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So how easy is it to make a video game?

#1happyscrub1Posted 8/28/2013 11:05:42 AM
I keep seeing all these kick starter games being made by a handful of people. So outside of graphics, how hard is the other stuff?
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#2Ch3wyPosted 8/28/2013 11:10:59 AM
It's pretty easy. Just open up visual studio, write some code, yadda yadda yadda, boom you have a game.
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#3ninto55Posted 8/28/2013 11:15:47 AM
Depends on the kind of game they're making.

I don't have that much of a grasp on it, but obvious things will make creating a game harder. If you want to build your own engine, or you could use one of the available ones. Is the game 2D or 3D? Is it linear or maybe open-world/Metroidvania-ish? Is it multiplayer? How many play-styles or modes are there?

I'm sure if you asked on here, or on some programming board, you could get someone to remake all of the original Super Mario Bros. with programmer graphics (because we're ignoring art). However if you asked them to make Super Mario 64 it would take much longer.

A kickstarter for a 2D platformer shouldn't be too bad, while a kickstarter for an online FPS crossed with MOBA gameplay would take a while.
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#4happyscrub1(Topic Creator)Posted 8/28/2013 11:16:25 AM
google found me this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-YeMpozhHg
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#5AdolfHendrixPosted 8/28/2013 11:22:52 AM
It is pretty simple using dedicated software such as Game Maker. If you want to write your game from scratch, I would recommend a 2D project in C++ or Java, but of course that will require some programming experience. Here are some Java tutorials to look at:

General Java programming:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl-zzrqQoSE&list=PL0DA31D88FC21E462

2D Game Creation in Java:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFYT7Lqt1h8&list=PLsc8wGybU2IZui4lAad9F8lFjdkn2ZdWD
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#6Sparta19Posted 8/28/2013 11:23:13 AM
Ch3wy posted...
It's pretty easy. Just open up visual studio, write some code, yadda yadda yadda, boom you have a game.


I don't know why I laughed so hard at this.
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#7RecinoPosted 9/3/2013 3:49:09 AM(edited)
Hi, future game maker and current game design student here.

So the question is as follows:
Talent: do you have it?
How big is your team?
How big is your budget?
How big is the game you are trying to make? How big is it in terms of world size, length of game, individual map size, multiplayer, singleplayer.
Is this a quick demo, full length game?
Is this game for fun? (like a flash game on newgrounds, or the Attack on Titan game (google it))
What is your genre?
What is the story?
How is the game played?
How do you merge the last two items in a meaningful way?
2D or 3D?
For 2D: are you (or anyone you know) good at sprite making? If not, do you know how to
use flash?
For 3D: what modeling programs do you have access to? I recommend Maya (they have a student version). After Maya, I recommend anything that's not blender, followed by blender.
Also, do you (or anyone on your team) know how to model, UV unwrap, texture
(efficiently), and animate?
Do you know how to program?
No seriously do you know how to program?
Did I mention programing?
Languages you should know: C++/C#, Javascript.
Languages good to know: Java, Python
Again, if you are doing 3D or 2.5D, you should know how to use Unity 3D, or Unreal Development Kit, for your game engine.
Does your game need Music or Voice acting?
Does your game need sound effects? (hint: yes it does)
How's the lighting looking?
Test
Test it early and often. Test on people who don't know you very well, and Don't. Say. Anything. While they are testing. Just let them flop if they can't figure it out, then improve that element, and test again. Also give them a sheet to list their thoughts. And pay attention to the order they put their thoughts in.

After all of this I can say, something like that Attack on Titan game I mentioned, he said it took him 3 days to get to the first build, that was two months ago.
Here's a link to the game:
http://fenglee.com/game/aog/

As for a bigger budget game, it can take about 2-3 years, depending on the scope.

I'm working on a project right now, it's taking us a while to get a solid alpha build for the first level, because of school, and a general lack of programing knowledge.
Modeling was done in about 3-4 weeks of serious work. The rest was done with a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and googling.

And that is how easy it is.

EDIT: don't forget publishing. Unity can make PC/Mac versions, console version are harder and you usually need to get through a bunch of red tape.
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#8MasterDonGeroPosted 9/3/2013 3:45:08 AM
Yup, it's that simple!
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#9RecinoPosted 9/3/2013 3:46:44 AM
Oh, and if you just want to make something quick and dirty: again either use flash or RPG maker (RPGM2003 is free, and easy. If you use the Playstation version you are dead to me).

Or you could just make a board game, which incidentally is a great way to test gameplay ideas,
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesn't mean it isn't crap!
#10_GRIM_FANDANGO_Posted 9/3/2013 4:03:02 AM(edited)
I think that in the past, it was relatively easy. And by that I mean that given that you have the skills and the talent, it was possible to do. It used to be pretty common for games to be made by small studios with just a hand full of people.

I think that now, it is much harder. People expect much more from games and that means they are more expensive to produce. Even just the budget for voice talent in AAA games is huge for games nowadays. That is why we see publishers now have so much influence on what is put out there. Without the backing of the publisher, the individual studios are usually not even capable of producing AAA titles by themselves. With the exception of studios like Blizzard and Valve ( who can be thought of as publishers themselves as well anyway).

That is one thing I really like about those indie games and the greenlight initiative. It rewards great ideas, and gives people with talent a platform even when they do not have a couple of million dollar to produce a game. The bad thing about games costing this much and studios being dependent on publishers is that the same thing happens as in movies. With large investments, there is an incentive to reduce risk, which means that instead of new gameplay and IP's you get the gaming version of "Spiderman 4" or "Step up 5".

I do not think it is coincidence that when we think of new gameplay, and innovative gaming concepts in the last 10 years, a lot of that has come from small developers or even the MOD scene. They are the ones responsible for the entire MOBA genre, they are the ones that came up with things like Minecraft. The popularity of these games just indicates something that I hope publishers would take to heart: There is value in good ideas, and it is worthwhile to invest in them.
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