Game designer Matt Jackson, a 10 year game industry vet, and his guests explore the world of game design and game dev to bring you their perspectives on how games are made. Explore the fundamentals to get you started on your first game, learn how small, medium and large projects come to life from a wide range of game devs and gain knowledge to build better games.
DFG 015: Tips for Creating Believable 3D animations for Video Games
On this episode of the deep fried deliciousness, I sit down with a good friend of mine - Seb Varas, Animator on Dead by Daylight. Seb brings us some delicious tidbits of an animating nature, as we discuss everything from how he got into the biz, his love and passion for animation ever since he was a kid, what he does on a day-to-day basis and even ‘what is animation’ (we actually started with that appetizer).
DFG 014: Dead by Daylight: One Year Later
On this episode Me and the Cote discuss the goings on over the past 12 months on the 2 million+ selling Dead by Daylight. We hash out the high points, low points, mistake and successes that made (& make) this game tick. It’s still being played by thousands of people at any given moment and we dissect a few of the reasons why (spoiler: stay true to your vision to have a chance at making things work).
DFG 013: Diegetic, Non-Diegetic and everything in between: the audio stories of Destiny, Civilization 6 and Watch Dogs 2
How well do you know your game music? Could you tell a diegetic work if it smacked you in your ear holes? Cam Britton is here again with a delicious mix of auditory beverages including Destiny, Civilization 6 and Watch Dogs 2.
We discuss the congruence of tone of the music of Destiny with it’s mix of solemnity and action (a personal favorite of mine), the ‘time travelling’ score of Civilization 6 (how do you make music for a game that passes through thousands of years??) and the diegetic, and super-diegetic qualities of Watch Dogs 2 (pushing the industry forward in unique and powerful ways)
Dive into another 30+ minutes of the Deep Fried Gamer podcast!
Composers: Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, C Paul Johnson & Rotem Moav
Composer: Geoff Knorr
Watch Dogs 2
Audio Directors: Olivier Girard and Richie Nieto
Author: Winifred Phillips - A Composer’s Guide to Game Audio
Interview on composing doom
Hollywood Reporter - Composer’s Roundtable
Danny Elfman discusses how music should be memorable
Other heavyweight composers, like Hans Zimmer and Trent Reznor, have things to say too.
DFG 012: How Sound is Your Story
How you ask? Good sound design sets the stage for the action and immerses the player into the world of the game. It also enhances the narrative and aids in the telling of your story.
Amazing and talented Cam Britton (Sound Designer at Ubisoft Toronto) speaks with me about the challenges of narrative immersion, environmental storytelling, and narrative progression through sound. We discuss how ‘walla’ is created and how sound designers work with actors to get the best performances. We also talk about how easy games have become over the years. (Check out another one of my podcasts on Designing Difficulty). Cam bring 3 clips from recent titles: Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Listen to Podcast 005 - Designing Difficulty
ACU – E3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9UbtVWTr2c
SCB – Plane Hacked - https://youtu.be/jrDXL2Uk3Q0
SCB - Kobin Apartments - https://youtu.be/Kil3-TTUZLw?t=43m15s
Space Quest 1 - https://youtu.be/inYBmvtGl54?t=1h3m31s
DFG 011: What Made Dead by Daylight a Success
Welcome to another episode of the DFG. Me and Cote discuss the crazy success (and somewhat unexpected) success of ‘Dead by Daylight’. It’s been about 6 weeks since release and the game has seen some impressive numbers.
One of the main strengths of the game is it’s connection to Twitch and esport: it’s unique blend of system based, replayable action has made it a staple on the streaming site even before release. Streamers have helped in the success by simply enjoying what they saw: their genuine interest has brought the game to millions that maybe would not have otherwise seen it.
Another reason for it’s popularity is its successful drawing on classic horror films for inspiration: what we feel by watching a horror movie from the 80’s is similar to what we feel when we play the game. It also has a ‘voyeuristic’ quality: watching the game is very fun compared to other games. Realizing this, the team introduced a spectator mode for cheap, which was very successful: players often stay in the match and watch the rest of it even when they have been taken out.
The biggest challenge now for Dead by Daylight: focus on 50% fixing bugs/improving things, 50% new content. The game was built with expansion in mind, and even though they didn’t have much time to create LOTS of content, they created a system that allows to more easily create more content down the line.
A surprise to the team was the popularity of the title in Chinese and Russian markets. We speak about how these new translations were a priority for the team after launch. Another big addition is the ‘Survive with Friends’ mode: there was fear from the community that with this change the survivors would be able to outwit the killer essentially all the time. Using heaps of data, it turned out that there was only a difference of 1-2% in results before/after the change. Lesson: always check your numbers before you modify your designs.
Finally, Dead by Daylight will be at PAX West Sept 2-5th in Seattle - drop by to see the game in action and play some of the new content!
DFG 010: Soundplay/Gameplay
How do sound and gameplay come together for immersion and playability? What does a game designer expect from a sound designer? My good (and handsome) buddy Cam Britton is here to help me take on these topics and more on this episode of the Deep Fried Gamer Podcast.
Audio can help teach the player important rules about the game without the use of incongruent text or other helpers that ruin immersion. Something we should all remember (it’s often forgotten) when we first start any feature.
We discuss the concrete process of making a feature - and how we communicate to all of our diverse teams what their role in the feature is. We also tackle the idea of ‘audio first’ features and other that may not be so (sorry Cam). We also bring up the fact that the best design (game, audio and otherwise) should be done in the context of a team - involve everyone, and involve them early if you want to succeed at making something awesome!
Cam also brings 3 great audio clips (one feature of which he worked on) to illustrate his points while I do my best to not to ramble too much and ruin my answers - aren’t I supposed to be the one asking the questions?
Great Insights on the inner workings in video games!
Informative, interesting and fun podcast. There looks to be a few co-host game developers that brings a wider range of opinions and industry experience. A good listen!