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  Make game development step  (Read 3563 times)
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Offline Gornova
« Posted 2016-03-18 08:23:37 »

Hi everyone,
 I'd like to share with you some thoughts about game development in general, starting from my perspective.

My path as game developer is summarized in my blog: http://randomtower.blogspot.it   Pointing
22 games (! wow.. it's a long run in the past 7 years..), made mostly with Java+Lwjgl+Slick2d+MarteEngine and Flashpunk
I've started from classic pacman, try a little tower defense, an android game, shump, platformers and then roguelikes.

My weak points are always the same:

1) graphics: I'm not an artist! And I don't want to pay someone to do art for me, mostly because this is an hobby, not a work! Anyway without a proper direction on art, my games are really really weak on this field. I'm trying to improve my graphicals skills, with pixelart, but it's hard and I'm not able to found a proper tutorials or "mentor" for improving myself on this field. Any help on that is important!

2) mechanics: my games, IMHO, lacks of a proper game design. For me it's always try to see if a mechanics works, test, iterate and so on. I don't have a proper "vision" of game mechanics in games (maybe Zombie Employee as platform is a step in right direction, I don't know ). I think that without some thoughts about game mechanics and how player interact with the game, objectives and a little bit of level design.. I'm not able to do that step I want to do on my game development! For most part I'm working alone and get feedback from anyone is hard, because you know.. my games are not so interesting Sad

3) tools: for last years I've been using Java libraries but even with Slick2d or MarteEngine or Flashpunk for me seems always to start from scratch. I've tried libgdx.. but seems a step in wrong direction, on "details" that for me are not so important. I mean, my programmer-part is enjoying in put code together, make it work, but requires a lot of time.. and more old I will become.. less will be (or I can quit my job and start an app-company.. get into reality, small boy inside me!  Tongue ). So I'm thinking about Unity2d a reasonable tool, tried with small experiments and so on.. seems to be a decent mix for programmer/designers/graphics guy. What do you think about it? It's right tool for someone like me?

4) projects: start a mmorpg (I'm joking!). No really, I'd like to find more inspirations and sometimes I have what I think a good idea (for example: make a risk-like game, but where you must handle consequences of your actions: pestilences, refugees, etc...) BUT I think tool I have right now (Java) force me to start from scratch again and again.. one for all, make a decent UI. I'm not so interested on it, what I need is just to make it work, but for doing that, I need a proper "user design"  behind it and.. I don't want to lost too much time on it


Soooo a little rant by me right now, I don't know if make sense for anyone or someone else are on my same situation: want to improve on many sides, but don't know how Cheesy


Addentum:

After a little bit of thinking, I believe to come up with a plan:
1) focus on one side only. For example.. pixel art for my next roguelike, or work on game design for rts. Without stress.. it's only an hobby. But to have in my mind one point. Make best of my time and improve on that side as far as I can! Then move on another weak point, for example tools. Try unity2d again, try libdgx tutorials and so on..
2) try to copy a game. Start from scracth again, but remake a classic, same graphics, same mechanis, but find how professional developer make all different parts works together
3) put all ideas together, brainstorm, dream a little bit and choose where to put my heart
4) find an unique artist style to be inspired from.. I'm from Italy and really, there is so much inspirations in arts around me Cheesy

What do you think about it ?



Blog | Last game Drone Swarm
Offline Coldstream24

JGO Ninja


Medals: 82
Projects: 1
Exp: 4 years


You can fill that void inside with programming, but you'll never return a value.


« Reply #1 - Posted 2016-03-18 10:14:15 »

Honestly, I think you'll find that every time you make a game, you're going to get a little bit better at it. Just bear that in mind. Make little projects, focus on the aspects that you feel you need to improve, and in time it will come to you. I do have some quick points to make:
  • Play games. As many as you can, in whatever styles interest you. If you see an idea you like, think about how it fits in with the rest of the game, think about how it works, even think about how you'd implement it. I spend a lot of my time in games just investigating what makes them tick. I find it pretty fascinating to tell you the truth.
  • Make a game that you'd play. I made the mistake of creating several games purely because I was bored and had too much time on my hands - namely my project Element X and two prior 2d minecraft clones. Each time, I learned more about building a game but I always ended up abandoning them because, honestly, Minecraft bores me. So instead, I looked at games that I thoroughly enjoyed. I haven't actually ever finished a game, but I am valiantly pursuing that goal Tongue
Another thing to consider is that we all operate differently. I for one feel much better penning ideas in my notebook, just little conceptual notes and illustrations - I find it helps me, being able to visualize what I'm doing. Sometimes I just jump into writing code straight away, but I often forget ideas.

