Best Production Practices for Casual Games

Best Production Practices for Casual Games

  • English
  • Game Development
  • UnityUnity
  • (739)
  • Project length: 6h 30m

Game development is a tricky endeavor. We start by falling in love with a game idea. We write it love notes, called a "design doc", or just tell some friends about it. We install the flashiest software which costs thousands of dollars, because we want only the best for our game idea! We work, fervently programming or drawing or pixelling our way towards our goal - which seems farther and farther away the more we work towards it! And eventually, most of us give up. My name is Will (or Whendric, if you prefer), and I have been developing games professionally for seven years. I own a company, called Tech Drone, and we fix games. Sure, we sell some software (MultiGame) and we have consultation services. But our biggest clients always want the same thing: to get out of middle development hell! Smaller companies usually don't make it past the first stages of development. I aim to change that. In this project we will learn to succeed in game development, first and foremost! We will use Unity, do some light programming in C#, and make some simple shapes in Blender. No previous knowledge will be assumed, and all of the software we'll use is industry-standard for game development and available free of charge.

Overview

Introduction

Most game development projects fail. And, when they fail, hopes and dreams are squashed with them. But it doesn't have to be this way! We can learn a repeatable process for development success, and when we're done we will have a completed and published game roaming wild and free across the Interwebs!

All of the software tools we'll use are widely-used, industry-standard in game development and available for free!

Requirements:

  • A strong desire to finish game development projects
  • No prior knowledge is needed

Who this course is for:

  • Game developers who are struggling to finish projects
  • Game developers already in the AAA space who are looking to "go indie"
  • Game development students who would like to supplement their education with real-world experience
  • People looking for work in the game industry (many studios require at least one published game, often in lieu of a college degree!)
  • People making their first game

When are the streaming sessions (streaming schedule)?

Weekly 7pm EST New York time on Monday and Thursday

Project Outline

Session 1: Hit the Ground Running

  • Create a Design Page
  • Mockup the game inside of Unity
  • Design a color palette (IMPORTANT!)

Fail to plan, and you can plan to fail! We don't need or want a long design document, so we're going to create something short and useful instead which will guide us as we work. Then, we'll create a "gray box" representation of our game inside the actual game engine. Finally, we will add some color to our game, as color is one of the most important ways that we communicate with the player.

Session 2: Mousey Model

  • Create a body for our catnip mouse
  • Learn how to use Curves in Blender and turn them into geometry
  • Add materials and import into our game engine

Session 3: Kitty Model

  • Create a body mesh for our cat (the goal!)
  • Learn how to use soft selection and ctrl selection
  • Assign multiple materials to the same submesh

Session 4: Programming the Mousey

  • Create the slingshot system for our Mousey character

In this session, we go in-depth to talk about how to write the slingshot behavior for the Mousey, learn some light math, and organize our code to make future updates easier. Meaty!

Session 5: More Programming and Debugging

  • Test our game logic and adjust behavior
  • Learn to squash bugs
  • Use online programming resources effectively

Most people give up on their game development ambitions during this period, so in our short project we'll highlight and talk about some of the most common pitfalls and how to push through to publishing each time we make a game.

Session 6: Tweak and Polish

  • Add some polish to our game
  • Adjust gameplay to make it more fun
  • Create a simple particle effect

Session 7: Publishing

  • Record some GIFs and screenshots of gameplay
  • Write copy for our store page
  • Publish our game to itch.io
  • Tweet about it!

Not to be underestimated, publishing is a crucial part of the game development process. For, if we fail to publish, we have failed to finish because no one else can play our game! In this session we'll see just how easy it is to publish, and learn some best practices for marketing our game.

Series Recap

In this short video, we will have a quick refresher of the lessons learned in this series and touch on a few of the most important points which we covered in detail in the previous videos.

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