I’d like to share with you some thoughts about game development in general, starting from my perspective.
My path as game developer is summarized in my blog: http://randomtower.blogspot.it :point:
22 games (! wow… it’s a long run in the past 7 years…), made mostly with Java+Lwjgl+Slick2d+MarteEngine and Flashpunk
I’ve started from classic pacman, try a little tower defense, an android game, shump, platformers and then roguelikes.
My weak points are always the same:
graphics: I’m not an artist! And I don’t want to pay someone to do art for me, mostly because this is an hobby, not a work! Anyway without a proper direction on art, my games are really really weak on this field. I’m trying to improve my graphicals skills, with pixelart, but it’s hard and I’m not able to found a proper tutorials or “mentor” for improving myself on this field. Any help on that is important!
mechanics: my games, IMHO, lacks of a proper game design. For me it’s always try to see if a mechanics works, test, iterate and so on. I don’t have a proper “vision” of game mechanics in games (maybe Zombie Employee as platform is a step in right direction, I don’t know ). I think that without some thoughts about game mechanics and how player interact with the game, objectives and a little bit of level design… I’m not able to do that step I want to do on my game development! For most part I’m working alone and get feedback from anyone is hard, because you know… my games are not so interesting
tools: for last years I’ve been using Java libraries but even with Slick2d or MarteEngine or Flashpunk for me seems always to start from scratch. I’ve tried libgdx… but seems a step in wrong direction, on “details” that for me are not so important. I mean, my programmer-part is enjoying in put code together, make it work, but requires a lot of time… and more old I will become… less will be (or I can quit my job and start an app-company… get into reality, small boy inside me! ). So I’m thinking about Unity2d a reasonable tool, tried with small experiments and so on… seems to be a decent mix for programmer/designers/graphics guy. What do you think about it? It’s right tool for someone like me?
projects: start a mmorpg (I’m joking!). No really, I’d like to find more inspirations and sometimes I have what I think a good idea (for example: make a risk-like game, but where you must handle consequences of your actions: pestilences, refugees, etc…) BUT I think tool I have right now (Java) force me to start from scratch again and again… one for all, make a decent UI. I’m not so interested on it, what I need is just to make it work, but for doing that, I need a proper “user design” behind it and… I don’t want to lost too much time on it
Soooo a little rant by me right now, I don’t know if make sense for anyone or someone else are on my same situation: want to improve on many sides, but don’t know how
After a little bit of thinking, I believe to come up with a plan:
- focus on one side only. For example… pixel art for my next roguelike, or work on game design for rts. Without stress… it’s only an hobby. But to have in my mind one point. Make best of my time and improve on that side as far as I can! Then move on another weak point, for example tools. Try unity2d again, try libdgx tutorials and so on…
- try to copy a game. Start from scracth again, but remake a classic, same graphics, same mechanis, but find how professional developer make all different parts works together
- put all ideas together, brainstorm, dream a little bit and choose where to put my heart
- find an unique artist style to be inspired from… I’m from Italy and really, there is so much inspirations in arts around me
What do you think about it ?