The Game Design Dojo Podcast



All About Game Design, Production, and Publishing in Today’s Fast Paced Global Market


  • GDD 006 : Characters, Control, and Mechanics


    In this episode of Game Design Dojo, we discuss how game characters and gameplay mechanics go hand in hand with level design and control schemes. How many controls do you give the player and why?  Characters and control are the backbone of your game's interactive experience and we walk through plenty of examples. Characters, Control and Mechanics Game characters and gameplay mechanics are essential to creating your video game. Once you've determined your character and what gameplay mechanics to give your character you can create level designs and start enjoying the game developing process. Characters and control are the backbone of your game’s interactive experience and we walk through plenty of examples.  Put your phone on vibrate and come along for the ride.  A Look at Gameplay Mechanics What are mechanics you ask? Basically whenever the player presses a button, what does that button do? Once you determine what gameplay mechanics you'd like your character to have, you can start to work around that mechanic

  • GDD 005 : Getting Started With Procedural Level Design


    This episode is an exploration on how to approach creating a procedural level design system for a variety of game styles, and what to look for when it's up and running. Getting Started With Procedural Level Design Procedural Level Design is basically the design of the game and making it fun while keeping gameplay long. For example Jet Pack Joyride and Temple Run. With procedural level designs it's easier to adjust gameplay vs. crafted level designs. Free to play mobile games are good reason to use procedural level design because you want to keep gameplay at 30 sec to a minute and a half, you can ramp it up to become impossible and the player wants to purchase power up etc. Segment out the Experience It's important to make a beginning, middle and an end in your video game by putting random seeds in random seeds and creating in and out points. Here's a breakdown: Beginning - easy intro and limit the length Middle - the bulk is Act II and should be moderately difficult while introducing new mechanics to keep

  • GDD 004 : The Power of Focus Testing


    Brian walks through a recent focus test, his take aways, and how to process the information and feedback he receives. The Power of Focus Testing Focus testing is a great tool for video game designers. Once you have a core loop (start a level, progress, and die) you can gather feedback in order to enhance gameplay and create an exciting, successful game. We talk about our own experiences with focus testing and the results, also tips and suggestions for productive focus testing. Focus testing should be done way before bug testing. You want to see what's working and what's not. Once you can play a loop and get a feel for the core mechanic, then it's important to gather feedback. The more informal it is the more honest people will be and don't tell them what to do to see if the player is connecting to the character and gameplay. Try to keep it fun and casual with about 5 testers and the developer. Focus Testing Experience When developing a video game, you usually are developing it for yourself but you do have to

  • GDD 003 : Forming an Indie Video Game Studio


    Forming an Indie Game Studio is a BIG decision and often times a scary one. This podcast episode focuses on key points to consider when forming an Indie Video Game Studio and how to gather the best team possible in order to achieve your company's vision. We share what we look for and how our experiences have worked out for us. Get ready to listen to the basics of Forming an Indie Video Game Studio, how to find your company focus and who should join you on this journey! Forming an Indie Video Game Studio First things first, start small. To rent a store front or having a brick and mortar office would be a mistake for an Indie Developer. Much of the work can be done virtually at the kitchen table. Always try to keep overhead costs as low as possible. Decide what kind of company you'd like to be? Think of a couple games to make together with your team, making sure you still have life after your first game. Perhaps, take a look at the content, find similarities and gather a body of games everybody likes to shape

  • GDD 002 : Self Publishing vs Mobile Publisher Part 2


    Brian and Ike continue to discuss Self Publishing including areas of marketing, user acquisition, and funding. Self Publishing vs. Mobile Publisher Part 2 In today's video game market, marketing is essential for your video game's survival and become successful. The debate continues - should you hire a publisher or perform the necessary work needed yourself? Marketing is concrete for Indie Game Developers. It's important to establish a relationship with the press (PR, bloggers) so you can call on them to review your video game and share it with their audiences building awareness for your game. Challenges of marketing: Hard to tell if working - billboard ex. How do you reach more people? Don't know what draws people in? Endless activity - tough, double-edged sword Gravity of the charts - end cap ex. Social Media is huge. Facebook is a great tool to post updates, reach out to fans and build relationships with them and cross promote other games. You can use tools such as Chartboost and PlayHaven. Busines

  • GDD 001 : Show Introduction and Self Publishing vs Mobile Publisher Part 1


    Meet hosts Brian and Ike as they introduce themselves, the Game Design Dojo, and dive right into whether or not to self publish a mobile title. The Game Design Dojo In game design one never truly masters, but is constantly practicing. Much like in martial arts where one never really achieves full mastery. One can appear as a master, but in reality they are just further down the path that you. Thus the name Dojo. Topics The Game Design Dojo will discuss: Studio issues - starting a company Platforms and adapting to changes Video game design and development Story development Reward systems in game play All different video game genres - adventure, role-play, first person shooter, puzzle, match 3, etc. Any questions or topics from the fans Any current challenges that come up during our own video game development The History of Ike and Brian Ike started in the industry in the year 2000 with a Computer Engineering Degree and primarily had computer programmer jobs with a few different companies. In 2005 he

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