Hobbyists - How do you make it happen?

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  • Make sand boxes and test scenarios if you want to keep your momentum and still get feedback. Make a test layout that lets you explore your different jumping mechanics, etc... allow others to test that one piece while you continue to work. You don't have to show your whole game at once. Testing specific mechanics and scenarios can also help during development.

  • BluePhaze Thank you for bringing that up. I've always felt the need to get feedback on one aspect, tiny or huge, of my game while work on other parts of it, but often my ego (and partly, not wanting to spam the community) would prevent me from showing any mediocre, unfinished items to anyone. Partial feedback definitely helps on the way if I can get over with the shyness, and I know this community is more than just being nice with everyone.

    Just want to get this out there in case there's anyone with the same problem like me!

  • Manley23

    thats funny..

    hope after pentapuzzle your not on bad food?

  • BluePhaze,

    That's great advice. So many games get posted where designers have put weeks or months of love and work into them, but then something, maybe even just a little thing like how fast a character accelerates, doesn't feel quite right and the gameplay is frustrating instead of rewarding. It would be easy to post small mockups using rough graphics to test things like that before undoing them would become onerous.

  • Manley23 lol, that's funny, and so accurate... <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • rosareven

    I haven't really got very far.. I tend to work from a piece of art and how I want this in a game. However I then become obsessed with the artwork and haven't really got much futher than placing down sprites, background and initial animation of the character.. before some other piece of artwork takes over..

    I don't know much about making games but watching my boyfriend as inspired me..

    He however tends to get an idea and within a matter of hours its up and running using basic sprites etc.. then he builds upon this.

    I think he becomes inspired on seeing something then wanting to see if he can do it too.. adding his own individuality and style..he seems to be able to put his ideas into a game and has made quite a few but he says they are not quite finished yet!

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  • there's lots of ways to get started, the best method I've found is to get a general concept in writing/sketches, and piece it together. one thing I always tell people to keep in mind is don't get too overzealous, start small and build on that foundation. Lots of indie game developers think their first demo has to be smashing and perfect, but it doesnt. You make a strong foundation, have a select group of people test it/play it, and give you their input, then you polish up some stuff, and have them test it again.

    The best thing is to get a strong concept, and a strong foundation for the game, then you can start putting up the walls :P

    But as a quick answer, I usually try to start with a written concept, and a few sketches to help me get my creative juices flowin :)

  • Often when I have an idea I'll just start of throw the elements into C2 to see what building it might be like. In general I prefer just building to paper prototyping but will do so if I don't have access to a computer. Once started, projects seem to have their own energy and momentum, regardless of how I think things should go.

    Starting a new project never seems to be a problem. Just about everybody has a myriad of things they would like to try if they had the time.

    Committing to the project and sticking with it until it is finished is the biggest challenge. Somehow something happens at about 80% completion that makes projects hard to finish.

  • 0) Attempt to build a team

    1) Sleep

    2) Listen to awesome music.

    3) Draw ideas.

    4) Develop a Budget (Really important if you are going to quit your job or hire other people)

    5) Talk to others about it.

    6) Create a realistic timeline and set of goals

    7) Create a workflow and pipeline output

    8) Develop a game document for myself and others to work from

    9) When step 1 to 8 fail never get frustrated, but laugh like a maniac <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • I started by thinking up a game that I want to play myself. Something that I feel is missing from the available games. Then I started writing down just the mechanics that would be needed to make the game such as how the player will move or what interaction the player will have with objects. Then from that point I began making several small test projects containing a single mechanic and stand in graphics (black squares and circles). Once I have the mechanics all worked out I set out to merge them into a single project one mechanic at a time. Then I begin putting in production graphics and implementing them as I go so that I constantly feel my game come to life. Then I go through another phase of extensive testing to try and break my game as a player might and correct any bugs I find. Then I begin the part I like the most, which is polish. Special FX, animation touch ups, graphical enhancements, flavor text, lore, everything that might give a player a sentimental connection to the game.

    I manage my project time by establishing a schedule and sticking to it whenever possible but with a kid a lot of time that can be impossible and you will have to delay until the next day or so but always try to keep it. Here is mine (sorry if this seems a little silly):

    Monday: Workout, Gaming

    Tuesday: Cooking, Workout, Gaming

    Wednesday: Developing, House Cleaning

    Thursday: Shopping, Workout, Developing

    Friday: Workout, Gaming

    Saturday: Cooking, Family Projects/Trips, Developing

    Sunday: Family Projects/Trips, Developing or Gaming

    I have found that the trick here is to only develop as many days as you have planned for and not more, which will help with preventing burn out and I always make up my missed dev days by overwriting a game day where needed.

  • That is an interesting question. For me, like many others on here, I just get a basic idea and it develops in my mind over time as I start to create it. It's amazing what the mind can come up with. I love it. Just posted my first finished game to the Scirra Arcade and I still don't know how I first came up with it.

  • Well, first when i started to use c2 i was only messing around and learn how it work, then i started to make projects (lot of them) as drafts and i had fun doing them, then i learned from the skill and experience all what i need to make a game, you need three things : 1- experience 2- idea 3-creativity and that all what you need.

  • Haha Manley23 and Funny and yet thought provoking as well! Many Game creators really do have a fun perspective!! <img src="smileys/smiley36.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • I'm new to development, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    But... I've found just jumping into things and building small pieces at a time keep me motivated. I can test and play a small portion. It's the small accomplishments that keep me pumped.

    I understand the importance of planning ahead. I am very meticulous with planning in my professorial life. It's tedious and boring though. This is a hobby. If I plan a hobby then I just sit, stare at a wall, and start to cry (it reminds me of work).

  • Well I normally get an Idea do some art music then spend ages tweaking .

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