The Game Design Dojo Podcast



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


  • GDD 026 : Limitless Production

    02/01/2016 Duración: 01h05min

    Get more done in less time for lone wolf developers, hobbyists, large teams, and everything in between. Listen now to Game Design Dojo Episode #026

  • GDD 025 : Virtual Reality Deep Dive


    In this expansive episode Brian and Ike discuss the dream, tech, design, best practices, and market strategies of virtual reality for game developers. Listen now to Game Design Dojo Episode #025

  • GDD 024 : Design – Metroidvania #1


    In this first Metroidvania discussion Brian and Ike define the popular gameplay style, discuss its history, cite game examples, and explore player motivations. Listen now to Game Design Dojo Episode #024

  • GDD 023 : Production – Lean Startup Decoded


    How to use the "Lean Startup" method for game development. A discussion and exploration of how and when to use it for your projects. Listen now to Game Design Dojo Episode #023

  • GDD 022 : Design – Physics Gameplay


    An exploration on using physics as the core mechanic as opposed to just a supporting simulation system. Listen now to Game Design Dojo Episode #022

  • GDD 021 : Business – Monitizing Your Game


    Brian and Ike dive deep into different ways to monitize your games, and how to tie your monitization strategy with your brand. Listen now to Game Design Dojo Episode #021

  • GDD 020 : Puzzle Design


    In this episode, Brian and Ike dive into puzzles and how to implement them in your game design. They compare games using puzzles as their main gameplay or as a feature thrown into the gameplay. They'll also discuss how they go about using puzzles in their own games. So, enjoy! Today's Developer Diary Brian has starting using Notepad ++ instead of MonoDevelop and Unity Visual Studio because it's so light and fast. It's a totally free, tiny little program that he changed all the colors to look like Unity and trained it to get all the key words in there. It's just fantastic! Ike has taken the opportunity to step back and put a couple of patches on the three games he has in the store after taking some of the feedback he's gotten. He also has a fourth and fifth game in the works! Brian explains that even though Fenix Fire hasn't released any games this year, they have a lot that is being incubated so they've had a really busy year and it's been the work for hire that's been able to keep them going. Brian and Ik

  • GDD 019 : How To Get Contract Work


    Brian and Ike discuss the practicalities of how to get a company off the ground and rolling. If you're looking for work-for-hire, then this episode provides some useful ways to obtain client work and how to build up your business development. Today's Developer Diary Ike is back! He is fresh after working at iD Tech Summer Camp where he taught high school students game design. It was fun to show them how to make games and by the time they left the camp in two weeks they had their own prototype working on their own phones. Ike also rang his "game release" bell! Puzzlin' Pieces: USA is now available on iTunes, Android and Amazon. His daughter helped develop this new game about learning about US geography. If there's any Windows 8 Microsoft people listening, please reach out to Ike. He wants to release the game for Windows, but keeps on hitting road blocks. So, if anyone can help please reach out to Ike! Brian just got back from Seattle! After doing his very first talk at Unite 2014 -  High End Mobile Developmen

  • GDD 018 : Deep Thoughts About Death In Games


    Brian and Ike talk about death in video games where the character dies or vehicle explodes at the end of the game loop. They discuss what death brings to a video game and why it may be important to include it your game. So, get ready for some great insight! Today's Developer Diary Brian is extremely excited to announce his own Twitch TV channel! Here is the link to check it out: Fenix Fire Twitch TV and if you haven't caught wind of it yet, now would definitely be a good time. It's become a tool in the indie game dev by using it to broadcast the making of your game while making the game. It's a pretty awesome way to connect with fans! Brian's mind is blown by just experimenting with it. He says the good thing about Twitch is just how raw it is and that production value is considered a bad thing. People who watch want to be a fly on the wall and want to see what makes the game tick, what makes the designer tick and all the decisions that are being made. There's no post production and really no pre-production.

  • GDD 017 : Audio and Soundtrack for Games – An Overview


    We received an inquiry from a fan and it inspired us to discuss how to use music and sounds in video games. Brian and Ike tackle this topic with great detail using some of their personal experiences. So, enjoy! Today's Developer Diary Ike's watching movies and Brian talks about his experience at E3. This was much different than PAX which was all consumers, so you're audience and players and you can see that they really are interested in what you're doing. But the main difference at E3 is it's more of everyone sizing each other up, more of a competition. It's basically media and industry professionals at E3. The fact that the game is made by just a two person team is getting some attention. The One Room Schoolhouse had been busy and getting pretty close to launching another education game this year and doing some contract work as well. He does contract work during the day and at night works on his own stuff just to have enough fuel to get through the day. Game development involves a lot of momentum. We just

  • GDD 016 : When is a Game Done?


