Is it worth it?

For questions about using Classic.

Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:48 am

The past few weeks I have been working on an ambitious game based in the Star Wars universe. In the game you fight through waves of enemies, solve puzzles, exploit the force to your advantage to break walls, attack enemies, and other tasks. As the story progresses you get access to new lightsaber moves and new force powers. Later in the game you unlock your own spaceship and can travel to other planets to complete side missions. You can also upgrade your ship with new parts to fight enemies in space.

I am extremely early stages of prototyping and I got the basic movements, some lightsaber moves. As this is the first game I'm working I've been asking myself whether this gargantuan task is worth it. I'm a beginner and I can barely make my own events to work the way I want it to work. I have been always asking other people for help and it seems as they are making the game itself.

So I want to ask you should I stop and go for something simpler and easier to achieve or should I work harder and try to complete this project? As this game is early in development I'm lucky I taught about this earlier.

I need opinions from more experienced people as I can't decide myself. :?
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Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:20 am

I'm in a similar situation, in that I am attempting to re-create a much loved game from my youth from the AMiga days. It is a daunting task, but every time something works at it should, it's one step closer. For me, it doesn't matter how long I take to do this as it's a labour of love, in a way.

You need to ask yourself whether it's worth your time, and what you hope to get out of it. If it's just about learning and getting experience, then I bet the kind folk on here are more than happy to keep helping you.

Besides, we all love star-wars type games, so I say go for it :)
If your vision so exceeds your ability, then look to something closer.
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Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:45 am

Maybe you should turn off your computer and start with a blank piece of paper. First, write at the center a specific aspect of your game. Then connect to it what is needed to accomplish it. Fill your diagram until your work is shown as a list of basic tasks and you will be able to judge if there are too many tasks, if it is possible, etc...
It will also enhance your organisation, your efficiency.
(Sorry for my English)
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Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:46 pm

The problem is that I'm not really good at arranging events and making sure they work properly. I'm afraid that if go on with this I'll face to many problems and It may seem that the community is making the game for me. It just came to me that the game that I'm thinking in my head is just too complex for me to handle. I could just simplify the game but then it just wouldn't be right.

Thanks for your comments I truly appreciate it. I'm in real need of guidance so please post your opinions.
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Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:33 pm

I understand completely. I've just started again for the 4th time! Every time I look at examples - including yours and especially the sword part - then I change my mind on how to do things. For me, it's part of the fun.

I have no idea how I'm going to do some of the things I want to do, but I know that even if I get help, I'll feel a sense of accomplishment when I see it working.

My motto is - one step at a time. I never move on until I'm happy with what I've got.

Don't lose heart - if nothing else, you will learn loads of useful stuff every time you get a little further.
If your vision so exceeds your ability, then look to something closer.
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Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:14 pm

I'm a firm believer that any time one picks up a new programming language or game creation system, especially if one is not familiar with using similar tools prior to learning the new one, one should start out small, rather than jumping into the big 'dream game'. The consensus is usually the same at most software development discussion groups that I've frequented in the past.

Quite often, what happens when one jumps into the 'dream project' without having good knowledge in place beforehand, is that they'll end up at a point where the project can't be sustained by the existing code base any longer due to poorly written code, lack of planning for previously unthought-of features that don't fit well into the current framework, and the hard-to-find bugs that come with working around those limitations.

The good news is that when a total re-write is deemed necessary, the new result will be gotten much more quickly than the original was, and will undoubtedly be better, because of the experience that was gained from the original effort. Unfortunately, some people find themselves discouraged by having to start over, and give up. It's an exceedingly common situation, though, and should be taken in stride.

