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Favorite Ways to Learn about a Game in Development?


SoleGoose
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This has been something that I've been wanting to ask for a while, but what are folks' preferred ways of learning about the development processes behind a game (for those interested in that type of stuff)? I don't mean quick gifs and images posted on social media, but longer tales of development. Blogs seem to be a thing of the past, although one that I personally enjoy, either in the moment or as retrospectives. I haven't seen many video tales, but creators will often do playthroughs and talk about things. AMAs are another form of getting things out. I'm not sure what else is out there, but what do you all prefer when it comes to hearing a little more about games you love (or hate for that matter).

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Homebrew Team · Posted

There’s a lot to be said for the quick social media posts that serve as teasers and conversation starters, but posts like what Vectrex just made for his Space Soviets game are excellent. It’s part teaser with screenshots and part blog entry that describes what’s in the developer’s at this stage.

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I'll pile on with the question -- are development blogs interesting to people? I used to keep more of a development blog where I'd talk about progress, but I never knew if anyone was reading it, and it was a bit of work to maintain, so I mostly stopped. Is there value in that sort of thing to people?

 

Edited by gauauu
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I have always loved reading detailed write ups about development and programming. It is a good insight into the process and usually very educational. Even consumer facing content like the Micro Mages announcement was a great and accessible look behind the scenes of development. 

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yup. I started on ppmck (on a mac) back in 08. I wanted to make music for new homebrew games and realized I didn't have an audio resume. I think I did a song for a one-off cart created by the community of the old site, and then was lucky to work with MRN for his projects!

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3 hours ago, gauauu said:

I'll pile on with the question -- are development blogs interesting to people? I used to keep more of a development blog where I'd talk about progress, but I never knew if anyone was reading it, and it was a bit of work to maintain, so I mostly stopped. Is there value in that sort of thing to people?

Development blogs are my favorite way to follow a game's development. I have visited your blog quite a few times and hope you continue to post!

1 hour ago, MRN said:

If there's interest, I can re-post my tutorials.  I have the source stuff somewhere.

Absolutely!

Edited by oshf
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I've always been fascinated with Developer Diaries, small videos documenting the design process, or early ideas, and how they've evolved with the project. Sort of done in installments where you get small peaks into the development of a game up until release. Obviously, that's much easier to do with big budget, AAA games. But maybe mini Developer/Development Diaries?

AMAs are always great too.

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Homebrew Team · Posted
13 hours ago, gauauu said:

Well, you guys inspired me to actually sit down and write a blog post about how I manage my asset pipeline in Halcyon.

Thanks Nathan.  I skimmed it, but will go back and read it more in depth.  I love to get that insight into the development, especially on a game that I am very much looking forward to.  

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There is another way that was not developped: meeting the dev. It often happens at events, we meet a dev that we do not know and the conversation starts. It is a great way to discover a project, while it cannot happen every day. For me social media are in the same category: sometimes we just happen to discover somebody by chatting with them.

Appart from direct interaction, I love any form of written material. Be it a blog, a book, a finished "ask me anything", a post mortem, some found documents (GTA's GDD is priceless),... What I love in these is that they stay available for years, so some gems tends to pop out naturally and also, when you search for an obscure game you love, you can find it.

I do not like videos. There is multiple problems with that format: first is that it is not comfortable to watch in public transportation, where I do most of my casual internet browsing. Second, there is the language: the vast majority of stuff in in english, if I can read it pretty well, my oral skill is lacking. The format change wildly from creator to creator: long form talks are a pain to pause, keep on a mobile tab, then come back to it (while writed material is made for that), short 5 minutes videos with music, jokes and FX often do not even cover the basics and are disapointing.

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If the point is to communicate some technical concepts, I prefer dev blogs with plenty of images. Extra points for code snippets, but only if they're formatted to not be a pain to look at. Videos could probably work, but if we're talking about making a tutorial, I find shorter videos more approachable. So a 30-part series 5-10 minutes each would be nicer than a single 4-hour long video. 

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Homebrew Team · Posted
On 11/1/2019 at 7:37 AM, RogerBidon said:

There is another way that was not developped: meeting the dev. It often happens at events, we meet a dev that we do not know and the conversation starts. It is a great way to discover a project, while it cannot happen every day. For me social media are in the same category: sometimes we just happen to discover somebody by chatting with them.

I wholeheartedly agree. I think a sizable part of my enthusiasm for homebrew is borne out of having met and kept up with several of the talented developers within this community. Each is an advocate of their projects as well as others, which helps me keep informed of what’s out there and on the horizon as well as makes me want to support them because of what great people they are. Hell, sometimes I worry I’m so gung ho that I weird out the brewers but it’s been fun getting to know them and keeping up with the progress on their games. #homebrewgroupie4lyfe

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On 10/22/2019 at 11:28 AM, gauauu said:

I'll pile on with the question -- are development blogs interesting to people? I used to keep more of a development blog where I'd talk about progress, but I never knew if anyone was reading it, and it was a bit of work to maintain, so I mostly stopped. Is there value in that sort of thing to people?

 

Blogs may be a thing of the past, but I still find the format to be incredibly helpful in this particular instance. In fact, AS a late comer into the greater world of nes development, discovering Frankengraphic's fantastic blog was a big inspiration for getting started myself, as well rainwarrior's lizard blog has been a constant revelation to go back and re read. 

 

WIP threads on the forums can be great too. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/22/2019 at 7:28 PM, gauauu said:

I'll pile on with the question -- are development blogs interesting to people? I used to keep more of a development blog where I'd talk about progress, but I never knew if anyone was reading it, and it was a bit of work to maintain, so I mostly stopped. Is there value in that sort of thing to people?

 

I have to say i throughoutly enjoyed reading the article you wrote regarding your scrolling glitch. As someone constantly battling with "that one bug that is impossible to reproduce" I definitely feel you there... too many times have we sat down with the "now it's perfect" look on our faces, only to find an incorrect tileload on the next playthrough. It's definitely an insight to read into what went into finding and fixing it on your end.

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