I need advice.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MaxDracyre, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    Hello! I'm sorry if this question doesn't quite fit in this part of the forum, but I figured it may be the best place to get some decent advice. My question is: Would it be wise to continue making a game to the most complete point possible with just default assets and then, later down the line, get an artist and maybe other team members to overhaul the games visuals, audio, and other? Or would it be wise to not go far at ALL without the original assets created for the game? I know it may be a tough question but I was very curious what most of you may think. I would love to hear some opinions on the matter. Also, by default assets I mean everything that comes with RPG Maker MV but I am not excluding plugins and community assets. Those I will consider part of the default as well. This comes from the passion and love of wanting to keep working on it, but wanting it to be the best game it can be by being original down to it's core, but not really having the resources to grant me those things at the moment. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from some of you soon!
     
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  2. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    'Tutorials' is where people who have made tutorials to share with the community can post them.

    I've moved this thread to General Discussion. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.

     
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  3. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    Thanks, sorry. I haven't posted before. :p
     
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  4. SimProse

    SimProse Veteran Veteran

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    I'd say don't release a game (commercially anyway) without all of your assets in there. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and with all default resources, that impression probably won't be favorable.
     
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  5. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    Yes, I agree. But what I was asking was more about building the game as much as possible WITHOUT releasing. And THEN getting all of the original assets made and overhauling the game BEFORE release. Or just building the game from the ground up with original assets. Obviously the second option would be ideal but for one without the resources at the moment and desperate to work on the game is what the question is about.
     
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  6. SimProse

    SimProse Veteran Veteran

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    I suppose if its only internal, it should be ok. But obviously it'll create more work replacing the assets later on.
     
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  7. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    That's what I was thinking and why I asked. If it would be WORTH the work later on. It would be all of the internal stuff but it would also be along the lines of: using default assets to create visuals and audio (Which is the main thing needed for replacing for originality) and at the end, using the default assets to give an idea of what the original content will be in it's place.
     
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  8. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Actually lots of people use placeholders during development. It is very little extra work - what you do is ensure that your tilesets with the custom assets have the objects in the same place as the default ones. Make sure they have the same file name. Then just simply copy them in and they will overwrite the originals. The same with faces and sprites for the actors.

    There are many advantages of using placeholders. For example, making tilesets is a very long process. If you wait until everything is ready you won't be starting for a year or more. It's difficult to keep your motivation and inspiration at a high level when you're doing nothing for such a long time. You can be surer that you are only getting what you actually need. It is very easy to think "Oh, I shall need X and Y" and then when it comes to it, that dungeon gets dropped because it didn't really fit the story arc after all.
     
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  9. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    You read my mind there. That's what I was hoping to hear. Because you're right. I'm in a moment where I really just wanna work on the game without waiting.
     
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  10. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far, guys. It's been helpful. :)
     
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  11. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    MaxDracyre, please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.



    If you want to add something and yours is the last post, simply use the Edit button.
     
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  12. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    Okay. Thanks.
     
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  13. watermark

    watermark Veteran Veteran

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    I think placeholders are great for faces, charsets, and monsters that you can swap very quickly just by replacing the files.

    However I would try to get the real tiles earlier for maps as they are harder to swap. You may even have to redo whole maps, which can be very time consuming.
     
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  14. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I would say use placeholders. As Kes said, done properly, it does not need to be a huge amount of extra work. In addition, unless you already have the funds to pay for custom assets now, having a good solid demo at the least, with placeholder assets, can really help getting what you need. For example, if you try to recruit an artist, they will be much more likely to come aboard if they see that you have put in the time and commitment on your end, and be more willing to work with you, than say, if you are just in the "ideas" stage.

    Not sure how you are planning on getting the assets, just saying, it can help to make the game first.
     
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  15. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I remember beta testing a game that was complete, but the side quests weren't finished and default art set was used. The maker was able to get an artist to help out and make original... everything for the game. The maker finished up all the game work while the artist made assets. According to the development log, it took only two weeks to incorporate everything and fast play the game to see if textures lined up properly. The main bulk of that was that that one character had far more faces than was initially used, so the developer had to go through many cutscenes to add them in.

    If the new assets can precisely replace the default ones, then the process could take as little as half an hour (checking to make sure everything does actually line up). To compare how easily something like that can work, I had a character that part way through development I wanted to be double the age they were. Replacing the face set and chara set takes less than a minute. It's just that on a larger scale.
     
