Developing Tutoria for Live-Streams

Smile Game Builder - Tutoria: Developing A Live-Stream Game
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What Is Tutoria?

As many of you already know, I started live-streaming SMILE GAME BUILDER on YouTube, specifically for developing Tutoria, the lands in which the game takes place.

Tutoria Basic Map - SMILE GAME BUILDER
Tutoria Basic Map – SMILE GAME BUILDER

Tutoria is a vast land mass sitting in the centre of the Primeval Ocean (a bit like Pangea before it shifted into the continents we know today).

It’s divided into two supercontenents: Aetios, the frigid ice-bound tundra in the north, and Kryuth, comprising more temperate climates in the south and the sweltering desert regions farther south and east.

Connecting them is a man-made bridge in the east, referred to simply as the Crossing, and an isthmus in the west known as the Dragon’s Causeway. The capital of Kryuth is Ancieryth and Aetios’s capital city is Cloverleaf.

The above image provides a very basic layout of what Tutoria is meant to look like. Details will inevitably change as development continues throughout the live-streams and the map itself might change over time. (The map was created on Inkarnate, an online map creator. You do need an account to use it, but you can still make some useful maps even with the Free version; the Pro version isn’t that badly priced either.)

The Purpose of Tutoria

The basic idea behind Tutoria – and the purpose of the live-streams on YouTube – is to create a game from start to finish (however long it takes) and then to post-process it in Unity so that it can then be downloaded and played by all.

It isn’t a serious attempt at game making! It’s simply to create a game over the course of one- or two-hour streams for others to watch. And that’s it!

As I develop Tutoria during the live-streams, I’ll also revisit some of my older video tutorials and bring them more up-to-date. Plus I’ll demonstrate how to create some of the graphics for the game, including icons, effects, and so on. This essentially makes it a tutorial live-stream with the end-goal of a completed game.

Incidentally, Sana of SmileBoom suggested the name "Tutoria" some time ago because I initially wanted to create a series of videos dedicated to creating a short game in SMILE GAME BUILDER based on my tutorials. And it stuck! Hence why it’s so named now.

Giveaways!

During live-streams I’ll be giving away free stuff! Everyone likes free stuff, right?

This could be anything from Title screens to Game Over screens to assets that I create. In last week’s stream, I gave away a Title screen of a nice fairy sitting on a toadstool in a fairy ring.

In the beginning, these giveaways will be sporadic, pretty much as and when I feel like it, but over time, they’ll become a regular feature for all the Tutoria streams. I’ll usually announce this on Twitter and Facebook.

The rules for receiving these freebies (as they become available) are:

  • You must say "Hi!" during the live-stream (even if you say nothing else).
  • After the live-stream, you must contact me on Twitter or Facebook, or in Discord, with the name you used during the stream.
  • You must NOT use them in anything but SMILE GAME BUILDER.
  • You must NOT share them with anyone else or on any other website. (Of course, you can still use them in your games if you want to.)

That’s it!

A final note about the giveaways: In time, these free assets will make their way in packs on the Gnome Treasure online store and Itch.io. So if you want free copies you can collect them in the live-streams only!

Tutoria Live-Streaming Schedule

Live-streams for Tutoria were initially scheduled for Fridays. I had to fit this into my shifts at work. Now that they’ve changed slightly to Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, however, it makes it easier to work with as far as game development as a whole is concerned.

Starting this weekend, I’m rescheduling these live-streams for Sundays because, being the weekend, and based on the feedback I’ve also received, this seems to be a more convenient slot for a people to attend.

Hi-Tex Terrain Packs Volumes 1 & 2 for Smile Game Builder Now Available

Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex Assets
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The Hi-Tex Terrain Asset Packs Volumes 1 & 2 for SMILE GAME BUILDER are now available for $3.99 each on the Gnome Treasure store.

Volume 1

Hi-Tex Terrain Vol. 1
Hi-Tex Ground Terrain Vol. 1 – Smile Game Builder

Buy Now

Volume 2

Hi-Tex Terrain Vol. 2
Hi-Tex Ground Terrain Vol. 2 – Smile Game Builder

Buy Now

Combined they total 178 high-texture terrains to enhance your indie games. These have been designed for SMILE GAME BUILDER.

Hi-Tex Furniture Models: Bookshelf and Books – Smile Game Builder

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The bookshelf and its modular books models have been resized to match the size of the default bookshelf. The narrower models didn’t look or feel right.

