My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Animation after Kingstoon - How to make a Video Game for PC, Smartphone and Tablet

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Animation after Kingstoon - How to make a Video Game for PC, Smartphone and Tablet


But little is known of its use in Video Game Design. Being able to animate images means you can also be a Designer of Video Games, as your ability to edit or draw still images as explained in my blog article entitled “Animation After KingstOOn – Free Photo Editing Software and How to get a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 absolutely Free” or even group them using the right software to make movement means that Interaction with these images, the basis of great Gameplay, is only a matter of learning new programming skills.

Video Games can be even used as a form of Branding and advertising, the latest trend in the Video Game world. This is where companies make Video Game Apps with Promotional Competitions built in to promote their brand as per the article “Harnessing the Power of Social Gaming”, published by Kerry Kimone,  Kerrykimone.com.

A good example of this was the Boom Energy Drink Book Shaka Boom App Promotion, which was a downloadable App you could download to your Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphone and play by catching the falling droplets of Boom Energy Drink. High Scorers were rewarded with a variety of prizes as shown in the video below:



Why do Video Games – Money on the side while Animation continues to Bubble

To get down to the meat of the matter, once you can create a storyline, design and draw images,  create a Script and Storyline on a storyboard, you can branch into Video Games. Just like Animation, there is training and software available that can you can tool around with to help the Game Design process go a little more smoothly.

With this concern out of the way, you can focus on the equiptment, which is similar to that for Animation as described in my blog article entitled “Animation After KingstOOn – Free Photo Editing Software and How to get a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 absolutely Free”.

As it relates to promotion of your Video Game, uploading it to a Cloud Drive and then promoting it via Social Media is the best way to go as explained in my blog article entitled “How to use Dropbox, Google Drive and Sound File Sharing Websites to Share and Promote your Content online - Sharing is Caring”.

So at this point you literally have no excuse. Granted, your Video Game probably won’t make it on either Sony Playstation or the Microsoft Xbox, even as Tablet and smartphones kill off Video Game Consoles as predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled Nintendo and Sony vs Smartphones and Tablets: Post – Portable Gaming Era.

Video Game Models – Freemium vs Premium

But with so many platforms for which you can design a Video Game, from Windows to Apple OS to Google Android both on PC’s, Laptops, Smartphones and now Tablets, expanding your animation studio into Video Games is a Natural Evolution of your Animation Group. When it comes to Video Games for smartphones or Tablets as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Smartphones and Apps – Freemium Games are No. 1”, you can choose to make Video Games that are either:

1.      Premium, meaning the customer has to buy the Game App upfront
2.      Freemium, meaning the customer gets the Video Game free but has to pay either for upgrades in the Game or unlocking higher levels

Hands down, Freemium is the model to go with, being as it’ll get you a wider audience that’s addicted to free. Once they get a whiff of your Game and it has good Gameplay, it’ll attract the Premium buyers.

Planning a Video Game Design – Layers of Soul

According to the article “HOW TO MAKE A VIDEO GAME (EXPERIENCE NOT REQUIRED)”, published April 13, 2013 By Brandon Widder, DigitalTrends, the following steps are needed to Design a build a Video Game:

1.      Create a Storyboard for the Video Game Characters and Environments (very much like Animation)
2.      Acquire Hardware and Software needed for Video Gme Design (which as an Animator you may already have)
3.      Design the Game Characters and Environments (again yet another similarity)
4.      Publish the Video Game
           
In fact, you'll need to have the following people on you Video Game Design Team, the same people you'd need on an Animation Team:

1.      Storyboard Manager
2.      Programmer
3.      Background Artist
4.      Character Artist
5.      Audio Mixer/Musician

The Background Artist and the Character Artist are really one persons, hence your Video Game Design Team really has four (4) persons, preferably with their own Workstation.

At this point it’ll start looking quite possible, as a lot of parallels exist between Video Game Design and the steps needed in making a Successful Animation Project as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “KingstOOn Animation Festival and GG’s “I Believe in Jamaica” Animation Training – Genesis of Animation Outsourcing”.

The first step is obvious and will actually utilize much of the same Photo Editing software that’s listed in my blog article entitled “Animation After KingstOOn – Free Photo Editing Software and How to get a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 absolutely Free”. Alternately, lots of paper can be used to draw characters before rendering them in the Video Game Design Software. 

Video Game Design Software – Free then upgrade to Professional

Software is where the difference between Animation and Video Game Design lies. Also, remember just like Animation, 3D Game Design requiring far more complex Software Design Methodologies and computing equiptment with more storage, memory and computing power.

Below is a list of the Best Free and Proprietary Video Game Software for designing either 2D or 3D Games as listed on the resource article “10 Free Game Development Tools And Other Resources”, published November 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm by Chloi Rad, IndieStatik and “5 Free Game Development Software Tools To Make Your Own Games”, published February 10, 2010 by Joel Lee and Jonathan Bennet, MakeuseOf:

2.      Game Maker Studio
3.      Construct2
4.      Unity3D
6.      RPG Maker XP
7.      Ren'Py
8.      Stencyl
10.  Twine
11.  Inform 7

There above listing are great Game development Software and tools for both 2D and 3D Games. For tools specific to Apple iOS Platforms and Google Android, I’ll do another article. Of the lot however, from personal Experience, I usually use GameMaker for 2D development and Unity3D for 3D development. And don’t worry; Professional Game Making software usually sells for less than US$100, so it’s not that expensive!

In addition, you can Develop Flash Games without using Adobe Flash. FlashDevelop comes to mind and the excellent ActionScript 3 libraries Flashpunk and Flixel are even easier to recommend!

After you’ve chosen your Game Development Software of choice, download and installed the Game Engine, you then get do to the fun part - Design Process. This is no different from Animation, except that it’s done entirely by the Game Development Software.

This is where your Storyboard and rough sketches of your characters and environments come into play, as you’ll have to utilize the same Photo Editing software that’s listed in my blog article entitled “Animation After KingstOOn – Free Photo Editing Software and How to get a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 absolutely Free” to design them and import them into the Game Engine.

Promoting your Video Game – Your Game on every smartphone or Tablet

Once you finish making the Game, publishing become a matter of uploading your Game in your Personal Cloud Drive as described my blog article entitled “How to use Dropbox, Google Drive and Sound File Sharing Websites to Share and Promote your Content online - Sharing is Caring” and then plastering the URL Shortened Download link on Social Media:

1.      Social Media i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube
2.      Email
3.      Newsletters
4.      Personal Blog or Website
5.      Business Cards and Flyers
6.      Traditional Media i.e. Radio, Television Newspaper
7.      Google Play Store
8.      Apple App Store

How well your blog does can be determined by how heavily you promote it and the Statistics from your URL Shortener service which’ll indicate the Degree to which it’s downloaded. With more experience using the Various Game Development Software, you may find other that are more professional and most likely not free. As you’re an Animator and a Game Developer, you must by now expect this to be the norm when it comes to Professional Software Tools.


Game Development and Publishing is an expansion of your Animation Skills. It allows you to put your animation skills to practical use by developing Games that may end up being very popular and potentially netting your Animation Studio the recognition and Revenues you seek. 
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