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  1. #1

    So I want to make my own videogame.

    Chill, not today, not tomorrow, eventually: over the course of months and months maybe and maybe not, just curious maybe. However, I have no idea how the industry works, or the tools that these one man indie companies need to master to make something playable from scratch. So if I were to make my own videogame... where would I start?

    I'm already decently skilled in art and graphic design, so that's one down. I have musical talent and if need be could produce my own music, so that's not a problem either. what I'm REALLY concerned about is the programming, the scripting, etc., the wheel that makes everything work: What do I need to learn in that regard? where do I start? basic programming, Flash, Java? How do indie developers create something not based on popular engines like Unreal, while avoiding to use Flash at the same time?

    I know the type of game factors heavily in the software used, so for teh lulz, let's say I want to make a SNes style RPG, like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger. Where and how would I start? Also, what kind of legal and patent issues could I be facing? say I create a game that uses a 3 member party system, has random encounters, and has 4 ability slots. Am I ripping off Final Fantasy?

    I know there could be several "LOL NOOB U CANT MAEK VIDIOGAME WITH NO EXPERIENSE GO BACK TO PLAYING COD KID ROFL GG NUB" but hey, let's say I'm just curious. Humor me

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Legendary! vindicatorx's Avatar
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    You should be more specific as to what type of game you want to make. You can make simple java based or flash based games very quickly and easily go to YouTube and type in "making a game with X" and multitudes of languages come up. Now since you are talking about graphic design I am assuming you mean you want to make something a little more complex at which point I look at your "months and months" comment and think you might want to reconsider most major games are under development for several years with entire experienced teams. If I was you I would make some simple things before tackling a large idea. So I would look into Flash tutorials or maybe even Java just to get an idea of what you are getting into.

  3. #3
    The Patient jimakos84's Avatar
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    I like your idea and though I don't have an original, by me, advice to give you, with a bit of googling(lol just googled once), I got to this : http://www.gamesradar.com/how-to-mak...no-experience/

    I didn't read it in detail, but I think it has some basic information.
    Good luck and I hope you don't lose motivation just do it

  4. #4
    Believe it or not it's easier then you may think. I haven't tooled around with game design but when I last had (2004/5) as far as programming was concerned you sort of needed a mixture of a few different types. Including java, flash, and c++. There are open source video game engines out there as far as the 2D world goes, and their are forums dedicated to the assistance of coding said engines.

    With that said, I mist say that I believe the above is more or less the easy part. Understand now that you will need a team. You'll want someone to assist in web design, game moderation, server hosting, story boarding, art, programming, and overall design. I can also say from experience that a forum for your game is ESSESSENTIAL. Even if the game is in closed/open beta. Nothing creates excitement like hype, and nothing breeds nostalgia like being apart of an experience.

    Good luck, if you have any other questions that I could answer id be glad to try.

  5. #5
    Brewmaster Xheoul's Avatar
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    Make an account in Newgrounds, they have an area where they show you how to get started with various programs plus giving you tools you can use to create games without prior programming knowledge.

    I'm also making a game but I have a team I put together so the load is way light.

    Head here and you should find some neat info: http://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/creator-resources
    Last edited by Xheoul; 2013-04-08 at 07:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Ps I ment to add that you should be the one to host your server if your serious, and you're looking at around $200 as a start up project (web hosting fees, and website deisgn). And expect to dump about $500 into a solid server that will host ~100 players. My record was 46

    Also also if your concept and idea is unique enough and meshes with others, theyll assist you with everything for free. (Game/level design, item coding, ect ect)

  7. #7
    Thanks for the replies

    You should be more specific as to what type of game you want to make.
    I think an RPG is a great option because it can be focused on story and game mechanics without having to pour great effort on the graphics part. This may hold true for a lot of game genres, but for example, I could cope with an 8-bit RPG if it has a great storyline and compelling game mechanics, but playing DOOM again probably wouldn't do it for me.