Bookshelf-Books Models 1
Hi-Tex SMILE GAME BUILDER Models: Bookshelf and Modular Books

This will be a part of the Hi-Tex Furniture Pack, which is scheduled for release later this year. It’s been set as Vol. 2 of the Furniture pack. However, I’m considering releasing this as Vol. 1 instead of Vol. 2, as I’d like to remake the chairs and tables, basically a few adjustments to size and form.

What’s Been Going On (Again)?!

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INTRODUCTION

This is another What’s Been Going On?! update, and it’s an important one because it addresses several major issues, things that can no longer be ignored or deferred. I wanted to get something out before the New Year but decided to write this at the crest of 2019 instead.

I’ll first address two big issues – the elephants in the room, if you will – before moving on to the plans for 2019 as far as Smile Game Builder (and other gaming projects) I’m planning.

It’s not as gloom-and-doom as it might sound in the beginning, however, as there is an eventual positive outcome. Just bear with me.

DEPRESSIVE STAGE

Now, I know I haven’t uploaded anything for quite some time – since September, in fact – and I apologize for that. I’ve been asked often throughout this period if I’ve abandoned the SGB tutorials in particular and NO I HAVE NOT!

I have been going through a "depressive stage". While I’ve suffered with depression most of my life, it’s not something I talk about. Most of the time it can be managed; sometimes, though, it manifests more volcanically.

Unfortunately, this time fell into the latter over a long period of time, kind of like a "creeping depression". I didn’t see those all-too-familiar telltale signs (and I don’t think anyone else did either), so when it reached critical mass and I had a meltdown, it was particularly nasty, something I’m not very proud of. I almost lost something – someone! – very precious to me, so it was at that point that I knew something had gone seriously amiss and it was time to take a step back for an extended timeout while I sifted throught the root causes and sorted the crap out. I’d rather forget about this and move onwards and upwards!

And now that things are starting to make sense again, I can finally do this update, which I’ve continuously deferred until now. But, as I said, I wanted to start the new year with an update, and this is it.

Despite this, I’ve still been fairly active. You can read about that on my Twitter and Facebook. accounts.

And, if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you join our Smile Game Builder Discord server, where we have sections for modeling, Blender, Unity, and a lot of other SGB related channels.

TUTORIALS HISTORY

The lack of videos has nothing to do with Smile Game Builder (or game dev in general); it has to do with YouTube itself, more specifically what it has ultimately become.

When I first started the channel back in 2010…Yes, the channel is 8 years old! Anyway, when I first started the channel, I’d intended to upload a lot of content relating to RPG Maker (showcases of my scripts and projects mostly), as well as some animations I did from time to time.

But there was no clearly defined theme, no structure and no planned direction. It was just "fluff"! The videos were inconsistent and irregular. But back then I didn’t have too much confidence for things like public speaking or hard-coding. And I didn’t really think anything would become of my channel; it was just a means to showcase some of my projects, more for me than anyone else.

So when I had the privilege to beta-test Smile Game Builder before its official launch, that actually became a game changer for the channel. And it started to grow, moving in a direction I felt comfortable and confident with.

The very first SGB video I uploaded was an experimental sample game called SGB Quest: Faerealm.

And that was back in August 2016 shortly after SGB’s official release, I believe.

The second one I did was a Zelda styled forest maze (inspired by the forest maze in The Legend of Zelda for the original NES). I eventually did a tutorial on that – Tutorial #26, which you can also watch if you want to see how that’s done – but both videos were intended to showcase some of the things that could be done in SGB.

When SGB was officially released, the next set of videos were mainly overview videos going through all of the features that SGB had to offer. Pure and simple. But then one thing led to another and the next set of videos were again essentially showcase videos focusing on events and other features. And that sparked a revolution.

I started producing tutorials based on things I’d found: useful routines, workarounds for SGB’s limitations, additional information and ultimately answering various how-to questions that were asked or which I’d seen somewhere else. And this became the foundation for the Tutorials & Showcases playlist.

Almost 60 videos later, there’s still room for more tutorials as SGB continues to grow. That means that I will continue with the tutorials for as long as I’m able.

YOUTUBE

And that leads to the other elephant in the room which is YouTube and what has affectionately become known as the YouTube "adpocalypse", which I’m sure you’re all aware of by now. It affected many channels, both large and small, with far-reaching ramifications across the board. And my channel was included in their demonetization purge because I had no chance within the timeframe to reach their immodest new subscription requirements. I’m not going into details about that. There’s little point.

