Appstore Blogs Appstore DeveloperBlog /blogs/appstore/feed/entries/atom 2018-03-19T15:51:58+00:00 Apache Roller /blogs/appstore/post/3f6bacda-5e5a-440d-a2e6-836f7e0a7af1/announcing-amazon-gameon-drive-engagement-in-your-game Announcing Amazon GameOn: Drive Engagement in Your Game Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-03-19T13:31:19+00:00 2018-03-19T13:42:41+00:00 <p><img alt="GameOn-announcement-blogbanner.jpg" src="" /></p> <p>Today we announced Amazon GameOn, a cross-platform, competitive gaming service for developers. GameOn is a set of flexible APIs that allow you to easily build cross-platform competitions into your games, allowing your players to compete for real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="GameOn-announcement-blogbanner.jpg" src="" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify">Today we announced Amazon GameOn, a cross-platform, competitive gaming service for developers. GameOn is a set of flexible APIs that allow you to easily build cross-platform competitions into your games, allowing your players to compete for real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon or other in-game rewards. GameOn is built on AWS’s cloud infrastructure and works on any operating system, enabling you to scale quickly and invest more time in what you do best—designing great games.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">With GameOn, you have an easy tool to drive engagement, increase monetization, and bring more players in on the action. GameOn currently supports leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions, and gives you the flexibility to create custom events such as local and regional competitions. You can also enable players and streamers to create their own user-generated competitions and invite participants, allowing players to connect with friends and expand their gaming network.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Today, GameOn is being used by nWay, Game Insight, Eden Games, Umbrella Games, Nazara, Mindstorm, Mokuni, Avix, and GameCloud Studios in games ranging from casual to core across different genres. Players in these games already experience the amazing benefits of GameOn from leaderboards to leagues to real-world prizing. Click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> to learn more about GameOn.</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">Competition drives player engagement&nbsp;</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">At the core of GameOn&nbsp;are highly engaged players who are passionate about your game. Passionate players spend hours playing your game;&nbsp;they recruit their friends to play, buy your merch, compete in fan art competitions and form a community around what you do. Everyone has a niche of players that looks like this. The question is: how do we get more of them?</p> <p style="text-align:justify">We believe that cultivating competition in your game is the key to driving player engagement. Competition elicits an emotional reaction. We believe that finding a way to spark that emotional reaction - that passion - across your base of players is how we're ultimately going to cultivate engagement and build a community around your game.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Developers have proven that community, competition, and content feed into each other, producing some of the most engaging games ever. We created GameOn to give developers a simple, yet powerful toolkit to help increase retention, foster community among players, and to take advantage of the momentum around competitive gaming and esports.</p> <h2>Drive organic acquisition and engagement with in-game competitions</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">With GameOn,&nbsp;you can easily create competitions that drive organic acquisition of new players and engagement with existing players. Once your GameOn integration is complete, tournament creation is just a few clicks away. We designed an easy-to-use, intuitive interface to make sure everyone, including your marketers and community managers, can manage tournaments. In the GameOn console, you’ll be able to create competitions, define entry requirements, assign prizes, and end competitions. We’ve also made it easy to schedule recurring competitions. Today, you can enable three kinds of competitions: leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="gameon-gearclub.png" src="" style="display:block; height:299px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:700px" /><br /> <br /> Leaderboards work particularly well for single-player games like endless runners, match-3, racing, sports, shooters, and puzzle games. For multiplayer games, on the other hand, leagues are very popular. Rather than ranking players on a high score or best time, league players are ranked on number of wins. Either approach can be combined into multiple rounds, where only the top finishers in one tournament advance to the next. Eden Games, the developer behind some of the world’s most successful racing franchises including V-Rally and Test Drive Unlimited, uses GameOn to scale the size of the competitions they run in Gear.Club.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; text-align:justify"><em>“GameOn has made it easy for us to add leaderboards and tournaments in-game,” said Pascal Clarysse, CMO, Eden Games. “GameOn saved us months of development and a whole lot of maintenance and logistical overhead in the long run.” </em></p> <p style="text-align:justify">GameOn also supports user-generated competitions, so your players can create tournaments of their own—right in your game. They can invite their friends and family to compete, and GameOn will handle all the details, managing matches and score-keeping just the same as for &quot;official&quot; tournaments created by you. GameOn even allows them to password-protect their event if they want to keep the competition private. This is a great way for your influencers and streamers to engage directly with their followers, which encourages them to spread the word and helps fuel your fan base. Let your players help you promote.</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">Deliver real-world prizes with Amazon</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">When you set up a tournament in GameOn, you get to choose how to reward the top finishers. GameOn offers the ability to award real-world prizes, delivered right to a player's doorstep. What can they win? That's up to you. As the tournament host, you can choose from tens of millions of eligible items. This includes big-ticket items like Amazon Echo, or made-to-order t-shirts featuring your game's IP. Of course, you can also award in-game items, typically selected from your catalog of power-ups, skins, or other in-app purchases.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Survival_Arena_Prizes_EE_V2.jpg" src="" style="display:block; height:601px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:550px" /><br /> <br /> Game Insight, a leading global developer of cross-platform multiplayer games, is using GameOn to better reward their community in Survival Arena. Anatoly Ropotov, CEO, Game Insight says:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in; text-align:justify"><em>“We’re committed to growing the competitive gaming and esports community, and GameOn APIs give us an exciting new toolset to do this with. We’ve already started using GameOn to provide our fans with real-world prizes and new types of tournaments that allow players to compete against each other across PC and mobile.”</em></p> <p style="text-align:justify">You can choose the prize(s) and we’re able to fulfill this directly on the backend creating a seamless experience for both you and your players. Today, real-world prizing will be available via invitation in the US only. To request an invite, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">Try GameOn for free</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">GameOn does the hard work, so that you can focus on creating engaging competitions for your players.