Challenge #9: What’s the Biggest Problem You Are Facing Right Now in Game Development?

It’s been some time since the last challenge, so it’s about time to set up a new one. This time I’d like you to answer to this question: What’s the biggest problem you have in game production at the moment?

Feel free to post a comment (anonymously or with details) and share what obstacles you are facing.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. for me its jsut the general idea of a game…whatever i come up with it either seems too stupid or taken…time isnt a problem because im a quick learner and i can get straight down to coding and coverart and so on…like neil im having problems with testers because they either believe they will some how break the game or they will make a fool out of themselves as they tell the world they are hardcore gamers

  2. My biggest problem is finding a way to finnish my game without
    taking 5 years to complete.
    my last project was scraped because I did’t want to keep working on a game that I did’t even like anymore.

    It’s hard you you get better at programming or graphics
    but your game plays and looks inexperienced now that you know better…

  3. As a newbie developer, the biggest problem I have is getting people to TRY my games.

    Money is no excuse, as my games are free.

    Quality isn’t an issue: because people haven’t played the games, they have no idea if they are good or bad.

    I have a name, logo and website, and I try to be as professional as possible.

    It isn’t even a case of poor marketing: I can’t even get my housemates, friends, lecturers or relatives to play them!

    What am I doing wrong?

  4. My #1 problem is coming up with a game design that fits my vision but still stays within the scope of my resources.

  5. As ever– it’s stopping, taking a break and a breather and stepping away from the PC. I can’t seem to do it.

  6. Absolutely great stuff people – I would definitely want to hear more!

    @SasQ: We won’t be focusing on problems, this is just the first step “find out what’s the problem”. In the next step it will be fixed ;)

  7. While we are finishing Runes of Avalon the biggest problem for us is to know when to stop. Sometimes you can simply overpolish your game :D

    It applies to game design also – creating game design that is not to big to develop. Right now I want to create a small game that can be done in 2-3 weeks – though constantly I find myself adding this and that to my original game idea and this is making it 2-3 months game project instead of initial time frame.

  8. I’ll cast my vote for finding the time…. you guys out there complaining about a 40 hour work week make me jealous…. guess I shouldn’t have buckled down for a dual major in the engineering field. Its hard to make progress when your coding days can be several weeks apart, and often only for a few hours. Its very hard to sit down for a new feature or module if you know the week won’t provide you with the time to do it. Give me a 40 hour work week any day… beats spending every waking moment on homework and projects.

  9. #1 – Content.
    Working on a shoestring budget, and trying to beg, borrow, and … well, I can’t steal, but otherwise acquire anything resembling quality art resources. I’ve been using (where I can) some off-the-shelf content which is within my budget, but it lacks consistent style.

    #2 – The Prolonged Alpha
    I had this problem on … well, on almost every game I’ve worked on, except the ones where the schedule just COULD NOT BE CHANGED. The stage where the game is “90% complete” but desperately requires more bugfixing and more polish can just go on forever (thus the joke about how 90% of game development takes 90% of the time, and the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time).

  10. Staying interested and motivated in a project when I hit the content development point in the game.

    I find it’s very easy to get going when I’m creating a project from scratch and I’ve got the limitless engine possibilities and the excitement of creating a new tool-set to manipulate the content of my game, but eventually there comes a point when I have to get some artwork in order for the game to become something worth looking at.

    Usually around that point I start losing interest in a project because I’m not an artist and because game programming is mostly a hobby, I really don’t have the consistency to convince an artist to do some art for me.

  11. Not being perfect.

    I’m constantly reaching problems and asking “what is the absolute best way to solve this”. Sounds like a good plan, but it means I spend three weeks coding a module to handle any kind of title screen ever instead of just whipping one up in a few hours.

    Sticking at the same thing for long enough to see some decent results is also much harder than I’d like it to be.

    Programming is hard.

  12. TIME.

    i work 8 hours a day, so it’s kind of difficult to start working again at home. Best should perhaps to have 1 day of the week dedicated to my game. i guess i should consider part time job if i want to advance fast.

