Archive for December, 2012

New Year’s Resolution: One Game a Month

25/12/2012

And kind of my christmas eve present to myself.

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I’m working in some projects that are taking quite some time to see the light of day. That’s stupid, so here it is my New Year’s Resolution: one game every month of 2013.

I don’t have a game’s portfolio impressive or big enough, and even though I like the projects I’m working on there is no point in wainting that amount of time to increase my skills as a designer.

Something that has to be done is to prioritize the projects I’m already involved, and that is happening right now. I think Dark Recon is the only project that needs my whole attention in the short term.

I’m still regreting that I started kind of late in game developing. It’s time to stop that feeling and start making games like there is no tomorrow.

One game a month looks like a good idea. A very complicated one, but a good one nonetheless.

This initiative was an idea by @McFunkypants (Kristen Kaitila) and you can read the original post here.  To be part of the community that is growing around this challenge you can check the webpage dedicated to it.

I will be working in Game Maker Studio pulling out some ideas for Newsgames I had the past months, and actually one of those is almost finished. Newsgames is a type of games I’m very interested in and I will talk about them a lot in the next months.

My friend @pctroll will be my companion in this quest. As far as I know the only member of the Venezuelan game developing community that is also taking the challenge is @chiguire, as you can read here (spanish).

I will try to post about the games and the process every week.

It’s time to be the game developer that I want, and that starts now.

You are more than welcome to join us in this journey. Let us know if you do.

Caracas Game Jam 2013

08/12/2012

Si no se acaba el mundo primero.

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El Global Game Jam está a un fin del mundo de distancia, y ahora que @chiguire ha finalizado sus responsabilidades con Gamexpo ha llegado el momento de poner las manos en el Game Jam.

Muy por encimita, el Global Game Jam es un evento simultáneo, que en esta oportunidad se realizará en más de 180 ciudades, en el cual la gente se reune a desarrollar juegos de video y de mesa durante el último fin de semana de Enero. 48 horas de diseño, arte y mucho, mucho café. El Caracas Game Jam está entre esas sedes, y es una que ha estado participando desde el primer Global Game Jam en 2009.

Si quieres leer más sobre el Game Jam, acá echo el cuento y acá puedes ver lo que pasó en el Game Jam anterior.

Estamos fortaleciendo alianzas, creando nuevas, comprando café y preparando sorpresas interesantes para tener el mejor Caracas Game Jam hasta ahora.

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Fecha: del 25 al 27 de Enero 2013 si los Mayas están equivocados.

Lugar: Edif. ACCEDE, Caracas (Mapa)

Entrada: Por anunciar.

Para participar deben registrarse tanto en la página del Caracas Game Jam como la del Global Game Jam (y en esta deben elegir la sede de Caracas). Los datos para el pago de la entrada y el precio de la misma se proporcionarán pronto.

Estén pendientes de próximos anuncios.

Un poco de música para ambientar.

Why Do We Play?: Aesthetics Of Play

06/12/2012

Dusting the draft entries.

I think the game design discussion is quite limited today due our inability to create a well defined set of concepts that compose agame design theory. If you have read this blog before, you might noticed that theory is actually developing, but the fact is that  most game developers (and I’m talking about every conceivable definition of game developer) aren’t thinking about that set of concepts, they are thinking about making games, which is good, but is not the only thing necessary to move the field forward.

One thing that worries me the most is how we describe games based on its most basics characteristics. People doesn’t realize that we, as developers, often don’t have a way to talk about an specific game in a descriptive unique manner, as we could do with movies. The thing is that cinema, as well as other art forms, has a very well known set of concepts that define what a specific instance of cinema (a movie) is trying to express or communicate, and that’s what is missing in games. Well, is not actually missing, is not widely spread to be honest.

We end describing games in very vagues terms, often refering to specific game components such as art design, music, animation and so on but, and I know this is source of debates, those components aren’t what games are known for nor the most efficient way to describe them.

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Mechanics are what make games different from other media, and the primary way to describe them. So, what does it take to describe games in terms of their mechanics?

When we go to a movie we usually know what we are looking for in that movie, and that reason is the way we define cinema genres: you don’t watch a war movie looking for comedy to be the main reason driving the plot, and if in fact comedy is the reason, we change our perception of that movie from war movie to a comedy set in a war. We don’t go to a romantic comedy looking for the same experience we would expect from an adventure movie,  or a musical, or a drama. There is an underline reason we watch a specific movie genre.

We could expect the same phenomena in games: we go to a specific kind of games looking for an specific set of emotions, in the same way we go to movies, but the difference lies in the way each media delivers those emotions. So, given that (and I will assume you agree with this idea) cinema and games have different ways to deliver emotions, a fundamental question can be formally stablished:

Why do we play games and how do we can describe efficiently those reasons?

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