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Ciergan

Anyone feeling the urge to make a game themselves?

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did anyone ever play that Half-Life mod called The Specialists? obviously not a story-based game, but it was (to the best of my knowledge) the only game ever to successfully incorporate bullet time, directionally-based kung fu, stunts (e.g. max payne-style diving and sliding, wall flips, double jumps, etc.), and well balanced guns and power ups into multiplayer. you could even switch from first to 3rd person to make the stunts and kung fu easier. it was quite popular for a time but has sadly drifted into obscurity with the advent of the source engine. if i found myself making a game, that'd be the style i'd look into.

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For all those people who say they're short of time, money, collaborators or artistic skill:

Text adventures!

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Making my own game....now that sounds awesome. But I wouldn't know where to start seeing as I am not much of an Artistic person anymore. I have many ideas but just wouldn't know how to get them rolling. Hell right now I'd just be happy with doing some Voice Work for a Game, Flash Video or something.

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Dude, totally. :)

Learning about DoubleFine, the Kickstarter, and Tim Schaeffer was all so inspiring, that I'm actually looking into creating a video game as along-term project. I'm going to school as an animator, so a lot of the programming will be foreign to me, but I can't think of a better way to prove to potential studios what I'm capable of than developing my own game.

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I spent years as a game designer in both the paper and computer game industries. I've made some games some of you might had heard of and many that you probably haven't. I have to admit I miss it. I really miss it. Unfortunately, the industry has really left me behind in some ways. My primary love is RPGs and there's not much demand for fossils like me who really want the players to feel like they're in the new world of the game. While there are some company relics of bygone days that do some RPG things pretty well (Bethesda, I'm looking at you) or ones that dress up shooting and fighting games as RPGs using roleplaying interludes as part of their formula (Bioware,) the will to make the really big RPGs a la Ultima <5, Planescape: Torment, or Vampire: Bloodlines just seems to be gone from the industry. I've done MMOs before and have a pretty spiffy design ready for when the industry comes begging at my door, but failing that or the enormous budget to make one that's competitive, I'll just be here in the corner waiting to win the lottery.

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The potential education these next few months might give is rather inspiring. Just looking at a recent RockPaperShotgun article about making games with Adventure Game Studio...yeah, it would probably be tough. And take a lot of time. And take a lot more education about scripting. And drawing. And writing. And creating.

I dunno, man. I could go for that. Anyone else have any impulses or urges along this line? It might be fun to see a few games pop up alongside DFA.

Funny you should ask....

Here's what I'm working on.

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That would be awesome, since I just got done with a molyjam game. Gamejam time for DFA backers?
A Double Fine Jam?

Sounds fun!

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For all those people who say they're short of time, money, collaborators or artistic skill:

Text adventures!

Inform 7 is a handy tool if you want to make a text adventure on your own and don't know how to code.

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Aah, yes. I think I got intrigued by game-making after playing Full Throttle. Of course, I've always been more of a story-wise person than anything else, but I'm working on my programming skills!

Game Making. A fine art. A fine art, indeed.

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I make games myself. I'm an indie game developer when I'm not doing my full-time career fixing aircraft. I can speak as someone who tries to make games almost from nothing... it's hard. Especially something requiring lots of content like an Adventure game. Content can be a project killer for any indie game, unless you have the cash to grab up artists and other tallent for your games.

I would love to make an adventure game myself, but it's just not in the cards for me. Which is why I so love being a backer here for this project. Best to let the professionals do it, I helped with my few dollars and I can five a 1/8000th of a vote at it, so I'm happy as punch. :)

Mind you if anyone ever wanted to back my games, I'd be more than happy to push them into development. ;)

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I too had the itch to make adventure games, so I started using Flash. I taught myself some basic action scripting and released a bunch of free to play games. It actually snow balled into me getting some decent game contracts and starting my own two man game company.

So I say if you have a desire to make a game, grab AGS or Flash and just do it. You never know what might happen.

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Hell yea! After seeing the Kickstarter take off and seeing that Mojang was doing the Humble Indie Bundle live mojam, I spent that weekend building a 2D mobile game. I stayed up for 30 hours, surviving only on caffeine and candy. It was a blast, although, my stomach didn't think so. Seeing the first episode of the Documentary is kind of making me want to do that again this weekend.

