Writing Tutorials for GameDevTuts+

Tuts+Image

Last November I found my way to the website GameDevTuts+, a blog designed for budding Game Developers to learn the skills they need to start making games. I really liked what they were trying to do, and not longer after I started following them they sent out a call for writers. With my experience as an instructor at Technology and Game Design camps, and my brief experience writing for another similar website, I thought it would be a good fit for me and sent in an application.

 Soon after I applied, I got a reply and started writing for the site. Since then I have written a total of 6 articles and am planning on doing many more. It has been a very rewarding experience overall. Not only have I been able to work on my writing skills, but I’ve also gotten the chance to explore a number of tools I never would have used otherwise. On top of that, working with the other writers on the site and the editor of the site has shown me areas where I can improve and has given me a lot of inspiration to keep learning new things.

Below, you will find a link to all of the articles I’ve done so far, and a brief description of what each article was about.

How to Learn UDK

This was a relatively simple article and was just meant to introduce readers to UDK and what it could be used for. Most of this article was written based on previous experience and knowledge and it didn’t require me to go too far out of my comfort zone or explore many new topics. On top of that, since it wasn’t really a tutorial, and was more of a primer, it was pretty simple to write. It also helped that I taught UDK a couple of times at the camps I work at during the summer. From that experience I was able to learn what most new users of UDK are looking for, and it gave me a good place to start looking for content for this article.

Developing Starcraft 2 Melee Maps – Part 1, Part 2

These two articles were a lot of fun to write. The first article focused on the mechanics of Starcraft 2 and designing with them in mind, and the second one focused on aesthetic design and how to make a map visually interesting. I had spent time working with Starcraft 2 before, but I had never really tried developing a standard Melee map since I don’t play the multiplayer very much. I did a lot of research into the subject and spent a couple hours in the multiplayer to see if I could gain a stronger understanding of it. While some of what I learned seemed obvious, such as the importance of symmetry and balance, I still learned a lot about the game including the importance of positioning for Expansion Bases, and how to effectively implement Xel’Naga Towers.

Level Design for Portal 2 – Part 1, Part 2

This two-part series was very similar to my Starcraft 2 series. For these articles I spent the first article discussing the ideas that go into designing a Portal level and how to come up with an idea for a level,and the second article acted as a step-by-step guide to making a Portal 2 level. I wish I had done a little bit more prep-work for this article since this was one of my first times working with the editor, but in the end I still think the articles turned out well. The level I made also came out okay, but in all likelihood I will come back to the level at some point and continue developing it with knowledge I gained since the article was published.

3D Art for Games

This article was a lot of fun to write because it gave me a chance to discuss many of the different things I’ve learned about 3D over the years, and how they impact games. I also had the opportunity to look into the ways different games achieve 3D effects, and how models are used on a technical level within a game-engine. One of my favorite topics I went over in this article is how bones on a model can be used as sockets for projectiles, particle effects, or equipment on characters, and looking further into that process was a lot of fun.

So far that’s all I have written for the site but I am currently working on another series of articles and have one or two smaller articles in the pipeline waiting to be written. on top of that, since I’m currently at GDC 2013, I’m sure I will have loads of inspiration for more articles soon. I will continue updating my blog with new articles and will soon make a page that is just a list of the articles and what they were about so be on the lookout for that.

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