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Planet Bit Games – Weekend Update Report #4

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Weekend Update | 0 comments

PlanetBitGamesReport-4

Greetings from Planet Bit. This has been a great week of learning between online tutorials and starting the work on a platformer prototype. Most of the tutorials I have seen are about learning the scripting part of Unity. While some are based in Javascript I prefer the ones in C# since this is the language that I have been learning so far. If you are new to programming I recommend you to start playing with Javascript and then make the jump to C#. Check out the path I took to lose the fear of learning programming.

Since I want to focus making 2D games (inside a 3D engine like Unity) I was looking for a 2D plugin solution. Then I found 2D Toolkit, it seems like a great solution to the problem. The new version also integrates with the new Unity 4.3 2D tools for a major flexibility. I bought it form the Unity Asset store and made a small prototype with the documentation available from the official site. The prototype is based on the know game of hitting moles. You can play it here.

2dtoolkit-prototype

This week I have been working on the prototype for my first game. I want to make a tower defence platformer but first I want to do the basic player controls right.

planetbitgames-prototype

So far I have been able to move, jump and make the camera follow the player (the orange cube). Next week I will write about new things I have added to the prototype.

planetbitgames-prototype-interface

To finish this Weekend Update Report I want to talk about the great talk of Mike Bithell in GDC about the lessons he learnt while developing Thomas Was Alone. The highlights of the talk were how middle ground developers that were working on consoles are now looking to other markets like mobile and free-to-play games. That leaves a good gap for  indie developers to fill in the PC and console market. Mike also talks about how buying off shelf solutions (like 2D Toolkit) can help you develop your game faster and for a smaller cost. In his new game Volume he bought some animations from the Unity Asset Store to use in the prototype so the first trailer can look more polished without hiring animators. Of course this will never replace having an animator in your team working custom animation but at least it’s a good quick fix.

See you in a week in the next Planet Bit Games Weekend Update Report. Remember that you can Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook too, it would be a great boost for Planet Bit.

 

Learning Done

Introduction to C# in UnityDT

Unity Mobile Game Development: Communication with Notification Center – DT

Unity Mobile Game Development: Player Functionality – DT

2D Toolkit Docs - Unikron software

2D Toolkit Official Whack a Mole Tutorial – Unikron software

 

Readings 

The Dumb Hobby Project: Lessons Learned Making Thomas Was Alone – GDC Vault

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Planet Bit Games – Weekend Update Report #3

Posted by on Jan 12, 2014 in Weekend Update | 0 comments

PlanetBitGamesReport-3

Here comes the Weekend Update Report #3 in Planet Bit Games.  Continuing with the game developing learning I move on to Unity tutorials and classes.

This week learning goes from a good introduction to Unity 4 from digital tutors to learning materials and how lighting works on this game engine. Also if you are interested in the business side of indie game development be sure to check the reading (link below) about setting up your indie game development business.

One of the best things that happened this week was the Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 a complete week marathon of speed runs with the purpose of raising funds for charity. You can read more of that here.

Learning Done

Introduction to Unity 4 – DT

Materials and Lighting in Unity – Lynda

 

Readings 

Setting Up Your Indie Gamedev Business: A Primer – Tutsplus

 

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 Lot’s of Fun for a Great Cause

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Awesome-Games-Done-Quick-Megaman-X

This week I have been doing some game development classes from lynda.com and digitaltutors.com but one thing caught my attention. I saw a tweet about a live speed run of Yoshi’s Island. Immediately I opened the link and was hook by all the amazing tricks, new glitches and the speed that the runner was playing. Since then I have saw a lot of speed runs including Megaman, Mario, Ninja Gaiden, Contra and Zelda games.

The event is called Awesome Games Done Quick and it’s organised by the Speed Demons Archive. It consists of a one week marathon of runners playing good games at full speed trying to get the best time they can. The marathon goes through January 5-11. And all this is for a great cause, all the funds collected through donations goes towards a foundation, this year is Prevent Cancer Foundation. This foundation works doing research, prevention and early detection of cancer.

I had so much fun seeing Megaman X3 and X4 speed runs, good memories to relive, and an awesome competition of Zelda: A Link to the Past to see who wins the game first. One of the fastest runs I saw was a player that won Castlevania: Symphony of the Night under 18 minutes including beating Dracula on the inverted castle.

Awesome Games Done Quick Mario Bros 3

If you have fun seeing all the speed runs be sure to donate something for a good cause, also there are lot’s of good collectibles that you can win this way.

There are still some runs left with more Zelda and Metroid games coming up and finishing with an amazing 3 hour Chrono Trigger run, you can check them all out in the schedule.

Planet Bit Games – Weekend Update Report #2

Posted by on Jan 5, 2014 in Weekend Update | 0 comments

PlanetBitGamesReport#2

Weekend Update #2 arrives. There has been a long time since the first Weekend Update from Planet Bit Games. As I said in the previous update I am making this posts to keep track of the game development process and also to share this journey with you.

