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Showing posts by jesse freeman

June 13, 2017

Jesse Freeman

Blog_GameDesign.png

Whether you are a seasoned developer, or just getting started, chances are you need a little encouragement to go from a blank canvas, to a fully functional end product.

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March 23, 2016

Jesse Freeman

Last week at GDC there were a bunch of announcements from Unity but one we are very excited to share is a commitment from Unity for better support for publishing to Fire OS. Over the past year Unity has been adding lots of features to their platform as they continue their commitment to quality and innovation. That being said, it’s never been a better time to make Unity games for Fire OS and Amazon Appstore. To help get you started, here are some of the best blog posts we’ve published about using Unity from the past few months:

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February 26, 2016

Jesse Freeman

When creating a build of your game for Amazon Underground, it’s important to make sure that your APK has a unique bundle identifier and an icon with the Underground sash. These two requirements help make your Underground game stand out when installed on a player’s device and also help avoid any installation conflict you may have with the paid version of your game. You can learn more about these requirements from our dev portal here. If you are building a Unity Game, you already know that there isn’t an easy way to create separate Android builds per target. Once you configure the build, it's the same for all Android platforms. To get around this, we are going to talk about a plugin called Advanced Builder which will help you not only automate your different builds but also allows you to write a custom build script to change out icons based on whether it’s an Underground version or a standard one. Let’s get started.

Advanced Builder

Advanced Builder is paid plugin on the Unity Asset store that allows you to set up individual builds based on target platforms and automate a lot of the tedious build steps. Once you have it installed you can create a new release type for the Underground build. Here you can see I have a Standard build and my Underground Build.

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February 23, 2016

Jesse Freeman

Gone are the days where you can make a game and publish it to a single platform and expect to be successful. Like any business that sells consumer products, you need to go where the people are. That means the games you make should run on a multitude of different platforms and accept any number of different input types. There’s also one more catch: your players expect to be able to share their game data across all of these different platforms, especially if they are paying for your game multiple times. With that in mind I have outlined what I call “responsive game design,” which is modeled loosely after some of the core concepts of responsive web design. It’s also a framework that will help you think about enabling your games to scale across multiple platforms.

Join us on February 26th to learn how to go From Idea to Appstore—Building Successful Cross Platform Games. At the end of this webinar you will know how to:

  • Build games that scale correctly across multiple platforms.
  • Take a raw idea and turn it into a shippable product.
  • Design your game to work across multiple resolutions, different input devices and on different types of hardware.

Reserve Your Spot Today

Want to learn more? Register today to learn how to builc your first cross-platform game:

Register for 7:00am PDT (3:00pm GMT) on Friday, February 26, 2016

Register for 1:00pm PDT (9:00pm GMT) on Friday, February 26, 2016

-Jesse

 

February 18, 2016

Jesse Freeman

Building games as an indie or AAA studio is serious business. Join the Amazon Appstore and AWS during our GDC developer day event on March 15th, 2016 as we teach you everything from game ideation, creation, scaling, monetization, marketing, polishing and publishing. We have an incredible line up of speakers, including Amazon evangelists and industry thought leaders from Twitch, Backflip Studios, Yacht Club Games and King. Come get practical advice and best practices on how to scale the business side of your game development. The developer day is part of the official GDC programming, so if you are attending GDC make sure to come out and check out the full list of talks we’ll be giving. Click here to register.

From a One Person Shop to Indie Dev to AAA: What It Really Takes to Grow

10:00am-11:00am

We've entered a golden age of creativity and experimentation. Today, anyone with an idea can build a game and publish it to a global audience.  How does the gifted amateur become a pro game developer, and from there, a games industry success story? Hint: it requires more than just programming or artistic talent. In this session, we'll show you how to approach game development as a business - even if business isn't your "thing." We'll look at the single most-important skill you can develop, and show by example what happens if you neglect it. We'll also offer practical insights on choosing a game genre, development environment, and target hardware as well as how to monetize your game.

