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Product Release - Valve
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome is Now Available for Linux!

AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome is a semi-sequel to Dejobaan's award-winning 2009 title, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity. The new game brings you 82 remastered levels from the original and 43 brand new ones that are twice as fast and includes Aaaaaculus! mode with full native Oculus Rift support by your buddies over at Owlchemy Labs! :)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaCULUS

AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaA AAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaa AAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAA AAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAA aaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaa aAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAAAaaaaAAaa aAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA

*hurls uncontrollably*

(more…)

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to The Indies’ Guide to Game Making">Spelunky-1







This article originally appeared in issue 246 of PC Gamer UK.



You might have heard that “It’s never been easier to make a game.” And it’s true. But how do you actually make one? What do you make it ‘in’? How much does it cost? How long does it take? Can you sell what you make, and do you owe anyone any royalties? Do you need to learn a programming language?



I don’t know, but I do know a lot of indie games. And lots of them are made with tools and suites that claim to be beginner friendly. So for each of the most popular tools, I found an indie developer who had made something cool with it, and asked them what it’s like to work with.



I’ll also cover how much these tools cost, what your rights are when it comes to selling your work, and what platforms they can make games for. If you’ve ever been interested in making a game, hopefully this will give you an idea of how long it takes to pick up, which tool will suit you, and where to start.







Unity



What is it? An all-inclusive development suite for making 3D games.



Price and licence: The free version has all you’ll need as a beginner, and is fine to use commercially unless you’re making more than $100,000 a year from your games. The pro version has fancy things like pathfinding, physics, and graphics tricks, and costs £924. No royalties for either version.



Makes games for: PC, Mac and Linux. iOS and Android versions are £246 each.



Tutorial: Infinite Ammo's Unity tutorial







AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – For the Awesome

 

Developers: Ichiro Lambe (Dejobaan Games) and Alex Schwartz (Owlchemy Labs - Unity Version)



How long does Unity take to learn?



Ichiro: Beginners often adapt and reframe what they’re thinking about to fit what’s readily available to them – they’ll learn how to code through tutorials. The ability to create something playable becomes less “Do I know enough to create something or don’t I?” And more “I don’t know what everything does, but I know enough to screw with Euclidean space...”



What that gives us is the ability to become creative in a matter of weeks!



What prior knowledge or skills are helpful?



Ichiro: Knowledge of another 3D engine, Solid C# (or C++, etc) skills, vector algebra.



What can’t you do with it?



Alex: Honestly, we haven’t hit development walls that prevented us from fulfilling our creative goals, and anything that annoys us is usually just a minor editor idiosyncrasy.



How long did you think the game would take to make, and how long did it actually take?



Alex: We estimated around six months, with only two full-time developers on Owlchemy Labs’ end and one to three part-timers on Dejobaan’s end. It ended up being closer to eight-and-a-half months.



How much of the development time was enjoyable, and how much was unpleasant?



Alex: Thankfully the work within Unity was mostly pleasant. The most unpleasant part of the development of the game involved bringing in 3D Game Studio’s proprietary asset formats where a source asset was not available, but that was solved early on in development.







How much did it cost you to develop, and what did that money go on?



Ichiro: Most of the project was done via revenue share, so development/marketing costs were well under $20k.



How well has your game done for you financially, on a scale from 1-10? (Let’s say 5 is ‘enough to make your next game’.)



Ichiro: Time will tell. Most of our revenue comes about over the course of two years after the initial push (when we do bundles and Steam sales and so forth). The original Aaaaa! was doing pretty well, until we added it to the Portal 2 Potato ARG. That dialled things up to 11.



If you could give your past self one piece of advice before starting to make the game, what would it be?



Ichiro: Add in one more killer mechanic that pervades the entire game and gets fans of the original to pick up the semi-sequel.



Conclusion



Unity is the best combination of approachable and versatile for 3D games. It’s more complex than Game Maker, but about as easy as it gets for 3D development. The free version is very generous, and the recent addition of Linux support makes it one of the only noob-friendly tools that can make games for all three desktop operating systems.



Continue for: Adventure Game Studio, RPG Maker, Game Maker and Unreal Development Kit.











Adventure Game Studio



What is it? An all-inclusive development suite for making 2D adventure games.



Price and licence: Free, you can sell your work, no royalties.



Makes games for: PC



Tutorial: Official AGS tutorial







Ben There Dan That



Developer: Dan Marshall



How long does Adventure Game Studio take to learn?



AGS abstracts quite a lot of the complicated stuff for you and it all just works. You can pretty much make the bare bones of something simple in a weekend with a lot of perseverance and very little programming knowledge, because it’s largely just filling in forms and ticking checkboxes.



What prior knowledge or skills are helpful?



If you want to do anything exciting or interesting with the game, you’re going to have to learn some C.



What can’t you do with it?



