Archive for Game Title Progress

Mapping Pixels is a Balancing Act in Our Video Game World

Mapping Pixels is a Balancing Act in Our Video Game World

Creating a game, be it indie or not, involves solving a lot of problems. It is one thing to imagine all sorts of interesting game mechanics, level designs, story arcs, and everything else, but beneath all of that is an important question: How are we going to get these things on to the screen? Even that question reveals a rabbit hole. Should our game be 2D or 3D? Or maybe 2.5D? How should we represent objects, characters, etc.? And what about the rest of the game world? We’ll stop the line of questioning right there for now.

Focusing in on our representation of the game world brings whole new branches of questions. How should our levels be constructed? What do we need to do to get the level graphics on the screen? Can we do something that allows us to be iterative and experimental?

As we pondered these questions and…

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The Porridge Isn’t Too Hot or Cold! An Indie Game for Deep and Casual Gamers

The Porridge Isn’t Too Hot or Cold! An Indie Game for Deep and Casual Gamers

Some of my fondest memories with video games are as a kid meandering through the world of Chrono Trigger and getting to know its characters in a way that almost made them real. In some ways it was like a good book that I couldn’t put down, but in a more visual, audible, and interactive way (though books will always have a treasured place in my life too). That lens is focusing our efforts today and challenging us to think about how indie games can be an immersive experience or a casual hobby.

Our goal, though it seems difficult to surmount right now, is to build something that enables some players to pick up the game and quickly enjoy a few rounds in 5-10 minute increments, while also catering to those who want to more deeply engage in gameplay for longer periods at a time. That’s led us toward an…

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Forming the Business Entity Behind our Indie Game

Forming the Business Entity Behind our Indie Game

We’re two guys working on our first game, and since we don’t have the chops to build some ┬ákiller game art and mood-setting music we’re planning to pay someone else who can. That immediately adds a level of complexity to what we’re doing though, because previous to that our only real “expense” was labor.

Add on things like a license for Unity 3D Pro, various add-on components we’re planning to use, and the eventual spend on marketing the existence our game and the problem solidifies. Claiming those expenses on taxes has to be associated with a business entity, and since we’ll be entering into contracts with contractors and other companies it makes sense for us to try to limit liability to whatever assets the business controls.

Here are the business entities we considered:

Sole Proprietorship – won’t work because both of us are responsible for half the liability and will…

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Building Territories in an Indie Game World Using Mathematical Graphs

Have you ever pushed especially hard in a video game just to gain experience or skill points? Take World of Warcraft for example, which regularly divvies out talent points as a player levels up. Choosing different talent paths creates fundamentally different characters with specialized abilities. For example a mage that has massively powerful fire spells can dominate a battlefield from a damage perspective while an ice mage  can slow and control enemies far more effectively.

Building Territories in an Indie Game World Using Mathematical GraphsFrom a technical perspective, the progression through that talent tree is likely governed by a mathematical graph. Similarly in our indie game we’re figuring out how various abilities unlock others, and how the player can earn each level of abilities.

Beyond skill trees, this concept also has bearing on how sprites move through a map or level because it impacts…

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Building Our Indie Game One Bean at a Time

Building Our Indie Game One Bean at a Time

Somewhere in Indie Developer land I’m sure there exists a perfected method of prototyping a game concept before coding and building it out, but we at SYNTH7 have yet to discover it. So instead we’re returning to the basics, and more specifically pen and paper with one magic ingredient: dried beans.

If you hadn’t guessed, (or if you’re new and in that case welcome!) yet based on hints in our past posts, our game concept has to do with territory control between opposing forces that are both employing their own forms of weapons. It sounds easy enough to (1) talk about various game mechanics playing out and interacting with game elements and (2) take notes on the discussion so that we remember to follow up on it later, but we’ve quickly discovered that it’s also easy to get lost in an endless loop of ideas.

We made a commitment to…

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