Jeff Hangartner – Revealing the Path Less Travelled in Video Game Industry

Jeff HangartnerJeff Hangartner, the founder of the gaming start-up, Bulletproof Outlaws has been a professional developer of games over the last half a decade. Creator of Pixelation, the 1st Pixel Art Forum and also originator of the Pixel tutorials which have been published in the form of a book. Jeff has always been a pioneer of the gaming industry.

CG Today is proud to present Jeff’s exploration as he shares the whole process of creating a start-up right from day 1. With the belief that gaming development is coming back to its original “one programmer in the basement roots” idea, Bulletproof Outlaws is chronicling every step of its start-up process from strategies, to marketing, setting goals and outsourcing, successes and failures. The aim is to help other developers who have ideas but are intimidated by the whole start-up process and are not sure how to go about it.

You can visit his website Bulletproof Outlaws to know more about him or send an email to get connected.

I have a little programming skill. I’ve wanted to make videogames since I was a kid, but back then there was no Internet to collaborate with a programmer… so if I wanted to make games, I had to teach myself to program. My dad had a TRS-80 Color Computer I was playing games on when I was 4. I learned you could type right into the OS and start making a game and was fascinated. When we got our first PC, I found QBasic on it and made a few cool little demos.

In High School I was nerdy enough that I knew everything we were learning in our computer class so I asked the teacher if I could just make a game instead of doing the units. He was awesome enough to let me, and so I started figuring out C++ using DJGPP/Allegro (which I LOVED, it was so easy to make stuff). The last few years I started messing with Flash and Actionscript. I’m not a programmer, but I understand how it works… so today I sat down to figure out CSS/html so I could make a website formatted for the iPhone.

This is going to be my “Get More Games” link, where when you’re in a game you can choose the option and be taken to this mobile site where you can see the other games available. In the Shareware days of PC gaming you’d see advertisements for games as splash screens after you quit the game. This was a good idea in theory, show off your other games to your audience and try to entice them. The problem back then was that once the ads were in there, they couldn’t be updated.

I worked on some cell phone games back before Smartphones existed, and they’d have a “Get More Games” option that went to a website listing our games. Why is this a better route? Say you put out a game today… if your “Get More Games” links to a website, 3 years from now you could put out a new game, update that website, and anyone who downloads that first game will see your new games instead of just whatever you had out at the time it was developed.

This is important. If your game doesn’t make it as easy as possible for users to discover your other games, you’re crippling your possible sales.

With that in mind, snag GetMoreGames.html from this link to download the code for mine to use as a basis if you like. It’s not pretty, but it works, haha

In other news I’ve got a Press Release written up. I’m going to send it to my business coach to look over before I send it out. My next post will be about putting out Press Releases and the different services and prices available around the Internet.

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