&nbsp;GameOn is a collection of web services running on AWS, so it’s a robust, scalable, and reliable solution that performs well even under heavy load. It exposes a set of REST APIs that are accessible from your backend, or directly from client devices, making GameOn platform- and language-agnostic. We don’t force you to use custom SDKs or libraries to access the service. Use what works for you in whatever language you like best. And the best part? Developers can use GameOn APIs for free until May 1, 2018. After that date, the first 35,000 monthly plays will be free, and the cost for additional plays will be $0.003 per play.</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">Get started</h2> <p>Getting started with GameOn is easy. Just follow the following three steps to get started today:</p> <ol> <li style="text-align:justify"><a href="" target="_blank">Sign in</a> with your Amazon Developer credentials. If you don't already have an account, registration is easy and free.</li> <li style="text-align:justify"><a href="" target="_blank">Register your game</a> in the Game Settings tab and follow the on-screen prompts.</li> <li style="text-align:justify"><a href="" target="_blank">Get your API key</a>.</li> </ol> <p style="text-align:justify">Want to learn more? Join us on Thursday, March 29th for a hands-on <em>“</em><a href="" target="_blank">Getting Started with Amazon GameOn</a><em>”</em> webinar to learn more about GameOn. Developer evangelist Peter Heinrich will walk you through the steps for integrating the GameOn APIs and setting up your first live tournament.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Game on!<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:justify">&nbsp;</p> /blogs/appstore/post/b29e1e3a-0b86-4e6a-b842-bd799a89ccd2/webinar-introducing-amazon-gameon-how-to-integrate-competitive-play-into-your-game Webinar - Introducing Amazon GameOn: How to Integrate Competitive Play into Your Game Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-03-19T13:30:32+00:00 2018-03-19T13:30:53+00:00 <p><img alt="GameOn-webinar-Blog-Banner.jpg" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /><br /> In this webinar, developer evangelist Peter Heinrich will talk about competitive mobile gaming and walk you through the steps to integrate the GameOn APIs.</p> <p><img alt="GameOn-webinar-Blog-Banner.jpg" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /><br /> Learn how Amazon can help developers realize the benefits of competitive mobile gaming with Amazon GameOn. In this webinar, developer evangelist Peter Heinrich will talk about competitive mobile gaming and walk you through the steps to integrate the GameOn APIs. You'll learn how to set up a live tournament with the management console and see a GameOn-enabled game in action.<br /> <br /> You'll learn how to:</p> <ul> <li>Engage players and create stronger communities with competition</li> <li>Integrate Amazon GameOn's flexible APIs natively into your game</li> <li>Create your own tournaments, invite participants, and reward them prizes</li> </ul> <p>We are offering two sessions of this webinar on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00AM PDT and 1:00PM PDT.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><a href=";tp_key=e0a5f51fb1" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="display:block; height:50px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:200px" /></a><a href=";tp_key=0bb96aa442" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="display:block; height:50px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:200px" /></a></p> /blogs/appstore/post/6f274f74-7bee-4fc7-8dab-b1f66fdb2682/how-non-artists-can-use-free-software-to-create-basic-sprites-and-models-for-their-games How Non-Artists Can Use Free Software to Create Basic Sprites and Models Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-03-15T16:33:10+00:00 2018-03-15T16:33:10+00:00 <p><img alt="Image10-nonartists-pixelArt_stepsCharacter.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" />There are more freely available game assets than ever, but sometimes you want (or need) something custom. Not to worry! It's quite easy to get decent looking art using free software and minimal art skills.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Image10-nonartists-pixelArt_stepsCharacter.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" />First impressions are important and to make your game stand out from the crowd, decent visuals are a must. There are more freely available game assets than ever, but sometimes you want (or need) something custom. Not to worry! It's quite easy to get decent looking art using free software and minimal art skills.</p> <p>In this post, I'll show you how to create a few basic vector sprites, pixel art drawings, and even some 3D modeling. We'll only use free software available for all operating systems. Let's get started!</p> <h2>Colors</h2> <p>No matter which of the available art styles or tools you’ll be using, you need a proper color palette. Creating one without inspiration or a sample can be really difficult, especially if you’re less artistically talented.</p> <p>Luckily, there are some great websites like <a href="" target="_blank">Flat UI Colors</a>, which is often used for web design, but also works for game art. If you’d like a more retro selection of colors, check out <a href="" target="_blank">Lospec’s palette list</a>. I’ve crafted my own color palette below, which you’re free to use in your own projects:<br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> <img alt="Image1-NonArtists-colors.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /> <br /> &nbsp; </div> <h2>Vector art</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">The main advantage of using vector art as opposed to bitmap art is that it scales up indefinitely. If you’d like to support retina displays or larger DPI displays in the future, vector can save a lot of time. <a href="" target="_blank">Inkscape</a> is free software that allows you to do just that. Its workflow is similar to software used by professionals and it's a great tool to get started with.</p> <p>Open up Inkscape and you'll be greeted by a blank canvas. On the left, you'll see a range of tools including a rectangle tool, a circle tool, pen, and text tools. Let's start by creating a basic character for our game!</p> <p><u><strong>Character</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align:justify">In order to keep things simple, we're not going to worry about limbs, posing, or animation. A slime character is good choice to start with. Select the circle tool, hold <em>CTRL / CMD</em>, and click and drag to create a perfectly round circle. In the menu bar select &quot;Path&quot; and then &quot;Object to Path&quot; to change the circle object to an editable shape, this way we can change the circle to have a flat bottom.</p> <p>Select the node select tool, click the circle, and drag the bottom handle up (hold <em>CTRL / CMD</em> to move only on a single axis). While you've got the circle selected, click any color on the bottom to change its color, in this case we'll go for a green color.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Image2-nonartists-slimecharacter.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Using the “node select tool” you can easily change shapes</em></p> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> Click the circle tool again and create a new, smaller circle. Make the circle white and move it over the shape we created before, not perfectly in the middle, but slightly shifted to the right. Create a new circle again (even smaller), make it brown, and drag it into the white circle. Now we've got an eye! Select both the pupil and eye ball, copy and paste it, and move it to the left. Make sure to drag the pupil of the copied eye to the right to give it a cute, cross-eyed look. </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <img alt="Image3-nonartists-slimeCharacter_step2.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <em>Creating multiple circles and combine them to create eyes.</em> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <div> Create a new circle and change it to an editable shape. Using the node select tool, move the upper handle down to create a laughing mouth shape. Move the mouth between the eyes and then down a bit. Add details to the sprite by adding randomly placed lighter colored spheres. If you'd like even more detail, you can add teeth or lighting to the top of the sprite. </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <img alt="Image4-nonartists-slimeCharacter_step3.