Experimental Game Dev Interviews
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  • An Indie Reinvents Their Life To Become A Game Developer…

    Posted on August 6th, 2016 admin No comments

    Adam, developer of Mr. Green: Mess Machine, talks about self-reinvention to become a game developer…

    You can download the podcast here…

    Or listen to it here…

  • Free Game Development/Virtual Reality Mentorship…

    Posted on May 15th, 2016 IndieGamePod No comments

    Hey folks,

    I’m going to offer another Game Dev mentorship that would last for 2 weeks. This is open to any individual or team…from high school student to senior citizen…working on a game or virtual reality experience.

    During the mentorship, we would meet over Skype or e-mail daily to discuss the details, challenges, and ideas needed to get your game/virtual reality experience done.

    If you or your team is interested, e-mail me at support at indiegamepod dot com…this offer is open until May 22nd, 2016

    Feel free to post questions about the mentorship below 🙂

  • Developing an Indie Real-Time Strategy Game

    Posted on April 16th, 2016 IndieGamePod No comments

    Caleb, lead designer of C.U.R.E., talks about their journey to develop a science-based RTS…

    You can download the podcast here…

    Or listen to it here…

  • Using Machine Learning to Improve Gameplay…

    Posted on March 11th, 2016 IndieGamePod No comments

    Jason and Delia discuss using machine learning to improve gameplay…and the potential of machine learning for new game designs…

    You can check out their demo here…

    You can download the podcast here…

    Or listen to it here…

  • Using Unity To Develop A Unique Mobile Voxel Endless Driving Game…

    Posted on February 20th, 2016 IndieGamePod 1 comment

    Eugene, developer of Out of Brakes, talks about developing an indie game in Unity … including the design, development, technical challenges, and unique art style…

    You can download the podcast here…

    Or listen to it here…

  • Making an Indie Virtual Reality Game…Ghost Theory

    Posted on February 5th, 2016 IndieGamePod No comments

    Stefan, from Dreadlocks, talks about developing Virtual Reality games…like their new VR game called Ghost Theory…we also discuss play in general and gamification…

    You can download the podcast here…

    Or listen to it here…

  • Free Game Dev Mentorship…

    Posted on January 31st, 2016 IndieGamePod No comments

    Hey folks,

    Part of the show involves giving away free stuff to indie developers. One of the more popular freebies was a free mobile game design book released a couple years ago.

    This year, we’re going to try something different…I’m going to offer free game dev mentorship for 2 weeks to any indie game dev/team that is working on a casual game.

    This mentorship would involve giving you feedback on technical, marketing, and business issues…every day via e-mail or Skype.

    Once your game gets done, I’m also happy to do an interview about the game to post on the show.

    The goal of this mentorship experiment is to see if this show should offer this new type of freebie to the mix of stuff we give out on the show.

    If you or your team is interested, e-mail me at support at indiegamepod dot com … this offer is open until February 7th, 2016.

    Feel free to post questions about the mentorship below 🙂

  • Designing Games for Women

    Posted on September 27th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    Brenda, the co-founder of Silicon Sisters, talks about designing games for women

    You can download the podcast here…

    Or listen to it here…

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Guest Post: Learning Through Games

    Posted on May 10th, 2011 IndieGamePod No comments

    How much thinking is allowed in games? What many don’t know is that we think a lot when we play video games. Whenever we make a decision, face a beast, or strategize, we are thinking.
    Many don’t know that thinking/ learning is the primary reason for fun. Learning may not sound like a lot of fun, as school pops into one’s mind, but the learning in school isn’t the learning you do in games – or in life, for that matter.

    People play games much like toddlers go through life – we examine a situation, predict the outcome of a certain action, test it, and examine the results. Whether it’s trying to bring down a boss in Super Mario Galaxy 2 or releasing a balloon into the sky, we are still learning.

    Games have been testing learning and thought more and more lately. People have obtained headaches after playing games like Braid or Portal. Challenges in these games require the gamer to think and learn more than ever before, and people have fun – learning is fun.

    But if learning is fun, why is school so boring? Because we don’t learn in school – we cram, memorize, and follow an algorithm… that is not learning! I am here to propose that if school was set up more like a video game, school would actually be fun, and there would be no divide between smart and stupid people.

    The first order of business is making the material matter to the player – making the material important. Good grades can be important, as they avoid consequences, regret, and a whole truck-load of negative feelings. A student may be motivated by grades, but that does not matter – a student must be self-motivated in order to succeed in school (or just have a skill set for following sets and cramming irrelevant information into one’s head, the modern definition for smart).

    How do we make learning important to the student? The answer: by simply having the student learn organically. That means, you learn by doing. When humans learn, we use the scientific method (even though we might not be aware of it). First, we notice a problem or challenge, like portal puzzleneeding to get from one side of a room to the other without landing in the acid between the two sides. Next, we hypothesize based on previously learned information, thinking, “Maybe if I put a portal on this side and that side, I will end up on the other side.” Then, we test; we shoot the portals and jump through. Finally, we analyze the results and what we hypothesized (it worked). At that point, the player has learned – one can transport to a new area by laying portals on opposite walls. Even if it didn’t working, the player learns that the converse is true, bringing him/her closer to the answer.