    The problem is, as you mention, that I'm aiming for something way more complex. This isn't waht I want to do INITIALLY: I understand it'd be nearly impossible. I do not know the limitations of Flash, but I really, really hate the fact that when you right click a menu pops up or you break the game >_< I don't know, it makes your game look "unclean" or "lazy". For example, remember Sonny 2? it had excelent design, great art and decent mechanics but in the end... it was a flash game and was short as hell. I do know however, that learning flash and making something in flash is nearly essential, making games is a long process and flash is a great place to start.

    I didn't read it in detail, but I think it has some basic information.
    I'll give it a read, thanks

    Understand now that you will need a team. You'll want someone to assist in web design, game moderation, server hosting, story boarding, art, programming, and overall design. I can also say from experience that a forum for your game is ESSESSENTIAL. Even if the game is in closed/open beta. Nothing creates excitement like hype, and nothing breeds nostalgia like being apart of an experience.
    Word. I actually was involved in a rather ambitious Starcraft: Broodwar mod several years back, and I completely understand what you mean. Our team consisted of around 12 people between voice actors, map designers and 3D modelers. I didn't do anything really specific, I was the main coordinator up to the point where I left, I did a bit of modeling and great part of the story though. Thing is, from my own experience, I can't really get a team going from scratch, I'd need to know most of the stuff myself and have some sort of prototype before anyone else would be interested in helping me.

  8. #8
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    say I create a game that uses a 3 member party system, has random encounters, and has 4 ability slots. Am I ripping off Final Fantasy. That and every other rpg game going. There is very little in the way of patent rights for game design, imagine if castle wolfenstein was patented, just wouldnt work. As long as your 3 characters arent cloud tifa and barret youre good. If youre making a snes rpg you can just pick up rpg maker, there are loads of opportunities to use flash, rss and really create a good game, but also have some of the easier bits already sorted.

  9. #9
    Titan Kalyyn's Avatar
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    It's easier than you think! I myself am deeply involved in making video games as a hobby. I'm terrible at finishing them, but that's mostly because I'm shit when it comes to art and music, and I don't know anybody who's willing to help in that area. But, good news for you! If you're good at art and music, you'll never have to deal with that bullshit! Which is amazing for you, because artists are some of the worst people to try to work with.

    I personally specialize in story writing and writing code, so I could give you a basic run down on those if you want. For coding, I would suggest you start with something simple. http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/ has an engine which requires little to no coding for somebody looking to make a basic RPG. It's not the most powerful thing you'll ever find, but I've seen some nifty little games made with it. The newest version will cost you $70, but older versions are free. I did a lot with those engines when I was younger, and they pretty well solidified my desire to one day be a full-time game developer, once I'm done with all this military nonsense

    Another great engine that I love to tinker with, and one that I would recommend to any aspiring developer, is GameMaker 8.1. It costs $40 for the full version (also available on steam) but you can get the free version, which does 90% of what the full version can do. I only got the full version for extension support, which is honestly not critical. http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/windows

    It catches a lot of flak from "elitist" indie devs (most of whom have never made a decent game in their lives), but let me tell you about this thing: For those who have never touched a line of code in their lives, it can look pretty intimidating at first. It gives you a big, mostly blank menu with no clear indication as to what you're supposed to do. But it comes with some simple tutorials, and within an hour or two you've made a basic side-scrolling shooter. It's a great way to smoothly transition between making games with no code, and with code. For simple/common commands, it has a built in picture-based coding system which allows you to select functions from menus. You can make entire games without writing a single line. But it also has a comprehensive scripting language, called GML, which is similar to C#.

    Now, the thing about GameMaker is that you're only going to be making 2D games in it. People will tell you that it has some 3D capability, but what they don't tell you is that it's a motherfucker to actually use. So just stick to 2D at first. Gotta crawl before you can walk, right? Anyway, I've cranked out a decent number of RPGs with this engine. Mine are usually action RPGs, but you could easily make a turn-based game with this. I'm currently making 2 things in GameMaker: A complete multiplayer remake of Link to the Past, and my own original action RPG, Witch Hunter.

    Anyway, I'm gonna move on before I bore you with stuff about GameMaker, but if you want to know more about it just say so. I could literally talk for weeks about it.

