Brace yourselves. Eradication of the forums is coming.
Luckily for you guys, I saw this day coming 3 years ago, and so I had already jumped ship and started exploring other sites, meeting new people ( including the CEO of GamersFirst ) and brushing up on my promotion skills, mainly video editing and Photoshop.
Contrary to popular belief, the site changes are not going to be detrimental to you. They are going to help you. They are going to force you to stop living under the BYOND rock and utilize the abundance of other sites and resources available to you. There's a vast internet out there, and you've been missing out on it. Believe it. Now here is my advice:
1. Get To Know People: Since you're going to be migrating to new sties, you're going to be around totally new sets of people. Your first priority should be to get to know these people, and help them with their games by giving them feedback, retweeting their games, liking on FB, etc. No one likes a douchebag who just rolls into a site, and their very first post is "Yo, I just made a game, go buy it. Kbai." Especially Reddit. Only posting and participating in content that revolves around you is the best way to get banned from Reddit. Besides, when the time comes for you to upload your game, all those people you helped will feel more obligated to return the favor. That's called free promotion - something every entrepreneur wants ( and needs ). They might also even donate to your Kickstarter endeavors.
2. Portfolio: I'm mostly a lone wolf. I have never worked on a game with someone else before. So I don't necessarily need a portfolio. But a lot of you here are not jacks of all trades and so you work in teams. Outside of BYOND, where there are people taking development far more seriously, they are going to want either a resume or a portfolio before you join their team. They might even have you sign contracts. They aren't the 11 year olds we have on this site, who made classified ads saying "i ned 1 coder an 1 iconer an 1 hubber". No, these are people actually trying to make a profit and a name for themselves, and they aren't screwing around. Be prepared to have examples of your work, using the sites below:
Programmers - Usually if you're a programmer, linking to the games that have your name somewhere in the credits as the programmer is good enough. You don't need to have code examples, because anyone can go to pastebin and retrieve a snippet of code and claim its theirs.
Artists - If you're an artist and you still don't have a deviantart profile, get one. Also, since most of us here are pixel artists, I'll go ahead and mention voxel art as well since that seems to still be popular. I recently came across a program called MagicaVoxel that I've been having a ton of fun with. In a nutshell, you can draw something in Microsoft Paint, save it as a .png, and then drag it into the program and it becomes 3-dimensional voxel art, where you can then add shadow effects, scale and sculpt the model, etc. Or of course you could just entirely draw your art within the program. It's pretty awesome. Also, this is a no-brainer but you should have Photoshop and Pyxel Edit on your computer.
Music - If composing is your thing, SoundCloud is the place to be. Make a name for yourself there, because some developers actually go to SoundCloud specifically so they can find someone to recruit to make music for their games. Of course you could alternatively just upload your music to YouTube or Freesound.
Community Managers - For those of you who like to be GMs and interact with the playerbase and customers on social networks and via videos, then you need to like, be on every single social network. You should know your way around Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Even if you're not trying to be a community manager, you should have a presence on at least 2 of those sites because people need ways to interact with you.
Lone Wolf - So you're like me, eh? You work alone. I got some bad news for you: finishing the game is just half the battle. Get ready for an entirely new battle called "promoting your game". It can get tiring. One of the things I like to get out of the way quickly is a short trailer, which I use Sony Vegas and FRAPS for. Here is the one I made for my game Tower20. I created the game in Construct a few months back. It's my favorite engine at this point ( DM being my 2nd favorite ) and it's community is really decent.
After you get the trailer out of the way, get it on YouTube, and tweet it to your buddies or anyone else you think needs to see it. Now you need to get the game onto actual game websites, here are some of the sites I used:
Google Play Store - I guess if you're making a mobile game this needs to be your first stop. Google may or may not ask for a state ID so be ready to take a picture of that and send it to them. They also want you to have a PayPal/bank account/whatever you use to buy and sell online so go ahead and set that up ahead of time. Also, take note of the screenshots. You will be doing a LOT of screenshots, like holy crap. To make a long story short, every site has different media size requirements, so in other words, one site will want your banner and logo to be 200x200 pixels, but then another site says it needs to be 500x300, so be prepared to be using Photoshop to resize and edit your media all day long once you reach this phase.
