The limbs we can live without
So currently I’m studying game design Belgium, and while progressing through the year I’ve started to realise why a lot of games on steam look and feel like they were designed for the playstation2, so we're going to talk about shovelware. If you have a lack of examples I’d recommend to have a look at Jim sterling’s YouTube page, but I’m sure a lot of you won’t need to.
The thing with these “developers” is that they're amateurs, which is completely fine. But when you are, make sure to at least get some feedback from someone with experience, or even better and have someone show you the ropes. Also stay of steam until you reached an acceptable level of quality. But enough of this rambling, these are the things these devs think they can work without.
Never underestimate the power of light, light is something that can break your involvement with the game, or even out right annoy you. There are plenty of examples of games who think there is only spotlight bright, voids of hell black, and the grey mid-tone. Just take a flashlight, or go outside in the dark and try to see the amount of different values, I’ll give you hint for the correct answer, it’s a lot. So the naïve thinking that you’ll be all right with a spotlight as flashlight and just ambient lighting and 10 minutes of work couldn’t be further from the truth. Try invest at least 4 hours for each level and you may be able to produce something that’s passable.
A lot of people never realise the importance of sound, but it is one of, or maybe even the element that creates atmosphere and tension. In horror games it is to sound more than anything that sets the mood, that gives you that feeling that there is something right behind you, in shooters it is the element that makes you feel like there is an actual fire fight happening around you. Sure visual effects have to be up to par as well, but if you don’t do sound correctly your game is always going to be lacking.
A lot of you may not know how the creation of 3D objects is done, and that’s ok, cause some developers don’t seem to know tis either. Everyone can create an object, but if you want a at least somewhat professional model you have to make maps. So different maps do different things, shadow maps take care of shadows, secularity maps determine what bits reflect light and what doesn’t, bump maps mimic a feeling of 3d on your textures, …. But when you go to steam you don’t see a whole lot of these being used. Now I’ll admit sometimes using these just doesn’t fit you art style, and that’s ok, but taking some unity assets isn’t an art style.
Never underestimate the power of music, music can do anything, make you cry, to which I will not admit I’ve ever done so, especially not at the end of “brothers: a tale of two sons”, to make you feel like there is a monster behind you that wants to eat your guts and do other nasty things to you. Otherwise, sound is a way to keep the phase of the game, from the awesome soundtrack of Wolfenstein that just makes you want to kill all of those pesky Nazi’s, to oblivion, where it makes you feel like you’ll find something new around every corner, and you just want to keep exploring. Music is also able to pass along information to the player, like when there is a monster behind you that wants to eat your guts and do other nasty things to you, but I’m starting to repeat myself so moving on,…
Although I don’t know a whole lot about business, a lot of games get the extreme amount of bad review because they know even less. Want to release a game? then Learn how to business bruh! So from now on I’m going to take superhot as the standard for a 20 dollar game, short but engaging campaign, enough content to keep you playing for a while, pretty sweet for 20 dollars. So when you release your game compare it to superhot, and if yours is just an ugly ,buggy fps with little to know redeeming value, then don’t charge money for it, but if your somewhere in between, try to come up with a reasonable price tag, we’ll all be happier for it.
So if there is anything I forgot or if you think I’m just a rambling idiot, please let me know, or not, it’s your life, but I would appreciate it though, so yeah, bye.