How do I Get Started On A Big Project

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Post » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:18 am

Hi everyone,

I'm new here, long time gamer and now I'm attempting my first created game. It's probably silly of me but the ultimate goal for it would be to get it on WiiU and maybe a webstore/steam afterward. I've been playing around in the free version of C2 for a few months now and I just bought a licence so I'm ready to begin. The best I can describe it would be like Megaman but more open world with choice of which boss to go after via traveling rather then a menu.

What would I need to know about hitting that goal before I start? Like would 1080p be the resolution I should aim for or would it be safer to do 720p. Also what would be the best C2 settings for this kind of game with flash art, if there's any difference.

I'm an artist but know nothing about programing, is this goal even possible for someone like me? Or should I focus on a smaller, more simple game for websites instead.

And if there's something I haven't thought of that I should know before I start drawing my characters and making prototype levels.

I expect for it to take a long time to complete but it's one of my big goals so I'll be putting my heart in it.
Thanks for your time! :D
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Post » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:02 am

I would definitely advise you start with something small for your first game.. take your time to learn C2 by trying different quick games and see how they work. You'll learn more doing 2-3 small games in a month than spending a month trying to make one game in the same time.

it's not just about knowing how to make things do things, but also allowing you time to understand how you like things done in C2 that make sense to you.. as you get more comfortable with it you'll be able to work faster on future games and develop ways that your brain understands stuff.

now in regards to some of those other questions:

- I would advise 720p. I did a project in 1080 and ran into a lot of memory problems. Also be sure you observe (this was part of the problem also) that any art created observes the power of 2 rule.. graphics should be multiples of 2 in pixels.. 128x256 32x32 512x512.. there is more on this in blog posts and forum discussions.. also seeing that you're talking about doing pixel art, it's all the more reason why going low will be fine because when you scale up to 1080p.. really there will be no more memory consumed because the graphic sizes are still the same, just scaled up.. and still pixelated...

- for a megaman type pixel game, be sure you set your properties "sampling" to point rather than linear.. linear will soften edges and blur lines. point will retain the pixel integrity of your art when you blow it way up. also i would suggest your pixel art really be the actual pixels.. like a blocky guy that's 16x32 pixels be that big.. don't make him 256x512 pixels because that' just wasting memory.

other than that.. again.. start small.. make some simple games.. get familiar with the platform(s) you want to publish too. I've applied to be a Wii-U developer and it's been a few weeks with no news.. maybe that's a bad sign or they just take awhile to get back to you. I'm hoping it's the latter.. but I'm pretty sure that if you go to them with no prior published games, you won't get approved unless perhaps you have an incredible game completed that's getting a lot of praise and hype.

Good luck.
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Post » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:31 am

I've made a few small levels with different kinds of functional gameplay, but I have yet to finish a game so it makes sense to me that I should start there. Knowing I would run into trouble at 1080p will save me a lot of headaches too as I was going to go for that but now I'll aim at 720p, the power of 2 rule is also a huge help :D. When you say get familiar with the platforms, do you mean like make a small game and then try to get it working across a few different ones like android etc?

I've been reading up on it and from what I've found the application to be a Wii-U developer was really slow but they seem to get back eventually, so I hope you get approved soon and maybe I'll get to play your game on my Wii-U. :D

Also thanks for taking the time to help me get started!
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Post » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:10 pm

yes about platforms, sorry that was kinda vague.. knowing how to reach those platforms can sometimes have subtle differences and sometimes not.. using XDK for android is not "hard" but it takes some software to install and understanding the process to a point of comfort is time well spent. Same with Ejecta / iOS if you're going for that. Ejecta makes it easy but knowing what things to change in Xcode takes a little time to get familiar with it. Tizen also has a few hoops to jump through. The web portals like Chrome store and Kongregate also have a few things going on with them, but they are generally pretty easy. Facebook has some gotcha's too, but once you get through those it too is easy. here is one of my games and a list of platforms I have reached or will be reaching soon http://part12studios.com/portfolio-items/bee-active/

None of them are really hard, its just finding the right (working) tutorials/advice that will get the jobs done. The other big time consumer is every app store just about, wants uniquely sized art for screenshots, icons and promo material.. so be ready to put some time into that. ideally work with 16:9 imagines for screenshots, but be ready to crop them / letterbox them down to other sizes like iPhone4s and older screens.. ipad.. and a lot of the promo icons are odd shapes as well.

Great to know about Wii-U approval time. I'm excited about the prospect, especially since I have just about finished a game adaptation for the Ouya, which means I could reach both consoles with the same game project (with some tweaks of course).

Also, I would suggest you give yourself some "primer" files that you can reuse for various platforms. you'll notice that of course once you make a 2nd game you have to make all the art for the next game, so what i've found helpful is to make a bunch of black images at each needed resolution to better prepare myself for the storm of promo materials. also be sure you get those darn C2 default graphics replaced early on.. because they will be exported all the time to each platform having to be replaced a bunch..

Good luck!
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Post » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:59 am

Awesome that you're helping out the honeybee's :D, all of this is great stuff too and having the primer files ready is a nice idea to save some time. I feel now like I should focus small first like you said and perhaps focus on just web portals like Kongregate etc, to build some confidence then maybe if the game turns out alright I'll try porting it to the others and go from there.

Thanks again for the tips! I won't be as overwhelmed now :D.
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