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Flyover Indies Podcast: Game Making in Kansas City

Flyover Indies Podcast: Game Making in Kansas City

By Flyover Indies Podcast
Video game developers in Kansas City talk about the games they are making and the games they are playing. Join us every two weeks to discuss video game development topics.

Flyover Indies is collection of Kansas City area game developers. We use all types of engines (Unity, Gadot, GameMaker Studio, etc) and are passionate about all types of genres (platformers, puzzle games, simulation games, etc).

Our rotating cast of hosts include Caleb J, Ross, Charlotte Trible, Jo Hanna, and many more from the Flyover Indies Discord.

Play some of our games here: itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies
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I Hope you Don’t Like Gameplay

Flyover Indies Podcast: Game Making in Kansas City

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Video Game Music is Pretty Damn Great
Today we talk about that stuff that goes in your ears when you play a video game. No, not the wet fingers of an annoyingly immature roommate or little brother (though, in this case I’m pretending both the immature roommate and the little brother are named Wily, so getting a “wet Willy” at least makes some kind of sense). No, we are talking about video game music! Join us as we talk about the music we’re listening to and the game music we love. Last, but not least, join us in a video game music listening party of sorts as we listen to four tracks created by the Flyover Indies community, which can be listened to as part of the full Flyover Dailies 2021 album, available here: https://flyoverindies.bandcamp.com/album/flyover-dailies-2021 The sounds we mentioned are: Chicory: A Colorful Tale, by Lena Raine (also known for Celeste, Minecraft, and Build Wars 2) Hadestown, both the concept album and the original cast recording Paradise Killer, soundtrack Horizon Forbidden West The Flyover Indies songs and song-makers we mentioned are: A Walk in the Moss (Day 1), Nash High A Drive Through the Autumn Hills in 1985, Frazier Krohn Moon Boots, Gage Bradley Leitmotif (Day 2), Casey Young (Element Cy) The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Gage Bradley (@DrumGadget_433) - member of Flyover Indies, musician, and game developer Nash High (@nash_high) - member of Flyover Indies, musician, and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross.com / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and game developer If you have any comments to make on this or any Flyover Indies Podcast episode, feel free to Tweet us @Flyoverindies or email us at contact@flyoverindies.party. We might just read your tweets or emails in a future episode. Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Credits Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com) Subscribe to the Flyover Indies Podcast: Spotify Apple Podcasts Stitcher Google Podcasts More places to subscribe
01:15:59
March 13, 2022
We Talk Video Game Controls
Video games are input/output systems, but unlike other forms of software, video games aren’t coded for efficiency. Rather, they want players to interact in a variety of ways to create a variety of outputs to maintain a feedback loop that aims to entertain rather than aims to solve a single, rote need. So, inputs, both the physical mechanisms and the button actions, are an incredibly important aspect of video games. Join us as we spend some time discussing video game controls. The games we mentioned are: Typing of the Dead Bucking Bruno Mario Teaches Typing Overcooked 2 Animal Crossing: New Horizons The game-making lessons we learned are: Button combos don’t have to be complicated if the designers leverage “domains of knowledge” (also mentioned: Caleb’s video, “Button Combinations Should Be Complicated! Why Aren't They? (Video Game Controls)” “input recycling”... “input pairing”...? Almost every virtual action in the game shares a physical input with another virtual action (Overcooked 2) Introducing more complex controls over time (Animal Crossing New Horizons) The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Gage Bradley (@DrumGadget_433) - member of Flyover Indies, musician, and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross.com / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and game developer If you have any comments to make on this or any Flyover Indies Podcast episode, feel free to Tweet us @Flyoverindies or email us at contact@flyoverindies.party. We might just read your tweets or emails in a future episode. Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Credits Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com) Subscribe to the Flyover Indies Podcast: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/520Gv2fhNb5riQS0wlT0fR Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/flyover-indies-podcast-game-making-in-kansas-city/id1597656689 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/flyover-indies-podcast-game-making-in-kansas-city Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy83MmY0ODAxOC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw More places to subscribe: https://anchor.fm/flyover-indies
