6 Reasons to Start a Devlog for your Indie Game (#Gamedev Audio Blog #7)

When it come to creating things, from making games to writing ebooks, I’m a nerd for process. I find reading other peoples’ devlogs a blast, but creating your own has numerous benefits, too. For indie devs, a devlog can be a great tool for getting the word out about your game, sharing your creative ideas, and documenting your design process to learn from down the road post-launch.

Episode 7 of my GameDev Audio Blog series looks at 6 reasons you should considering starting a devlog for your indie game, and the potential benefits you can gain from doing it right.

If you’re looking for an example of one way to approach this, head over to www.deathwell.com to peep my new devlog for my upcoming narrative horror RPG, Deathwell.

Enjoy the episode? Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or comment to let me know if you’re digging these and want more? Happy to take topic requests or answer Qs in future installments if you have any.


Minimizing Risk as an Indie Developer (#Gamedev Audio Blog #6)

It’s been a challenging week, with Missile Cards launch sales flowing along at a painfully slow trickle. What better time to talk about minimizing risk as a small indie developer, especially when you’re bootstrapping it and pushing to traction with your first few games projects!

This episode covers tips on minimizing risk to lessen the impact of your games tanking — or at least selling well below your least optimistic estimates.

Enjoy the episode? Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or comment to let me know if you’re digging these and want more? Happy to take topic requests or answer Qs in future installments if you have any.

Beta Testing Your Indie Game (#Gamedev Audio Blog #3)

Lightening things up a but, episode #3 in my short mini-podcast audio blog series looks at tips and techniques for Beta testing your game as a solo indie — especially when you live outside of the a major population hub and struggle with finding testers for your games.

Here are some of the topics I touch on:

  • Building your Beta testing list
  • Running your Beta through Steam
  • Tips for ensuring your Beta runs smoothly
  • Using Steam to deliver + update your Beta
  • How Beta testing improved Missile Cards


Enjoy the episode? Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or comment to let me know if you’re digging these and want more? Happy to take topic requests or answer Qs in future installments if you have any.

ADD & Game Dev Part I: Making games when you struggle with a hyper-mind


In this first entry in a multi-part blog series about game development and ADD, I explore what it’s like inside the mind of someone who makes games and suffers from severe attention deficit disorder. Hope these posts offer some insights and tips to help other folks who face similar challenges.

Most of the time, my brain feels like the Millennium Falcon — always threatening to rattle itself apart as I blast my way through a vast hyperspace of to-do lists on any given day. Sometimes I’m firing on all thrusters, and things are going smoothly. Other times, that stupid thing inside my skull does THIS:

Welcome to the Hyper-Mind Hell Vortex. Are we having fun yet?

Continue reading

Great Game Dev Courses on Udemy – On Sale only $11! #indiedev #gamedev

iconAs a part-time game developer, I’ve been pushing to level-up my skills when it comes to all aspects of making games, from coding to art asset creation. Udemy’s affordable, online video courses have been a huge help in the past year and a half. It continues to be one of my top go-to places to learn from awesome instructors.

With Udemy’s 10 day Black Friday sales event now well underway, you can grab just about every course for only $11! But hurry if you want to get in on this deal, because all courses go up $1 every 48 hours until the sale ends and everything returns to normal full price! Today’s your chance to grab any of these killer courses before the price increases!

Here’s a hand-picked selection of some of my favorite game development courses I’ve been taking this year! All are highly recommended.

Make a Platform Game and Learn to Code with GameMaker Studio – $11 $159icon
Right now, GameMaker Studio is currently my main game creation tool, and I’ve been a big fan of Ben Anderson’s YouTube channel and his excellent book on GML coding. Ben’s Udemy course on the topic is easy to follow and packed with great tips you can apply to lots of different game styles. Well worth checking it out!

Create Original Vector Game Art with Inkscape – $11 $107
iconCreating attractive, scaleable art assets that jive with different game engines has been a challenge. Istvan’s course is a GREAT primer on how to use free vector art program Inkscape to design, animate, and export gorgeous 2D assets for games. It helped me wrap my head around how to use the program’s core functions very quickly, and I can’t wait to put it into play with some upcoming projects!

iOS 9 Adventure – Build 12 iPhone Apps with Swift 2 – $11 $299
I admit, I wasn’t what sure what to think when I first saw this course. But goofy youngsters Nick and Jenna know their chops and do a great job of explaining the ins and outs of iOS 9 and Swift development in a fun, informative, and useful way! Great course, whether you’re into making apps or want to apply this to iOS games. I’ve been gradually learning Swift to apply for some specific projects down the road. This course has given me a great jump start on the process.

Learn to Code in Game Maker Language$11 $60
I rarely stick to just one source when I want to learn something new, which is why I’ll often buy multiple books and courses on a given subject to see how different instructors approach the topic. When it comes to learning GML code, this course makes the process painless and intuitive. Really super useful if you want to go beyond GM:S drag and drop functions, which you should.

