NPC 5/3/13 Featured Presentation: Game Development in Second Life

Below is an edited transcript of the May 3rd, 2013 NonProfit Commons in Second Life meeting, featuring 

the Israeli game development team SLGTeam who discussed using Second Life as a game development platform, and the process behind their recently released game Blow 'Em Up.

You can view the full transcript at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PUdKUz2xNVPr-FO-S3BvBkE8Txu7txjVYJWZ9PnG-Rk/edit and photos at: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cdkf9f4cn54t0ebnvrbiceolpes?authkey=CI_u_8LC0KLOngE.

Today for our featured presentation we are happy to feature an Israeli game design and marketing team SLGTeam: Sapir Chodorov (TallSap), Eran Zolotov (Eramos), Dudu Nissim (GreenDrake), Yoav Shoshani (Cerebi), Maor Nachmias (MaorBigM).

They are going to chat with us about using Second Life as a game development platform, and the process they did behind their recently released game Blow 'Em Up. 

  • http://www.blowemupsl.com
  • https://twitter.com/BlowEmUpSL
  • Google+ :http://goo.gl/JOrP8

Let's welcome them all up, please take a seat and start whenever you are ready, you are all welcome to come up and sit on the presenter chairs up here

          Buffy Beale: Cheering loudly!

          Zotarah ShepherdZotarah Shepherd applaudes

          Red: Welcome!

          Red: applause

          Gentle HeronGentle Heron waves to our student presenters.

          gganesha: welcome

          Lynne: We're not going to be blown up are we?

          LynneLynne is worried.

          Andy Evans: Ma Neesh Ma?

 

Eran Zolotov: hurray

Sapir Chodorov: we have new website http://blowemup.info

Eran Zolotov: thank you very much

Yoav Shoshani: Sorry its a bit laggy

 

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: and yes, with all of the avatars here, it can get laggy

          Skylar SmytheSkylar Smythe smiles at Rhiannon

          Coughran Mayo: ooh a hovering spacecraft!

          Yesha Sivan: lag - not sure what it is I will have to look it up someday (Linden Lab)

          Beth Ghostraven: or something!

 

Eran Zolotov: no worries no one will be blown up today

 

          Zinnia Zauber: hehe

          Tori Landau: lol

          Coughran Mayo: Linden AND Lab AND Lag all start with the letter "L" Coincidence? I think not!

          Beth Ghostraven: except that we'll put off telling them to you, Gentle! 

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: so I know you mentioned it during the main introductions, but it would also be good to have all of you reintroduce yourselves and your roles too

          Gentle Heron: I can tell I'm going to listen to procrastination jokes ALL DAY now!

 

Eran Zolotov: alrighty .we are all students in the academic college Tel Aviv Jaffo

Yoav Shoshani: Hello everyone, I am Yoav. I'm responsible for the Design of the product and all the finance.

Sapir Chodorov: Hey i'm Sapir CEO of Blow 'Em Up

Dudu Nissim: i'm dudu nissim and i'm in charge of the marketing and sales of blow em up game

 

          Beth Ghostraven: Sapir, that's the best job title ever

 

Yesha Sivan: Beth +1

Yoav Shoshani: Of course we all help each other :) Team work is very important.

Maor Nahmias: hi iam maor and iam the technical support guy

Eran Zolotov: My name is Eran Zolotov ,25 from Tel aviv israel, im VP and product manager here at BlowEmUp

Maor Nahmias: and marketing assistant

Eran Zolotov: so lets start a bit about why did we create this fantastic game!

This course is within our bachelor degree for information technologies. We work on the project with the help of a professional moderator. The goal is to give the student tools for real life and to be able to do independent work, to simulate a real life project and managing it.

We created the game after research we did in world and found an idea that will have a wide target audience, will be slightly addictive and competitive. Our goals are to create a game that will work and will be attractive to people, interesting, easy to use and competitive. All this within our somewhat basic knowledge in programming. 

We were introduced to the world of SL last semester as part of an "Intro to virtual worlds" course by Professor Yesha Sivan. The SL world is a good simulator to the real world in this aspect. In SL as the real world it is required to work as a team, Managing projects, dealing with difficulties in project, working with people from around the world, marketing experience and outsourcing.

so how did we work as a team, how we planned it all together? 

