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ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

Hyperforma: A Way From Web Design to Our First Game

April 19, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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Our team is called Nord Unit and there are 3 of us: Fedor, Denis and Dmitry. We are true indie developers and Hyperforma is our totally first experience in developing and releasing a game.

Fedor Danilov creates art, game design, interfaces, writes a story and does CEO stuff.
Denis Dorokhov does UI, creates animations and scenes, makes sounds and works with freelancers.
Dmitry Konarev does programming, creates levels, compiles the game in Unity3D. So he deals with the technical side of the game.

And of course, we discuss game balance and mechanics together, so it’s a constant game-design-team-work.

How We Met Each Other

Kyiv 2017Video Coverage

Alexander Shlygin: Unity Goes Beyond | Casual Connect Video

April 2, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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Among the key pillars is democratizing game developments and solving hard problems. - Alexander…Click To Tweet

By Arno Copley

Solution Consultant Alexander Shlygin for Unity spoke at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017 about Timeline and Cinemachine by Unity. These features include: post processing stack, analytis event tracker, totally new features for artists, numerous improvements in animation and more! In the talk entitled Unity 2017 and Beyond, Alexander provided an overview of all key features and improvements of the current Unity version. Get insights on what’s next with Unity by tuning in to the full session below.

ContributionsIndustry

Game Developers in the Future – How it Will Be

March 29, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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By Robert Everett

Not so long ago, web developers were unwilling to take gaming as a full-time career but nowadays, they are doing it full time. Some who are specialized in designing entertaining programs have become millionaires while others are quitting their jobs due to the allure of big money generated in this field.

Apart from playing online, if you are talented in a real sport and you would like to take it as your career, here is a comprehensive guide on how you can apply for an athletic college scholarship. According to this guide, if you are accepted, you will have to balance between excelling in sports and your academic work. If such a workload scares you, do not hesitate to contact Ca.Edubirdie.com for academic assistance.

That said, the future of the playing industry appears uncertain and it is hard to tell how it will be like in years to come. Nevertheless, this article will briefly look into the past, the current and the future of gaming technology in a bid to understand the trends of this industry.

1) The Past

As they say, you cannot plan your future if you do not know where you are coming from. Many current entertainment enthusiasts may think that web development aimed at entertainment is a recent phenomenon but they are wrong. Video games have been in existence since the 1950’s but were being designed as a hobby and not for money.

In the 1970’s, production moved a notch higher with the establishment of arcades and a decade later, video games were extended from arcades into homes thereby ushering an era of home consoles championed by companies like Atari, Sega and Nintendo.

2) The Present

From the 1980’s, the industry continued to evolve as new technological inventions came up. It is as a result of this that we are able to play high quality video options unlike those of the past.
Despite this growth, it is disturbing to note that game development jobs have been decreasing since 2014. According to recent surveys on job postings, available positions have been reducing at an alarming rate and the possible could be:

  1. The recent technological inventions are altering the ways we are doing things. For, example, most developers are making more mobile applications than in the past.
  2. In the past, designing of games was being done in studios funded by key publishers like Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony etc but that stopped, leading to job losses. Today, most developers today work either in small teams or independently.
  3. Furthermore, virtual reality (VR) seems to have completely changed the whole playing perspective.

3) The future of virtual games

New technological inventions have created a myriad of opportunities for designers as a huge number of them are now concentrating on making mobile-friendly entertaining apps.

(a) Current trends on Mobile phones

Today developers prefer GPUs graphics as opposed to CPUs as it was the case in the past, as they offer the much needed processing power.

Software developers – Google, Microsoft and iOS are also aware of the industry’s potential and they are constantly improving their platforms to lure more developers into their platforms.

Currently Android has the most developers due to the unlimited flexibility it offers as compared to its closest competitor iOS. The problem with the latter is that its app store is not open to developers and thus testing and publishing software isn’t free. Microsoft is also investing heavily in its new platform – Windows 10 OS to make it more appealing to developers and it is hoping its efforts will eventually pay off.

(b) Computer games

Current trends show that PC games are declining but to counter this, hardware manufacturers are now manufacturing portable computers that are not only lighter in weight than their predecessors but also highly efficient just like smart phones to lure developers back.

Back to the Future the game will probably change as we move on and we might see many developers concentrating more on computer programs.

(c) Clouds computing

This is another front that will determine players’ future. Most of them prefer options with clouds’ storage system. This is because you can play on one device and continue playing from where you left on another one. This is because results are uploaded in the clouds and are synced with any device you logon thereafter making those games more efficient and we expect more adoption of this technology in the future.

(d) Game development courses

Years back, to become a game developer, you had to undertake a 4-year computer science course but today, most young developers are preferring studying on coding boot camps which can be done within 12-14 weeks. Due to the increased adoption of these short courses, many developers are graduating and it is exciting to see how this will impact on the future of virtual playing.