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There is one concept I'd like to work on one day again. Once, back when I played D&D more regularly, I decided to dip my toe into DMing in the easiest way I could think of: creating my own module from scratch with 6 premade characters and multiple storylines players could choose from set in a world that was a futuristic holographic recreation of Minoan Age Knossoss and characters who were fully fleshed out, futuristic, and mostly alien species. What can I say, I was young, naive, and ambitious. I remember, despite using a system as liberal as FUDGE for the main mechanics, that it was a real challenge to produce a world that was believable, presented a recreation of Minoan-age Knossos that both included the issues that it faced throughout its history as well as stuff it was more popularly famous for (like the Minotaur Myth and its colorful style of architecture and pottery), and was fun to actually play in and a world players could actually care about. I poured endless hours researching at both a local community college and big time university library looking for materials (like archeaological studies and pictures of artifacts from that era of history), spending way more money on black and white print copies of images than I probably should have at the time, in order to flesh out this world and bring it to life. Not many games present a world like that anymore where it explores a stage of history that doesn't relate to Mideaval Europe or some ludicrous cliche of a 300 inspired Greece. It's what made games like The Journeyman Project truly stand out and it'd be nice to one day revisit and create a title that focused more on the culture and history of a people rather than the hyper stylized, brutally savage, and in almost every way idiotic violence that is currently represented in games like God of War and Titan Quest.

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Great thread, I feel the same! I actually work as a developer, and I can only recommend Unity 3D to everyone who wishes to learn a thing or two about the process. It's system is very logical and well-thought out, and if you can grasp the basics of the technical mumbo-jumbo you can prototype a game in very short timeframes.

On the other hand, yeah, me and a friend actually "started pre-production" on a flash game.

I also one spent a few hours with building a text adventure engine, maybe I should polish that one up to be a bit more user friendly, I imagine people would enjoy fooling around with it. Maybe an Android version?

Would anyone be interested in playing text adventures on Android?

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Well it is what I do for a job, so I hope so.
You mean to tell me you work for ANet, and you've got beta codes for everyone, right? Right? nudge, nudge, wink wink :coolhmm:

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I came into this thread to say "Hey, Ludum Dare's coming up, you should check that out", but:

That would be awesome, since I just got done with a molyjam game. Gamejam time for DFA backers?
Heck yes! That would be so very fantastic. I can definitely see there being a decent amount of interest from both people wanting to take part and people wanting to play the games. Can this be a thing now? Because if so, sign me up! :D

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I came into this thread to say "Hey, Ludum Dare's coming up, you should check that out", but:
That would be awesome, since I just got done with a molyjam game. Gamejam time for DFA backers?
Heck yes! That would be so very fantastic. I can definitely see there being a decent amount of interest from both people wanting to take part and people wanting to play the games. Can this be a thing now? Because if so, sign me up! :D

As far as I'm concerned this is a thing now.

Let the BackerJam/DoubleJam/FineJam begin!

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I've worked for a few big video game companies in the last few years as QA tester and programmer, and while those jobs aren't all that bad, they're not that great either. So far I had no creative input on the games I developed, even when I insisted. There's just too much demand for game designers and barely any opportunities to make the jump. Becoming a successful game designer is my dream since pretty much ever, but it just seems fate is against me, always denying me of a chance to prove my worth.

Also, things aren't looking good in the industry because of all the bad decisions they've taken recently. Video games is an art form that thrives on innovation, but partially because of the recent economic crash, no publisher wants to actually take a risk and instead prefer to release the same games over and over and include in them hardcore DRM and ridiculously expensive DLC, but by doing so it's killing the market instead. On the other end we have the rise of the mobile and social network platforms, but now everybody and their cousins are developing on these platforms and are oversaturating the market, and since there's no quality control, 99.99% of the games on those platforms are either shovelware or shallow games (including Angry Birds, Draw Something and Infinity Blade). On the long term, people will lose interest in these kind of games and the whole market will crash. It's not speculation, this has happened several times in the past already.

[snip]

Therefore, all I can do right now is endure my current situation... maybe. I thought for a long time becoming a programmer would allow me to eventually become a designer, but as time passes it seems that's far from enough after all. In fact, it's sad how many game designers do not even know the basic concepts of programming. So right now I'm seriously considering changing jobs for something more interesting in the short term outside the video game industry and create my own opportunity much later in my career.

Sigh... :(

This should be mandatory reading for any programmer interested in joining the video game industry. I was lucky enough to discover this through various interviews with game companies I had after I graduated college. I eventually made the difficult decision to take a job doing graphics/data visualization in the oil industry instead. I haven't regretted it since.

Wow thanks! I'm glad you like my post so much! But if you want others to read it, you'll have to copy it outside of these private forums. :)

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I've worked for a few big video game companies in the last few years as QA tester and programmer, and while those jobs aren't all that bad, they're not that great either. So far I had no creative input on the games I developed, even when I insisted. There's just too much demand for game designers and barely any opportunities to make the jump. Becoming a successful game designer is my dream since pretty much ever, but it just seems fate is against me, always denying me of a chance to prove my worth.

