Hobbyists - How do you make it happen?

Discuss game development design and post your game ideas

Post » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:28 pm

Even though I'm a newbie here, I did have some game developments in the past when I made Flash or Director game projects.(personal & academical) I might have something to give. Here's my take on how to manage time, especially for those making bigger than casual games: (excuse my meticulous writing style :roll: )

At the very beginning of development there's excitement. you have the most enthusiastic mood and your brains are more relaxed, which is perfect and ready to bring ideas to the table, as well as learning & making tests and prototypes. There should have no strict deadlines at this period. Take your time, cos' ideas & concepts can't be rushed.

Second, when you start coding or putting art/design/audio assets for the game, is where you start feel like "working".You should have a time-table & deadlines. At this stage you should probably planned out all the major stuff & minor stuff, the 'to-do-list'. Also, It's always more productive when you have deadlines, they can be quite a motivator!

Now, get the "real work" started & do all the major workload, the things that most people would notice and expect. Try to get yourself into this "creative flow", once you have it, don't stop! You'll be amazed of how productive you can be. This stage can be more flexible than you think, just try to do all the part you're eager to do at the time being, and leave all the repetitive & similar elements (art assets like: grid sprites/letter designs/in-between animations etc.) to the next stage.

Near the end of the development, we usually have most of the game elements finalized, that's where 'Crunch Time' is at. Get a complete work list, and be in total focus, no distractions, and work like a machine! Compress workload into a short time, 2~4 days is the limit. Crunch Time is not meant for making up new idea or planning stuffs, you shouldn't use more brainpower in crunch time or you'll get even more exhausted, or even frustrated, which is bad for work. Just complete all the stuff in crunch time, and get them over with quickly.

Then lastly for the remaining parts: fixing, debugging, optimizing etc. It doesn't matter 1~2 weeks or extended, you're nearly finishing your game, so relax and use as much time you left for polishing the game, before proceeding into publishing or marketing stage.

Overall: I can't stress enough the time management used for different stages of game development. Moods, on the other hand, is also quite crucial. What's the point if you feel making game is like being in a battlefield, hard & gritty...

Sorry for the long comment. I hope I wrote well for my take. :P
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Post » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:16 pm

When it comes to how I make my games happen, it's usually a matter of "how much juice do I have running today?". Certain parts can be done easily and other parts may drag for weeks. Usually my kick is being eager to finish it and share my game with others.

My process for making things work though tends to work like this:

1. Get a game idea: Having an idea is the first step to anything. It doesn't need to be ground breaking or anything. just something fun. Added points for motivation.

2. Design the concept: This stage can take a short moment or a good while depending on the game I want to build. I try to get an idea of what the screen should look like so I have an idea of how many objects I am looking at making and also the style for the game. It's great to look back on during production as well.

3.Pick your engine: This one is typically always based on "which on would this be easier in?" simply because at this point in the game for me, I want to focus on finishing the product. There's typically always "an ideal engine" such as Unity, but to code all of the classes and limits can be a little messy sometimes with me. (The UI is a little much at the moment.)

4.Make a prototype: Boxes. Everywhere. I'm not exactly looking for a nice look here, I just want to know that I can make the fundamentals of the game in the engine.

5.Graphics: This step makes or breaks me because I am so lazy with graphics sometimes. Other times, I will go through and remake everything 6 times. Depends on my drawing mood for the day, but it can really kill some larger projects that have a full prototype ready.

6.Bells and whistles: with that done, now I just kind of make everything pretty. I can't compose music at all, so I turn to a lot of free music online (with proper credit), add particles and effects, and pick out any kind of errors with collision that I may find.
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Post » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:58 am

Make a sketch on paper, go to the engine and now the hardest part, test a thousand times until get good. Finalize your project, even if the game is ten minutes long or an hour, just finish something. Only through a lot of work that we improve. Start simple.

-Gleison
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Post » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:29 pm

Semo wrote:I had this idea for a game for a vary long time and never really thought i could make it myself. When i found out about C2 and tried it i figured i could make it happen if i really wanted to! So i just started messing around. I had it all in my mind and just let my creativity do the rest. Things fall into place when i work and new ideas arise.


Same here.
I started as a total profane in game development, and my very first creation is the one which i'm still workin on (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =331479068). Over time, i gradually learned new things, refined my skills, implemented new ideas, and here we are, in the middle of the alpha stage with a very complex project going on!
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Post » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:12 am

If you don't succed try try and try again
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Post » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:18 pm

I start with a game design document. From there i just add simple sprites to try and get out the main ideas of the concept. If it's fun or I see potential in the game I keep going. If not I scratch that idea and keep moving.

With that being said, You have to fine your own pipeline and see what works for you. If you do any creative work now use that same pipeline and see if it translate to your game design process.
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Post » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:43 am

For learning, not much can compare with working with a team first.
Even if the team project falls apart due to life issues, you'll have learned quite a bit in the process, and the impetus from other team members to fulfill your obligations will be stronger than the motivation you'd have to learn alone.

Of course, your mileage may vary, but that's how a lot of people finally get that push to get over the beginner's hump. Then once you have the skill set, creating and executing your own vision will be much more achievable.
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Post » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:57 pm

I had a lot of ideas for a long time, but never really had any tool to make them until i found Construct 2. I tried a couple of times to make projects with friends. But there's often too many hickups and bumps along the road working in a team (On your "spare time"). If i really do need help on something I will actually consider paying someone to do it, or ask help in that particular matter.

Many projects that you do on your spare time tends to become more of a burdon than a hobby if you involve too many people. Although, If you synchronise your vacations, sit together a couple of days/weekends/weeks working intensely and focused together towards the same goal, you can achieve a lot more than doing an hour here and there, depending on each other to fix certain things.

If you really need to work together with other people on something doing it focused and intensely over a shorter period works way better than stray work every now and then. Getting together over the weekend, Rent a cabin in the woods (preferably with as few distractions as possible), kiss your partner goodbye, and just go crazy.

For me when I'm working alone on something, i use the few hours after work every now and then for planning, inspiration, sketching, writing down ideas, and set a goal what I want to get done over the weekend. Then first thing Saturday morning I brew myself a nice cup of Java, and start work, until i'm too tired to continue, and the same thing on Sunday, if I don't have anything else booked.

At least that's what works for me. :)
Follow my progress on Twitter
or in this thread Archer Devlog
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Post » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:33 pm

For me the best thing is to jump straight into it. Of course I have some general ideas for how I want the game to be, but I usually just start from the beginning and go on from there. My challenge is that I keep going back and fix stuff, like the look of some sprites and the design of levels - this makes the process end up in stalemate and I lose the motivation. I also have several ideas for games at one time, and this makes it difficult to really focus on one game at a time..

I guess the process is different for everyone. I like to just head straight in there and see where the road takes me (and the game) :D
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Post » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:10 pm

Work out the game using nothing more than pieces of paper and pencils or biros. Plenty of iterations are required as you progress because ideas evolve. And so you will need some kind of fencing to stop yourself evolving ever better ideas forever. Keep it simple and use simple graphics for the prototyping. Don't get hung up on the artwork until you have the game logic and mechanics sorted out. Build up the game and ensure all is rock solid and then start pruning back on the non essentials and then prune some more. Be like Michelangelo starting with a huge lump of carrara stone and start chiseling. Eventually you'll have a nice little game. And remember, amazing artwork will not save a crap game and an amazing game will only ever need simple but professional graphics: look at Don't Touch the Spikes as a lesson in simplicity of game concept and simplicity of visual style. It looks like you could have come up with that game one Sunday afternoon. But you didn't because you were sweating the details - right?
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