Hi - General project questions

I wasn’t quite sure where to put this, so, sorry.

Not really a noob here, just lost the password, anyway. I’ve done all the tutorials and now feel like I’m ready to start on a first real solo project.

Nothing too large scale, because I am working solo as a hobbyist, think something about the scale of FTL / pixel dungeon (at the wide end, starting much smaller scale and build to that).

At this stage, I got the base core mechanics of the action portion prototyped, using libgdx, blender (for art / animation), I was probably going to either find free music or go with sfxr (iirc), that’s a later concern. Really just aiming at about a SNES quality and look (but with advantage of HD).

tl;dr

When you started on the big project, what was the process you went through from start to finish? Specifically for the ones who did it all.

ex: program mechanics -> add enemies -> add weapons -> simple art -> test gameplay -> add maps, etc.

Appreciate any assistance / guidance.

Hi,
Looks like you’re going well with getting LibGDX setup already.

I find that there’s 3 stages to making a game:

  1. Getting the basic features working like game mechanics, user interface and object heirarchy planned and working in a basic way with one level, one character and one weapon.

  2. Filling the game with content such as levels, characters and weapons. Hopefully the game gets fun at some point in this stage. The graphics might still be placeholder artwork. Doing this stage before having step 1 working well can be a bummer if you need to change things in step 1 which makes all your content work in this step need massive refactoring.

  3. Polishing all the features so they work as expected and look nice, with proper artwork.

By the way, in my projects I rarely get past step 1, which I find the most fun step. I haven’t launched any projects past step 3, which is the laborious and boring part of development in my opinion, though worthwhile if you can ship the game and have a finished product to point to for your portfolio.

Cheers,
Keith

Thanks, that gives me a good framework into how to sort things into a more productive way.

I was initially tempted to find some free assets to build from there, but I find that most of them are barely complete, or are conflicting styles, or just won’t really work for the intention.

The downside of leaning on tutorials is that much more of the work is done on your behalf that you may not recognize until it’s on the plate. So, where it’s like “ok, make a map with wall tiles and fill it in” would translate to -> draw map tiles, program walls, add the wall tiles to the map and spread that through and it’s easy to overwhelm when I don’t really have any completed projects to fall back on (and looking at github for completed examples doesn’t help determine the work flow to get there).

Yes, there is lots to do. Sometimes it’s best NOT to think about the big picture, and take encouragement from accumulating small accomplishments.

For many things you can start with place-holder substitutes. I like to get at least a primitive game-loop structure functioning pretty early on. If there is a key mechanic or aspect that contributes to a proof-of-concept, I’ll tend to give that a higher priority.

IDK that there is a “best way”. As long as working solo and as a hobbyist, you get to pick whatever you want to work on at any moment.