Advice To Fledgling Developers

Posted by: gatorlaw

Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/02/04 06:24 AM

What should a newbie developer focus on first?

Graphics, Story, game engine...

In other words - you have an idea....
You think it's great... wwhat should a dreamer do to start making it happen?
Posted by: Diamond

Re: Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/02/04 06:50 AM

You've got to develop the idea into a clear vision before anything else.

Create a synopsis of the story.
Define what you want from the game and explain how the game is going to be different or build on the existing genre.
Develop your main characters and establish their relationships with one-another.
Write notes on the intended art style, with reference if possible.
Write notes on what you'd like from the engine in terms of interaction, puzzles and interface.
Develop ideas for audio.
Document anything else which supports your vision of the game.
Finally, write a pitch document to sell the game. Do it as though your life depended on the success of selling this game to the biggest publisher ever. This must be the best thing you've written at this point in your life. It doesn't matter if it will never be seen by publishers because it's to sell the idea to yourself and to the rest of the team. If you all buy into this vision then you have a better than average chance of making something of it.

Then hire me. Sorry, I meant, then the choce of engine and graphics style will develop out of this vision.
Posted by: Kickaha

Re: Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/02/04 07:16 AM

Is there a fun element in game making for you Steve?
Posted by: Diamond

Re: Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/02/04 07:40 AM

Fun? You want fun as well? smile

There's always an element of fun in anything creative, but you've also got to be deadly serious about how you approach the process. If you want to create quality games, at least.

It's like being in an orchestra. You can have fun when you're performing live at the Albert Hall, but you only get to be in the orchestra through years of dedication and practice. By being serious about becoming a top musician.

In a sense, it goes beyond being fun. My nature drives me to be creative, almost to distraction. There is practically no time of the day when I'm not thinking of something creative.
Posted by: Kickaha

Re: Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/02/04 09:28 AM

It's great to be able to talk to people like you Steve who work in the games industry, and compare your view of things with those of us for whom this is a hobby. Thanks for the time you're spending here.

There's been a number of books and articles written on making computer games. Have you read a lot of them? Any good ones?
Posted by: Diamond

Re: Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/02/04 10:31 AM

You've got to be very wary of game articles or books that are written by people with no actual development experience. There's a lot of theorising that goes on, but sometimes it just gets way too academic and has no bearing on the practicalities of putting together a game. Your best bet is to look for articles by people you admire in your field of interest. People like Tim Schaefer (I hope I spelled that right) or Ragnar Tornquist or Warren Spector. Or Steve Ince (yeah, right smile ).

I'd like to write a book on the design process, rather than the theory of design. My eleven years must count for something...
Posted by: tigger

Re: Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/03/04 02:09 PM

IMHO, ok you can all spit and swear at me later..

If you have an idea, you just Must do something with it, create a game, a decorative picture, even an arrangement of furniture in your home. You Will Not be satisfied until it materialises. It is an itch you just have to scratch smile
Posted by: Diamond

Re: Advice To Fledgling Developers - 06/03/04 02:14 PM

That's exactly as it is. Why should people spit and swear at you?