Order of Work - How to go about game-making?

RubbyDukky

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Hey all, while I was revisiting and discussing the work, plan, and general idea of our game with my team, I came across the question of how to go about ordering the work that we were to do. How should we create our game?

Should we simply start from the beginning and work our way up, dealing with the problems as they come, or should we create/obtain all of our resources (custom art, spritesheets, plugins) first, and then dive into the game? Should we plot out the entire story in the beginning, detail by detail, or should we leave the details to our immediate imagination when we decide? Should we template the entire project, then go back and replace graphics / text, or should we create the graphics as we use them?

This question is mostly geared towards developers who have devoted many hours to their games. What is your personal opinion on this, and what do you think would work the best / would be the most optimal / would generally be more enjoyable for the developer?
 

BrandedTales

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First important question:. Is this your first game?

If so, I would recommend no more than a page of prep (overall outline and plan, maybe highlight a few features) and then start working. Don't overbuild assets or compose music. Focus on getting something playable. This should be a very simple, quick to create game.

You are learning the things that you'd like to plan or group together for the next game. Rinse and repeat with some more small things. Each iteration, you'll probably have more prep work, thus refining and streamlining your development cycle... You'll also learn where you need to spend your time, and what return on investment you get from each task (in terms of personal fulfilment and quality of deliverable).

I'm 350ish hours on RPGMaker (still a newbie compared to many here), and I definitely did too much overengineering of resources I'd never use... Or worse, i overwhelmed myself and quit projects.

Taking smaller bite sized projects and pushing them through has let me get better at planning without over planning.
 

CleanWater

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I believe that the right path should be to come first with the game plot, then the mechanics, character designs, resources development, mapping, soundtrack, etc.

But I usually create my games without prior planning and keep doing things accordingly to demands... :biggrin:
 

RubbyDukky

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First important question:. Is this your first game?

If so, I would recommend no more than a page of prep (overall outline and plan, maybe highlight a few features) and then start working. Don't overbuild assets or compose music. Focus on getting something playable. This should be a very simple, quick to create game.

You are learning the things that you'd like to plan or group together for the next game. Rinse and repeat with some more small things. Each iteration, you'll probably have more prep work, thus refining and streamlining your development cycle... You'll also learn where you need to spend your time, and what return on investment you get from each task (in terms of personal fulfilment and quality of deliverable).

I'm 350ish hours on RPGMaker (still a newbie compared to many here), and I definitely did too much overengineering of resources I'd never use... Or worse, i overwhelmed myself and quit projects.

Taking smaller bite sized projects and pushing them through has let me get better at planning without over planning.
Basically, it is my first serious game, but I have created quite a lot of other unfinished/unpolished projects over a number of years, so technically, it isn't my first game. However, since I am becoming a lot more skilled in the arts (music composition, art, pixel art) I feel like making a game without putting these skills to use would be a waste, and not a representation of something I would be proud of. So I do think that I should pull out all the stops for my "first" game, but I agree that the project should be short, and something that will bring a quick fulfillment. This way, there will be accomplishment instead of hard work with no payback.

I believe that the right path should be to come first with the game plot, then the mechanics, character designs, resources development, mapping, soundtrack, etc.

But I usually create my games without prior planning and keep doing things accordingly to demands... :biggrin:
So do you think that deciding and creating resources should be done before actually mapping, or do you believe it should be more lenient and a more spread-out workflow where you don't have to focus on one thing at a time - you can switch between mapping, composing, drawing... ?
 

Andar

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basically the order of things to do is mostly what you're most comfortable with - that is the reason why there are defaults in the database, you can start testing your projects rather fast and without needing to create everything before the first test.

That said, there is one exception to this rule: you should get in the scripts and plugins you need early.
The reason is that whenever you add a script or plugin, you should start a new game on testing - because 80% of all scripts/plugins invalidate older savefiles and will create type errors or undefined errors if you try to continue a saved file.

You'll have to replay your game a lot during playtesting, but adding even more playthroughs to get the test savepoints back after adding scripts/plugins is not a good idea.
 

Kes

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I suggest you do a quick skim through the titles of threads in this particular forum. You will find a number of similar questions (not identical, but fairly close) which would give you a further range of opinions/ideas/suggestions to draw from.
 

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