Post your mistakes!

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Christian, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Christian

    Original Member

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    I dont know if a thread like this was posted before, but the idea is as follows: tell us the mistakes you commited so that other people dont commit them!, what a genius idea!, i think this is one of the most powerfull ways of learning, from others, learning from their mistakes.

    Here are mine:
    - Wasting too much time doing nothing, learning nothing, waiting for nothing, i spent like 2 years like this and i could have spent them making games, or learning to draw, but i was too stupid at that time, i could be so much better at everything now, so dont do as i did, get your goals clear, now, and work on them, now.

    - Not excersizing: spending all days sitting on a desk without any kind of sport or excersize can make your energy levels drop to dramatic levels, in my case i got so little energy on the day that i only could work or study half of the day, it was imposible for me to get up early since i got so little energy, and i even needed to take naps!, but since i got to do some runnings and stuff like that for maybe 10 minutes a day, i dont need to take naps and i can get very early in the morning if i wanted. So, making excersize gives you more energy to do more stuff in the day, you absolutelly need it if you are indie.

    - Hating math: i hated math when i was at school, in the end i didnt learn anything of it, i thought it was a useless thing, and of course boring,all that changed when i realized the truth when i started to make games, how important maths are!, i wish i paid attention to my math classes, i wish i didnt thought it was a useless thing!. Lesson learned: never listen to your ignorance, learn from everything you can, you may need it badly some day.
     
  2. PoV

    PoV
    Indie Author

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    #1. Avoid reading and contributing to forums. :)

    I have no problem doing useful things when I'm not forum'ing. Surfing kills time too, but forums, when you're pulled in to a discussion, it can take you out for hours.


    #2. Don't isolate yourself. :)

    The vicious circle. Going solo, or even working with small or isolated teams is very isolating. Stop forum'ing, and you're left with very little contact. What's a person to do?

    I've thrown around the idea of locating some like minded developers, and sharing some office space. Everybody still funds and develops their own projects. But the cross pollination and atmosphere of watching something grow across the hall should be very encouraging.
     
  3. esrix

    Original Member

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    Accepting too many collaborative projects and then realizing that you don't time to even start your own personal project.
     
  4. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    Mistakes? I have a blog filled with them ;)

    My single biggest (game production) mistake (which I try to avoid by all means): changing plans. I remember changing plans more often than my socks (which are of course always clean and without sweat ;)). This is bad. Or no, it's even worse. It goes like: BAD - WORSE - CHANGING PLANS. Whenever I've changed plans, it most likely pissed the artists off, or it means that I had wasted days coding something that I don't use. This happened a lot 5 years ago - but today I've hopefully learned something.

    Here's the 7 worst game design mistakes - guilty of almost all of them.

    I might have been guilty of doing the poorest mistake when game is not selling - instead of dropping price, one should increase quality.

    And then the infamous spending too much time on forums, blogs, emails: while it's good to contribute, it's also easy to waste time on useless stuff. One could spend an eternity for reading forums and emailing something...

    The biggest mistake - a mother of all mistakes - is not learning from mistakes. I think that's simply dumb thing to do. Doing mistakes is fine, repeating same mistakes - not.
     
  5. PoV

    PoV
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    This one is infamous. I almost feel bad having a blog, as I have many dozens of entries I've simply left ticked private, when I realized I was taking too much time to write them. Or even those times when I'm writing, and I change my opinion on something as I'm writing it, or my point becomes less meaningful when some other point is introduced. Good that I've thought about it, bad for content.

    Confidentiality can be a pain in the ass with very small teams too. You're doing cool stuff, and you want to talk about it, or show it off. :). So there's the trade off. Smaller team means more control, but less feedback. That is, unless you user test often, or have more action in your environment (i.e. see shared office space idea).
     
  6. lakibuk

    Indie Author

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    Wasting 3 years on my "2nd game" and not being able to finish it.
    It was as if it was my first game.
     
  7. Sharpfish

    Original Member

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    1. Wasting the first year building my own "game engine" in Direct3D 9 to then have to drop back to something less of a burden to the end user (DX8) and also to just use whatever 3rd party libs were around. However, the knowledge I gained by dabbling directly in DX myself meant I was more capable of customising open source stuff when I needed. I'm glad I did it but it was essentially a year out of game development itself.

