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The process of creating a (not)game

The process of creating a (not)game
« on: July 04, 2010, 02:27:05 pm »

I'm interested in start working on some ideas I have for a few games and notgames but my problem is I don't have absolutely any clue on how start doing it. I don't know which tools should I use, which program languages should I start learning, which program should I use to make graphics, I do not even know how you desing a game (don't know if I should start using word and writing how I want the game to be, and if there is a proper order I have to follow in writing this).

As I said, I'm completely clueless. Can anyone lend me a hand?
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Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 03:22:15 pm »

In case you're completely new to game development / programming I'd highly recommend going with a authoring tool that lets you preview your project in real-time ( instant feedback ). This includes for example Unity, DX Studio and 3DVIA Studio but excludes Game Maker and MultiMedia Fusion.

Don't bother with design documents when working alone, it primarily serves as a communication vessel within teams.
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Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 03:36:56 pm »

It's not a small task, especially if you're the only developer of a (not)game. You have to be the coder, artist, musician, sound designer, writer and likely the beta tester. And learn any software you may need and create a workflow. Basically, take any job you've ever done and multiply it half a dozen times or more.

Depending on what you want to do, it can be as complex or simple as you want it to be. It's not an easy thing to advise on because there are so many possible ways to make a game. Some people will give you insane advice like "learn c++." But you won't be making games for many years if you do that. The simple place to start is with something like Gamemaker or you could mod existing games like HL2 or Unreal. Learn as you go. You'll probably make a lot of mistakes and hit a ton of dead ends. But that's the only way to learn.

So:

1.) Starting a project is really hard.
2.) Learning is hard but can be very rewarding.
3.) But what is REALLY hard is to keep your momentum and finish a project.
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Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2010, 03:50:24 pm »

Pygame isn't a bad choice. No compiling and Python is supposed to be easy to learn. There is a ton of example games, code and libraries on the Pygame website.

It all depends on what you want to do.
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Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2010, 04:17:08 pm »

It all depends on what you want to do.

Well, as you pointed I will be coder, artist, musician, sound designer, writer and likely the beta tester so I can't afford to work on a big project. I think that excludes 3D and complex games as RPG's and so. To be honest I don't mind spending a lot of time studying a complex language if it will pay the price and gifts me with the skills to afford big things, but for my first works I think it's better to don't overdo it.

I'll give a look to pygame and gamemaker, I guess but making a mod for HL2 using source is not a bad idea, either.
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Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 11:40:16 pm »

It all depends on what you want to do.

Well, as you pointed I will be coder, artist, musician, sound designer, writer and likely the beta tester so I can't afford to work on a big project. I think that excludes 3D and complex games as RPG's and so. To be honest I don't mind spending a lot of time studying a complex language if it will pay the price and gifts me with the skills to afford big things, but for my first works I think it's better to don't overdo it.

I'll give a look to pygame and gamemaker, I guess but making a mod for HL2 using source is not a bad idea, either.

I wouldn't rule out 3d. 3d games doesn't necessarily mean more complexity than a 2d games. Unity is worth taking a look at. Blender as well.
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Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2010, 07:29:01 pm »

Are you more of an artist-type or programmer-type or designer-type?
Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2011, 03:17:10 pm »

I use Visual Studio 2008 Express and Dark Basic SDK (a C API) for my PC projects. I am pretty fluent in C and C++, so there is almost no obstacle for creating any kind of software. I use the SDK as an abstraction layer between me and DirectX, I had to learn some OpenGL for my IPhone/IPod applications/games.

So I am in the position to get things done pretty quickly, but it is still tedious to start a new project. I haven't done much 3D yet, most of my ideas can be done without 3D.

I used to start thinking about game mechanics first. But this lead only to game games... so I wasted a lot of time to get to the conclusion, that I have to start from a concept or an idea, about what the game should be about. The game mechanics should be part of the overall theme. Mechanics as a starting point resulted in meaningless games, like mechanical clockworks. They function, but there was no meaning. They were for amusement only (nothing wrong with that occasionly).

So now I take an idea, and think about, how to explore this idea in a game or let the player/user explore this idea with my software.

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Re: The process of creating a (not)game
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 03:24:06 am »

It's not a small task, especially if you're the only developer of a (not)game. You have to be the coder, artist, musician, sound designer, writer and likely the beta tester. And learn any software you may need and create a workflow. Basically, take any job you've ever done and multiply it half a dozen times or more.

I disagree.
You can have virtually or truly no soundtrack in your interactive piece (for various, even the most artistic reasons; best example of another medium that done that ages ago would be first person perspective "Lady from the Lake" (1947) with virtually no soundtrack and rarely shown main character (the movie would be likely to inspire FPS genre in video games if only game developers watched anything but movies in their neighbourhood friendly multiplexes)).
You can have virtually no art and animation, who is going to stop you? Hell, you can make characters out of fonts.
You need no writing if you plan on creating a storyless piece.

All in all, in the humble opinion of this boardmember, all that you HAVE to be is 4 of those people (if you consider user interface as artist's job).

Seriously, the only prison of your imagination that exists in this universe is the one which you are willing to create. Sometimes, constantly and endlessly.
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The world needs organization ^_^
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