How many games should you work on before tackling a huge project?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NovelBallon79, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. NovelBallon79

    NovelBallon79 NPC Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I always hear people say to never have a magnum opus be your first project,but I've never understood exactly how many projects (and their own scale) you have to work on before you can get started.
    I definetly think the scope of your big project effects this (making a simple turn-based battle vs an ABS), but many people could lock themselves into smaller projects when they already have the skills/knowledge to start development.
     
    #1
    atoms likes this.
  2. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

    Messages:
    4,238
    Likes Received:
    3,562
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    It's going to be different for each person, but as a rule of thumb, I'd recommend completing (that is, releasing a fully playable version of) two small games before working on anything that's going to be epic.
     
    #2
    atoms, Hyouryuu-Na, Aesica and 2 others like this.
  3. SimProse

    SimProse Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    197
    Location:
    United States
    First Language:
    English
    I agree, 2 is about right. In my case, i've done 5 smaller games, but i'm not really a fan of "60 hour epic" type RPGs anyway, so...that could be why. Now I feel like I could tackle a larger RPGM game if I wanted to (and believed anyone would care about if I did).
     
    #3
  4. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

    Messages:
    4,280
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Location:
    Riftverse
    First Language:
    Indonesian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    You may want to make one small playable game to evaluate your design skill ranged from technical implementation and the actual gameplay/story scenario design. By creating small games, you know where you belong and the current skill you have before you tackled the bigger project (the keyword is bigger, and bigger is not essentially epic scale game). That said, it's different for every person. I'd say, to have one is a must, two is recommended, three or more is up to you.
     
    #4
  5. gstv87

    gstv87 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    765
    First Language:
    Spanish
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    wrong.
    let it be the magnum opus,.... just be open to consider modifications to it when you discover that the engine you chose wasn't quite right for the job, or when you discover you can add many more things you didn't think about because the engine does allow for it.

    It's your brain that's ultimately going to get burned in the process. Nobody else should worry much about it, except maybe your parents, or your boss.
    If you wanna go big, knock yourself out.
    just don't go home right after the first bump.
     
    #5
    kaukusaki and Roden124 like this.
  6. Kuro DCupu

    Kuro DCupu Trust me, I'm a veteran RMer Veteran

    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    Location:
    Indonesia
    First Language:
    Indonesian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    As much as it needed to be. IMO it's like applying difficulty curve for each stages in game.
    I mean, if this huge project is really that huge... let's say it's LV5, then you have to conquer LV1, LV 2, LV3, and LV4 first (4 smaller project) which is also scale in how big it is as your stepladder.

    That is if you work alone.

    If you have a dependable team, one small project to showcase your skill is enough to consider.
     
    #6
  7. Neo_Kum0rius_6000

    Neo_Kum0rius_6000 Not Your Ordinary Guy! Veteran

    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    341
    Location:
    Russia
    First Language:
    english
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Yea I had to learn to to make something too big the hard way for 3 years I was trying to make
    this huge amazing project. But right when it was at 98% it got corrupted now I wish all those
    years I was making something smaller. So I'd say to do something that you could complete in a year
     
    #7
    kaukusaki likes this.
  8. NovelBallon79

    NovelBallon79 NPC Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    How would you go about doing that without getting into development loop? Would it take a lot of planning? I'm personally working on a small project becuase I haven't fully planned out the bigger project.
     
    #8
  9. Fernyfer775

    Fernyfer775 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    800
    First Language:
    English
    It's going to be different for everybody. My first game a a large scale epic adventure, that ended up averaging a 20-25 hour playtime for most people. My second game followed suite by being a 25-30 hour adventure. Most people can't finish a project, regardless of size, which is where and why most rpg maker devs recommend you start small.

    If you have the drive, dedication, passion, and discipline to follow through with a large scale game, then have at it, otherwise, it probably is a good idea to test the waters and start small at first.
     
    #9
    atoms likes this.
  10. gstv87

    gstv87 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    765
    First Language:
    Spanish
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    work backwards, from the end.

    there's a neat tool called critical pathing, that is often used in long-term projects, to help spot problematic tasks
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_path_method

    I dissected major problems while preparing snacks in between working sessions. While my hands were making tea, my head was taking apart plugins and scenes, and rearranging events.
    you have to *know* the tool, before you start working with it.
    So, *know the tool*..... take it apart, break it, fix it, change it, see what makes it tick... once you know the tool, you can use it however you like.
    Don't just mash together plugins and assets. If you do that, all you get good at is following other people's instructions.
     
    #10
    kaukusaki likes this.
  11. Chrisx994

    Chrisx994 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Italy
    First Language:
    Italian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I'm making a not too big project for now and i divided story in 5 episodes. I'll work at episodes first, then i'll put pieces together and i'll have my game. Then i'll work on another small one before going into the epic 80 hours game making XD Hope it can help.
     
    #11
    kaukusaki likes this.
  12. dulsi

    dulsi Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    69
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    The starter projects people recommend are partially to learn the tool. It can be extremely demotivating to redo something because you didn't know the tool well enough and the solution you implemented won't work for some reason. A small project can just work around the issue or even throw it away.
     