Lots, I’m afraid. AGS is great for making faux-1990s point-and-click games, but nothing else. It’s also Windows only, so no iPad or Linux versions.

AGS is also kind of getting on a bit, now. You could probably make an AGS-equivalent in Unity in about a week, and get all the multi-platform benefits and visual boost with it.







How long did you think the game would take to make, and how long did it actually take?



I think it probably took about as long as I’d expected it would, a couple of months. But then, Ben There, Dan That! has a deliberately... uh, slapdash style.



How much of the development time was enjoyable, and how much was unpleasant?



Ben There, Dan That! was pretty much a laugh from start to finish, largely because I wasn’t taking it seriously. Maybe the only unpleasant bit was writing all the dialogue – there’s a unique reaction for most things in the game, and so sitting there churning out dialogue did start to become something of a chore.



How much did it cost you to develop, and what did that money go on?



Uh... I don’t think I spent anything.



How well has it done for you financially, on a scale from 1-10?



Ooh, tricky. On its own, probably a 3 or a 4. As a Double Pack with the sequel on Steam, definitely a 9. I could always use more money.



If you could give your past self one piece of advice before starting to make the game, what would it be?



HEY! IDIOT DAN FROM THE PAST. Make the graphics nice!



Conclusion



Adventure Game Studio is perfect if the cool thing about the game in your head is its story, characters or humour. If you want to make all- new game mechanics, you’re better off with Game Maker. But if you’re a writer or artist and you want to tell a story with as little coding work as possible, this is where to start.



Continue for: RPG Maker, Game Maker and Unreal Development Kit. Go back for Unity.











RPG Maker



What is it? An all-inclusive development suite primarily for making 2D RPGs. Includes some graphics sets to get you started.



Price and licence: £18 for the older version, £55 for the latest. You can sell what you make, no royalties. 30-day trial available.



Makes games for: PC



Tutorial: RPG Maker Web's tutorial







To the Moon



Developer: Kan Gao (Director/Designer)



How long does RPG Maker take to learn?



Anyone could just sit down and get a character sprite to run around on a map with a basic battle system, but I think a few months to get the basic technical aspects down. To create your own systems and mechanics involves programming logic just like any language.



What prior knowledge or skills are helpful?



On the technical side, programming experience (the engine uses a scripting system based on Ruby) and a general grasp of logic.



Otherwise, every creative skill comes in handy – the engine actually has a rather active community, which is exciting because it also means that there’s a lot of bartering for resources going on. It’s like Burning Man, but with less sand.



What can’t you do with it?



As far as 2D stuff goes, there’s actually not much of a limitation as far as the program’s capability is concerned. You can operate on the entire engine and create a shoot-em-up like U.S.G.. The main technical restriction for me right now is the inability to port to Apple Mac and Linux, but that might change.







How long did you think the game would take to make, and how long did it actually take?



21 months. We started in February 2010, and it was released on November 1st, 2011. But its initial ‘expected’ release date was April 2010.



How much of the development time was enjoyable, and how much was unpleasant?



It wasn’t all prancing around a meadow, but I did purr a lot. A large positive factor was the variety of tasks to break down the monotony of the ‘work’. The unpleasant part was mainly personal rather than work-related. But still, making the game was definitely an 87.3% enjoyable experience.



If you could give your past self one piece of advice before starting to make the game, what would it be?



Plan out the progress in small segments, then spread them out over twice the time so you can actually follow it sustainably. Also, tomorrow’s winning lottery number is 08 21 59 37.



Conclusion



RPG Maker is very well suited to a very particular kind of game: Japanese-style RPGs with turn-based combat and top-down exploration. You can certainly stray from that template, as To the Moon does, but the further away from it you go, the more sense it makes to use Game Maker instead.



Continue for: Game Maker and Unreal Development Kit. Go back for Unity and Adventure Game Studio.











GameMaker



What is it? An all-inclusive development suite for 2D games. You can either create rules with a drag-and-drop interface, or write code in its scripting language, GML.



Price and licence: The limited version is free, basic version is £30, a version for teams is £60. You can sell the games you make with any of them, no royalties.



Makes games for: PC and Mac. iOS and Android versions are £120 extra each, HTML5 is £60.



Tutorial: TIG forums tutorials







Spelunky



Developer: Derek Yu



How long does Game Maker take to learn?



It shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks. It’s very intuitive and there is a wealth of tutorials and scripts for it.



What prior knowledge or skills are helpful?



Some programming knowledge and familiarity with C-based languages would help you take advantage of the scripting language. Some skill with pixel art couldn’t hurt!



What can’t you do with it?



Game Maker 8.1 (the version I’m using) is too slow to handle modern graphics and audio. It is strictly for games that look like they came from the ’90s or earlier. But I don’t know if that’s still true of Game Maker Studio, the latest incarnation of GM.







