May05
2014

By: admin                Categories: Games

History

In 1989, Nintendo was at the height of its fortune and fame, enjoying a near monopolistic hold of the videogame console industry. As we saw in Chapter 2.1, the Nintendo Entertainment System had overcome the skepticism of American retailers still reeling from the Great Videogame Crash. With a combination of hit games, cheap technology, and effective (if controversial) licensing policies, Nintendo had not only resurrected the moribund industry, but greatly expanded it, defining an entirely new generation of gamers. Competing with this behemoth would take great technology, slick marketing, and a lot of patience.

Sega had two of these qualities.

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Apr21
2014

By: admin                Categories: 3D AnimationGames

Previously, we discussed how to create a terrain object– short, that is, in comparison to the time it’d take us to develop our own terrain system from scratch. The landscape created so far, as well as the workflow used to create it, together offer an insight into the awesome potential of Unity as a game engine as well as, more generally, a time-saving tool.

The problem with our terrain at this stage is not its shape, form or texturing but rather its sparseness, its lack of set-dressing or props. The terrain is desolate: it has none of the hallmarks of a real-life terrain – no trees or grass or vegetation, no flourishing verdant life of any kind. It’s time for us now to fix that issue by adding trees and grass; and we’ll also add a first-person controller to the project so we can explore the terrain as a game character would be able to do. Consider the following steps.

1. Let’s add some trees to the level. The terrain package imported earlier in this chapter already contains a palm tree mesh that we can add to the terrain. This can be found in the Project panel under the folder Standard Assets > Trees Ambient-Occlusion > Palm. one way to add the palm tree would simply be dragging and dropping the tree mesh from the Project panel into the viewport and positioning it onto the terrain surface, just as we would with any other ‘regular’ mesh file. However, this approach would soon become problematic for at least two reasons. First, terrains typically feature many trees, and duplicating a tree mesh for each tree on the terrain would quickly become tedious work. Second, the terrain elevates and has contours, and we want each tree on the terrain to be positioned so that it matches the flow and elevation of the terrain: again, we could manually position each tree using the Transformation tools, but this too would be tedious work. The Terrain tools therefore offer a solution to this problem: they allow us to use the brush workflow again to paint the meshes onto the surface of the terrain. This means we can paint multiple meshes in one brush stroke and have all of those meshes conform to the elevation. To access these tools, select the Terrain mesh in the viewport, and press the Place Trees button from the object Inspector – it appears on the right-hand side of the Paint Texture button; see Figure 4.7 for more details.

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Apr16
2014

By: admin                Categories: 3D AnimationGames

WHEN YOU NEED TO POPULATE a scene with buildings, you can do it with a long, arduous process, or you can do it the quick and easy way. Which would you prefer?

The Preserve UVs feature of the Editable Poly object makes it possible to visually shape the building right to the map without leaving the Front viewport.

1. Get a photograph of a building with a nearly straighton perspective. In Photoshop, correct the perspective distortion and clean it up. In this image, I’ve removed the flag, signage, and balcony from the facade. Note the background color, which is similar to the building color.

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Apr02
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: BooksGames

My dad likes to forward me tech articles where the writer will interview someone at a small gaming company and ask them how much work is required to support the latest changes to the iOS or a new device. The answer is usually from one of the cooler heads at the company that has already made their peace with whatever workload has crowbarred its way into their weekend plans. Whereas, I’m always reminded who my developer friends are when a flurry of Tweets or Facebook postings over-exaggerate a few extra hours of work on a past app. Someone always dusts off the picture of a baby crying in front of a computer and adds a new caption about the latest release (I love that).

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Mar26
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: GamesGeneral

Who loves game dev?! One thing is for sure… Focal Press sure does!

March 17 – 21, 2014, the Focal Press animation & gaming crew made the trek from Boston to San Francisco to exhibit at GDC 2014, alongside our friends at CRC Press.

We were amazed by the fantastic exhibitors, inspiring attendees, beautiful city… and did we mention warm weather?!

Here are some of the highlights from the trip…

See all of our photos here.

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Mar19
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: GamesGeneral

Tweet for a Treat giveaway at GDC 2014!

It is quite simple… all you have to do is follow the following instructions –

Step 1: Tell us something – your favorite game, resource, anything! It can be simple… but, don’t be afraid to be creative.

