Videogame Developer's Strategy Guide -- HobbyGameDev's 50+ best articles

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$35
Chris DeLeon, HomeTeamGameDev.com

What if you could be making better games, sooner, with less frustration? 

For every week from mid-2009 until 2014 I wrote an online article about game development. Though that site, HobbyGameDev, no longer exists, I've curated and updated here the 50+ most read, most shared, and most discussed posts here, adding up to nearly 450 pages to give you a better head start.


This material is also included with membership in our worldwide mentored team practice community, HomeTeamGameDev.com


Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Main Topics: Design for Real-Time Games, Introductory Programming Concepts, Low/Zero Budget Development


=Table of Contents (PDF page numbers, but includes ebook formats)=

Section 1: Getting Started

1.1 : Making Your Own Videogames at Home is Totally Awesome : 14

1.2 : How Long Does it Take to Learn Game Programming? : 19

1.3 : Hobby Game Development: 20 Questions : 25

1.4 : Beginners Shouldn’t Start with a Design Document : 39

1.5 : Clone Videogames to Learn Real-Time Videogame Design : 42

1.6 : General Concepts for Beginning Developers : 45

1.7 : Learn Videogame Development Like Woodworking : 65

1.8 : Fan Habits and Focus are Not Developer Habits and Focus : 70

Section 2: Questions About Education

2.1 : Advice to a New Student in Videogame Design : 74

2.2 : Questions from an Elementary School Class : 78

2.3 : Class Questions About Game Development Career : 83

2.4 : Math for Videogame Making (Or: Will I Use Calculus?) : 89

2.5 : Question About Comp Sci. and Game Development : 94

2.6 : The Ways of Self-Education : 103

Section 3: Programming

3.1 : Game Programming Fundamentals : 110

3.2 : How Programmers Program : 124

3.3 : Position and Speed Variables : 132

3.4 : Float and Int Variables: Casting and Other Issues : 138

3.5 : Hack Then Refactor : 145

3.6 : Basic Real-Time Videogame Artificial intelligence : 152

3.7 : Quick and Dirty Back-Ups : 160

3.8 : Steps in Programming a Simple Realtime Strategy Game : 165

Section 4: Get Motivated

4.1 : Stop Trying to Learn Everything Before Starting : 171

4.2 : "Overcomplicating Everything" : 176

4.3 : Think by Building, Build to Answer Questions : 184

4.4 Your Attitude Matters Even When Working Alone : 187

4.5 : Don’t Wait for an Event, Job, Contest, or Assignment : 191

4.6 : The Brain is Not an Emulator : 193

4.7 : Stop Arguing About What Makes a Better Game : 200

4.8 : Start Before You Have an Idea : 204

Section 5: Game Design

5.1 : Modest First Projects and Incremental Learning : 209

5.2 : Bottom-Up vs Top-Down Game Design : 224

5.3 : Photographer's Algorithm : 232

5.4 : A Little Planning Can Go a Long Way : 236

5.5 : Doing More With Less: Short Videogame Design : 242

5.6 : Colorful Oceans and Chunky Sauces : 251

5.7 : Genres and Conventions: Known Patterns of What Works : 257

Section 6: Level Creation

6.1 : Anti-Design / Backwards Game Design in GoldenEye : 266

6.2 : Level Design Concepts : 273

6.3 : Level Design Process : 281

6.4 : Level Design Q & A : 288

6.5 : Non-Essential Level Art is Essential : 293

6.6 : Visual Language in Super Mario Bros Level Endings : 296

Section 7: Team Projects

7.1 : Videogame Project Management for Hobbyists and Students : 300

7.2 : Communication is a Game Development Skill, Part 1 : 315

7.3 : Communication is a Game Development Skill, Part 2 : 322

7.4 : Establishing a Videogame Development Club : 337

Section 8: Industry

8.1 : A Frank Look at Making Videogames Professionally : 349

8.2 : Indie Game Development as a Career : 358

8.3 : Influence of Business Models on Game Design : 368

8.4 : What’s Japan Doing Differently : 375

8.5 : Intellectual Property and Hobby Game Development : 380

8.6 : Should I Release a Game as Soon as It’s Done? : 392

8.7 : How to Get the Most Out of Your First GDC : 396

Section 9: Game Analysis

9.1 Why Minecraft Worked in 2011 : 406

9.2 Reflections on Three Specific Hobby Game Projects : 422

9.3 Quit Smoking: Effect of Interaction on Interpretation : 434

Last Page : 448


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