What's the WORST advice you can give as a game developer?

Foamhead

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I have no idea why you would want bad advice, except possibly as a humor thread. Regardless here you go:


1. if you are a coder, ask that a potential job offer write out everything about their game in excruciating detail. After all, you are the only coder in the world and the potential employer needs to work hard to interest you. This lets me know you are a total pain in the ass and probably not worth hiring.


2. Only draw anime and make sure it looks the exact same as the other 50,000 anime artists out there. This helps me out by letting me know you can't draw and I save time by round filing your application immediately.


3.  Charge the same fee as a 20 year industry veteran. When no one hires you be sure to whine how you went to school and worked really hard for your skills and therefore are entitled to be hired over someone with a proven track record. This lets me know you are an entitled kid who doesn't think they have to pay any dues like the rest of us.
 

jwideman

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I have no idea why you would want bad advice, except possibly as a humor thread. Regardless here you go:


1. if you are a coder, ask that a potential job offer write out everything about their game in excruciating detail. After all, you are the only coder in the world and the potential employer needs to work hard to interest you. This lets me know you are a total pain in the ass and probably not worth hiring.


2. Only draw anime and make sure it looks the exact same as the other 50,000 anime artists out there. This helps me out by letting me know you can't draw and I save time by round filing your application immediately.


3.  Charge the same fee as a 20 year industry veteran. When no one hires you be sure to whine how you went to school and worked really hard for your skills and therefore are entitled to be hired over someone with a proven track record. This lets me know you are an entitled kid who doesn't think they have to pay any dues like the rest of us.



Maybe it's because I haven't had my coffee yet, but you seem to be saying that you want the coder to design the game for you. Also, RPG Maker's entire raison d'etre is making JRPGs and anime is a heavily favored art style in JRPGs. That's why the "box cover" art is anime style. I'm not sure why you think the anime style is indicative of a lack of ability. I would think the fact that they drew would be proof that they could. You know what shows that someone can't draw? Uneven and inconsistent facial features, which is pretty much the exact opposite of anime.


As for your third point, there's a fine line between paying your dues and undervaluing your work to the detriment of those higher earning veterans. After your first two points, I'm not sure which side of the line you want to hire on.
 

AwesomeCool

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1. if you are a coder, ask that a potential job offer write out everything about their game in excruciating detail. After all, you are the only coder in the world and the potential employer needs to work hard to interest you. This lets me know you are a total pain in the ass and probably not worth hiring.



This is bad advice?


If you cannot describe your game well, how can I make a script satisfactory to you?


I cannot make the script the customer wants if they do not tell me everything there you want in the script and the part of the game the script is in (in detail).  For it could then clash with other scripts, not have a setup the way they want, and/or not include features the person wants (for they didn't explain it properly). The more info you give, the better chance the scripter has to actually give you what you want


I am sorry, but telling me to script a battle system like FFX and nothing else is not good enough. Frequent cases like this is why I rarely ever even consider doing commissions ever anymore (When I ask for more info or to be more specific and they say stuff like, "that is how detailed I can get," or something  :headshake: ). 


Scripters do not design systems in your game.  It is YOUR game and scripters are there to help make the stuff you can't create due to lack of coding knowledge, not make entire parts of the game for you.


Also, I guess professional programmers are following bad advice too. For I have yet to meet a programmer that didn't get into the fine details of what the customer wants yet.
 

terrorchan

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Why are some people so salty about anime? Its very aesthetically appealing. Sometimes I think they're just trying to be the hipsters of the game Dev world.


"Anime is too main stream"


:guffaw:


Anyway, got some more bad advice


-do everything you absolutely can to make your game unique even if it makes it overly complicated, is unnecessary, or ruins the gameplay! 


-your colors totally need to be super saturated it looks good that way
 
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AwesomeCool

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-your colors totally need to be super saturated it looks good that way



To add to this, either go super saturated or very little, no inbetween.