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <em>Add a highlight by copying the original slime shape, arrange it behind and move up.</em> </div> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <u><strong>Tiles</strong></u> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <p style="text-align:justify">It's important that tile textures loop seamlessly. If they're placed next to each other, players may have difficulty realizing that it’s the same tile being repeated.</p> <p>In this case, it'll be easier to work using a grid. Click &quot;View&quot; and select &quot;Page Grid&quot; (or press #). Now if you hover over grid lines, Inkscape will let you know when you're working on the grid. Click the rectangle tool, hold <em>CTRL / CMD,</em> and create a square. Select the created square and change the color to brown.</p> <p>Select the curves/lines tool. Make a zig-zag pattern on the square by clicking on the far left, then a bit to the left and top, then back down again etc. Once you're done, select both the newly created line and the square, then click &quot;Path&quot; and select &quot;Division.” Now you can select a different color for the top part - select green to make it look like grass.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Image5-nonartists-vectorTile_step1.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Create a zig-zag wave, make sure it loops horizontally.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Using the above mentioned tools, you’ll be able to add a highlight on top, create another zig-zag wave under the grass part for shadows, and even add some dirt texture using randomly placed circles. Experiment!</p> <p><img alt="Image6-nonartists-vectorTile_step2.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Add a highlight on top, shadows under the grass, and random circles for detail.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> <u><strong>Background</strong></u> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <p style="text-align:justify">Adding a background to your game can give a good feeling of depth. Start by creating a large rectangle and giving it a light blue color. Select the curves/lines tool again, click once (on the left side of the rectangle), and create a zig-zag pattern like before. Unlike before, click and drag on each point you place to create a smooth curve. Once you reach the far end of the rectangle, make sure you stop at the same height as you started to create a seamless background.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Once done, select both the background rectangle and the new wavy line, and click &quot;Path&quot; and then &quot;Division.” Make the lower part of the rectangle a slightly darker color than the top part. Presto! Now you've got wavy hills.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Image7-nonartists-vectorBackground_part1.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>You can also add multiple wavy lines which are different in height for more layers.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Using the circle and rectangle tool, you can create really basic tree shapes and a sun. Try to experiment using these basic shapes. Backgrounds don’t require a lot of detail.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Image8-nonartists-vectorBackground_part2.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Instead of trees, you add triangles (pyramids) and cacti for a desert scene.</em></p> <h2>Pixel art&nbsp;</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">There's a whole range of free software that allows for pixel art drawing. Some of my favorites are MS Paint (included with older versions of Windows),, GIMP, and the in-browser pixel editor by <a href="" target="_blank">Loscpec</a>. The best one depends on your personal preference, try them all and see which one you like best.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">It's often thought that pixel art is the easiest of all the options for visual art. It might be easy to get started, but it's incredibly hard to master.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><u><strong>Tile</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align:justify">Larger sprites mean more work to get proper results, so let’s start out small. Draw a small 16 &times; 16 rectangle and apply a brown color. Place several random pixels within the rectangle in both a slightly lighter and a slightly darker color. Try some 2 &times; 2 squares too!</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Image9-nonartists-pixelArt_steps.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Rectangle, dots, grass layer, shadows and highlight detail on top.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> Like before, add a zig-zag pattern among the top for grass. Add some pixels below the zig-zag and above (in their respective darker colors) to add a bit of shading. Try to experiment with various types of shading. To finish, add a highlight on top and some random pixels in the grass area. </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <u><strong>Character</strong></u> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> Let's keep things basic and create a similar character as we did in vector art. Start with an outline and make sure to always place each pixel by hand, without dragging (free drawing) lines. Free drawing won’t give you as much control over each pixel and you’ll end up with crooked, dirty lines. </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> <img alt="Image10-nonartists-pixelArt_stepsCharacter.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <em>Slime character sprite (two frame animation).</em> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> &nbsp; </div> <div> <p>Fill the shape and add a couple of eyes (try cross-eyed to add a cute effect). Add shading similar to the grass tile and a couple of random dots for texture. You can stretch the sprite a bit to add a second frame of animation for walking or jumping.</p> <p>Try to create additional frames, or create a coin for the user to pick-up using similar shading and drawing techniques.</p> <h2>3D models</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">You have probably already heard of <a href="" target="_blank">Blender</a>, a free and open source tool for 3D modeling. I would like to introduce you to a different piece of software though: <a href="" target="_blank">SketchUp</a> has recently added an in-browser version which is free and requires no installation. The downside is that the free version doesn’t allow exporting to file formats other than SKP (SKP files are compatible with Unity Engine (2017.3+) however).</p> <p>Head over to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>and create a (free) account to save models you’ve created. Creating a house is a great way to start, so let’s begin!</p> <p><u><strong>House</strong></u></p> <p>First, we’ll need a main shape for the building and we’ll start adding details. Select the “Rectangle” tool and click and drag in the scene view to create a new flat rectangle. While dragging, SketchUp will tell you when the shape is a perfect square.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Image11-nonartists-modelHouse_step1.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Create a flat shape first, then extrude.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Next, select the “Push/Pull” tool. Click and drag on the flat rectangle to extrude the shape and create a cube. Use the “Line” tool to draw a line on top of the cube, dividing it in two.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Select the “Move” tool, click the line and then move up. Now you’ve got a roof shape! Using these few tools, you’ll be able to add more details to the roof later on (like an overhang), but let’s keep it simple for now.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Image12-nonartists-modelHouse_step2.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>If we were playing Monopoly, this would be enough to convey a house.