Is anyone actually making a game?

Obviously, I spend way too much time in this forum. But it seems odd that in a 'game design' forum on a game engine website, there is so little actual first hand discussion.

There are certainly guys who have built games who hang out here. But oddly, even these more veteran members rarely share any of the actual detail, the process they've gone through, the kinds of results they've achieved or failed - the really difficult points or the hard decisions they had to make. There's very little about the actual practice of making games or even about designing games.

Many threads about game ideas or concepts or questions about the nature of games, but very little about how they've personally put those ideas or concepts into action.

Maybe this post is a little too meta, crack for a forum junkie, but is there any way we could potentially foster a more useful forum by sharing actual practice, examples and actual experiences? Maybe more challenges, post postmortems, design 'check ins' etc?

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The problem is it may take a year or more to create a large scale game (which we've done many times), but you can only post about it "once" really... and that is if you have the time to create such a comprehensive post. Honestly, reading Gamasutra articles on the post mortems or devlogs is a better place for that. Forums are more about quick and simple stuff :)

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@frosted I agree it does seem odd that people pop in to the forums in general to ask for help with a tech issue or marketing, report a bug or post their latest game release. But rarely do we ever see any real game focused discussion. Over here in GD we have them yet it still seems like they don't get into the nitty gritty detail much and instead move down a path of philosophy and academic thoughts leading to off-topic discussions.

I have tried to post some more game focused stuff this week in the General Discussion forum to get more of this side of things covered on these forums. There are some good websites out there like @ironbellystudios mentioned where you can at least read about such things. Not quite the same as a discussion and yet better than nothing.

To answer your question I am not currently working on a game project. Well... sure I am but not an Indie game to be released. I am currently doing an experiment testing different game dev frameworks to see which is the best for me personally to work with.
If you like that sort of thing there is a link in my signature. I was making logs for the updates. Now I am logging it all on Twitter and will make the web page log probably this weekend.

It does get a bit tiring recreating the same game over and over in different frameworks but in the end I should have my answer.

When I do other experiments such as marketing a simple game I will document those on my website as well. Just not very far along yet.

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[quote=“ironbellystudios”, post:2, topic: 598111]
The problem is it may take a year or more to create a large scale game (which we’ve done many times), but you can only post about it “once” really… and that is if you have the time to create such a comprehensive post. Honestly, reading Gamasutra articles on the post mortems or devlogs is a better place for that. Forums are more about quick and simple stuff :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Ryan captured it perfectly! I post fairly often about my own experiences, I share my stories, and I capture it in permanent media such as Podcasts. And even so, games take weeks, months, or years. I’ve only released 9 solo products in 4 years, so there’s just not that much for me to share on a daily basis. For the most part, I come here to provide guidance when aspiring developers ask insightful questions.

Gigi

PS - I rarely discuss my super-rough work, until I’m far enough along that I’m sure it’s going somewhere. It’s not about keeping secrets, it’s part of the “don’t-tell” science that keeps me motivated.

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Mmm no. Nobody here is making games. Absolutely all of the thousands/millions of people using Unity... nobody is making games at all.

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Honestly, lots of times, making games is boring. You can spend a week or even months on something very important to your game but just not very exciting. It is not fun trying to find interesting things to write about when you are just modelling bits and testing them, or integrating code between different systems.

Besides, we all have other places we talk about our game with the fans and community that wants to play our games. :)

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[quote=“Teila”, post:6, topic: 598111]
Honestly, lots of times, making games is boring.
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But if it wasn’t for those times when you feel excited about finishing a project or working on a new concept I don’t think many people would want to make games at all.

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[quote=“zoran404”, post:7, topic: 598111]
But if it wasn’t for those times when you feel excited about finishing a project or working on a new concept I don’t think many people would want to make games at all.
[/quote]

Yep, very true although posting here can sometimes be very demotivating. :slight_smile: While so many people are extremely supportive, you kind of have to prove yourself first. Trust me, it is a scary place when you are putting your creative plans out there.