But what I will say is that, as a result of that, perhaps as an additional knock-on effect that may have been the trigger for the depressive state, I found myself becoming increasingly demotivated to create any videos for YouTube, regardless of content. Therefore, ironically, the demotivation to upload to YouTube was, first and foremost, BECAUSE of YouTube.

Now, although I’m not able to create content as regularly as I’d like because of my work schedule, I still have a 3-day window to create a video, update and maintain the blogs, work on the online store and work on my RPG Maker plugins, and SGB models and games (without including those all essential chores we all need to do!). Cramming all of these things into 3 days per week isn’t fun! And it’s simply not viable, even with a good time management system in place, as I’ve discovered numerous times.

But somehow I’m going to do it to make sure that all you wonderful people who subscribe and follow me, and benefit from my content, can continue doing so well into the new year. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart; it means a lot to me. It’s given me the motivation to forge ahead, in spite of everything that’s happened; it’s given me more of a direction and purpose, and it’s something I enjoy doing.

INTO THE NEW YEAR

So, yeah, going into the new year, what are the plans?

Smile Game Builder 2019
Smile Game Builder 2019

SGB TUTORIALS

Well, as I mentioned I’m going to start with the SGB tutorials and upload them every Sunday, as I did previously. In the beginning, though, it won’t be every Sunday while I regain the routine I had, but they will still be regular and consistent.

Now given the nature of YouTube and its current climate, while I always try to use content for which I have permission to use or which is used under the "Fair Use", if any of my videos are falsely flagged for things like copyright infringement, policy violations, or anything similar (which they ARE inclined to do), or if anything happens to my channel here, I will have a backup this time. That way it’ll give you the option to choose which platform you watch the tutorials on and if one is down then the other should work regardless so you can still view the video.

I’ll announce the link nearer the time.

ONLINE STORE

As many of you are probably aware by now, especially if you’ve been following me on social media, we are in the process of creating an online store. My other half and I decided to consolidate our products so they’d conveniently be in one place, rather than scattered in several places.

I will be putting my assets packs for SGB on the store and she’ll be putting her own arts and crafts there too. Eventually we’ll expand it to include other things as part the business ideas we’ve entertained and discussed for awhile, on and off.

Next year, we’re seriously pushing forward with this and the store’s grand opening will be closer to the middle or end of January 2019. So that’s something to look forward to. I know we’re excited about it because we’ve been bouncing ideas for the past 2 years and now, finally, it can all be realised.

LIVE-STREAMING

Also in the new year, I’m going to start live-streaming proper. I started it this year but, being a very slow bloomer when it comes to this sort of thing, it was mostly for experimentation, testing and experience.

Now that I have a decent set up, I think it’s time to use that experience for regular live-streams, which I’m scheduling for every Friday.
I’m not sure what I’ll actually stream yet, but it looks likely now that it’ll be Witcher 3 for awhile. I will also occasionally live-stream Smile Game Builder, where I might be able to answer some questions, perhaps even with a how-to demo, as well as FINALLY doing some play-throughs of games that people have sent me.

In the past I tried multi-streaming to both Twitch and YouTube, but I had a few problems with live-streaming to YouTube so am going to stick with Twitch only. At least for awhile.

SPONSORSHIP

Finally, as part of the transition into the new year, the wife and I have talked about various strategies to bring much more regular quality content to you guys without being limited by things like time constraints and finances.

And part of this is, of course, in addition to moneys from the online store, seeking donations and sponsorships. Basically pushing towards a more monetized business model so that for the longer term goals, we’d be able to generate a consistent income stream for things like hardware upgrades and new software. But, ultimately, the end-goal has always been so that I can devote a lot more time on game development specifically, notably the Smile Game Builder part of it simply because it’s proven to be a solid engine worthy of attention. The ultimate goal, however, is to be able to quit my job and focus on game development as a whole full time and migrate to Canada or the USA.

Before YouTube’s adpocalypse and demonetization purge, my channel was slowly gaining traction and viewership, so it meant that revenue from their ads was slowly accumulating. Early projections even suggested a cumulative increase of 200-300% from previous years over the course of the next year or two. Because of YouTube’s sweeping policy changes, I’m pretty much writing this off as a complete loss.

