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  PopCap’s 10 rules for commercial failure in mobile games development

PopCap, the company behind social gaming hits as Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled, has a way of doing presentations at conferences. Last year’s Social Gaming Summit presentation was insightful in the sense that developers were advised to postpone trying to make money from their game until there is some serious traction. At yesterday’s London Games Conference, PopCap’s presentation was equally remarkable. During a brief presentation David Bishop (Senior Game Designer) presented the m...

2,501 0 0          RULES GAME DESIGN SMART PHONE


  The 15 Golden Rules of UI design and flow.

Last night a good friend of mine showed me the latest Need for Speed game on the iphone / ipad. Quite an impressive feat of rendering and a relatively good game to boot. However, the front end, wow, a classic case in UI mis-engineering. Loads of stats, pages and pages of bits and pieces to wade through – a classic case of over stimulating the player with lots of decisions they have no business making – stuff that will significantly change their game play experience but being made at a...

1,387 0 0          UI DESIGN GAME DESIGN FEATURE


  GDC 2012: How Vector Unit made the leap from console to mobile games

Matt Small, creative director at independent developer Vector Unit, thought his small studio would focus on consoles forever when it was working on Hydro Thunder Hurricane for Xbox Live Arcade. But then the smartphone and tablet market picked up, and mobile devices started to offer increasing amounts of processing power. That increase in power opened up new opportunities for the people at Vector Unit, which had years of developing for consoles. So the studio worked with Tegra chipmaker Nv...

1,987 0 0          ADVICE PALM GAME DESIGN CHANGE PHONE


  UDP vs. TCP

Introduction Hi, I’m Glenn Fiedler and welcome to the first article in my online book Networking for Game Programmers In this article we start with the most basic aspect of network programming, sending and receiving data over the network. This is just the beginning – the simplest and most basic part of what network programmers do, but still it is quite intricate and non-obvious as to what the best course of action is. Take care because if you get this part wrong it will have terrible e...

1,814 0 0          DESIGN GAME DESIGN COMMUNICATION NETWORKING TCP UDP


  Game Development Essentials #1 - Don’t use inheritance for your game objects

I recently released my first game, X Fleet, available now in Android Market. It’s a fast paced space shooter / rpg riddled with awesomeness and you should get it now. The reason you should avoid hierarchies/inheritance is your objects will be far too varied and complicated in form to be accurately represented as such. More on this below.  The alternative is a component model. This is very basic. Instead of having everything inheriting (e.g. Object -> MovableObject -> AnimatedMov...

1,341 0 0          OOP GAME DESIGN INHERITENCE GAME OBJECT


  Week 1 : Research - Elements of Successful iPhone Games.

This weekend I started work on my first full blown game for the iPhone. I’m not ready to share the details of what the game will be specifically as I’m sure these will change dramatically over the coming weeks. All I’m sure on is it will be a platform game built with Corona SDK. To get me started I’ve been downloading a bunch of games from the app store, jotting down some of the areas contributing to their addictiveness and success. Short levels I do most of my game playing in shor...

1,197 0 0          MOBILE IPHONE GAME DESIGN FACORS


  Games don’t need to be social

Social games have been a big trend in recent years. Zynga struck it big and now everyone else is trying to emulate them. Unfortunately, the first thing that pops into anyones head when a Zynga game is mentioned is Facebook. Facebook is the platform upon which their success stories like FarmVille were built, but it’s not the reason for their success.Zyngas games work because they are fun. The social connectivity is merely a mechanism to share your enjoyment of the game with others. It...

1,177 0 0          GAME GAME DESIGN SOCIAL NO NEED


  A Programmer’s Greatest Enemy

A programmer’s greatest enemy is getting stuck. A crucial skill in programming—and one that many of my beginning game programming students lack—is the ability to recognize when they’re stuck, to get out of being stuck, and to avoid getting stuck in the first place.Indeed, it’s a skill I’m still learning myself, although the contexts in which I still get stuck are shrinking with time, study, and experience.This morning, as I downloaded crash reports from Apple, I realized I was d...

971 0 0          PROGRAMMING GAME DESIGN ENEMY STUCK CRASH