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MEEEEE!

Sorry.

Yes, I'm making a game.

I try to check into the forums periodically to grab feedback for ideas, see what's new and try to put my name in front of some people. Being visible, intelligent and pleasant might help me land some freelance work now and again.

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In small slivers of time between development on Love/Hate, the Dialogue System, and Quest Machine, and providing support for them on the forums, I provide programming support on The Corridor, a VR horror game. I'm bringing an alpha to Unite if anyone's coming and wants to check it out. One day a month at a local meetup I work on a casual solo project, a sci-fi local co-op twin stick shooter. I'll bring a copy of that, too.

Real world experiences to share? Mostly the same as any type of product development:

  • Use and regularly test backups and version control. If you're not regularly testing backups and version control, don't bother using them.
  • Set up easy, searchable, succint communication channels. On The Corridor, we use a wiki to document everything, with sections on Narrative, Level Designer Instructions, and Engine Implementation. We've recently also been using Slack for informal back-and-forth.

  • Regular weekly builds.

  • Regular reviews and feedback -- and actually listening to the feedback and incorporating it. :)

And for indie game development? Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. My strength is building technical systems. Of my many weaknesses, I still have a terrible eye for visual composition, and I don't draw or sculpt models worth a darn. Rather than slowly and incompetently build ugly characters and levels on my solo co-op game, I "outsource" as much as I can to Asset Store artists and procedural level generators like DunGen.

Yes, just got the finished framework done after 16 months, now I just need to polish the art, sort out the soundtrack, do the animations, link all the minigames, sort out all the talking heads with lip sync.,Otherwise it's done with win conditions etc.
Normally it takes 6 - 8 people 6 months to do this type of game so I'm quite pleased it only took this long so far. I've done this crap and various other creative stuff for 30 years or so, one step at a time, laboriously, working through all the dull stuff, which is basically all of it. Most of professional game development consists in managing motivation, depression, lack of faith in one's abilities, and it's an ever repeating cycle. It's just a job like any other, and like any job one takes pleasure in the little things, much of life consists in taking pleasure in the little things. However, once one has gone though this process once right to release one knows it can be done, so every demotivational episode one gets used to working through, and inevitably one ships a game again.

It's why I always say to people that ask , screw the art just get the game complete and playable even if iot looks like a travesty, because polishing at the end is incredibly easy once the core is done because one can stop polishing at any time but one can't stop coding until the game works.

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I am making games....but I get distracted by the Unity forums :)

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[quote=“Teila”, post:6, topic: 598111]
Honestly, lots of times, making games is boring. You can spend a week or even months on something very important to your game but just not very exciting. It is not fun trying to find interesting things to write about when you are just modelling bits and testing them, or integrating code between different systems.

Besides, we all have other places we talk about our game with the fans and community that wants to play our games. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

It can be tedious no doubt but I’m never bored that’s for sure :slight_smile: One of the big reasons that I have so much gratitude for switching from an indie dev to an service provider for other indie devs… I found it difficult to maintain the same excitement and passion after the 16th month of working on the same project but now I am blessed to speak with dozens of incredibly passionate indies every week who all have amazing and exciting ideas and it really keeps us pumped day in and day out in a way we never got working on our own.

[quote=“ironbellystudios”, post:13, topic: 598111]
It can be tedious no doubt but I’m never bored that’s for sure :slight_smile:
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I am never bored either…but people would be reading about all those tedious details. :slight_smile:

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LOL yeah im kinda embarrassed to share what little i have on what i actually care about now..
i get side tracked ALL the time working on bits and pieces of "COOL ideas" .. little experiments and practice i guess, nothing really that exciting to show off lol

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[quote=“Gigiwoo”, post:4, topic: 598111]
Ryan captured it perfectly! I post fairly often about my own experiences, I share my stories, and I capture it in permanent media such as Podcasts. And even so, games take weeks, months, or years. I’ve only released 9 solo products in 4 years, so there’s just not that much for me to share on a daily basis. For the most part, I come here to provide guidance when aspiring developers ask insightful questions.
[/quote]

There’s a few notes in your podcasts that have actually deeply affected how I look at my own design on a daily basis. It’s proven very helpful and has improved the quality of my work. Your contributions are really great man.

