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September 19, 2014, 09:56:11 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreative (Moderator: John Sandoval)Should I start my own game?
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PythonBlue
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« on: November 14, 2012, 07:20:37 PM »

As of a few days ago, due to the press regarding Primal Carnage, a game I was tempted to play but can't because of my operating system, I've been having a phase in which I'm tempted to make my own game. Spent some of today learning Unity in order to see what I can do to accomplish that. I have some basic story ideas, but I stink at art, both 2D and 3D, combined with lacking marketing skills, so there's absolutely no way I can work on such a project on my own.

What do you guys think? SHOULD I start my own game? Or is this phase of mine causing me to be overly ambitious?
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eigenbom
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 07:29:03 PM »

Well we're most of us gamedevs here in this here forum, so, yes, make games, it is the single most bestest creative thing anyone can do. Smiley

But it sounds like you are a beginner, so you have to drastically reduce your expectations, and then reduce them again. Try to make a roguelike using libtcod or something, it requires no art skillz but should be a fun experience.

Good luck!
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SuperDisk
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 07:37:45 PM »

Yes, making games is vastly rewarding experience. I'd suggest trying something a little more... Not unity. I've heard from some other folks that it's not really meant for 2D things (which is definitely what you shoul start with if you are making a game for the first time). Might I suggest a tool like GameMaker or Multimedia Fusion 2? I like both of them quite a bit, plus they are both expandable with DLLs you learn how to make them.
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PythonBlue
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 07:43:38 PM »

Well, I probably am a beginner when it comes to indie games, though I have made a few personal game mods. I do prefer to work on a team regardless, though: while I do have some story ideas as said before, they're far from enough to make a game out of.
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eigenbom
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 07:55:26 PM »

Well if you're asking "should i start a game where people work on my game idea", then I'd say no, you'd be much better off joining an existing team in a limited capacity (e.g., making music if that's your thing). But, if you see yourself pursuing a career in indie games then you'd be better off working on your own and developing the myriad skills you'll need.
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Muz
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 08:51:44 PM »

Just do it. Make something. If you fail, you learn new things and get experience you could apply elsewhere. If you succeed, you get something cool. If you get bored, at least it's more productive than getting bored of playing a game.
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Götz
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 01:16:22 AM »

at least I think you should try to develop your ideas and if you feel you would like to develop that game go for it
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Ryland
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 01:46:31 AM »

I second the libtcod suggestion. I think a roguelike is a great project for a beginner. You can start out extremely simple. Just make an @ walking around in a square room, then add a couple monsters that do hard-coded damage, etc. You can add more complex features as you learn. Smiley
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TobiasW
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 02:47:59 PM »

You mention your "story ideas not being enough". Well, what kind of game do you want to make? Does it NEED an elaborate story? There are lots of games which don't.

(I'm a programmer without any mentionable skills in writing and art, and I still make games. The ones I do on my own mostly don't look to well, but if I do something cool, I ask one of my artist friends to beautify it.)
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theRayDog
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 03:15:50 PM »

There's also a critical difference between designing a game and designing a story. If you just want to tell a story there are better ways to do it. Not saying games aren't great for story telling but I think telling a story effectively through games also requires a certain level of mastery of mechanics design, which if you have never made a game before you probably don't have.
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Wilson Saunders
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 04:04:21 PM »

You should start making games, but you should probably hold off on starting your pet project until you know what you and your tools are capable of. Try and remake classic games like tetris, pong, arkanoid, chute, and asteroids. They should be pretty easy with modern tools. As you build them you will learn how these tools work and how you can use them to build your dream game. You will also make mistakes along the way. Throwing out a half functioning test game is a lot less painful than throwing out your pet project.

BTW: Don't tackle Unity unless you have a strong foundation in Object Oriented Design.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 04:11:08 PM by Wilson Saunders » Logged

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TobiasW
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 04:17:20 PM »

Try and remake classic games like tetris, pong, arkanoid, chute, and asteroids.

What is Chute? Google wasn't exactly helpful in finding a classic game with that name.
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impulse9
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 08:18:25 AM »

Quote
Should I start my own game?