    #12
    kaukusaki likes this.
  13. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    12,017
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    The reason we recommend starting with a smaller project is for two reasons:

    1: To learn the tool
    2: So that you don't get discouraged when you spend 5 years on your big RPG and see everyone else around you release 2 - 3 full games in the same time frame.

    That being said, if you are willing to consider the fact that you will probably start over your big project 5 - 6 times, most of those in the first two years, and you are willing to work with placeholder art and music during that time (so that you don't waste money on things you don't need or end up using), I'd say it CAN be done. But it comes down to are you willing to start your game over that many times as you learn the engine or not?
     
    #13
  14. mobiusclimber

    mobiusclimber Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    148
    First Language:
    english
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I would only suggest that you go through a beginner tutorial series for MV. There are several good ones on Youtube, and they'll show you how to make a game, which you should follow along with and make the tutorial game. Beyond that, it doesn't matter if your first game is a magnum opus or more of an interlude. Just bare in mind that the longer the game is, the longer it'll take to make, especially if you're trying to do everything yourself. I've found the best way to not get overwhelmed is to just do one thing for a little while and then something else - don't try to make the game from start to finish, but rather work on small parts of the game as you feel like that. That might mean doing some eventing, then working on enemies, or making maps, or etc etc. Implement parts of the battle engine, that sort of thing. As long as you give yourself short term goals, you'll never end up feeling like you're spinning your wheels.
     
    #14
  15. VisitorsFromDreams

    VisitorsFromDreams Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    341
    Location:
    Lismore: Australia
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I made 2 small games before my current big project and even though it was supposed to be only 5 - 6 hours I still feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew. I think its different for everyone and also depends on the complexity of your title. A 60 hour long adventure made with RTP and the engines default combat mechanics can take just as long to make as a 5 hour title made with all original assets and combat mechanics so it all kind of depends on your experience and what exactly it is your trying to achieve.
     
    #15
  16. watermark

    watermark Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    477
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    For beginners, expect to put in about 100 solid hours on the engine plus another 100 or so planning and learning how to do everything. Unless you're a genius (Aren't we all?), this will give you an okay game with about 1 hour of playtime. Now, this could be a standalone game or part of a larger opus, you decide. If you can get past this 200 hour mark and still think this is fun, then RPG making is for you.
     
    #16
    kaukusaki likes this.
  17. gstv87

    gstv87 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    765
    First Language:
    Spanish
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I did that without leaving my main project: pretty much each separate scene is made with ever improving technology, from autorun events to code-driven scenes with no physical NPCs.
    and all that without losing the narrative.
     
    #17
  18. pickledylans

    pickledylans lov the cronch Veteran

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    United States
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I think you probably shouldn't shoot for a dream game your first attempt. I've made several small games (if you could call them that) that are just me testing the waters and following tutorials
    I'm making a bigger test game with an actual story now, and it can be pretty difficult to get things to work right sometimes since I'm so inexperienced

    I dunno, I guess what I'm trying to say is you should probably at the very least get comfortable with RPG Maker before you go try to make a game you really care about. Making all your dumb mistakes working on tutorial and test games that aren't that important to you makes it less painful when you mess something up bad (read: me accidentally corrupting a file and losing a tutorial game I spent all day on with no backup)

    Additionally, I thinkk it makes it easier to like, feel accomplished when you use this approach. Instead of you feeling like, "augh! I've only evented 5 minutes of my game and it's taken weeks of trial and error and it's such a pain!" You can think of it as like, "this week I learned how to event cutscenes! That's really good! Now with a little more practice I can make cutscenes for my game!" Yeah?

    You do have to care about your test game like, at least a little to keep you going though. It shouldn't be your most thought out story imo, but it should at least be semi enjoyable for you to write. Otherwise you might get bored. I think using existing OCs can be fun for this! You get to play with characters you know and love as you learn

    (For example, I've used my groups DND characters to make test games before. I already love them a lot and know how to draw them so making test graphics is a bit easier, and I enjoy writing about them.)
     
    #18
  19. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    12,017
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    One idea for a test game is to make a simple dungeon crawler. Make it like 10 - 20 levels, and put no story in the game (or a very basic story). That way you could use a test game to test our your intended battle system, as that is now the focus of the game.

    In fact that is what I did myself, I made a little 20 dungeon game, no dungeons over 40 x 40 tiles. It was packed with monsters though, enough that it would drive you nuts in a real game, but since the point of this was to test battles, I gave it battles. And, it worked. Ended up with a short 6 hour game that I will probably never release as it is really unpolished outside of the battles, but it did allow me to say I did make a game, and also it helped me test something before using it in my main project.
     
    #19
    kaukusaki and pickledylans like this.
  20. Mordridakon

    Mordridakon I am a dragon! Veteran

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Not on Earth
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Make an RPG you are guaranteed to finish is what I say. If that's a 30 hour RPG, go for it. But for most people, I'd shoot for something way smaller.
    I'm of the opinion most RPGS never get finished because people bite off more than they can chew, so do what you can do and leave it there. I'm going to create a second game after I finish polishing Quest to Score, but it will be a similar length of 4-6 hours, because that's what I can finish.
     
    #20

Share This Page