Steam Greenlight - NEStalgia took this route, and it worked out for them. This is something you'll need to talk to Tom about because iirc, Tom needed to do a bunch of stuff before NEStalgia actually got put onto the store.
Kongregate - This was my first attempt at a game in Construct, and I decided to go with a browser game. BTW, don't bother trying to beat this game, I made it ridiculously hard which is probably why it got such poor ratings, lol. Kongregate's pretty cool, and may be a site we can upload BYOND games to in the near future, however I'm not sure as I know next to nothing about the web client. Tom or Lummox would have to clarify this.
GameJolt - A neat site, easy to use and upload projects. It also has a browser based chat room where you can meet some of the regulars.
Itch.io - I especially like itch.io because whoever runs their Twitter actually retweeted my game, so that was pretty nice.
IndieGames - You can email these guys directly ( there email is over to the right ) and if they like your game they may post it.
PixelProspector - Has a list of some more sites, and a list of the most popular engines.
Damn that was a lot of typing. Let me catch my breath real quick.
After your game is on actual sites, you're going to need your own site for it as well. Just a cool place you can call home. Tumblr and Wordpress are decent in that regard. Find a decent development blog style template and just upload your games content onto it. You can imbed Paypal buttons, videos, all that good stuff to it. You may or may not need a forum, but if so, PHPBB seems to be used a lot, so I'm assuming it's good. If you are going to take the harder route and make your site from scratch, GoDaddy has been around for quite a while, and I've personally used HostGator for my domain names and hosting and all that good crap. If for some reason you're a Google fan-girl, you can check out their domain options as well, but it's in beta and invite only.
I'm not much of a programming fanatic ( which is why I prefer programs like Construct ) and so when it comes to web design I also like to avoid programming ( WTF EMPIREZ HTML IS A MARKUP LANGUAGE NOT A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE, screw you, it's all the same to me ) , and I've found Adobe Muse to be useful in that regard. It's even simpler than Dreamweaver was back when I had to use it in my 10th grade web design class. They've dropped support for 32 bit operating systems though so make sure you have 64 bit before buying the latest version of it.
The Rest Of You - So you're not really talented in any area of gaming? Well, you can always try being a games journalist. However, there's a lot of competition for the most visited sites out there ( IGN, Polygon, Kotaku, etc. ) so you may want to aim to get into one of the smaller MMO sites ( MMOBomb is recruiting ). Set up a blog ASAP, and then just talk about games every chance you get, because this will be your portfolio. Try to do some volunteer work for actual sites too. When you apply for a gaming journalist position they will always ask to see articles you've already written so make sure you have plenty to link them to.
I feel like even after typing this many words I'm forgetting to mention something, but I think this covers the gist of it. Forums disappearing aren't the end of the world - in fact everything I've seen elsewhere is more appealing so I think you guys will enjoy it.
As for me, my attention span doesn't allow me to create large games. The only reason I was able to finish the games I linked here were because I was able to make them in like 3 days. I'm also bored with making small 2D games in general - the next time I do anything game development related, it'll be in a team and on a larger, 3D project. I've been doing a lot of writing recently ( something I've always been better at than making games ) and working on an interactive web novel, similar to the Braum promo over at League of Legends. When I first saw this, I was really intrigued and wanted to transfer the novel I was writing into an interactive browser experience just like that. Writing goes well with my short attention span, because I can divide work into chapters and get a feeling of accomplishment after each chapter is completed, whereas in game development I'm usually all over the place and only get satisfaction once the game is 100% finished ( and even once it's complete, it's actually not complete because you have to keep adding new content and fixing the bugs that come along with it ).
So a year from now when you guys hear about an awesome new browser-based novel, click on it, because it's probably going to be mine. :D
Oct 17 2014, 11:29 am (Edited on Oct 17 2014, 1:50 pm)