Make Your Own FPS Without Code Using Unity and Playmaker $11 $99
iconI’m still very much a Unity noob, but I’ve been gradually learning more over time. Not ready to make the jump to 3D yet, but this course is an awesome starting point for learning how to design 3D FPS-style levels to explore and implement some cool gameplay elements using Unity and PlayMaker.

Learn to Code by Making Games: The Complete Unity Developer – $11 $197
This comprehensive course to Unity development helped me hand code my first text adventure example game, which is great, but it also has a ton to offer anyone who wants to ease into game design in Unity while learning code. Good stuff!

I’ve personally taken and highly recommend all of these great game development courses, but there are also a TON of other great courses I’m looking forward to checking out too.

Here’s the full Game Development section in Udemy that’s jam-packed with cool courses, many of which are only $10 during this mega sale event! Ready? Set? Go to it!



Indieverse: Vehicular Mayhem

“Slamming down the gas pedal to the floor and smashing into stuff is a favorite pastime for many virtual racing enthusiasts, ourselves included. You don’t have to be a total gearhead to get a few kicks from hopping into anything with a seat, a steering wheel, and a high-powered motor. When it comes to all things racing and motorized, the Xbox Live Indie Games Channel has some horsepower under the hood. Here are some of our favorite picks for racers, both quick and quirky.”

Check out the full feature here at Official Xbox Magazine.

Indieverse: Welcome to Bullet Hell (@OXM)

“Twitchy arcade shooters bristling with ridiculous gobs of bullets have been around for a long time; there’s something about the reflex-honing nature of these frenetic games that’s pleasantly primal. When a split-second maneuver is all that stands between you and utter annihilation, things tend to go from zero to “Holy crap, I’m dead” fast.

Bullet-hell addicts don’t have to look far or shell out a lot of green for a quality fix these days, as the genre is well represented on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. Here are some of the more unique and thrilling shooters on tap.”

Check out the full article here at Official Xbox Magazine.

Indieverse: It’s Good To Be Bad (@OXM)

“News flash – being good is dumb. Running around saving captured princess, smiting the forces of darkness, and saving the land from being destroyed? Booorrrriiiinnng. We’ve done that all before a million times over, so why not let us players have the opportunity to cut loose and take a walk on the dark side?

Thankfully, a handful of indie developers exactly feel the same way. If you’re sick and tired of playing as the same old do-gooders day and night, it’s about time you join TEAM EVIL. We’ve rounded up four awesome Xbox Live Indie Games that allow you to kick off your sissy shoes and stomp through the garden of goody-goody lameness.

Whether you’re in the mood to incite a zombie apocalypse, feed babies to your dark lord, burn down the most decadent castle in the realm, or dine on the blood of your mortal enemies, these bite-sized downloadables have you covered.”

Check out the full article here at Official Xbox Magazine.

Free Bytes –> Best Free Games

If you are among the folks that regularly check out my weekly indie freeware gaming column over at IGN, then awesome, you win the prize for being very stylish and sensible. Going forward, my column has been transformed — yes, like Voltron or Optimus Prime — into a slightly different animal (or robot, mineral, etc). Free Bytes will still appear each week over at IGN’s PC gaming page, though it’s now all rolled into one large feature called “Best Free Games” that’s located at the same page. Each new installment will be updated on (most) Thursdays. New picks will be featured on the first page of the article, while previous installments are available on subsequent pages. So in a nutshell: I’m still churning out the same weekly awesome selections of oddball, fun, and quirky free indie-focused game write-ups, only they’re called something different and they’re streamlined to a single location. This has been a test of the emergency column update system. Thank you for your cooperation.

This week’s installment is the crazy-tastic Cactus joint: Hot Throttle. Followed by Megazey and Demons as well as King’s Guard. You can check out all three, and future installments over here at IGN.

Free Bytes Double Whammy

Free Bytes: Mother Robot

“Back when I was a young kid with an overactive imagination, nighttime was the most ominous stretch of the day. When the lights went out, it felt like every creak of the house signaled my impending doom at the hands of some slathering, flesh-eating beast thing waiting for me in the dark – to suck out my guts with a vile proboscis, I would assume. Thankfully, my trusty flashlight was more powerful than a broadsword in its ability to ward off my impending monstrous death with its illuminating beams. Mother Robot takes that idea and runs in a different direction. This crafty little game is about staying alive by keeping the lights on…by using lots of robots and laser umbilical cords.”

Check out my full Mother Robot write-up here at IGN.

Free Bytes: Pipedreamz

“At one point or another, most folks get stuck working a crappy stint in a dead-end job for awhile. During such times, it’s often all-but-expected that you’ll do the best job you can muster while letting your mind wander to enjoy the marvels of mental inner-space to help make the misery pass quicker (unless you’re a jet pilot or a nuclear power plant operator, of course). Pipedreamz is kind of like that but a heck of a lot weirder.”

Check out my full write-up of Pipedreamz here at IGN.