    The next step from there, I think, would be something like UDK. UDK is a modified version of Unreal 3, and it's absolutely amazing what you can do with it. That being said, even I have yet to make anything noteworthy in it. It's definitely not something you pick up overnight.

    Now then, story writing is, in my opinion, even more complex than the coding aspect of making a game. If you have any questions about writing a good story for an RPG, I'd be happy to help you with links to the places I learned from, plus my own experience.

    Lastly, this website was my bible when I was just getting in to game making.
    http://www.pixelprospector.com/indie-resources/
    Trust me, it will serve you well.

  10. #10
    say I create a game that uses a 3 member party system, has random encounters, and has 4 ability slots. Am I ripping off Final Fantasy. That and every other rpg game going. There is very little in the way of patent rights for game design, imagine if castle wolfenstein was patented, just wouldnt work. As long as your 3 characters arent cloud tifa and barret youre good. If youre making a snes rpg you can just pick up rpg maker, there are loads of opportunities to use flash, rss and really create a good game, but also have some of the easier bits already sorted.
    Thanks, I was really worried about that. I always thought the game mechanics and battle system on Ogre Battle 64 were original and not fully explored for example, but I was wondering how "close" you can get to said mechanics before you're facing a lawsuit :P

    Head here and you should find some neat info: http://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/creator-resources
    Great links, thanks a bunch. Starting off seems to be easier than I imagined I know the rest of the process is really time consuming, but I thought I'd need a masters in computer science or something to make a simple flash game.

  11. #11
    Titan Kalyyn's Avatar
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    Oh, one other thing. I'd whack you over the head with a newspaper for this statement, if I just had a newspaper and you within arm's reach:
    Quote Originally Posted by Slutty View Post
    Chill, not today, not tomorrow, eventually: over the course of months and months maybe and maybe not, just curious maybe.
    Do you want to make that game today? Then do it! To hell with what anyone tells you what you can't do! The best way to learn this stuff is to just dive right in to it. I promise you won't drown. Maybe. Anyway, I highly recommend that you immediately start hammering out some game. Remember to start small, but also keep in mind that working towards a goal motivates you to learn.

  12. #12
    you can look here http://forums.epicgames.com/forums/366-UDK forum for Unreal Development Kit ( Unreal Engine 3.5) maybe not easiest engine to start game making but at same time very good one.

  13. #13
    RPG Maker VX Ace

    Should be perfect for you if you don't know how to code.

  14. #14
    If your main problem is the programming part and you can provide the art/music/story part, I'm pretty there are many, many bored CS students who would love to make a game, but have the opposite problem (lack of art etc.), like me. So look around, sites like IndieDB and such could help.

  15. #15
    I've really enjoyed using Unity (http://unity3d.com/). The free version has all the features you'd need to make a complete game.

    The scripting can be done in Java, C# or Boo and is really well documented at (http://docs.unity3d.com/).

    As far as tutorials, you can find tons of info on YouTube or other websites and Digital Tutors has a very good course, but you'd have to subscribe for that one. Also http://answers.unity3d.com/ is the place to look if you have a specific question.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalyyn View Post
    because artists are some of the worst people to try to work with.
    Yes. Yes. More yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalyyn View Post
    story writing is, in my opinion, even more complex than the coding aspect of making a game.
    Take note on this one, because it's true. If your game doesn't appeal to anyone but you, no one is gonna play it, and you'll have wasted a lot of your time. Really think this one through. Lore is what is going to bring everyone to your game at first. Everything else will follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slutty
    Thing is, from my own experience, I can't really get a team going from scratch, I'd need to know most of the stuff myself and have some sort of prototype before anyone else would be interested in helping me.
    In this industry, get use to it now. People will join your team and drop it just as fast. It's hard to find people that are willing to dedicate time to what could essential be considered a small part time job. I once worked on a game with a staff of 5 including myself and we were able to achieve over 150 unique accounts with a peak play of 46 players. It sounds lame, woo 46. But it's no ball park. Any ways, always rely on yourself at the end of the day to meet any deadlines you make. Be prepared to have to finish someone else's uncompleted project.