(e) Trending games 2018

Xbox owners can now enjoy the latest releases like the Burnout Paradise Re-mastered, Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3 and Forza Motorsport 7. Others expected in 2018 are: the Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty, Titan Fall 2 and Assassin’s Creed Origins.

The Star Wars games are also trending in 2018 and are available both on PS4 and on the new Xbox. These are not the only new ones available, visit IT news sites and subscribe for latest updates.

Conclusion

Although the future appears uncertain, developers are optimistic about brighter times. They are counting on manufacturers to produce highly efficient gadgets that can play complex and high-resolution programs like Halo but for now, we can only wait.


Author’s bio: Robert Everett is an ardent writer with a specialty in the web development field. He offers deep insights when it comes to games. Apart from writing the said articles, he is also skilled in generating web content as well as writing academic masterpieces such as term papers, capstone projects, research papers, dissertations etc.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

Fhacktions: Mapping the Way

March 14, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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By Juan de Urraza, Ceo of Posibillian Tech

Fhacktions is a location-based mobile MOBA game developed by Posibillian Tech, a Paraguayan startup founded in 2015. Set in a near future where the world is ruled by factions of hackers, players must battle each other to maintain control of strategically placed servers that provide them with currency and power. The core of the game is its location based mechanic, with servers placed in real world places, like your local coffee shop or the laundromat next door. Conceived before Ingress and Pokemon Go were launched, Fhacktions had an uphill road to follow in order to finance, code and promote a game with mechanics no one yet understood.

The game received several awards, like winning the “Best Audio” category in Indie Prize USA, and being finalist in Indie Prize in Asia and Europe in the “Best Multiplayer Game” category. Google selected Fhacktions as one of the 15 best games in the Google Indie Games Festival LATAM in 2018.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

Ruya: We’re All One

March 11, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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Founded in 2016, Miracle Tea is an independent game developer made up of Bradley Smith, Tom Andrews, Enrico Ercole and Gav Amante. Based around Ipswich, they met at the University of Suffolk and Brains Eden game jam. The team aspire to make games that tap into deeper emotions to touch players in meaningful ways. Ruya was their first release. Bradley shares some insight.

Tranzfuser Days

Tom and I were both freelancing on the same project together. He showed me an old prototype he built from Uni. I had just competed in the Indie Speed Run and produced some artwork that I thought had some potential, so we pretty much combined two. Our goal was to re-imagine match style games with positive vibes and bring elements into the genre that you might not normally see.

Ruya team at Tranzfuser 2016

We submitted the original prototype to the Tranzfuser programme back in 2016 – it’s a national funding scheme for graduates in the UK. We were fortunate enough to be one of the teams selected with a successful pitch for funding. This floated a chunk of our development. The team that rxun it have been lovely to us and amazing to work with.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndiePostmortem

Pressed Escape: The Making of Path Out

March 7, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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In 2015 a young Syrian artist who had just arrived in Austria bumped by accident into a game designer that had somehow specialized in political games. He joined the designer and his team first as an apprentice, but soon after they decided to embark on an adventure: to make an autobiographical adventure game about escaping from the Syrian Civil War.

The project in a nutshell:

Path Out is an autobiographical narrative adventure, that allows the players to follow the journey of Abdullah Karam, a young Syrian artist that escaped the civil war in 2014. In the game, Abdullah is giving insight to his real-life adventure via video comments that appear throughout the game. While looking like an adorable retro RPG the game attempts to draw the players into the harrowing experiences that Abdullah had to endure during his journey. It also wants to function as an empathic connection between the player and the all too real protagonist. The first chapter of the journey was made available for free on Steam, itch.io and Gamejolt in November 2017.

EventsNews

Top Liveops Practitioners Share Insights at LiveOps Connect 2018

January 3, 2018 — by Industry Contributions

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by Cynthia Tee, VP of Product, PlayFab

Successful game studios recognize and embrace the idea that games have evolved. Today’s popular games are operated as services that evolve and grow over time with new content, live events, and frequent updates. To be successful over the long term, games need to understand and segment their players, develop deep relationships, and to understand and meet the needs of multiple player segments – in other words, to excel at liveops.

ContributionsDevelopment

Three Must-Haves for Learning to Code Online

December 21, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Jonathan Weinberger of Udemy

The growing gaming industry offers a multitude of opportunities for developers. Grossing $100 billion in revenue worldwide today, by 2020 that figure is expected to reach $120 billion and with emerging technologies like virtual reality, the gaming industry is hotter than ever, and in need of more developers. The first steps for those looking to dive into this exploding field can be daunting. With learning to code online, several different programming languages, new terminology, mathematics, and software to learn, how do you know where to begin and which learning platform to use?

