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5 Games for Hobby Developers to Make
Making Simple Music for Your Game
Game Engine Development for the Hobby Developer Part 1: Rendering
Random Game Idea Generator
Getting Games Done in 2020

Latest Articles

  • COVID-19 Would Make an Interesting Computer Game
    While some of us are in lockdown, or voluntarily self-isolating, let’s use the opportunity to think about COVID-19 from a game perspective
  • The Story of Sync: Making a Puzzle Game
    I was in middle school, had just learned to program, and wanted to make a puzzle game.
  • 3 Game Ideas for Your Next Game
    Coming up with ideas for games is hard. That’s one of the wonderful things about restrictive game jams, you get a set of criteria and you need to work within it. Sometimes it really helps and some super interesting things can come out of it. But other times you want to sit down and come up with something. And that’s hard. I’ve sat around and thought up many different ideas that I never did anything with, so I’ve dusted off the old notebooks and I’m writing them up here in the hopes that someone, somewhere, takes one of these ideas, turns it into a game, makes a billion dollars and splits it with me. I’m kidding, they’re free. Take them, make them, suceed.
  • Can a Solo-Developer Make a Successful Game?
    In the forums I visit there’s a lot of people asking “can you make a game on your own”. Inevitably, the answer is yes, no, and it depends. All of these answers are correct in their own ways, and that’s confusing and unhelpful.
  • What I learnt in Game Design School
    The very first thing that I learnt, and what many people will learn first, about the games industry is the sheer amount of roles that make up a team. Strangely enough, that’s not something that many people will be aware of until they reach university or college – and, in many ways, it’s almost too late.
  • 5 Tools that every Game Developer needs to know
    Whether you’re a new student of game design and development, a hobbyist looking to expand the scope of their project or an experienced developer refining their skills: these are tools that every dev needs to know, whether it’s because they can save you time, money, both or they are more beginner-friendly than the alternatives. This article will cover both 3D and 2D games, as well as a variety of Engines.
  • Let’s make safe-zone music for your game
    There’s a couple of different ways to name this type of music, but the one that I think captures it all is “safe-zone”. Whether you’re in town (for an RPG), or on a save-screen (in a metroidvania); you’re safe. You cannot be harmed here. The best way to give this …

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  • The Complete Guide to OpenAL with C++ – Part 2: Streaming Audio
    Your game needs music! In this article, I will take you through everything you need to know to stream audio files for your game.
  • Random Game Idea Generator
    Do you need a cool idea for a new game but you’re struggling to think of anything interesting? I mean, all the games have already been made already right? Well, the generator below has over 55,000 possibilities that it can produce. They haven’t all been done before. Some of it …

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  • Game Engine Development for the Hobby Developer Part 4, Utilities
    You’ve thought about the rendering engine in Part 1, taken a look at all of the work needed in Part 2, and covered the sorts of functions you’ll need for audio in Part 3. Now we’ll go over the various “utilities” that you might need. Utilities are the part of …

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  • Making Simple Music for Your Game
    A while ago I wrote an article on how to make quick Chip Tune music for your game using free and open-source software. Well, that was all well and good and everyone made some suitable music for their games. But now we need to get a little more in depth. …

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  • Making Your First Game – Pong: Finale
    You’ve done it! You’ve made your first game, a clone of Pong. You went through the architecture of the codebase in part 1, then you coded the game up in part 2. Now you have a game! It’s a fun game, but it’s just like every other version of Pong, …

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  • The Complete Guide to OpenAL with C++ – Part 1: Playing a Sound
    Your game needs audio! In this article, I will take you through everything you need to know to get sounds in your small game.
  • Making Your First Game – Pong: The Code
    For this second article I’m going to go through each of those classes and the glue and I’m going to give you some code that will compile into Pong and you can play it, and have fun.
  • How To Find a Game Development Team
    Making games is hard, and you’re a people-person, so what better way to make a game, than with a team? And so here you are, trying to work out just how you find a game development team.
  • Comparison of Game Engines 2020
    Are you interested in becoming an indie game developer, but you’re not sure what game engine to use? Well, you’re in luck, in this article, I’m going to be talking about game engines. The benefits of each, my personal preference, and tips on how to get started. Hopefully this will …