01:22:27
February 27, 2022
Solve a puzzle with cats and laser pointers? We talk Brainstorming!!!
In this magical episode of the Flyover Indies Podcast, we discuss brainstorming. Brainstorming is an incredibly valuable tool for generating ideas, bonding teams, and creating motivation. Specifically with game development, brainstorming is a wonderful way to generate lots of verbs and mechanics for a game…which we do LIVE at the end of this episode. So, stay tuned through to the end to learn lots of cool ways to solve puzzles with lasers and cats. Rules for brainstorming: https://www.ideou.com/blogs/inspiration/7-simple-rules-of-brainstorming Haakon Faste and Eric Paulos are the creators of the grid-style brainstorming technique that Caleb mentioned. Good luck finding examples online though. I (Caleb) couldn’t find any. The games we mentioned are: Unpacking Shin Megami Tensi 5 Mass Effect 2 The game-making lessons we mentioned are: Lack of exposition + personal artifacts = introspective environmental storytelling. Gamifying the mundane. Anywhere decisions can be made (ex: where to place physical items in a room) a game can be born. (Unpacking). Shout out to Ian Bogost’s “How to do Things with Video Games.” All characterization is with dialog, conversations with demons. Fiction writing rule: Dialog, not exposition, makes for the best characters. Show don't tell. This game is a reminder that mechanics alone don't need to bear the weight of a game alone; the "what a crazy character that is" appeal can support and, maybe even, still the show. (Shin Megami Tensei 5) Obligation is inherently less motivating than discovery. Obligation lacks personal investment. (Mass Effect 2) The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Gage Bradley (@DrumGadget_433) - member of Flyover Indies, musician, and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross.com / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and game developer If you have any comments to make on this or any Flyover Indies Podcast episode, feel free to Tweet us @Flyoverindies or email us at contact@flyoverindies.party. We might just read your tweets or emails in a future episode. Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Credits Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com)
01:17:53
February 12, 2022
What is Procedural Generation and How Can We Get Caleb to Not Hate it?
Procedural generation is a term often cited by game fans and game critics in reference to a single thing: level generation. But procedural generation is so much more than just random generation of levels. In fact, you likely use some form of procedural generation in your own game development without even realizing it. We discuss L Systems, level generation using procedural generation, random variation, Perlin noise, Wave Function Collapse, and other cool things that I (Caleb) definitely, for reals knew about before this episode…for real…honestly…do you believe me? Also, this episode features a special appearance by Nash’s bird! At the end of the episode, we play another round of Caleb’s Evil Trivia Challenge. The current score is tied at 2 points for Caleb and 2 points for the players. Who will take the lead? Listen to find out. The games we mentioned are: Valheim Chess NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… The game-making lessons we learned are: Music both directs and enhances the mood. Chill must support a chill atmosphere but also it provides feedback to the player that this is a game (or section of a game) that should allow for chilling out. Lack of enemies alone doesn’t signify a conflict-free scenario. (Valheim) Pawns as a terrain generator. Live environment manipulation disguised as offensive actions. (Chess) Character movement is the most important part of games in which moving a character is central to the experience. Duh, right? I’ll be refining movement in my next game for a very long time before moving on. This means the environment and puzzles I create will be anticipating the good movement, rather than possibly having been built with sub-par (ie, only suitable) movement in mind. (NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…) Mentioned Resources: Spelunky (book): https://bossfightbooks.com/products/spelunky-by-derek-yu Tracer (game): https://espiongames.itch.io/tracer Sprouts (game): https://espiongames.itch.io/sprouts Transmutations (game): https://nashhigh.itch.io/transmutations The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Nash High (@nash_high) - member of Flyover Indies, musician, and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and game developer If you have any comments to make on this or any Flyover Indies Podcast episode, feel free to Tweet us @Flyoverindies or email us at contact@flyoverindies.party. We might just read your tweets or emails in a future episode. Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Credits Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com)