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Adding doors and windows is just as easy. Select the “Rectangle” tool again and click on the side of the house to draw a door and window shape. Select the “Push/Pull” tool, which we used to create the cube before. Click inside the door and window(s), then push in by moving your mouse inwards. You’ll (hopefully) end up with a house similar to the one on the left.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="image13-nonartists-modelHouse_step3.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Use the tools you’ve learned to add even more details!</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Using these few basic tools, you can add more details like a border, overhang, and even a chimney. Experiment with alignment and what the tools do. You’ll also find tools to create circles and arcs - try adding some columns!</p> <p><u><strong>Vehicle</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align:justify">Similarly to creating the house, we’ll start with a long rectangle. Use the “Push/Pull” tool to extrude the shape and create a box to sculpt our vehicle out of.</p> <p>Use the “Line” tool to draw (click and drag to place a line) a crude car shape on the side. Select the “Push/Pull” tool again and push away the top part, leaving only the shape of the vehicle. Select the whole vehicle (<em>CTRL / CMD + A</em>) and then hit G to create a component. This will make sure that if we add wheels, they won’t be merged with the body of the vehicle.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="image14-nonartists-modelVehicle_step1.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Click and drag using the “Push/Pull” tool to remove the top shape.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Next, we’ll create wheels. Select the “Rectangle” tool again and you’ll notice it opens a few different options including a “Circle” tool. Select the tool, click the side of the vehicle, move your mouse, and click again to create a circle. Use the “Push/Pull” tool to extrude the circle and create a wheel shape.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="image15-nonartists-modelVehicle_step2.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>You can copy and paste any shape, but components won’t merge with other planes.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Select the wheel and press G to create a component. Now you can copy and paste the wheel along the sides of the car. You can use the “Move” tool to rotate wheels, too. Select a wheel and hover over it to reveal red crosses on each side. Click a red cross to rotate the wheel on the given axis.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> <img alt="image16-nonartists-modelVehicle_step3.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> &nbsp; </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <em>Final car (on the left), learn about coloring in the next chapter.</em> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <p>You can use the “Offset” tool to easily create windows and hubcaps. Select the tool (hidden under the “Push/Pull” tool) and click any edge to create an offset edge on the inside or outside of the shape.</p> <p><u><strong>Trees</strong></u></p> </div> <div> <p style="text-align:justify">As a final example, let's create a tree. Start off with the “Circle” tool, click on the axis origin point, and create a circle shape on the floor similar to how we created rectangle shapes before. Extrude it upward so you’ll get a trunk.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Select the whole top of the cylinder by double clicking the top. Then press S to scale the shape, hold CTRL (CMD), and click and drag one of the corners in. This will shape the trunk so it’s narrow on the top and wide on the bottom.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="image17-nonartists-modelTree_step1.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Select the top, press S and scale to narrow the shape.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Select the trunk and press G to create a component. Using the “Polygon” tool click on the top part and create a flat polygon shape, use the extrude tool and narrow the top to create a similar shape as to the trunk.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="image18-nonartists-modelTree_step2.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Starting to look like a tree.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> <p>Use the “Push/Pull” tool on the bottom of the newly created shape, then select the bottom and scale it down again (shown on the right in the image above).</p> <p>What’s a tree without colors? Select the “Paint” tool,choose a green color, and click the tree while holding SHIFT to color it. Then, double click on the trunk, select a brown color, and click while holding SHIFT again to color just the trunk.</p> <p><img alt="image19-nonartists-modelTree_step3.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Final tree model, try to experiment with various shapes and sizes.</em></p> <h2>Final words</h2> <p>Creating art for games is all about experimenting, getting inspired, and messing around. Take your time to get familiar with various tools and choose the one that feels right. There’s no mistakes, just happy little accidents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp; </div> </div> <div> <img alt="Kenney-author-bio.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /> <br /> &nbsp; </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <em>Kenney Vleugels is an artist from the Netherlands who shares game assets (sprites, models, audio, fonts and more) with game developers.&nbsp;Recently, he founded <a href="" target="_blank">Pixeland </a>which is a physical community hub where every game developer in the world is welcome to learn, teach, meet, work, and play.</em> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> &nbsp; <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> <div> &nbsp; </div> </div> /blogs/appstore/post/20e91d71-50b7-4215-9e6b-f5c88328c335/gamemaker-basics-object-ownership GameMaker Basics: Object Ownership Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-03-12T18:03:16+00:00 2018-03-12T18:03:16+00:00 <p><img alt="Ownership_image2.gif" src="" style="display:block; height:272px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:600px" /></p> <p>Today, the topic of discussion is object ownership. By assigning an owner to an object, which is usually another object, we can manage object interactions.</p> <p><img alt="Ownership_image2.gif" src="" style="display:block; height:272px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:600px" /></p> <p>Your boy (me) is back again with another GameMaker tutorial. Today, the topic of discussion is object ownership. By assigning an owner to an object, which is usually another object, we can manage object interactions. In the example below, I will be using a player, bullets, and enemies to illustrate how you can use a single object that can be “owned” by any other object. Both the player and enemies will use the same bullet object, but they will not be able to shoot/damage themselves.</p> <p>This entry assumes you know a little bit about object parenting. If you are unfamiliar, check out my previous entry on that exact topic, <a href="" target="_blank">here.&nbsp;</a></p> <h1>Set up</h1> <p>Before we can start shooting bullets all over the place, we need to create a couple of objects and sprites. We need a player, a bullet, and an enemy. Go ahead and create the sprites and objects for all three, and let's start with the bullet stuff. Open your <strong>bullet object</strong> and add some code to the following events.</p> <p><strong>oBullet create event</strong></p> <pre> <code>owner = -1; xSpeed = 0; ySpeed = 0;</code></pre> <p><strong>oBullet step event</strong></p> <pre> <code>x += xSpeed; y += ySpeed; with(parentEnemy){ if(place_meeting(x,y,other) &amp;&amp; other.owner != id){ life --; with(other){ instance_destroy(); } } }</code></pre> <p>In our create event we initialize the<strong> owner</strong> variable, which is set to a negative number by default. This variable will be storing the ID of an object, which is always a positive number. By initializing it as negative, we make sure that it can’t accidently be set to some other object. The <strong>xSpeed </strong>and <strong>ySpeed</strong> variables are how we will address the movement speed of the bullet. If you do not have a <strong>parentEnemy</strong> object, just replace <strong>parentEnemy</strong> with whatever your enemy/shootable object is named.