DIY – Develop it yourself | No 2

GOOD_TipsIn our previous issue of Good DIY Tips, we presented Twine: the perfect tool for creating spellbinding text adventures. This time we’re taking it a step further. The tool’s got to be able to handle it if you want something that’s a bit more visual and heavier on role-playing.

Do you still have fond memories of the rough-hewn 8/16-bit retro graphics of old NES and SNES classics like Secret of Mana or Chrono Trigger? In that case, your search for the right game development tool has come to an end with the RPG Maker series from ASCII and Enterbrain! As its name implies, the tool is used to produce atmospheric role-playing games, and with a little experimentation you can also add elements of strategic combat.

A number of RPG Maker versions have been released over the years, and each new iteration has brought users an ever-growing selection of options and bug fixes. Most versions come with a tile-based map editor, a database editor for changing the values of all game objects, and a simplified script language for designing events. You can use the latter to create automatic sequences like cut scenes, teleportation effects, and plausible dialogue with multiple answers. All versions offer a basic pack with graphics, compositions, and further content. Additionally, most versions enable you to add your own creations to the content.

Versions 95, 2000, and 2003 don’t require any programming skills at all, yet still permit you to make in-depth changes to your game, for instance by providing drop-down menus and buttons that do the programming for you. From RPG Maker XP on, you can make changes directly to the ready-made game system with the RUBY programming language specialized for games. You can get some RPG Maker versions in English on Steam. Prices range from €20 for RPG Maker 2003 to €74 for RPG Maker MV.

Critically acclaimed and loved by gamers, the narrative role-playing game To the Moon was developed with RPG Maker XP. Positive reviews are well above 95 percent, which tells you all you need to know! Will you accept the challenge?

Why Goodgame Gangster, Shadow Kings, & the rest don’t make updates anymore

In our blog, we regularly share news from our company, introduce you to our teams, and give you a peek behind the scenes of Goodgame Empire and our other games. Every now and then, however, we receive questions that aren’t about our latest development and games, but rather concern our older titles: “Why don’t you make updates for Goodgame Gangster anymore?” We think that today’s blog post is the perfect opportunity to provide a detailed answer to this question and explain why we no longer develop Goodgame Gangster and some of our other games like Goodgame Galaxy and Shadow Kings, of which our Classic Studio is taking care of apart from Goodgame Big Farm.

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GOOD Tips: Learn how to draw from our artists

If you watch our artists bring characters, buildings, and entire game worlds to life with virtually no effort, it’s entirely possible that you might begin to feel your fingers itching to grab a pen and paper and do the same. That’s why we asked our colleague Ernest to lead a little drawing class in which he will teach us how to draw a character from our game just like a pro. As our subject, we chose the piglet from Goodgame Big Farm. This cute little guy is a symbol of good luck in Germany and would look great on the front of a greeting card, for example. In the following sketches, Ernest will show you how to create your own piglet step by step.

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GOOD Teams – Product Strategy knows how the world plays

We wish everyone out there a happy World Play Day and hope you are having fun today – maybe even with some of our games. Video games are more popular than ever before! For example, 42% of US citizens play them on a regular basis, and we do the same – whether an intense session on the console or just quick entertainment on the bus with our smartphones that accompany us wherever we go.

As a gaming company, we need to stay up-to-date on where the world of games is heading. That’s why we have an amazing product strategy team that knows how the world plays. Each and every one of the six team members is not only a passionate gamer themselves, bringing together several decades of experience in the industry overall – they are also analytical thinkers that are able to translate fun into a strategy for our company.

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No connection to the game – what’s the cause?

In our last blog, we explained how a server works. Of course, we’re sure you’re also interested what happens if it doesn’t work. If you play Goodgame Empire, for example, you’d quickly be able to see that a server isn’t available if you can’t connect to the game for a certain time. Game servers are therefore essential for online MMOs such as ours to guarantee ongoing fun for our large international community of players.

We sat down with two Goodgame experts to discuss how a server could become unavailable and how to minimize instances like these. Robert (left) manages our IT department and is in charge of server hardware. Jens (right) is the head of our game technology department, which shares the responsibility for the server software with our game developers.

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How game servers connect millions of players

Those of you who have played one of our games knows that a big part of the experience is interacting with others – whether by cooperating in alliances or by facing off in battles. Our games currently have a total of 300 million registered players, with Goodgame Empire alone boasting 80 million users at the moment.

All these people are able to interact with each other thanks to our game servers. It doesn’t matter where a player is located – as long as their computer is online, they can open Goodgame Empire in their browser. Keep reading to find out how exactly this works.

A game server is comprised of two components: one software component and one hardware component. If you compare that to a normal PC, the hardware server is the computer. The software server is the application written by the developers – for a PC, this would be the program running on it.

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