should my first game be my "big" game?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gigaswardblade, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. gigaswardblade

    gigaswardblade narcisistic narcoleptic Veteran

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    by big game, i mean the game that i really wanna make great. a passion project, if you will. the problem is, i'm always afraid that it will become a flop and nobody will remember it for anything remotely good. i am the very definition of a beginner. i dont know how to write a relatable character, a coherent plot, properly build a world, design nice looking levels, none of that stuff. people usually say that your first pieces of work will usually be hot garbage and you'll improve from it. sometimes i think that i should make other rpgs before making this one that i really wanna make. but i feel like i wont put as much effort into something that i know isnt the main thing i wanna work on. but at the same time, i dont want this game that ive put so much love and care into turn out to be the worst thing ever.
     
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  2. Jules98

    Jules98 Veteran Veteran

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    No. It is highly recommended for your first game to be something small and simple so you can build up some meaningfull experience in game makeing.
     
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  3. TWings

    TWings The Dragon Whisperer Veteran

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    Most people would simply answer : no
    I'd say it's up to you. Mostly your expectactions from your "big" game and the time you have or will have to make it.
    With high expectations and all the time in the world, you should probably go for smaller easier projects first.
    If you're on a limited time frame and ready to make some compromises, then go for it.
     
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  4. Nightblade50

    Nightblade50 Developer of "Delta Origins" Veteran

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    Absolutely not. Your first game should NEVER be a big game. Make something small.

    EDIT: Double ninja'd :D
     
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  5. Izulde

    Izulde Writer Member

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    The good news: You're self-aware enough to know that you don't know anything.

    The bad news: Your first game will not be your big game, or at least, it shouldn't be.

    The better news: By working on smaller projects, you'll get better.

    Realistically, these types of skills, even with any natural talent in a given area or areas, takes time, trial, and error to develop. As an example, I'm a naturally talented writer. Guess how long it took me to develop that talent into the level of legitimately professional skill I currently possess? Years. The same is true for anything else.

    Here's another reason why your first game shouldn't be your big game - because it's going to take time to develop your skills to where it matches your ambitions for your project, when you reach the point where you're good enough, if you've just been working on your big idea, you'll be absolutely sick of your big idea from having worked on it so long.

    Take it in small steps. Work on less ambitious projects. When you get an idea for your big game, stash it away in an email or a document or something like that, so that when you're ready, you can start it with your previous ideas written down.
     
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  6. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I'll join in the growing chorus.

    No, absolutely not. There is so much to learn, and it's not just how to event, or think up cool features etc.

    There is a skill of completing a game, and all that that entails, which you have to learn as well. e.g. how to massively bug hunt, how to ensure that your story arc is satisfying and complete, etc. etc. etc. The only way to learn that skill is to complete a game, and you should not practice on your big game.
     
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  7. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    As a beginner, I suggest you follow the link to the starting point in my signature and work through those tutorials.
    I even included the many reasons why your first game should not be your dream game in that tutorial...
     
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  8. Indinera

    Indinera Indie Dev Veteran

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    Depends what you want to achieve.
    If the goal is commercial, no, definitely not. Not the right period for that.
    If you're driven by passion, go for whatever you want.
     
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  9. Plueschkatze

    Plueschkatze Veteran Veteran

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    If you want the big game to be the best it can without restarting it like 100 times... do small ones first.
    Do gamejams, do 1 week projects, do 1 month projects, test mechanics, test different plugin... simply event stuff.

    If you don't care about restarting and hating what you did 5 weeks ago because you could do SO MUCH BETTER now, then go for the big one. ;)
     
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  10. gstv87

    gstv87 Veteran Veteran

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    I'm going for the big project.
    it's not my first game, but it's also not my first project.
    as it is so far, there's nothing of content done, only technical stuff..... the one thing I set as a premise was to not do anything significant until the core engine is functional.
    so far, ........ mostly so good.
     
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  11. cabfe

    cabfe Cool Cat Veteran

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    It is possible to have your first project be good enough to become a commercial project, but it's more like an exception to the rule.
    It's always better to learn how to use your tools before you start something big, unless you're a quick learner and gifted/very dedicated.
     