We get together twice a week at college to work on the project and we have regular meeting with our moderator each week. At the start of the project we sat down and brain stormed on how to create the work process, creating a work plan and a schedule. Each person on the team works on his own part and of course we also share workloads with each other. 

Seeing as the SL world is new to us it took us a while to understand the ins and outs of the world, the way it works, the social manners. The other big thing we needed to learn was the technical part of the world: Objects and the way they work, the SL programming language and the whole and connecting it all to create a working product.

We've learned that team work is extremely important. Being able to accept and use constructive criticism while working under a tight schedule. Being prepared and researching information about the platform you will use. Knowing that selling a service or product will require work even after the sell itself as customer support and keeping in touch with costumers. Researching what will sell in the world, what it has or doesn’t have already.

 

          Oronoque Westland: important lessons...some students are resistant to group projects

          Yesha Sivan: resistance is futile

 

Eran Zolotov: as part of the marketing effort, We market the game in a number of different ways which include a verity of social platforms such as: Facebook, Twitter and Google plus. We also share videos of the game on Youtube. We try to use forums to promote the game (those who allow advertising). We make sure to keep all the social channels fully updated on the game.

We create different versions of the game to accommodate each game owner, be it a free to play game, or a pay per game style.

We advertise our sales on our website and social media in order to advertise the product and attract people to the places where it's up and running where they can try the game themselves and have fun doing it.

Yoav Shoshani: That is true, some students are resistant, but the real world offers little choice in the matter. and that is what students need to learn.

Eran Zolotov: +1

Dudu Nissim: +1

Sapir Chodorov: +1

Eran Zolotov: We track our channels using Google analytics in order to see which channel is the best way to market. According to what we have seen so far, Youtube and Facebook are the leading channels right now. 

Our Facebook page has approximately 60 followers and our advertisements get about 160 views (as a result of shares and likes).

Maor Nahmias: i want to apologize to everyone but i have to leave. the Shabat is coming and i must go to kidush with my family

 

          Jen: shabbat Shalom Maor

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: good starting momentum

          Oronoque Westland: gut shabbos

 

Maor Nahmias: thank you all :)

Eran Zolotov: This is your chance to join us :) now when the game is all done our main issue is currently, after completing the game, is to market this product. Our aim is to have in up and running in as many sims as possible. If you want to know more please contact us via our website: http://blowemup.info, Or follow us on Facebook/Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/blowemupsl, https://twitter.com/BlowEmUpSL

Yoav Shoshani: We will do the demo and answer questions after if you guys have any :)

Yesha Sivan: wowowowow

Eran Zolotov: so lets get to the moment you've all been waiting for, everyone got a good view?

          Lynne: He he.

          Beth Ghostraven: Wow! I don't think this game is going to fit in my pub

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: that works

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: lol Beth

          Frans Charming: put your pub in the game

          Yesha Sivan: +1

          Buffy Beale: lol Frans

          Beth Ghostraven: haha yes

          Beth Ghostraven: very Victorian, lol

 

Eran Zolotov: we can costumize it, well il explain what im doing in the game, actually better yet, Yoav will explain

Yoav Shoshani: The games size can be modified. You rez the game, click the crossbow and wear it after, you click the Start button and the game will start there are 8 different levels. Each level has more balloons then the one before

The players gets whispers about his progress and the points he has so far, the game comes with sounds and and is extremely fun

 

          Frans Charming: Is there a time that you need to shoot them before they disappear?

 

Yoav Shoshani: yes, you have 30 seconds each level and 3 misses each level, if you miss 3 times or 30 seconds have passed the game ends.

 

          ChingALing Bling: Is it a solo game or can you play against others?

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: you could have chosen many types of game play mechanics, what made you decide to make it a shooter?

 

Yoav Shoshani: currently it is a solo game. However anyone can play it

Yoav Shoshani: The scoreboard keeps track of the scores of everyone who plays it

 

          Gentle Heron: QUESTION- What physical skills are necessary to be successful at this game? Must you use a keyboard or a mouse, for example?

          Lynne: How easy would it be to modify it into a learning game?

 

Yoav Shoshani: We wanted something competitive. in addition, we wanted a game with levels. and the game does not exist in the world that we've seen so far. You play the game using the M mode of Second life. A little aim is required.

