Hobbyists - How do you make it happen?

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  • Games have evidently became quite an industry that most developers are feeding their families with. At the same time though, successful indie developers are mostly hobbyists to begin with. I have been closely following Construct 2 community updates, but for a long time I haven't been able to shake off my procrastination due to my other distractions in life.

    To all you non-professionals out there, how do you kick-start your project?

    Do you have an idea first, and then either experiment the idea in practice (say, fiddling with Construct 2 functions), making mindmaps, or writing a plan down in paper first?

    Or do you experiment with the engine first, and idea comes later?

  • I had this idea for a game for a vary long time and never really thought i could make it myself. When i found out about C2 and tried it i figured i could make it happen if i really wanted to! So i just started messing around. I had it all in my mind and just let my creativity do the rest. Things fall into place when i work and new ideas arise.

    I'm still working on my first project because i wan't to make it great.

    Tough i'm making a lot of little side projects just for fun and practice. I don't write them down. I just do. If it does not work or look "Ok" with in a few days i just drop it. Start a new :)

  • I always start on paper , then I make a prototype , I let the public test it and I start the production ...

  • Honestly...

    My mind takes over and what ever my brain spews forth, my mind then picks at the debris and concocts something non-asinine and runs with it!!!

    ...or is it the other way around???

  • I'm primarily a designer and composer so I get simple gameplay mechanics up but generally work on establishing a mood first. I've found that once I do this, themes, gameplay mechanics etc will start to fall into place. It doesn't happen all at once, it's an ongoing process of constant refinement and doesn't need to be rushed, it will happen naturally if you continue to immerse yourself in the project.

    Some people like to plan things out meticulously first, I don't. There's no right or wrong way, it's what works for you - personally I like the hands on experimentation - it promotes new ideas as you develop the game and gives a sort of instant gratification that helps drive it forward.

    I'm not afraid to experiment (some great gameplay mechanics have arisen from accidents), I'm not afraid to deviate from my main project (I'll often keep several projects of different styles/genres on the go, and flit between them when I'm stuck or bored with one as it helps keep interest in game development high). I think the most important thing is to do it for the love of doing it, not because there is a chance of success or because you're trying to break into the indie scene. Make the game for yourself first and foremost, and if you manage to finish it (much easier said than done) then start to think about a wider audience.

    It's hard when you're working a full time job, have family commitments etc to devote time to developing a game - I cut out things that are less important - cut back on TV, block distracting websites, work on problems in my lunchbreak, after work etc. I try to grab an hour or so on most days, but then sometimes go full swing on weekends/holidays. You'd be amazed what you can get done in a short time when you've spent months thinking about and immersing yourself in the project.

  • Start with a prototype. If you have big ideas for a game, write them down somewhere and set it aside. Get a working gameplay prototype working because that is more interesting than a title screen or dialogue.

    Making the prototype means you'll have something cool to share with others and also something to get feedback on for modifying your 'big' game plans as you develop more ideas later on or think of things to cut.

    Basically, dream big but start small and with the part you would enjoy the most.

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  • sometimes I have an idea or scenario that I think would work for a game, sometimes I find a game or style of game I like then try to make my own. Sometimes I think about what do I love about a particular type of game and then try to improve on it. Inspiration can come from anywhere, the trick is to be ready to experiment and try it out. Keep a notepad, etc handy for when you have an idea.

    Another great source is the how do I section on the site here, I look at the issues others have, then try to solve them and often in the process get inspired to do my own thing.

    Also I like to create stories around things, so when I think of a story, I think what type of game that might work with, and start there...

    Or the classic, you play a game, find something that frustrates you about it and then decide you can do it better.

    Also, realize that not everyone is "feeding the family" with apps... for every good money maker out there, there are a million failures. Don't get your hopes too high on your first game being a success. Like any craft it takes time and effort. Gameplay, polish and detail are needed if you actually want to stand out in the overwhelming sea of mediocre crap that is being published every day. Good luck and welcome to the modern day land rush!

  • Thank you all for your inputs. It's very interesting to see so many different ways to kick start a fresh new project.

    With my recent time spent on making a new game, I realised things I do that are outside of my expectations: at the very beginning I started off with programming the core game mechanics (where all the maths are calculated, etc), thinking that's a fairly natural priority to tackle on. Then, also very naturally, I'd get tired of piecing all the pure logic together and start procrastinating. When I return to the project few days later, I restarted the project from the GUI. Now to my own surprise, the game already looks 50% complete to my plan and I can see myself finishing the game in 4 days.

    Programming is my capability, but I've always enjoyed design more than maths.

    Hope this thread reaches out to people who want to make a game but feel inconfident in anyway.

  • rosareven

    I always talk for the four winds my love for old school games, and as an enthusiast and hobbyist, make game was always an alternative cheaper than others (less Table RPG).

    But I had fun time with Table Warhammer, painting real miniatures, doing mokups, etc.

    The idea to leave something nice, with a nice story behind, is great, and someone remembering your games is the saint graal for Hobbyists.

    Make games with the specific style to meet exactly what will look better on the gameplay, is hard, specially on the develop art area.

    Also, a main issue to kick start my projects, by personal experience, was find a good artist (I never had this luck, and started draw my own pixelarts).

    When a idea appear, the first thing to start is dreaming awake, I do a story line on the mind and on the evening, sit down to write or record it, then, sketch a scenario and some characters.

    I'm following a leaning curve, doing games to learn how to work on the main project, so, look this:

    Equilibrium - Main Game;

    Category: Platform (Megaman, Super Detroit, Mario ), Race (Mini racers ), vertical scrolling shooter (Tyrian ), base jump simulator (uberleben), and the next goals are RPG top down and run to live styles.

    The main goal is make a game to remember how fun was playing The Ultimate Stuntman, an absolute diamond piece on the indie game field. A very small amount of persons know the real situation of that guys to make their games on a age where Nintendo was doing the best to lock their technology.


  • I usually take a gameplay idea and prototype it in Construct 2. Then, if it is fun (at least to me), I expand on the idea and game. After several weeks of long labor of tweaking and testing, I upload it on Scirra Arcade and wait for people to say how awful it is. Finally, when everyone hates my new game, I cry for several hours, eat truckloads of bad food, and try a new gameplay idea. And start the whole process over...

  • the truly behind scene of an indie developer ^^

  • Haha I agree. Very insightful Manley23 XD

  • I haven't published anything on the Arcade yet, mostly because I want to get the bugs out of my game before anything else. A single quality product is leagues better than several sub-par products. I feel quite a few devs/publishers forget this in today's age of games. This idea drives me to make my game as polished and functional as possible, even if it takes a long time.

  • I haven't published anything on the Arcade yet, mostly because I want to get the bugs out of my game before anything else. A single quality product is leagues better than several sub-par products. I feel quite a few devs/publishers forget this in today's age of games. This idea drives me to make my game as polished and functional as possible, even if it takes a long time.

    I know about people who never released their games, also, never earned the experience of hearing feedbacks from the players.

    A good idea necessarily need to trail the penitence of beta testers, and not only from the developer, or, you'll be risking your entire job in something unusual from the actual days, where people like the games by different things than Our Gold age.

    Personally, I think the best way to polish something is hearing who will buy your idea, who will play your game. What happen if you make a perfect game where nobody cares, because they don't like one single thing inside the game?

    This is a good point for a new Topic =]

  • hmm I also .. only thinks about making game but I myself not satisfied with my IDEA.:( then i think for another game:)..

    and whenever i found a good idea i thinks hoe will i make it and ...:) idea drop:D.

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