Archive for the ‘ Misc ’ Category

Video Update

Hey everyone, just wanted to post a quick update on what’s going on with the Learn UDK in a Day Workshop video. The video is completely done, but I’m having issues uploading it because of a not-so-great internet connection. I’m going to try to upload it at the school on Monday or Tuesday, so I’m sorry to say that it’s still not ready to view. I’ve been in crunch time and work, which is the reason the video is so late anyway, but all of this has been a learning experience so I can get the video out much quicker next time. Sorry for the delay everyone!


Also, I have several new posts on the way over the next week, so stay tuned. I’ll be presenting my project proposal for an upcoming game called “Dead Pixels” next week, so a few posts will be in regards to the game and how to write project proposals.

Update and an E-book

Between doing some contract design work, schoolwork, student projects, and my own projects, I’ve been too busy to finish up some new posts. Just wanted to give a quick update to inform everybody that I will be back on track with a new post tomorrow, and I hope to get into the habit of posting at least weekly, if not every other day. If you have any suggestions for new posts you’d like to see, feel free to leave me a comment, send me an e-mail, or even message me on Twitter (@kaocleyra)! I’ve already received several good suggestions from other students and friends, so those will be going up shortly.

While you’re waiting on me to post, why not check out this awesome resource from the World of Level Design. Now you can download the e-book of the “Ultimate Level Design Guide” for free! This fantastic deal comes with the free e-book, along with the e-book of “How to Create a Map in 11 Days,” which details the process author Alex Galuzin follows while working in UDK. Both of these are great reads, and since they’re free, there’s really no excuse not to download them. All you have to do to receive your free e-books is sign up for the World of Level Design’s newsletter and in no time, you too can be learning great tips for level design and environment art. Check out their post below for more details:

Laptop Update!

This update is going to be short, sweet, and straight to the point: I have a new (and working) laptop! This means that I can actually get back to posting on here! So sorry for the lack of posts, but I’ve got a list of new posts and new ideas, and you’ll see them shortly. Stay tuned!

Books for Game Developers and How to Find Them

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed as a game designer, it’s definitely that it’s hard to find good books on development subjects. Obviously, since I go to a university with specific degrees in those subjects, it’s a lot easier for me to get my hands on development books, but even then, they’re supplied by the school, not always used, and not always very good.

So how do you find books on development that are good? Well, for starters, check out game developers’ resources and recommendations. Many developers in the industry have blogs or web sites that often link to things they like, including books. I find Twitter to be an excellent tool for this, as well. Twitter allows you the ability to ask specific people for recommendations on what you are trying to learn, without getting too personal or creepy. An added plus: it could also be a good way to get your name out there. Just be sure to keep it short and simple (there is a character limit), and don’t act like a fanboy.

Developers in the industry also have this neat hobby of writing their own books! Who better to get a book from than someone who is already in the industry? At least as far as I know, most books written by developers are usually cooperative efforts, i.e. more than one developer writes the book. This provides knowledge from two different perspectives, which is always helpful.

Another great place to find both good books and recommendations is GDC. The Game Developers Conference is packed with knowledgeable people, and asking for a book recommendation is a great conversation starter. There are also a lot of students and other people looking to get into the industry, and some of them may have found a great read you would have never found otherwise. And guess what else is cool about GDC? They sell books! That’s right: there is actually a little book store at GDC. Even though the books may be a bit pricey, you can always jot down some of the titles and grab them later. And if you have any questions about any of the books, there is most likely someone who can help you out.

Of course, you should always ask professors or other students in your major if you, like me, are attending a school specifically for game development. Professors tend to do much much more reading than students, and can help you to find a specific book that will be good for what you need. Most of the game design classes I’ve taken only have one book listed for the course, but oftentimes the professor will have recommended reading that goes beyond the required book, or perhaps focuses on one area in great detail.

Finally, there is the internet, which can be both good and bad. On the good side, it is full of book titles just for you; on the bad side, most of the books you may come across probably aren’t very helpful. If you want to avoid wasting time checking to see if a book is legitimate or not, narrow your search. Look for books on specific subjects and go from there, or else you may find yourself reading a book you don’t want. Also, check up on the author. You want to read things written by actual game developers, professors, indies, or at least people who know a thing or two about making games (NOT playing them). While I could go on forever about how to find good books on the internet, I wouldn’t really recommend using it if you don’t have to. These days, there are even game magazines that review game development books, so there are plenty of options to try first.

If you have any suggestions on where to find good game development books, or even some interesting and helpful reads you’ve found, please share! I’ve been adding books to the resources page at the top, so check back to that every once in a while to see if I’ve added any new ones. I hope this post helped!

Another Finals Week Update

Just wanted to post a quick update since I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been working on finals, trying to get ready for Christmas, preparing new game projects, and generally just trying to get everything together before next semester, which of course means that I’m extremely behind in posts. Not having a working computer makes posting very difficult, but I’ve been writing things on paper and will transcribe them here, along with references, etc., over the course of the next two weeks. After those two weeks, I’ll be going home for the break, so I will not be able to do much of anything on the internet. That’s why I plan on posting all of the articles I have lying around very shortly, when I’m not working on finals and whatnot.

Keep an eye out for these new posts:
– More “What I Learned at GDC”
– Scriptwriting and Game Writing
– Creating Characters in Games
– Killing Characters in Games
– The Power of Emotions
– Gameplay, Gameplay, Gameplay! (Integrating Story into Gameplay)
– Tips & Tricks: The Path to the Design Doc
– Tips & Tricks: A Guide to Portfolios
– Tips & Tricks: A Guide to Resumes
– Tips & Tricks: A Guide to Interviews
– Creating Games from Other Mediums
– Turning “Frankenstein” into a Game
– Tips & Tricks: How to Use the Internet (to Make the Most out of your Education)
– Game Maker and Me
– Interactive Fiction and its Role in Games
– Books for Game Developers and How to Find Them
– The Quest… for Writing Quests!
+ Many More Coming Soon…

Finals Week Update

At long last, finals week is over! Sorry for not updating in a while everyone, I’ve been bogged down with finals, but you can rest assured that I am already at work on several posts! The following will be posted over the course of the next week, so keep checking back for anything new.

Upcoming posts (in no particular order):
– How Board Games Lead to Better Design

– CTF Map – Strife in the Sky walkthrough videos
– Foster’s Isle Level + screenshots and videos
– Terrain is Your Friend – A Guide to the Terrain Editor
– I Don’t Know How to Do That! – Resources for the Unknowing
Losing Sleep: Why You Shouldn’t Wait til the Last Minute
– “MacGyver It!” – How to Work Around What You Have

Keep a look out for new challenges as well! And I’ll be learning Unity over the next two weeks, so more posts to come with that, too!


It’s been a while since I last posted, so here’s a quick update on what’s going on. This semester so far has been really hectic, and I had a lot of work piled on me for the past few weeks. To add to the stress, my laptop died! I had about three posts prepared to continue the “Step-by-Step” series on one of the levels I was building, but unfortunately, I lost all of that information, including write-ups and screen-shots.

But I am back! This is just a quick update to let anyone reading know what’s happening. Check back soon for more posts, including a new level design challenge and more!