A game is either super serious and edgy or super cute and slap-stick comedy (there is no need for ups or downs in the tone of the game and if you do, it would take away from the game).  So it would be best to take the right saturation for the job and just stick with it. :)  
 

Foamhead

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Maybe it's because I haven't had my coffee yet, but you seem to be saying that you want the coder to design the game for you. Also, RPG Maker's entire raison d'etre is making JRPGs and anime is a heavily favored art style in JRPGs. That's why the "box cover" art is anime style. I'm not sure why you think the anime style is indicative of a lack of ability. I would think the fact that they drew would be proof that they could. You know what shows that someone can't draw? Uneven and inconsistent facial features, which is pretty much the exact opposite of anime.


As for your third point, there's a fine line between paying your dues and undervaluing your work to the detriment of those higher earning veterans. After your first two points, I'm not sure which side of the line you want to hire on.



Definitely the coffee. I do not, nor have I ever drunk coffee and I am constantly perplexed by how addicted and dependent others become on it in order to function. 


The thread was asking a general question, not one about RPG Maker in particular so I gave general advice. I never said I wanted someone to design a game for me or any such thing. I constantly see coders here and on other dev forums bemoaning their inability to get hired and then seeing them making it a colossal pain in the ass when someone wants to give them a chance. This is a strictly coders mentality where they "need" to see the story, every game mechanic etc... posted publicly before they are willing to engage in talks.


I work in entertainment and anime is reviled. I'm sorry but If I or any of my associates in the business see an anime portfolio we won't even flip past the first page. Doing high tech design work requires knowledge of human anatomy and a level of detail that is not seen in anime. You put ten anime characters in front of me in a row and I can only tell who is who by their hair colour. I would challenge any artist on this forum to draw me a picture like this:


mass_effect_mugshot___jack___subject_zero_by_the_joeblack-d7ob4xo.jpg



I bet very few are capable.


I hire based on merit and ability to deliver. However if I have to chose between some young person fresh out of school and a 20+ year vet who both charge the same...who do you think I'll pick?
 
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Foamhead

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Why are some people so salty about anime? Its very aesthetically appealing. Sometimes I think they're just trying to be the hipsters of the game Dev world.


"Anime is too main stream"


:guffaw:


Anyway, got some more bad advice


-do everything you absolutely can to make your game unique even if it makes it overly complicated, is unnecessary, or ruins the gameplay! 


-your colors totally need to be super saturated it looks good that way



The reason so many are "salty" is because it is useless as a design tool. I would also argue, (personal opinion here) that most anime looks like crap. I have on occasion seen extremely gorgeous artwork in this style but that is rare, with most looking identical with the same flat featureless characters.
 

jwideman

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The reason so many are "salty" is because it is useless as a design tool. I would also argue, (personal opinion here) that most anime looks like crap. I have on occasion seen extremely gorgeous artwork in this style but that is rare, with most looking identical with the same flat featureless characters.



Hmmm... it sounds like it's not the anime style you object to at all, but that it's poorly done. It's true of any drawing style that there is a poor signal to noise ratio simply because there's absolutely no restriction on who can put pencil to paper. But your position is like saying that western animation sucks based on Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Why not just say something like, "It doesn't matter if you've never taken a single life drawing class, just make the eyes big and nobody will care."


For what it's worth, the absolute worst drawing I've ever seen in "professional" work was in an X-Men comic and I'm not even talking about Rob Liefeld. In fact, it made him look good by comparison. IIRC it was mid-to-late 80s, the storyline involved demons, and I'm pretty certain all the artists were on strike.
 

Dragon Brother

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I've been told; 

To start with a positive; " Your first game might fall short of Your expectations or might not get the feed back You wanted, Press on!"

Now on to the nonsense I have heard, please note, I have not followed ANY of these.