</p> <p>The step event may look a little strange if you’ve never seen or used the <strong>with </strong>operator. I’ll provide more info on with and other at the bottom of this blog, but here is a quick crash course. Using <strong>with </strong>allows you to run code as if you were doing so from another object. So, in this case, when we say with(parentEnemy) it's as though the following code is ran from every parentEnemy object that exist within the game. When using <strong>with</strong> you are also able to use <strong>other</strong> which is a shortcut to refer back to the object that is calling <strong>with</strong> in the first place. This makes it easy to check collision against our bullet!</p> <p>First, we check <strong>place_meeting</strong> to see if the parentEnemy has touched the bullet, and then we check to see if the owner ID of the bullet is NOT the same as what it is colliding with. If the ID is not the same, then subtract one life from the enemy, and destroy the bullet. Before we can test this, we need to be able to shoot some bullets at some enemies, right?&nbsp;</p> <h1>Shooting set up</h1> <p>Setting up the shooting, and the ownership of the bullets that are created, is really what this blog is about. When the bullet is created, a few variables need to be updated, such as the owner and the direction the bullet is moving. Open up your <strong>player object</strong> and add the <strong>create</strong>, and <strong>step</strong> events. We are going to slap together a quick and dirty player object.</p> <p><strong>oPlayer create event</strong></p> <pre> <code>left = false; right = false; up = false down = false; shoot = false; facing = 1; canShoot = true; fireRate = 0; fireRateMax = 20;</code></pre> <p>Up first we initialize some booleans that we will use for button presses. Addressing <strong>left</strong> is a lot easier than addressing <strong>keyboard_check_pressed(vk_left)</strong>. <strong>Shoot</strong> will also be used to address a button press. <strong>Facing</strong> will help us determine the direction our character is facing, either left or right, and create bullets relative to the direction. The remaining variables are tied to shooting, and how often the player is allowed to shoot. We will cover that in a moment. First, let's set up our really basic movement.</p> <p><strong>oPlayer step event</strong></p> <pre> <code>left = keyboard_check(vk_left); right = keyboard_check(vk_right); up = keyboard_check(vk_up); down = keyboard_check(vk_down); shoot = mouse_check_button(mb_left); //move if(left){ x -= 2; facing = -1; }else if(right){ x += 2; facing = 1; } if(up){ y -= 2; }else if(down){ y += 2; } image_xscale = facing;</code></pre> <p>Alright, this is about as basic movement as we can get, but that is okay. Really the only reason we need movement is because I’m illustrating how to create bullets relative to the player. We assign all of our buttons to the variables we created, and then adjust the x/y position of our player object when we push the buttons. The most important thing here is that we change <strong>facing </strong>to -1 or 1 based on <strong>left</strong> and <strong>right</strong> button presses. On to the shooting! Add this code below everything you just added above.</p> <p><strong>oPlayer step event</strong></p> <pre> <code>if(shoot &amp;&amp; canShoot){ bullet = instance_create(x + 16 * facing, y, oBullet); bullet.owner = id; bullet.xSpeed = 5 * facing; canShoot = false; } if(!canShoot){ fireRate ++; if(fireRate &gt;= fireRateMax){ fireRate = 0; canShoot = true; } //semi auto if(!shoot){ fireRate = 0; canShoot = true; } }</code></pre> <p>This is the good stuff right here! The first block of code checks to see if we are pushing the <strong>shoot </strong>button, and if <strong>canShoot </strong>is set to true. Then, if both of those checks pass, we create the bullet. When creating the bullet we store the ID of the bullet in a variable so that we can easily address it. Using this variable, we assign the owner of the bullet by passing in the ID of the player object. We then set the bullet speed based on the direction the player is facing, and finally, we set <strong>canShoot</strong> to false to limit how often the player can shoot.</p> <p>This is all optional of course, but this is a good example of how fire rate works. After you have shot, you are not allowed to shoot again until certain conditions are met. We count up our <strong>fireRate</strong> until it reaches <strong>fireRateMax</strong>, and then <strong>canShoot</strong> is set back to true. This allows the player to shoot again! The lower the <strong>fireRateMax</strong>, the more often the player can shoot. Below, however, I added some code to allow for semi automatic (shoots as often as you click the mouse) firing. Once the player has let go of the shoot button, the <strong>fireRate</strong> is set to zero, and <strong>canShoot</strong> is set to true.</p> <p><img alt="Ownership_image1.gif" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p>In the image above, you can see how the fire rate changes based on me holding down the shoot button, and rapidly clicking. Try not to be too jealous of my amazing art skills. Try tweaking your fireRateMax, and bullet speed when creating the bullet. You can easily turn this semi auto pistol style shooting into a crazy machine gun! Toss a bit of screen shake on there and you are on your way to a cool feeling gun.</p> <p><img alt="Ownership_image2.gif" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center">This might be a little excessive...</p> <h1>Additional information</h1> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">About With Operator</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Juicing Your Movement blog post</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">GameMaker Basics: Parenting and Inheritance</a></li> </ul> <p>That about wraps it up for object ownership. Keep an eye out for another blog post about how to make enemies shoot back at the player! Thank you for taking the time to read over this, and I’ll catch you next time. As always, you can reach me on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or visit my <a href="" target="_blank">website</a> for more gamedev stuff.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href=""><img alt="NathanRBio.jpg" src="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Nathan Ranney is the founder of punk house game dev shop, <a href="" target="_blank">RatCasket</a>. He’s best known for the creation and development of Kerfuffle, an online indie fighting game.</em></p> /blogs/appstore/post/4a2dd481-f830-41e2-9636-11dd049d5ce5/creating-a-cohesive-musical-narrative-with-interstitial-music Creating a Cohesive Musical Narrative with Interstitial Music Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-03-08T17:59:01+00:00 2018-03-08T17:59:01+00:00 <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="Music_030218-opt1.jpg" src="" /></p> <p>It’s important when applying music to a video game to remember that the star is only as good as the supporting cast. Some of the most important music in any video game is the soundtrack between the super memorable stuff: the interstitial music.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="Music_030218-opt1.jpg" src="" style="height:320px; width:800px" /></p> <p>We all know the star players of video game music.</p> <p>The “Ohhhhh… Maaariaaaaa..” of Final Fantasy VI.</p> <p>The “doo-doot doot da-doot doot! Doot” of Super Mario Bros.</p> <p>The “Gotta pee, gotta pee, for the singles party!” of Skyrim.</p> <p>But it’s important when applying music to a video game to remember that the star is only as good as the supporting cast. Some of the most important music in any video game is the soundtrack between the super memorable stuff: the interstitial music.