 

          Gentle HeronGentle Heron HATES Mouselook!

          Beth Ghostraven: M = mouselook?

          ChingALing Bling: Maybe Mouselook in the Oculus Rift will work for people bettter than the screen version

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: Lynne, how could you see the game mechanics of the balloon popping translated to a learning game?

 

Yoav Shoshani whispers: yes. mouselook. The game can be modified. we can turn the ballons into letters or numbers. you can have a math question on the board. 2+2 = ? and you will need to shoot the balloon with the 4 on it

 

          Lynne: Lots of ways.

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: maybe as a way to do a multiple choice or pick the correct words/topics?

          Moundsa Mayo: Or words that must be selected in correct order to form a sentence.

          ChingALing Bling: Or the baloons could have numbers that are parts of equations

          Moundsa Mayo: Or logical premises that lead to a valid conclusion

          Lynne: Maybe true or false. Students grab hold of the balloon T or F and only the correct ones don't pop. :)

          Lynne: (I'm evil.)

          Gentle Heron: it could be a multiple choice quiz

 

Yoav Shoshani: Question and multiple answers is a great idea. whispers: There are many valid ways.

 

          Gentle HeronGentle Heron nods to Yoav

 

Yoav Shoshani: We finished the version which is the first version and are working hard on it

Moundsa Mayo: Key is to maintain engagement while leading through the learning experience.

Yoav Shoshani: our main issue right now is to market it. we want it to be available to people who likes to play :) and learn :) would you like to try the game out?

 

          Tori Landau: Yes, lots of potential for fun learning in this °͜°

          Gentle HeronGentle Heron agrees with Moundsa

          Lynne: Question - is it available on other VWs, like Open Sim?

          Zotarah Shepherd: This looks a bit like the Avilion target game.

          Lynne: I'd love to.

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: what happens after your college course is over? Will you still continue as a group to work on game development of this and others?

          Skylar Smythe: I think it has potential. Let's say for instance it was used for education and every time you burst a balloon, you got a point... and a local message. Say... for health education? Smythe smiles gently.

 

Yoav Shoshani: If you do not own an island you can get the game anyway and use it on open sim areas. Second life is a great platform to learn.

 

          Gentle Heron: I know I harp about this, but one thing I wish game developers considered is accessibility. What physical (and mental and sensory) skills are necessary to be able to play this game? Can a person use it who can't use a keyboard or mouse? I will warn you that a person using an onscreen keyboard who goes into Mouselook loses the ability to STOP being in Mouselook because the onscreen keyboard disappears! We plan to keep going as a team after the course is over.

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: great

          Skylar Smythe: Heron, it would be good if line of sight could be automated wouldn't it? Zoom in at the point of action?

          Gentle Heron: It sounds like you learned more than game development in this class.

          Skylar Smythe: and of course closed captioning in local chat.

 

Yoav Shoshani: ah i understand the problem accessibility.

 

          Beth Ghostraven: How many prims does it take up? (or Land Impact)

          Gentle HeronGentle Heron smiles at Skylar. Yes, there are many modifications that could be made to make things more accessible.

          Skylar Smythe: ;) agree

          Stahl Bertrand: I apologize if this was covered earlier, but why did you choose SL over other environments/platforms that would deliver a better gaming experience?

 

Eran Zolotov: Good job frans!

Yoav Shoshani: our current level of knowledge allowed us to do it this way. i do now know if a different way is possible

Dudu Nissim: beth , the game is 6 prims and the scoreboard is 39 prims

Sapir Chodorov: Gentle you are more than right the process is similar to the real world and learned to manage a project for everything

 

          Beth Ghostraven: oh yikes

          Beth Ghostraven: ok

         Eran Zolotov: we are looking for ways to reduce the prims, but of course the game works fine without the scoreboard aswell.

 

Yoav Shoshani: We chose SL because it is a great simulator to real life. We work like a real world company

Eran Zolotov: 280 points! really nice :)

Yoav Shoshani: Any feedback would be appreciated.

 

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: I know we have some other SL game developers in the audience, so am sure you can get useful feedback

          Skylar Smythe: While the technology compared to other games isn't anything new, it is very refreshing to see new interest in building games in SL.

          Gentle Heron: Good job Frans!

