Getting started as a new game developer

Discuss game development design and post your game ideas

Post » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:41 pm

So, I have learnt this program pretty well, spending many many hours just following and studying tutorials and I'm pretty well acquainted with the programs features and stuff (obviously I haven't mastered the program). I always had these great big ideas before I had the capabilities to create a game, but now the capability is there; I cannot think of a game I want to create (or at least, a game that I CAN create).

The problem is, now I understand what I can and can't do when it comes to creating a game at the moment, I can't actually think of a game that I want to make, or even a game that I am inspired to make. Is this something that I just have to wait to happen, like wait until the idea I want to implement slaps me in the face?

My goal right now is just to create a little game that isn't too complex, but still has some fun game mechanics. Since my artsy-side of me isn't so good, I have been using some free assets here and there, but majority of all my design is usually done by myself (leading to an underwhelming graphical game, but I understand good graphics don't necessarily make a game great, if the mechanics for a fun game are already there).

I just wanted to ask, did anyone else go through the same issue? I've tried making a tower defense game, which I gave up on because I lost my motivation to make the game, as well as a platformer. The problem isn't my motivation, I have tons of it, the problem is finding the right game I want to make for my first game. I understand I could be aspiring too much for a first game and something as simple as PONG should be my focus, but I know I can make much better than that.

Is there any advice anyone can give to me as a beginning game developer, what kind of game should I be aiming for? Should I think of a game that hasn't really been made yet? Should I just rip a bunch of tiles for a classic game like Mario and just make something for fun and for myself? What processes should I consider when making a game? Spend a bunch of time planning and creating some prototypes before even attempting to make the game itself?

Thank you :)
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Post » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:30 am

Well, I recently started too, and I might be able to give some advice on a few things.

1. Try to get your friends into construct, or find / make friends online (like I have) that can help you with certain aspects that you aren't very capable in doing (For example, one of my friends is a sprite artist, another is an animator for those sprites, and I am the C2 coder). This can give you more confidence in what you can create.

2. People might say to start with something small, but I instead went with my dream game, as crazy as I was. Think about what your passionate about, what your interests are, and build upon it. Think about some genres and games you love to play and put your own twist on it, follow your dream. :D
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Post » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:42 am

I'm no game dev but an artist all the same. For you, it is important to get something out into the public. Creating a bunch of small games gives you a chance to focus on a small collection of techniques and practices that you can later use in a bigger context.

Using Pong as an example:

1 Create your version of Pong for 1 player (or two) = learn simple physics
2 Create a bombing game in the spirit of Angry Birds and alternatives = take physics further in an advanced 2D environment with a bit more happening
3 Combine the two into a game where two players are bombing each other. One shoots to destroy the other and the other executes a defending maneuver.

That is how it goes :) It is like a puzzle. Learn a thing here and a thing here and combine. Then repeat. For you right now it is just important to get something out. It will be a BIG boost for you. There are people around you who can help you with sounds and graphics both for free and for money if you are concerned of your skills in those areas.

Good luck out there! ;)
Have a happy day!
- Markus Lappalainen, Composer & Audio Engineer
Open for commissions!

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Post » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:04 pm

Here are a couple of ideas *I* use when deciding what game I want to work on next:

1. Play a lot of games, including games from lesser-known sites. Often I will find a title that has an interesting mechanic, but it's poorly implemented, or there are other features that I don't like. Use that as a starting point for a new game, where you fix the stuff that's wrong and add your own ideas.

2. Alternately, you can take that same cool mechanic and change the theme/setting/characters. "Angry Birds" is basically just "Crush the Castle" with birds and pigs! (And a lot more personality, of course.)

3. The physics engine is very powerful, so come up with a simple mechanic and just "play" with it for awhile. That will often suggest new game concepts. For example, one day I got curious if I could use the left and right cursor keys to affect an object's rotation. After I got that working I realized that it was fun to make the object do "flips" once it bounced into the air. That suggested a slew of different game ideas.
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