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

AwesomeCool

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I think that's actually the business model half the AAA companies follow



must be why AAA companies are not making any money :p


People do not focus on Graphics at all, obviously.

Indeed, when one approaches game story writing from a broader perspective, "hero" and "villain" are arbitrary labels. In any story, you have a protagonist and an antagonist. Sometimes that antagonist isn't even a person, but nature or even the protagonist's own inner turmoil. The antagonist being a romantic option for the protagonist might be difficult to pull off in a game, but if done right it could be very compelling.


It worked for Shakespeare anyway.



It would be really, really cool if two people that love each other but were denied the right together and end up fighting each other over differing ways to get together (ex: antagonist tries destroying the system to try and get together, while the protagonist tries changing the system).


Back to bad advice:


Developers should totally keep make stories that are clones of others but consider them original due to one or two different twists.


Ex: Instead of collecting all the crystals to save the world, how about collecting all the ancient artifacts (ingenious! A totally original story with more thought put into it then the original work copied from!!! /s).

I am not saying an unoriginal game is bad.  I am saying that claiming an unoriginal game as original is.
 

bgillisp

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Back to bad advice:


Developers should totally keep make stories that are clones of others but consider them original due to one or two different twists.


Ex: Instead of collecting all the crystals to save the world, how about collecting all the ancient artifacts (ingenious! A totally original story with more thought put into it then the original work copied from!!! /s).

Eh, that's actually not really bad advice, because if you find that your stories keep turning into unintelligible messes, making a game where the entire story is finding the 7 pieces of the Macguffin so you can defeat the big bad Foozle can be a great way to focus a story. Now, it might not be a *good* story, but at least you then finished a story, and can improve it from there.


I say this because way, way back all of my stories were unfollowable messes, until I did just this. Then, I slowly improved it from there.
 

jwideman

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Characters are unimportant, in the grand scheme of the story, just have them act how they need to act to advance the story.



TBF, a lot of classic science fiction was like this. In fact, Asimov wrote nothing but this. But on a related note with bad advice:


You don't need conflict or even a plot, just really interesting characters.
 

LadyHammer

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"Your tough female characters won't seem tough unless they're mean to the main character all the time for no no good reason!"


****Bonus points if the excuse given was due to "that time of the month"****


"One female character should be enough. You really only need one so that any female gamer who comes along won't feel left out."


"It's okay if you're actually quite bad at writing and grammar. Just run it through spell-check - no one will even notice."


And this next piece of advice was given to me a looong time ago by someone who was absolutely dead serious about it:


"Every good story has a love story in it."


Yeah okay call me twelve, but BARF


If you are intentionally writing a romance, that's awesome, beautiful, and exciting! But if you AREN'T, and are thinking of throwing in a romance plot "just because", please don't. Please just reconsider. It's one thing if it's something that's built up between characters over the course of the game, that makes complete sense. But if you're writing and the end of your story is in sight and you realize that no one has professed their feelings of intense fuzzy affection yet, it's okay. Really. I promise that every story does not NEED a romance plot in it. Players / readers / viewers / etc can tell when it was hastily written in for no good reason other than to just have it.


Hehe. This is fun but kinda scary at the same time lol.
 

lemongreen

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Here's a few (I don't know if they've been said before):


"Every game needs/should have [insert arbitrary feature here that really doesn't belong in most games like crafting or perma-death]"


I've seen this way too many times from people who have probably never tried making a game or are probably only used to one genre... or both. Either way, just... no.


"When making a horror game gore should be everywhere, in fact just make the whole screen red. People'll understand."


In all seriousness, as much as people equate gore to horror, it's past it's over-use point and either isn't scary or is more gross and disgusting.


"Make your game so confusing that players either have to trial and error their way through it or wait for a walkthrough [if anyone actually writes one]"


This is just another really annoying one I'm tried of. Yes, I realize it's usually a "stylistic choice" but  I'm finding it harder and harder to stick with games that doesn't even stick with their own set logic (or even sets up logic). Somehow I find this a bit more forgivable if it's just one or two puzzles.


"Have the screen flash as often as possible in as bright and colorful flashes and animations everywhere, especially in any and every battle." 


Reasons for not doing this: *raises hand* I'm epileptic, and I've actually lost count at this point how many games I've had to stop playing due to them thinking it's perfectly okay to act like a strobe-light in their first minute with no warning. (I've probably had to drop more due to it starting to do this later on as well) And even beyond that it's probably annoying for people who aren't seizure-prone as well. (I shouldn't have to mention that this can also make you game laggy and impossible to play)


"Every game with choices has to use them in a way so they significantly change the story and gameplay; anything less and the developer was clearly lazy."