          ChingALing Bling: Do you all expect to make $$$ with this game, or do you have other goals.

          Skylar Smythe: I think it has potential as an information delivery game.

          gganesha: ok bye sorry i have to go..................

          Buffy Beale: bye gganesha thanks for joining us!

 

Yoav Shoshani: We offer the game for L on the market, but we would like to give it free to any island owner who wants it. in addition, any one who wants the game can contact us and we will give it for free

Eran Zolotov: thanks for listening gganesha, have a nice day :)

Yoav Shoshani: as part of our studies. We are not here to make money that is not the point, we are here to learn

Sapir Chodorov: thnx gganesha bye :)

 

          Lynne: I noticed you said "don't touch the game", does it cause issues, and would there be a workaround to this, (for busy areas).

          ChingALing Bling: Maybe you can take this into making custom games for owners of sims

gganesha: bye everyone............. In 2006 and 2007 I taught a game design class at UCLA where all the games had to be within SL

          Moundsa Mayo: Learning best marketing practices might result from actual selling though B^)

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: and, for those who have done game dev here in SL, what sorts of projects have you worked on - always good to hear/share

          Beth Ghostraven: I've been searching for low-prim games to put in my pub, and they're really scarce

 

Yoav Shoshani: we are still working on bugs . but the game is working great and is stable.

 

          ChingALing Bling: There is a need for really engaging games in the virtual world

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: ahh ChingALing - you beat me to that ;)

          Buffy Beale: yes I agree ChingALing and this one seems engaging

          ChingALing Bling: esp for education and also do consider the accessibility that Gentle espouses

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes to both ChingALing

          ChingALing Bling: I would love a copy for my healing island

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: :)

 

Yoav Shoshani: The game can be modified to fit other places. like the pub.

Yoav Shoshani: the textures can be modified and the size as part of a learning experience it can be modified to be not balloons but letters, or numbers

 

          ChingALing Bling: or magical items

          Frans Charming: Answering Rhiannon question, I have worked on several games with Vesuvius. We made gameshow, race games and lately been working on small interactive objects that earn you points towards badges.

 

Dudu Nissim whispers: Don't forget to follow us on http://blowemup.info Or follow us on Facebook/Twitter : https://www.facebook.com/blowemupsl, https://twitter.com/BlowEmUpSL

Yoav Shoshani: the strength of the crossbow bolt can be modified as well you can add a prize if someone manages to get a high score

 

          Gentle HeronGentle Heron thinks points/badges are the next "in" thing for these games

          Frans Charming: Skylar, gentle we have been workings towards such things. Making small scavenger hunts and fishing games that work with a hud that keeps progress of your score and gives you badges and prizes.

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes to badges/points Gentle        Skylar Smythe: I think avatar creation is the barrier. I think if you could click on a link in Facebook that would automatically log in to SL as a standard alt... and allow you to play the game...

          Skylar Smythe: I would like to see more inworld games developed that would allow people to gain points and prizes or incentives to download (i.e., mp3's ebooks). Come in. Learn. Get points. Have fun. Bring your friends back with you ;)

          ChingALing Bling: How so Skylar?

          Skylar Smythe: That fluidity... we'd have no problem.

          Beth Ghostraven: pre-made alts are used for some college classes

          Skylar Smythe: Click. Log in. Avatar. Drive. Engage. Log out.

 

Yoav Shoshani: We thank you for listening :) if you know of a SIM that will want to have this game there, please tell us so that we can spread the fun around. they can contact us through our website http://blowemup.info or contact our official company avatar SLGteam

 

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: if anyone is interested in the game, who should they contact Yoav?

          Stahl Bertrand: if you're only coming to SL for the game, why come? why not use a browser-based platform?

          ChingALing Bling: Good point Stahl

          Skylar Smythe: Because

          Skylar Smythe: Tell someone to try a new game that they have to spend 3-4 hours learning and setting up their "avatar"

          Skylar Smythe: or

          Skylar Smythe: let them try it with a preset avatar... LOVE IT then come back and make their own and engage with the platform and community.

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: I think collaborative games that are worked into a community or immersive learning experience work well

          Skylar Smythe: nods.

