I'm Done With Game Design ...

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  • Having actually published something is already a great achievement, and that goes well beyond lots of amateur projects that stop at the concept stage or never reach a testable version.

    Though it would be interesting to analyse the critics - I haven't played the game, but from what I have seen it could be compared to Alien Breed Tower Assault on Amiga ; they seem to share lots of common points : top down view, controls, action, shooting at aliens, etc.

    What made Alien Breed Tower Assault great ?

    • general "polish" : art direction, audio atmosphere, etc.
    • progression : variety of weapons, collecting money to unlock bonuses, discovering new environments, etc.
    • gameplay : difficult and fast action, variety of objectives (elimination, escape, timed goals, etc.).
    • coop : local multiplayer ; easier than multiplayer and very effective in these types of games

    A typical situation is trying to escape under a time limit after setting up a bomb, and starting to panic as you get swarmed by aliens chasing you, accidentally hitting a fire door locking your friend behind you to a certain death, hoping you can still make it to the end on your own...

    If your game didn't get good reviews, try to see what worked in other similar games

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  • I'm still to finish my first game, and i doubt it will be a blockbuster. I think one error was hyping your first game too much, and going directly for steam greenlight. I doubt it's as bad as some people say but here's a few pointers on how i would have gone about.

    * Make a small concept game, based on the same mechanics. Maybe even one small level. Investing too many hours on a big game, THEN getting negative feedback would dissapoint anyone.

    * Even before release... get constructive feedback from alpha and beta testers. Take pointers, try to improve some parts.

    * Release it for free, for fun, and learn from the feedback.

    Although it's a great achievment just to finish a game.... your FIRST game! Even if it didn't turn out to be a great game it's still would give you a lot of insight in how to produce a game from start to finish, where a lot of people fail and give up somewhere along the line. I can tell there's a lot of effort put in to this, but some people don't see it that.

    I have tons of asset creation to do myself, but before I even start on it my main focus right now is to finish ONE level, with a few assets, some even placeholders, and run a lot of playtests with friends to get feedback. I'm expecting things like -> The controls doesn't feel right, it would be cool if you did this&that, etc etc.

    I don't know how your workflow was during the production, but feedback, and feedback early is better than feedback late when you're done with the game. I would also focus on some part or mechanics of my game and do it REALLY well. So what if the game has shitty graphics if it plays really well, and is fun to play, or so what if it's a bit clunky but it's amazingly beautiful and has a nice atmosphere.

    Anyway. I would probably not give up, since u certainly have what it takes to make a game from start to finish and have it released, market it, you should start planning for DARKBASE 02 or a new title, and make it even better than the first one, based on the feedback.

  • Only give up now if you didn't love the hard work of making the game.

    well said... this is what it all boils down to..

  • I shudder when I look back at my first game... and I will probably do the same when I look back at Umbra as well. Some good lessons have been highlighted already and I'm not going to repeat all of them. One thing I've learned is that it's really important to seek feedback from other people (and some of these being people you don't know is ideal) who will pick your game apart for of all its little errors and omissions. If the feedback list is long it can feel like you're starting again, and it can be difficult having your baby called ugly, but it's really important if you want it to pass muster in today's marketplace. If your target audience is unforgiving teenagers then you need to be ready for them to be, well, unforgiving... I don't know your age or background, but I would say take it on the chin and move on, and hopefully you will find pleasure in creating something new and better.

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