    We received a Facebook question from our friend Bradley Erickson asking us "How do you finish and ship the dang thing after months(or years) of iteration and work?" after we published the episode 'How to turn an idea into a game?'. So, we got together and recoded this episode to answer his question. Enjoy!  How Do You Know when a Game is Done? This brings up the question, "Is it ever done?" Well, at the end of the day you need to just ship it and get it out. This episode will give you some insights on how you can tell when you're ready to rap it up. Creating the Minimum Viable Product Ideas are everywhere. An important skill to develop is taking an idea from start to finish. In general it is good practice to finish what you started. Finding a way to create a minimum viable product and getting that out in the world will do wonders for you and even hopefully earn you some money. What Does Minimum Viable Product Mean? From a gameplay perspective: You can feel the meta loop - the core game loop You're able t

  • GDD 015 : What To Do With $10K?


    There's a million ways you can spend $10,000 but what would be the best way to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck? Brian and Ike discuss a few different scenarios on how they would handle a big chunk of money. Today's Developer Diary Ike launched his game Rhythm Friends on iOS and Amazon! Although it's technically his second game he's shipped, it's the first game he started and finished this year living up to the New Year's Resolution of "Ship It". Rhythm Friends is a rhythm tapping game intended for 6-8  year old's. Ike worked with his 6 year old daughter who just started taking piano to help her improve on the feeling of the notes rather than just knowing the counts of each note. He goes into some detail about the gameplay and challenges he faced but all in all this was a great experience and if nothing else a great memento working with his daughter. We wish Rhythm Friends luck and be sure to pass it along to anyone you know with kids in that age group! What Would You Do With $10,000? We decid

  • GDD 014 : How To Turn an Idea Into A Game


    The first step to designing a video game is transforming an idea into something that is playable in three key gameloops.  Brian and Ike explain these loops and give examples. Today's Developer Diary Brian and Ike are baffled about Flappy Birds popularity and the simplicity of the game. Perhaps, sometimes the simple idea is the best idea. Ike shares he had to take a step back from the games he's been working on to try to make some more simpler games. Brian shares one of the most fun games he's made was a super simple, addicting game for John Deere driving a combine. Most video game designers want to develop the best game they can, but 90% of their efforts are lost. Just like a Jazz musician that has spent countless hours learning scales and cords, but then Pop music makes a lot more money with just a catchy chorus. The only certainty that Brian and Ike can conclude about this discussion is your success is all in the execution. How to turn your idea into an Actual Game Once you've done the tutorials, know basi

  • GDD 013 : PAX East And Kickstarter, Lessons Learned


    Brian shares 15 tips from his experiences at PAX East 2104, the Indie Megabooth, and launching a Kickstarter campaign. Source is live and doing great on Kickstarter! So far it's 16% funded after about 6 days. The game received an awesome response at PAX and now just waiting and hoping to reach 100% funding by May 11th. Source Kickstarter  PAX East 2014 - IndieMEGABOOTH Brian gives an inside, behind the scenes, detailed recap of what it was like showing his game at PAX East this past weekend April 11-13.  He includes his struggles with starting a Kickstarter campaign at the same time, working through computer glitches, and updating the build while in Boston to make the demo of the game go much smoother. So sit back and get ready to hear about the drama of being in the IndieMEGABOOTH. Getting Prepared First step was to submit an application with a video, a write-up and screenshots to the IndieMEGABOOTH. Then around January we received the email that we were accepted! After that it, there was paperwork to fill

  • GDD 012 : Two Ways You Can Get Funding For Your Game


    Detailed strategies on how you can get publisher funding for your game or go the crowdfunding route. Complete with real world war stories from the trenches. Exciting NEWS!!! "Source" by Fenix Fire is live on Kickstarter! "Source" is not just another project to Brian, it is THE project. He gives some personal insight of the inspiration for the game and explains it's all about exploration and life. Brian will be at the Indie MEGABOOTH booth 2 at PAX East in Boston April 11-13 2014 where you'll be able to play "Source" live. So, make sure to tell your friends and help make this game a reality with a successful Kickstarter campaign! Funding Your Game In this podcast we drill into two primary ways to get funding for your game - Publishers and Crowdfunding. We discuss the proper etiquette to use when trying to raise money for a project and/or a studio. We also give some advice on certain things or behaviors to avoid. Publishers The #1 attitude you should have when approaching a publisher is the feeling that the tra

