Filtering by Tag: Editorial

What's up? Well... Not the Average Number, I Can Tell You That! - An Editorial

I'm not certain how else to open up this discussion than simply asking the question that inspired it: Am I the only one getting tired of the score seven out of ten being the new “average” score? I mean, if I'm honest I'm completely disenchanted with the idea of giving numerical scores to media to begin with... and Metacritic is the biggest reason for that. But, that is a WHOLE other discussion that may or may not be brought up at a later date.

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Take it Slow - An Editorial

Hey everyone! Eric again... looks like I might start handling these more often. Maybe. Likely. Kinda. I don't know. Ask Jay. I just usually write the pretty stories. He seems to think I can write more editorial pieces as well. So, here we go. If you don't like it, not my fault. Blame the “Boss Man” and not me. I want to talk about the developer to publisher relationship in gaming today. Or at least, what was the relation and what seems to be changing about it recently. At least from my point of view.

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Thar She Blows: An Editorial on Free-to-Play Games

Hey guys, Eric here. Been a while since I did one of these... let's see if I can remember how to do this. Ahem. Welcome to the Wraith Blog! Wait... no, no... this is a topic much too serious for all the joking around I'm usually known for when I do these. This is about the current direction that free-to-play puzzle games, but really all free-to-play games, are going in lately. So yes, this may come across a little preachy on my end, but I promise I bring this up out of love for the industry.

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Puzzling Games

Hey everyone! Wow, we've had a pretty crazy week (and we're setting up for one just as crazy). Last week we were just invited to 3 new conventions (in addition to the 2 that we were visiting later this year already), the crappy under-floor in the studio was finally ripped up, and plans were made so that this week we have a meeting lined up to talk about said conventions, Radarkanoid music, showing one of our games at Hamilton's own Fitton Center for Creative Arts, and to work on the studio mural some more and get the new floor put in (after about a month being off schedule on that). This is in addition to the Hamilton Mill (where our studio is located) being flooded, and in unrelated water news, Kristy's laptop being water damaged (pushing Radarkanoid's release off by a few weeks). Aside from than that, though, just wow! I love it when all sorts of stuff like this (well, except the bad stuff, 

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11 Things We've Learned from 11 Years in Game Development: Part 2

Hey all! Today I wanted to continue our 11 part Lance T. Miller rip-off series: "11 Things We've Learned from 11 Years in Game Development". For those who don't frequent here often, we are currently doing two ongoing series: this one, where we go over the lessons we've learned while going from being a few people making games as a hobby, to becoming an actual studio, and "  Where Do I Get Started", where we explain how someone can launch themselves into a particular aspect of game development. I say "we" because these series were designed to be written by not just me or Eric, but to encompass our whole team and maybe even some of our other friends in the industry. Well, with the intro out of the way, I'd like to remind you that if you haven't seen part 1, you can do that here: /

Lets jam!

10. It's not just passion. I'm reminded of Cal Newport's book "So Good They Can't Ignore You". Now, I don't intend to step on the points made in the book. It's a great read and you should really pick it up yourself. No, the reason I'm reminded of it is because it's entire point is that the whole "follow your passion" mantra is kind of bunk. Yeah, passion is important, but there needs to be more.

Early on, when I was trying to find team members, I was looking for people who were as passionate about game creation as I was (and I hate to say, passionate in the same way I was). Over the years, we've had a few people leave the team, and I hate to say, that did play into it. I was unfairly looking for people who would throw their whole lives into something like I did, and that just wasn't fair. I mean, I'm an entrepreneur after all. If someone was as passionate about my company as I was, they would have just attempted to make their own?

Expecting too much passion from your team members isn't the only problem. You can't expect too much out of yourself, either. At some point, you just end up burning the candle at both ends. Heck, I've seen too many times where creators end up hating the thing they once loved because they pushed themselves too hard. They didn't get enough rest, they set unrealistic deadlines for themselves, it can truly end tragically if you let it.

So, find a balance and be forgiving, to yourself and your team members. When you wind this balance, you'll end up making much better work than you did without it.

11 Things We've Learned from 11 Years in Game Development: Part 1

Okay, okay. You've caught me. I'm totally stealing this premise from our buddy Lance T. Miller's newest blog post. You can go read that HERE! Ours is a bit different, though, I assure you. Why wait around. The title pretty much says it all!