This week has been more of concept learning, the two main courses that I did were classes from Simon Allardice about Foundations of Programming. I like his classes since he teaches programming concepts in an easy way to understand.

I also found a cool tool for keep track of all your social media account, email signups and site visits called SumAll, check it out.

Learning Done

Foundations of Programming: Refactoring Code - Lynda

Foundations of Programming: Test-Driven Development - Lynda

 

Readings 

50 Greatest Gaming Moments – Nowgamer

 

Planet Bit Games Site Stats 

Site Visits October 2013: 1454 visits 

Site Visits November 2013: 2152 visits +698

Site Visits December 2013: 3420 visits +1268

Alexa Rank: 3,397,173

 

Planet Bit Games Social Stats

Facebook: 125 likes +8

Twitter: 884 followers +181

 

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Planet Bit Games – Weekend Update Report #1

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in Weekend Update | 1 comment

PlanetBitGamesReport

It’s time for a weekend update in the activity of Planet Bit Games. This week has been a slow one but working on the next one so it has a good start in some game development tutorials and classes I am taking.

I will do this Weekly Reports for some reasons. One is so other aspiring indie developers can follow my progress and the other reason is to keep track of my own progress, so I can stay motivated and know what I am doing in terms of development, learning and promotion.

In the reading Project Management for Solo Development I got some good tips from Chris DeLeon. ”Lead yourself like you were leading somebody else”. Take a moment in the week or on a day and put the producer hat, think about what’s the schedule, what’s left to be done, is there some delays, milestones and deadlines and all that producer stuff. So if you are a solo developer try to be a good leader to yourself and also a good employer. See below the links to two great articles from HobbyDev site.

In other news I saw a PS3 development kit this week, pretty cool to finally see one.

 

Learning Done

Videogames And Learning – Week 2 – Coursera

 

Readings 

General Advice to a New Student in Videogame Design

Project Management for Solo Development

 

Planet Bit Games Site Stats 

Site Visits Last Week: 369 visits

Site Visits October 2013: 1454 visits

Alexa Rank: 2,216,830

 

Planet Bit Games Social Stats

Facebook: 117 likes

Twitter: 663 followers

 

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How to Lose the Fear of Learning Programming for Video Games

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Game Development | 1 comment

howToLoseFearToProgram

This is the path I’ve taken so far and has helped me lose the fear of learning game programming and feel more confident to continue. Learning by yourself is not easy and requires a lot of discipline and dedication, the good thing is that it has a much lower cost compared to a formal education in programming (like going to University). For those who find it difficult to focus the Pomodoro technique will help you on your way.

It is important not only to learn how to write in a language but also to know the theory and foundations of programming. These fundamentals are the same to almost all programming languages ​​and classes from Professor Simon Allardice at Lynda.com are very good explaining the concepts. This road is to develop games based on Unity with C# language but you can apply it also for programming in general. At first you will not understand everything, and that’s fine, but the moment you learn the same concepts from different sources you will have a better understanding of each topic.

The Way to Lose the Fear of Learning Programming  for Video Games

First Step – Enter the Matrix

Getting Started with Programming – Code Academy

 

Concepts and Foundations 

Computer Science 101 – Stanford – Coursera

Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals – Lynda

Foundations of Programming: Object-Oriented Design – Lynda

Learn to Program: The Fundamentals - University of Toronto - Coursera

Foundations of Programming: Code Efficiency – Lynda

Foundations of Programming: Databases – Lynda

Foundations of Programming: Test-Driven Development – Lynda

Foundations of Programming: Refactoring Code – Lynda

 

C# Programming

Introduction to the C# Programming Language – Microsoft

C# Intro – Riddlersoft

C# Essential Training – Lynda

Beginning Game Programming with C# - University of Colorado System - Coursera

 

Unity 3D Learning

Unity 3D 3.5 Essential Training – Lynda

Level Design Basics in Unity – Lynda

Beginner’s Guide to Unity – Digital Tutors

 

Version Control (optional)

Try Git – Be introduced to the basic concepts of Git version control – Code School

Fundamentals of Software Version Control – Lynda

It is important not only to learn how to write in a language but also to know the theory and foundations of programming (this will help you a lot). These foundations and concepts apply to almost all programming languages ​​and courses from Professor Simon Allardice at Lynda.com are very good explaining those concepts. This path is based to develop games in Unity with the C# language but that is not the only way to develop games. At first you will not understand everything, and that’s fine, seeing the same concepts from different sources will help you to have a better understanding of each topic.

After completing these courses you will feel more confident so you can keep learning more. If you have trouble perhaps a formal education program may be the solution, but learning on your own is a low cost alternative for those who can not afford that kind of education or just want to learn specific stuff. As a last tip have a lot of patience, do not try to use shortcuts, practice often and step by step, learning new things every day that will help you on your quest of developing video games.

Finally something that can help a lot is having a programmer friend or contact who can guide you on certain things, in my case I was lucky to have @androbtech who patiently guided me along the way.

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