Development process tips?

VordGames

Warper
Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hello all!

So I'm about 20 days into my trial version of RPG Maker MV and must say I'm really enjoying it as I've wanted to develop a game for a long time but only now been able to make it a reality for various reasons. Now as you can probably assume I'm still learning quite a bit about the program and it's abilities and limitations, because I'm still learning everything I tend to go off on a tangent during development typically overworking one section when I figure out how to do something I want to include. Unfortunately, this ends up wasting time I feel like because I end up going back a couple days later and completely reworking that section when I discover something else I can do (I've gone through about 3 or 4 iterations of my game's main city. Map, events, details etc.).

Basically I'm just wondering what everyone else's development process is like? Do you focus on building a whole world first then going in section by section building on the foundation? When should I start considering improving tilesets for better graphics and details and such? Do you have a full story built before you start or do you start with a general outline and script the story as you need to?

I know it's a lot of questions and things to consider, just wanted to get some tips so I don't feel so overwhelmed at times.

Thanks!!

PS-I will be posting more on this game specifically in the future as it's a story that I really want to share with others, however I don't want to rush it and sacrifice quality and detail as I'm sure is easy to do on your first game.
 

Jules98

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
308
Reaction score
163
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
If there's one thing you should know about developing a game, it's that it will take some time. Rule of thumb is that 1 hour of good gameplay equals ~100 hours of development.

As for how I develop my game, I have a detailed script of the story (that I change FAR too often) and I just start at the begining, designing maps and such as I go.

Final tip: don't neglect your database. It will save you a lot of headaches later down the line.
 

VordGames

Warper
Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
If there's one thing you should know about developing a game, it's that it will take some time. Rule of thumb is that 1 hour of good gameplay equals ~100 hours of development.

As for how I develop my game, I have a detailed script of the story (that I change FAR too often) and I just start at the begining, designing maps and such as I go.

Final tip: don't neglect your database. It will save you a lot of headaches later down the line.
Yea I figured out real quick that this is gonna take a while and that's when I decided I refuse to rush anything with this and want to do it right.

With the database part, I've been kinda doing the same thing as I have with my whole game, adding and modifying stuff as needed. Do you have an example from experience about the headaches you speak of? I also don't want to over commit in my database and make a bunch of items, skills, enemies, etc and then have to wedge too much into the game, if that makes sense.
 

Andar

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
30,363
Reaction score
7,202
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
One advice I always give is to never start with your dream game, because you will always scrap your first project when you learn how to do things better.
In fact the best way is to acknowledge that and learn how to use the engine with a scrap project before starting on your first project.

If you are on the MV trial, I suggest to search Steam for Ace Lite, that is free and enough to continue learning even after your trial is last.
 

Shaz

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
39,614
Reaction score
13,208
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Fight the urge to go back and redo things because you've discovered an easier/better way - if you keep redoing things to improve them, you'll never finish your game. If it works the way it is, leave it be and keep moving on. Save your newfound skills for the parts you haven't done yet, and the next game(s).
 

Traveling Bard

The Bard
Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
564
Reaction score
482
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
For starters: http://yanfly.moe/comics/

These were helpful for me as he goes into it from the perspective of being efficient & breaking things into simple reusable pieces of work.

What I find works for me is to plan out what it would take to complete your game and break that into chunks of work. The idea is to create a working increment of your game as you go, knowing that you will do the refining later down the line & planning for discovering new stuff along the way. Similar to the Agile development process.

For example, here's a general plan that I made for my own game:

1. Framework: Create basic game flow, start to finish, for purposes of building on top of this work & easily editing it. In my case, I created several common events where I would dump things like the story, shop lists, encounters, etc... then set up a few maps that walked through character selection, story, a place or three to have encounters, shop maps, etc... and then confirmed I could play through my entire "game". Super rough. Not pretty at all. This is mainly full of placeholders.
2. Skills: This is where I am right now, building out all the skills & their functionality with an eye for adding/editing them later. Numbers don't really matter as long as the concepts are there. You can refine them later, you just need them to function. Try to create templates if you can that can be reused in later skills should you need them (see yanfly's comics for an example of what I mean)
3. Enemies & Characters: After crafting all the skills, following yanfly's example a bit, you create your bosses & general encounters. Setting them up with skills you've made. It's easier to start with the bosses & general enemies b/c now you have goals for your characters to overcome. You then craft your characters from the skills that it would take to beat these bosses. Again, numbers don't really matter at this point.
4. Shops & Rewards: This is where you start building on the shops & rewards that you will sprinkle around your game. For now, have all the shops have everything so when you test it's easier to figure out when the higher level gear & items should be available later. Numbers still don't matter, it's more about placeholders & getting your ideas into the system a bit.
5. Story: This is where you work on writing out the story outside of the game. I recommend that it be outside the game at first b/c it will help you not waste time with unnecessary event & map creation. Once you have everything you need from beginning to end... then move to the next section.
6. Locations & Cutscenes: So this is where you will be making the maps & events you need to get your story across from beginning to end. Don't really need these to be pretty just yet, only functional so you can get your story across. Since it's rpgs, you might go the cutscene route and you need maps & events for that too. By the end of this, you should have all your maps, your cutscenes remotely functional, and all of your story in the game so that it can be played beginning to end.
7. Test & Refine: This is where numbers begin to matter. Playthrough your game ALOT & tweak every aspect of the game accordingly.
8. Make it look & sound pretty: Once you are happy with how your game functions & flows... now we worry about making it look & sound pretty.
9. Release: This is it. You made the game! Show the world ;)