01:14:26
January 30, 2022
Whatcha’ Makin’? We Talk Tracer: a Neon, Heart Pounding, Endless Arcade Racer!
In this very special episode of the Flyover Indies Podcast, we chat with Flyover Indies co-founder Charlotte Trible about her game Tracer, a neon, heart pounding, endless arcade racer! This is the first in what we hope will be a series of episodes in which we ask Kansas City area game developers Whatcha’ Makin’? Stick around through the end to hear the latest round of the on-going trivia game in which the host, Caleb, competes against the co-host for world trivia domination. The score is currently: Players 2, Caleb 1. Will Caleb get his second point? Or will the co-host expand the lead? Play Tracer here: https://espiongames.itch.io/tracer Watch The Making of Outer Wilds - Documentary (Noclip) timestamped to the relevant discussion regarding floating point errors: https://youtu.be/LbY0mBXKKT0?t=1906 Read the Tracer dev log here: https://espiongames.itch.io/tracer/devlog including the “How to Win at Tracer” guide that we discussed briefly in the episode. The games we mentioned are: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS) Sackboy: a Big Adventure (PS4) Tracer (Charlotte’s game). Play it here: https://espiongames.itch.io/tracer The game-making lessons we mentioned are: Don’t waste the player’s time. A novel input system cannot survive on novelty alone; it MUST serve good gameplay. Otherwise, the forced input falls from delightful to frustration (Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask) Movement in a platformer MUST feel great above all else. If a game has secrets to find via exploration, that exploration had better not suck. (Sackboy: a Big Adventure) Visuals afford function. Therefore, nothing is ever only cosmetic. If a character looks tall and fat, the player expects the movement to be slow. If a character is short and thin, the player expects the movement to be quick and nimble (Sackboy: a Big Adventure) Is there a formula for determining the proper melee attack range for a character based on character speed and height? There should be. (Sackboy: a Big Adventure) The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and game developer If you have any comments to make on this or any Flyover Indies Podcast episode, feel free to Tweet us @Flyoverindies or email us at contact@flyoverindies.party. We might just read your tweets or emails in a future episode. Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Credits Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com) Subscribe to the Flyover Indies Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and many others. Links available here: https://anchor.fm/flyover-indies
01:17:07
January 16, 2022
Don’t Fight Your Tools! Light-Bulb Moments in Game Dev
Making games is hard. Hard things require motivation to, over time, sand to smooth easiness. That sanding journey is often landmarked by epiphanies, sudden moments of enlightenment, and general ah ha moments. These are what we talk about on this episode of The Flyover Indies Podcast. Stick around through the end to hear the latest round of the on-going trivia game in which the host, Caleb, competes against the co-hosts for world trivia domination. The score is currently: Players 2, Caleb 0. Will Caleb get his first point? Or will the co-hosts continue to dominate? Listen in as we talk about our game development “ah ha” moments, including: The importance of commenting even as a solo dev Self-documenting/readable code The importance of having fun as part of the learning & development process Shaders are black magic Unity events are suuuuper useful The absolute need to LEARN THE TOOLS YOU USE and… DO NOT FIGHT those tools your learned to use (even if fighting the tools feels like a “neat old’ fashioned way to do it,” as Jo so eloquently states) Stick around through the end for the next round in our ongoing trivia game. The score is Players 2, Host 0. It seems we need to get at some harder questions in the rotation. Will the players continue their winning streak, or will the host play hardball? The games we mentioned are: Beast Breaker Kirby’s Dream Course Yoku’s Island Express Age of Empires 4 Manifold Garden Tracer (Charlotte’s game). Play it here: https://espiongames.itch.io/tracer The game-making lessons we mentioned are: When genre-blending, a game must be willing to bend the conventions of a genre in order to make the game more fun (Beast Breaker) The player must know why they’ve been punished (Age of Empires 4) The very first problem that the player needs to solve is critically important. The player’s mental model will wrap around that first problem, and adapting differently will be difficult (Manifold Garden) The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Jo Hanna (https://www.jovideogameshanna.com) - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and game developer Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Credits Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com)
