Game design advice: Forgive slight player's mistakes

You, as a developer, know every detail of your game. You played it multiple times before the release. So, your perception of a game's difficulty might drastically differ from the perception of the players who play it for the first time in their life. Yes, quite a number of developers set the difficulty in their game to be too high.

Especially this tendency became wide-spread after the success of Flappy Bird. Many beginner developers thought, that if a super-difficult game became popular, that if they'd made a super-difficult game, it will instantly become popular. We've got a flood of really difficult games, but most of them failed to grab the player's attention.

Is it possible for a small team to make a good-looking game?

I continue my series of posts where I summarize the advice I give to the members of FGL game development community. Let's talk about art.

Art is the key issue for the indies of programming background. Speaking about Art, I understand, that the standards are constantly increasing and it's difficult for an indie team to make an excellent-looking visuals. Besides, the standards are constantly growing. As an example, here are the screenshots of the games which received the FGL rating of 9 in 2009 (Top defense). and 2011 (Kingdom Rush).

Top defense, 2009, rating: 9/10

Kingdom Rush, 2011, rating: 9/10

Sid Meyer is about to release Civilization 6. It's time for me to make at least one!

I entered gamedev in 2010 having a dream to make something global, like Civilization, but better. By now among my 25 released games the biggest Tun-Based Strategy is Cards Wars. But it's more like Risk, not Civilization.

I think summertime and 1 month before GamesCom is a good time to develop my own civ. I gathered the prototypes which I occasionally made during free evenings, papers with ideas, which I stored for several years, and got enough inspiration to make something big within the given time frame.

The map looks like this now:

Procedural city names generator which I've made after the first run gave the following list of cities in this world:
Adilovirn nis

Are players playing web games more or less?

In the FGL community we are discussing now, do people play web games more or less.

I think, this Alexa comparison of "Big 5": Kongregate, Newgrounds, Armorgames, Miniclip and A10 gives a good insight to answer this question.

One more thing needed is to find out, did the whole number of the browser users increase? I think it did.

So, you've made a game...

As you probably know, I'm FGL_Alexey at FGL, the community of indie game developers. One of my tasks is to help indie game developers to make their games better. As the developer uploads the game to us, I can give a free pre-review. I play the game, record 5-15 minutes viteo and share my impressions, as a 1st time player. Also I give my suggestions on the game's enhancement.

Since 2012 I've made more than 1500 video reviews. I noticed that the often I give the same advice to the different game developers. So, I summarized my advice in the form of a conference talk.

I gave this talk at Next Castle Party, also it was a part of my talk "Increasing Revenue in Indie Game Development" at Dubai World Game Summit. Now I'm going to write a series of blog posts based on my presentation slides and my new developer relation's experience. These advice can be applied to web, mobile and PC games, with some platform-related variations.

1. Make sure you have a proper game screens navigation.

If you are going to stay in gamedev for long and use the same technology to create several games (not necessarily of the same series) it's useful to make a game template, which would enable such navigation:

Game reviews from Ludum Dare 35

At Ludum Dare 35 I reviewed 21 games. It's incredible how much a developer can make within 48 hours. So many great concepts and amazing implementations!
The LD theme this year was "Shapeshift". The most obvious interpretation of this theme was a shape-changing main hero with shape-related abilities. And it's a delight that most of the developers didn't follow the obvious route, but interpreted "Shapeshift" in various ways and very creatively.


Cloudy Shaman: quick reaction. Tap, swipe and clear the sky!

This is an excellent game to train your reaction and decision-making in quickly changing circumstances!

You are a shaman who works at an airport. You should cast good weather. The screen is your tambourine - show how good your reaction and decision-making are!


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