Step 2: Use Hastags: #tweetforatreat #GDC2014

Step 3: Make sure to tag Focal Press in your tweet @FocalPress

One lucky gamer will be randomly selected to win 1 free Focal Press book of your choice… and, we’ll retweet our favorites!

You don’t have to be at GDC to participate – so, what are you waiting for?!

Need some inspiration? Check out our new gaming titles featured at GDC!

*Contest starts March 12, 2014 and ends March 22, 2014

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Mar12
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: GamesGeneral

Attention all gamers!

Are you attending GDC 2014?! Good news, we are too and we want to see you!

Focal Press and CRC Press will be sharing a booth, featuring all of our new and best-selling titles. Stop by Booth # 502 & 508, say hello to the team, and receive a 20% discount on all Focal Press and CRC titles.

______________________________

GIVEAWAYS @ GDC2014

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AtGames Classic Console Giveaway!

Sign up for a chance to win one of two consoles, Sega Genesis Classic Game Console and the Atari Flashback 4 Classic Game Console from AtGames. A special thank you to our sponsors,  AtGames – visit them @ www.atgames.us

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Mar10
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: BooksGames

The basic principle of sound in Unity is determined by two Game Object Components—the Audio Listener and the Audio Source. Both of these components work in combination with the sound file itself. You can think of the Audio Listener as you—or, more specifically, as your ears, or perhaps a microphone—while the Audio Source is, as you might expect, the source of the audio, which can be any object in the game world.

Audio Listener

The Audio Listener Component is usually attached to a first- or a third-person controller combined with a camera (which represents your eyes or your view of yourself). An Audio Listener is necessary only if the sound functions within a three-dimensional environment; it is not generally needed for a two dimensional game. Unity limits you to only one Audio Listener.

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Mar05
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: BooksGames

Thinking Differently

In this chapter, we will explore the concept of engagement-led design in more detail and look at some specific tools we can use to build mechanics that respond to the player’s evolving needs. This isn’t intended as a prescription to define a formula for game design, but is intended instead as a tool to help you review your game designs and to identify potential problems, as well as ways to punctuate each stage of play with experiences that can help build deeper engagement, perhaps even to “upsell” players to the next life stage, to spend money, or simply to keep playing.

We need to grab the player’s attention in just six seconds and lead them to a meaningful success within the first minute. But how do we do that; what design principles can we use to deliver on something like that?

The Bond Opening

Let’s take an analogy from the film industry and look at the James Bond movies, which always deliver a spectacular opening moment. Within the first ten minutes or so, we are treated to a condensed experience with all the guns, girls, chases, cars and, of course, quips that we expect from the genre. This isn’t a random indulgence. This reintroduces us to Bond himself, what he does and, importantly, just what he is capable of at his best. It’s a benchmark against which his abilities are measured, allowing us to understand the difficulty to overcome his opponents later. The story of that opening is separate from the rest of the plot. This moment is about setting up the conditions that allow us to make sense of the plot later in the story, hopefully without giving anything important away. This is about explaining the environment of the world Bond lives is. Then it ends with a classic staged moment, we look at the archetype “licensed to kill” spy down the barrel of a gun. This reinforces the continuity between the films and whoever is playing Bond on that occasion. It’s a level of familiarity that creates a concrete connection between the viewer and the film, settling everyone into place for the journey that is to come. This approach makes us willing to forgive all kinds of incredible or flawed plots as it gives us permission to turn on our “suspension of disbelief” and turn off our critical thinking.

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Feb17
2014

By: admin                Categories: GamesGeneral

Build it and They Will Come?

This sensation is vital if we want success for a game as a service. Only a tiny percentage of games succeed in breaking even and even those games that are downloaded, only a few are played more than once. The volume of games available on mobiles, tablets, PCs, and indeed consoles is so large at this point that we cannot assume that players will find our game, let alone that they will be as keen to keep on playing it as we were to make it. As designers we have to give players both a “pull” to want to play the game as well as a “push” to call them back. This is a critical issue, as if we don’t get players back in the game we won’t have an audience and more importantly all our efforts to create a great game will be wasted. Of course if we are using the Free2Play (F2P) model this means that even if we have downloads we won’t be getting any revenue at all. This is why F2P games have (in the end) to be better than other games. It’s a question of survival.

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