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The Game Engine

“The Game Engine” is a podcast by game developers, for game developers. Each week, we’ll be looking at some news in the game development sphere, with an eye to using these to discuss the processes of game development itself.

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S2E8: Game Jams

With another Ludum Dare just passed, and game jams becoming more and more popular as a way for game developers of all skills to work on new original games, it’s high time we discussed the lovely jam of games. Join us as John and Andrew discuss tips and tricks we’ve learned from many mistakes and successes we’ve had in working in game jams. As always we’d love to read your feedback, questions or topic ideas, which you can fire our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear.

58mins

23 Sep 2015

Rank #1

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S2E7: Polish

Mythbusters proved to us all that you can indeed polish a turd, but just because it’s shiny doesn’t mean it works. With just two of the regulars, Andrew “bittman” Bittman and John “gritfish” Kane, we discuss the purpose and definition of polish and how it compares to the concept of juice. Particularly we have a lot of reference to Mike Bithell’s (from Thomas Was Alone fame) talk on polish which you can find here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1022080/Indie-Polish-Making-the-Most As always we’d love to read your feedback, questions or topic ideas, which you can fire our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear.

55mins

16 Sep 2015

Rank #2

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S2E6: Conveyance

Great apologies oh great listeners! We have been super out of it last few weeks for various reasons. Hopefully this post is a sign to return to our regular schedule. In this episode, we are joined by special guest Dan Graf, a regular from season 1, ex-Halfbrick designer and newly independent developer. He brings forward the topic of “Conveyance” – what techniques and ways can we inform a player about how the game works. As always we’d love to read your feedback, questions or topic ideas, which you can fire our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear.

1hr 7mins

26 Aug 2015

Rank #3

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S2E05: Featherweight

Another week, and another guest with a return of health meaning we get our first 4 person podcast of season 2! This week we are joined by Dylan Bevis from Featherweight Games to discuss their recent release of Skiing Yeti Mountain with a variety of topics including amount of content, advertising strategy, narrative, conceptualisation and charity. Links to topics discussed in the episode: Haven Expo – Videogame and Pop Culture Expo where John exhibited last week. Featherweight Games – Our guest’s game development company. As always we’d love to read your feedback, questions or topic ideas, which you can fire our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear.

54mins

9 Jul 2015

Rank #4

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S2E04: A Monstrous Guest

Another week, another format. This week, we’ve got guest Kim Brebach of Secret Base Games in to chat about his game Monstrous, a card game which you can find on Kickstarter right now! Along the way, we chat about the design process, names and how to use ‘Monstrous’ in a post title. You can find it at monstrousgame.com. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode. Send them our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear.

1hr 3mins

25 Jun 2015

Rank #5

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S2E03: Game Design Challenge

This week, we do something a little different: each of the Game Engine hosts challenge the other two to a design challenge. The result: surprisingly deep discussions of 3 very different aspects of game design. Some references, made without context: The Wattam trailer from E3 The volunteer’s dilemma Our listener question for this week’s topic is also a design challenge: “How would you make Portal into a competitive multiplayer game?” Send answers and, as always, your feedback, questions or topic ideas, our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear.

52mins

18 Jun 2015

Rank #6

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S2E02: Architecture

Space. The final frontier. This is not that sort of space. Rather, it is the construction of space we deal with in physical and digital form. Architecture looks at designing and constructing physical structures; a quite similar concept to games actually whilst additionally factoring majorly into Level Design. For Episode 2 of Season 2, Andrew Bittman, Paul Sztajer + John Kane discuss the topic of Architecture in another of our “test formats”: the topic-format. Following are links to some of the topics that were highlighted in discussion: Sunset by Tale of Tales – digital architecture creating a believable space. Laser Harp at Vivid Sydney – concerns and understanding of physical space. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School – an easy-read introduction to architecture. Our listener question for this week’s topic is: “What games demonstrate amazing architecture and why?” Send answers and, as always, your feedback, questions or topic ideas, our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear.

57mins

11 Jun 2015

Rank #7

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S2E01: Blind Luck

We’re back again, and about time too. And this time – it’s season 2! Season 2 delivers fresher voices and minds of old hats Paul Sztajer and Andrew Bittman, as well as new voice and new mind John Kane. Hiatus explanations notwithstanding, Episode 1 of Season 2 is one of a few format/style trials we’ll be exploring at the early stage of our return. As a news focused episode, Episode 1 discusses: First and foremost, where have we been!? The difficulty and risks of trying to work on a unique idea (What to do when you’re blindsided) John compares his game Mallow Drops to Zuki’s Quest. Testing for Mobile Development, and branding developers (Play Store to add Developer Pages, A/B app listings, and more) Thank you to SAE Sydney for the recording space and gear. It’s been a long time, but we’d love to hear your feedback, questions or topic ideas, which you can throw our way via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed.

49mins

3 Jun 2015

Rank #8

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#61: Crafting Towncraft – The Construction of an iPad Hit

Paul and Andrew are joined by the creators of local iPad hit Towncraft for an in-depth discussion of its origins, development and marketing. Two years ago, brothers Rohan and Leigh Harris set out to build a tablet game that harked back to the isometric wonders of the early 90s. Recently, they hit number two in the Australian iPad charts. What manner of journey filled the space in between? What was easy? What was hard? And can you truly make money on iOS without microtransactions? Listen, and ye shall be informed. Bonus topic: the great Steam Greenlighting, and the implications thereof. Wherein Rohan says exactly what Saul would have said if he was there, except much more eloquently. As always, thanks to Studio Ripple for our intro/outro music, and to SAE for the recording space and gear. Send questions and topic ideas to us via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed.

58mins

12 Sep 2013

Rank #9

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#60: Wordwatching – Gone Home and Papers Please

For their discussion of two of the most interesting games of the year thus far – Papers Please and Gone Home – Saul, Paul and Andrew are joined by the enigmatic Tim Stobo (formally of Team Bondi and now of hard-to-articulate indie studio Quest’s End Games). Both games share a focus on minutiae and involve lots of reading, but what is it that makes each of them a uniquely special experience? Is Papers Please fun, or an interesting-but-tedious chore? Does Gone Home break if you go off the beaten path? All this and more examined in anxious detail in this week’s episode. Our bonus topic this time around is GoG’s answer to Steam Greenlight – an indie-publishing service that makes up for in interesting promises what it lacks in catchy names (it doesn’t appear to have one at all). As always, thanks to Studio Ripple for our intro/outro music, and to SAE for the recording space and gear. Send questions and topic ideas to us via Facebook, Twitter or email. Subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed.

48mins

25 Aug 2013

Rank #10