeling as they fall under his blade. I also
enjoyed a level later in the game that utilized optical illusions in the
level design. Haven’t experienced much of that in video games before,
What are the emerging game design spaces/areas that you feel indie
game developers can innovate in to reach success?
It’s all about being different and using technology for more than visual
appeal. Braid is a good example of this. It looks like a simple 2D
platformer, but it utilizes technology in its rewind functionality to
provide a fresh experience. Games with big budgets tend to play it safe
with game design and theme, and then rely on visuals to make a
What would happen if a developer tapped all the power of the
PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and used it for advanced AI, drawing more
objects of a lower quality, or otherwise dumped those resources into
other things than graphics? It could provide game design breakthroughs
that the industry has not yet seen.
Where do you think the industry is headed in the next year?
In the next year I think we’ll see if motion controls have reached a
saturation point or if it’s just getting started. With PlayStation Move
and Microsoft’s Natal being released to the market, everyone will have a
chance to jump on the bandwagon.
I think we’ll also see just how committed Sony and Microsoft are to the
initiative when they have to dedicate their development resources to
either traditional games or motion-based games. No matter how great
their technologies are, if they don’t support it with software no one
will care. It will be a very telling year.
What do you think about Social Games? Where do you see Social Games
heading in the next year?
I think social games will continue to gain momentum in the next 12
months. I’ve seen a lot of people who used to be “hardcore” players
switch over to these types of games in the past year as their lives
became more hectic and they needed the ability to play games for short
bursts and get something out of it.
Couple that with keeping them in touch with friends and loved ones as
their physical lives grow farther apart and it’s a recipe for success. That
said, if I get another request to play Mafia Wars I’m going to flip out.
Have you seen any interesting mobile MMOs? Do you think that the web
will be the largest place for MMOs or will it be mobile?
I still think that the PC and laptop will be the primary places to play
MMOs in the near future. Whether it’s a full-priced release like World
of Warcraft or Star Trek Online, or a pay-for-upgrades model like the
Korean MMOs, I think the majority of time will be spent in front of a
large screen. MMOs really have a lot of details to keep track of, and
doing that on a small screen will require some serious though. I haven’t
really seen any excellent mobile MMOs.
Where do you see mobile gaming heading?
I think mobile gaming is going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds.
The general public isn’t as concerned with graphics as the “hardcore”
player. You need no more evidence of this than the success of the Wii
and Nintendo DS. Right now things that are wired are almost looked down
If you can’t take it anywhere and use it anytime, it’s becoming
increasingly difficult to get people to commit. I think this trend will
continue as society gets faster and faster, and if you can roll a lot of
functionality into one device all the better. As the handsets and
handhelds grow in power, the desire for people to stay home and play
games will diminish. I think most people believe that the Wii features a
level of graphical fidelity that they can tolerate, and once there’s a
handheld with graphical capabilities to that level (the PSP is close),
selling home consoles will become a difficult proposition.
Thanks again for your time
Posted on March 17th, 2010 No comments
I made a list and took some notes on the more interesting sessions at GDC that may be relevant to smaller game developers looking to get players…here are some write-ups with more info on them…
Social Games in Japan:
http://www.slideshare.net/d3ntaku/jp-soc-games-v03 (these are the slides on the Japanese mobile social networks…the mafia game is called Kaitou Royale…and is reportedly making several million dollars each month)
http://kotaku.com/5493252/call-of-duty-for-the-rest-of-them (this explains a potential implementation of Sporadic play)
Designing for Parents + Kids:
Five Ways Games Can Make You Cry:
Interesting Stats from Facebook Talk:
400 million users on FB, just getting started as there are 1.7 billion folks on the Internet
does not include mobile
Over 3 billion photos uploaded every month on FB
FlashForward demo shows the power of social data to make a compelling experience
Incorporating real events into online play….
People are getting real-world flowers via online gameplay (Pet Society did this during Valentines)
Sharing is a popular social activity
First they came up with 5 solid ideas they would love to develop. Put up ads on Facebook to see which one attracted the most users. The one with the highest click-through was “Music Pets”
When people clicked on the ad, they were taken to the app. If they installed, they saw a page that said “Coming Soon”
They developed the game and released it…and kept iterating and improving it. It is now an entirely different game thatn it was 7 weeks ago…but players still here…because involves in helping to build the game
Players like choice…make sure you allow a lot of ways to customize things in the game…like lots of items in the store, etc.
Paperback Writer: The Emergence of Interactive Story …
Stories in games helps to create irrational loyalty
Lessons Learned for Effective Stories In Games…
a) Super important to ease them into the experience
b) Remind player what they should be doing at all times
c) Keep the story light and fun
d) Provide plenty of instructions and hints
e) Show progress
Posted on March 14th, 2010 No comments
Here’s a game development interview taken from the Independent Games Festival last year…a group of students made a “First-Person Dish Washing Game”…
Posted on March 9th, 2010 1 comment
Folks have mentioned that it would be cool to give away free and useful stuff on the show.
This month, I’ve convinced a team that wrote a new book + toolkit to make Social Games to allow me to give it away for free.
Here is the book…
Here is the code…
Here is the Word document to fill out to generate your own MMORPG on Facebook…
Take care and enjoy…Forums will be coming soon and you can discuss ways to get your Social Game up there
Note: The group that wrote the book is dedicated to helping students do games…so students can use their forums for free help…
Posted on March 4th, 2010 No comments
Posted on March 1st, 2010 No comments
Here is a game preview they put together…