Visualization Of Game Genre And Platforms Since 1975

A few months ago I briefly mentioned the market share of top gaming platforms based on worldwide sales. Earlier this week Nick Reed provided incite into not only the top gaming platforms based on titles released for them, but also the market share of genres based on released games. (Click on the graphs to view them full size.)

game genre market share released titles

Genre Market Share

gaming platforms market share released titles

Platform Market Share

gaming platforms market share released titles, 2 of 2

Y-Axis is total number of titles

The stats are probably not 100% accurate because the database they come from, VideoGameGeek, is user submitted. However, the charts should provide a good idea of the games released. It is also important to note that games which run under multiple platforms or are considered multi-genre games are counted multiple times under each appropriate category. The Android platform, and subsequent titles, were not taken into account. These charts do not account for popularity of each genre, only the number of titles released.

Credit: Source via Reddit.

Learning The Basics of Maya

Progress of modeling an airplane

Over the past few weeks I have been learning the basics of Maya with the Introduction to Maya 2013 course by Digital Tutors. Most of the course was review for me from Blender and Inventor, but it was very helpful learning where menus are located and the shortcuts in Maya. The course takes you from simple concept art (shown in the base layer in the image above) are teaches you the techniques to model and animate an airplane. I found it encouraging following along with the project and seeing my model progress.

I need to remember that I will not be using NURBS models with Unity 3d, but need to focus on polygonal modeling. This is where you may want to change your path if you want to model for movies as NURBS modeling will be perfectly acceptable in that field.

 

To review my knowledge of Maya and 3d modeling I decided to work on a small project. I remembered some old concept art I had of a sword and I had a go at modeling and texturing it.

fantasy sword with markings

Sword Concept Art

UVs layed out on sword

Unwrapping UVs on the sword for texturing

Concept For My First Game

While it’s hard not to follow what my heart wants to do and get started in on an epic RPG featuring multiple kingdoms and lands, I’m going to start small for my first game. This way I will be familiar with the process of taking a game to market before getting started on a larger project. That doesn’t mean I will create a lame and boring game though!

Target Audience

Choosing a target audience now may help with decisions later. For example, if my games is made for children, I probably wouldn’t want too lengthy of a story, if any. However I will be going after a mature audience who are casual gamers.

Quick Idea

My first game will be a survival shooter in a top down perspective and follow the story of a zoo who’s animals are escaping. The player will play the role of the zoo keeper and have to navigate each level shooting the hordes of attacking animals to ensure they don’t cause harm to the player or the nearby town. The game play will be highly story driven.

Storyboard

Above, I quickly laid out the general focus and idea of the game. Now I need to refine that idea further into a storyboard.

[insert game play sketches here]

Concept Art

Now is also a good time to make some concept art. I think the felt texture and basic color set will create a unique feel for the game and will complement the story in an ironic way. The basic cube shape and simple textures will keep modeling to a minimum. I do need to be careful that my game doesn’t cross the line where the felt characters are not visually appealing. They will have to be styled ironically but not have a super cute look, which wouldn’t be appealing to a mature audience!

concept art felt cube animals

Putting The Roap Map Together

I’ve figured out my goal, and the elements I need to get there. Now I have to figure out in which order I need to connect those dots.

I keep going over the plan again and again with good revisions each time. I am sure that, as I learn more, I will be making a lot of changes before the end of this project, but I need a good place to start.

Here is a road map which I have laid out for myself.

I would like to refine the concept of the game and write out the storyline that will accompany it. Once I have that down, I will know what to model. Next I will incorporate the modeled assets into the game with Unity. I will make the GUI (graphical user interface, the onscreen stuff like buttons and menus) in Photoshop and Illustrator. Lastly I will need music and sound effects in game, however I will worry about how I will create them once I get to that step.

Once I know that I can create a good game I will focus more on the business end of running a game studio.

Planning Where We’re Going

Today is when creating a game studio begins!

Yesterday I set my goal to build a successful game studio from the ground up. But how am I actually going to do that? There are a lots of different choices I need to make, so hang tight as we explore the video game universe at the very top level. If you are  a gamer — and I assume you are — you can probably skip over some of the sections below, but you might miss a few interesting facts along the way.

Choosing a Gaming Platform

PC (subcategories are Windows, Linux, and Mac), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Android, and iOS are all platforms on which your game can run.

The gaming platform (aka: console, or system) will not only determine your customer base but limit which game engines and programming languages can be used. I am familiar with Android mobile devices and can easily release to iOS with the right engine. Not to mention the platforms are a rapidly growing market with nearly a combined billion devices sold. All of those users are potential customers.

Choosing a Genre

Different game engines are best suited for different genres of gaming. So it is important to decide which genre your game will be before learning a new program/language.

There are a ton of different genres of videos games. A few examples include: roll playing games, first person shooters, real time strategy, point and click adventure.

The first game I will be releasing is a top-down shooter. I hope the shooter will be a easy first project. However I love a good fantasy RPG and hope to release one with a good story soon after. I want to learn a work flow that will can be used for both games.

Choosing Between 2D or 3D

Popular game engines such as Unity allow you to create games in both forms, so why should you figure out if your game will be 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional? And you’re probably still thinking how your game will work and stuff, right? But you really should decide before learning because it will effect your pipeline.

My top-down shooter will be a 3D game so I will learn everything I need to about modeling and animation.

If I choose to make a 2D game I would probably need to focus on learning Adobe Illustrator and other graphic creation programs.

Choosing A Game Engine

Unity 3D and Unreal Engine are two good 3D games engines that have cross-platform support for both Android and iOS. Meaning you can create the game once, and publish to both platforms with minimal changes.

Forums are full of arguments over which is better, and comparisons between the two. Truth is both are great engines and both have plenty of releases under their belt.

I will be going with Unity 3D because the community seems to be very helpful.

If you are creating a 2D game for cross-platform, take a look at GameSalad and GameMaker Studio, or code your game in HTML5 with PhoneGap or Titanium.

Modeling For a 3D Game

Maya 2013

I need to choose between 3Ds Max, Maya, and Blender to model the assets for my game. Much like choosing a game engine, this one is also based a lot on personal preference. My advice: choose one and stick with it.

I learned Autodesk Inventor (used for CAD) in 2008, and started learning Blender in 2009 but I had gotten frustrated with the workflow (note: Blender’s UI changed a lot in 2011 with version 2.5x).

Because of my familiarity with Autodesk products I will be using Maya.

There will be more software that I will add to my pipeline such as for texturing, but we’ll get to that on a later update.