GMking.org have released a pilot episode of their Audcast, that’s a podcast to you and me. At 31 minutes and 20 seconds it is quite a long pilot, or at least I believe so. The sound quality isn’t great but it was recorded from a Skype conversation over a distance of more than 6,000 miles. I also feel the podcast could have done with being cut down a bit.
Listening to half an hour of conversation between two people isn’t exactly exciting. Improvements could be gained by breaking the show up with jingles and by conducting interviews or playing pre-recorded reports.
But as far as I know this is a first for the Game Maker world, and of course it’s always good to give something a go.
It’s also interesting to hear people for the first time, especially as I had built my own pictures of the GMking crew and their voices in my head!
I’ve passed on my comments to low-voiced Eyas.
My experience of customer support at YoYoGames.
I initially contacted YoYoGames (YYG) via their helpdesk to ask about how I would go about offering a GameMaker Pro licence as a competition prize. After about 24 hours my message was accepted, I assume with manual approval, onto their helpdesk system and I was e-mailed details of my helpdesk account.
Two days later I received a message from a guy at YoYo informing me that their helpdesk had been playing up and asking if I had received his previous response. I replied to say I had not got the message, and today YYG have marked my ticket as solved.
I stress this is my experience, I am not suggesting everyone has the same perception of the levels of support they have received.Read More »
Totally off-topic and none Game Maker related but today I had my last exam. Therefore I should have some time to catch up with my list of sites and games to review, so Game Maker Blog may be updated more frequently from this weekend.Read More »
Marketing your site is quite obviously one of the most important aspects of running a website. Put simply, what use is a site without any visitors? The Game Maker Community lets members promote their sites in their forum signatures and by creating a topic about it in the Website Announcements section of the forum.
What not to do when posting your site in Website Announcements:
Obviously this is not addressed at the typical Game Maker Blog reader.Read More »
You may feel that taking a screenshot is easy, and indeed it is, but a lot of the screenshots I see promoting games at the GMC and on sites devoted to gamemaker games fail to follow even the simplest of rules to make your screenshot effective.
There are a number of factors determining the effectiveness of a screenshot, of which the contents of the picture is just one.
I have seen countless games advertised with a screenshot of the game’s menu. The game’s menu for heavens sake. These ‘gamemaker teams‘, as they are often called are meant to be encouraging you to download their game, not a freaking menu.
Taking screenshots of the first level or first stage of game won’t be produce a good preview either. Often many of the features offered in a game won’t be available at this early point so any screenshots taken here won’t be exciting or showcase many of the programs features.
Once you’ve found the right time and place to take a screenshot you also need to consider how you are going to take it. There are lots of freeware programs out there which offer screenshot features however you don’t need any of them!
Taking a basic screenshot is simple, just press the [Prt Scr] key on your keyboard (above [Insert]) and paste into any graphics editor or even other software such as Word. However this probably isn’t the best choice for taking your screenshots unless your game runs in full screen and at a decent resolution as otherwise you will have to crop your screenshot down so only the active game window is visible.
Fortunately there is a very simple solution at hand which doesn’t involve downloading any additional software or any extra work on your behalf. Instead of pressing just the [Prt Scr] key press [Prt Scr] along with [Alt]. This takes a screenshot of just the active window. Open up your graphics program and paste, no more cropping away of your desktop!
The power of an effective screenshot is unbelievable and should not be underestimated, although of course a good screenshot can not make up for a poorly scripted and sprited game.Read More »
No not an article examining the ethics on genetically modified food production, instead a post taking a look at the people who use gamemaker and their collective commerical value.
The GMC is valuable. 48,183 members are valuable – sure this is far from the biggest forum on the Internet but for a company wanting to target around 50,000 and countless unregistered young, predominately male and computer literate consumers there is certainly a high value attached.
What prompted me to write about the Game Maker market was a couple of things, firstly a Game Maker related project I am currently in the very early stages of planning, and secondly a post on the GMC by Jake Ruston of darksoft.co.uk offering Game Maker users a 15% discount on their domain names for sale at $12 a pop. For anyone considering – don’t buy them. Even with the discount they are $10.20, Hostigation are currently at $8.95 for new .com registrations and there are discount codes available on top of that.