          Beth Ghostraven: could be a good way to get more people into SL

          Tori Landau: agree Beth

 

Yoav Shoshani: I agree, the issue of learning the platform before you can play is a problem. it took me a while to get a hang of SL

 

          Skylar Smythe: LL needs to develop a way to seamlessly log in alts... so that people can "try before they buy". Ideally these avatars should be in a quality, populated sim so that they can begin speaking with and meeting people right away.

          Skylar Smythe: Not wandering the pixel wasteland looking for signs of life and giving up. :)

          Andy Evans: Maybe LL could make playing this game an option in the orientation

Items successfully shared.

          ChingALing Bling: Games in Orientation is a great idea! Get the engagement up front

          Stahl Bertrand: why would LL care about that when they're not making money from people?

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: when I was working with Global Kids, we did a huge immersive game on here in SL where we created a complex serious game that focused on incarceration/prison environment and had people play through decision based game choices that raised issue awareness, etc

          Skylar Smythe: Or a game that auto logs avatars... play the game that is a Q&A ... teaching them what they need to know to CONNECT. And then awarding these TRIAL players with some free lindens to spend to equip their avatar. Creates call to action.

          ChingALing Bling: Great ideas Skylar!

          Frans Charming: Yea I like that idea

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: so lots of options, to learn, orient, raise awareness, and have fun with game play

          Skylar Smythe: The Lindens can't afford me ;) I just want it to work.

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: lol

          Stahl Bertrand: I'd rather see LL work on the fundamentals; get the frame rate up and the lad down

          Stahl Bertrand: *lag

 

Eran Zolotov: first priority imo.

Eran Zolotov: some really nice advices and ideas everyone :)

 

          Skylar Smythe: It is indoctrination that needs work... try it (and make that easy)... connect them to social (and make it a positive thing)... and they will come back.

          Stahl Bertrand: right now, I can't play your game because SL only gets about one frame persecond on this laptop

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks to the whole team on presenting today

          Dancers Yao: @Rhiannon...is your work with Global Kids game still on SL anywhere?

          Skylar Smythe applauds. Very much enjoyed todays meeting.

 

Eran Zolotov: thank you everyone for listening.

Sapir Chodorov: thnx for listening

 

          Moundsa Mayo: Lag can be minimized by architecture, design, and coding techniques in your game design. It is not necessarily a game-stopper (no pun intended).

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: no Dancers, but I still think there is a copy in inventory somewhere

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: it is big!

          Dancers Yao: thank you

          Lynne: Was it a scripted game Rhiannon?

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: please reach out to them if you want to try their game or have any feedback

          Gentle Heron: Thank you students. Very interesting presentation.

          Skylar Smythe: You are the future Yoav. Keep creating and conceptualizing.

          Skylar Smythe: Good work.

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes :)

          Buffy Beale: Great presentation and love the game! thanks

 

Sapir Chodorov: don't forget follow us : http://blowemup.info/, https://twitter.com/BlowEmUpSL, Google+ http://goo.gl/JOrP8

Yoav Shoshani: Thank you guys :)

Sapir Chodorov: thnx again! :)

 

          Frans CharmingFrans Charming applauds

          Gentle Heron: I think it's way cool that your team worked so well together that you think you can stay together after the class has ended.

          Skylar SmytheSkylar Smythe applauds

          Lynne: Yes, thank you.

          Tori Landau: Applauds! °͜°

          ChingALing Bling: Thanks for presenting guys !

          Lynne: Is there anywhere inworld that people can try the game out?

 

Sapir ChodorovSapir Chodorov agrea Gentle

Yoav Shoshani: :)

Dudu Nissim: thnx for listening

Eran Zolotov: Lynne on our website there is a list of islands where the game is available

 

          Lynne: Cool. :)

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: your welcome and glad to have you

          Beth Ghostraven: .-'`'-. APPLAUSE APPLAUSE .-'`'-.

          Moundsa Mayo: Great results, and more to come, I'm sure!

          Zotarah Shepherd:      {`'•.¸{`'•.¸ ¸.•'´}¸.•'´} 

          Zotarah Shepherd:    ´•.¸¸.  A p p l a u se  .¸¸.•`

          Zotarah Shepherd:      {¸.•'´{¸.•'´ `'•.¸}`'•.¸}  

          Zotarah ShepherdZotarah Shepherd applauds

          Chayenn: bravo

          Skylar Smythe applauds


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The game development we are

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