Author Topic: Best practices resources  (Read 1815 times)

Monsieur OUXX

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Best practices resources
« on: 20 Mar 2015, 15:31 »
In late 2008, densming made this very cool series of tutorial videos, revolving around the main AGS features (inventory, baselines, etc.), explaining and illustrating each concept.
Before that, there was this very cool written series of tutorials that can be found in the documentation. It's also a step-by-step guide to get acquainted with all main AGS features.

What is still lacking, though, is a guide to best practices.

Professional game makers, or the elders that have been around forever, acquire that knowledge progressively, and by the time they know the tricks, they either find them obvious (hence suppressing the need of sharing them) or too busy (with a company to run). :)

Noticeable exceptions are tips/tutorials such as the ones of SkyGoblin, Dave Gilbert, and also Grundislav (& Ben304)'s podcasts. Sorry if I'm forgetting someone.

However there are many down-to-earth topics and best practices (perspective, scene composition, character scaling, fonts ripping, scene lighting, you name it!) that are often missed by beginners, and are then learned in blood and tears.

Some day I'd like to address those in a series of videos, each focusing on one essential topic, like densming's ones.

What do you think should be those topics? Just to be clear: I'm not talking about art tutorials, or tutorials about "how to make a good game", but only tutorials about "what screws you up when you start making a game, that you could have avoided if someone had told you".
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A typical example: When you draw your very first side-view walkcycle ever, you don't know that the character's head should be a few pixels lower twice per loop. And then it looks crappy. And then you go to Critics Lounge, and you get told to do it -- it's like a tradition that has been here since before the dawn of times.

A list of raw ideas :
- What color depth and resolution for my game?
- Should I use plugins and modules? Why? (custom load/save, verbcoin/BASS/etc.)
- (related to the one above) How to achieve the most common visual special effects? (rain, flashes, overlays, tinted characters, etc.)
- How to successfully integrate many third-party modules?
- Tricks to successfully do pixel-art with Photoshop (there's a lot to tell about that)
- How do I make my game not awfully generic (e.g. : changing the basic fonts -- the thing that nobody bothers doing)
- How to animate a character and successfully export and import files
- What graphical file formats to use?
- How to do collaborative work?
- More generally : how to scale up a project?
- I'm terrible at animating: Should I rip walkcycles from classic games? How?
- What perspective should I use in my rooms?
« Last Edit: 20 Mar 2015, 16:07 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #1 on: 20 Mar 2015, 16:32 »
- background animation
- Lua scripting
« Last Edit: 23 Aug 2016, 04:40 by Amy »

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #2 on: 20 Mar 2015, 16:52 »
background animation
What do you mean by that? Animated backgrounds, or animations that run "in the background" while your player is doing other things?

Lua for Ags is a very cool topic, but isn't it a bit overkill for a newcomer?
 

Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #3 on: 20 Mar 2015, 18:30 »
Well, you are the master, I'm the apprentice. Best if you decide for us.
« Last Edit: 23 Aug 2016, 04:45 by Amy »

Lasca

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Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #4 on: 20 Mar 2015, 18:51 »
Monsieur, I think this is a brilliant idea and I would very much benefit from watching videos of all your suggested subjects. Start producing!!

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #5 on: 27 Mar 2015, 16:46 »
Apparently everyone already knows how to use AGS inside out ;)
 

Cassiebsg

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Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #6 on: 27 Mar 2015, 17:06 »
No no no... stop talking about it and start making those videos. :P
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cat

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Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #7 on: 27 Mar 2015, 18:52 »
- How to do collaborative work?
- More generally : how to scale up a project?
^ This.

I find that version control does work on code files, but not on room files and other stuff like that. What is a reasonable way to handle that?

Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #8 on: 27 Mar 2015, 23:07 »
Or naming my NPC characters SLAVE1, SLAVE2, SLAVE3 and then doing voice acting and realising SLA1 isn't going to work. (I got around this.)

Also having a number at the end made it confusing. For example I had DE1 and DE2 for Death standing up, and Death sitting down. Then when naming speech files I had to put DE11 for the first one, DE12 for the second etc. Ugh.

My first ever mistake many years ago, was saving my background as a jpeg. Ouch.

Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #9 on: 28 Mar 2015, 01:34 »
Thanks for doing these tutorials, Mathieu! Always wanted to learn AGS properly, but never understood it :(  Hopefully, your help will teach and train me.
« Last Edit: 23 Aug 2016, 04:43 by Amy »

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Re: Best practices resources
« Reply #10 on: 28 Mar 2015, 01:45 »
Some tutorials on dynamic sprites would be very welcome! I don't know if anyone has ever done this