I think that it's a great hobby to have and it's something that unites us here, we're here to learn from each other and to share our creations.

Side note:
I also think that it's incredibly important for you to be able to identify your weaknesses, and it's good that you have.

My website: http://www.onedropgames.com/
My soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/coldstream24
Creator of the Morningside Engine, co-founder of Onedrop Games.
Offline unlight
« Reply #2 - Posted 2016-03-18 10:15:32 »

I am much more of a logical thinker than a creative thinker which makes graphics, level and mechanics design difficult. I fantasise about building the architecture to do something, for example, making a tile map editor, but once I finish it I have no idea how to go about making a creative map and end up moving on to something else. This made taking to use a library like LibGDX (mentally) difficult because it provides all of the things that I have worked so hard to create for free, and they work better than I could ever have done. However, since forcing myself to pick up LibGDX my mind has been free to come up with creative ideas because of the freely available functionality, which is pretty exciting for me.

I was considering learning Unity as well and still might one day but I enjoy the freedom that comes with using a programming language like Java or C++ to create your own tools or modify the engine to behave differently if you need it to. I wonder if with your programming experience you might feel a bit trapped or restricted by Unity..?
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Gornova
« Reply #3 - Posted 2016-03-18 10:30:06 »

thanks guys!

Honestly, I think you'll find that every time you make a game, you're going to get a little bit better at it. Just bear that in mind. Make little projects, focus on the aspects that you feel you need to improve, and in time it will come to you.

You get the point: going to get a little bit better at it! I mean, my steps are sooo little that right now I'm trying to find a way to have a proper step in right direction.

Quote
I do have some quick points to make:
  • Play games. As many as you can, in whatever styles interest you. If you see an idea you like, think about how it fits in with the rest of the game, think about how it works, even think about how you'd implement it. I spend a lot of my time in games just investigating what makes them tick. I find it pretty fascinating to tell you the truth.

Your point on playing games is right, I'm a little bit lazy right now, only Starcraf2 and Xcom2 and random games around, not focused on a specific genre, well said! I have to play with right mindset and analyze mechanics, graphics and so on..

Quote
  • Make a game that you'd play. I made the mistake of creating several games purely because I was bored and had too much time on my hands - namely my project Element X and two prior 2d minecraft clones. Each time, I learned more about building a game but I always ended up abandoning them because, honestly, Minecraft bores me. So instead, I looked at games that I thoroughly enjoyed. I haven't actually ever finished a game, but I am valiantly pursuing that goal Tongue

For 22 games I've made, I have a lot of unfinished games around! Maybe the point is that games I'd like to play, like That which sleep (aka: manipulate world as Lovecraft's Old One, really cool, waiting for beta.. still in development) are more tabletop games that videogames, with emergent behaviors and story self created between player actions and interaction with other "thinking" entities.. something really cool to think, but hard to get done Cheesy

Quote
Another thing to consider is that we all operate differently. I for one feel much better penning ideas in my notebook, just little conceptual notes and illustrations - I find it helps me, being able to visualize what I'm doing. Sometimes I just jump into writing code straight away, but I often forget ideas.

I think that it's a great hobby to have and it's something that unites us here, we're here to learn from each other and to share our creations.

I'm more a "organized" than "creative" guy, so make a sketch is something really "new" for me, for most of game dev is to think, organize a TODO list and go to programming!


I am much more of a logical thinker than a creative thinker which makes graphics, level and mechanics design difficult. I fantasise about building the architecture to do something, for example, making a tile map editor, but once I finish it I have no idea how to go about making a creative map and end up moving on to something else. This made taking to use a library like LibGDX (mentally) difficult because it provides all of the things that I have worked so hard to create for free, and they work better than I could ever have done. However, since forcing myself to pick up LibGDX my mind has been free to come up with creative ideas because of the freely available functionality, which is pretty exciting for me.

I've this in past years, with my little "engine", MarteEngine. After this effort, I abandoned a little bit this hobby, because made an engine, a tool or something related gives me so little in terms of satisfaction.

Quote
I was considering learning Unity as well and still might one day but I enjoy the freedom that comes with using a programming language like Java or C++ to create your own tools or modify the engine to behave differently if you need it to. I wonder if with your programming experience you might feel a bit trapped or restricted by Unity..?

being trapped in Unity could be an issue, from an outside perspective seems really cool, easy to use and customize, but if you need some plugins or other people code, how much effort to put in integration part ?