How long did Spelunky take to make?



Spelunky took me about a year of on-and-off work to finish, which is maybe double what I guessed when I started working. But I also didn’t anticipate that the game would get as popular as it did.



How much of the development time was enjoyable?



I’d say it was 90% enjoyable and Game Maker played a big part in that. Given how easy it is to use, you can spend most of your time doing art and design!



How much did it cost you to develop?



I don’t think I spent any money on the original Spelunky, aside from the £12 registration fee for Game Maker (£30 these days).



If you could give your past self one piece of advice before starting to make the game, what would it be?



I’d be afraid of messing with my past self too much, since things turned out well and I attribute part of that to my naiveté. Maybe I’d just send myself a cookie!



Conclusion



Game Maker is one of the easiest tools to use for an absolute beginner, and it’s flexible enough to make almost any 2D game you can think of. The only reason not to use it is if you want to make something in 3D, or you’re planning an adventure game or J-RPG. There are better options specifically for those.



Continue for: Unreal Development Kit. Go back for Unity, Adventure Game Studio and RPG Maker











Unreal Development Kit



What is it? An all-inclusive development suite for making 3D games in the Unreal Engine 3.



Price and licence: £60, no royalties on your first $50,000 in revenue, 25% royalty afterwards. Free for non-commercial use.



Makes games for: Almost everything – PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Flash (web), WiiU, PS Vita.



Tutorial: Epic Games official tutorial







Waves



Developer: Rob Hale



How long does UDK take to learn?



It’s tricky because you’re always building on top of how Epic like to structure games. That learning process will continue for years, but you can make something simple very quickly, maybe within just a couple of hours, and be relatively competent in a few weeks.



What prior knowledge or skills are helpful?



Any previous programming experience is very helpful, but be prepared to swallow your pride and do things the ‘Unreal Way’.



What can’t you do with it? Anything that involves changing terrain in real time. Voxel worlds like Minecraft.



How long did you think the game would take to make, and how long did it actually take?



If you asked me during development how long I had left I would always say “A couple of months.” Ultimately I worked on Waves for about nine months in total, but I wasn’t doing 40 hour weeks or anything.



How much of the development time was enjoyable?



There were a few times when working on the game was a chore, specifically getting the user interface and menus done. I will say that if you don’t enjoy solving problems and being faced with mysteries on a daily basis, then don’t get into games development.







How much did it cost you to develop, and what did that money go on?



Living expenses and music. I had about £6k saved up when I quit my job and went full time and I spent every penny of that finishing the game. UDK has an upfront fee of £60 but you don’t need to pay anything until you’re ready to release.



How well has it done for you financially, on a scale from 1-10?



I’d rate it as a 6. I can afford to make another game and I even have a little bit extra so I can pay some freelancers, but if I don’t get another game released inside of a year then I’ll be in trouble.



If you could give your past self one piece of advice before starting to make the game, what would it be?



Don’t call it Waves! Nobody remembers the name and you can’t find it on Google.



Conclusion



UDK is the thing to learn if you ultimately want to be making big, shiny, multi-platform games. It’s harder to learn than Unity, and you’ll need to be very versatile or form a team to make something that looks good. But it’s also great experience if you want to join an established developer, since Unreal 3 is the most commonly used engine in mainstream games.



Go back for Unity, Adventure Game Studio, RPG Maker and Game Maker
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The Steam Summer Sale continues today with huge savings throughout the store!

Today's Daily Deals Include:

Don't forget to check back for a new Community Choice vote every 8 hours and new Flash sales throughout the day! You can also grab the Steam mobile app to make sure you never miss any great deals while you're on the go!

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Product Update - Valve
• Refined maps to remove untimely death from bounce plate, others.
• Fixed app bugs
• Fix for achievement reporting

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Good job I wrote out the tags before I ran out of letters, isn't it? Handy that.

I’m only allowed specific provisions to make my way through the days and writing even a brief missive about the follow-up to AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome, threatens to use up every ‘a’ in the giant scrabble bag from which I construct my mendering prose. Mendering, eh? I guess tht mens I’m out. Still, it would be rude of me not to tell you tht the fntsy bse jumping gme is out, with 50% discounted from its price in the utumn Stem sle. But only for nother couple of hours. It includes remstered versions of the 82 levels in the originl !!!, long with 43 new ones tht see you leping from spce in n extrvgnt disply of ntiuthoritrin gusto.

Oh, sod it. Triler below.

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PC Gamer






2009’s SEO-challenging AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!-- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity was basically the bits from Mirror’s Edge where you miss-time a jump and fall to your death turned into a whole game. If you missed it the first time round it’s now been re-released as a “semi-sequel” titled AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome. It features all 82 levels from the original game, as well as 43 new ones and a “new lighting system and fancy shader effects.” It’s currently on Steam for just £3.49/$4.99, too.
...

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