Saturday, 21 June 2014

How To Get Into The Games Industry Part 1: Exclusinterview with Scott Harber

Image from gamemob.com
In a 2 part series, I'll be looking at how you can get yourself a job in the gaming industry (We've already looked at Journalism!) by speaking to multiple people, from industry veterans to indie devs. Today, I've managed to grab an interview with Scott Harber of one man indie studio sc0tt games, the creator of acclaimed mobile games like Rocket Drop and The Ingenious Machine! He's also currently developing a new game, Chaos Ride ( picture above) coming out for iOS and Android on the 4th of July that looks damn cool. Anyways, I'll stop with the praise and cut to the chase!

Gadgets And Khajiits: How long does it take to develop a decent game by yourself, and what skills are most important?

Scott Harber: "It depends on what you're making. You could make Flappy Bird in an hour, but making Grand Theft Auto by yourself might take a decade or two!


In terms of the required skills. It varies massively, depending on which field of the industry you wish to enter. The following list isn't exhaustive, but it covers the fields I know:

  • Engineering: C++ and C# tend to the weapons of choice for most studios. Ideally, if you learn the fundamental principles behind software development (architecture, coding standards, optimisation, best practices for iteration, etc), then the actual language you learn becomes less relevant. The ability to adapt and develop and grow is also essential. As an engineer in the games industry, you'll often be given tasks that are outside your current sphere of knowledge, with the expectation that you can do the research and learn what you need to know in order to deliver within a given time frame (this is not a skill you can learn, you'll just need to have this!). 
  • Art: Most studios use Maya or 3DS Max for 3D art, and Photoshop for textures. But as an artist, you will be sat in front of a lot of bespoke tools and software and be expected to learn them quickly and use them well. So as with coding, learn the fundamentals and the software won't matter; Core art skills (i.e. visuals that don't involve a computer), an understanding of 3D modelling principles, optimisation (if a programmer doesn't have to chase you to get your art into budget, they will love you!), core computer graphics skills (LODs, mipmapping, tri-stripping, draw calls), etc. Some scripting skill is also a bonus, as it will make your life easier.
  • Everyone else: Audio, QA, production, design, pre-vis, marketing, dev management, cinematics et al. I don't know enough to comment on their required skill sets, but I wanted to acknowledge that there are other routes into the games industry that don't involve art or code!
  • Technical Art: LEARN ALL THE THINGS!
  • Indie Developer: Also learn all the things. But if you can't, then design your game around what you can do well. More on that later...


In terms of commonality, I'd say the most important skill that every developer needs is that of project management. My opening remark about Flappy Bird vs GTA was something of a telling statement. What you can do, what your resources comprise, and how much time you have, ultimately dictates what you can deliver.


Any developer who understands this core principle has nailed game development, because it's the hardest lesson to learn.


For example, if you're a AAA developer, this applies to everything that you can control. In other words, the scope of your schedule or your team's schedule is directly dictated by how many people you have, how much memory/performance your engine will allow, how much money you can spend on more staff, the training costs of adding more staff, and how much time you have left.


If you're an indie developer, this applies to everything, full-stop. For example, if you're not great at art, then you should probably design a game that doesn't need high-end graphics. If you're not an amazing programmer, then perhaps you should limit your design to a relatively simple game mechanic. If your cash flow is limited, you should probably target shorter development cycles. If you're only one guy working alone, maybe you should shelve your massively-multiplayer open-world masterpiece until you have a larger dev team!
This Youtube video is a prime example of what I'm writing about. Fundamentally, it's the charming story of a indie who ultimately failed to estimate the scale of his project before he started coding it.


Basically, any time you hear about a team “doing crunch”, or a team getting laid-off at the end of a project, or a project being delayed, or an indie game being cancelled, or an Early Access game on Steam that never gets finished, it's the result of someone somewhere not managing their scope in a realistic way."


Friday, 20 June 2014

No Posts :(

Hi Guys!

I'm sorry to announce that I won't be putting up any posts today, as I've got a lot of things to attend to, but don't worry, as the 5000th View article will be up tomorrow! Also, expect more great reviews of games in the near future, as we've managed to secure some!


Thursday, 19 June 2014

SWTOR Lowdown: Honey, I Broke The Game Again...

'Honey I broke the game again' was probably (not) said during the Bioware conference call with EA.


Hello hello!

Well, as you all know (Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week!) Patch 2.8 dropped on SWTOR, which caused a whirlwind of problems on multiple servers. People had trouble logging on. Servers were bugged even end game raids wouldn't start. This caused a problem to the top end PVE guilds because they couldn't start progressing into the raid. This really annoyed me, because when was the last time a patch went right? Normally there are bugs but not any this bad!