</p> <p>My 10-second Google search&nbsp;defines interstitial tissue as “connective tissue between the cellular elements of a structure.” Essentially, interstitial tissue connects more notable structures together, in order to keep an organism cohesive. It’s a good analogy to follow when scoring a video game. One of music’s roles in virtually any medium is to establish, shape, or influence the emotional contours of a work. To absolutely no one’s surprise, one of the best examples of interstitial music comes from a little game called Overwatch.</p> <h1>Keep things epic without destroying ears</h1> <p>It’s great to have a blockbuster banger to grab people’s heart by the throat, but if it’s followed by awkward silence, the mood is lost. <a href="" target="_blank">Overwatch’s absurdly epic/heroic theme song</a> fills me with&nbsp;ecstacy every time I hear it, but what keeps the juices flowing are the underappreciated pieces that accompany screens like the match results and lobby. These interstitial pieces serve to match the emotional tenor of Overwatch - the pulse must always be pounding. At no time is Overwatch a game about methodical, well-considered plans of action mulled over and pressed into service after due consideration. Overwatch is a game about shooting a giant ape with a dubstep gun before he can shock your cowboy pal to death. The interstitial cues stay aligned with the theme of the more conspicuous tracks, while providing a drop in intensity to prevent theme fatigue.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src=";start=28" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><em>Cues like these can prime the listener for a different emotion. Here, the pre-game music prepares the listener for a lighter, sillier zone. But it still falls under the same energetic, pulsing rubric established in the ‘bigger” pieces.</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> A degree of restraint is always called for in video game scores, to avoid this fatigue. Ironic, I know, coming from me, as I’ve made a career cramming arpeggios into the smallest unit of time possible for high-intensity games, but that’s the exception that proves the rule, because - </div> <h1>Interstitial music can be internal to a single track</h1> <p>Even if a game is defined by relentless intensity, you can find opportunities to include moments of rest that stay thematically appropriate, but give the listener’s ear/brain/face time to recover. The most intense music you can imagine becomes less intense and more annoying the longer it goes on without respite. Looping video game music must take this into consideration, and provide ebbs and flows in dynamics, volume, and timbre. One of my favorite recent pieces to demonstrate this is <a href=";" target="_blank">XCOM 2’s squad loadout music</a> by Tim Wynn. Despite having a recurring rhythmic motif that repeats through the entirety, multiple sections provide relief to the listener, both in volume and compositional intensity.&nbsp;</p> <p>The first change in intensity happens here.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src=";start=48" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>What’s important to note is that this change is almost a lateral move in terms of intensity. The rhythm is more spaced out, and the melody is given more room to breathe. Intensity doesn’t only refer to volume; the density of the composition certainly affects how “assaulted” the ear is!</p> <p>The next section reprises much of the previous composition, and then the loop point happens here (at least in the in-game looping version).<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src=";start=65" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> <p>Since this piece scores the very narrow concept of “you are preparing your loadout for a mission,&quot;&nbsp;it’s important to have an arrangement focused on that idea. The player will be musing over potential synergies and role configurations, so <em>excessively</em> dynamic music would be distracting. The composer walks a fine line of variation and homogeneity, in effect creating an endless, elastic interstitial tissue to connect the previous and next game states.</p> <p>Video game music is a part of a living system. Sometimes developers use library music, or hire/license a band/artist they like to score their games. There are plenty of cases of this working wonderfully, such as the library tracks music tracks in Braid (aided by the time-warping effect on the music), Stuart Chatwood’s score for Darkest Dungeon, or 65daysofstatic’s work on No Man’s Sky, but the skillset required for a cohesive game soundtrack is very different from that of writing a collection of songs.</p> <p>If you’re a composer, it’s a good idea to make sure you test the game if you can to see how your music flows. If you’re a developer, try to understand your composer’s methodology for making pieces connect. When music is aligned effectively with the game’s tone and mechanics, it can help to smooth over bumps in the tone or flow of the game. Conversely, intentionally subverting the flow can highlight a moment or mechanic that you <em>want</em> to stick out like a sore thumb. There are no hard rules here!</p> <h1>To recap</h1> </div> <div> <ul> <li> <p>Music between intensity peaks serves to reinforce the emotional consistency of the experience. Silence should be used when appropriate, but be sure it doesn’t come across as dead air. Unless that’s what you intend!</p> </li> <li> <p>Interstitiality can be applied more granularly within a single track to alleviate ear fatigue. This is more of a compositional point for the composers, but it’s good practice for the developer, as a somewhat neutral third party, to keep in mind.</p> </li> <li> <p>Music in games generally should either be as interactive as the game, or composed in a way that complements the design. This means care should be taken to ensure that the music doesn’t trample over emotional or systemic highlights of the game. Music can also help accentuate concepts in a game that might be too subtle, without hitting the player over the head with them.</p> </li> </ul> <p><br /> Game music is a strange new art form that requires more than just traditional musical sense. It requires considerable thought about not only emotional <em>content</em>, but emotional <em>momentum</em>. Interstitial music is one of the most effective tools you have to maintain this momentum!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="DannyBheadshot.png" src="" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Danny Baranowsky is a composer, musician and larger-than-life personality living in Seattle, Washington by way of Mesa, Arizona.&nbsp;Over the past decade, Danny has risen to the top of his field, composing the music for best-selling games Canabalt, Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac, Desktop Dungeons, Crypt of the Necrodancer, and more.&nbsp;This year, Danny looks to expand his musical misadventures - working on solo material, game prototypes, chicken dinners, and even a live set! No task is too tall for Danny (he is 6’4”). Keep on the lookout for <a href="" target="_blank">more music</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">tweets</a> regarding the refresh rates and input latency of OLED monitors in the future.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /blogs/appstore/post/995c2e1d-727f-4972-9e24-64e10ffefd9d/tips-for-making-a-twitch-friendly-mobile-game-part-3 Tips for Making a Twitch-Friendly Mobile Game (Part 3) Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-03-06T18:24:17+00:00 2018-03-06T18:24:17+00:00 <p><img alt="Twitchfriendly-heroimage1.jpg" src="" style="display:block; height:385px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:800px" /><br /> In this article, I will explain a bit about the last piece of the puzzle: engaging the people who will actually promote your game.</p> <p><img alt="Twitchfriendly-heroimage1.jpg" src="" style="display:block; height:385px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:800px" /></p> <p>Many game developers are becoming more interested in how to leverage opportunities from game broadcasting and content creation to boost awareness of their game. It’s much easier than many developers believe: in <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>part one</strong></a>, I discussed why it’s not necessary to use a streaming SDK for you game. In <strong><a href="" target="_blank">part two</a></strong>, I discussed some ways that you can make your game more attractive to content creators, both technically and in game design.