Bearing that in mind, my strategy has been to learn as many different aspects of using Construct that I can, and to mull over what is possible with it, before starting the big projects that I want to create. Knowing the capabilities at hand helps to minimize the number of roadblocks that one has to break through during the process, and any previous experience will help one lay out a sustainable, expandable framework for the larger projects that seem to grow on their own, once begun. ;)

So, if you can make mini-games out of ideas that may be used within the larger project, or even make some smaller things that also spark your interest in other ways, before you start on the big project, it will definitely help. If you're too impatient for that, then a similar strategy can be used during development of the big project, by putting it on the backburner for a short time while testing out an idea in a separate small project that borrows only what is necessary from the bigger one to work, then once it's tweaked to one's satisfaction, recreate it in the larger project. This can have the advantage of limiting the amount of code changes in the bigger project, and thus reducing potential bugs.

Another piece of advice that I'd give is to try and make the project modular. If you can break it up into modules, it tends to make it more manageable. It helps to document what each one expects (global variables, function parameters, etc.,) what it does with those, and what it returns (if it is a function.) In Construct, managing separate event sheets can help with this, if done correctly. Using the event group functionality can be very handy, as they help organize, AND can also control the execution of events by enabling and disabling them at runtime. Also, using functions is a time-tested method for reducing duplicate events and breaking a project into separate tasks that work together as expected.

However you choose to proceed, good luck!
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Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:06 pm

I agree with Silent Cacophony. Taking it one step at a time and breaking it up into parts is the best thing to do.

Myself personally, although I've had some experience with other types of software (DarkBasic, Visual Basic, some MMF2 Dev), I still had to slow down and learn Construct. I'm still learning something new every day and I am far from mastering this. But, I'm able to now make a complete game from start to finish, and as time goes by I'll pick up on some of the more intricate techniques that will make my games even larger and more sophisticated.

I think the point where I started to become most comfortable is when I'd get stuck, and then sit there and refuse to move until I figured out the solution. At that point I realized that I was at least thinking in the procedure necessary to pull off what I wanted to do in Construct, it just takes time and patience.

My final point and probably the biggest... don't give up. This software program is absolutely amazing, and with people like Silent Cacophony around, you will have a lot of opportunities to learn something new. Between he and some of the other guys who post example .caps, you'll be learning in no time because of how thorough they are. I remember I couldn't nail Global Variables in Construct to save my life, but then someone posted a .cap example. I read it, reconfigured it to what I needed, and now I know the procedure by heart and I've applied it in many different places. It's made a world of difference to my building progress.
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Post » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:22 pm

I agree with the others
even more experienced members, myself included, find themselves overwhelmed after realizing what a project really will take

start out with a simple 1 on 1 swordfighting game
then maybe a whole beatemup level with the same mechanics
if you start on that huge game now, you will probably never finish
especially if you're worried about how often you'll have to ask for help
also, construct has it's bugs and quirks, you need to get a feel for it as projects grow
I wouldn't recommend undertaking anything huge until you get really comfortable
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Post » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:30 pm

I've been working on a game on and off for over 18 months now... maybe closer to 2 years.

I am nowhere near done.

It looks like the project may be morphing into something else...

Things happen... real life mainly. I recommend working on smaller modular projects to learn the basics of what you want to achieve. As lucid said, start with a simple swordplay game, then later on use the same mechanics and even the same events to make it into a single level game.

As it turns out, the last 3-5 small "test" projects I have worked on are (for the most part) getting all thrown into a virtual blender and smooshed into a jello mould, to become something I have never been more scared of.

I guess if you start small it will/may end up big... if you start big it will almost always die before it's even medium sized.

~Sol
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Post » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:00 am

Thanks guys for the sources of inspiration, up to this point I have decided to cut the project into smaller parts to make it more manageable and refined. And hopefully one day I will be able combine them into the main project. I have not begun yet as I'm still figuring out the extent of the project.

I'm not gonna work on it for a couple of months because I think it's best if I practice being more comfortable and more knowledgable with Construct. So you'll probably notice me asking general questions of construct rather than something specific with the project.

Anyway thanks for the advice and inspiration. I hope I get to become better at using construct and build a game that will bring something new to the current gaming community.
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