"Don't bother, You'll never get anywhere" 
"Companies love it when You go commercially with THEIR Product Ideas" (Turned out to be sarcasm)
"Your first game will succeed if You name existing game developers as sponsors because they make similar games"
"Put as much resources and ideas as You have into Your first project for the best outcome" (see; putting all Your eggs in one basket)
 

trouble time

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I would challenge any artist on this forum to draw me a picture like this:



I see where you're coming from with anime, though I like it some peopl don't like certain types of designs, for me this is everything I hate in one picture though. Like if I were to give bad advice it'd be make your game look like this. I mean even the name is so terrible I need to go get a rock to help dull the edge.


Though, that's a 3D image, do youm mean draw a character that looks like a middle schooler trying to prove they get punk rock? 
 
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Shaz

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Back to topic please.
 

amerk

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Telling them to do everything from scratch:


Your own tiles, resources, music, characters, sprites, etc.


Really, it's fine to have some things custom, and the more you move towards commercial, the more you are probably going to want to customize, but not everything needs to be custom, and a person needs to become familiar with tools as a game designer before they can worry about all the resources. I'm mainly referring to the non-commercial developers, mainly because they are doing this out of a love for the hobby rather than to make a profit, and to turn a blind eye against a game because it doesn't have all things custom doesn't help that developer to learn and practice.


I tend to give all games a chance, regardless of resources used. As long as the genre interests me, the game is playable, and the story is interesting, I'll usually overlook the resources and mapping style in interest of giving the game a chance, other than to offer feedback for improving the resources and mapping.
 

Dr. Cakey

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*reads anime posts, eye twitches* No, I won't say anything. Dr. Cakey will be a good boy. Want some bad advice people - even professionals - will actually give you?


Base your story around the Hero's Journey. That's how good stories are made.
 

jwideman

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*reads anime posts, eye twitches* No, I won't say anything. Dr. Cakey will be a good boy. Want some bad advice people - even professionals - will actually give you?


Base your story around the Hero's Journey. That's how good stories are made.



How is that bad advice?
 

Dr. Cakey

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How is that bad advice?

A lot of reasons.


When people are taught the Hero's Journey (when I was taught the Hero's Journey), they're not actually taught the Hero's Journey. They're taught a flowchart which is a simplification of another flowchart shown to Hollywood executives, which in turn is an extreme simplification of part of Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. You can tell the people who teach or talk about the Hero's Journey have never read Hero With a Thousand Faces, because the book never claims that all stories follow the Hero's Journey. It argues that every culture has some myths and legends that follow it. The Hero's Journey only takes up half the book; the other half is another monomyth all cultures possess: the Deluge Story, which is kind of like the inverse of the Hero's Journey (I haven't actually gotten that far in Hero With a Thousand Faces yet :p).


Campbell explains from the outset that the Hero's Journey is about one thing: male puberty. It's about a boy becoming a man and joining society - in a very metaphorical sense. When you know that, the steps of the journey stop seeming random and arbitrary and start making sense. Now this is the plot - literally or metaphorically - to a lot of stories. Every Legend of Zelda I've played has that plot (especially Ocarina of Time). But it's not the plot to every story, not even the plot to every "traditional" story, and it might not be the plot to your story.


Last, and most importantly: the Sumerians didn't have a Hero's Journey flowchart. Neither did the Greeks, or the Chinese, or the Aztecs, or the SIoux, and yet somehow they all managed to come up with Hero's Journey narratives. If the journey is supposed to exist in every story (of its type), why would you attempt to force in something that's already there?


And if none of that's convincing, Hero With a Thousand Faces was written like sixty years ago. It's full of hokey Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis, so if you think Freud is dumb...half the book is based on that.


And if you're still not convinced, I'm not the first guy to say this. The Film Crit Hulk first floated the idea to me that maybe people should chill on the Hero's Journey in his book, Screenwriting 101. The Film Crit Hulk is a cool smart guy, and his book is a cool smart book.


(P.S. Hero With a Thousand Faces is a really good book and I recommend it to anybody even kinda interested in the subject)
 

jwideman

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A lot of reasons.