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11. It's not all programming. One of the first things I assumed when I started (and remember, I started in high school) was that every single person who worked on games was a programmer. Looking back on it, it's really silly to me. I just thought that, you know, computers or something, I guess. Let me explain. Back in the days of the NES, before that, too (and a little after that), that was kind of the case. It may be hard to see them that way, but people like Shigeru Miyamoto and Keiji Inafune were artists. I don't even mean in the "games are art" sort of way (which they totally are). No, I mean these guys were illustrators! Heck, I'm kind of an artist first before much else, too. They're some of the big people you think of when you think of the NES. They knew how to program. They had to. It was just the nature of the beast, back then. So much so that we don't even really see them as traditional "artists" anymore.

The NES is really weird, though. It has all of these technical limitations, and "drawing" on a computer really wasn't "a thing" yet, or at least not a practical thing that could translate well into game graphics. Back then you had entire teams of people whose job it was to take an image drawn by an artist, grid it off, number the grid and then program the grided-off sections (now just colored pixels) into the game. Yikes! Even for those not directly involved in the programming, back in those days, if you were involved in game design, you probably knew a little of it, at least. Same thing with music. Music was programmed in note-by-note! It's crazy to even think about in the context of games today!...

But this is how I saw game development. I saw programmers who just happened to also be artists, designers, and/or musicians. It never occurred to me that you could make games without being a programmer yourself. There are all these programming-free tools now (or you could just have a partner who does that part of it). For me, though, I didn't know that at first. I tried to learn everything. I never specialized. I took up books on design, programming, art, modeling, & sound (both music AND sound effects). I thought I had to know it all; and knowing programming was the biggest part of that. Heck, you see all these one-person indie success stories of people who do know it all: Notch, Pixel, Terry Cavanagh, AdamAtomic. Maybe there is something to that. The point is, though, that it doesn't have to be that way. Not anymore at least. The space is more open now. Anyone can make a game now (with enough dedication, that is). Even without being a programmer.

Who knows, maybe you can also get along with some help from your friends... maybe.

What?! That's it!? YUP! Told you this was something different! This is a new series of posts. I mean, I'm long winded enough to fill an entire post with one point, so why not. We'll also try to have other team members do their own. How cool will that be?! Next time: Maybe more of this? Maybe not? Who knows?! I'm an absolute madman!

A Wild Eric Appears!

Hey guys... Eric here.

Yea, I know it's been a while. But I've been working on some projects that needed my attention. Though, maybe as I catch up, Jay might ask for some more help with the blog again. For now, you got me this week because he's rather ill. And I think I speak for us all when I say we wish him well again soon.

You're likely curious about what the blog will be about with no announcements and the remodeling on hold as we all know Jay is not the only one to be sick. Well, as a writer I'm not involved in an in-depth way with Collapsus. So I got nothing. What I do have is some insight on some really awesome trends I've been noticing online.

I'm sure we've all had trolls and people just looking to give you a bad time online. You can't avoid it. So I'll say it's been real nice to see some great communities with my streaming. Most other streamers I've met are rather down-to-earth people. They're just trying to make their way and enjoy sharing their games with others. I've even made a few friends with some others streamers on a solid enough basis that we're looking to start a stream team together real soon. If anyone of you happen to follow my personal Twitter, you've likely seen me elude to such things.

But the real surprise, and the major point I want to make for the blog, is just how amazing it has been to work with other indie studios. So many are ready to tap streamers and content creators and set a working relationship with them to utilize word of mouth to help spread hype for their games, and more-so treating even small channels, such as myself, with nothing but the utmost respect. I've not once seen a studio requesting me to give anything but my honest opinion, a fact many wouldn't believe unless they experienced it, I'm sure. I know I might have been skeptical had I not seen it myself.

The point I'm trying to make about all this is simple. Gaming brings people together. Developer. Content creator. Gamer. We're all in this together and it's been refreshing to see working proof of just that. Everyone, I'm sure this is a trend I know Wraith supports and strives to keep and I would implore you to reach out to your favorite studios. Introduce yourself in an email. Ask for updates. I'm sure more often than not, you'll gave a happy reply from a developer excited to hear someone curious about their game.

I know it's not your usual blog, but I hope it was enjoyable nevertheless. I miss writing these things sometimes, so make sure to tell Jay you want me back more often. Stay safe, everyone! And take care of one another.

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