After a game ships you will often have a responsibility and an opportunity to support your game. This is especially true for the PC game market where it is possible to patch bugs, fine-tune the balance, and add new features or content. The new content can take the form of free downloads or larger packages that can be sold as expansions to your game. These are the straightforward tasks; true mega-hits transcend the status of just a game to play through and become a hobby. Enabling players to modify the game through the creation of new levels, new modules, new missions, or even total conversions keeps your game alive far beyond the life expectancy of a game without user-extensible elements.
Pioneered to great success, id Software’s Doom and Quake series coined the term level designer as an occupation. Arguably, the greatest strength of Chris Taylor’s Total Annihilation was its aggressive design for user modification. Chapter discusses the technical design, and it is here, in the earliest stages of architecture for your game, that you must plan for user modification. Waiting until the end of your project is not a valid method for adding user-extensibility to your game.
Fan communication is critical to long-term success; set up an Internet message board for your fans to trade ideas, tips, gripes, rants, stories, challenges, and new content.
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Game Developing Tutorial
What Does This Book Cover?
Why Make Games?
What Makes Game Development Hard?
Game Project Survival Test
What Is A Game Made Of?
Business Context First
Key Design Elements
Game Design Document
The Technical Design Document
The Project Plan
Shipping Your Game
The Design Document
Unified Modeling Language Survival Guide
Putting It All Together Into A Plan
Controlling Feature Creep
Alpha, Beta, Go Final!
Point Releases Vs. Patches
Garage Development Spans The Internet
Getting A Job In The Game Industry
Starting A Game Development Company
Outsourcing Sound Effects
Outsourcing Cinematics And Models
Outsourcing Motion Capture And Animation
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