  • GDD 011 : Beginner’s Guide To Enemy AI


    Crash course in how to set up AI for your game, complete with pro tips from our resident AI programming expert, Ike. GDC 2014 has come and gone, we give a little recap of our highlights of the conference. The most exciting part was after Brian's speech at the Unity Booth fans from this podcast came up and talked to us. So just wanted to give a shout out to those that approached us, Thank you! In other news, Brian's company Fenix Fire will launch a Kickstarter campaign for "Source" which will be available for Xbox 1, PS4, and Steam Greenlight for PC. We want to be as transparent as possible so you can learn from this experience. We'll be showing and discussing the approach, marketing, press, social media, numbers and much more. This is an exciting an unmarked territory challenge and we're looking forward to sharing it with you. Enemy AI This podcast is a beginner's guide on how to set up a basic enemy character and how to organize basic functionality. Ike uses his 15 years of experience and gives some black

  • GDD 010 : Screenshots – Get The Attention Your Game Deserves


    On this episode of Game Design Dojo, Brian and Ike discuss ways to capture the best screenshots for your marketing channels, and may also help guide your game's production. It's GDC (Game Developer's Conference) week and we recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to go should most definitely go. Brian will be speaking at the Unity and Qualcomm booths. It is such an honor and really exciting! Check for updates on our facebook page for more details about GDC. Screenshots A screenshot should be how you visualize what your game should look like. It can be challenging to capture the essence of your game with just a screenshot. Do keep in mind a picture is worth a thousand words and at a glance someone needs to "get it". 3 Key Elements for Screenshots: Does it have a clear action Can you see a puzzle Is there a clear theme Screenshots at a glance - What are they looking for? A good analogy is the back of the box. Remember back to console games when you would look at the back of the box to see what the

  • GDD 009 : How To Add Replay Value To Your Game


    Replay value is one of the most import aspects of creating a compelling video game experience that keeps players coming back again and again.  Brian and Ike explore three ways to pump up your game's replay value for ultimate publishing success. A great outlet for video game developers are local meet ups. Meet ups are a great place to find somebody that can help you with your project or you can help out with theirs. As well as talk about challenges in your game development and gather feedback. With free Wifi and laptops you can meet up at a Starbucks or something. It's a really cool way to meet other developers with similar experiences and skills you might be looking for. Help support Ike's game Barnyard Bubble HD. It's a fun game geared toward one year olds to help them say animal names by popping bubbles and listening to the animal noises. If you have a little one, check it out because they will LOVE it! How to Add Replay Value To Your Game Replay value is one of the most important aspects of creating a co

  • GDD 008 : How To Make 2014 A Great Year For Game Developers


    Happy 2014! It's a new year and times are changing fast in our video game industry. It's important to evaluate your skills and abilities in order to make smart, achievable goals to make your company a success. Packed with insights and examples this episode will help you get going in the the right direction.Hey everyone! We're all rested up from a great holiday break and are getting back in the saddle for a great 2014. The word of the day: Ship it! Well, that's two words I suppose. For both of us, 2013 was a transitional year as Ike started his new company and I incubated multiple original projects. This year, you can expect both of us to launch our own stuff and we hope that you each launch at least one game 2014.5 Ways to Maximize Your Chances For SuccessPeople think of video game industry as gold rush. However, in reality it's very rare to make millions, much like the lottery. The truth is that thousands of developers making games don't earn a single dollar! Here's some sure fire ways maximize your chances

  • GDD 007 : Camera and Cinematography For Games


    In this episode Brian and Ike discuss camera and cinematography with a focus on the various angles, styles, and uses in game design. How to choose a camera, iterate on it, and reference film cinematography are all covered in this jam packed episode. We got feedback! It's such a great feeling when we hear back from listeners since we're flying blind so to speak. Please keep it coming with your feedback so we can make the most out of your listening experience! We have been busy with our own studios, but enjoy taking the time out to make this podcast. 5 Ways to Consider Using Camera and Cinematography for Video Games Camera and cinematography in video games are similar to that of movies. There's a lot to consider and sift through to keep the right amount of dramatic feel to your game. 3rd Person Camera Strategically use Camera and Handle Views Controls and Camera Relative Controls Cinematography 101 Camera Angles Getting Started with the 3rd Person Camera Using a 3rd person camera creates a more artistic

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