How to turn from hobbyist to pro?

Discuss game development design and post your game ideas

Post » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:09 pm

Thanks for the advice @kyratic I really saw it useful
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Post » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:27 pm

Kyatric wrote:The game is pretty confusing.

At first it is said that we have to put all vegetables in the baskets.
Nevertheless, on level 1, pushing the potato in the basket does not score point.
Once all 15 balls "spent", there is no feedback/star count (even if I had more than 1000 points from cleaning the eggs and dots, expecting three stars).
I go back to the menu by clicking "Exit", but on the "level selection screen", there's nothing new.
Also, it doesn't seem I can click anything else than level 1.

Note: After three tries (a "regular player" won't try more than once, see that it doesn't work, and just quit), I finally had a "You won" end screen on the level, 3 stars on level 1 and an update of the level selection.
It feels like I have to right click and wait for the "end of level" to be considered, but nowhere is it indicated.

So, imo, there is an issue with the feedback to your player, always consider that you need first to teach your player how to play your game.
This also makes the level design a bit problematic. The first levels should be very easy, and display easily the concept of the game.
The first level, with the kind of ramp over the potato makes it "too hard".

And some feedback in is confusing. The ball you shoot makes a sound when they drop in the basket, even though it doesn't score points. It's confusing and can lead the player to believe that it is doing something "good" when in fact, it's not the main goal at all.
You may play a sound, but maybe have a less "happy" sound, something more neutral, whereas this same sound could apply to when you drop vegetable and then actually score ! Whereas, at the moment, scoring big vegetables falling into basket don't make sound and there's no feedback unless you pay attention to the score.

Also, even if you have completed (put all the vegetables in baskets) you still have to "empty" your number of balls before the winning conditions are checked out.
And you need to click the "Menu (exit)" text anyway instead of being taken back to the level selection screen directly, or even going to the next level automatically.

The level selection screen should display a visible symbol for the "locked" levels and the unlocked/playable levels.
At the moment, there is only a difference once you have completed a first level, making it confusing until the first level has been completed.


So my main feeling about your game as it is is confusing.
It has potential and needs to be clearer for the player.
Otherwise, it can make for a nice simple game.

Also, I noticed there was already a topic where you had asked for feedback on your graphics and interesting feedback was already given to you, so don't hesitate to rework the graphics to make them more pleasing/interesting (with shadow/highlights, more pleasant shapes, etc...)

Improve on the feedback, make it clearer, work the level design to teach the concept and add difficulty/new gameplay elements with each new level.

And finally, the "boss" can be beaten with only clicking it, there isn't the strategy/gameplay involved in the rest of the game which makes it "simple" and pretty disconnected.
It's a bit of a sad ending to a mental challenge that ends "just" in mashing.
It would be better to have to beat a boss according to the same mechanics of the game (dropping items on it, or something of the like).

Your game is a nice basis, but overall still need work, I hope you'll take advantage of that feedback and improve it.


Thanks, I've made an update to see it go here please: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/136251427/Veggies%20Saga/Veggies%20Saga.html
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Post » Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:31 pm

You're 14. You've got all the time in the world. I wish I had C2 when I was 14. I'm 27, just now picking up programming and C2, but I'm in for real. Don't be discouraged when you make a crappy game. As long as you learned something from the experience, it was worth it. Be a hobbyist for like 4 more years or so. Learn how to program clones of other games from scratch.

Pick a variety of games like:
Mario, Angry Birds, Pong, Donkey Kong, a side-scrolling space shooter, and more. Don't worry about graphics for now. When you've completed enough games to feel comfortable in yourself, go to Newgrounds. Make a friend on the Collabinator, an artist. Have them make good art for your game (plenty are willing to do it for free if they can have some say in the art direction and possibly a bit of the game design). Put your heart into that game, spend months on it, and then release it when it makes you happy.

Then, watch the slew of 2 and 3 star ratings come in. No matter, your next game will be better. And you'll have learned a lot.

If you're starting game design at 14 years old, you've got a lot of time ahead of you to hone your craft. I say go for it, but commit. If you want to be a game designer, then BE a game designer. Don't give up just because you have some friends say your game is crap. All my games are crap, but I know that one day, one of them won't be. Keep it up!
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Post » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:46 pm

Extremely sound advice @teacherpeter. I started with a program called Klik 'n' Play back when I was about 12, and then its successor The Games Factory a few years later. While these programs were pretty basic compared with Construct 2, they taught me a lot about logic, which is extremely important for any sort of programming. I more or less lost interest in game development for about a decade, until last year I discovered Construct 2 and since then I've dived straight back into it - I've started (and trashed) more projects in the last year than I care to mention...

I really wouldn't set 'going pro' as your ultimate goal, just as I don't think aspiring writers should see getting published as their goal. Your ultimate goal should be to make a great game - one that you love and, hopefully, other people will too. If you can do that, the rest will follow.

In the meantime, play a huge range of videogames and other kinds of games too (board games, card games, tabletop games) - you never know where you'll find inspiration. I'd also really recommend learning a programming language at some point, if you get the opportunity.

Oh and I like your game! :D
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Post » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:26 pm

Oh by the way, I just played your game myself. I also think you've done a great job with it. Here's my advice:

Getting a little bit better art in the game (either by you improving your art yourself or bringing someone else into help) would go a long way to making your game better. No offense intended. My art is much much crappier than yours. Yours is downright impressive next to what I can do. I also think you need some kind of particle splash to happen when you destroy a peg and when you knock the veggie into the bin. Look into that, it's super easy to do with C2.

I recommend watching these gentlemen give their awesome speech on the importance of making "juicy" games. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy0aCDmgnxg
After you finish that, start playing around with some of the effects that Construct 2 has. Also look into some license-free music.

As far as gameplay, I think you might have something. It's very reminiscent of peggle but with your own little twist, which I can appreciate.
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Post » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:31 pm

Thanks @Teacherpeter and @lolpaca. I just want to say for @teacherpeter thank you for the support and I want to tell you that I'm going to improve my graphics, because I once asked to work with an artist but he dumped me
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Post » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:59 pm

Naji I just had the same thing happen. Doing free work with an artist is great until they decide it's not worth their time. Which is fine, too. They have a skill and deserve to be paid for it and all.
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Post » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:12 pm

I you are ever going to make bigger project I think it is quite important to be enthusiastic about it yourself and partly making it to yourself. There is always a good chance that there are people who like it as well. Feedback is good for the things you might be blind to, like one thing that was already discussed here, that people understand how your game works, difficulty (this seems to be my personal nemesis when I want to make challenging games they end up to be insanely hard :)), controls etc. In my opinion it shows on the final result if people making it were really into it rather than just making it for quick profit.

Personally I would be quite glad if my game would sell all right. Would reduce the amount of pointless uninteresting work I would have to do. Just hopefully there will be time when money is a subject of history and reason will win.
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Post » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:59 pm

If you truly believe in the game developing, you will create the game you wanna play instead of thinking what others want to play. If you try to please the masses, you most likely will create another in a thousand look a like games, whereas you follow your gut instinct, you will have a bigger chance in surprising the masses. And you will learn from failure and it will make you better. Just need to be able to look honestly back to your project, learn from it and evolve...
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