This isn't actually a full-on opinion I've run into, but I've still seen this around. Again probably from people who've never actually tried designing a game themselves. I'd get into why this isn't the case, but Extra Credits has some good videos on the subject.


"If all else fails; blame the engine, steal others work, and claim 'creative freedom' due to obscure laws that may or may not exist." 


... I'm going to hope I don't nee to explain this one, but I've seriously seen it play out so many times (and I still don't feel like I've been making games that long) If you do have problems, it's generally better to ask for help (and to not be condescending about it)   and always make sure you're properly crediting and even able to use the stuff  you have in your game. And if you do it properly it doesn't even take that long (it's just a coupe minutes of noting down where stuff came from in a text file, if that)
 

Balako

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release game after you finish making a character in the generator
 

jwideman

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"Have the screen flash as often as possible in as bright and colorful flashes and animations everywhere, especially in any and every battle." 


Reasons for not doing this: *raises hand* I'm epileptic, and I've actually lost count at this point how many games I've had to stop playing due to them thinking it's perfectly okay to act like a strobe-light in their first minute with no warning. (I've probably had to drop more due to it starting to do this later on as well) And even beyond that it's probably annoying for people who aren't seizure-prone as well. (I shouldn't have to mention that this can also make you game laggy and impossible to play)



Those of us without epilepsy don't realize how low the threshold can be. What you call seizure-inducing may only be a bit of blinking to the rest of us. Which games gave you problems?
 

Aleks

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Characters are unimportant, in the grand scheme of the story, just have them act how they need to act to advance the story.



Yup, that there is truly some terrible advice.
 

Azurecyan

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Write your story and just make the game. After you finish making the maps, adding all the plugins/scripts you want, making the events, just release it; it'll be perfect the way it is.
 

LordIxis

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Backtracking, backtracking, backtracking to infinity and beyond.
 

Mega Man Volnutt

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Write your story and just make the game. After you finish making the maps, adding all the plugins/scripts you want, making the events, just release it; it'll be perfect the way it is.

Isn't that how a development of a typical RPG maker game go minus the bug fixing?
 
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Brillenpinguin

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How is that bad advice :( ?



I should give context to this, I guess, bc, yes in general, having a villain as a love interest would be an interesting concept and the points raised in the thread are super interesting...but this doesn't apply to MY villain, since I try to make him seem like the most unsympathetic person in the world and hard to relate for a reason (I can't go into details because spoilers). That advice was given to me by a friend, who usually only talks about my designs and not my story and they obviously had the hots for a character who is the most horrible person in the whole game and probably the worst relationship partner you can have, which is why I interpretated that advice as a bad one.


However that doesn't mean I oppose the concept - it jsut doesn't fit the character that this advice related to. :)
 
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jwideman

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I should give context to this, I guess, bc, yes in general, having a villain as a love interest would be an interesting concept and the points raised in the thread are super interesting...but this doesn't apply to MY villain, since I try to make him seem like the most unsympathetic person in the world and hard to relate for a reason (I can't go into details because spoilers). That advice was given to me by a friend, who usually only talks about my designs and not my story and they obviously had the hots for a character who is the most horrible person in the whole game and probably the worst relationship partner you can have, which is why I interpretated that advice as a bad one.


However that doesn't mean I oppose the concept - it jsut doesn't fit the character that this advice related to. :)



Ah, Draco in Leather Pants. There are a few fixes for this besides just giving in and making the character more sympathetic. Making the character less physically attractive, having them cross the Moral Event Horizon. You'll know you succeeded when your friend complains you've made the villain a Complete Monster.
 

Brillenpinguin

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trouble time

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"graphics and gameplay are more important than the story/character development"

I think this one really depends on the genre, I do like having story in my fighting games but the gameplay is WAY more important than that.
 

AwesomeCool

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"graphics and gameplay are more important than the story/character development"



I am going to have to strongly disagree.


Gameplay and presentation are by far more important then a games story and characters.


If your presentation sucks, no one will care about the games story.  I should note that a good presentation does not mean hyper realistic graphics and/or becoming a king of graphics (ex: Undertale has good presentation).


If a game does not have good gameplay, nobody will stick around to finish your game to even enjoy the story. 


If someone wants to make a really good story and doesn't really care much about the gameplay itself, I suggest making a book instead.  It is a better medium for story telling and allows for more depth without having the story bogged down by sub-par gameplay.
 

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