I definitely hear a lot of the other comments, @Teila brings up the fact that a lot of the day to day work is just, well, work. She also brings up the fact that exposing rough ideas to the (forum) world is scary and can be demotivating. @ironbellystudios points out that gamasutra is a better place for proper post mortems,

I guess my point overall is not so much about “check in” or “post mortem”, it’s simply about discussion. Maybe it’s because I’m a total noob and I want to absorb your experiences. There’s a real value for me, and the many other noobs like me, in hearing more of the detail of your personal experiences, both good and bad. The challenges, the mistakes, the glorious successes.

Yes, other sites might be better for a proper post mortem, but wouldn’t this community be more useful if there were more posts that had phrases like “Yeah, when I was working on the transmorgifier system in Super Awesome Game I ran into the same problem …” or “Here’s how I tried to accomplish that in one of my projects”. Or “I tried to do something like this but I ran into x, y, z limitations”.

I’m not trying to brow beat people into sharing more than they want to. I’m wondering what we can do as a community to possibly encourage more discussion like this. More discussion about the actual practice of making games. That is, assuming I’m not the only one who would find this kind of thing valuable!

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[quote=“LMan_1”, post:9, topic: 598111]
Yes, I’m making a game.

I try to check into the forums periodically to grab feedback for ideas, see what’s new and try to put my name in front of some people. Being visible, intelligent and pleasant might help me land some freelance work now and again.
[/quote]

Also, dude, that WIP is sick! Nice job. It looks like you did a sick job on the component based ability definitions!

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I get that, but making games is really weird in some ways. :) I can work days on a problem only to discover some simple solution that I some how missed. After I fix it, I quickly move on to the next issue and the old one is no longer important to me. I see this with my programmers too. They rant and rave about some problem and I get worried about the delays..and then within hours, they tell me...oh, stupid me, I missed that.

Having worked in a science field, it all works a little differently. The process is also long and sometimes tedious, but it is interesting as well. I find the process of making games less interesting (although more fun sometimes) than research, experimentation and field work in science. :) Those often do end up with pages of discussion, but games? In the end it usually seems so trivial.

A good place for you to look though are blogs. Somewhere there is a list of blogs by Unity game developers. I have one where I discuss my game development experiences. I am not a programmer so my stuff probably won't be helpful to you but I have read many blogs by programmers here and they may be something you would enjoy. :) I sometimes pass those along along to my guys.

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[quote=“frosted”, post:17, topic: 598111]
Also, dude, that WIP is sick! Nice job. It looks like you did a sick job on the component based ability definitions!
[/quote]

Just as happenstance, I actually got the idea for the tech builder right here on the forums lol.

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[quote=“frosted”, post:1, topic: 598111]
Obviously, I spend way too much time in this forum. But it seems odd that in a ‘game design’ forum on a game engine website, there is so little actual first hand discussion.

There are certainly guys who have built games who hang out here. But oddly, even these more veteran members rarely share any of the actual detail, the process they’ve gone through, the kinds of results they’ve achieved or failed - the really difficult points or the hard decisions they had to make. There’s very little about the actual practice of making games or even about designing games.

Many threads about game ideas or concepts or questions about the nature of games, but very little about how they’ve personally put those ideas or concepts into action.

Maybe this post is a little too meta, crack for a forum junkie, but is there any way we could potentially foster a more useful forum by sharing actual practice, examples and actual experiences? Maybe more challenges, post postmortems, design ‘check ins’ etc?
[/quote]

Got to agree with @Teila , a lot of it is just “grunt” work… If you were to ask me I could tell you, but usually for me it’s BAU I just get on with it.

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