84 episodes

Join host Todd Mitchell as he speaks with notable game industry professionals, upcoming indies, and noteworthy authors on a variety of topics including news, philosophy, career advice, and more.

GameDev Breakdown CodeWritePlay

    • Video Games

Join host Todd Mitchell as he speaks with notable game industry professionals, upcoming indies, and noteworthy authors on a variety of topics including news, philosophy, career advice, and more.

    NBA Jam Book Author Reyan Ali Returns

    NBA Jam Book Author Reyan Ali Returns

    Reyan Ali returns after the launch of NBA Jam from Boss Fight Books to weigh in on Cowboy vs. McGregor, Smash Bros. headlines, the Aaron Hernandez documentary, how to cover up an R. Kelly tattoo, and making loved ones eat just a small, supermarket-sized sampling of crow.

    Reyan's Links:

    * NBA Jam from Boss Fight Books* Reyan Ali on Twitter

    • 1 hr 5 min
    David Jagneaux of UploadVR

    David Jagneaux of UploadVR

    I met David via Twitter while freelancing for Zam.com (now Fanbyte). Beyond writing the definitive unofficial book on Roblox, David has picked up bylines at Forbes Games, IGN, Vice, Polygon, and other outlets. He now juggles tasks as a senior editor at UploadVR and trust me when I say his work in the virtual reality space has been a boon to developers and enthusiasts alike.

    It's my fault we didn't manage to have David on during 2019, and it's my fault again that his appearance was in the middle of a CES crapstorm, but it's all good news for you! Thanks to this timing, David not only sheds light on the most recent developments for Oculus hardware owners and the company's apparent direction for the near future, but we also get the scoop on some of this year's most promising sights from CES itself.

    Go send David some love; it's a difficult time of year.

    David's Links:

    * UploadVR* David on Twitter* The Ultimate Roblox Book

    • 32 min
    PO Boxes Are Not Cool or Fun

    PO Boxes Are Not Cool or Fun

    Todd heads to the post office to record the pre-Christmas mailbag episode. Chaos ensues.

    Despite this episode's misadventures, Eggnog Games' Leaving the Tree box set arrived and it's incredible, check it out!


    • 26 min
    Are NDAs Ever Really Enforced?

    Are NDAs Ever Really Enforced?

    We all hear about the importance of non-disclosure agreements, particularly in the game industry. Should we take them seriously? Is anyone ever truly held accountable for breaking one? We explore the topic on this episode of GameDev Breakdown.

    Big thanks to Christer "McFunkypants" Kaitila for the thought-provoking topic.

    • 16 min
    Don’t Hold Yourself Back

    Don’t Hold Yourself Back

    A developer asks the community: How do you maintain the motivation to finish projects? It's a simple question, but what lies beneath the surface?

    In this episode we discuss both the simple answer to this question, and what is usually the deeper, more scientific answer. If you've ever heard of concepts like "self-sabotage" or "self-handicapping," this episode offers the actual mechanics of this phenomenon as well as the causes and the steps you can take to break the cycle.

    Stop stopping, start finishing.

    • 19 min
    A Tale of Tutorials

    A Tale of Tutorials

    Welcome back! This time on GameDev Breakdown we're discussing the finer points of tutorials in games, and yes, whether or not they even have a rightful place in them. That idea may surprise you, unless you spend any time talking about development on Twitter where it's become oddly commonplace.

    This idea comes from a well-intentioned place. As games and players have matured, we've seen a lot of games with subtler, more innovative introductions. As seen in one of the tweets above, for some reason people who like attacking game designers like bringing up the introductory stage of Mega Man X.

    I generally go out of my way not to criticize the work of other designers, but I would be very hesitant to set up an introductory stage like what Mega Man X features. For one thing, MMX seems to depend on the player having played previous games in the series and having some sense of what's going on. It leaves players to experiment with what amounts to an unusually easy level, mashing buttons and experimenting with enemies and mechanics along the way. Even at that, I find the level visually confusing--quick, you just started, here comes some cars! Just kidding they can't hurt you--and I don't agree that players wouldn't be better served by an optional scene with a few prompts to get newbies acclimated before dropping them into a proper stage.

    Meanwhile, players in favor of sensible tutorials all pointed me at the same game: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.


    Blood Dragon actually had the same challenge to overcome as Mega Man X: a unique game in a pre-existing series that still needs to onboard new players. To do this, Blood Dragon goes all the way in the opposite direction, interrupting players with nearly full-screen prompts every few seconds while the protagonist complains about the delay. Blood Dragon manages to roast an annoying trend in game tutorials (overdoing it) while using a tried and true method to teach players advanced FPS controls in a hurry.

    This comparison is too simplistic, of course, and also doesn't take into account the widely varied needs across other genres. Angry Birds doesn't need too much handholding, but have you ever designed your own card game?

    The resource we look at in this episode is the condensed result of a master's project study on reactions to tutorials and introductory levels featured at Gamasutra.

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    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

Hazard 0643 ,

The reason I started a podcast.

So I am going to be real honest here and tell you guys that I have little to no understanding of game development or what it takes to make something from nothing using code.

That being said this podcast is an absolute blast to listen to, the content is always relevant and interesting and I find myself just sucked into each episode no matter what it’s about.

I’ve always wanted to start a podcast and it’s because of podcasts like this, Todd is super personal and relatable and always delivers the content in a well thought out and relatable fashion even to someone like me who doesn’t understand his industry.

Really just a great show. Keep it up guys!

Are Pee Gee Fan ,

Yay it’s back!

Great podcast that has everything game dev. A must listen for any indie devs with some free ear time.

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