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Jake Clarke's blog

10:09 AM on 12.09.2008

Indie Games Programming: Beginners tips

I got bored while playing geometry wars and watching some gears 2 video, and decided to share some things i have learned over the last few months.

Tip #1:
Read tutorials, lots of them. Each tutorial is going to some things different from others, and each is going to have good part and bad parts.
Tip #2:
Be lazy with your programming. When you are writing a piece of code write it so that you can easily recycle it and reuse it. Think of ways of saving lines and time in the future.
Tip #3:
As you get better with programming write a common framework. Develop this in parallel with your main projects and include your latest eureka moments ... wait, was that workmeng?!.... where was i? oh yeah...
Tip #4:
Get a good cvs, I use a svn. This makes your life so much easier, if i do something stupid which breaks the game or want to revert to a piece of code earlier stage. It also provides a simple backup system. It has a ton of uses I'm not gonna cover them all, you should take time with your choice as there are many out there, and often when you start using one your stuck with it.
Tip #5:
Do not listen to Jim Sterling. This is not to bash him, this is a warning, he is used to to criticizing games with thousands of hours of man hours, from companies that massive budgets. Your games will not compare for a long time.
Tip #6:
Use your friends. if you have a friend who is good at modeling, don't be afraid to ask him for a model. Though don't expect them to deliver quickly.
Tip #7:
Take pride with your work but do not be afraid to accept criticism for it. I recently had my girl friend play one of my games and she got annoyed with the controller scheme. I couldn't tell the problems with it because i had been using it from day the first day developing it.
Tip #8:
Be patient, it takes a good couple of months before you can have some thing that you are proud of.
Tip #9:
Do not expect to be programming like a pro from the start. Use something like Xna as it teaches you many of the things you need to learn before starting real games programming with Direct X. You can learn the principles of advanced games programming with it, such as Shader programming or Vertex buffering.

Thanks for reading and I hope these tips help in some way.

Just came up with another one
Tip #10 :
Microsoft give away tons of free software to students, such as xna subscriptions or visual studio through programs such as MSDN AA or dreamspark. MSDN AA is the best of the two but unfortunately it requires your college or university to pay some money so some may not be able to get this.   read

4:53 PM on 06.20.2007

MOAR podtoid please

After finishing some scones (yes really) and starting to slurp tea from a large mug, I realised I wasn't complete. It was a new emptiness not caused by the normal lack of mass effect or human companionship, it was the lack of podtoid in 2 weeks.
where is my weekly fill of podtoid goodness?

I think its weekly anyway......   read

9:44 AM on 06.17.2007

So i canceled my XBox live gold.....

I have cancelled my xbox live subscription because im tired of being charged double the US for a watered down service, no video market place, no free stuff (aegis wing) and I wasn't using it. I am also a little short on money and I wanted to get one more game before being broke.

note to self: charge for PC repairs.   read

12:32 PM on 06.08.2007

Overlord is great! What do you think?

I have played the demo and i think its very good, what do you think?
I think that game could be successful and its a new idea. (finally)
I like the idea of commanding a hoard of gremlins and it seams to have some real personality. The voice acting of marc silk (of blank and white 1 & 2) adds a nice feel to the characters, i think I might just get it instead of masseffect(im getting very bored waiting for its glory).

Is it Marc Silk?   read

8:36 AM on 06.08.2007

My thoughts about Podtoid 24.

Great podtoid guys!

I have a thought about that game that may or may not be going to a console that may or may not be the 360. I think Ron will probly be right on this and he has some good points to back it up. But I have one thing to say, there is always the possibility that Sony can extend the exclusivity agreement by dumping a truck load of cash on Konami, which would bad for me as I want it on the 360.
I wonder if Ron has considered collecting cease and diciest letters, all the cool kids have them. :P   read

5:52 PM on 06.06.2007

Bioshock rated! (uk only)

As far as I can find only the BBFC has rated Bioshock, the posted the rating today about 13 hours ago. Rated 18 with strong bloody violence, who would have thought?

MOAR MONEY!   read

5:42 PM on 06.06.2007

Masseffect rated! (sorta)

Both PEGI and the ESRB have a rating for the game but according Chris Priestly at least the ESRB rating is not final, explains some of the tags. According to the Pegi website the BBFC will be rating it for the UK, I will update as soon as it does.

MOAR MONEY!   read

1:51 PM on 06.06.2007

Spreading the Dtoid word!

I have been trying to get as many people as I can to pay a visit to my favorite gaming website .... Destructoid!

Im new at this bloging thingy so ill be pritty crap   read

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