Game Development for Small Teams – Philippine Game Development Festival ’11 Takeaways Part 2

The Second Track Verne went to was about “Game Development for Small Teams.” It consisted of a four man team from Nexus Pixels ( who created this game called “Pacifica Online.” Donnie Gianchand took the floor. These guys self-studied on their asses to get the game up. Pretty cool.

They introduced a number of Open Source software which literally cost them nothing. Blender (3D), Gimp (Graphics Software), Haxe (Programming Interface for Flash Clients) and my personal favorite. LMMS (a Digital Audio Workstation – there goes FL) – downloading each is around 20 MB. Not too shabby. The only amount they spent was probably their Security and Exchanges Commission Registration and probably hardware.

A list of the software they used to produce can be found here.

To get data organized before starting the game, they “mindmap.” If you’re not too familiar what a mind map is, I’ll help you out with an article from Lifehacker.

In Nexus Pixels case, their main idea is to make a “game.”  Then you ask yourself and define the needs which would connect to your main idea.

What kind of game should it be?  a Shooter? an RPG?  Ok RPG, What kind of RPG would it be? an MMORPG?

What kind of story? Who makes it? Is it a love story? Is it done by a writer?

What kind of programmers/developers does it require? Flash? C++?

What kind of software would you be using?  2D ? 3D?

What kind of graphics and design are you going for? and so on and so forth until you figure out your game’s needs. Tweaking the game will follow afterwards.


To start a team for game development, you need the following:

– programming (tools and programmer)

– 2d/3d software (concept artist, 3d)

– music composition software (for background music and effects)

– design (preferably a designer who has played a lot of games)

– and probably a wide imagination with the ability to learn to innovate.

They incorporate ideas from other games as well as  games you play during your childhood like “Tag. (You’re it.)”  which is done in real time.

These guys are straying away from the norm by not charging on a subscription or an item mall basis. Their game monetization relies more on Google Adsense and Advertisers who’d like to advertise on their page/site.

According to them, their growth was based on the share of friends of friends in Facebook – which is something that Zynga does. 20,000 active users in a month. 600 online on a day.

Verne’s Verdict on Nexus Pixels: Verne heard about Gimp and Blender from a few designers Verne knows.  My eye sparkled though because Verne was not expecting to see a DAW for this whole day. Interesting point of view of doing things as a startup. I think they’re planning to cross-over platforms by enabling the game to be played on mobile. Currently, you can play the game on Android only if the mobile phone has Flash in it.

Edit: Here’s a short random video of their discussion.

This isn’t over. Verne will take a break from writing and he’s still got more to come.

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2 thoughts on “Game Development for Small Teams – Philippine Game Development Festival ’11 Takeaways Part 2

  1. hmmm who is Verne anyway? joke!

    nice naman! gusto ko rin um-attend ng mga seminars. in fact two times na ako napadpad dyan sa sa St. Benilde for Wordcamp.

    medyo na nangangapa ako sa mga terms at mga isyu dito. pero may mga times na naiisip ko na magsulat ng story for computer games. wala naisip lang, wala pa naman akong planong patulan. mga tatlong isip pa siguro. hehehe

    • Who is Verne? good question lol. I think my next article on Boomzap Entertainment might interest you. It’s more on creating scenarios which is similar to your storytelling. There are still 2 – 3 parts I haven’t finished yet and I’ll finish it sometime on the weekend. =) Cool video btw.

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