Ask @ZackBellGames:

Hey ZackyZack, So I have a Camera object following my Player and I have an issue which is driving me crazy. Basically somehow, all the code in the two objects (movement) are in the end step and the player seems to.. "shake"? I don't seem to have any clean solution except to move the cam in the plyr

Fran E. F.
Hmm, you might try changing the depth of the camera object, if you haven't tried that. I'm not sure if that *just* changes the draw order or if it changes the order that the objects call all of their event code. I put my player logic in the step, and the actual position updates in the end step along with cam object having its update in the end step. We should be on the same page...

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Do you think, in the following years, it will be increasingly easier or harder for solo, jack-of-all-trade devs to compete with teams of specialists? I'm thinking about it with games like Minecraft, Undertale, Papers please, Cave Story in mind.

I'm going to pick apart the question a bit... I don't think it will ever be necessary for solo devs to *compete* with teams of specialists. The best part about indiedev and business is that the smaller the team, the more niche you can be. A solo dev needs less money and less sales to be successful. That being said, for the forseeable future, making games will continue to become easier. People enjoy creating tools and engines for people who are incapable. The scene is incredibly supportive and will continue to grow and become more accessible. However, the bar is rising, as well. High quality is expected of everyone. The barrier of entry versus the barrier for success commercial titles is skewed a bit these days...

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How's it going zackaroo!!! It's been long since you dared to answer our questions. Hope everything is going damn good for you and them spatial boiiiiiis

Things are great! PAX was crazy and we got far more publisher interest than expected. Both for Fara and for HackyZack. That has been keeping me busy since I've never been given a situation with so many business and money-related options. We are also showing both games at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo NEXT MONTH.

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What are some features you'd like to see in future versions of GM? I'd like to see better array support (real multidimensional arrays), exceptions, and a few other things, myself.

I am using the future version of GM (I hope I'm allowed to say that...), so I feel like I can't openly comment on this without being influenced by what it does/doesn't have already. Once this engine is public, I can comment further.
I will say that one thing GM won't ever have is the ability to pass variables by reference, but damn, I would kill for that feature.

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I was just checking Ink's sourcecode... Why do you harcode the level selector? It seems like it could easily be done with drawing strings for each level name/number and all that

No reason, really. I think that's one of the best parts of gamedev and simple scripting languages. When I'm working quickly (INK went from inception to how the final product looks in 4 hours) I just do what comes to my mind first. I don't stop to think, plan, or architect elegant solutions. I have an idea and I want to see it come to life, as soon as possible.

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Do you know anything about publishers? I suck at PR and i really need one. I already have a game that i think is pretty neat, but i fear launching it and having no reception whatsoever. Any tip would help.

I am speaking to a ton of publishers right now, so this was good timing. If you have a game, all you need to do is reach out. Most publishers will want a build upfront. At the very least, a proof of concept. From there it's all about making a good deal with the publisher that is right for you. That is a bit more complex than it sounds.

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how do you organize what needs to be done for a game. Do you use a Trello like program for communication and organization, or something else in that vein?

We are somewhat free-form, but we do use Trello for task lists. We have also tried Asana. I am fairly old-fashioned and much prefer a paper checklist. The rest of the team sticks to Trello, but we go off course a bit when we're all spouting ideas on Slack, too.

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For today's question im going to keep dave on the shelf. It's about cartoons and the world! So, SU (Steven universe) is very big on introducing relationships between two women yet we see nothing about two men, i would love to know your toughts! <3

Ok, so I do love SU. I am not completely caught up, but I have seen a lot of progressive content thus far. I wouldn't exactly say that the show is "big on introducing relationships between two women", but it certainly has happened. The finale of the first season is almost entirely about this. They also explore gender. Steven and Connie fuse to make an androgynous character. The gems (though preferring a she/her pronouns) don't exactly specify gender. The creator of the show, Rebecca Sugar came out as bisexual. The three central characters (aside from Steven) are voiced by women of color. And so on. There is an imbalance in character diversity when it comes to gender and race, and I feel like Rebecca is doing her part. I don't think that she is purposefully trying to avoid gay male characters (it could happen in the future), and I feel that she just points out that maybe that *is* still missing. Maybe someone that resonates with that can do for gay men what she is trying to do for bisexual women.

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I don't enjoy any of my current ideas and because of this I'm not very passionate about them. Some people have told me to keep making these small games continue to learn from mistakes until I make it. Thoughts?

There are worse ideas. Doing anything is better than doing nothing. Resist the urge to remain idle as thoughts and ideas "come to you". They won't. I believe that creativity is very much like a muscle and that you will improve with practice, not just time alone. Learning by mistakes is a somewhat outdated thought process. Yes, if you make a mistake, you should attempt to not make it again. However, you don't need to go out into the world blindly. In most cases, someone has achieved what you wish to achieve (or something with a similar process). Learn from the mistakes of others rather than wasting time making them yourself. The internet makes it incredibly simple to follow people, learn from them, and absorb their process. It also makes it easier for you to connect with these people (like you have done with me).
1) maintain momentum
2) learn from the failures of others

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