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February 16, 2016

Jesse Freeman

Every Wednesday on Twitch I experiment with ideas I don’t normally have time to work out into my games. I don’t always expect to have usable code at the end of the stream but one recent experiment yielded a simple camera panning code I thought I would share. This type of technique works great in RPGs and RTS style games with a large map the player must move around in order to see what is going on.

The basic idea is to calculate the position difference between where the user clicks and moves the mouse in order to move the camera in a specific direction. The other constraint is to make sure the camera doesn’t travel out of bounds. After some searching I came across this Gist,  which helped me with the basic foundation which I modified for my needs. Here is how it works:

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February 10, 2016

Jesse Freeman

In July 2014, we released In-App Purchasing (IAP) v2.0, which represents an evolution of the API with several major updates. With the continued focus on the newer IAP v2.0 we will deprecate v1.0 of the API on April 30, 2016. This means that new apps submitted with IAP after April 30th, 2016 must be on v2.0. If you make an update to an existing IAP v1.0 app after April 30, 2016 you must migrate to v2 by that date. We have created detailed documentation on the process to help you make the transition. If you have not already updated your app, here are some highlights on the features of v2.0 and migration details are noted below.

IAP v2.0 contains several major updates. First, per popular request, we’ve provided an immutable transaction identifier by replacing PurchaseToken with ReceiptId. This allows developers to easily de-dupe transactions, as well as better reconcile transaction records with Amazon reports available in their Amazon account. Second, we’ve included a new feature that allows for in-app item fulfillment notification. By using the notifyFulfillment() method, developers can tell Amazon whether or not an order was fulfilled to the customer, allowing for better order tracking. Third, Amazon is providing cancellation notification where we notify the developer if an order is cancelled so they can respond by taking appropriate action within their app. Finally, we’ve introduced App Tester as a replacement to SDKTester to improve testing based on developer feedback. After testing your app locally, you can use the Live App Testing service to beta test your app in a live production environment with a select group of users.

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February 05, 2016

Jesse Freeman

Being able to create a Game Design Document (GDD) is a critical skill any game developer should learn. I’ve talked about making GDDs in the past and figured I’d go through the process live on my Twitch stream. For me, GDDs are just like any other tool I would build to help my own game development so I break down the process I follow into several steps:

  1. Start by mapping out each of the screens of your game
  2. Break down the game logic and major concepts that define the gameplay itself
  3. List all of the artwork you need for the game

In this case I already had the game, Kingdom By The Sea, which I created for Ludum Dare 34. Sometimes, especially when you are building a game during a jam, you don’t have the time to create a fully fleshed out GDD. In this situation I plan on continuing development on my game and I’ll also be working with an artist, so breaking out each part of the game’s core mechanics not only help me collaborate but map out the details and scope of what I need to do over the next few months.

In these videos you’ll see how I start with the prototype of the game, break down each pert of it and document it. Over the course of 2 hours I end up with a 40 page GDD which has everything I need to begin planning my next few months of development on the game.

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January 27, 2016

Jesse Freeman

Unity 5 has some great tools to help build great 2D games for Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets. Here are two videos that walk you through how to use Unity’s Sprite Animation tools and also how to set up complex Animation States. I walk through the foundation of setting up Sprite animations and then show you step by step how I link up different states such as walking, running and shooting together so you can control them via C#. Check out the videos here:

If you are looking to learn more about making 2D games with Unity for Amazon devices or game dev in general make sure to check out my daily Twitch stream from 9am to 12pm EST.

Publishing to the Amazon Appstore

If you are a first time game developer or a seasoned pro, the Amazon Appstore is the perfect place for your latest creation. Publishing to the Amazon Appstore is free and easy, especially if you are already building Android games. We offer some great tools and services to help make your game more successful like Amazon IAP, Ads, Merch, Underground and our collection of Fire OS devices. Here are some additional links to help you gets started:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

December 24, 2015

Jesse Freeman

In part 5 of this multi-part video tutorial series, we’ll go over how to build a simple 2d side scrolling game for the Amazon Fire TV. In the previous videos (part 4) we covered working with input.  In today’s videos we’ll go over working with the camera and making it follow a player.

