“Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear.“
-David J. Schwartz
Too many times I have found myself waiting for the perfect opportunity or the right time to act on something instead of taking action.
Over the years I have learned that the things we fear doing usually are the things that are most important to complete. Pushing them off creates wasted effort in thinking about when you are going to do them and the fear of completing them grows over time.
Next time you decide to push something off try to identify if you are doing so because it is uncomfortable. If so, do it now instead of later. Become fearless by suffocating fear of its favorite fuel: time.
WHAT TO WATCH
Seth Coster of Butterscotch Shenanigans
talks through how his team learned to use DevOps to get more done while working less. It focuses on making the game development operations process more efficient and productive.
He shares his story of the inefficiencies his team has gone through and what they have done to streamline the process.
It contains a bunch of things they have implemented to save time that may apply to you as well. It also is a great example of the analytical approach to have in reducing wasteful tasks and processes.
“If a process is painful, you should do it more, not less. You can’t fix it if you don’t confront it.”
FREE ASSETS OF THE WEEK
I feel that I wouldn’t be doing a good job recommending game development books without mentioning this book at some point. It isn’t new but overall it is the best book out there regarding game design and analysis. The book is split into 4 units: Core Concepts, Rules, Play, and Culture.
This isn’t a book to finish in 1 week either. It’s definitely worth the investment if serious about pursuing game development professionally.
If you can manage to soak up the information here you will be much better at understanding what makes games fun and why we like to play them.
At around $70 it is also a bit pricey compared to most books. Don’t worry about the price tag, get this book. Even if it improves one thing in your next game, it is well worth it.
Many of you might have noticed by now, I respect Will Wright a lot and his creative process approach. The detail in which he researches information about his titles is astonishing. Regarding this book, he says: “This is the most impressive book on game design I’ve ever seen.”
BEST UNITY PLUGINS
You may have heard of or even used Texture Haven
at some point. It is a website with free 8k textures that operates on Patreon donations. They just put up a handful of textures on the Unity Asset Store. Their stuff is super high quality. These textures are definitely worth adding to your library.
Amplify Impostors is something that should be in every game engine. It takes complex 3d renders and replaces them with quads at a distance. It even works with intersecting meshes.
You can’t tell a difference and it is the most performant way to handle rendering objects. Performance is one of the most important things in game development, why isn’t this an industry-standard practice yet?
If you have looked for a terrain generator in the Unity Asset Store then you have seen Gaia 2. It’s the best terrain generator available. Right now it is 50% off, making it $24.50 USD. It’s a steal for the actual value of this plugin. Grab it while it’s on sale.
With Steam’s Autumn Games Festival I’ve been busy trying to get a build of Hostile Mars
ready to play. I have been using a kitbashing technique because of how flexible it can make things with paid assets. Having contractors do the art is great and all, but it isn’t cheap and time going back and forth on getting each asset right is considerable. (Self-plug: Hostile Mars available to wishlist on Steam
The concept of kitbashing
is taking assets from multiple free or paid kits and making new objects out of them. Ideally, they should also match aesthetically. It can be a challenge sometimes but I’ve found it to be extremely valuable as a solo developer with a strict timeline. Here is a shot of all of the panels I have created in the last 2 days which are all different pieces and parts from different models and packs.
Some are even different styles! A few were hand-drawn stylized, and most are more realistic.
I am going to write up a tutorial on how to get everything to look right. It doesn’t take a ton of time, just a little magic from Photoshop, Substance Painter, and Blender.
The pictures I’ve included are what I managed to create in the last 2 days using this technique.
That’s everything for this week. Follow me on twitter for more interesting game development stuff. @BigRookGames
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