Experimental Game Dev Interviews
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  • Design Suggestions for Online MMOs, Part I

    Posted on February 26th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    A discussion about techniques and strategies to promote your MMO 🙂

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/i-play-fb-part-2.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

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  • Free Friday: Royalty-Free Music For Your Game

    Posted on February 25th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    GianMarco Leone has been nice enough to create free music that game developers can use in their game…enjoy 🙂

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/gentle-idle.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Get Interviewed At GDC…

    Posted on February 24th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    Are you going to be at the Game Developer’s Conference next week? We’d be happy to interview you about your latest indie game in person…or over Skype.

    If you’re interested, send an e-mail to support **** at **** indiegamepod **** dot **** com

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  • Developing a Text-Based MMO for Facebook

    Posted on February 23rd, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    A discussion about the new text based game, The Trader Game

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/i-play-fb-part-1.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

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  • How a Non-Developer Used Corona to Make an iPhone Game

    Posted on February 20th, 2011 IndieGamePod 1 comment

    Ignacio talks about using Corona to develop iPhone games

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/frescolina-games-podcast.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

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  • Free Friday: Royalty-Free Music For Your Game

    Posted on February 18th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    GianMarco Leone has been nice enough to create free music that game developers can use in their game…enjoy 🙂

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/funk-chase.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • The Design Behind a Freeware Strategy Game

    Posted on February 17th, 2011 IndieGamePod 1 comment

    Fred talks about good design for strategy games and his strategy game, Interstellar Brawl

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/fred-strategy-game-podcast.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

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  • Guest Post: Design in Games – Team Fortress 2

    Posted on February 16th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    Team Fortress 2 is an online, multiplayer, team-based, first-person shooter made by Valve. It has sold very well, and is still played obsessively by people around the globe. If you haven’t played it, you can buy it off steam for $20.00 (trust me, it’s worth it by far).

    From first glance, the game looks pretty normal. On the most popular mode, capture the flag, the users are split into two teams of players, and the players can choose what class they want. The goal is to get the intelligence (the flag) from deep within the opposite base, and to bring it back. First person to do this three times wins. But there’s more than what meets the eye.

    First, let me go over the classes. A scout is really fast, but weak. A soldier is really slow, does not have a large blast radius, but shoots deadly missiles. A pyro is quick and shoots wide-spread Team Fortress 2fire, which stays on player. A heavy is very slow, but has rapid fire (powerful with time). A demoman shoots bombs and can lay booby traps with sticky bombs, but has no real gun. A sniper… snipes, but has low health and has no weapon for close range. The medic can heal others and can give the team a power up after enough healing. Finally, the spy can become invisible, back-stab for an instant kill, disguise self as part of other team, and can take out sentries. Sentries, automatic weapons, are made by the engineer, who can also make health dispensers and teleporters, but isn’t powerful by himself.

    The aspect which made the design innovative and addicting is the teamwork involved. Each class has very strong and very weak points, which forces players to not become the same thing, as death would follow. That’s the first layer of the teamwork.

    The strategies which come out of this, all of which require teamwork, make the game very fun. For example, many times, an engineer will set up a powerful automatic gun, a sentry, in theMedic and Soldier Working Together sewers (basement) of the enemy base. With him, a powerful gunner (a heavy) will defend the engineer until the gun, health dispenser, and teleportation system are in place, which is when the whole team can teleport over and attack in a wave from below.

    Often times, a sniper and demoman work together (whether they know it or not). A demoman can lay sticky bombs on the bridge between the two bases and blow them up when people cross to their side. From above, a sniper picks off enemies while the demoman is resetting his/her bombs. That is one way into the base which has been pretty much shut down.

    Sentry guns play a vital role in the game, as they are pretty tough to destroy and impossible to get around. Many times, a medic will heal people until the bar is full. At that point, he/she will find a powerful gunner (soldiers are good, as they can shoot accurate and very powerful shots) and make him/her invincible long enough to take out the sentry.

    All this teamwork and setting up can take place in the chat, but it is usually understood what needs to be done, which really makes you feel as though you are a single team, not a bunch of guys going on killing sprees who happen to be wearing the same color.

    I am surprised that this kind of teamwork hasn’t been used more in video games after this game. Most co-op games have two characters who have the same (or near the same) abilities, and while they may rely on the other for healing, real teamwork is multiple people working together, as Team Fortress 2 does.

    The beautiful thing about Team Fortress 2 is that teamwork isn’t mandatory. Double DashAnything mandatory in games is better left out, as it detracts from the players’ freedom and overall experience. They could have made a rule that if someone doesn’t work with someone else every minute, the entire team is stunned for 30 seconds, but the teamwork isn’t organic! The organic teamwork is created because it is necessary, not mandatory. Players will realize them not sticking together and not coordinating their moves will result in losing. They make the choice to work together, and the teamwork becomes a strategy and a choice, not a problem. Choices, as seen where there is no teamwork rule, are more fun and interesting than problems, as seen where working together is mandatory, as a general rule, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    So, play the game, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There are more modes which also organically create teamwork, such as freeze tag (you must stick together so you can unfreeze teammates) and capture points (in which you must split up into waves to conquer completely different areas on the map. There a few more that I won’t mention as well.

    In conclusion, not requiring teamwork, but making teamwork the optimal strategy is what makes teamwork in games fun, and gives you a sense of freedom and payoffs after your strategy justTeam Fortress 2 Teamwork put your team ahead. One way to make teamwork the optimal strategy is to vary the abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of the different players, and to create these abilities together with the goal of making each one important in one way or another. Also, make sure there is no optimal strategy (other than to work together). For example, if doctors couldn’t make their people invincible and spies couldn’t zap sentries, it would be pretty much impossible to destroy sentries. The balance of the game tips to the side of the engineers who make the sentries, and suddenly almost everyone is an engineer, as that is the optimal strategy. At that point, teamwork and coordinating attacks are thrown overboard, and everyone will focus on building sentries. Then you lose the teamwork, the fun, of the game.

    I could have gone deeper into this, but I’ll leave the other aspects of the teamwork inside Team Fortress 2 for you to analyze and discover for yourself (the only real way to learn). After you’ve played it (if you can; not necessary), try coming up with your own game in which teamwork is necessary, not mandatory. If you send me your idea under Contact and Submission, I’ll read it over and give you some feedback. Good luck! I’m gonna go eat a sandvich now.

    Dylan Woodbury lives with his family in Southern California. He runs http://dtwgames.com, a game design website that posts intriguing new articles every week, both beginner’s tutorials and theoretical ideas. He also has an interest in writing, and is planning his first novel. His primary goal is to change the world through video games.

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  • Airy Canary, Developing an iPhone Game, Part 2

    Posted on February 14th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    Joe talks about indie mobile game development and making Airy Canary for the iPhone

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/airy-nary-part-2.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

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  • Free Friday: Royalty-Free Music For Your Game

    Posted on February 11th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    GianMarco Leone has been nice enough to create free music that game developers can use in their game…enjoy 🙂

    You can download the podcast here…
    http://www.indiegamepod.com/podcasts/cromatic-minor.mp3

    Or listen to it here…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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