  13. – Having to deal with a producer that lacks experience and the courage to do what is needed to protect the project.

    – Not having a project manager who knows what he’s doing or that is committed to the project for the whole term.

    – No effective workflow or project tracking in place

    – Poor communication

    – Lack of appropriate tools and tools developed specifically for our project that are not adequate (i.e. no Undo, Redo, Copy, Paste, etc.)

    – Too many positions filled with young and inexperienced people

    – Not enough team leads

    – Part time art director shared between several other projects

    – No appropriate professionals for specific areas of expertiese (i.e. cinematographer or film professional for game that depends heavily on camera work).

    I could go on but this is making me depressed.

  14. Two biggest problem:

    1. Paralyzed by code architecture decisions. I tend to not want to code until I understand the structure … but the only way for me to truly understand the structure is to try coding it!

    2. Sheer volume of work still to be completed! I’m doing everything: all the programming, world design, and artwork.

  15. I think focusing on problems instead of solutions isn’t good ;J but I’ll try to write you something…

    The biggest problem for me is the time, which I can devote to my hobby, because I work 8 hours a day, 30min x2 for traveling betwen work and home, and when I’m back home, I’m tired and can’t think about coding and anything else. The necessities are bad ;p They don’t allow me to do what I like the most :/

    The other big problem is with designing the code. Often I stuck on something and can’t found any good idea how to organize my code. I could think about it for hours and no good ideas get into my head. It’s really annoying because I waste my time then.
    I think the reason is breaking the work and returning for it after some time, because I need some time then to remember everything to myself and get into my interrupted work.

    There is also one problem with game producing, which hasn’t been discussed here yet: copyrights. When you make a game, you have to check carefully if you don’t violate anyone’s copyrights. Even if you make everything by yourself, there is a possibility that someone has made the same thing earlier, but you haven’t known about it. There is also a problem if you want to use something made by someone else, but you don’t know how to contact with the author to ask him for agreement. Sometimes the game might be better if you would use someone’s music or idea in your game, but you can’t, and you don’t want to risk.

  16. – Finding time.
    – Keeping up the desire to complete the game, especially when you have to deal with some of the more tedious tasks.
    – Producing and finding good quality assets.

  17. (Sorry, double post, had another thought)

    Another problem is defiantly cost – when your budget is nearly nothing, you have to spend ages creating poor quality artwork or sound effects if you aren’t skilled in this area. Not all programmers can draw. :-)

  18. I think the biggest obstacle is other priorities. Not only do online games, etc, provide a horrible distraction for the weak willed, but necessities like work or education take a huge slice out of your time.

    So I agree with Alvaron – both finding the time to sit down and code, and also finding the motivation to do so after a long day.

  19. I feel my biggest problems, when it comes to game development, are:
    1. Coming up with a project idea that excites me.
    2. Forcing myself to learn solutions other people developed (i.e. libraries).
    3. Fear of my code becoming difficult to work with because of it being a disorganized mess.
    4. Simply starting a project when I know the thousands of projects I previously tried working on all failed to go anywhere.

    As you can tell, most of my problems stem from a lack of confidence — which, I’m sure, is one of the leading problems with many people. With a healthy confidence in oneself any obstacle is easy to overcome. Without it even the smallest challenges become too much to handle.

  20. Definitely quality assurance and bugfixing.
    Being a one person team, handling coding, graphics, audio, website and marketing (and so on…) you suddenly start to notice how time consuming quality assurance is when it has to be performed on several platforms…

  21. The biggest problem I face, is to say to myself: “Sit down and code!”

    The modeling is going smooth, and for the biggest part finished… But most of the code still needs to be written. I don’t even have the level editor finished …

    Games and movies on tv are a bit distracting… I should just turn off the tv, switch PCs and start working on the code… I’m going to write it on a paper now and stick it to my gaming PC monitor… That way I might have something done tonight…

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