    2. Reading too many forums, posting too much rubbish and generally reaching for the wifi internet adapter whenever things got a bit tough (to look at cars, computer bits etc)

    3. Deciding to go ahead with games from a high level abstract concept "wouldn't it be cool if...?" rather than a solid design with an identified 'market'. In fairness I never set out to make games for specific markets but to make stuff that interested me, but the more I read (esp on this forum) the more I realised you could increase your chances of some success by doing things a certain way. This took time and much inner conflict before reaching a happy medium of games I want to make that others should hopefully want to play. And design wise I've learned to think things through fully and use more paper before I start coding/mocking up.

    And the worse one?

    4. Linked to #3, reading too much into everyone's opinions on this forum (and Steve Pavlinas old site). Rather than just finishing up my games (which probably would have been less polished and less user friendly but at least they would have been done; a massive morale booster) I over analysed everything on the first game which meant I got so sick of it I had to put it on the back burner (this was also due to point 3 about not designing it properly before hitting the coding stage) and move on to "project 2" which was more clearly defined. The game I'm still currently working on is the smaller, less personally exciting game but more achievable one with a simpler development. The point is, 2 years later I can now ignore the hot air and hearsay better and concentrate on the real nuggets of information that could be vital to a games success in the area we work in, before I would take almost everything as gospel and go and research it rather than just pressing on with the games themselves. Cost a lot of time.

    So now, even without a finished game (unless I count my Amiga licenceware stuff from the early 90's), I feel i've come full circle. I'm both a newbie and an old timer and i've learned a lot of valuable stuff and lot of pointless stuff (including deviations into other tech when my framework and C++ works just fine).
     
    #7 Sharpfish, Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  8. princec

    Indie Author

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    Listening to everyone in here.

    Ruined both Flux and Dudester.

    I haven't the heart or time to go back and fix them both to be like I originally designed them.

    Cas :)
     
  9. lakibuk

    Indie Author

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    Explain that!
     
  10. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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    Releasing igLoader for free! (only kidding, best move I ever made) :)
     
  11. Andy

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    ...and you explain this Karl. ;) What is there? Too big project or just not enough free time on it?..

    As for our mistakes ( except of I'm doing a couple new every day ):

    1. Spent amount of time for nothing before swithing into this part of game development business.
    2. Trust to idea that you can get some money at portals. Yay! :D
     
  12. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

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    Taking on a large-scale project like Dirk Dashing while still working as a solo, part-time indie. Took me 2-1/2 years to finish it! I could have developed 4-5 smaller games in that time and greatly increased my sales.
     
  13. lakibuk

    Indie Author

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    Yea, i overestimated my development power. Noob mistake nr.1 ...
     
  14. Nexic

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    Thinking you can make a game in two months when it's actually going to take you a year.
     
  15. GBGames

    Indie Author

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    Yeah, I was under the impression that everyone thought you weren't listening to them, Cas! B-)
     
  16. princec

    Indie Author

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    O contraire, I listened to everybody, and made two games that pleased no-one and wasted a shedload of time tweaking something that was already OK. The only good suggestions I took on board were ones that had nothing to do with gameplay but were generic tips to do with conversion rate.

    Cas :)
     
  17. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    ...or two (like we are doing). ;)
     
  18. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    Heh, sharpfish - at least it go you 1,267 posts so far (and I anticipate 1,268th coming really soon)

    Reading prince's 2,782 messages on these boards

    just kidding, there were 2-3 useful ones.

    .
    .
    .
    I mean... just kidding about that too! ;))
     
  19. benko

    benko New Member

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    I used to start relatively big projects (all by my own... I mean, me doing the code, graphics and everything). Of course, didn't finish any of them.

    So I decided to end that, and I started a small project and I found a partner for future projects (although in this one I'm doing all by myself again).
     
  20. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    Great tip, and great graphics - put up a newsletter where we can sign up (I want to be first to hear when this game is done)
     

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