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  16. MaxDracyre

    MaxDracyre Villager Member

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    Thank you, everyone so far. You've all been a great help and I hope others think this post helpful as well. :)
     
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  17. starlight dream

    starlight dream Loving life...One dream at a time Veteran

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    Hi and welcome to the forums,

    It's common for lots of game makers to use placeholders. It's the fastest way to develop the game, otherwise you must wait a long time for all the new art to get created.
    The easiest way to do it, is to name the actors, skills, monsters, etc... the right name (don't use fake names for them in your database). So when you'll bring the new images later, you won't have to change the names, or numbers in your database, nor the ones written in your events.

    If you use default images, but rename the images in the project folders, with the real names from the beginning, you can later simply put new artwork in your folders. And if the names of the new images are the same as the placeholders, the art will automatically get replaced correctly.

    The biggest difficulty is with maps. Because in order to be replaced automatically, each tile of the new custom map will need to fall in the same position as the default tiles. That will be a bit of work: to customize every map so it can replace the default.

    An easier way to do it for maps, would be to use the defaults, without bothering to make an accurate map of your final version.
    Just focus on placing the events in the correct spot.
    Example: you have a shop. Don't place all the floors, furniture, etc. if you're planning to use another map for it later. Simply place the entrance/exit, a vague shape of the outer walls, and place/write any events that take place in the sHop.

    Then when you'll buy the new tile sets, import them in your folders, and THEN go draw the exact maps, respecting the positions of the events you had created. I hope I described that clearly....... :p

    But keep in mind that hiring artists to create custom tile sets (maps) is extremely expensive. It's better to buy a ready tile set so you won't have to spend your entire fortune on it.

    Have fun with your game! :wub

    (ps I didn't read all the comments here so I apologize if I'm repeating others' advice).......
     
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  18. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    In my current game, I'm using "placeholders" for certain things. I see no harm in that. It's simple to replace them later if you need to. I'll likely hire out later for a unique title screen and game over screen, as well as several tracks of music and maybe some specific art that I need.

    But, for now, everything is placeholder.

    Usually, you just "over-write" any existing stuff by naming things the same, and dropping it in. If you have to replace pictures of people during dialogue, this may get a bit messy, depending on how you've done that. But, it's simple enough to just go through each event on each map and fix as necessary. It's time consuming, sure, but quite simple. Maybe a day or two's worth of work, depending on game length and amount of Events.

    With tilesets, I'd avoid putting down "default" looks of rooms and such immediately on maps. Better to have a tileset ready to go before mapping, as it'll help you with Eventing later. Plus, if you import a new tileset, you'll have to set all the passabilities and everything all over again by yourself anyway. Unless you plan on just overwriting the existing tileset... I'm not sure how the Engine handles that. As in, if it retains existing passability and such from the original.

    But, replacing music, animations, artwork, characters, monsters, icon sheets, etcetera... All easy to do. Quick, even.

    I think it's good practice to at least get a testable demo out to the public with placeholders than it is to get all your custom work done first, before getting a demo or full game out. The most important part of a game is basically the gameplay, right? Story second? Right? You'll need all the feedback you can get on these two aspects, as quickly as possible, in order to make a fun game. Art improves the feel and experience of a game, but it isn't where the fun of playing a game comes from. At any time, you can swap out assets, and it's easy. It's harder to swap in and out game mechanics or poorly written dialogue.

    Personally, that's been what my plan has been. Use default RTP for everything I can. Things I'll replace later are kept in a list. They'll be custom at a later date. Maybe at full game completion or something. When I get to it and feel it's no longer important to refine the game itself, and it's time to focus on how it looks and sounds. Demo first. Once I've got that, most of the work on the game is basically complete at that point. Just be a matter of buying the work I need done and replacing the existing content with it.

    You can't really afford to be sitting around and waiting for artwork to be finished. You'll suffer burn-out if you wait too long. You'll lose inspiration. Always best to keep moving forward and replace things as you can. Though, I wouldn't wait on custom tilesets. But, that's just me.
     
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  19. Plueschkatze

    Plueschkatze Veteran Veteran

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    Haven't read all of the before posts so I'm not sure if I might repeat what's already been said, but here are my thoughts!

    I think prototyping is great (building a game using placeholders) BUT you should keep in mind that the more fleshout your prototype is the more work you'll have with replacing and adjusting later on.
    So I'd get down the basic mechanics etc with placeholders but would replace them before doing all the small things.
    P.e. if you're using an a little different map layout later on you'd have to redo a lot of the "cutscenes" since some moveroutes might not work anymore and so on.
    So unless you can exchange all tilesets 1:1 and also the facesets, sprites etc. there will be a lot for you to fix later on.
     
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  20. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    Always use placeholders, then add the assets you will need later.

    Always start with placeholders and focus only on your game core (plot, mechanics, etc). After you fully finished it, you will know exactly everything you really need. No more, no less. :wink:
     
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