In recent years, the popularity of competitive gaming and esports has skyrocketed. People want to take playing video games and push it to that next level with competitions and tournaments popping up all of the place for a wide variety of games. One that I’ve recently delved into is the bizarre underworld of competitive classic Tetris!
Alright, this topic could get weird. For those of us who have a staple series or franchise that we love to follow, whether it be comics, manga, anime, movies or video games, we have all come across at least one fan theory or fiction. As a whole, they are simply the way another fan views a franchise or wants that franchise to go. For the most part, they are harmless and just a form of artistic expression and gratitude. However, I want to dig deeper into these theories, especially as someone who hopes to create a franchise in the future.
Everybody has heard of VR by now, as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift have taken the market by storm. Before this point most people only had an idea of VR from movies such as James Cameron's Avatar, which technically wasn't really VR anyway. The essence was there however, using technology to put yourself in another place, world, dimension, etc. This post would mostly be dedicated to the Vive, as I feel that it has more to talk about.
For those unaware, Gametrailers.com is (or rather was) a gaming website dedicated to bringing news, videos, and reviews to the masses. While hosting trailers was always nice as per their namesake, it was some of their other content that had kept me going back for years. They had original shows such as Pop Fiction which explored the sometimes strange and wonderful world of gaming myths; Retrospectives covering the history of storied game franchises, and many others. Gametrailers was special to me partially because it was on that site that I saw the developer diary that made me finally decide I wanted to be a developer.
As a developer, there will be times that you will need to pitch a game to a group of producers, investors, peers, etc. Over the past few days I've watched quite a few pitches from my peers for various games without a variety of results. Frankly there are many things that you should be thinking about in this situation to help make your pitch a success. A presentation of some kind helps, games are a visual medium so your presentation should be visual as well. Yet you could get by without one, though I would certainly say it's not recommended. You could have a working prototype of your game that you put together from pre-existing material so people could potentially play the game to get an idea before hand. Once again though, it's extremely helpful but not always an entirely possible route to take. There is though one thing that I would say is absolutely indispensable when you are pitching a new game: excitement.
It may be kind of a silly thing to say, but most of the people who want to work in the entertainment industry are those who want to create content that they love to make. Why bother creating something that you hate, right?
One of the main things you need to do when creating a game is to write down the main features you want the game to have. What are the core mechanics that make the game what it is? Get those features down on paper and after that point adding anything to that list should be a major hassle. Feature creep is a very real and very deadly thing in video games particularly in student games. I am absolutely not saying it doesn't happen in professional games but most of them by that point have learned to avoid the practice already most likely through experience. So you might ask what is Feature Creep? This is when you have a product you want to initially create and as you create it you keep getting ideas for new features and then decide to implement those as well. Over time this affects the overall quality of both the singular features of the product, and the product as a whole. Also called feature bloat or scope creep it's not just limited to games but often happens in just general software development. At a certain point the whole system is too big and clunky to ever be used effectively even if everything is working how it should. Given that you do eventually finish what you're working on more features doesn't mean happy users. It's a delicate balancing act between having "enough features" or having to many/few features. Even more likely though that the scope will grow so huge that you simply will never be able to complete the thing. No matter how passionate you are about creating your game, it will literally become impossible to finish if you keep adding stuff onto it. So the best thing to do? Write down what you absolutely have to have in the game right at the start and then stick to it. Adding anything to that list should be a painstaking decision and should have a rigorous process to even approve it at all. Or the better option is just don't do it. Fear not though because those ideas don't have to go to waste. Anything you are convinced is a really good idea can go on a wishlist for later. The wishlist will be a list of things you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WORK ON UNTIL THE REST IS DONE. There's no wiggle room there, just don't do it. After everything else is done then you can discuss adding other features if you would like. But keeping feature creep under control will be the difference between having: 1. No game at all. 2. A really bad/overly complicated game. 3. Something people can enjoy.
Originally this post was gonna be me spazzing out about more video games, but right as I created a blank post I ran into a tweet about DirectX 12. DirectX has been around for AGES and it's what most game companies use to actually get their games running in 3D on PC with the Direct3D Drivers, so hearing new information about DirectX is basically hearing new information about the future of PC gaming!