should my first game be my "big" game?

TheRiotInside

Extra Ordinaire
Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Messages
270
Reaction score
124
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Man, I can totally relate to what you said. Call it what it is, but I dread the thought of making something so deep and beautiful and having it flop because nobody knows who I am. I've been writing my "Big Honking Full-bore Project Extravaganza" for a little over two years now ever since I was inspired by crazy fever dreams I had after a mean Christmas dinner. After reading this thread (and looking at my track record of 0 official public game releases since I started with RPG Maker in 2004) I'm realizing that I should really make a small project first, haha.

Like @Kes said, there's a lot of surprisingly unique skills involved in actually completing a game. I want to get my head wrapped around those before I dive into turning my 25,000-word Google Doc into a real thing. Not wanting to move away from the world I've been developing completely though, I figured out what I want to do. Maybe it'll help you out.

The new plan is to take a couple of recurring major NPC's from my writing and flesh out their backstory into a small game with them as protagonists.

I was trying to make up a list of benefits for doing this versus a totally unrelated project, but I got to around a dozen and thought, "nobody is going to read this what am I doing with my life" so I'll just leave it at that. :) Good luck!
 

Ateliae

Illustrator
Veteran
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
65
Reaction score
27
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I understand the excitement to go big with many of the possibilities with RPG Maker completely! I was the same, but as many others have stated, you should first start small and experiment with the program.

There are many resources here on the forums to help you with your game if you are having issues. If you are having trouble with writing characters, google is your friend! I participate in NANOWRIMO every year, and their groups/forums are a resource to aiding in writing for sure.
 

XIIIthHarbinger

Part Time Super Villain
Veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
676
Reaction score
806
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I am going to deviate slightly from the chorus here, & say that it's not that the answer is "No you shouldn't make your first game, your dream/big/ideal game"; but rather if you choose to make a "big/dream/ideal" game, it won't be your first game.

I've spent years working on an IP, but I've yet to complete a game. So the project I am working on is technically my "first game". However, I've rebuilt, revised, & reimagined that project so many times as my experience & abilities have developed; that what I started creating years ago, doesn't even remotely resemble what I have today. So the argument can certainly be made that I didn't complete my first game, but rather abandoned it & started a new one.

I am hoping that in another year or two, my "Monster" as I like to call it, will finally be ready for release. However, despite the rather sizeable investment of time & effort, without a released game to show for it, I don't regret my decision. What I've learned to make, the improvements I've made to my game over the years, stand head & shoulders above what I initially started to create. & I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend creating in my IP.

So if you choose to make an ideal/dream/big game for your first project, be prepared to go back to the proverbial drawing board multiple times. Because as you develop experience, you are going to learn better ways of doing virtually everything, & eventually you will want to rework everything due to your new level of expertise more than anything. & the larger your project is, & the longer you work with it, the more pronounced that desire will become.
 

Wavelength

MSD Strong
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
6,113
Reaction score
5,810
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
The answer is absolutely not. You want your first game to be small, manageable, not that ambitious - especially if you don't have experience making games already.

With that being said, feel free to write down all your ideas for your ambitious "dream game" that you're passionate about on notepads or documents, or even to start the dream project in RPG Maker (or whatever program you plan to use) and just fiddle around a little bit. That can't hurt.

Just be sure you do it while you're also working on something smaller, because if you try something too ambitious on your first project and you don't have something smaller to fall back on, you will get lost and you will burn out.
 

BrandedTales

StoryTeller
Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
203
Reaction score
116
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
I'm going to ride the fence on this one. You should care about the games you make, or you won't finish... Or at least you won't get the proper lesson from the act of finishing. What I mean by that: When you finish your dream game, there's going to be a to of little things you do to "make it perfect." Polish. Those little things are critical to tye game development muscle you need to build. If you don't care about the project, you'll call it done without the Polish and you won't be getting vital practice.

So you need to care. You need to have passion. If "the big one" is the only thing you can get passionate about, that's what you need to do.

