Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by B.Ultimus, Aug 1, 2014.
Gamers don't like walls of text. Especially not scrolling, huge walls of text.
I learned several things:
- As others have said, it is VERY hard to develop a game in a month when working a full time job
- I can indeed complete a game within a month, even if the game is small
- How to use the Futuristic Tileset effectively
Really, the biggest thing is it is the first time I've ever completed a game, rather than just starting a project and dropping it partway through because I didn't like how it was turning out or it wasn't focused, etc.
I've learnt that I can actually produce something when I am doing things I like and am interested into.
That players are not so interested in the RTP resources, even if they look fine and are pretty consistent.
That there is a lot more to game production than simply finishing the game.
All the testing and proof reading I had my friends do were not short, and I am very grateful for them.
I also learned a lot by taking feedback, and that it's not easy to please everyone with the choices made in the mechanics of puzzles and such.
And lastly, that when it comes to advertising and sharing the word about my game, I am more anxious and shy than usual.
This. So much this.
The reason why I'm attracted to games with custom resources is that more often than not it shows that there was more love and time put into the game. Good games can be made with the various RTP packs but, more often than not they aren't as good as games with custom resources. Plus having a unique set of visuals will help your game stand out in the crowd, so yeah.
Also perhaps this is just me, but the RTP resources feel kind of "generic", especially after playing a lot of games that use the same RTP resources.
Perhaps the little experience I have working with the VX Ace didn't let me see that, and the fact I had not played a lot of RPG Maker games since... around the year 2000. This was also my first game made, ever.
It was nice to learn how to make things using it though, and I do think RTP resources are fine.
I would love to try using 100% custom tiles, however I think a mix of parallax, custom content and RTP things can make a game look good enough.
I learned why it takes professionals years to make a game (its hard). And about the multitude of small details that must be decided to finish making a game.
Yeah there tends to be a great disinterest in RTP of all sorts. It's a trend that you'll find among all game engines for the most part. Understandable since music and graphics are tied closest to a game's identity in most players' minds. It's why most popular games get copycats that make major changes to sound and visuals while leaving the code itself practically unchanged.
I had the opposite reaction: people loved the use of RTP in my game, and were surprised when I said it was stock. But I don't market my game to RPG Maker people exclusively, and I use the RTP creatively, so that helps.
I learned that I can make a game from start to finish in a month by myself. I also learned that rpg-maker uses ESC to open the menu which made some people cry when they pressed the ESC button while playing my game. Finally I learned that light blue may not affect my eyes but they affect the eyes of others. In conclusion, while I can make a game on my own in a month, having more play testers would have helped.
Submission times are important! Nah, but really wish I had my game done in time. It's cool to see so many though participate.
I learned that no matter how good or bad your game is, without having a community to support your game, almost no one will see it or play it... Unless it's incredibly pretty. =p
That quadruple checking for errors is not nearly enough, because one small error that is easily fixable could always sneak through.
That the hardest part of making a game within a month is the data section of it, such as balancing the combat section.
How easy it is to make areas too wide and open with RPG Maker VX Ace default graphics even though it's a lot smaller than other types of games.
How to RNG weapons and items without making it utterly random and having some sort of design to it.
How easy it is to surpass 60 minutes.
What. :') Well maybe this is the case when using RTP resources... But when you have to draw all the graphics and effects from scratch, areas and scenes go by a lot faster than expected. A cutscene I spend 3 days on could only last 40 seconds.
I can see that being a problem as well, especially if the game is not an RPG and an adventure game or something similar. =p
Once I got the data done, I started map making, and my goal was to make it as rapid as possible. I succeeded on the first map, it was only 3 minutes, but then the next map ended at like 15, then about 35, then about 50. I knew that was especially a problem since I was the developer and was mostly likely going to play the game much faster than anyone else. At one point I decided to re-do all the maps and managed to tighten it to about 3 minutes at first, then 10, then 20, then 30. I managed to make a full game be about 30-50 minutes long after much tinkering and tightening. Was a great experience though, it taught me how to pace RPGs better in general.
Yeah, good point. Random battles really increase a game's length.
Things I have Learned
- Text battles are not easier than regular RPG battles
- Always set a minimum goal on top of your projected goal
- Bug Test Bug Test Bug Test
I know your feel.
Bug Test Bug Test Bug Test Bug Test Bug Test Bug Test Bug Test Bug Test...
Point is, I know your feel as well. =p
Things I have learned:
-when you decide to work as a team, be careful with your partners. Saying "no" to someone is hard, but having that person slow you down is much worse.
-players don't care about contest guidelines, they only care about the game.
-a player that can play any kind of game is something really rare. If you find one, keep him safe and make him your tester
-the biggest frustration as a game designer is making a game and not having it played by anyone. So better to start leveling up your social skills to spread it.
-players are becoming so lazy that a game must catch them with pretty graphics and music. Only the most dedicated ones will stick to a game in order to discover about its story or gameplay mechanics.
In this case it's not about gamers being lazy so much as anyone needing a reason to enjoy something, especially when there are hundreds of other options if the current one lacks any pull.
We are spoiled for choice. If something lacks a good hook, there is no incentive to keep at it. They'll go do soemthign else. The contest alone has 400+ games, your own game isn't a special little snowflake to others like it is to you.
I agree with Indrah. For once RM is flooded with too many games to play. It's a lot easier to drop a game that doesn't grip you when there are so many other great options. I passed on a lot of great games for this very reason.
Hmm what did I learn from this contest? That I still feel most alive when I'm crunching on a game and everyone on the team is invested. Hard to get that feeling unless there is a real deadline with stakes. Ever since the end of the contest the team has been waffling. It's good that we can now take a step back and start to see how our contest entry will grow into a full length RPG but I miss the energy we had during the contest.
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