</p> <p>In this article, I will explain a bit about the last piece of the puzzle: engaging&nbsp;the people who will actually promote&nbsp;your game:</p> <h2>Tip: DO&nbsp;support the streaming community around&nbsp;your game</h2> <p>While supporting the community, or engaging with the community is probably already high on your priorities, what does that mean in the context of a Twitch stream? There are a number of ways that I’ve seen game developers work with streamers, and these may help your game be seen as more Twitch-friendly:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Consider using Twitch APIs in your game</strong>. This is being seen more and more on the PC games on Twitch, and the concepts work similarly for mobile games: creating ways for broadcasters to engage with their audience through the games that they play. At the time of this writing, I’m not aware of any mobile games that use the Twitch APIs (let me know if there are!), but I believe there’s a ripe opportunity there.</li> <li><strong>Reach out to the broadcasters: </strong>Perhaps the most effective way to develop a Twitch-friendly mobile game is to get in touch with the streamers who love your game and offer them special content. This ties in with the “offering compelling content” idea earlier: streamers are always looking for interesting and new content for their stream, and an investment here can result in other streamers looking to join the “community” for the game, too.</li> <li><strong>Promote prominent community members: </strong>The community outside of Twitch can help build your Twitch presence as well. If you have tournaments, then the winners of those tournaments may want to parlay their success into a Twitch stream – why not help promote them? Community members who are creating YouTube content may be interested in branching out to Twitch as well, and helping promote their nascent streams can build the game’s Twitch presence as well.</li> <li><strong>Build your game’s dedicated Twitch channel:</strong> Who better to showcase your game on Twitch than the people who built the game? Your official game channel can also be a place to showcase tournaments and events, have the developers available to chat with the community, and also show the promise of your game to other streamers who may be considering playing your game online.</li> </ul> <h2>Conclusion&nbsp;</h2> <p>While Twitch may appear to be primarily a PC, or even a PC and console&nbsp;community, mobile games can do very well on Twitch. And while streaming a mobile game on Twitch doesn’t require any special technology or SDKs, to be truly Twitch-friendly, there needs to be a combination of:</p> <ul> <li>Technical considerations for both the streamer and the viewers of your game</li> <li>Game design that enables content that streamers want to broadcast and viewers want to watch</li> <li>Engagement with the Twitch community to nurture and build it just as with any part of your community outreach.</li> </ul> <p>Finally, I see that mobile games on Twitch are still a somewhat developing segment of the Twitch world. And that means that there is still a large opportunity, both for game developers looking to take advantage of Twitch and for&nbsp;streamers who may be looking for niches that aren’t as competitive as the established games on the site. My hope is that these tips help you better craft your Twitch engagement strategies.</p> <h2>More reading</h2> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Tips for Making a Twitch-Friendly Mobile Game (Part 1)</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Tips for Making a Twitch-Friendly Mobile Game (Part&nbsp;2)&nbsp;</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> /blogs/appstore/post/c3558e44-e83a-4c1f-9725-95a013e75889/free-download-2018-global-esports-market-report-by-newzoo Free Download: 2018 Global eSports Market Report by Newzoo Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-03-01T18:05:28+00:00 2018-03-01T18:05:28+00:00 <p><img alt="esports-newzoo-report-2018-v2.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /><br /> Download the 2018&nbsp;Global Esports Market Report by Newzoo for free.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="esports-newzoo-report-2018-v2.png" src="" style="display:block; height:327px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:800px" /><br /> Humans are wired for competition, creating&nbsp;a big opportunity for game developers. With the rise of eSports and competitive mobile gaming, developers can leverage this innate need for competition to create vibrant communities that help extend the lifespan of a game and fuel a more compelling experience for players.</p> <p>The good news is that the eSports industry shows no signs of stopping, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">2018 Global Esports Market Report</a> by Newzoo, a global leader in eSports, games, and mobile intelligence. This is the fourth edition of Newzoo's annual report, which provides an in-depth look at the eSports economy - globally and per region - and showcases the future potential in terms of trends, viewers, franchises, and revenue streams.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are some key takeaways from the report:</p> <ul> <li>Global eSports revenue will reach $906 million in 2018, a year-on-year growth of 38.2%.</li> <li>Brands will invest $694 million in the eSports industry; 77% of the total market. This will grow to $1.4 billion by 2021, representing 84% of total eSports revenue.</li> <li>The number of eSports enthusiasts worldwide will reach 165 million in 2018, a year-on-year growth of 15.2%.&nbsp;</li> <li>The global average annual revenue per eSports enthusiast will be $5.49 this year, up 20% from 2017.</li> <li>In 2017, there were 588 major eSports events that generated an estimated $59 million in ticket revenue, up from $32 million in 2016.</li> </ul> <p>To learn more and read all the high-level takeways, download the Newzoo report for free.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="download-now-button.png" src="" /></a></p> <p><br /> <em>Please note: the report will automatically be downloaded in your browser. If the download does not get initiated, check your pop-up blocker settings in your browser.&nbsp;</em></p> /blogs/appstore/post/4aebaaa9-79ea-4345-9d28-db3d43bd97b1/game-jamming-in-unity-two-tips-to-make-art-faster Game Jamming in Unity: Tips to Make Art Faster Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-02-28T18:09:08+00:00 2018-02-28T18:09:08+00:00 <p><img alt="game-jamming-blog-hero.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /><br /> Today,&nbsp;we are going to explore ways to create and iterate on the content assets of your game. This includes level designs, textures, shaders, sounds, music, particle systems, and anything else that makes up the look and feel of your game.</p> <p><img alt="game-jamming-blog-hero.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p>Today,&nbsp;we are going to explore ways to create and iterate on the content assets of your game. This includes level designs, textures, shaders, sounds, music, particle systems, and anything else that makes up the look and feel of your game.</p> <p>Here are two tips to make art faster:&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Set the scene with greyboxing&nbsp;</h2> <p>The best way to start building your world is to make a greybox, or “block mesh” of a level, a simplified representation of the eventual shapes the level will take. Once the locations of large objects and the flow of the level’s movement “feels right,” then detailed artwork can be swapped in.</p> <p>Before texturing or lighting, working on the rough greybox of level design allows you to move large objects around, test the movement flow, and tweak distances between things. Make big layout changes during the greybox stage and you avoid the hassle, encouraging quick iteration because it’s still easy to do before the world has been made to look beautiful.