All of these videos are recorded from my Twitch game dev channel which you can watch daily from 9:30am – 12pm EST.

Stay tuned for more videos on building Unity games for Fire TV.

Looking for more information on Fire TV and publishing to Amazon Appstore? Check out the links below:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

December 15, 2015

Jesse Freeman

In part 4 of this multi-part video tutorial series, we’ll go over how to build a simple 2d side scrolling game for the Amazon Fire TV. In the previous videos (part 3) we covered working with sprites in Unity new 2D workflow.  In today’s videos we’ll go over working with mouse input and controllers.

All of these videos are recorded from my Twitch game dev channel which you can watch daily from 9:30am – 12pm EST.

Be sure to check out part 5 in the series, and stay tuned for more videos on building Unity games for Fire TV. Looking for more information on Fire TV and publishing to Amazon Appstore? Check out the links below:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

December 07, 2015

Jesse Freeman

It’s the end of the year again and with that, it’s time to celebrate the last Ludum Dare of 2015. Ludum Dare is an incredibly popular online game jam. While the event is primarily online, developers still meet up in person around the world to also take part in the 48 hour compo or 72 hour jam. Each year we help local Seattle game developers find a space to work on Ludum Dare. This year we are partnering up with Indie Game Spark to offer developers a space at Surf Incubator in downtown Seattle to take part in Ludum Dare 34.

Here are the details for the event:

Registration is here. You need to register ahead of time in order to take part in person.

12/11 - Starts at 5pm with theme being announced at 6pm

12/13 - Compo Ends (48 hour event) with prizes at 8pm

12/14 - Jam Ends (72 hour event) with prizes at 8pm

Location - Surf Incubator located at 999 3rd Avenue. #700. Seattle, WA 98104

Food and drinks will be provided along with wifi and a space to work. If you are new to Ludum Dare, check out the rules for the event. Hope to see you at the event and if you can’t make it, check out this page for other in-person Ludum Dare events around the world.

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

November 24, 2015

Jesse Freeman

In July we announced the new Amazon Fling SDK which allows developers to create engaging second screen experiences by connecting the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick to mobile devices. We continue to add new features to this SDK including the ability to remotely discover Fire TV apps directly from your iOS, Android, and Fire mobile devices by leveraging a new API called Remote Install. Remote Install can detect Fire TVs on the same network as a mobile device and allows developers to prompt the user to launch the Fire TV’s Appstore Product page directly to their app or game.

To illustrate how Remote Install works, let’s assume you have a game already published in Amazon Appstore for Fire TV as well as on iOS or Android. If you are on the same network as the Fire TV you can have the mobile version of your game automatically prompt the player to install it on the Fire TV. Here was what that would look like.

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November 17, 2015

Jesse Freeman

In part three of this multi-part video tutorial series, we’ll go over how to build a simple 2d side scrolling game for the Amazon Fire TV. In the previous videos (part 2) we covered how the inspector works, composition & prefabs. In today’s videos we’ll go over working with sprites in Unity new 2D workflow

All of these videos are recorded from my Twitch game dev channel which you can watch daily from 9:30am – 12pm EST.

Up next we’ll look at how to work with mouse input and controllers. Check out part 4 of the series.

Looking for more information on Fire TV and publishing to Amazon Appstore? Check out the links below:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

November 10, 2015

Jesse Freeman

In part two of this multi-part video tutorial series, we’ll go over how to build a simple 2d side scrolling game for the Amazon Fire TV. In the previous videos (part 1) we covered the basics of working with C# and scripts in Unity. In today’s videos we’ll go over how the inspector works, composition & prefabs.

All of these videos are recorded from my Twitch game dev channel which you can watch daily from 9:30am – 12pm EST.

[Read More]

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