And that's it. Each one of those items should be their own "increment" of your game. Meaning, you could build it after #2 and have a complete experience with your framework and skills implemented. Breaking it up into smaller scopes of work also helps with the sense of forward momentum (at least for me) & removes that overwhelming feeling you get when you realize just how much work goes into making a game. For now, just worry about tackling #1. When you are done with that, tackle #2. Etc etc..

Of course things change. Priorities shift. You discover that some functionality was way more complicated and needed it's own "section of work" and that's fine. Or you find bugs that stop you from finishing your increment. My suggestion, so you don't get overwhelmed, is to constantly review & revise your plan. But don't change what you are working on right now until you are done with what you started out to finish this increment.

Does this sound familiar?

"Oooo it would be pretty cool if I also had achievements in the game that worked like buffs for the party! Let's do that right now!"

The impulse is strong to work on it now... but don't. Instead, design it all out (b/c when inspiration hits you by all means write that down before you forget!) and set it in your personal backlog. When you are done with the current increment, review the backlog & see if maybe some things need to be pushed back and/or added to the list of stuff to do as an increment. In this case, maybe Story gets pushed back a bit and you add an increment for implementing achievements that function as buffs. Make sense?

I find that the biggest pitfalls in development are:
1. You go down the rabbit hole trying to implement that cool idea you just came up with, find that it's super complicated or you really didn't want/need it in the game, and now you've wasted your time & are discouraged because you aren't any closer to finishing than you were before.
2. You sit down in front of your project and have no idea what to work on next.
3. You worry too much about polishing an area of your game & eventually end up either not using it or completely changing it through out the development process.

In short, planning stuff out, cutting the work into manageable pieces, & making efficient use of your time are the keys to victory in development.

Hope this helps you out! Good luck with your game! :)
 
Last edited:

Black Pagan

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
290
Reaction score
217
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Personally, I follow this order for my games :

Phase 1 : The Easy Part
- Planning Game concept and Features
- Gather Resources for the game
- Filling up Database

Phase 2 : The Hard Part
- Working on Maps (If you use Default or edited maps, Well this Process just got a lot easier)
- Eventing
- Partial Play Testing (Playing through only a single map to check for balance etc)

Phase 3 : Fun Part
- Full Play testing (Playing the game from start to finish)
- Full Game Play testing
- Final Add-Ons and Spelling check

My order of working on my Database :
- Actors (I plan how many Characters I have in the game and assign the Graphics)
- System (Set the weapon types for Actors and test it in battle against dummy enemy to check weapon animation, dont bother with damage at this point)
- Classes (Plan your Character Classes by now, Building your character Beginning Stats and Level up Stats)
- Types (Set the Armor Types, Skill Types and Element Rates)
- Weapons (First you make weapons so you get an idea what Stats armor would need)
- Armor (Easy to test once you have the weapons ready for balance purposes)
- Animations (Assign Animations for Normal attacks for weapons and skills)
- Skill (Plan and create Skills and assign damage modifiers now that you know Weapon and Armor stats. You can create a 1000 HP Dummy enemy and test damage of all skills / Characters).
- Enemies (Work on Enemies and decide how many skills + normal attacks are required to take down enemies. Example : Lv 1 slime -> 2 Normal attacks, Assign it HP to survive only 2 Normal attacks from your average hitting character. Lv 5 -> 2 Skills + 3 Basic attacks, Assign it HP after playtesting in a similar fashion..)

Finally I work on Items, States & Troops, Although you might want to work on Skills and States simultaneously.
 
