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Video Game Development

Video game collaboration is cute

cute planet image

A while ago I wrote about some video game ideas one could use for a school assignment, or a personal project. For a bit more original idea, //engtech has pointed out Lost Garden’s prototyping challenge.

Over and over again, I’ve heard the sad tale that there are talented programmers lacking sexy graphics. I, on the other hand, can’t program a lick. So here’s a thought: I’ll provide some quality graphics and a seed of a design idea. All you need to provide is a working prototype of the core game mechanic.

It’s quite a good idea actually – I remember putting together space simulations, just for fun, that would model the behaviour of a solar system and any random asteroids thrown in. Of course the render engine never received anything more complicated than Draw.Oval, and was probably quite bored (that is, if the software had the capacity to be “bored”). Danc, on the other hand, is a game designer with some original ideas and stellar illustrations, but lacks in the ability to write code that would put it all together. What’s great about collaboration between different people are the new ideas, and expansion of their talent pool. Working with someone like yourself will only get as much done, just faster.

SpaceCute Mockup image

So that’s Danc’s offer, in a form of a challenge. He has put together an extensive concept description, including the core mechanics, description of physics, and gameplay structure. He also made available a set of really cute graphics (780k) to use for this game (or any other project you fancy). For bonus points, every game prototype will get featured on Lost Garden for discussion, and everybody’s learning experience.

I know that year end school projects are coming up, so this is a reminder to pair up with someone who complements your skills. One is much better off finding a friend who knows how to use Photoshop and Illustrator, than taking screen shots of games and cutting out sprites. It’s more original, aesthetically pleasing, and simply drives the motivation to do a better job.

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  1. Posted by engtech | April 4, 2007, 9:51 am

    I’d love to see someone take that graphics set and do something with XNA.

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  2. Posted by Bashar | April 4, 2007, 12:32 pm

    It is true most programmers are lousy designers. This is the idea behind the site ProgrammerMeetDesigner. And if you look into it, most big software companies were initiative of two initially. It’s the formula 1 1 >= 3

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  3. Posted by Clayton | April 4, 2007, 5:08 pm

    This is pretty cool. I completely lack any and all artistic skills. With this it may help. However, I must ask: Is all of Danc’s art like the images above? This would be kind of interesting, but I’d find trying to program with child-like graphics a bit of a limitiation.

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  4. Posted by Tony | April 4, 2007, 5:53 pm

    @engtech – heh, games have a totally different feel to them when they are played on a console. I’d like to see more XNA stuff available as well.

    @Bashar – Most successful startups were usually started by 2 or 3 partners. This collaborative work is, of course, one of the reasons.

    @Clayton – “child-like graphics” are a bit misleading. A child would most certainly have trouble producing illustrations anywhere near the quality presented above. And no, not all of Danc’s illustrations are as “cute”, though I would imagine that this particular graphics pack will stick to the theme as it expands.

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  5. Posted by Clayton | April 4, 2007, 6:18 pm

    Tony, I didn’t mean child-like as in a child could draw the images, but child-like in the way that the images seem to tend toward that age group. Just thought I’d clear that up ;)

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