    At that moment when you find yourself on the other side of the room, chemicals of pleasure are released into your brain, rewarding you for the mission accomplished and motivating you to learn even more. After learning about the portals, you now have this concept tucked inside your head for the rest of the game. This is something that you won’t forget, because you have learned it by doing.

    How can we use this method, for instance, to teach a child how to add two numbers? We can make a game! Why? Because a good game can organically teach and make learning the information important and fun.

    I know that about half of my readers just rolled their eyes. “Educational games are boring!” Mostbad example of learning educational games are boring because they didn’t do it right! A game that simply puts two numbers on the screen and tells you to enter the result is not organically teaching. You can do that in real life! Games like these do not utilize what video games have to offer.

    Let’s imagine a medieval game, in which the protagonist is doing the usual thing – defending villagers and defeating evil. We can throw in a learning challenge that teaches something very applicable in the real world. Let’s say you need to cross the river, but an obstacle is keeping you from crossing, like the sailor can’t figure out how much to cost for both the protagonist and his sidekick, or whatever. Suddenly, knowing addition becomes important, crucial to the player’s progress in the game. When given a reachable problem in an open environment to experiment and apply the scientific method, as well as a good streaming dose of feedback, the player will figure it out for himself/herself.

    This can apply to all subjects on all levels. For an English crossing river gameexample, let’s the player must crack a riddle written on a secret cave, but the riddle has a word the player does not know. At this point, the player will either look up the word and apply his/her new knowledge (good), or by cheating, guess, and realize what the word meant later (great!). The player will have a better chance of remembering this word in the long term, as he/she discovered it by doing (not by repeating the word and definition a hundred times before the test).

    These are not the strongest examples (revealing those would reveal my ideas), but I can tell you that the most important thing is making the learning crucial to progress in a game, and there are ways to do it without tacking on lame puzzles (trust me). It is very important not to add foolish puzzles that, for some reason, demand that you know what 8(3+4) equals. This area, creating challenges and setting up mechanics in a way that makes experimentation and solving fun and organic is the most challenging and important, but also what could drive games like these to revolutionize everything.

    Education fits very well within video games, but for many reasons. Video games also have a great learning curve. What you learn at the beginning is constantly tested, the player is required to build new concepts on top of older ones, and in doing so, can face new, tougher problemszelda puzzle (does this not sound exactly like Legend of Zelda?). They’re even set up similarly – Challenge (problem), level (chapter), boss (test), final boss (final exam). The only difference is that in school, you have to learn before you do – taking notes, reading a lesson, etc. In a video game, you learn and retain all this by yourself. The reason why books come with lessons before the practice problems is that the student has no way of learning the material by doing the problems (no feedback, boring, and not motivating).

    It is my hope that people begin to see beyond the criticisms like violence and addictiveness of video games, and see the great opportunities in them, like the ability to facilitate learning. I envision a modern education system that does not teach, but rather modern learning homeworkfacilitates the learning of students through video games (digital interactive learning environments – DILEs). I see a future where students look forward to school (crazy, right?), and not see it as a five-day crawl between weekends. Video games even propose to fix many other broken aspects in school, like the focus on following a series of steps (plugging in numbers, which, honestly, computers are better at) and lack of creative problem solving, doing something without knowing how to ahead of time (the thing we need most for twenty-first century jobs).

    We are facing a complete revolution of school, video games, jobs, and life. The possibilities are endless, and there are many ways to facilitate learning through video games (I’m holding onto my secret ideas until I am in a situation in which I can make them a reality). Think about it.

    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.

  • The Passion Behind the Hit iPhone Game, One Single Life

    Posted on April 28th, 2011 IndieGamePod 1 comment

    Hey folks,

    I got some pretty interesting interviews at the Game Developers Conference this year…one interview that stood out was by a guy that discussed an interesting game…

    The game was not released when we did the interview. But I did get a chance to play a private release. It was interesting…it was a game where a player had only one life in the game. Once they lost, the game would be over and they would have no more of a chance to play.

    I thought it was a bit out there. It was interesting, but I was wondering if people would actually want to play the game. Plus, this seemed “un-casual”…very hard core…you play and if you lose…the game is over. You cannot play again!

    The one thing I picked up on in my interview with the guy..was that he was passionate about the idea…and I could sense it. His interview definitely stood out in my mind.

    His goal was to communicate a certain type of feeling/emotion…I think this is definitely a successful use of “Narrative Mechanics”

    Fast forward almost 8 weeks…and now his game is out…and it’s called “One Single Life“…and is now one of the top 10 free apps on iPhone…

    Check out the interview below…

    Or listen to it here…