Last edited:

Maliki79

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
686
Reaction score
266
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
I'm really terrible when it comes to development best practices, but I'll add this much: Set a (realistic) goal for each task with a timeline and stick to it! And try to create a schedule for working on your project that works with the tasks. For example, Every Monday you will put 1 hour into mapping. Each Tuesday 1 hour into weapon creation/editing and give a deadline to which any given task should be done. You can revamp a task if you realize you need to, but consider it a new task and timeline at that point. If you can't keep your deadlines or the work is too much, the project may have been a little too large in scope.

Hope this didn't come across as too pessimistic, but discipline is important for projects like these.

Good luck!
 

Strashiner

Ambitious
Veteran
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
377
Reaction score
313
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
wanna learn development?

its really simple.
-100 percent of the freelancers/ people here only care about themselves. Find people who are passionate about your work and not themselves.
-A game is bigger than you, don't let minuscule things get in the way. Get it done, and get it done right.
- Marketing is difficult. You'll need to stand out better than the rest.
- Set milestones.
- You're either in it or you're not, if you're halfway somewhere then might as well not do it.
- Money isn't a problem if you have a good concept. But believe me, money solves everything.
- do not hire freelancers from india and russia, they're iffy. Hire ones from the U.S , Brazil, Indonesia, and Philipines. The people's are dedicated.
- Upwork.com is a good place to look at - set those filters tho.
- You can spot a persons weakness through his work. Never settle for someone who's average with his work. Fire people who are slowing you down early. Fire those who are prioritizing themselves over your work.

Most importantly.
have fun :3
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
22,098
Reaction score
11,438
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
100 percent of the freelancers/ people here only care about themselves.
That's actually quite insulting to all those people who put in a great deal of time helping others with questions/bugs/making resources freely available etc.

A number of your other assertions are questionable, at best.
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
13,222
Reaction score
13,757
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
1. Figure out your magic system and your world. Where is this place? Do they have magic? What kind? Having this as a base can help before you begin. If you decide to come up with spells/skill here, don't get obsessed with your game having those skills. You'll probably change 99% of them anyways.

2. Build the story. Get an idea what the start and end is figured out before you do anything else. With that much, you can work out how to make them meet. And I have actually tried ignoring that and just doing the start, and that story I think ended with me going "And then aliens invaded" as it was so bad I decided to just nuke it my way.

3. From there, work on making a barebones full story. Note you can do steps 1 - 3 in word, no need for RPGMaker.

4. With the story figured out, see if you can flesh out the world some. Some of this will come later too. Maybe even write a couple side stories that are not your main game to explain how we got here. For instance, if your game is to find the Macguffen so you can beat the Foozle, maybe write a side story explaining how the Fozzle got into power in the first place. Or how the Macguffin got made? Or even both?

5. Make the game. Use placeholders for graphics (RTP works well). You can even placeholder some scenes while you learn. For example, my game has 9 Chapters, but for a long time half of Chapter 2 was just told, and you took over after the events happened. As I learned more, went back and added that part you were only told of.

5B: Make the skills too. I did it where I made my early skills first as I did Chapter 1, then I added more as I did Chapter 2 and so on. After a while. I took what I made, put them in a spreadsheet, and noted which skills were good and which were proving useless, and fixed them.

6. Edit 1 - 5 as needed. You may learn that many of the items in your story aren't fun when programmed into the engine, and you have to cut or change them. Or you may learn that your skills aren't possible to do in RPGMaker easily, so you have to make some changes. Work within the engine though. Don't insist on trying to replicate that awesome skill you saw in a Final Fantasy game, or that awesome battle system that you just played. Make what you can with what is given or available as a plug-in. This way you will finish and not be vaporware.

However, one thing to keep in mind. We have a classic saying in game development. If you want fancy feature X in your game, here are your options:
-See if it already exists.
-Make it yourself.
-Pay someone to make it for you.
-Do without it.

You'll find choice 4 has to be picked a lot (Do without), especially for a first game. For example, my game was supposed to have a tactical turn based battle system like the old Gold Box games. But, since the only scripts (I use ACE, so its scripts for me) at that time were all in Beta or aborted, and I didn't know how to code it, I had to do without it, and instead I had to make the front based battle system work, since I didn't have the $$$$ needed to hire a coder to make it for me.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

In other news, my new computer is now ordered, and I'll have it in my hot little hands by the end of the week! CAN'T WAIT!!!
I've said my cat's names in such a baby-talk manner over the years, Biggs is now Biggoro, Bella is now Bellllyyaah, and somehow.....somehow Tessa is Sessashan
Did a massive ****up in my code that would have caused the game to crash on most computers and almost released an update without noticing it.
I keep thinking today is Thursday.
And I look forward to the next preview thread coming this afternoon.
And then I realise it's not Thursday at all.
And then I get sad :(

Forum statistics

Threads
100,449
Messages
976,079
Members
132,082
Latest member
nwr
Top