    I've seen a lot of people posting about RPGMaker and other side scrolling engines. I always found that these were novel to what I was seeking (not attempting to knock anyone, really) but when I used them it just always fell short of what I hoped to achieve. Look up Mirage Source or perhaps find a version of Elysium that is worth using. These engines still exist today and learning to create your game with these will be far easier now then making your game with RPGMaker and then converting over to a source coded engine later on when you're ready. If you're serious about the project, it's worth the investment. (of time not money)


  17. #17
    Titan Kalyyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slutty View Post
    Thing is, from my own experience, I can't really get a team going from scratch, I'd need to know most of the stuff myself and have some sort of prototype before anyone else would be interested in helping me.
    I think this ale is making me feel more generous than usual, but I could potentially help you work up a prototype if you've already got something in mind. Depends if what you're looking for is within my skill-set, but I have a pretty solid amount of free time over the next few weeks, and I honestly just love to code games. If you want to pitch an idea to us, I'll certainly consider it and maybe others here will take notice as well.

    Just a thought.

  18. #18
    Do you want to make that game today? Then do it! To hell with what anyone tells you what you can't do! The best way to learn this stuff is to just dive right in to it. I promise you won't drown. Maybe. Anyway, I highly recommend that you immediately start hammering out some game. Remember to start small, but also keep in mind that working towards a goal motivates you to learn.
    I do! I just wanted to explore the waters first, see what resources were available. The main problem I'm having right now however, is that I have this massive, complex gameplay idea of a game (as usually happens at first) and I don't really have any smaller ideas to start off with. Thanks for your support however, I'll be sure to check out all of your links

    AND BY GOD ARE THERE LINKS. Thanks to everyone, it'll take me some time to go through all of them tho XD

    Look up Mirage Source or perhaps find a version of Elysium that is worth using.
    Sounds great. I'll check it out as soon as I'm done with all the other links, lol.

    ---------- Post added 2013-04-08 at 04:06 AM ----------

    I think this ale is making me feel more generous than usual, but I could potentially help you work up a prototype if you've already got something in mind. Depends if what you're looking for is within my skill-set, but I have a pretty solid amount of free time over the next few weeks, and I honestly just love to code games. If you want to pitch an idea to us, I'll certainly consider it and maybe others here will take notice as well.

    Just a thought.
    Alcohol OP, nerf Blizzard kthx gg.

    Seriously though, that's a truly generous offer. The problem I have with it however is that it's only an idea, and while everything starts somewhere, I really don't want to waste anyone's time :P If anything tho, I could just layout my ideas, for teh lulz, and to see what the engine limitations and time investments would look like

  19. #19
    Titan Kalyyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slutty View Post
    I do! I just wanted to explore the waters first, see what resources were available. The main problem I'm having right now however, is that I have this massive, complex gameplay idea of a game (as usually happens at first) and I don't really have any smaller ideas to start off with.
    Ah, that does seem to be a common issue for new indies. Lord knows I got in over my head more than a few times. My advice to you is to document your current idea. Do it thoroughly. So thoroughly that you could read it in 5 years and immediately remember everything about it. You may not be able to make it now, but never let an idea escape. I've got a huge folder on my computer of just ideas for games that I would make if I had the resources.

    Once you've done that... well, I can't really tell you how to make new ideas. They just sort of come whenever they feel like it, it seems. But focus your thoughts towards manageable things. Your first goal should just be to finish a game. Remember: This won't be your only game. This won't be your best game. Heck, your first game should ideally be one of the worst ones you ever make. But just finishing a game, no matter how awful, does wonderful things for your ability to create something people will actually want to play in the future.

  20. #20
    Indie Game Dev and student here. I started by making some games in gamemaker(http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio). This is mostly for 2D games and its by far the easiest decent game developing software out there. Even more so than flash. Flash is actually what many indie devs use believe it or not. Right now everyones moving to Unity3D(http://unity3d.com/), its one step above gamemaker/flash in complexity in my oppinion and is the most powerful. So I'd say, don't overscope, start by making some quick shitty games for gamemaker/flash. You'll get better the more games you make.

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