I am Daniel (programad) Gomes, a 37 years old Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and I want to talk to you about a project of mine.
More than a year ago, I noticed on Facebook gamedev groups a lot of people being bad to newcomers to the wonderful game development world and that really bothered me. Some thougths couldn't get out of my mind: "Why people act like that? Do we really need that behaviour? Are we teaching the newcomers or just putting them down, pushing them away from gamedev, disencouraging them? Is the Facebook social network a good place to discuss gamedev?"
After some analysis, I came to some conclusions:
Yes, Facebook is really good to newcommers. It is friendly with a really solid workflow on groups mechanism;
There are too many user groups on Facebook! I documented at least 20 with more than 5k users;
Even those who know about reddit and other communities, just prefer the simplicity of the social network format;
There are already really great communities dedicated to gamedev:
- Unity Connect;
- iDev Games;
Existing gamedev communities are great but offer a little too much complication, they are formatted by the creator's wishes, not by the community itself;
Existing gamedev communities, don't offer link to other communities;
The most famous gamedev communities (GameJolt, Itch.io) are focused on the games, not on the developers themselves;
So I decided to start the LuduStack project. A place where I aim to fix all the above issues, creating a safe place to help people to develop their games. The main characteristics of the project are:
- Open Source - Anyone can contribute with the code that runs the community. [here is the github repo] (https://github.com/anteatergames/ludustack) and the azure devops project;
- Social Network format - The main workflow is inspired by the biggest social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, wich is friendly to newcommers;
- Exclusive tools - The code is directed to gamedevs, it is not generic (of course you can fork the project and make a generic social network if you want). The features planned will help more people to develop their games like project management, writer tool, brainstorm, team management, etc;
- A central hub - It is the ONLY gamedev community that has links to other gamedev communities, acting like a central hub wich you can use to register all your presence on the web as gamedev;
- Community oriented - There are a mechanism to suggest and vote on ideas for the community, no other community have easy mechanisms to gather feedback and focus the development effort;
- The main features of the platform are:
- Social Network - Inspired by the most successfull social networks on the market. It have like, comment, share, etc;
- Team Management - Members can create teams and invite other members to the team. This month, I will implement the creation of "recruiting teams" to help people that are alone but want some help on their projects. Teams will be able to earn medals and trophies for acomplishments like game jam participation;
- Brainstorm System - Everyone knows that "idea guy", right? So I am giving voice to those guys;
- Featured Articles - The main page have a featured caroussel wich shows content featured by the staff based on voting system, in the future, the community will be able to vote to feature articles;
- Multi-language - All the system is localizable and there is a open translation project on POEditor. Anyone can contribute;
- Game Jam - There will be a game jam system where you can create game jams or link to other communities' game jams, becoming a central hub even for that purpose;
- Events/Meetups - Users will be able to add events to the community calendar, helping people to atted to physical meetings where they can expand their network, trade some services and put some faces on the names;
- Jobs - A place where users can post paid jobs and apply to postions offered;
- Challenges - Users will be able to post paid/unpaid challenges (art, sound, code, prototype, etc), rate the submissions and maybe, in a future, pay the winner to keep the submitted art.
- Gamification - Badges, points, achievements and ranks. You can earn stuff and climb the ranks;
- App Graphics Generator - A mix of Norio's tool and some app icon generator tools like this;
- Witter tool - A tool to help video game writers keep their story consistent and canon ;
- Translation tool - Anyone will be able to add some strings, be helped by the community on translations and download the translated final result;
- Project Management - Inspired by the awesome Hack N Plan and integrated with other system features;
- Component Scripts - Anyone will be able to share, search and download component scripts;
- Technical characteristics:
- CI/CD - The publish pipeline is automated by Azure DevOps so each commit is published almost instantly to the stagint environment and to publish on production, we just need to approve the already tested commit;
- Cloud-based - The whole system is hosted by windows azure with benefits that only a cloud can offer like geographic distribution, worldwide datacenters, CDN, etc.;
- Responsive Layout - The website can be used on any screen, any device;
- Progressive Web App - The layout is responsive and the application is PWA, wich means you can install on your phone and use it just like a native app.
There is even a staging environment that people can test new features!
The project completed a year on 27th August 2019 and I am working a few hours a day, after my daily job. I won't stop to work on this as it is a work of love, I want to contribute on optimizing interaction between gamedevs, connecting newbies with industry pros, improving the gamedev scenario to build better games in less time.
I really hope you guys join me on this initiative to improve the gamedev scenario. I will not be naive and think I can migrate everyone to LuduStack, that is not my goal, my goal is to improve the overall scenario, bring people from different communities together and offer a good service to all of them, specially newcomers.
I would really appreciate if you guys visit the LuduStack and give me some feedback on any subject you find necessary to comment.
One last thing: #stayindie #imna (indie means not alone)