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  12. Yulia

    Yulia Veteran Veteran

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    I think every single one of your games should be a passion project. As an artist I'm trying to make every sketch I'm drawing as good as possible, I think with games it should be the same, I strongly disagree with people who say "first game would be garbage so don't try too hard". Will it turn out bad or good is up to you, many "mah first games" are bad not because they are someone's first, but because their authors never put an effort into them. Just don't try to make your first game in a week! Study the engine, play other games (not only made by RPG Maker) and try to understand what exactly you liked or disliked about them, read professional game designers' and scriptwriters' advises etc.
     
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  13. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Most people are going to say no here, just because with you having (by your own admission) no skill in game making yet the odds are heavily against you.

    That being said, I am one of those who did decide to jump right into the game I wanted to make, after spending 4 days making a game I called Junk as I learned how to use the program. Here is the result:

    June 2014: Started the game. Entered it in the IGMC. Got feedback.
    July-August (ish) 2014: Restarted the game, started version 2.
    September 2014: Restarted the game, started version 3. Released version 3 as a demo to play here on the forums. Got feedback.
    November 2014: Restarted the game, started version 4.
    February 2015: Restarted the game, started version 5. Released an updated demo which I called version 1.0.
    August 2016: Game was now playable from start to finish. Many bugs exist.
    Current: Working on squashing those bugs.

    Notice a trend in the beginning there? Most of that first year I was starting the entire project over as at the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. And that is even with me having made 3 modules for another program way back in the 90's.

    Also notice I have been at it since June 2014 (I worked on it one month before I joined the forums, as I joined after the IGMC ended).

    Basically, if you decide to jump into the project you really want to make, expect the following to be true.
    1: You will start it over. Many times.
    2: You will be at it for years. Not months, years. Expect it to realistically take you 3 - 7 years, depending on the scope of your project.
     
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  14. Frogboy

    Frogboy I'm not weak to fire Veteran

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    I will reiterate the No answer but throw in one extra. Your first few games should be small and not your big, passion project BUT these first few games should take an idea or two from that game you really want to make. By doing this, you'll gain the experience you need in smaller, more manageable chunks and those unique, difficult to implement ideas can be worked through as you go. Your first small game should probably just be totally basic and something that you might not even want to polish or share so that you can learn the editor. The second, third and so on can center around certain feature. My second game (first I shared) centered around 4 character switching where you can control each member of the party both individually or as a group. My third one implemented an action battle system. I now know to implement these two systems but more importantly, I know the limitations of my implementations and can think of better ways to do them.

    Game making is similar to programming in that your first attempts will usually not have the best, most time-efficient implementations. You'll get things to work but it'll be a chore to scale them up easily. Get too much of this in a project and you'll get bogged down to the point of realizing that you need to re-factor the whole project if you ever want to finish it. That's usually when a project get abandoned.

    I would have trouble scaling my game Eremiel up into a full-size action RPG due to how I designed certain aspects of the game but I likely could make a new one with what I learned and the feedback I got on it much easier. Having that finished project and feedback is worth a lot and will help me much more than an abandoned one in my future games.
     
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  15. gigaswardblade

    gigaswardblade narcisistic narcoleptic Veteran

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    thanks for all the advice. i was starting to consider myself that the correct answer might be no. now i know that starting out with the big game is a terrible idea. the only problem is, i might have a hard time coming up with whatever the smaller games would be about. i have thought about making games that arent just rpgmaker games before. i might adopt those ideas into rpg maker. as for gameplay mechanics, one thing i wanted to impliment into my game was the mario and luigi style of battle. where you either hit or dodge depending on the press of a button. also i wanted an advanced elemental system. certain heroes and gear have specific elements that could compliment each other in battle. going to a desert mountain? take the characters with grass and water magic and give them earth armor. stuff like that.

    there's also puzzle making that i seem to have a hard time innovating. pushing boxes or clicking the right switches in order seems to have been done to death. and the whole "come back when you have the right tool to do this" doesn't really count as a puzzle. i guess i could try 1 game that focuses on advanced combat situations but bland characters, and one with puzzles up the wazoo with a likable cast of characters, but combat as basic as "warrior attack, mage fireball, rogue attack" type stuff. im not too sure about those "do in a week" games though. i might try doing those, but i wont try to make something like generiquest: rise of dark man. those kind of games are as fun as watching paint grow or grass dry.
     
