Game Studio Development Blog

Welcome to XGameDev‘s blog.

We thought we would start a blog to share our knowledge and skills we have gained over the years in the game development industry while we are building a game studio. We will be posting game development, graphics, publishing, marketing, and just general tips and tricks.

A brief history and overview of what we have done in the past.

Starting out

I, Jacques Leemans, and my wife, Melanie Leemans, started this company in 2010. My background is Electronic Engineering and Software development. I Started with game development in 2010, mostly creating games with Java Applets. Back then I didn’t know about game engines, so I created my own engine for Java, C#. My first game was inspired by MyBrute. I made 2 versions of the game, C# Fighter Game in WinForms and using the same code, I created a Silverlight version.

Luckily I discovered the magic world of game engines!

Melanie’s background is in Microsoft Server Administration, with over 15 years experience as a Senior Systems Admin.

Building and Running a Games Studio

Creating a game is one thing, creating multiple games, marking, publishing, running a business, finance, etc… in something else completely

As the owners and developers at XGameDev, we wear many hats during the day, to keep the business running. Below are some of the duties we perform regularly.

Business Administration

Planning the business, looking at what is going on in the games industry, competitor research, working on our Technology Funnel,

Finance

Financial planning, budgeting, forecasting and invoicing is a major part of running our business, just like any other business.

Marketing

Marketing our services, and our own games.

Production

Our bread-and-butter currently comes from our work as Freelance or “Work-for-hire” services as game developers. A big part of this is Project Management, Time Management, Software Design, Enterprise Architecture, Solution Architecture, Source Control, Game Design, Website Development, Backend API Development, Application Development, Game Development, Graphics Design, Source Control, DevOps, etc..

Distribution and Publishing

Getting the website up and running, or getting a mobile app deployed to various mobile stores, is just one of the steps in the development phase of a game, app, website or API.

RnD and Training

We are in a rapidly changing industry, to keep up with technology and keeping our minds sharp, we are continuously learning new skills, upskilling in different fields and keeping old skills fresh.

Unity Development

We use Unity to create most of our mobile games and some of the freelance projects we have done in the past. More than just a game engine, Unity is perfect for Geographical Information System Apps, Simulations, Digital Educational Platforms, Architecture Tools, to name just a few.

Construct 2 and 3 Development for HTML 5

Since 2012 we have created over 50 HTML5 games and converted more than 400 games from flash/shockwave using Construct 2, most of these game are also client projects on freelancer and upwork. We love Construct, as it’s powerful enough to create large scale games/animations and perfect for rapid prototyping.

NodeJS Development

More of our games and projects require some backend service for Authentication, Leaderboards, Achievements, Multiplayer, Content Management, Learner Management, etc… We use NodeJs for more of our RESTful API’s and Socket.io real-time multiplayer servers.

MEAN Stack

We tend to use the mean (MongoDB, ExpressJS, Angular, Node) stack for Admin Web Apps. Most of the time, the Web-apps are built using CoreUI’s Angular Framework, deployed to Firebase Hosting, using Firebase Functions to running our ExpressJS/NodeJS applications, with Firebase Real-time or Cloud Firestore Databases

LAMP Stack

In the past, most of our back-end services were done using PHP and MySQL for turn-based multiplayer games, leaderboards, user accounts, achievements, and just general games-as-a-service functionality. Even though it’s not our preferred method of developing backend services these days, we still have quite a few years experience in this classic stack.

Photon

We absolutely love Photon! Its an excellent platform to create real-time multiplayer games, all the code runs on one of the clients, which makes it a bit easier to develop.

Playfab

If you haven’t checked out PlayFab, do it now! We use it in various games for user accounts, leaderboards, cross-promoting and even multi-player games. It has a powerful RESTful API for almost anything you can think of.

Gamesparks

We used GameSparks for a few concepts and prototypes, It combines all the above-mentioned technologies (except for LAMP), into a nicely contained package.

Graphics Design

Graphics are not our main forte, but we have some experience in Photoshop creating 2D assets for games, websites, etc..

3D Graphics

We mostly use Blender for all our 3D modeling, UV-mapping, animations, video editing and rendering

This is for our games and icons, titles and motion graphics.

2D Graphics

We are huge fans of open-source software like InkScape for vector based graphics and Gimp for image processing and editing.

Project Management

We follow Agile for most of our projects, especially Scrum, Kanban, and XP. We mostly use Asana for Project/Task Management but have found that Google Sheets can be more powerful than any other tool.

Many more…

The list goes on, and we would like to share this journey with you.

That is a brief history of what we have learned over the years, we are continuously learning new skills.

Please subscribe and check back soon for more posts on what we are working on, what we have learned and what doesn’t work, we fail a lot, learn from us, we don’t mind sharing our mistakes and successes.