01:14:31
December 26, 2021
I Hope you Don’t Like Gameplay
In this second episode of the world famous Flyover Indies Podcast, three Kansas City area indie game developers chat about what we’re playing, what we’re learning, and what we’re making. Get to know Gage, Charlotte, and Caleb as we talk about why we choose to make the kinds of games that we make. Stick around until the end of the episode to hear team GagChar/CharGage battle it out with the Trivia Master in a game of Exception Handling. Will the players continue their destruction of the Evil Trivia Master Caleb J. Ross’ ego to grow their lead or will Caleb land his first point. The games we mentioned are: Deathloop Dishonored series Super Auto Pets Ori and the Blind Forest Ori and the Will of the Wisps Sprouts (Play here: https://espiongames.itch.io/sprouts) The game-making lessons we mentioned are: Re-use of levels doesn’t have to be boring. Narrative, along with day segments, means each environment feels very different despite their repetition. (Death Loop). Mentioned: Dishonored 2 Devs Explain the Clockwork Mansion. Simplicity can be deceiving. Simplicity doesn’t mean boring. (Super Auto Pets). Difficulty doesn’t make Caleb hate a game. Rather, artificial difficulty (ie, design intent averse difficulty), is what makes Caleb hate a game. (Ori and the Blind Forest). The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Gage Bradley (@DrumGadget_433) - member of Flyover Indies, musician, and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross.com / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and game developer Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Credits Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com) Subscribe to the Flyover Indies Podcast: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/520Gv2fhNb5riQS0wlT0fR Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/flyover-indies-podcast-game-making-in-kansas-city/id1597656689 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/flyover-indies-podcast-game-making-in-kansas-city Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy83MmY0ODAxOC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw More places to subscribe: https://anchor.fm/flyover-indies
49:49
December 12, 2021
Why We Do the Games We Do
Welcome to the first episode of the Flyover Indies Podcast, where Kansas City area indie game developers chat about what we’re playing, what we’re learning, and what we’re making. On this first episode, get to know Jo, Charlotte, and Caleb by way of our game developer origin stories. Why do we make video games? Stick around until the end of the episode to hear team JoChar/CharJo battle it out with the Trivia Master in a game of On Awake().  The games we mentioned are: Inscryption Luigi’s Mansion 3 Doki Doki Literature Club The game-making lessons we mentioned are: Inscryption - A game’s mechanics don’t have to be novel in order to be worth playing or developing around Luigi’s Mansion 3 - Puzzles should have feedback to guide the player. Meandering and luck are not satisfying game mechanics. Doki Doki Literature Club - Video games can still be meta, even after Undertale. If the game’s conceit is unique, being meta isn’t necessarily a death sentence. The mentioners of the aforementioned mentionables are: Charlotte Trible (@ctrble)  - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Jo Hanna (https://www.jovideogameshanna.com) - co-founder of Flyover Indies and game developer Caleb J Ross (@calebjross.com / https://calebjross.com) - member of Flyover Indies and kinda game developer Play some of our games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-flyover-indies Intro and outro music by Nash (https://www.nashhigh.com) Subscribe to the Flyover Indies Podcast: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/520Gv2fhNb5riQS0wlT0fR Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/flyover-indies-podcast-game-making-in-kansas-city/id1597656689 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/flyover-indies-podcast-game-making-in-kansas-city Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy83MmY0ODAxOC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw More places to subscribe: https://anchor.fm/flyover-indies
49:18
November 28, 2021