Blog | Last game Drone Swarm
Offline orangepascal
« Reply #4 - Posted 2016-03-23 10:45:32 »

1.

 I honestly believe that graphics is a skill-set you can learn just like programming. But like programming, it requires time and most developers can create games and would like to just as easily create graphics.. but remember where you were when starting programming, that's where your graphic skills are.

All game art is defined by rules and style. For pixelart there are simple rules on how to create a rounded edge, just blow up a pacman sprite, and notice how the outline of the circle is made.. that's the most simple example of graphical rules in pixel-art, and there are a lot of those little rules (aka tricks) to create certain shapes.  Same goes for any other graphical art form (vector, 3d, etc).  Look at examples and start copying them and then tweaking them  (again, much like how you would learn how to program games, take example game code, and start tweaking it)

2.

mechanics is playing many games, and prototyping. Sounds like you already do one of the ways to accomplish it. I work the same way, I come up with a specific little concept, and then I build it and iterate and play the shit out of it until it's fun or just time to move on to the next idea.    Sometimes a game idea starts with an idea like "main player moves like this"  or sometimes I start a design with "funny little sprite" and then I never know where I end up Wink

3.

don't worry about the tools, if you can make what you want to make with it, and run it on the target platforms you had in mind, then it's the right tool for you.   I only recently started using LibGDX, but I only use the core of it (the part that get's me an opengl + audio + input setup and works cross-platform).  All other code on top (actual engine of the game) is my own code.

This means my code can be ported fairly quickly as long as I have a rendering+audio+interface layer between my code and the platform I want it to run on.


finally, don't think too much about it, just do it Wink   creating games is mostly the fun of creating, the end result doesn't matter. Especially if it's just as a hobby.


the guy behind Orangepixel | twitter@orangepascal
http://www.orangepixel.net
Offline Gornova
« Reply #5 - Posted 2016-03-23 12:09:54 »

1.

 I honestly believe that graphics is a skill-set you can learn just like programming. But like programming, it requires time and most developers can create games and would like to just as easily create graphics.. but remember where you were when starting programming, that's where your graphic skills are.

This is a good point. I'm a programmer for so much time that I almost forgot how hard was at start!

Quote
All game art is defined by rules and style. For pixelart there are simple rules on how to create a rounded edge, just blow up a pacman sprite, and notice how the outline of the circle is made.. that's the most simple example of graphical rules in pixel-art, and there are a lot of those little rules (aka tricks) to create certain shapes.  Same goes for any other graphical art form (vector, 3d, etc).  Look at examples and start copying them and then tweaking them  (again, much like how you would learn how to program games, take example game code, and start tweaking it)

I think I need some sort of tutorials/guide to to it, not because I'm not able to copy, but I'd like to find a (why not?) fun way to do it! I mean, for graphics I'm using Gimp, I'm able to use it as tool, but if you take a look to my last games, I'm struggling in find a decent style for my sprites. And maybe copy someone else sprites is not right way for me, mostly because I have to understand better how to use colors, find right palette and so on.

Quote
2.

mechanics is playing many games, and prototyping. Sounds like you already do one of the ways to accomplish it. I work the same way, I come up with a specific little concept, and then I build it and iterate and play the shit out of it until it's fun or just time to move on to the next idea.    Sometimes a game idea starts with an idea like "main player moves like this"  or sometimes I start a design with "funny little sprite" and then I never know where I end up Wink

For this I think I'm okay, I'm playing a lot of games recently and find some inspirations from them Cheesy Again copy one game, like for arts, it's right exercise for me ? (I'm asking to myself!)

Quote
3.

don't worry about the tools, if you can make what you want to make with it, and run it on the target platforms you had in mind, then it's the right tool for you.   I only recently started using LibGDX, but I only use the core of it (the part that get's me an opengl + audio + input setup and works cross-platform).  All other code on top (actual engine of the game) is my own code.

This means my code can be ported fairly quickly as long as I have a rendering+audio+interface layer between my code and the platform I want it to run on.

On this side I think I'm a little bit too much perfectionist, struggling to find right pattern, right way to do it, because after a bit.. too much code becomes a mess and as hobbist, I love to make games, but I need to make them "right way" and in a way I'm comfortable working on it after one week or one month. But this is not code related Tongue

Quote
finally, don't think too much about it, just do it Wink   creating games is mostly the fun of creating, the end result doesn't matter. Especially if it's just as a hobby.

Right! Thanks ! And keep makings good games Cheesy

Blog | Last game Drone Swarm
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