Thankfully, Patch 2.8b dropped this week which should have fixed the problem! The main point of this patch was to fix what should have been already perfect but thankfully not much damage was done (At least not on my server). The Red Eclipse had the worst problems, as members couldn't even enter the instances and some players were kicked from their guilds randomly. Personally, I think this should never happen again. I know patches can be a bit crazy but this was a whole new level of cray cray (Attempt to sound hip). Let's hope the next patch will not break the game and give us some story! That's what we all want, right Bioware??

Bellow are the most notable patch notes of Patch 2.8 and Patch 2.8b.





New Event: Spoils of War! Players can earn double Ranked Warzone Commendations, Warzone Commendations, Fleet Requisition, and Credits from PvP participation, and can try their hand at the slot machines on Nar Shaddaa for exclusive rewards during the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife celebration.
  • Earn double Fleet Requisition and Credits in Galactic Starfighter battles from Game Update 2.8 to 2.8.1.
  • Earn double Ranked Warzone and Warzone Commendations and Credits from 2.8.1 to 2.8.2.
  • Keep an eye out for intriguing advertisements for the Club Vertica and Star Cluster casinos for more information on the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife celebration!
  • Earn Golden Certificates from Smuggler's Luck and Kingpin's Bounty machines and redeem them for prizes.
  • Earn exclusive mount prizes directly from Kingpin's Bounty machines.
  • Smuggler's Casino Chips can be purchased with Credits or Warzone Commendations.
  • Kingpin's Casino Chips can be purchased with Credits or Cartel Market Certificates, or won from Smuggler's Luck slot machines.
  • Corrected an issue that was causing the Mission “[Group Finder] Story Mode Operations” to not update after finishing a Group Finder Operation.
  • Story Mode Operations are now properly listed as 8-Player instead of 16-Player in the Group Finder UI.
Nightmare Mode Dread Palace is now available! Return to Oricon to face off against Dread Masters Bestia, Tyrans, Calphayrus, and Raptus, who are now more powerful than ever before! Defeat this new difficulty while Nightmare Power is active to earn a new title!
Group Finder Operations have been redesigned! Story Mode Operations are now more accessible to endgame players (levels 50 – 55). The Operations section in the Group Finder window will list available Operations on a predetermined schedule, rotating in different Operations every few days. Players who meet the level requirement of the Operation will be Bolstered, removing the requirement for endgame gear. Rewards have also been improved, making this a great opportunity for players to earn Ultimate Commendations and experience new content!
Bounty Contract Week returns! The event runs from June 10th 12:00 GMT to June 17th 12:00 GMT.
Progress faster with a Double XP Week! Get twice the experience from July 1st 07:00 GMT to July 8th 07:00 GMT.
The Gray Secant has returned from its travels! Participate in the Relics of the Gree event from July 22nd 12:00 GMT to July 29th 12:00 GMT. 


What was your view on the 2.8 pandemonium ? Tell us in the comments below!

Hope this helped,

Joe:p

New Video!

Hi guys!

Here's the link to the next video on CMTS Gaming, a Grand Theft Idiots video with Tom, Sam and Michael and special guests Liam and Jake, where we suck at flying planes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0uRQp5uH8w

Enjoy!

5000 Friggin' Views!

Image from www.shedlightevents.com
Oh my gosh dang Gawd. In 5 months, we've hit 5000 views! We're all so thankful to all the people that have liked our website, Twitter account, Facebook page and YouTube channel, and it's great to see that the work we put in is all worth it in the end! It's you guys that keep us going, and we're so glad that we started the blog! Next week, I'll be doing a giveaway of a certain game to say thanks, and tomorrow I'll put up a special article on a topic that I haven't thought of yet. Hooray!

Anyways, expect more YouTube and blog stuff in the future, plus expect some event coverage of EGX London in September, on YouTube and Gadgets And Khajiits! Also, if you've got any suggestions for the blog, put em in the comments below! Once again, thanks so much!

DeadTopia

Image from www.shopto.net
Thanks Namco Bandai Employee Obama.

Sad news today, as the Open Beta for the Ridge Racer: Driftopia game will be ended on August 15th, 60 days from now. (According to a Namco Bandai Press Release) Still, Ridge Racer: Driftopia will be coming out, but we don't know when! The press release states that "All feedback will be taken into account for the upcoming projects", meaning that there could be a different Ridge Racer game coming out that isn't a Free To Play game. There hasn't been a Ridge Racer game since 2012, so there could be another full-price Ridge Racer game coming soon! So I'm good analysing and line read between the.

What do you guys think? Will there be another Ridge Racer game coming out soon? What changes would you want? Tell us in the comments below!

Black(Berry) Skinbots

Image uk.blackberry.com
Blackberries are now grown in the Amazon, idiots say.