So that meant we had to look at alternatives, studying them very carefully, and seeing if they would fit our business model.

One option was, of course, the dreadnought Patreon, but now, given the recent controversy building up around it, I don’t think we’ll pursue that. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and you’re really interested, you can do a search on it yourself. It’s a hot topic right now and YouTube in particular is rife with videos on it, so see for yourself.)

We are looking at other similar sites, including Subscribestar (which also has some "rhubarb" of its own), and we’re weighing our options. I think over the course of the next few months we’ll reach a decision on how best to proceed with this.

If you would like to make a donation – you don’t have to, of course, but every dollar will be greatly appreciated and will go towards these goals – that option will be available on the online store soon. Or you can donate directly through PayPal and your name will appear in the list of "special people" at the end of my videos, as well as on this blog.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey. May it continue into 2019!

Hi-Tex House Pack Vol. 1
Withdrawal and Revision

Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex Assets Models
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The House Pack Vol. 1 for SMILE GAME BUILDER has been withdrawn. I’m in the process of revising this entire pack and its contents, and separating it into different categories:

  • House Wall Terrains Pack (including Lintels)
  • Furniture Pack (chairs, tables and bookcases, including modular decorations)
  • Pictures Pack (various pictures and frames)

Individual packs and the bundle pack will be available on Itch.io and the online store, as well as other places.

These will be bundled into the newly revised House Pack Vol. 1 and, as a thank you, anyone who already purchased the asset pack will receive the bundle for free.

Note: I’m still not sure that I trust Itch enough to sell through them, but we shall see what happens.

SMILE GAME BUILDER Hi-Tex House Pack – Furniture: Chairs

SMILE GAME BUILDER Hi-Tex House Pack - Furniture - Chairs
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The SMILE GAME BUILDER Hi-Tex House Pack – Furniture: Chairs is in development. Textures from left to right are: Mahogany, Oak and Pine.

For each type, there will be 5 variations: Normal, Overturned (Backwards), Overturned (Forwards), and Ruined. And 5 cushioned versions as well.

SMILE GAME BUILDER Hi-Tex House Pack - Furniture - Chairs
SMILE GAME BUILDER Hi-Tex House Pack – Furniture – Chairs

I have no release date set yet. They will go on my online store. (If the problems at Itch can be resolved, there too.)

Hi-Tex House Pack New Tables (Smile Game Builder)

Hi-Tex Furniture Pack 1 Promo (Smile Game Builder)
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These are some models I’ve been working on for Smile Game Builder as part of the new Hi-Tex Furniture Pack. There will be matching chairs and cabinets too. This will then be released as a full pack some time in the near future.

Hi-Tex House Pack New Tables (Smile Game Builder)
Hi-Tex House Pack New Tables (Smile Game Builder)

Important Notice

These will NOT be available on Itch.io (especially after what they did). Instead, I’m working on an online store.

Hi-Tex House Pack Vol. 1 Released

Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex House Pack Vol. 1 Asset Pack
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The Hi-Tex House Pack Vol. 1 for Smile Game Builder has been released!

The complete House Pack set will contain all kinds of terrains and furniture models. From tables and chairs to cooking equipment to utensils, this is the perfect set to furnish and enhance your houses.

In each pack, the contents have been carefully selected so that they’re not duplicated. Each model has been named so that when you import them into Models in SGB, they’ll integrate seamlessly into the House Pack (HSP).

Contents

This pack contains 295 assets, including:

  • 284 house wall terrains
  • 11 models

This pack will be updated with 3 more models (1 more lintel and 2 more chairs) later.

Furniture Showcase Video

Claim Your Copy!

You can buy your own copy now! for only $5 and start using them in your games right away!

Models: Table and Chairs

Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex Assets Models
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Some more Smile Game Builder furniture assets: a small table and chairs. I also have a functional template for filling the bookcases modularly with books and objects, which are stackable.

Smile Game Builder Table Chairs Showcase
Smile Game Builder Table Chairs Showcase

They’re unavailable and may be game-exclusive, but I may release it as part of another models House Pack later. More details will follow later.

Models: Hi-Tex House Pack Final Models

Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex Assets Models
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The final models for the Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex House Pack 1 are done. The release date is on schedule for later this month, although I’m not sure of pricing just yet. I’m finalizing the terrains, models and naming conventions, and doing some final testing, before release.

Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex House Pack (HSP) Tables
Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex House Pack (HSP) Tables