Teaching myself game design from the ground up.

Month: July, 2013

tough decisions

So I’ve got a couple weeks before the SF Gay Game Convention (GaymerX).  And even though I have the days off from work I don’t think I’m going to go.  And that’s ok.  The machine is looking pretty good, I got it back from my artist friend who made it really look slick.



My to do list is still huge.  I have a lot to do hardware wise (re-attach the door, clean up and strip down the computer tower I’m going to use, put in the button and controller, make a latch for the door, etc etc).  And I have a lot to do game-wise (a couple of sprites to make, rounds to implement, steepen the curve of the first few levels, interactive intro level, etc).  And if I did go to this con I have to figure out the logistics of the trip (finding a car that I can afford, a place to stay, people to hang out with).  I’d be going alone with an arcade machine which is a lot of work, and it would be a very expensive weekend considering the only thing I’m expecting to get out of it is warm-fuzzies.

So it isn’t the easiest decision, since it’s the first gay gaming convention and it has one of my favorite queer game designers (Anna Anthropy), but I have more work than I have time in the day and I don’t want me favorite hobby to stress me out.  So unless the stars align and everything works itself out for me (minus the, like, actual arcade work) then I think I’ll stay home and get ready for the next arcade event which is in Portland in a few months.



I feel like all of my posts are about motivation.  I’ve been losing steam.  The arcade is getting painted, but I have the parts I need to continue to improve the game and I haven’t been.  Made some extra sprites of the folks who helped me in the rebuilding stage, but I have less than a month to get the game itself in better shape.  My hurdle is user interface, I understand what bad design looks like, I just can’t figure out the best design for the main menu.  The version I first had, a lot of people skipped the instructions immediately because they pressed the start button right away before registering that the instructions were there.  They kept trying to press the button to get drinks, there weren’t enough visual and audible clues that they were holding a drink because the graphics were so small.  I feel like adding the button should be a part of the game since it was what so many folks did intuitively.  I sort of feel like the hotties you bring drinks to should have “personal bubbles” like faded/transparent circles to show when you are close enough to press the button to deliver a drink.  But I don’t want to help the user too much, I love figuring things out in games (show don’t tell) but those games are usually made by folks with more experience in design.  It’s hard to find a balance, especially with such an unfamiliar genre to me – arcade games.  I dont remember many arcade games to have instructions at all, and even though I use a pixelated style it’s flatter than most arcade games I’ve played.  I think it’s really close, but I want to strive to make it the best since it goes to sf in a month!  And I need to find a place to crash…. oops.