Good news for all Blackberry 10 device owners, as they will be able to download some Android apps soon! The berry-loving Canadians have managed to strike up a deal with Amazon (According to Reuters) which means that Blackberry 10 devices will run the Android-powered Amazon App Store, meaning that over 240,000 Android apps will be downloadable, including biggies such as Netflix, Minecraft and the game that I hate most, Candy Crush Saga. However, Blackberry have no plans on ditching their own Blackberry App World, which contains just under half the amount of apps in the Amazon App Store, so anyone who still loves the original QWERTY Blackberrys won't be pooped on. I mean, who wants a Blackberry Poop pie?

Terrible, desperate jokes aside, this could be one of the saving graces for Blackberry, who have been in a bit of trouble as of late. Now, they'll have more to offer to their customers, and if they make their phones cheap enough, then Blackberry may then regain the respect they orignally had before Apple stole all of their pie-fillingyness.

Still, what do you guys think? Is this the return of Blackberry? Or has the damage been done? Tell us in the comments below!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

New Video

Joe's posted a video on the CMTS Gaming channel where he plays SWTOR PVP! Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1O4hQvQiEc

Hope you guys enjoy the channel!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Just a Case Of The Mundis

Image from mydominosvouchers.com 
"Oh no! I can't let everyone know that my favorite topping is double anchovies!" (Dominos Hacking Victim)

Crazy news today, as hacker group Rex Mundi (NOW you get the title) have demanded a ransom of 30,000 Euros over Twitter from Dominos today, or else they will release of the details of over 600,000 French and Belgian customers. These details include addresses, phone numbers, and most importantly favorite pizza topping, and they have said that Dominos will have until 7 PM British Summer Time to send them the money, as said on a snippet by Rex Mundi here. I hate Mundis.

Still, this is pretty serious, but luckily no credit card information has been stolen, as told by a Dominos Spokesperson to The Independant. The most any French or Belgian Dominos customer can do is change their password and hope for the best, but it is unknown when or if Dominos will pay the demanded money, although they have acknowledged that it is real

What do you guys think? Should Dominos be blamed for bad security? Tell us in the comments below!

Xbox, Bing "Google"

Image from www.dualshockers.com
Get the new Xbox One July Update on Xbox One, exclusively on Xbox One.

Good news for all achievement hunters, as the new July Update for Xbox One will include the ability to snap the Achievements app to your game, announced in an Xbox Wire post, so you don't have to keep leaving your game just to check on your progress. Also, handily, the Achievement App shows how far away you are from getting each achievement, so you can see which achievements are worth getting first. A new "Double Tap To Snap" feature has also been unveiled, which means that you can double tap the Snap button to pick your chosen app without leaving your game, and you can also double tap to switch between a game and an app, exclusively on the Microsoft Xbox One Entertainment System.

Anyways, another new Achievement Snap feature is that you can press the Get Help button, which uses Bing to find solutions to a selected achievement. It's mostly just stuff to make your Xbox One experience more efficient, along with Kinect accent-detecting options for people living in Ireland, New Zealand and Austria, but there is quite a cool new feature coming soon: Digital Bundles. Sure, they won't be as cheap as Humble Bundles, but being able to buy whole series of games would be great, especially with the reception that Halo: The Master Chief Collection got!

What bundles would you like to see? Tell us in the comments below!

New Video!

Hi Guys!

I'd just like to say that a new CMTS Gaming video has gone up, once again a Let's Suck At Watch_Dogs video with Sam and Tom. Also, expect some SWTOR videos from Joe, and a couple of GTA videos with Sam, Tom and Michael!

Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLUQ6btONgM

Hope you're enjoying the channel!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Raucous Reviews: Crimsonland

Image from www.crimsonland.com
Blood. Blood. Guns.

Made by the masters of pick-up-and-play games, 10tons, Crimsonland is the reboot of the original 2003 top-down shooter, and it does it's predecessor proud. With a mix of returning features and cool new modes, Crimsonland is a jam (Or shall I say blood) packed game. With a 6 chapter campaign mode with 3 difficulty options, 4 survival modes and tons of guns and perks to unlock, Crimsonland makes mass zombie/spider/alien slaughter seem fun!

Since I'm a non-PC peasant, I used a controller with Crimsonland, and the twin-stick shooting is immensely satisfying. The sticks feel responsive, with the right amount of sensitivity, and the pace of the gameplay completely matches the responsive, relying on quick reflexes in order to escape getting surrounded and, ultimately, killed. The variety of weapons really makes the gameplay exciting, with the next weapon either making or breaking your life, and the stupendous amount of perks (That look beautiful even on my terrible laptop) fill the screen with blood and fire, making for an action-packed, exciting gameplay experience. The fact that you unlock a new weapon or perk after every level also motivates you to keep playing, and makes all the hard levels worthwhile.