Thread: Making a game.
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Old February 20, 2010, 06:48 PM
undeclared undeclared is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Montreal
Posts: 27

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Having done a lot of this, it's not so much about having a great idea, or even having the right group of people.

Best way to put it: it's about finding the right group of people who are willing to be very consistent as a group, who are problem solvers that are not stopped by menial things, and who are willing to make some sacrifices to make your game.

The problem is -- in 9/10 cases, this is the guy who starts the project only. It's hard to find good people like this.

Furthermore, that's without even getting into the details of how you're going to make the game, are you going to use an engine or not, how many team members will you have, can you somehow estimate how long will it take, will any money need to be spent to get a real game out there, and so on.. there's a lot of questions.

The simplest website done properly is a huge job. I don't know if you've ever done any programming but this is a good way I can explain to you how complex a simple new user registration form is:

- what fields do I have?
- how are they validated?
- if they don't validate, how do I display validation?
- how do I remember fields after a bad submit?
- once they are valid, how do I insert them into the database?
-- wait, wait.. what are my database fields for a user?
--- okay, so user has id, firstname lastname, email
--- wait, can they log in right away after registration, or do I need to send them a confirm email?
---- wait, how do I set it up so that they are in the database but can't login yet? Okay, add a field user_status
-- wait, how do I send them an email?
- okay, so I send them an email this way..
--- wait, the email should always look the same.. Should I store it in my code, or somehow in the database, or elsewhere?
----- okay, the database.. what should that table look like?
---- and so on and so forth.. I could make pages upon pages..

Now think about a 3d game, and understand that to display one room with one guy shooting a gun is about 100 times harder and more confusing than a registration page... and understand that you have NO idea where you're going or what you're doing and you need to learn it -- although keep in mind that very resourceful people will be able to pick up a book and learn, and/or find tutorials on the net, and/or screw around with a game engine and/or make mods and so on

It's like this guy calls up a web designer and says "Hey, I want to make website. It's a sure thing"
The web designer asks, "Okay, so what is the idea?"
The guy replies, "well, google but better.. but I don't want to think about the technical part, you do it, you're the web designer"

The standard way of making a game or mod right now is MOST of the time a programmer and an artist team up, or a programmer alone, and creates a concept demo with a single guy in a room, with a single gun, and whatever specific to the game... Then more or less post your game idea on a forum, along with the demo, and get people to join in.

There's nothing stopping you from getting it done. I'm sure there is people interested, but you seriously need to look into the specifics, and get down to things..

This is not a discouraging post and please don't look at it this way, but understand that it's easier said than done. It is a competitive market, it is a hard profession or so I hear from slave game developers who have to work 80 hour work weeks so that the game can be out in good time, and this is actually true.

Do stuff in intervals, it's the best way. For example, get a team to make an iPhone game using the Unity3D Game Engine for the Mac, and win or lose, you have something under your belt, some experience and some understanding.

The problem is not that going for the gold right away is not possible. Some people do that, but they spend 12 hours a day for 6 months before they have something plausible, and they are 16 years old in High school with only a few friends -- some of which are doing the game with them.

It's a challenging task, there is a lot to learn, people drop out of it like flies, and the people who don't drop are either in school (and will eventually leave for that same reason, or for work, and so on...), and mostly the only people you can really depend on is yourself..

Various issues arise like "if they leave, do they get credit for the game? how much credit?"
Artists might want their art copyrighted by themselves and not for the game or game company, and as such will have your game by their neck so to speak.. Although, this is not always a bad thing if you have an awesome artist...

People might put in 10 hours a week, while others are putting in 120, but expect the same credit as the others..

I can go on and on. Read guides on this, there's tons, get massive amounts of information, but at no point get discouraged and stop wanting to make a game. Find a way, stick to it, and you'll get it done.
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