Notes

Tools of the Trade

Okay, so this is the naïve post where I talk about the TOOLS OF THE TRADE as if I know that I’m talking about . These are the things I’ll use without foresight or knowledge and I totally have a gut feeling about.

Well, kinda. I reckon I’m naïve about how long it will take me to achieve. But other than that, I reckon I might be fine. Tools are just that: tools. Things that will help you achieve your objective. My objective is to create a fun game that I don’t mind playing. I starting off scratching my own itch. So half the battle is won.

Tools, as I see them, are a way of doing what you need to do. And I believe that the more limitations you put on something the easier it is to actually make that ‘thing’ into something. The worst thing a designer can hear is “you’ve got a blue sky… come up with something amazing”. I have always found that limiting yourself and defining boundaries is an excellent way of of focussing and allowing yourself to ignore a whole swathe of things that will eventually get in your way and get you to start questioning yourself. Fitting yourself into the rigid structure you have defined leads you to more creative thinking to solve problemes that, for example, the tools don’t allow you to do.

Plus, I’m a really big fan of open source tools. And I’d love to create something using mostly open source tools. And so, here is my naïve list of tools that I would like to use to make games.

Godot

It’s an open source game development platform with and excellent community that genuinely wants to help you make games. It works on my Mac (which will be my primary tool for development, but I am very aware that I might need a PC and other systems to finanalise) and it has excellent documentation and–very importantly–it’s continually developed so any bugs get fixed very quickly.

Blender

I’m probably gonna need creatures / things / people / vehicles / bullets / backgrounds made. Blender syncs perfectly with Godot, I know how to use it, it’s open souce, it has an excellent community and even though the liklihood is that my first game is going to be 2D, it has the facilities to help create thie things I need. Plus, there’s Armoury which looks good.

Inkscape

Open Source vector software. I’ll let you into a little secret: I’m an Adobe whore. I know Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign like the back of my hand. And if it doubt I shall go back to these programs. (Even though I have tried Affinity software, my muscle memory is not there). Inkscape does everything I know Adobe Illustrator can do, it’s just a little bit glitchy and has different shortcuts. If I am going to go fully open source, then this is the beast.

Krita

It’s basically an open source painting program (or app–I’m really old) but it works really well with Blender and Godot. Doesn’t quite do the things that Photoshop can do, but it’s a gazillion times better than GIMP. And again, if in doubt, I’ll probably use Photoshop.

And there’s also all the other less known stuff that helps you make games:

Twine

Narrative storytelling. In your browser. Or downloadable. A great tool to use to help you write what are basically decision-based stories. Go check ’em out.

Inform 7

You remember those tet only adventures back in the day when computers were young and there was no social media? Well, Inform is the tool to make them. More complex than Twine, and less heavy than making a full game. Excellent for non-linear narrative storytelling.

And so, in summary, these will by my tools of the trade to create whatever non-physical ideas I get. I’d secretly still like to make physical games (I’m working on one RIGHT NOW), but for digital stuff I gonna start with these and then–all being sucessful–might look into Unity and Unreal.

Peace Frog. x

 

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