Parahosting.net are another organisation who have attempted to target the Game Maker market – however with limited success. A post on their blog appears to suggest that the vast majority of people are choosing their free service instead of upgrading so they are actually loosing money.
Take YoYo. A relatively untouched organisation so far by Game Maker Blog, not sure how that has been the case when there has been so-much criticism elsewhere. An albeit small company barging into the collection of file hosting and review sites, think gamemakergames, 64digits and fighting to the top by, as it appears, buying gamemaker. Of course there is nothing wrong or illegal about this, however many people may see it as immoral and may disagree with Mark’s decision.
How long, I ask you, do you think it will be before YoYo start putting adverts on their site? No adverts at first to soften the blow, and then once everyone has started using them up the ads will go.Read More »
One of the questions I have pondered for a while is how to judge the success of a game. Many people will think this is all to do with the number of downloads achieved or the number of 10/10 ratings they are given, however to me this is just wrong.
Downloads do not really account account for anything – sure a good game may get more downloads that a bad game – but equally people may download a game based on the quality of a programmers previous creations, because it appears to be popular or simply because it is advertised around them.
A good game certainly may get people telling their friends which will obviously help increase the download count, however before the viral effect can take place some start has to be made to get the word out about the game.
Of course the definition of a ‘good’ game is different for different people, heck, some people think Mario clones are actually cool. There are few games I can really say are ‘decent’ on the GMC – but of course my view of a good game differs from everybody else’s. Take for instance Forted (last time I promise) – I like this game and gave it my one and only rating in 4 years at the current GMC. Other people however didn’t seem to think the game was anything special. Far worse games achieve higher download figures, maybe because people are curious to see just how crap the creation is, or maybe because – as happens all to often – they believe the hype or want to copy it.
The success of a game can be judged in many ways – for some just getting a game to the release stage is a success. Especially if you are working on your first game this will be the case. You may not care about what people think of your game, in which case you are being very foolish, but to you it is a success.
A game may be viewed as a success if it achieves high ratings – normally given out by GMC newbies who come up with scores such as 12/10 or 7.4242111231/10 without giving any reasonable or remotely logical explanation as to how they arrived at the score. These members are also the types who like leave comments like “Mega c00l game -this rockz!”, it is traditional for the creator of the game to then copy this in to his topic description to plague the creations forum with grammatically incorrect and mis-spelt half sentences.
Then of course you have people with a little more time and sense who will judge a game on different aspects, e.g. graphics, originality and story – all of which will be irrelevant to Mario clones. These ratings make more sense as a clear breakdown of the game is shown – however saying things like “graphics 7.5/10, sound 3/10, story 0/10” doesn’t help. A two year old could pluck random numbers between 1 and 10 out of the air. Justification. Comments without justification are as worthless. Saying “That sucks” doesn’t help unless you are describing an automated drinking straw, instead you should say “Your game lacks originality as you have illegally ripped Mario sprites and music and claim to have come up with a unique concept. You also managed to mis-spell every other word in the game“. Then the creator knows to go away and come up with a new concept perhaps even a Pokemon fighting game or Zelda.
So far I have discounted download figures and ratings as accurate methods of judging the success of a game.
In truth there is no one method that can be used to judge the success of a game, and to different people success will be judged differently. Some people may be proud of their 7 downloads and 3 comments, whereas others will be disappointed unless they manage to sell 100 copies of their game.
I haven’t produced any games that I think have been successful, sure they have been finished and were downloaded several hundred times but I never stretched myself far enough to come up with something I was really proud of and could call a success.
In summary it is up to each game creator as to how they judge the success their game has achieved, and we should respect that.Read More »
YOYO GAMES LTD failed to submit its accounts for 2006 to Companies House which were due on 12/11/2006.
For those of you who are unaware Companies House is the UK’s official register of companies.
And yes, before you ask this is the right YoYo Games.Read More »