Last month Marc and I spoke at the Net Prophet conference here in Cape Town. It’s a very different audience compared to the people we usually talk to (Net Prophet is far more focused on tech entrepreneurship and the growing venture capital scene in SA) so we focused more on what’s going on in the local game development industry and trying to torpedo the common misconceptions that people tend to share. We covered some interesting numbers and tried to highlight each concept with a specific local game, watch below:
As an added bonus, here’s Nick Hall – the chairman of MGSA – talking about what the organisation is all about:
We were really keen to talk at Net Prophet, not only does this give us and the MGSA exposure right when we’re trying to grow the local industry in some very interesting ways. But QCF was also one of the startups in the Net Prophet Accelerator program back in 2011, so this was a chance for us to stand up in front of many of the potential investors and advisers that didn’t quite grok game development then and give them a window into how we and others are making it work for us.
So maybe you’re like me, you’ve used Linux before, but it just wasn’t for you. That’s fine, everyone has their own tastes. But now you’ve got a game made in Unity, and some portion of your community is asking you to “Please port to Linux! It’s easy! Unity will do it for you!”
Well … yes and no. Getting Unity to output 32 and 64-bit executables for Linux is easy enough, but there’s a fair amount of work you’re going to have to do to get things running for your Linux users.
Now, to those very knowledgeable Linux humans reading this, please don’t take offense. This is the view of a Windows user trying to make the life of other game devs easier AND help put more games on the OS you love. If any of the info I present is wrong, feel free to correct me, but please make sure you do it in a way that is useful to someone who is not used to working in Linux. More…
That’s right, Desktop Dungeons is now available for Linux! Tell your friends that don’t have the game yet that their excuses are rapidly dwindling… Especially because Desktop Dungeons is part of Midweek Madness on Steam right now for 50% off!
Like goats, Linux comes in many flavors. Also like goats, sometimes Linux can be recalcitrant and kill you in one hit… If you have any problems with the game, let us know and we’ll fix it ASAP. And finally, if anyone’s got a Steam box, we’d love to know how it plays!
Uhhh, better late than never, perhaps? A few weeks ago we produced another discussion video for the QCF Design YouTube channel, this time discussing the trials and tribulations involved in resolution and interface design over the various iterations of Desktop Dungeons. Then we failed to repost it here.
This episode features a deeper and more substantial discussion than Ep1, as well as a slight increase in quality and overall user comfort. Plus extra minutes. Give it a lesson and let us know what you wanna see improved for Ep3!
Trying something new this week. Instead of doing a text writeup about the topic of the day, members of the QCF Design crew sat down to share their feelings about Free To Play. It was deep, it was meaningful and it was enough to move a stone golem to tears.
We slapped the results into a real-life motion picture, which we now present to you as our tentative scout into the world of video blogging. Enjoy and leave feedback forever.
The broader debate of women in videogames needs no introduction, regardless of one’s stance on the matter. Everyone with an Internet connection and at least some investment in videogame culture has heard stories of the industry’s gender bias (which we’ll go ahead and assert is very readily apparent).
Now, Desktop Dungeons itself isn’t some haven of progressive social ideas and forward thinking. We didn’t start the game with an overarching agenda in that area – but during the course of development, we were heavily informed by the dialogues, rants and documentaries around the topic of female portrayal and how some games screw that up so badly. More…
In this post, we’re dedicating some time to the flipside of last week’s writeup for illustrators wanting to break into game art. For reasons explained last time, this isn’t just gonna be a straight reversal of the previous advice – a few core asymmetries exist between the work that artists and programmers do, and it’s not about the creative vs logical approach or however else the issue gets generalised. It’s about high-constraint versus low-constraint environments, and the reality that artists are often forced to adapt to a coder’s constraints rather than the other way around.
More importantly, unlike larger studios (where formalised roles of designers and project managers become more clear and compartmentalised), indie projects tend to be dominated by a programmer, simply because there’s no other way for that project to exist short of an artist engaging with some cross-discipline learning. Either way, an artist-driven project would have its own set of problems separate from the ones described here and it’s not the sort of environment that we have enough experience to comment on.
So, let’s assume you’re a coder-boss-type person on a project where you’re telling somebody who’s way better than you at visual design to draw things in exactly the way you want them to. Here’s a few ways to make the artists you work with a lot less miserable about that: More…
Over the years, I’ve learned a bit about the diversity of the drawy-artstuffs field. I speak from the outside, of course – the closest I’ve come to being an artist myself is a one year communication design course (read: layout and colour theory) and the occasional desperate move with game prototypes where I simply couldn’t find anybody to draw things for me.
However, while I cannot tell anybody how to “do” art, I am sympathetic to some of the difficulties that visual creatives have when they’re forced to operate in the weird and wondrous framework of a programmer’s code base. None more so than classically-trained artists, who usually operate in environments which have loose constraints (or none at all) in areas that happen to be of absolutely vital importance to the average programmer.
Sometimes a situation emerges where talented artists in the wrong category hop onto an indie project: the devs are hoping for a particular style, perhaps, or the project exists in a territory where game development is still getting its legs and the required specialists are rare. Or maybe some friends just wanna work together on something regardless of the hurdles.
This can be pretty cool in the long run – particularly if said illustrator is excited and enthused about learning a new form – but there’s a few growing pains that need to be worked past. In my experience, practically all classic artists will need to learn the following: More…
At QCF Design, we’re actively trying to promote a jam culture at the office to produce more prototypes and experimental work.
As it so happens, we’re also trying our hand at making more videos and sharing some of our experiments with a broader audience. Behold one recent side project, tentatively called Stoic:
For those who can’t see the video for any magical computer reason, Stoic was built with the aim of simplifying ideas present in Frozen Synapse and Toribash to string together epic, flowing action sequences with wild swingy swords and enough blood to fill the arteries of a dozen over-the-top anime villains.
By merging turn-based, predictable combat with real-time playback, players have the opportunity to create impressive, organic-ish fights with tough enemies, weapon momentum and lots of cinematic eye candy.
We’ve finally built a page that houses all the stats we’ve been collecting. You can now see which enemies are killed the most, which dungeons have the most losses, and which gods give out the most boons.
Draw you own conclusions and share them on the forum.
And hey, Steam users: we’ve also released our community package of tradeable Desktop Dungeons goodies to the big bad world. For your digital swapmeeting pleasure, our artists have produced six game cards, seven profile backgrounds, five emoticons and a partridge in a pear tree.