Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Game Industry News - Valve has Removed Nearly 200 Steam Games Finally!

Hello everyone,

Today, Valve has removed almost 173 asset flipped games off the Steam store. Yeah, I am not joking at all. Valve has finally decided to take action against asset flippers and this is one of the great decisions ever made by Valve in order to maintain the quality control of Steam store. 

A Game Developer who goes by the names, Zonitron Studios, Silicon Echo and others has published nearly 200 games on Steam. That being said, the same developer was using different accounts to upload low-effort and asset flipped games every now and then. They had released almost 200 titles in the course of two years. As a result, the quality of each game is not up to the mark to be on the professional storefront like Steam. Moreover, the main reason for publishing many "fake" games is to make money by Card farming. 

Image Source: Polygon

Finally, Valve has decided to remove this studio games off Steam storefront. This is the first time that Valve has removed so many titles at once. It seems they have started to get more strict towards this corrupted business practices and keep banning Asset flipped games. Now, it might be good for legitimate indie developers who work hard on their games for years to make a great game which the consumer would be interested to play. This is a lesson to all the indie developers out there who are thinking to do the same kind of activities and hope they can learn the lesson and truly understand what consumers really want. 

Here is what Valve stated:

Image Souce: Polygon

 "The bad actors were all the same person operating under different account."

When I heard about the sheer volume of submissions by a single developer, I was shocked. I mean, this is not possible for a small indie studio with a team of one person to make 100 Professional quality games in a year. Oh, come on! This is the video games we are talking about which were planned for commercial distribution. Generally, making a professional quality PC game takes sometime from 6 months to 5 years depending upon the complexity of the project, budget etc. This takes a lot of struggle and hardship. I can still remember that I had created NightmareZ, my first Steam game which took me more than a year to make. Even then, it did not do well as I could not market the product well and I was quite new to the professional field. However, I was happy that even a few people enjoyed the game.

According to my opinion, making 100 PC games a year is an absurd idea to begin with and it is not possible for a single developer or even a team of 30 to make 100 commercially viable games in a year. 

Do you have any questions or concern about this? Leave a comment below and I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

How to Promote your Gaming YouTube Channel - Posting in Relevant YouTube Forums

Hello everyone,

This is a time for another "How to" post in my blog. Today, I have decided to shed some light on the topic of how to promote your Gaming YouTube channel. As you know, being a game developer myself, I hardly get any time posting YouTube videos let alone promoting it as most of the time is spent on programming and art. However, it is a fact that without promoting your videos, it is really difficult and sometimes impossible to get more number of views on your YouTube channel. As a matter of fact, many new YouTubers are trying their best to promote their channel and they often ask questions like "what is the best way of promoting my Gaming videos on YouTube?" or " Where can I promote my YouTube video?" 

As you can see in the image given above. The people have been asking the same question over and over but not getting a clear cut answer. The truth is, nobody knows which marketing technique will work and there is no certainty that you will get more views. However, there is still a chance of getting more views by following the marketing techniques offered in various sites all around the internet. It is like you have to test the techniques and see how it goes and modifying the marketing process later. No matter what the result is you can eventually understand why this works and how you can grow even more.

"The Truth is, nobody knows which marketing technique would be beneficial for their Gaming YouTube channel." 

In this article, I would like to mention some great techniques for "Gaming YouTubers" to promote their videos throughout the internet. However, it totally depends on your preference and what do you want your channel to feature about. "Which games do you want to cover on your channel?" "Do you want to cover AAA games only or include Indie Games in the list?" This is totally up to you. Moreover, you can also cover some unique and obscure indie gems which the people have never heard of and this might be a unique way to get some attention. However, if your Gaming channel is quite new, it is better to get started with some popular games at first and then move on to covering some new indie games.

"The key to have more subscribers for your YouTube channel is to be Consistent".

That being said, you have to make and release videos at least 3 to 4 times per week. If you can release one video each day that is even better. Not only you will get more viewers and subscribers. You will get better at making videos and you will notice that too. 

I would not say all the things what others are saying and I would like to show you some of the YouTube Gaming forums available where you can promote your YouTube channel and also your new YouTube videos. Who knows? You might get a chance to collaborate with other YouTubers in those discussion forums.

"Collaboration is also an effective way to grow your channel. You can also cross promote your YouTube Gaming videos with other YouTubers of same niche."

 Well, before you post anything on those forums always make sure you read the forum rules and abide by them strictly. It is not always a good thing to post the same video over and over. Not only your video will get deleted and your account might get terminated if you break the rules. Posting one video a day is more than enough to be honest. You don't have to overdo it. If your video is interesting and engaging you will get more views and subscribing.  It is that simple.

"Make sure you have an attractive Thumbnail and Title on your video. It also counts because what people will see at first is your video's Thumbnail and Title."

1. CyberStars : YouTube Discussion Forum:

This is a pretty friendly forum with many YouTubers posting link to their videos. Here, various kinds of YouTubers of different niche can promote their videos under appropriate categories.

If you are a Gaming YouTuber, that is even better. You can post about your gaming videos under Gaming section which is stated as "All your Bases are Belong to us!". As I said before, read the rules before you self-promote.

