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11. June 2015

 

Hello All, just a quick state of the union of what’s going on at GameFromScratch.com, what’s in the pipeline for the near future and announcing an exciting (IMHO at least) change in our Patreon campaign.

 

New Perks for Patreon Backers

 

GameFromScratch.com somewhat recently launched a Patreon campaign.  Instead of splitting time between writing books to support myself financially and writing new content for GameFromScratch.com, I hope to simply write book sized tutorials for GameFromScratch.com to benefit the biggest audience possible.  The challenge I had when launching Patreon was how to support and thank my backers, but not alienate site readers.  I took the initial approach of doing, well… nothing.  Supporting GFS on Patreon got you a gigantic bucketload of my gratitude ( thanks by the way! ) and that’s about it…  This struck me as wrong.  On the other hand, as I just said, I did not want to alienate or feel like I was pressuring regular GFS readers ( thanks by the way! ).  I think however I have found two good solutions.

 

Ebooks for Backers.

 

Starting with the new MonoGame series I have just started, I will be compiling it as a book as I go.  Don’t worry, all of this content will be available as traditional blog and video posts as you are already used to from GFS.  I will also be making a version available for, formatted and containing content appropriate to, ebook formats.  As the series progress, I will make available books versions in at least PDF format, as well as other popular ebook formats when possible.   Then periodically I will give the entire collection the “book treatment”.  This means an updated index, table of contents, etc.  I will also make a GitHub repository with all of the source examples organized by chapter available as well.  Unlike a traditional or published book however, I will be able to create constant iterations and adjustments as I go! 

 

I also intend to go back and give a few previous tutorial series the ebook treatment, at least ones that make sense.  This means at least initially compiling existing series, such as the Godot text based tutorials, into a single ebook format.  Then give it a second round of polish, tasks like formatting code samples for printed page sizes, replacing animations with static pictures and appropriate descriptions, etc.  Then finally compiling the table of contents, indices, etc.

 

The MonoGame e-book will be released as I work on the series, while I should hopefully start getting a few existing series in rough book form very soon.  I will probably self publish the results of this effort when I am finished but the results will always be available to backers and backers can download them as they are being written!

 

Voting on GameFromScratch’s future content


Right now the content on GameFromScratch.com is basically chosen more or less at random.  When deciding what to cover next I look at a couple things:

  • is this topic about game development?
  • am I interested in this topic?
  • would other developers be interested in this topic?
  • how good is the existing coverage? (This is why I never touched on SDL for example)
  • is it affordable to the average developer?
  • would it be fun?

 

Really, that’s about it, those are the driving factors when I decide what to work on.  Some topics I get as email, tweets or comment suggestions.  Some I get from feedback on existing projects.  Some I just get stuck in my head when trying to sleep and have to get up and start if I ever want to sleep again.

 

At any given time, there are generally half a dozen projects on the go at GameFromScratch.com, and another 30 or so in the back of my mind ruining my sleeping habits.  Sadly there is only so much time in the day, so difficult choices need to be made.

 

Going forward I think I will democratize the process of deciding what will be the next major project on GFS.  I will compile a top 5 or so list of projects I am thinking of working on and put it to a vote.  Don’t worry, I will still listen to all suggestions and feedback from every single reader of GFS.  It’s just ultimately going to be backers deciding which projects they want me to focus on next.  I guess I should point out, at this point in time I have absolutely no idea on how to actually do this...

 

I’d like to think that at the end of the day GameFromScratch provides as much ( or hopefully many times more ) great content as a single annual book purchase.  If you agree, hopefully you will consider backing us on Patreon.  My goal is to keep the ultimate experience at GFS the same for everybody, but provide a little extra reward for supporters.  I hope this proposal accomplishes that.  Of course, nothing is set in stone, so your feedback is certainly appreciated!

 

To existing backers, thank you so much for your support and expect to start getting ebook notices shortly.

 

GameFromScratch State of the Union

So, with all of that said, here is a quick summary of the things currently underway or coming soon at GameFromScratch.com:

 

Priority Projects:

  • Finish the Unreal 2D Tutorial Series ( Audio, AI, Putting it all Together )
  • Create the Unity 5 version of the same tutorial series (complete 2D gamedev)
  • MonoGame end to end tutorial series
  • Compiling previous series into ebook form (see above)

 

Day to Day ongoing projects:

  • Additional tutorials for existing series ( Godot, LibGDX, Blender, etc )
  • News and reviews on Gamedev topics as they occur
  • Continue adding “Closer Look at” game engine guides

 

Ideas bouncing around in my skull:

  • A new C++ game tutorial or update of the SFML series
  • An end to end RPG series ( massive undertaking, but seriously lacking in the world )
  • Updating the GameFromScratch “I Want to be a Game Developer” post to reflect changes in the last 4 years
  • Battle of the C# Game Engines 
  • A 0-day beginner learn programming via game development series (probably with Lua)
  • More programmer friendly art tutorials ( vector graphics, 3D )
  • 3D game math primer ( writing about math in plain English is really really really hard though )
  • Intro to AI series ( MinMax, A-Star, etc )
  • Updated 2D and 3D engine compilation and comparison
  • A complete game from scratch ( coming full circle to the sites name and original purpose! )
  • Various shorter tutorial series on smaller or slightly less popular game engines
  • Half a hundred other things…

 

Of course you the readers are the most important voice in this matter.  So if there is something you really want to see me cover, or really DONT want to see me cover, let me know!

 

Cheers and Thanks!

Mike

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