Online tutorials like those on YouTube are valuable resources, but they will only take a new developer so far. I picked up some good tips on YouTube but still struggled to grasp essential concepts. I wanted to internalize what I learned along the way and figure things out for myself, not just be spoon-fed the answers. So, I started making my own videos that include interactive challenges that helps others learn to think like a game developer.

Eight years and a few thousand views later, I’ve taught thousands of students the basics of game development. As an instructor on Udemy, I’ve come to realize that everyone learns in their own way, but if you’re looking to learn to code efficiently and successfully, you should look for a program that offers the following three things:

1. Interactive Exercises

All seasoned coders know that the best way to be a great coder is by doing—the more you practice, the better you become. So when video tutorials offer lessons with spoon-fed answers, it doesn’t actually help you learn the skills necessary to work independently.

Instead, aspiring coders should look for lessons that let them practice their skills along the way, with feedback after they complete a challenge. This grants students the ability to address issues they will face once they’re on their own, while allowing them to problem solve the solution with access to expert support, if needed. This helps coders understand the logic and concepts behind these solutions, as well as the “why” behind their code. When a student understands why they’re writing code, they’ll be able to apply what they’ve learned to future scenarios.

2. Supportive Community

There are countless benefits to working in a group, but one of the biggest for developers is the ability to collaborate and learn from peers. Working with developers who are going through the same learning process allows you to ask more questions and share tips and tricks, which ultimately makes the whole experience easier (and more fun) for everyone involved.

Sharing the learning experience also opens the door to making new connections and meeting people with similar interests. You could meet a mentor, future colleague, or business partner—the opportunities are endless.

3. A Real Game as the End Game

As I mentioned earlier, coders learn by doing. As an aspiring developer, it can be difficult to demonstrate your skills to a prospective employer before you have work to showcase your knowledge. That’s why I recommend novice developers look for courses that culminate in a tangible piece of work that demonstrates your understanding of the entire game development process.

If you plan to invest in learning, especially learning to code, take the time to make a list of non-negotiables you hope to get from your coursework. This will help you determine what type of course is the best for your learning style and ensure you’re getting the most out of your experience.


Jonathan Weinberger is a self-taught software engineer with more than eight years of experience and the author of Learn Unity Programming with C#. He has developed several Unity games for the likes of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, as well as enterprise AR applications for companies like GE, Coca-Cola, and ThyssenKrupp. Find him on Twitter: @GameDevJon.

Game DevelopmentPostmortem

Skelewton: Persistence Pays Off

December 7, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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Youmaku Games is a small indie game development team, with only three members who are all passionate gamers at heart, based in Egypt. The co-founders of the team, Ashraf Abou-Heikal and Gurin Jaw, two childhood friends, started the company in 2013, having a common goal of creating indie games. The team is currently working on their first game, an endless survival 2D platformer called Skelewton’s First Law, and this is their story of how the game was formed over time. The developers call it a bizarre one.

By Gurin Jaw and Ashraf Abou-Heikal from Youmaku Games


There was first a skeleton…

Our graphics designer, Ashraf, started his journey by practicing pixel art, and one of his early works was a skull.  Later on, he drew a body for it, and we decided to make it an enemy in a dungeon crawler game.

Both of the team members had no experience back then, so this game was more of a learning thing than an actual project. Our developer, Gurin, was creating the game using Adobe Flash Professional. We ended up making the skeleton our protagonist, and started our development, or rather, learning process. After working for months, part-time along with college, the game was something like this:

The iconic typo

Then the most iconic accident in our team’s history happened, Gurin was inspired by one of his favorite games, VVVVVV, and thought of adding a gravity mechanic to the game, but with a twist of letting the skeleton switch gravity between four directions, instead of up/down only (like in VVVVVV).
While Gurin was telling our third team member, Abdelrahman, also known as Beta, about how the game is going, Beta made a typo in the chat, and typed “skelwton” instead of “skeleton,” as the “w” is next to the “e” on the keyboard. That’s when it hit Beta: gravity + apples + skeleton = “Skelewton”, Newton’s skeleton, – and so, our beloved character was born.

“We made the skeleton more iconic by giving him a wig like Newton’s”.

Two years of development in the trash

After two years in development, the game was glitchy, it looked bad, the levels were shallow, and uploading a Flash game to the internet didn’t seem like a bright idea by then.

That’s when we decided to redo the game using a game engine, Unity.
And so, we re-created the physics more efficiently, we made better animations, and things were finally looking neat. We decided to make the game specifically for the mobile platform, and that’s where we didn’t really think it through.
We lacked knowledge of the mobile market, and we didn’t study game design at all.
We were trying to put a 2D side-scrolling level-based game on mobile, where you need to walk, jump and change gravity. That was a very bad idea.

The final Flash build for Skelewton.
“The swimsuit was the first costume we made!”