YTGamers is a really huge forum with many members interested in Gaming. So, this forum is only for Gaming YouTubers. However, if you are NOT a Gaming YouTuber this might not be the best place for you to promote your videos.

Always read the forum rules before posting in any of the categories. Registration in this forum is free. However, there is also a VIP membership available. This is also a place where you can collaborate with other Gaming YouTubers and also make some friends. 

Damnlag is a growing community which supports YouTube Content creators all around the globe. They have a friendly forum with many members and this might be a good place to promote your YouTube channel and its videos. You can also share, collaborate and make friends with other YouTubers in the community. Registration is free for all members. However, there is a Premium section or some sort of paid account upgrade is available which will allow you to post under "Premium video Promotion" and might get extra exposure if you have a budget. Overall, this is a really a nice place for you to promote your videos whether Gaming or Not. 
Always make sure you read Forum rules before posting and strictly abide by them if you don't want to get kicked out of the forum and always post under appropriate categories.

The Gamer Square is another friendly community for YouTube Content creators. However, it is strictly restricted to Gaming YouTubers almost like YTGamers mentioned above. In this forum, you can discuss, collaborate with other Gaming YouTubers. Moreover, you can also post your videos and get feedback from others and at the same time get more views and subscribers. Always read the forum rules before posting.

If you can contribute to the discussion and help others. You will also receive support from other YouTubers. Spamming is not a good thing for you especially if you are trying to promote your channel. 

Hence, these are the forums which allow Gaming YouTubers to promote their videos. I hope more new forums will be available in the future where you can promote your YouTube videos. The post will be updates if a new forum allowing YouTube video promotion is available. If you know about other forums which allow you to promote your YouTube videos please feel free to share it in the comments section. 

Thank you so much for reading the post and I hope it is helpful for you. Feel free to comment and let me know how you are promoting your Gaming YouTube channel. Sharing is caring. I will post more techniques promoting your YouTube videos in social media websites and much more! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Keatz The Lonely Bird Indie 2D Platform Action Game - Destroy The Water Turret - Septerber 19 2017

September 19, 2017:
Development Progress: 50%
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Hello world,

Today, I have introduced some important features in the game, Keatz: The Lonely Bird. When I was working on the level design, some features were missing like there were no instructions available, nor there was a screen shake effect implemented at that time. So, I had to modify code and got it to work readily. 

Designing the level was fun and it was a great experience. When I started working on designing level, it was like an empty world with only placeholder images and non-animated character sprites. But later, I replaced them with actual textures, character art and so on. I have also added some lighting effect to the level to make it look as attractive as possible. 

In the previous post I had mentioned that I had added parallax motion effect which has drastically improved the visuals of the game. There are also some jumping woods where the player can jump over with an aim of jumping higher than player's normal jumping abilities. Besides, there are saws, thorns and water areas. However, one must be very careful as the player will die if immersed in water since it is a bit deeper. 

Now, I would like to add a gameplay video showing the level which I have explained above. The visuals are more meaningful than the writing itself and it is quite natural and a great idea to have a video linked in this blog post. Here you go:

Friday, 15 September 2017

Keatz The Lonely Bird Indie Game Development Update September 16-2017 - Introducing Parallax Effect

Hello world,
From today, I, the developer of Keatz: The Lonely Bird game, will continuously post new topics instead of posting in the same page which becomes hard to scroll down and see all the updates again and again. There will be different kinds of blog posts at least once per week with new content, updates and patches. Since, I am the only one operating both and websites, it becomes hard to get some time to keep them updated but I try my best to find out an ideal time for this. 
September 16, 2017:
Development Progress: 50%
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Today, I have introduced Parallax Motion effect which seems to be one of the best feature of a platformer. I actually got this suggestion from one of the Facebook groups which let me to believe that it would be a cool feature to have especially in outdoor levels. 
The benefit of adding Parallax motion effect to the levels is that it makes the motion effect realistic and gives it a 3D feel. I have also noticed this effect in the old school games like Mario, Sonic and it was an important feature which I missed when I had worked on my first game.  
Here is an example of a gif without parallax effect and another one with parallax effect demonstrating one of the levels in Keatz: The Lonely Bird indie game:
Without Parallax effect:
With Parallax effect:
According to gif images shown above, the differences are distinctively visible. Besides, the second one looks realistic and far better than the first one. This concludes that the feedback which I had received from one of the users on Facebook was really helpful and at the same time, I have learned something awesome and it will be helpful for my future projects also. 

Game development process is all about learning new stuffs, experimenting with new features and game mechanics. The parallax motion effect was initially introduced in cut scenes way before I received any feedback and I was not ready to introduce that feature in levels that time. To be honest, I introduced it at the later stage of development when I was going through the feedback/bugs list.

Here is a gif showing the parallax effect in one of the cut scenes of the game. This might look better because I have introduced three different layers of parallax motion effect in the background:

Finally, the parallax motion effect has changed the look and feel of the game completely. I will keep this feature in mind while making my next platformer with outdoor levels or even in some weird levels. Who knows? I make weird games too.

I hope that you have enjoyed this article and if you really like it please consider subscribing to the newsletter HERE and I will send you special discount coupons and news regarding new game releases or you can try out my other games HERE.

More updates will be available in the next #screenshotsaturday and before that too . Until then, stay tuned and see you next time. See ya!