Anyone Can Make Beautiful Games

People Don’t Play Ugly Games

There are a thousand reasons to make beautiful games. The most noble reasons could be about creating meaningful experiences, developing atmosphere, or making the world a more beautiful place—but let’s face it: people don’t play ugly games. If art isn’t your thing, aspirations of beauty are the least of your concerns.

Anyone can make beautiful games.

I’m talking to you, programmers. You can pay an artist as much as you want, but if you do not understand beauty your game will be ugly. Fortunately, there’s no magic talent or personality required to make beautiful games—just skills. Anyone can learn them.

Beautiful Banner

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Developer Diary #9 — Finalizing


Over the last couple weeks I have switched gears from small portal games back onto Precarious Potions. I am doing the difficult but rewarding work of polishing, tying loose ends, and UI finalizing. It’s dull work but I am excited to see what was once a promising prototype transform into a complete game.

Win Screen

This is my third attempt at a winning screen. So worth the revision.

My todo list is shrinking rapidly these days. I will be doing a lot of art over the next few weeks for story illustrations, revising or removing levels which are not up to par, and including menu-related events for the end of the game, rating requests, etc.

Generally I am not a fan of In-App Purchases. They are usually lazy and often quite evil. Working in HTML5 is pushing me toward using this method, however. I want Precarious Potions to be free on the web and in App Stores, but I don’t want it covered in ads. Fortunately I have had some really pleasant In-App Purchase experiences lately, so I am going to try to model what I saw by offering extra content for paying users. The goal is to have a completely finished and whole experience (for free), which is extended for a buck. What users receive for their money should feel worth the investment. This will probably mean more levels, but it makes far more sense than putting distracting ads into the game flow.

I am wide open to suggestions about this approach, since I am still inexperienced with it. Feel free to leave a comment with thoughts, suggestions, and experience. It’s encouraging to know what is palatable to others in the sticky mess of monetization.