As 2015 draws to a close, let's take a look back at the great game development how-to tutorials and articles our wonderful instructor team wrote this year! There were high-level posts on game design and level design, beginners' guides to shaders and more advanced guides to pathfinding, inspirational posts to dip in to the next time you're coming up with ideas for a new game, and plenty more...
I'm really excited to have Mike Stout and Patrick Holleman writing for us. Mike's a video game designer whose major credits include games in the Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, and Skylanders series; Patrick runs The Game Design Forum and has spent hundreds of hours reverse-engineering the design of hit games to see how they tick. Each is using their considerable knowledge and experience to teach valuable level design concepts.
- Level Design: Views and VistasMike Stout30 Oct 2015
- How to Design Levels With the "Super Mario World Method"Patrick Holleman12 Nov 2015
- The Super Mario World Method: Using Evolutions and ExpansionsPatrick Holleman10 Dec 2015
Shaders are useful in both 2D and 3D games, and in certain projects you'd have a hard time avoiding coding them at all. But they can often feel like a dark art, since coding them effectively requires a different mindset. Omar's excellent three-part Beginner's Guide demystifies them, making it easy to grasp the basics right away, and David and Daniel's tutorials break down more advanced uses of them in action.
- A Beginner's Guide to Coding Graphics ShadersOmar Shehata15 Apr 2015
- A Beginner's Guide to Coding Graphics Shaders: Part 2Omar Shehata16 Jun 2015
- A Beginner's Guide to Coding Graphics Shaders: Part 3Omar Shehata21 Jul 2015
- Building Shaders With Babylon.js and WebGL: Theory and ExamplesDavid Catuhe18 Jun 2015
- How to Use a Shader to Dynamically Swap a Sprite's ColorsDaniel Branicki25 Nov 2015
Pathfinding for 2D Platformers
Most game developers who have needed to calculate a path from A to B will be familiar with the A* pathfinding algorithm. (If you aren't, check out Patrick Lester's great introduction.) In this series, Daniel Branicki builds on A* to create a pathfinder that works for grid-based 2D platformers, and then adds a bunch of extra features.
- How to Adapt A* Pathfinding to a 2D Grid-Based Platformer: TheoryDaniel Branicki24 Aug 2015
- How to Adapt A* Pathfinding to a 2D Grid-Based Platformer: ImplementationDaniel Branicki25 Aug 2015
- A* Pathfinding for 2D Grid-Based Platformers: Adding One-Way PlatformsDaniel Branicki24 Sep 2015
- A* Pathfinding for 2D Grid-Based Platformers: Different Character SizesDaniel Branicki25 Sep 2015
- A* Pathfinding for 2D Grid-Based Platformers: Making a Bot Follow the PathDaniel Branicki29 Sep 2015
- A* Pathfinding for 2D Grid-Based Platformers: Ledge GrabbingDaniel Branicki29 Dec 2015
Inspiration for Your Next Game's Theme and Genre
Next time you're scratching your head trying to come up with an idea for a new game (whether it's a big project or a weekend game jam), get inspiration from one of Matthias's round-ups of underused game genres and themes.
- 9 Rare and Underused Game Genres Ready to ExploreMatthias Zarzecki13 Feb 2015
- 8 Classic Game Genres Ready to Explore AgainMatthias Zarzecki11 Mar 2015
- 9 More Inexplicably Underused Game Genres for Your Next ProjectMatthias Zarzecki11 Sep 2015
- Stuck for Your Next Game's Theme? Try These 6 IdeasMatthias Zarzecki19 Oct 2015
Creating a Game Using Steering Behaviours
Fernando has been writing tutorials about steering behaviours since 2012. Last year, he showed how we can use them to power the AI for a hockey game; this year, he broke down the game mechanics themselves, and gave us a revealing post-mortem about the whole project.
- Create a Hockey Game AI Using Steering Behaviors: Game MechanicsFernando Bevilacqua18 Feb 2015
- Hockeynamite - Development Post MortemFernando Bevilacqua29 May 2015
Learning a New Language or Platform
We have, admittedly, slowed down our efforts to collate the best resources for learning the many game development engines out there—perhaps this deserves renewed focus in 2016—but returning instructors Lee and Aditya did cover JavaFX and the very popular Pygame.
- Introduction to JavaFX for Game DevelopmentLee Stemkoski19 May 2015
- How to Learn PygameAditya Keerthi26 Jun 2015
While we've focused more on longer series of posts when it comes to coding games, for our game design posts we've mainly gone for one-off articles.
- Minimalism in Game Design: Examples, Tips, and IdeasSonny Bone20 Nov 2015
- Making AI Fun: When Good Enough is Good EnoughDarran Jamieson25 Mar 2015
- The Key Design Elements of RoguelikesAlexander King10 Apr 2015
- A Mini-Post on Post-Match Mini-AchievementsMatthias Zarzecki11 May 2015
- Let Them Play: Don’t Lock Your Players Out of PlayingDarran Jamieson21 Jan 2015
- 4 Ways to Teach Your Players How to Play Your GameDarran Jamieson31 Aug 2015
- What Makes Games Funny? A Look at Comedy and Humour in Video GamesMatthias Zarzecki30 Nov 2015
- How to Incorporate Satisfying Death Mechanics Into Your GameMatthias Zarzecki28 Jul 2015
- 5 Approaches to Crafting Systems in Games (And Where to Use Them)Alexander King13 Jan 2015
- Numbers Getting Bigger: What Are Incremental Games, and Why Are They Fun?Alexander King22 May 2015
These tutorials don't fit in any other category, but they're full of valuable advice nonetheless!
- How, Where, and When to Add Video Ads to Your Mobile GamesDaniel Williams09 Jan 2015
- 4 Simple Techniques for Optimizing Your Game's AudioJordan Reed31 Mar 2015
- How (And Why) to Write a Great Game Design DocumentAlex Sayenko24 Apr 2015
- Open Graph Stories: The Secret to Increasing Virality in Facebook GamesMatteo Sciutteri30 Apr 2015
- How to Fund Your Games By Creating and Selling Game AssetsOussama Bouanani24 Jul 2015
- Bringing Your Game to Life in 10 Simple StepsSonny Bone17 Mar 2015
See You In 2016!
In 2016 you can count on more level design tutorials from Mike and Patrick, more maths tutorials from Fernando, more shader tutorials from Omar, and more platformer tutorials from Daniel—and that's just what our regulars have lined up already! What would you like to see on the site? Have a great new year!