That said, if you can find a way to tackle smaller projects, the act of completing is a really good skill to build and will lay a ton of foundation for when you start the one you bought rpgmaker for.

The way I get passionate about small scale games:. Prologue and backstory games. Just one thread, limited character scope, but it's good practice making 1-2 hour games with substance and charm before I tackle the 30 hour behemoth
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
13,935
Reaction score
14,767
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@BrandedTales What you said is why I decided to make the game I did instead of a bunch of little games instead. But I knew that by making this choice I would be restarting it a few times in the first year, and that it would take a long time too (years). But, it was a choice I made.

On the other hand, you can find yourself caring about the side project too, even if you didn't think you would. I remember when I was trying to learn another engine back in the 90's I had a game I wanted to make, but didn't think I was ready for it yet. So I made a little three game trilogy involving a demon war and 3 stones of power. At first I didn't care as much about it for the reasons posted, but over time I found I was caring about it more and more as the game went on, even if it wasn't originally the game I wanted to make.

See, the thing is, game making is all about compromises. The dream game exists in exactly one spot...a dream. I don't think any dev here would say the game they made is 100% what they envisioned. Somewhere on the way compromises were made, and the vision changed. And for some, that compromise is making small games instead. And for others, it is jumping into the big game but knowing it will not even come close to being what you envision for years, but continuing on anyways.
 

XIIIthHarbinger

Part Time Super Villain
Veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
676
Reaction score
806
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
See, the thing is, game making is all about compromises. The dream game exists in exactly one spot...a dream. I don't think any dev here would say the game they made is 100% what they envisioned. Somewhere on the way compromises were made, and the vision changed. And for some, that compromise is making small games instead. And for others, it is jumping into the big game but knowing it will not even come close to being what you envision for years, but continuing on anyways.

Exactly,

Technically I am still working on my "first game", but I've remade, revised, & reinvisioned it so many times that nothing of the original game remains. Both from a storytelling perspective which I've rewritten nearly every facet of, & the mechanical perspective as my growing experience has allowed me to recognize & implement better methods of doing what I had intended to do.

But despite the improvements, there is still very much a pro versus con evaluation with every change made. What is gained in replayability, customization, aesthetics, etcetera, versus what is lost in those areas. Or even the time &/or resources invested to effect a change, versus what that change will actually accomplish.
 
Last edited:

OnslaughtSupply

Ssshhh...
Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
731
Reaction score
766
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
You should start working on your dream game now...


But not in the way you think. You should be writing, planing, storyboarding, etc, all the while playing/ tinkering in the editor with the ultimate goal of developing the skills and knowledge to make that dream game. Make small projects that test out various systems and what not like game play mechanics. Let friends and family play them while you watch so you can see how others react and play your game. You will see that what was obvious to you might not be to others.

Game jams are really good too. It forces you out of your comfort zone and experiment with things you might not have otherwise.
 

kaukusaki

Awesome Programmer Extraordinaire
Veteran
Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
730
Reaction score
573
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Tentative yes.
Start with smaller objectives so you can piece together your ultimate game. Work on that battle system, your weapons database, dungeons etc. Once you figure it out you will come back to improve on it. It'll take you a long time especially if you're wearing all the hats (music, sfx, gui, spriting, mapping, database management etc...) But it'll keep you pushing forward. (Take a break every now and then so you won't burn out).
Eventually you'll have the ultimate polished game of your dreams. It'll be one hell of an accomplished feather you can stick in your cap.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

I THINK I have a slightly better grasp on drawing my maps now... sorta. I still need to figure out how to draw a city of sorts. I've only got the abstract going so far.
One day, I'll not have this lingering cough and we'll have another make a game stream.
A music I create while practicing E Major scale. :D
Too bad the Boss Battle Build Bout isn't also for VXAce.

Forum statistics

Threads
115,180
Messages
1,087,908
Members
149,749
Latest member
fantom777
Top