Hobbyists - How do you make it happen?

  • I usually come up with a character and decide what type of game genre that character might fit into. Where I have gone wrong is getting carried away with the graphics and levels! Then the game mechanics are an after-thought!

    This is BAD! because it might look great but it doesn�t play well.

    Like making animation � if the story sucks and the graphics look great � the story still sucks! The hardest thing is keeping it simple. Simple ideas make addictive games!

    It�s a real trial and error process to start with. Keep plugging away though and something will stick! It helps if you�re passionate about the game idea you have. I normally feel that way if I like my initial character. Game mechanics take the most time though, so be prepared!

  • Another good thing to do is keep the art and gameplay separate in the beginning stages. This allows you to focus on getting the gameplay mechanics down. I make a couple of projects first. One to figure out all my gameplay mechanics with simple square graphics or placeholders. And one to test that the sprites and animations look good in motion, etc... These are simply the pre-stages for building my game. I then create an actual main game project once I have the other pieces done the way I want them to work. And I put it all together in the main project. The other benefit to this is those base projects with the gameplay mechanics, etc... can be used as the basis for other games as well when in this stage of development.

  • Whenever I want to start something, I always keep it on paper. Having something tangible that you can access anytime and everywhere keeps your ideas from falling out. Doodling's awesome, and it helps organize your thoughts better.

    I often carry a small pocket notebook and a pen in case I have a wicked idea anywhere. It helps a lot.

    A sketchbook's not bad either, if you're staying home most of the time.

  • I just do what I want to do. I also have to make sure I can do it and am patient enough to keep going on.

  • Whenever I want to start something, I always keep it on paper. Having something tangible that you can access anytime and everywhere keeps your ideas from falling out. Doodling's awesome, and it helps organize your thoughts better.

    I often carry a small pocket notebook and a pen in case I have a wicked idea anywhere. It helps a lot.

    A sketchbook's not bad either, if you're staying home most of the time.

    When I'm at home I'm probably to bored to come up with ideas.

  • 1. 32 Years old with a family, not enjoying my day job: work too hard, too little pay, little prospects for stability/future.

    2. Decide to have an attempt at a career in making games, something I've always dreamt of since I was a teen.

    3. Quit job!

    4. Start being an indie dev full-time (over-time)!

    All this and my old career was as a research scientist (postdoctoral), have not drawn anything since my highschool years (once I used to be an avid comics fan), and my last attempt at programming was also in highschool with visual basics and C+.

    Do or do not, there is no try!

    ps. Currently it's: work even harder, for no pay and little prospect for stability/future!

  • I... haven't made any games in quite a while. Been busy with other projects. Now that Construct 2 is shaping up so nicely, it's nigh time to put forth my numerous ideas into some semblance as prototypes.

  • Many interesting thoughts and ideas around. I guess everybody has his own approach to the developing stages. For me I first get an idea of a game, start writing the game out on paper, sketching a long. And then I do everything the way I feel. Start drawing and animating my sprites, think about the coding and how I want to achieve certain tasks. So far I finished one game and now I am working on 2 at the same time..... a third is already written down and my little black book gets filled with ideas. The only thing I am short off is time

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  • Personally, I'm finding that it takes a lot of long hard hours. You have to make something that looks good and pops. Also, if you're currently unemployed, it helps free up the time you need to develop. But it gets harder to do the hungrier you get, lol.

  • : ...hmmmm... interesting story.... academic or industrial research? ...ahhh... either way is bad pay...

  • : ...hmmmm... interesting story.... academic or industrial research? ...ahhh... either way is bad pay...

    Academic. Pay is meh for the work load (12 hr days, go into lab anytime work required it, sometimes I get in at 3AM) and prospects to have a stable career in Academia is extremely low given the positions available and the number of applicants, most of whom are willing to sacrifice more (ie family, to work 16hrs a day) to attain it than myself.

    But as I've said, currently I work 12-16hrs day on my games, pay is near non-existant hehe. But at least I am a happy man doing what I love and able to work from home and watch my kids grow up. If I ever become successful, then indeed, its a dream come true. Life is short, spend it doing what you love.

  • I'm in the same place.. little time and lots of distractions .. sorry can't get rid of the kids.

    My advice is the same as EXCAL's, starting small, start with something that can give an immediate kick back that you'll like.. that's the joy of "print hello world".. quick and works.

    It needs to be fun and it needs to feel as if you are progressing. Don't look at the big picture, look at each step along the way. To do that, you will need to do some analysis of what you want to do in order to find useful small steps. I find that bit much more fun than coding... then start small.. make an icon, a map, detect keyboard/touch input, make the guy on the screen doing something/anything.

    small steps, keep it fun and keep it moving along... no matter how slowly.

    I've watched the indie scene.. some people can dedicate a lot of time to their programmes and can deliver fast, others take years.. just don't stop and pause.

  • A genius idea can happen anytime and everywhere, but an idea is not a game...

    1: Always have something to take note or draw an idea.

    2: Test the core gameplay mechanic with a prototype. The prototype is a good place to start. It validate to yourself if the project has a potential and if it's fun. If you test and it sucks, try another idea.

    3: Ask a friend or comunity users if they like it. Post a prototype to the Scirra Arcade service and ask comment only related to gameplay.

    4: Create a Game Desgin and level document.

    5: Now you have something, don't waste your time on graphic and visual at this time. Just build the levels, menus and code.

    6: Balance your game and keep learning on everything related to videogame.

    7: Make your game pretier, try the first level, then post a DEMO. It's the second test to know if people like your game and it shows that you have worked on your game.

    8: Found the best options to publish and promote your game.

    9: Open a bottle champaign and spend all your money considering that your game has made you Rich $

  • Yes, you described the situation quite accurately. Im myself involved in academic research and know firsthan........

    byebye

    p.s.

    In what field were you working if i may ask?

  • Yes, you described the situation quite accurately. Im myself involved in academic research and know firsthan........

    byebye

    p.s.

    In what field were you working if i may ask?

    Molecular Biology, University of Geneva.

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