Our control scheme ended up like this: walking by touching the right/left side of the screen, jumping by touching the screen with two fingers at the same time, and you control the gravity with motion controls.
We started attending local gaming events in Egypt, which were very few, to collect feedback from gamers, and that changed a lot of things for the better.

We decided to go for an endless survival approach, rather than a level-based one (that was mainly due to our lack of experience in game design), as well as it was more suitable for the mobile platform. So, we decided that Skelewton should just collect as many apples as he can in each level till he dies.
Later on, Gurin’s little cousins suggested adding costumes to collect for Skelewton, which was indeed a great addition for the game.

RDJ 2016

We went to our first local event specifically for game developers. That was, Run Double Jump 2016, and despite it being the show we failed at most, it was also one that benefited us the most.
Gurin didn’t learn from others’ failures, and made one big common mistake: adding new features on the night before the event.
We wanted to get a new decent tutorial for the game ready for the show, but things took a bad turn. We didn’t sleep, the tutorial wasn’t done, and we were running out of time. By the time we reached the event, the game was literally broken, nothing was functioning correctly.

Surprisingly, despite the game being broken, people genuinely loved it, and gave us a lot of great feedback! Furthermore, we got to meet up with the country’s best developers and got to know many amazing people working in the industry.

Not ready? attend events anyway!

During Run Double Jump 2016, we found out about Indie Prize and Casual Connect as well. And decided to submit Skelewton’s First Law for Indie Prize Berlin 2017, despite being far from complete.
We got rejected as expected, but Gurin decided to apply as a volunteer, which would give us a free pass for the event, in exchange for helping out at the event for a day. Thankfully, Gurin got accepted as a volunteer and was able to attend.

At the show Gurin met countless professionals in the gaming industry, and got to know some wonderful people who were all willing to help and give feedback. On the first day, while volunteering, Gurin met some amazing game developers who were part of the volunteers team as well, and they gave a lot of valuable comments.
Special thanks to two teams, Traptics and Amused Sloth, for all their great help and support, they were truly kind and helpful!

Gurin also got to spend some great time with Egypt’s RDJ 2016 winner, Abdallah AlSayed from BNOO Games.
Three days at the event were far from enough to try out every single game showcased at Indie Prize, but it was the most amazing experience ever.

“During the event, with the feedback collected, we were able to take the game into a much better direction”.

After that we attended a local event, Geek Fictions 2017, where we were invited to showcase our game along with other developers we know from across the country.
At this event, we saw how great the changes in gameplay improved the game. All feedback we received was positive and people were telling us we are in the right direction.

Logo evolution.

When the RDJ 2017 date was announced, we knew this will be a decisive factor for the future of the game. We worked every day the entire summer with no breaks at all until the day of the event, as if our lives depended on it, because they really did.

“Gurin didn’t shave their hair ever since RDJ 2016!”

The day had come, and it was the best experience in our entire lives, we were genuinely surprised by how much people enjoyed the game and wanted to play again; this was when we felt the true joy of making a game that makes people happy.
What made that day even better was that all our friends and family were able to make it to the event.

We met some amazing game developers again, as well as hard-working, passionate people eager to learn game development.
The day was coming to an end, it was time to announce the winners, and we really didn’t see it coming, because it was a dream coming true: Skelewton making it to Indie Prize.

“Now, we are aiming to finish the game during Q1 2018 and are preparing for Indie Prize USA 2018. We hope to find a publisher for our game. While we don’t know whether the game will be a success or a failure, we agree that spending 4 years on a first game has to be the greatest learning experience ever”.

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How to Accelerate Your Game Growth into 2020: A 360° View from Industry Experts

November 15, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Marina Sapunova, Marketing Content Manager, yellowHEAD

At Casual Connect Kyiv last month, yellowHEAD hosted an insightful panel titled “Accelerating Your Game Growth into 2020 with Key UA Techniques”. The participants were Javier Castro of Google, Jan Chichlowski of Vivid Games, and Alex Keselman of AppsFlyer.

During the panel, they discussed the future of user acquisition, the impact of app store optimization, the growing role of creatives, and the major changes that happened this year which will influence UA strategy in the future. They also touched on the constant challenge of rising CPIs and shared strategical approaches on how to overcome it and get set for growth moving forward into 2020.

The role of AI and machine-learning technologies with predictive algorithms were particularly in the spotlight of the conversation. A lot of insider information was shared by Google regarding Universal App Campaigns, how to adapt to the shift of all mobile app install campaigns coming together under one umbrella, and what to expect from this change.

It was a unique opportunity for the audience to get a 360° view of the industry and learn from the experts on how to overcome the current UA challenges, while seeking innovative ways to fuel app growth going into the near future.

For the full synopsis and video of the panel, please visit https://yellowheadinc.com/blog/accelerate-your-game-growth-into-2020/.

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