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  16. Nightblade50

    Nightblade50 Developer of "Delta Origins" Veteran

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    Take a side quest and make it into the main quest. That's a great way to make a small game.
     
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  17. Roden124

    Roden124 Veteran Veteran

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    As declared by the popular consensus, making the big game right now is reckless.
    However, a big game is certainly within your reach!
    Long projects are healthy, just beware of Feature Creep and the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

    Remember, you can make as many games as you want within the limits of your physical and creative ability.
    Make small games while you make your big game. Game jams are great for pressure and exposure.
    I should reiterate the difference between this big game and the game of your dreams, because it's important.
    When your skills match your ambition, only then will your Magnum Opus be ready.

    Work smart and hard, but emphasize the former over the latter.
    Document all of your interesting ideas somewhere. Anywhere.
    Preferably in one place, but it better not be nowhere!

    Whatever you do, start now.
    You'll see real results in a few months, and you'll be glad you jumped.
    When you want to swim in cold, deep water, caution is tormentous and useless.
    You must submerge your whole body!
     
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  18. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    To go off an idea @Thomas Smith said...you can take one feature you want to implement in your main game and make a small game around it. For example, I made a small game where I took my intended battle system and made a little 20 level dungeon crawler for it. Very minimal plot, you just picked 4 party members and crawled away Also since the focus was to test the battle system, I made each map very tiny with a glob of enemies to fight in that little space. Sure, that would be annoying in a real game, but since the purpose was to test battles I wanted battles!

    In the end I never released this little game, but it did let me see where the battle system worked, and where it needed to be fixed for my main game.
     
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  19. Frogboy

    Frogboy I'm not weak to fire Veteran

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    To give you an idea, my game Heir to the Kingdom has an extremely basic premise. Two princes and two princesses belong to a unique kingdom that, instead of passing the crown onto the eldest son, gives it to one who first completes the Trials. The game consists of just a bunch of puzzle rooms, one after another. I made it for a game jam with a "working together" theme so it turns into a more cooperative affair than the story first suggests but entire premise was simply a reason to set up what amounts to a bunch of different puzzles that I wanted to make. Sliding on ice, floating platforms, flipping switches, "skiing" ... even threw in an airship shoot em up mini-game. It was nice because I didn't have to focus much at all on story and the levels were all independent of each other. I could add as few or as many as I wanted. Could even go back and add some more if I want to test out a new puzzle.

    For small games that you use for learning, the story isn't really all that important. You could have the player run through a bunch of dungeon rooms to test out some experimental battle mechanics. You could think of some interesting short story and not put any battles in at all to learn how to perfect cutscenes.

    The goal is to scale it down to a smaller subset of mechanics so that you get a good grasp on that area of the engine instead of trying to tackle everything at once. It's a great route to take because you'll actually finish some games and feel that sense of accomplishment where as the alternative may have you abandoning your dream game after a year and not wanting to make anything else. If you do choose this route, you're dream game is not only more likely to get finished one day, it'll be a better game because of it.
     
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  20. luzi

    luzi Freelance Artist Veteran

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    If I may, I highly recommend against building your first game too big. You need to estimate yourself first before giving your best within the scope. Otherwise the project would end up too epic to even finish. This is not a definitive answer though, if you're confident that much, then go ahead.

    A big project however, will have a lot of following problems including the feeling when your skills are developed and you're starting to get embarassed of what you've done. You WILL want to go back and revise those old contents. If your skills are stabilized yet, you'll end up with an endless cycle of this feeling that your project doesn't get anywhere. The greatest obstacle for game making, big or small, eventually, is only yourself. If you lose passion for your work then it's pretty much over.

    For my personal experience, I'll be honest, my first game was a big project. The one I'm making to this day of course. I rebooted it for about 4 times with one major rename since 2007. Yeah, you've heard it right. I've been investing a good eleven years of my life on this project. Did I regret my decision? Not exactly. The game allows me to develop many skills up to the point where I'm certain that there should be no more remaking. But yeah, it's still not done while others have been releasing several games. If you're still determined to go down this path, the control yourself and don't ever lose your passion with your project.
     
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