Tuesday, 21 September 2010

No Sleep Till Brighton


Ok, so. It's the week before Flash on the Beach 2010, which is my first full speaking engagement at a major conference, and I have a nice mix of excitement and dread. My talk, "Zero to Game Designer in 60 Minutes" is all written, and I've got 8 specially created interactive examples demonstrating different gameplay mechanics. Each demo has an avatar you can control, and a load of sliders and switches you can use to change variables and turn on and off different mechanics.

If you're coming along, and you bring your laptop, you can actually play along with the demos while I show them, which should make the session even more fun. And if you're not going, or you don't have a laptop, don't worry, because I'm going to put all the demos online from the minute my talk finishes.

See you in Brighton, or watch this space for the online release.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Thoughts on re-skinning games

I just received an email from a Flash developer who reads my blog and wanted some advice about creating a pinball game. He wrote that he doesn't have much experience making games, and he's been given a really tight deadline, so should he try and find an existing game to reskin, or should he develop the game from scratch? So reader, this is my advice:
  • Firstly, don't even think about grabbing a game from a portal and decompiling it. It's immoral and it's illegal.
  • One idea might be to go to http://www.flashgamelicense.com/ or https://www.mochimedia.com/ and search for pinball games. You can then contact the developers and ask them if they'd like to reskin their game for you or supply the source files so you can do it yourself. This option may actually work out much more profitable than developing the game yourself.
  • If you do a google search for "flash game source code" you will find there are many companies selling source code for Flash games, often at really low prices, and you may be able to find a pinball game somewhere in there.
  • Finally, if you do decide to code the game yourself, your best option might be to try http://www.box2dflash.org/ - this physics engine will handle all of the hard maths and physics you would need to do a pinball game - you would just need to learn the API and hook up the graphics.
Bye!



Flash on the Beach 2010 schedule picks

Everyone seems to be posting what they're looking forward to seeing, here's mine:

Monday:
  • KEYNOTE
  • GRANT SKINNER - ADHD FTW, LOL!!! (although would also have loved to see Conrad's Signals/Robotlegs talk)
  • ANDRE MICHELLE - PULSATILE CRACKLE
  • MARIO KLINGEMANN - SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FLASH (Mario's last conference session for a few years apparently)
  • HOSS GIFFORD - THINGS I HAVE LEARNED.
  • ROBERT HODGIN - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, SO WHAT ARE YOU PRACTICING?
  • STEFAN SAGMEISTER - DESIGN AND HAPPINESS

Tuesday:
  • THE ELEVATOR PITCH (I did it last year and it was loads of fun. This year look out for my buddies Jasper Stocker and Andreas Ronning)
  • JON HOWARD - WHERE IN THE WORLD? INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC FLASH
  • JOA EBERT - 1 1 7 11 21
  • SEB LEE-DELISLE - WHAT THE FLUX!? (the only talk capable of sparking a Flame-war!)
  • JULIEN VALL√ČE - STORYTELLING, PLAYFULNESS AND EXPERIMENTATION
  • NANDO COSTA - THE OTHER SIDE
  • BRENDAN DAWES - MAKERS OF THINGS

Wednesday:
  • 6 OF THE BEST - 10 MINS EACH (although I'm probably going to have to duck out of the last couple so I can compose myself for my session)
  • IAIN LOBB - ZERO TO GAME DESIGNER IN 60 MINUTES (I better be there - I'm giving it! You'll notice that I've got the really small room, and I'm giving the only games session, so if you want to come you better run straight from the previous session without stopping for coffee)
  • RALPH HAUWERT - UNITZEROONE :: THE DISCONTINUITY (although Hugh Elliott is awesome and I'd have loved to see his thing)
  • CYRIAK HARRIS - ANIMATED MENTAL MALFUNCTIONS
  • JOSHUA HIRSCH - SUMMER FRIDAYS
  • JARED TARBELL - THE COMPUTATIONAL ARTIFACT
See you in Brighton!