Also, things aren't looking good in the industry because of all the bad decisions they've taken recently. Video games is an art form that thrives on innovation, but partially because of the recent economic crash, no publisher wants to actually take a risk and instead prefer to release the same games over and over and include in them hardcore DRM and ridiculously expensive DLC, but by doing so it's killing the market instead. On the other end we have the rise of the mobile and social network platforms, but now everybody and their cousins are developing on these platforms and are oversaturating the market, and since there's no quality control, 99.99% of the games on those platforms are either shovelware or shallow games (including Angry Birds, Draw Something and Infinity Blade). On the long term, people will lose interest in these kind of games and the whole market will crash. It's not speculation, this has happened several times in the past already.

[snip]

Therefore, all I can do right now is endure my current situation... maybe. I thought for a long time becoming a programmer would allow me to eventually become a designer, but as time passes it seems that's far from enough after all. In fact, it's sad how many game designers do not even know the basic concepts of programming. So right now I'm seriously considering changing jobs for something more interesting in the short term outside the video game industry and create my own opportunity much later in my career.

Sigh... :(

Me too. I worked as a QA tester for a year now, and it's definitely a hard road to walk. I can only agree with the above story, since it so closely resembles mine. I worked on numerous DS casual games and an Xbox/Steam release and by the time a tester is assigned to a projects, there is simply no room for big changes so my creative input made little to no difference on the development of a game, especially on games which have a tight budget and dangerous deadlines.

The indie developer scene could be instrumental in saving the industry from a total crash because of all the carbon copy games that get released nowadays, but it seems that many people believe that making an 8bit platform game means that you are automatically an indie hero, and that's not good. We need to band together.

The problem is that we waste time by trying to explain what the word "game" means. We have no consensus about this basic question, and by now it's more of a linguistic debate than anything else, trying to tie together a billion already existing definitions with another one that has to be able to include all of these.

When we think of the word "game" we already think with the constraints of what we already called a game, and that sort of ties our creativity, and makes little sense to be honest. Genres are fine when you want to classify games, but when genres influence the creative process, you need to be careful of who you are copying.

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I thought for a long time becoming a programmer would allow me to eventually become a designer, but as time passes it seems that's far from enough after all. In fact, it's sad how many game designers do not even know the basic concepts of programming.

Going from programmer to designer is HARD, but not as hard as getting into the games industry in the first place. It took me eight years to do, but I'm finally a designer, and it was definitely worth it. The necessary skills in organization and logic required to be a good programmer are also a huge boon to working as a designer, not to mention being able to quickly create small functional prototypes to push my own ideas.

The other thing I would highly recomend is do not judge the industry by working for one or two companies. Every company has it's own culture, it's own problems, and the difficulty or ease of changing roles will also vary. If you can't get to designer in your current company, move somewhere else as a programmer, or a technical designer, or a 'scripter'...

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I've always had urges to make video games ever since I started playing them, and really the only problem is that making a game is a long term goal. Lots of hard work with little reward until it's complete. Other than that obstacle though it's actually a lot easier to make games than you think.

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I've always had urges to make video games ever since I started playing them, and really the only problem is that making a game is a long term goal. Lots of hard work with little reward until it's complete. Other than that obstacle though it's actually a lot easier to make games than you think.

The good thing about learning to make video games is that they work in the same learn-work-reward system as the games itself. When you start learning this on your own, you learn astonishing things and when you really understand what each thing does in the process, you feel rewarded.

So basically making a game is just another game in the grand scheme of things.

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So, first post here! Hello everyone!

I haven't been making games for a long time or anything. I got into a game school about three years ago, and I have had an internship at a pretty well-known indie studio for the last 8 months. But I hope my words have some amount of weight at least.

If you want to make games, DO IT NAO!

Yes, it's not something you can just pick up and master in a few days, but neither is painting or playing the guitar.

The thing is, every second you spend thinking about how cool it would be to make a game is a second you spend not getting better at making games.

So from reading what you've all posted, there are a couple of things I think I should write.

1) Start simple. EXTREMELY simple.

The biggest mistake almost everyone makes (myself included) is to try and make a huge RPG or a trilogy of story based games or whatever as their first project. That rarely, if ever, works out. You need to be able to draw basic shapes to be a graphic artist, and you need to be able to play some chords to become a guitarist.

When you have understand the absolute basics of your game-making-program (I don't recommend trying to code a game from scratch if all you want to do is design), remake Pong, or Tetris.

From that, try to make your own, similar games.

It'll take some time before you can make something bigger, but that's okay. You WILL get there, and it's fun to make small games too.