A || !A

 Gentleman
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theRayDog
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 08:49:02 AM »

You should start making games, but you should probably hold off on starting your pet project until you know what you and your tools are capable of. Try and remake classic games like tetris, pong, arkanoid, chute, and asteroids. They should be pretty easy with modern tools. As you build them you will learn how these tools work and how you can use them to build your dream game. You will also make mistakes along the way. Throwing out a half functioning test game is a lot less painful than throwing out your pet project.

BTW: Don't tackle Unity unless you have a strong foundation in Object Oriented Design.

This is pretty good advice. My first game in flash was a break out clone followed by a terrible Galaxian clone. Redoing the old games will teach you the tool set well enough to give you an idea what you can realistically create from your own ideas.
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Wilson Saunders
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 09:33:12 AM »

@TobiasW

Sorry Chute was the knock off version of Paratrooper I played as a kid. At least I think it was its name. Here is the wikipedia article on paratrooper:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratrooper_%28video_game%29
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 09:26:15 AM by Wilson Saunders » Logged

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TobiasW
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2012, 09:40:25 AM »

Ah, ok! Never played that one, but at least now I know what it is Smiley
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Wilson Saunders
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2012, 11:11:46 AM »

Paratrooper was not the most popular game in its day, but remaking it is a great way of getting familiar with timer based enemy behavior, spawn points, and object management. It is a good classic game to graduate to after you learn the basics of rendering, user input, and collisions with a game like breakout/arkanoid.
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Graham-
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2012, 01:25:00 PM »

@ Python

Game dev is challenging, but deciding whether to dev your own game or not is not about whether you have the skills or not.

None of us started with skills. Then we got them. We got them in different ways. What matters is whether or not you get something out of the process of making a game. If you do then you should try making one. If you're unsure if you do then you'll find out if you try.

The biggest mistake new game devs make is trying to come up with a complete game idea first, then building it. This always happens. It happens because the alternative is scary. Devs want to feel like their work is leading somewhere so they wait for the vision before they start working.

Real games aren't made that way, not good ones. You can only get a good idea by designing, or studying, or making games, or art or something. If you don't have a good idea and you want one then the best thing to do is do game-related things that stimulate you. If you're unsure what that might be, making a game is the easiest place to start.

All you do is find a snippet of something you'd like to make. Here's some examples:
  . MegaMan with cooler bosses
  . Mario with more air time
  . FF7 with more story-based mini-games
  . some mechanic where you're surfing through the clouds

You probably have many of these, or at least a few. Pick your favourite. Then ask yourself, "what is the most important element of this idea?" You find the single smallest thing you can find, finding the most important part, of the most important part, of an idea, something so small that its implementation is obvious. Then you implement. Then you repeat the process, either adding to what you originally built or scrapping it entirely.

Getting to the point where you can "design in your head" takes a lot of practice, and newcomers often either overestimate their abilities at doing so or overestimate its importance. No matter how good you ever get you will do your best work if you're willing to let your ideas evolve as you work.

This question comes up often so I'm writing a bit about it.
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Maud'Dib Atreides
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2012, 12:59:04 AM »

like everything in life, gamedev is variable.

but even variables have expected results.

you should focus on building a rep online first

work as a programmer or artist with a few people, visit some forums, get your name known.

when you start your game you can have your networked buddies to help you with it

even build a team to work on a project.
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PythonBlue
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2012, 08:37:16 AM »

I guess I need to update this thread. I realize I'm being overly ambitious, but I want to be involved with some sort of interactive story and despite how simple my main idea is, it will probably never exist unless I at least give input. In addition, one thing I don't like about many games, including almost all starter games listed in this thread, is that they involve killing things on a regular basis, often to the point of emphasizing that over the story.

That said, one of my other threads mentioned the kind of game I wish to develop, which is an adventure game, the only kind of game that regularly implements most of my preferences. I realize I need to give up on this daydream, though. Sad

P.S. to Graham, you say that good games don't involve a complete idea developed before the actual design? Honestly, I wish that was the case...
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