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  • Making Your First Game – Pong: The Architecture
    In these articles, I’m going to show you how to make Pong from scratch. Not completely from scratch, we’re going to use some libraries. Or maybe you could combine this article with some learning of your own to build your own libraries.
  • Windows Virtual Key Codes and how to use them
    Lookup Windows API Virtual Key Codes by pressing keys on your keyboard. Get instant C++ code to check if that key was pressed.
  • The Art of Code Documentation
    I was originally going to title this article “The Art & Science of Code Documentation”, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised there isn’t a lot of science behind it. It really does become a fairly subjective thing. Some people comment and document more than others, some files 100’s of lines long don’t need documentation, some that are under 100 lines desperately do. But there is an art to it, and there are a set of good, strong guidelines that if followed, will ensure that your code remains readable for yourself in 2 years time, or to the next person to try and decipher just what the hell you were doing. Let’s go over them.
  • The Taller I Grow – a Postmortem
    I’m Dan, founder of Noobles Studio, and I’ve recently released my first game, The Taller I Grow. Currently, it’s available for free on PC and Mac. It was in development for around six months, and I spent a good portion of my free time between high school and other stuff working on it. The Taller I Grow is a puzzle-platformer game that is stylized to look and sound like it’s being played on an old DOS-like computer from the 80s. The main game mechanic is your ability to connect to objects in the environment, which makes your character taller in the process. This mechanic is used in a number of ways to solve puzzles and get through 30 levels. Today, I’d like to give you all a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the game — its inner workings, the motivations for it, and some of the tools used to create it.
  • How to Write a Game Design Document
    Whether you’re a solo auteur crafting an experience that remains true to your vision, or you’re the chief ideas guy of your three man team; every game needs to start with a Game Design Document.
  • How to write a good devlog
    When making your game there’s really no better way to begin getting noticed than by making a devlog. You can keep yourself motivated by getting encouraging feedback all the while gaining new fans, before the game is even done. But I see a lot of bad devlogs that aren’t giving the developer these things and instead they lose motivation and they never finish their game. I’ve read enough devlogs and written my own that I think I can give some pointers on writing a good devlog.
  • How To Make A Video Game From Scratch
    Well, you’ve definitely got some ambition in you. Making a Video Game from Scratch is not an easy task. In fact, I would say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but you know what? It’s also the most rewarding. In this article I’ll help you get started and point you in the right direction.
  • How Long Does It Take To Make A Video Game?
    So you’ve decided to bite the bullet and are ready to make that video game. Excellent. You do a little bit of planning and you’ve got your game scheduled for release in three weeks time. Let’s get this done.
  • Divine Conquest Development Blog #2: Input Handling
    One of the first things I like to do when I start a new project is Input Handling. I think it’s generally an underappreciated and underdeveloped aspect in a lot of games. Input is one of the core parts of how you play a game and you will use it constantly during development.
  • How To Make a Video Game
    There’s a couple of reasons you might want to make a video game. Maybe you just finished the latest blockbuster AAA cinematic game released on the latest platform and you have ideas. Or perhaps you’ve seen some of those nifty little “indie” games that keep getting released that you see on Steam and think, yeah I can do that! Hey, maybe you’re a software developer and you’ve heard that game development will build up your skills. Whatever the reason, you’re here, and you want to know how to make a video game. So let’s get started.
  • Konotoko Presents: Their Radiance
    Hello, I am Konotoko; the developer of a game in progress named Their Radiance. The game is intended to be a unique and unconventional video game and has been in development for about 2-3 years. On the surface, Their Radiance is a 2D platformer with no enemies. It’s intended to …

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  • Getting Games Done in 2020
    Back in 2014, I wrote an article for Gamedev.net. In the subsequent weeks, it boomed (retranslated in Russian, Chinese, etc.), as it appears I had laid my finger on one of the most prevalent questions among hobbyists: how does one go about Getting Games Done? The disclaimer notice of the …

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  • How to Make Quick Chip-Tune Music for Your Game with Open-Source Software
    You’re making your game, testing it as you add new features. Man, it’s pretty fun. But something’s missing, it’s too quiet. You need some music. Sure you could go and download some music available online for free, but that’s not gamedev, that’s using other people’s work. So, let’s make our own music.
  • Game Engine Development for the Hobby Developer Part 3, Audio
    In Part 1 we handled rendering, and in Part 2 we went over the rest of the components needed for the engine. Now that we can draw things on the screen and we’ve got a plan, the next thing we’ll want to do is play music and sound effects.
  • Divine Conquest Development Blog #1: Motivation and Game Design
    I’ve always been interested in game design and to that end I’ve always wanted to make a game. So I’m writing about what motivated me to start working on my current game and what game design ideas I had.
  • 5 Games for Hobby Developers to Make
    When first learning to make games, I think it pays to begin by re-creating some of the classics. Think about it, a lot of those old games were made by one person, on a very small team that didn’t have access to the tools you have now.
  • Choice vs Combine
    I do not remember where I read or heard about this idea, but it made thinking up skill and ability mechanics for an RPG really interesting. Basically you give a player either “choice” or “combine”.
  • GLSL Digital Noise
    Want to add random digital noise to your rendering in GLSL. The following fragment shader will add random noise that changes over time. Full disclosure, I know I started this code from someone’s existing code, but I cannot determine where it’s originally from.
  • C++ OpenAL Function Call Wrapping
    Learn how to wrap OpenGL calls in C++ to automatically detect errors.
  • Median-Cut with Floyd–Steinberg dithering in C++
    One of the effects I needed for a previous game was creating nebula for outerspace. But as a pixel art game, the nebula needed to look… pixel-artsy?
  • C++ OpenGL Function Call Wrapping
    Error handling in a state-based C API such as OpenGL in C++ can sometimes be a bit of a pain. To help me with my own graphics engine, I created this simple method of wrapping the OpenGL function pointers to report errors as they happen.
  • How to stream .ogg files with OpenAL in C++
    When I first set out to do what the title says, I hit so many roadblocks and unforseen problems that it drove me bonkers. But eventually I figured it out. So if you’ve given up trying to work out how to stream ogg files with OpenAL, or if you just …

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  • Game Engine Development for the Hobby Developer Part 2, Engine Parts
    In the first part of this series I talked about the Renderer and what you need to have for a simple Game Engine for the kind of games a solo hobby dev will be making. In this article I’ll go through my own engine’s parts and explain all the systems …

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  • The Big List of Game & Engine Development Resources
    I have utilized all of the below resources in order to develop games and game engines. I have only ever done this as a solo hobby game developer, so these resources may not be useful if you’re in the industry. I will add to this list as I remember or …

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