DevBlog: A Cozy New Main Screen

Network Traders is evolving steadily. From the beginning, I concentrated on the technical challenges of the game. But with Andrea joining the effort in last November, the game is developing its very own graphical design, too. The latest and substantial upgrade is a rework of the main screen. I think, it makes you feel at home right from the first time you open the game!

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DevBlog: Books on Game Design and Production

If you think about starting a career in the gaming industry – be it as an Indie dev or in an established company – it’s a good idea to do some reading first. Here are a few books which helped me not only during my career in gaming, but specifically with my current project, Network Traders.

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DevBlog: Responsive Design with Unity

Designing a user interface with Unity is done quickly, and the results may even look very appealing. But things become ugly as soon as you change the aspect ratio of your screen, testing your design on different smartphones or tablets. Fortunately, Unity includes a few tools to help you implementing a so-called Responsive Design. Here are three tips from my experiences with my current project, Network Traders.

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DevBlog: Major Game Server Rework

Any new technology you have not used before is a potential risk to your game project. One such risk in Network Traders was the transition of merchants from player to player via Bluetooth. I meant this to be a central mechanic, but tried it much too late, only to find out that it is not stable enough. So I had to reconsider, redesign, and rework the trading mechanism, relying much more on the game server. In a way I have now left the prototype phase behind with this major rework being finally done.

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DevBlog: The Idea behind Network Traders

If you have followed my DevBlog, you know that my current game project Network Traders is about directly trading with your fellow players. “Directly” as in “personally” or “face-to-face”, i.e., being in the same room. This is achieved by using Bluetooth to connect the players’ mobile devices. But how does the core game loop actually look like? Read this story about agents, money, and the pandemic to learn more about the idea behind the game!

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DevBlog: Think about your Business

Have you ever thought about earning money with the games you create in your free time? If so, and when you actually do, there is a whole new bunch of things you have to consider. Because then, you officially start your own business. Last week I attended a webinar about “Establishing a part- time venture” by my local chamber of industry and commerce, and I would like to share my key insights with you.

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DevBlog: Why early Play-Testing is so important

Anytime I read about game design and development, the importance of early play-testing is pointed out. Show your game to your friends and listen attentively to what they say. This is a short anecdote of how this was proven right for me and Network Traders. It is about using Bluetooth again, but also about how critically people may react to something unforseen.

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DevBlog: Art Expertise

The greatest thing about making video games is that it’s a team effort bringing together a very wide range of specialists. You need game designers, coders, artists, testers, marketing specialists, project managers and some more. So far, I have done almost all of this myself. But unfortunately, I’m a lousy artist. A … very … lousy artist. So I am more than happy that Andrea Prager has agreed to help me out here, and she’s doing a great job. Have a look at some of her work that you will see in Network Traders.

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DevBlog: Avoiding Unity Netcode

When I started Network Traders a year ago, I was intrigued by Unity’s new networking layer, which was then still the MLAPI. After some testing, I realised that it was just not the right tool for my application. So when does it make sense to use Netcode and what might be an alternative for your project if it doesn’t?

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DevBlog: Trying out Unity Localization

Almost exactly a year ago I published a quick survey about free localization tools, comparing those available in the asset store. In the meantime, the guys at Unity have developed and finally published version 1.0 of their own Localization package in September this year. I have decided to give it a try for Network Traders. So here comes an update to my last year’s survey.

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