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Re: Anyone on this list?

Steve Baker wrote:
> I make my games for the fun of it.  I don't care too much whether they
> are widespread successes - and they certainly won't ever make money.
> I've long realised that I'll never get co-developers, artists, musicians
> or game-testers to help with the effort - so I plan around that.  I
> design things that I know I can be confident will work.  Games like
> Pingus need a TON of testing to make sure that the levels are playable,
> that the difficulty curve is reasonable, that there are no unsuspected
> easy ways to complete a level that's supposed to be hard.
> OTOH, TuxKart is a race game - pure and simple - you go fast, you win.
> If the game *works*...doesn't crash...runs fast enough...then I'm done.
> No significant play testing is really needed.

On that note, my roommate wanted me to mention that the first level of 
Pingus is too hard (I haven't played it since I think I might have a 
buggier version...Debian packages you know...but I think he just isn't a 
decent gamer). Also in terms of TuxKart, I haven't bothered to look up 
any bug reports on it, but one time I manage to jump out of the track (I 
believe...it was all so quick) and I was picked up and dropped....off 
the course! I just went into a free fall into this blue abyss and 
eventually the game crashed. My system naturally was fine, but just to 
let you know that it happened if you didn't already know about it.

> Similarly, I'm increasingly designing games for which I can manage
> the artwork myself.  I got very enthusiastic about writing a game
> (called 'The Chronicals of the Evil Overlord') that would have been
> great fun - quite unusual, etc, etc - but the amount of 3D artwork
> needed would be **FAR** beyond what I can turn out without getting
> bored with the entire process - and would need more quality than I
> can personally manage - so that idea is on the cutting room floor.
> My next game will rely on some nice physics code, 3D moving water
> models, characters re-used from earlier games, automatically
> generated animations, particle systems, etc.  This is mostly a
> coding problem - and that's something I know I can manage without
> any help.
> You have to pick projects that you can complete without help.

I come from the QBasic scene (I have a game review website: 
http://www.gbgames.com where I review QBasic games), and it sounds like 
there are similar problems here in the Linux game making scene.
Mostly, enthusiastic "I WILL MAKE THE BEST [insert genre here] EVER!!" 
without code.  Any code that is made is usually left alone since 
everyone is designing and not coding. The main difference is that the 
QBasic scene is dying as DOS disappears from the Windows OS, but the 
Linux scene is growing.

And for a game it is tough, almost a catch-22. While back in the old 
days it was possible for one person to be the entire development team 
and make a quality title, it isn't the case anymore. Once in awhile a 
great game comes from one person, but it is rarer.  People generally try 
to get teams together and they need to design everything before coding. 
On the other hand, no one wants to work with a project that doesn't 
already have something playable, which requires coding.

I have generally been wary to join anyone's project. I once tried to 
make some art for someone on request. Once I was finished (and I thought 
it was pretty good for the time) the developer said that he has 
cancelled the game.

I genuinely hope to get/find/make a decent Pacman clone at the very 
least. Seriously, it makes me want to pull out my Windows laptop to play 
it B-)

Ok, that was just me rambling, so if it looks like I had no real 
purpose, it was only because I am just sharing thoughts and experiences.

I see that now that discussion has stirred that this mailing list is 
quite active.
And it is not everyday when you get to respond to a post made by someone 
who made a major title for your OS platform B-) I like Tuxkart. It has 
the graphics of Mario Kart 64 with similar controls from the original If 
I can get my joystick to work, I think it would be nice to see if 
anything can be done to make the controls more analog.
And I would love to be a beta tester. So long as I get a free copy of 
the game once we're through B-)