2) Focus on the important parts first.

Does your Tetris remake have a coach character that will stand on the side of the screen and shout advice? That's fine, but don't start your game with a preproduction phase where you write all his/her lines! Locate the core aspects of the game, and prioritize them. For example: Start by having a block fall from the top of the screen and stop at the bottom. You don't even need to be able to control it! Just make that simple thing work before adding complexity to it.

It might seem obvious, but it takes a while to learn how important it is.

3) Finish what you start!

This is especially important if you want a job in the industry as developers LOVE to see that you're able to pull through to the end of a project. Making games aren't always fun, but you need to be able to pull through. Sometimes this means cutting a lot of your fantastic ideas. Sometimes it means polishing a turd for a while.

4) JAMS! JAMS! JAMS!

I love jams. You'll meet amazing people, feel extremely inspired, eat a lot of unhealthy food and make a game! It's a great way to get into the mindset I've tried to describe above. Since the time limit is usually about 48 hours, you really need a simple idea, you need to know where to start, and you need to know when to stop and put the finishing touches on your pile of utter failure that you thought was gonna be SO much better!

Yeah, you'll fail. Hard. And have fun doing it!

Some things to check out:

Glorious Trainwrecks - A site that hosts a lot of online jam-like-things. Pretty much a site dedicated to getting people off/on their asses and just start producing ANYTHING.

Exile Game Jam 2012 - If you're in or around scandinavia, there's a jam coming up in Denmark soon. Google it.

Ludum Dare - Online 48-hour solo game making competition. There's also a slightly longer jam where you can work in teams and with less strict rules. Starts in about two weeks.

Super Friendship Club - A forum that hosts 1 month "pageants" every two months. Make a game based around a theme. Wouldn't really recommend this as a starting point due to the length, but it's a cool concept that needs more recognition.

All them Molyjam games! - The jam is over, you should check out the games if you haven't already. If you want to test my game, it's called You Scale My Heart. :)

Oh...

And a DoubleJam/BackerJam (Amnesia TwoNights?) sounds fantastic.

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I would like to back up Exorph's post with a few very good pieces of advice from the master himself, Jordan Mechner of Prince of Persia and Karateka fame, he shared this on his website a while ago, and they are very good ideas for both people who are just getting into it, and even for the more battle-hardened developers out there:

1. Prototype and test key game elements as early as possible.

2. Build the game in incremental steps – Don’t make big design documents.

3. As you go, continue to strengthen what’s strong, and cut what’s weak.

4. Be open to the unexpected – Make the most of emergent properties.

5. Be prepared to sell your project at every stage along the way.

6. It’s harder to sell an original idea than a sequel.

7. Bigger teams and budgets mean bigger pressure to stay on schedule.

8. Don’t invest in an overly grandiose development system.

9. Make sure the player always has a goal (and knows what it is).

10. Give the player clear and constant feedback as to whether he is getting closer to his goal or further away from it.

11. The story should support the game play, not overwhelm it.

12. The moment when the game first becomes playable is the moment of truth. Don’t be surprised if isn’t as much fun as you expected.

13. Sometimes a cheap trick is better than an expensive one.

14. Listen to the voice of criticism – It’s always right (you just have to figure out in what way).

15. Your original vision is not sacred. It’s just a rough draft.

16. Don’t be afraid to consider BIG changes.

17. When you discover what the heart of the game is, protect it to the death.

18. However much you cut, it still won’t be enough.

19. Put your ego aside.

20. Nobody knows what will succeed.

I took the liberty of high lighting some of the more important points. This is also partial preparation for BackerJam/DoubleJam. (I prefer BackerJam since it's more about as, than about doublefine).

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5. Be prepared to sell your project at every stage along the way.

This is a great one too. Not that you have to SELL the game, but rather that everything should be working at all times. It's very easy to think that since something kind of works at the moment, you'll just polish it later. But that's a bad idea. You want to be as close to a finished product as possible at all times. So if you decide that you can't stand the game anymore, you don't have to do much work in order to kick it out the door and call it done.

I'm hoping not to overwhelm people who haven't touched game making before. I had more advice that was aimed at more advanced developers, but I cut them before posting.

This is also partial preparation for BackerJam/DoubleJam. (I prefer BackerJam since it's more about as, than about doublefine).

Does it have to be?

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This is also partial preparation for BackerJam/DoubleJam. (I prefer BackerJam since it's more about as, than about doublefine).

Does it have to be?

Does it have to be more about us than doublefine? It could be about both. There are no restrains, no borders, or limitations. It could be anyone. Maybe we could do some preparations (flesh out the event) here in the private forums and then make an announcement in the public forums? Make the world go wild!

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