My 2016 – Releasing all of my content for free
I remember how in 2005 I began writing the first edition of my book The Hows and Whys of Level Design. I had a lengthy daily commute, and one of those fairly early gen PDAs with a touch screen. I typed out the bulk of the entire book out on that PDA over a period of several months, using nothing but the little touch pen. I typed so much, that the plastic touch screen began eroding away where the most common letters were.
Over the course of the years I released 2 books, and 7 big Unreal Engine 3 and 4 video tutorial projects. They did awesome. Your response and support over the years has been super great. The books were never a financial success, something that is hard to accomplish with a book on a niche subject, but the uptake and the impact they’ve had over the years has been significant. Without any marketing or sales, and only selling the content via my own website the books sold more copies than the target sales numbers many game dev book publishers appear to aim for.
Likewise for the videos. Many bought those, and the response has been wonderful. Thanks so much for the help and support, and to allow me to carry on creating things!
As a Christmas gift to the community I am hereby releasing all of my books and all of my videos for free! You can find all the content on the various pages on the site.
Some of the content is beginning to age. The UE4 videos were done using 4.0 so there are some minor interface differences, but otherwise they still hold up perfectly fine.
The UDK videos might appear very old, but since they go so in-depth on technical topics a lot of it is surprisingly relevant still for UE4. Many of the deeper technical things in UE3 are still identical in UE4, apart from interface changes.
For the books I am planning major updates in the year(s) ahead. I will start off with the games industry book because it is easier to update (fewer example images needed), but I hope to eventually move over to the level design one too. All updates will be released for free and openly. If time allows I hope to transition it out of the PDF form and onto a pure HTML form too later on.
Thanks again to all who have previously bought this content and supported me!
2016 has been as crazy as every year. On behalf of Epic I visited a few dozen cities and countries evangelizing the Unreal Engine, and met thousands of studios, developers, and enthusiasts alike.
My work at the education Futuregames in Stockholm also carried on as usual, hitting another ~80% success rate on people being hired into the industry on the day of graduation.
After exactly 3 years of work, my game The Solus Project also finally launched. In June for PC, in July for Xbox One. I could write a book about what I experienced and learned from the whole process, but in short it has gone great. For a team of only a few people, operating on a near zero budget, the game shipped a very solid 150 000 copies in the first six months of its release.
Alongside with my previous two games The Ball and Unmechanical, my small company has now shipped well over half a million copies. With having done indie releases in 2010, 2012, and 2016 I experienced 3 distinct stages of the industry. When we launched The Ball in 2010 there weren’t any Youtubers or Twitch streamers for example. Yet in these 3 different markets, we managed to perform consistently. All 3 games were done with an absolute minimum budget, with small teams, and in unorthodox ways.
Entering the 18th year since I began using UnrealEd 1, it has been a crazy ride that has enabled me to do so much that I never expected to be able to do.
Here is onto an interesting 2017. Although given the state of affairs I do hope that doesn’t include WW3.