Are you creating your dream game? The game you’ve always wanted to create?
If not… why not?
I asked about these earlier in twitter and got some replies & sparked some discussion. Here’s some more points regarding this issue:
If visuals/sounds is the problem, why not use existing games and mod them?
For example, Skyrim, Crysis, Source games, upcoming Source 2 (or whatever it’s called)… There’s plenty of game engines that can be used for modding?
Needs more design? Why not more prototyping?
I also heard about reasons saying that game requires more planning or designing first. Why not take 2 weeks to design, and then participate in some weekend prototyping jam & knock the game basics together?
One of the most fun way to get some very fun stuff out is prototyping. I knocked my dwarves prototype together in a week, sold 22 copies (that’s $22!), and it was one of the most rewarding experiences.
I prototyped the core. It would be easy to continue from there if I’d want.
Too big scope or takes too much time
One of the biggest issues I’ve had with my card game development is that, it started as a small game. It went through 3 very huge revisions. Each version was almost totally different. The current final version I have, is totally different than what the game was when I started.
Sure, this is taking “too long”… but they always do. I’m setting my first public release for 12/12/12. At that point I aim to get the first version out, and I do my best effort to finalize the game during these 30 days.
This started as a small project. In a way it still is – it’s the game mechanisms that took most of my time anyway – and has taken a long time.
And the real answer is:
– So what if scope is too big? Either scale down features or just take more time. If you need art assets, then well, mod some existing game. Or make minecraft like graphics.
– DLC. Patching. There’s a reason why those exist. So that we don’t need to put all our ideas in the first version. Sure, I’d like to have 30 different characters in the game, but I just stick with dozen. Why? Because I can add 20 card character pack later if I want. Similarly your cool shooter game doesn’t need 902 weapons in the beginning. Just throw in 4 for the first release and add more later in a patches.
Narrow down scope, get rid of useless features or minor features. Keep the big important features there. And go further. Put less important stuff in your “maybe later” box.
Dream game needs to be 5 year long project
Developing game long doesn’t guarantee it’s better than if development takes short time.
Split schedule into smaller releases.
Rather than doing “one big dream game project”. Do “series of smaller dream game sub projects that all help create the one big dream game project”. Why? Because it’s in every single way the much more rewarding way to do it.
Are you making up excuses?
It’s easy to come up with excuses. “Need more this or that, then I could do it”.
There are limitations. And if you don’t happen to get some sort of funding, you probably have to be bit more creative to figure out how to get development done.
If visual assets is the problem, then you must think whether art is important. Could you replace it with something easier? Could you mod some existing game?
If it “needs more design”, then start prototyping. Prototyping can quickly reveal issues in design. Get others to play your prototypes. Often. Prototypes can be as simple as pen & paper.
Your might need to reduce your project scope in some aspects, but if you think of “what is the experience my game will offer to players”, you will soon realize that certain “must to have” features we think there should be… aren’t so “must to have” after all.
So, how about that.
Could you start creating your dream game?