1st Stage of development. How to proceed?

Im moving to the conceptual stage of my game soon and just have a question. What would be the best way to begin game development? My game is an adventure game similar in style to Journey for PS3 but with more of a focus on combat.

My idea was to work on the core mechanics using simple elements. Like a block or cube to represent the player. That way i could fine tune the platforming and overall movement.

Then i figured as im working through that i would be in the process of modeling my character in Blender and swap it out with the place holder (if thats possible) Then i would spend time fine tuning the characters movements and animations while using a simplified world to run around. Then add from there?

What say you guys?

I'm in the same situation right now. I have been cubing out my world. I think I'll keep cubing it until the entire game world is playable through, only then will I go to start adding art.

Technically this is how you develop video games.

Depending on the game, you can start with any feature of the game you want to and work around, from, with or towards that feature within your design. Maybe you want to develop the character creation process, or you want to develop a good inventory system, perhaps you ware really wanting to get a good combat system in place or your game is an RTS and you want to get the basics of unit selection, movement and combat in place.

Simply create a plane and use the primitives to scope out the code. Once the scripts are done to your liking or specifications you can move on to the next feature or element.

Once you have a good “working” game structure in place you can start to worry about graphics and models.

I like this approach. It reminds me of what Myamoto once said about how Nintendo develops games. Story and graphics are not determined until they have a solid gameplay foundation. So if they know they want to make a game with a focus on sword combat they work on the mechanics. Later it turns out to be Zelda. anyways…i believe this is how ill start.

I know what kind of game i want to make but im not sure if whats on paper will translate as well. So we will see.
So if i work on different mechanics separately then there should be no problem integrating them?

yeah my game will be heavy on exploration and platforming and combat thrown in. I think it be best if i got down the timing and feel of the platforming and the way the character navigates the world. Then ill start combat once ive got my model all finished.

I can’t say how true you are. My zombie game started out with assets, and we’re pretty far along in development now, but I’d wish we’d started with programming. Would’ve sped it up a lot.

are you publishing to any specific platforms? If so, how does Unity handle that?

I’m publishing to PC and Mac, what do you mean how does unity handle it?

i meant when you are ready to publish, do you click a button and submit. ( is it that easy?) or if you were to publish to the wii u e shop ( provided you had a wii u dev kit) would you need that particular hardware to do so. Just interested on how the process of publishing works.

I know that it works with the click of a button on Gamesalad

Well, it depends on how you want to publish. As far as I know, you save it as a package in unity, and if you want to release to webplayer, then you do, and if you want to make it downloadable, you save it as a package and do that.

so..save it as a package then im assuming if you wanted to release on Wii U or ps3 you would need those dev kits?

That’s a whole different can of worms.

When it comes to creating a running executable, Unity is pretty cut-and-dry. You choose your build to publish to in the Unity menu, specify any platform-specific variables and settings for the project, and then click the build button. That part is pretty easy and straightforward. For the PC platforms this works just fine, and is largely a one-step process. (click the button, wait for it to build, miller-time!)

When you get into other platforms beyond the PC, the steps start getting a little bit more complicated. For Android and iOS, you can’t just run the built product by default. You have to either have an emulator running, or a connected development device that has been set up properly. Both these scenarios require the installation of those platform’s SDKs. Thankfully, both the iOS and Android SDK’s can be downloaded for free. (but you will have to have a Mac for the iOS SDK)

When you get into home consoles, it gets even more complicated. More likely than not, you would have to first acquire a dev kit for the console in question. And that means contacting the manufacturer directly, registering as a developer, and actually purchasing a dev kit. (they aren’t free) Last time I checked, Nintendo was selling their cosnole dev kits for around $2,000 USD each. I would imagine the Wii U’s dev kit is somewhere near that range. (could be a little less, Nintendo is making an effort to reach out to indie developers these days) After that you will most likely have to contact Unity directly. I don’t know if they require extra licensing fees for the console-specific exporters, but it is possible. They will almost certainly require that you first obtain a professional Unity license before exporting your game to a home console. After that you would have to go through Nintendo’s certification process to insure your finished game runs properly and is bug-free enough to pass muster.

Ok the best way to start making any game, is to get away from the computer....I mean it grab a pencil or pen and a blank notebook, make it a thick one and make it new don't have anything else in it. Then get away from everything for say a hour a day and write down stuff for your game, it does not matter if you run out of ideas keep writing anything down or even if you have better things to do stick with it and keep writing till you got a good layout for what your going to make.

After you have done as much as you can reread your notebook and plan your game form what you have wrote down, brake what you wrote down into manageable parts such as camera control, control system, movement, locations, props, actors like npcs and enemies and so on.

Now try and do each part and only focus on that part till its finished that way it does not look like such a big task, ignore everything else of your game till you complete each part.

When you got all your main parts finished put them together and see how it plays, if you like what you see start tweaking it, now you can add content and polish to your game keep going till your game is finished but beware of feature creep where you keep adding or modifying new features which increase the time it takes to finish the game.

Eventually finish the game, and i mean finish it and move on, other than bug fixes you should not look back at what you have done and should be on your next project.

This is one way to start and finish a game. I know you only asked how to start one but eventually you got to finish it as well.

yeah i was just wondering what the importance of having the dev kit from say Nintendo was. That probably sounds dumb to say but just wondering since you build the game on pc first right? Nintendo has a partnership with Unity that allows every owner of a Wii U dev kit to receive a free version of Unity3d. So does that mean you could also develop the game using just the Wii U dev kit and not bother with a PC? Or could it go either way? I guess that was my question. Oh…and ive read that Wii U dev kits are around 5,000 could be less and i do know that Nintendo has been giving free kits away to indies. Im sure you need some proof that your are an established indie, though

well ive pretty much got the first part down. I written down exactly how my game should work. Combat, items, traversal etc. So im pretty confident in what ive written down on paper, though i know things may change in development. The next step im moving in to is concept design. Myself and a buddy of mine were going to start designing the worlds look while i began messing around with one of the core mechanics of my game. I was going to start with traversal since my game is heavy on exploration and platforming. Good advice though. looking at development from that point of view makes the task look less intimidating.

Heres the signup site if your interested to take a look, click more information to see what you actually need to fill out but I think if you have made an actual professional quality game it would help a lot in them deciding to let you become a wii u dev.

lol thanks but im not even close to being at that point. Just asking alot of question to get an idea of what im getting myself into. First things first…create my game.

Yes, this should definitely be your priority at the moment. Even if you did get a Wii U dev kit, you would have to develop your game on a PC first. I don’t believe any actual development is done on the Wii U itself. You just plug the Wii U devkit up to whatever PC you are working on, and deploy test versions from there. It is nice to hear about the Unity + Nintendo partnership, though. That probably means that the Wii U-specific exporter for Unity will be free for anyone who acquires a Wii U devkit. (no extra licensing fee) One less thing to worry about.

But yes, actually start making your game. That is job 1.

agreed. Im friggin excited. I couldnt have imagined when i was a kid that we gamers would have these kind of tools available to us. Its awesome