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <div> <img alt="makeartfaster-image1.png" src="" style="display:block; height:244px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:780px" /> <br /> &nbsp; </div> <h2>2. Break complex scenes into staging areas with prefabs&nbsp;</h2> <p>Prefabs are everything. They empower you to define a <strong>GameObject</strong> as the template for a bullet or enemy, for example, and then spawn hundreds of copies around your game levels. When you edit the prefab, every copy also changes.</p> <p>Some developers only use prefabs for objects that need to be duplicated en masse, but it can be very handy to make almost everything a prefab, even objects for which only one copy ever exists in-game. (Static level meshes might be the exception.)</p> <p>Why? Because you can work on them in smaller “staging” scenes. This comes in handy when tuning performance. It also helps when editing especially complex levels where it is too easy to click nearby objects. This allows you to focus on one thing, with perfect editor framerate and fewer mis-clicks.</p> <p>Breaking complex scenes into staging areas also simplifies team collaboration, since GitHub merge conflicts are very common in large Unity scenes. The technique outlined above avoids this by allowing people to work in separate files more often. Imagine, for example, a racing game level. An artist can work on the layout of the track scene while another dev works on the physics for the car in a temporary staging scene. The level makes reference to the car prefab, so the new changes propagate during development—with fewer merge conflicts, since neither person was editing the same file on disk.</p> <h2>Read more tips: download the free eBook</h2> <p>To read all my tips on how to work faster, code faster, and make art faster, download this free eBook that I wrote - Game Jamming in Unity: Tips and Tricks to Work Faster.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><a href=";ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank"><img alt="eBook_Button.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></a><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href=""><img alt="Christer_Bio.jpg" src="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Christer Kaitila has been a freelance game dev since 1993. He has shipped dozens of games, and mentors at a game development club. He created <a href="" target="_blank">One Game a Month</a> and has published two other gamedev books.</em></p> /blogs/appstore/post/681396e0-429e-4e15-801d-4c62cf9f61ee/new-ebook-how-to-develop-media-streaming-apps-for-amazon-fire-tv New eBook: How to Develop Media Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire TV Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-02-26T22:36:14+00:00 2018-02-26T22:36:14+00:00 <p><img alt="FireTVeBook-blogpost.png" src="" style="display:block; height:400px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:1000px" /></p> <p>This guide is designed to help you navigate the available resources for developing high-quality media streaming apps on Amazon Fire TV.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="FireTVeBook-blogpost.png" src="" style="display:block; height:320px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:800px" /></a></p> <p>Delivering content on TV has never been easier, thanks to the rise of streaming media devices like Roku, Chromecast, and the Amazon Fire TV family of products. There are now millions of homes with connected TV devices, with media streaming apps delivering many millions of minutes of content every day across the globe. As the best-selling streaming media player in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan, Amazon Fire TV devices represent a sizable portion of that streaming media consumption.</p> <p>Amazon has created several specialized tools and templates to make it easier to develop for this growing audience. These features allow you to create a streaming media app in as little as a few minutes, when weeks or months might have once been required.</p> <p>This guide is designed to help you navigate the available resources for developing high-quality media streaming apps on Amazon Fire TV.</p> <p>You’ll learn:</p> <ul> <li>Best practices for designing for a 10-foot UI</li> <li>How to use Amazon’s dedicated tools and templates</li> <li>How to publish to the Amazon Appstore</li> <li>And more!</li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="eBook_Button.png" src="" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></a></p> /blogs/appstore/post/1f3e9d48-bd08-424e-8323-dd45139d02b8/app-submission-improvements-part-one-revamped-experience-to-add-app-descriptions-and-multimedia-assets Revamped Experience to Add App Descriptions and Multimedia Assets Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2018-02-26T18:40:16+00:00 2018-03-19T15:51:58+00:00 <p><img alt="animatedherobannershortened.gif" src="" style="display:block; height:300px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:750px" /></p> <p><br /> We are in the process of revamping the app submission experience on our developer portal. Part one of this revamp is focused on improving the multimedia assets upload experience and how you add app descriptions.</p> <p><img alt="animatedherobannershortened.gif" src="" style="display:block; height:300px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:750px" /></p> <p><br /> <br /> We are in the process of revamping the app submission experience on our developer portal. Part one of this revamp is focused on improving the multimedia assets upload experience and how you add app descriptions.</p> <p>One of the primary usability complaints we’ve received was about the submission experience during the multimedia asset upload step. The old way of doing this required uploading assets one at a time, which was time consuming and cumbersome. We heard you – this new experience includes the following features:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Bulk upload of screenshots</strong>: You can now select multiple screenshots at once, and drag and drop them onto the submission UI. You can even rearrange, scroll through, and delete all screenshots in one go.<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong>Asynchronous upload of multimedia assets</strong>: You can upload multimedia assets, such as app icons, screenshots, and promotional videos one after another without having to wait for each upload to complete. You can even switch to other locales and continue uploading assets while the previous locales are being uploaded.<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong>Preview multimedia assets in Fire tablets and Amazon Fire TV</strong>: Once your assets are uploaded, you can now see how they will appear on tablets and Fire TV devices before you submit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong>Support for Japanese, German, and Chinese specific assets and descriptions</strong>: If you want to target your app for only these regions, you no longer have to provide an English version of the same assets. You can now provide just the assets and descriptions for the region you’re targeting. To enable this feature, please select the “app availability” to be Japan, China, or Germany in the availability and pricing tab of the submission experience. If you pick any combination of these regions, the default locale for multimedia assets and descriptions will switch to English (U.S.). But, you will still have the option to upload locale specific assets in separate locale sub-tabs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong>UI refresh</strong>: Check out the refreshed UI with improved tool tips, microcopy, and style guides. You also have the option to select multiple locales to upload assets to in a single go.</li> </ul> <p><br /> You can find detailed documentation on these new features <a href="" target="_blank">here.</a></p> <p>We hope you enjoy these new improvements. This upgrade is now available to all our customer. Please provide us your feedback through our support team on how you like these updates. &nbsp;We look forward to hearing your <a href="" target="_blank">feedback</a>. We will continuously improve the app submission experience throughout 2018.</p>