When people are taught the Hero's Journey (when I was taught the Hero's Journey), they're not actually taught the Hero's Journey. They're taught a flowchart which is a simplification of another flowchart shown to Hollywood executives, which in turn is an extreme simplification of part of Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. You can tell the people who teach or talk about the Hero's Journey have never read Hero With a Thousand Faces, because the book never claims that all stories follow the Hero's Journey. It argues that every culture has some myths and legends that follow it. The Hero's Journey only takes up half the book; the other half is another monomyth all cultures possess: the Deluge Story, which is kind of like the inverse of the Hero's Journey (I haven't actually gotten that far in Hero With a Thousand Faces yet :p).


Campbell explains from the outset that the Hero's Journey is about one thing: male puberty. It's about a boy becoming a man and joining society - in a very metaphorical sense. When you know that, the steps of the journey stop seeming random and arbitrary and start making sense. Now this is the plot - literally or metaphorically - to a lot of stories. Every Legend of Zelda I've played has that plot (especially Ocarina of Time). But it's not the plot to every story, not even the plot to every "traditional" story, and it might not be the plot to your story.


Last, and most importantly: the Sumerians didn't have a Hero's Journey flowchart. Neither did the Greeks, or the Chinese, or the Aztecs, or the SIoux, and yet somehow they all managed to come up with Hero's Journey narratives. If the journey is supposed to exist in every story (of its type), why would you attempt to force in something that's already there?


And if none of that's convincing, Hero With a Thousand Faces was written like sixty years ago. It's full of hokey Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis, so if you think Freud is dumb...half the book is based on that.


And if you're still not convinced, I'm not the first guy to say this. The Film Crit Hulk first floated the idea to me that maybe people should chill on the Hero's Journey in his book, Screenwriting 101. The Film Crit Hulk is a cool smart guy, and his book is a cool smart book.


(P.S. Hero With a Thousand Faces is a really good book and I recommend it to anybody even kinda interested in the subject)



Thanks for clarifying. That's a more educated response than I was expecting, I admit. I still don't think it's bad advice, as worded, because it's not the monomyth that's the problem. Even your green-skinned caps lock abusing friend doesn't have a problem with the monomyth, but with how Hollywood is only hitting the beats without connecting them.


Rewording it a bit to reflect the misuse would be bad advice.
 

Dr. Cakey

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Thanks for clarifying. That's a more educated response than I was expecting, I admit. I still don't think it's bad advice, as worded, because it's not the monomyth that's the problem. Even your green-skinned caps lock abusing friend doesn't have a problem with the monomyth, but with how Hollywood is only hitting the beats without connecting them.


Rewording it a bit to reflect the misuse would be bad advice.

I wanted to say something you might actually be given as advice, instead of just a joke (I was also hoping somebody would ask me what I meant, so you fell right into my trap, all according to plan, etc). Besides my bad advice was "Base your story around the Hero's Journey". Hero's Journey stories are great and excellent, but if the monomyth is omnipresent then by telling that kind of story, the journey is already there. Actually understanding the journey and what each step means is good (and easy, you just have to read one college-level book), but getting a flowchart from a website or a screenwriting book or from your Storytelling in Games professor (like I did) isn't going to help you. I doubt Zelda's creators were particularly concerned with making their stories follow the Hero's Journey - though I could be wrong - but those are some of the most classically Hero's Journey stories there are.


If you want the worst possible advice to give a game developer, I'd probably go with something like "make all your games delete win32.exe when they start up".
 

Sakuri

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Use as much RTP resources as possible and make a dull FF2 inspired story
 

terrorchan

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Use as much RTP resources as possible and make a dull FF2 inspired story

kinda ot, but there are people who make FFII rip offs? Isn't that one where there was barely any story and all just really shallow game play (for the time it was great, that was like NES era)??? I've never actually played FFII, just basing that off FFI.


Also bad advice would be to:


make your female characters as hot and sexy and booby as you can. even if it clashes with their personality (which itself doesn't matter, btw)


your hero can have no flaws or people will hate them


take much inspiration from other games even if you don't know how to use it without copy-pasting their formulas with a slightly altered story.
 
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