I need some advice

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Benjj77, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Benjj77

    Benjj77 New Member

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    i signed up to this forum cause i wanted to ask a question to other indie devs out there who have more experience then me. i have never made a game before but i am determined to make one. The thing is i didn't realize how confusing and kinda scary it would be. there is so much that goes into making a game that i didn't realize going into it, and i just feel kinda lost.

    basically, i feel like im lost. besides picking an engine (unity) to work with i have very little idea on where to start. does any one have any advice?
     
  2. tmcarey

    tmcarey New Member

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    I'd say the first place to start is following along with tutorials.
    Create a simple application, such as a character moving around on the screen.
    Next, make it so the character can't move out of the screen boundaries.
    Then, start adding images the character can't move through.

    Continue the process until you've designed a full application that you're proud of (even if it's simple and doesn't have the best graphics).

    The hardest part is chipping away at learning how to do new things, but once you start, you're on your way.

    The first program I ever built was a moving box that started the level over when hitting other boxes.
    Your first is not going to be some amazingly crafted artwork, and that's okay.

    Tutorials are a great place to start.
    I've created a few if you're interested -- I may upload a "basics of basics" video tonight if I get it completed.
     
  3. Iridescent Waves

    Iridescent Waves New Member

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    I agree. Start small, step by step, even if it doesn't reach your expectations. I would say the worst thing to do is polishing your stuff before thinking of the core mechanics and game/level design ideas.
    When I started making games, i learned how to move a square sprite on the screen using The Games Factory (now Multimedia Fusion).
    Learning takes time but if you don't distract yourself too much, it will happen.
    Another important thing is to have fun. If you have fun with the learning process, you will learn faster and better.
     
  4. TheTodd

    TheTodd New Member

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    Yea, definitely start small. Get used to unity, and understand your abilities. Then work your way up from that. And whatever your first game is, make it small. Simple. Refined. Then work your way up.
     
  5. GameDevSeal

    GameDevSeal New Member

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    Look up Brackeys on youtube! He has a tutorial for practically almost anything that you might need.
     
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  6. cjmarsh

    cjmarsh New Member

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    There are a great many tutorials out there for making a game in Unity but surprisingly few about how to make your own game. I'll list the steps I go through when making a game (or more often attempting to make one) and maybe it will be of help.

    1. Design a game

    I can't express how important it is to take out a pad of paper and a pen, or a simple text editor, and start there. The very first thing you need before starting a project is a plan about what it is you're actually going to do. Some people like to make a GDD (Game Design Document) which clearly lays out all the aspects of the game's design in something long enough to make a University teacher proud but it isn't strictly necessary and even just jotting down your thoughts about what you're going to attempt will help you sort out, and later recollect, what it is the game is about. It's important to realize that this is the Game Design phase and it should come before the Development phase specifically because it helps you do the latter phase better. When I'm first coming up with ideas I like to take the aspects of games I've played in the past and list them out. Then I'll take a few and combine them to see if any interesting concepts or ideas form from the various combinations. But ultimately, designing a game is very simple because it comes down to one thing: meaningful progress. The more your game makes the player feel like they're progressing, the better it will be.


    2. Prototype the mechanics

    Just because you have a game designed doesn't mean the game will be fun. When creating a new game you want to focus in on the one activity that you think the player will either spend the most time on or find the most fun. Often this is movement or combat but it could be a card game or physics mechanic. The point is to fine tune the controls and activity so that you have fun when playing it, even in the editor window with some jumbled together code. Don't worry so much about following all the best ways to code, just worry about making it fun first. As the saying goes: 'Code first, optimize later'. It doesn't just apply to the coding either, use placeholder assets if you don't have any available, even primitives if you must. Most of all, just make sure you think it is good enough to build a game around because you'll need the motivation to get through the tedious bits of development (and there are a lot).


    3. Build core systems

    Once you have a fun mechanic, start thinking of how it fits into the essential systems that every game has but most don't really think about. For example, a main menu, a pause mechanic, saving and loading (often called serialization), and input management. A lot of this stuff is tedious but it is good practice to build them at least once on your own before relying on an asset from the store. Knowing how the things work under the hood is invaluable when developing games and even if you do switch to a polished asset later, you'll understand how it works within your game.


    4. Add minor mechanics

    Even though you have a basic mechanic you found some fun with it will inevitably need some spit and shine to make it into a decent game. This stage is where you tend to the code and assets of your main mechanic prototype(s) and add others around it to complement and enhance the experience for the player. This might include things like character progression, experience bars, other UI windows, floating damage text, nameplates, etc. The trick with this phase is to limit yourself in how many things you want to add. In game development terms this is called 'limiting your scope' and with practice is something you can do in the design stage. Just be aware that another common term, 'feature creep', is often a problem where you keep adding features and mechanics until you despair of ever finishing and give up. You want to avoid that so focus on the bare minimum of things that you feel would enhance the fun and don't be worried about axing features or mechanics even if other games all seem to have them.


    5. Polish

    Inevitably, in your mad rush to add this or that feature, you will find that your project is a jumbled mess in both the code and the art department. If you find that it's fun (except for perhaps a few bugs here and there) then finalize your mechanic development and focus on refining the ones you already have. Try to hunt down and eliminate even that last stubborn bug and remember that no matter how annoying it might be, it's a valuable learning experience and what will help define you as a developer. Also be sure to polish up the art a bit, using fresh eyes a while after you've made or bought the artwork in the first place. This includes the UI and UX (User eXperience) as well. Basically you just want to turn what first felt like a rough prototype into something you'd be happy about when both your friends and complete strangers got a hold of it.


    6. Publish

    The moment you finally publish your first game is a big one, and can be nerve-wracking. The trick is to finish the game and get it out there, despite the nerves, because at that point you will officially be a game developer. Understanding where you should publish the game is something you'll have to research yourself but it also requires that you be brutally honest with yourself. Is the game good enough to sell or is it best used as a portfolio piece to advance your career as a game developer? Ultimately, you'll be the only one who can answer that but it may affect how other developers and employers view you in the future, so bear it in mind.




    Regardless of how good you think you are at game development, never lose sight of why you got into it in the first place. If it's because you find making things satisfying and making games fun then you're doing it right. Don't let profits and money concern you when designing and making your games because first, game development is a terrible way to make a good living, and second, it will color and cloud your thinking when trying to make a good game. Do it for the fun and to spread fun and you'll find that game development can be incredibly rewarding. So, in short, good luck and have fun!
     
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