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  Hard to start a project.  (Read 5218 times)
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Offline Zeta

Junior Devvie

Medals: 8
Exp: 1 year

« Posted 2014-02-25 18:15:21 »

Hi. I have troubles to start a new projects and cant make more complex games than before mainly because i cant draw good graphics or compose music.
This leads always to lack of motivation(I still want to make the projects but i just cant).

Should i just program the logic of the game and then find someone to draw my graphics or should i start with a artist and composer before starting a project?

All of my friends are programmers and not artist or composers so its hard.
This is not just a question but i also want to know if someone is in the same position as i am.

Thank you and i hope you understand what i mean.

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. -Albert Einstein
Offline ctomni231

JGO Wizard

Medals: 99
Projects: 1
Exp: 7 years

Not a glitch. Just have a lil' pixelexia...

« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-02-25 18:23:53 »

Do what you are good at and the rest will fall into place.

Developers & Art

I do understand what you are going through, but feeling bad that you can't draw or compose isn't going to help you get any games done. There is A LOT of free resources out there that people didn't have access to 10 years ago. You can make a fairly decent game without having to draw a pinch of art by just using placeholders.

In your case, just program and don't care how it looks. When I first started, I couldn't really draw good computer graphic art even though I was an okay artist. I just used the placeholders available to me to fill in the blanks so I could focus on coding. In the end, that is what players are going to judge you on.

So let the lack of art skills be a problem to people who have to paint murals. Let the lack of music skills to the rock star who has to write a new song by tomorrow. Focus on programming today, and let the art and music come to you. Good luck and keep coding.

Offline scanevaro
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-02-25 18:26:28 »

There are some tips to keep the motivation up, thats a real problem.

But for Art only a lot of practice makes it perfect.
My advice is to try to enjoy that process, maybe if you set little objectives.

A lot of people have been in your boat.

Good Luck!
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Offline granut100

Senior Newbie

Projects: 1

« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-02-27 00:00:28 »

I am sort of in the same boat. My artistic skill is terrible! Anyways I think staying motivated is very important. If you are trying to stay motivated then I would try and have some small goals for any project you are doing so it doesn't feel like you are trudging along with your project.
Offline Jacob Pickens
« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-02-27 00:02:46 »

I have a similar problem as you. I do the same thing. Honestly when i'm designing my games i try my best to wrap the idea around my lack of art skills and lack of music skills. I try to hide it in plain site. So say im making a game about idk a plague infecting a screen. Instead of drawing thses fancy graphix with all this cool stuff just draw pixels tht idk vary in color... it gives it a simple effect and still looks playable (To ppl who appreciate simplicity that is) and if all else fails check out these tutorials:


I don't know much about music so just google some simple tutorials on it Tongue

Offline goblinJoel
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-02-27 04:51:12 »

I'll pile on to what everyone else is saying.

Just start with what you can do, and do the best you can with that. If it turns out well, you can try to find someone to replace the art and music. Meanwhile, just hack together your own, even if it's bad, or find free stuff online. There is a significant amount of legitimately free resources, though if you use it in a game you release, you should double-check the licenses to make sure you don't have to pay or get permission or release the source code (unless of course you're ok with that!).
Offline kpars
« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-02-27 09:27:33 »

For sounds, just find programs that do half of the work for you!

Here are the two sound programs that have helped me the most when I was just starting out:
  • SFXR - Random Sound Generation Based Off Of Noise.
  • PixiTracker -A minimalistic tracker used to create small chiptune-styled songs. (Requires a tad bit of musical knowledge)

If you have a bit more musical knowledge I would recommend getting something like FamiTracker, it's a lot less linear.

However I must say that a lot of the musical knowledge you have won't benefit your game development too much. I've been playing Saxophone and Piano for years, but making the music for video games is still a skill I haven't gained. Sad

As for art, let me start ranting on this topic.

There are different approaches that can be taken with art.

Approach A:
Focus on programming and leave art as the last thing to worry about. I think a good example of this was the original prototype of Braid (Screenshot here. Left = Original Prototype, Right = Final Game). I personally have nothing against this approach and I believe it's great for all people who just want to get something going. It's one strategy I see used in Ludum Dare quite often.

Approach B:
Focus on art and programming simultaneously. This I see used by numerous developers and I believe it is the most popular way to go in this topic. Back when I was much newer to game development as a whole, I was perfectly fine with doing this. Needless to say my games didn't look that good back then.

Approach C:
Focus on art at the same time as programming, but focus on art vaguely. This is what I've recently started doing. Just work on art until you run into certain problems, then fix those problems before release. In my case, I will create all of the sprite-sheets and tile-maps for a level in whatever game I'm developing, but leave things like complex animation for future development. This is all about finding your weaknesses in art and seeing what threshold should be focused on for Art/Programming.

I too get demotivated by this, and I have thought about finding an artist for some of my games, but with my past work in web design, I can confirm that working with an artist is one of the most painful things you will ever come across. Emo

Hopefully this helped you gain a perspective of the different paths there are to making art in video games. Smiley

- Jev
Offline Varkas
« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-02-27 15:33:02 »

I've got some experience with graphics meanwhile, but there are some things at which I'm notoriously bad. So I must tailor my projects to what I actually can do.

So start with something that you can do, and your skills will improve while you use them.

One of my games uses almost no graphics at all, just a few faces and some sun/planet shapes. It's still a space exploration game - I just simplified the flight part so much that I didn't need ship of detailed planet graphics. I think this is key to a successful project, to be aware of what you can do, and then tailor the game idea so that it becomes doable for you.

if (error) throw new Brick(); // Blog (german):
Offline kpars
« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-03-02 04:29:42 »



Offline Agro
« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-03-02 04:37:36 »

IDE: Eclipse Kepler. (dont we all use eclipse?)

nah its all about dat intellij idea nao

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Offline ReBirth
« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-03-02 04:43:37 »

Kepler? Prepare for Luna! Smiley

Offline Opiop
« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-03-02 05:19:47 »

I love your logic. Here's a list of commonly known programs that everyone uses, its special because I told you about them so obviously you didn't know about them before. But, if you don't know how to use them, don't ask me because I won't write any tutorials.

Yeah, really helpful there bud.
Offline kutucuk

Senior Devvie

Medals: 5
Exp: 3 years

« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-03-02 12:09:30 »

My projects generally suffer from my lack of knowledge, but never on graphics or audio.

I just collect some stuff from the internet, and use them. Because I'm not going to release any games soon. And the graphics don't even need to be cute or in harmony. I always cut a part of any wallpaper in my computer and put it as my sprite. Now my sprite is a wallpaper from a "fire wallpaper", so it's just a part of a fire. I mean, I use placeholders. At the moment I have this:

Looks bad, doesn't make sense etc. But my game doesn't make sense as well. Also it's not even near anything playable.

But if you can come up with something publishable (is that a word?) and stuck with graphics like mine (a 16x16 pixel piece of a random wallpaper), just search the internet for sprites etc. Most of the times, all you need is to ask artist's permission, because again, most of the time what an artist wants is to show his work to the world. Some of them wants you to have something. I mean, something you can show to them, "That's where your graphics will be". I have a friend who told me to come to him after I am done with most of the code. He wants something he can play on his phone before spending time on the graphics.

And there are some people who just releases their graphics etc for free use after their game is published.

In case you go with graphics from all over the web, keep their link somewhere, so if you decide to publish your work with their graphics, you can ask their permissions.

All my point is that, in my opinion, graphics have a little importance while you are coding. Their real importance comes to light when you want to show off your game.
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