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Author Topic: Game Development Crash Course  (Read 15078 times)
GoodVillain
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« on: December 10, 2004, 07:39:46 PM »

This is a followup to the MMORPG Crash Course. After seeing plenty examples of things NOT to do I figured I would give beginning developers an aim into the right direction.

1. Be original and creative. This is the key rule. No one wants to play something thats been done a lot or something that lacks the creativity to keep them playing.

2. Know how to develop a game. This requires you to have knowledge in the language your programming in as well as any development tools and SDKs you use for development.

3. Be experinced. Theres a little saying in the game development world. Your first 10 games will suck. If your new to developement your not going to make the next Doom 3, HalfLife 2, ect. Youll have to smart small with more easy and pratical things before attempting a large project. You should start with guess the number, tic tac toe, pong, space invaders, ect.

4. Be prepared. Have all the things required to make the game before you start it. If you need VB.Net to make the game but you dont have it, then theres no reason to start on it. Mostly have a plan. See number 5 below.

5. Have a game design document completed. This will allow you to plan and manage your development and you wont be in deep water.

6. Have the skills. Now that games get more advanced very rare does a developer have all the skills and time needed to do everything by themself. Get artists, music writers, and whatever else you need. Make sure they have the skills and the time.

7. Dont ask the public for ideas. OFTEN young devs post on developer forums and gaming forums 'what do you want?'. Its very good to have the public in mind. However this doesnt work for the developer. You must figure out what you want to do and do it rather then what someone else wants. If you dont youll most likely get bored of  doing the project and quit. After the game is done and released you can ask for ideas and put them in if you like them.

8. Have great gameplay. Have people test out your controls and game play before making a public release, this way you can improve the usability for your game.

9. Take your time. Rushing only makes things worse. This leaves openings for bugs and will also make it harder to put all the features that you want in the game. Its done when its done.

10. Leave the community out of this at the start. You can benifit almost nothing from a community at the beginning of development. This takes away the element of suprise. Makes your players wait making them uninterested, they take your time by nagging you, ect. Once you get close to finishing your product then you can get the word out to everyone. Until then just keep the information leakage low.

11. Have a trial of some sort if your selling the game. This should come to you normally. But if you have no way of players being able to check out the game for free then whats going to get them interested to buy it.

12. Make sure your team is interested. One of the pains of development alone will be your team. Just like you they have to want to make this game and enjoy it as well. If not your going to run into trouble.

13. If you plan to sell your game to a publisher be very logical about it. Make sure your game is very enjoyable and sellable. Dont look for a publisher until your game is finished, they rarely take unfinished games and good chance they wont take yours. And do research and get the facts. If you do manage to sell your game to one make sure they are treating you fair and not trying to rip you off. Remember, contracts are final and in most cases legal.

14. If all possible update your products. These include patches for bugs as well as fresh content. Players will love you for it. If you make updates often then it may be best to make an updater. Your players will find manual updates get old real fast.

15. Make sure its well tested. Make sure everything works well and is not buggy, slow, or worse.

16. Have logic. I dont have to explain this. If you think I do need to explain this then dont bother making a game.

17. Make wise choices. Many forks will pop up in the road to finishing your game. Many of these may impact your game greatly. Make the right choice.

18. Dont advertise too early. Advertising is pretty costly now depending on how and where you want to advertise your game. This will burn a hole in your personal and game development funds. Worse case is that if you stop making your game it was a total waste of money. Advertise only when the game is finished or is at the point where the finish line is in sight.

19. Stick with it. Doubts will come every now and then during development even after the game is made. Try to make the best of it and youll most likely get past the hard times.

20. Success isnt given. The chances of your game becoming a hit in the first day, month, or even year are slim. It could take a while for your game to actually catch on. So stick with it. However if its been a long while and its still nowhere, its best just to let go. Theres other things out there.
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LAO88
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2004, 08:45:57 PM »

Cool additional info for mmorpg Cheesy
Can we have this as stikie too?
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BYTE-Smasher
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2004, 11:30:30 PM »

might as well put in my vote for a stickie.... I think info like this can help any game dev...
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Trashcan
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2004, 11:36:01 PM »

Sticky this sucker!
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newborn
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2004, 11:35:10 AM »

21) Browse some game development web sites, read user comments on game developing forums, interact people on newsgroups, get yourself some game magazines, go to conventions... This way, you'll be able to keep up with the industry.

http://www.gamedev.net/
http://www.gamasutra.com/
http://www.flipcode.com/
http://www.gdmag.com/
http://www.gdconf.com/
etc...

22) Be creative, be responsible, be ahead of others, be ressourceful. Take your project seriously and give all the attention it requires. Perfection is what you're trying to reach.

23) Be prepared! Learn what a product development is about. Yes, you know about coding, but what do you know about sound editing? How about musical score? or networking, databases, servers, business relationships, marketing, human ressources,  team leadership, bank accounts and lawsuits? If your project grows very fast, it's not when you'll worth half a milion and have a team of 10 people that you'll have the time to start thinking about those things.
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Javin
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2005, 07:22:17 PM »

READ NUMBER FIVE!!!!
READ NUMBER FIVE!!!!
READ NUMBER FIVE!!!!
READ NUMBER FIVE!!!!
READ NUMBER FIVE!!!!

And when in doubt READ NUMBER FIVE AGAIN!!!

The GDD is by far the single most important step of creating any game.  Once you've created the GDD, you've already been forced to go through most of the other steps.

-Javin
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