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As a one man team, would it be possible to make these kind of games?


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#1 TheMaddestHatter   Members   -  Reputation: 141

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:11 PM

  Hi everyone! I'm pretty much new to everything regarding game development/design, and programming in general. I know it's not going to happen anytime soon, as I still have a lot of learning to do, but eventually I want to be able to develop/design games for mobile devices. Something like Bloons TD 5 Mobile( so a tower defense game) and Castle Clash (a society building game.)

  I know I am an extremely long way from making anything like those games, but I was just wondering... Is it even possible for a one man team to make games like those? And if possible, about how long would it take your average person (with no day job) to make something like that?

  As I said I'm new at this, so if I left out any needed information, just say so and I wil reply as soon as I see it. I look forward to learning a lot here, and this will be the first of many questions that I will probably have! 



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9491

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:20 PM

1. As a one man team, would it be possible to make these kind of games?
2. how long would it take your average person (with no day job) to make something like that?


1. Anything is possible.
2. Most mobile games take 3 to 6 months to make with a team of 4 or 5. So, one person could do it in 12 to 30 months... after the learning curve (which might take 4 years) (that's the length of a college education).
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 stanirya   Members   -  Reputation: 771

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:23 PM

I haven't played either but Bloons seems to be the more straightforward one and Castle Clash looks like it might be a bit more involved. The good news is that either one looks like it could easily be done by one guy, the biggest stumbling block would be the art and sounds though. But if you were to pillage free online resources for your assets you could code something like Bloons in a month or two for, if you knew what you're doing (conservative estimate, some people could code it in a day, YMMV). Since you do not have any experience or knowledge of the languages yet, I'd plan for six months.

 

Look at things that can help you speed it up - Game Maker, Unity (which supports Android and iOS), or some other software like that.


Edited by stanirya, 03 September 2013 - 04:25 PM.


#4 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7116

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:36 PM

It also largely depends on how polished the product that you want to ship is. Usually its the polish that consumes the most time out of anything, and its also probably responsible for how well your customers receive your game to a very large degree. Having done most of it a few times, I can probably knock together a very functional console-style JRPG in 3 months or so if I were able to dedicate myself full-time to it. But for me to get from there to a product that's really polished in terms of its implementation, together with the *game* and its assets polished to a reasonably degree is probably another 9-18 months time, depending on the number of playable hours I hope to provide.

 

A polished game usually takes about 4-10 times longer to make than does a stable and mostly feature-complete prototype of it.



#5 TheMaddestHatter   Members   -  Reputation: 141

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:42 PM

Wow guys, thanks for the quick replies! At least now I have an estimate for a (very) long term goal! I kinda figured that the polishing would take the longest, but I think it would just be nice to have the general idea out of my head and onto something. 



#6 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2960

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:14 PM

It also largely depends on how polished the product that you want to ship is. Usually its the polish that consumes the most time out of anything, and its also probably responsible for how well your customers receive your game to a very large degree. Having done most of it a few times, I can probably knock together a very functional console-style JRPG in 3 months or so if I were able to dedicate myself full-time to it. But for me to get from there to a product that's really polished in terms of its implementation, together with the *game* and its assets polished to a reasonably degree is probably another 9-18 months time, depending on the number of playable hours I hope to provide.
 
A polished game usually takes about 4-10 times longer to make than does a stable and mostly feature-complete prototype of it.


Aye. It's like sculpting a statue. The shape emerges quickly, but the details take forever.


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#7 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7116

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:46 PM


Aye. It's like sculpting a statue. The shape emerges quickly, but the details take forever.

 

Upvote for that. I hadn't heard it expressed that way before, but its dead on.



#8 Satharis   Members   -  Reputation: 949

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:11 PM

Aye. It's like sculpting a statue. The shape emerges quickly, but the details take forever.

 
Upvote for that. I hadn't heard it expressed that way before, but its dead on.

Except when its a game the statue likes to randomly change shape and disintegrate for no obvious reason. It also gets into a fist fight with you when you want to try and take a rag to it to polish it.

But yeah, I would say the polishing of the game is by far the hardest part and can be even worse than the 80/20 rule. Programmers get to don armor and go to war with the bug invasion while the artists, designers and audio teams all whip out buffing wheels and chainsaws and try to make that game not poke you in the eye so much. The little things really do pile up like boulders even on a small one person game.

#9 djtesh   Members   -  Reputation: 242

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:22 PM

I am highly inspired by the Tiny Wings story.

 

Also, Temple Run is mostly two people.

 

I can program these games, but I'm unable to design something so elegant and addictive on my own. Plus, overall execution, clarity of thought and proper marketing..

 

There's lots to think about and I wish you all the best. Never stop learning :)



#10 HilljackCoder   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 07:48 AM

To be honest, a lot of your time is going to depend on your design and how sound it is.  On my project (www.open-tactics.com, for the curious), much of the churn and work has been related to trying to hammer out a good game design, with the code necessarily following, and in some cases being ripped out and reworked.  For a game like Bloons, if you start with a good design and architecture, I think that the rest of the problems should take care of themselves.  I would strongly suggest keeping your code as modular as possible...make it so that you can change out one implementation with another.  Mike McShaffry's Complete Game Development goes into this in some detail, and there is a lot of additional information out there.  Don't fall into the trap of bad OO design, where everything is normalized to death.  Study up a bit on dependency injection...it will save you a lot of grief.  Good luck and remember that the best part of game development is having fun.



#11 Xai   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1363

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:49 AM

A reminder for all your starters out there, including the OP.  Please try not to look at SEQUELS to popular games when starting out.  Like Bloons TD 5.  Go have a look at Bloons Tower Defense (the original) and the second version.  If you go look at versions 1 and 2 ... (and then any after 2) you can see how that the key to getting this thing done (which was done by 1-2 people originally, plus 0-2 people doing art and sound stuff) was that they did a SMALL, but complete game.  They added features and improved graphics with every version - but the first version they made had 1 map, les than 10 monkey types, less than 4 upgrades, etc.  Version 2 nearly doubled it.  And now at version 5 it is nearly doubled again.  The original creator would have taken more than twice as long to build Bloons TD 5 as Bloons TD (1) - and by that time he would have given up and we would never have heard of that game.

 

Don't try to make your first "finished" game have every option, every variation, be polished to the nth degree.  Just try to make it clean, simple and fun.

 

Good luck.



#12 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7116

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:40 PM


Don't try to make your first "finished" game have every option, every variation, be polished to the nth degree.  Just try to make it clean, simple and fun.

 

Upvote for that too.

 

A smaller, polished project is in general much better than an expansive unpolished one. Its better to really enjoy a 4-hour game than to slog through 12-20 hours of uninspired, unpolished drek. Because polish takes so much longer than simply birthing the content, you have to remember that the more content you have, the bigger backlog of polish work you're building up, and it builds up faster than the rate at which you're birthing the content -- for every 1 hour of content you create in X days, you're adding 3-10 X the days you'll spend polishing your content, and it can very quickly get out of hand.

 

Finally, fight the urge to think that more is better -- design is as much about what you take away or leave out as it is what you add.


Edited by Ravyne, 04 September 2013 - 12:41 PM.


#13 cozzie   Members   -  Reputation: 1582

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:15 PM

Adding to everything already mentioned, my advice would be to break your goals in 'blocks' and really think about what you want to achieve. It helps me to have a list of goals which I can actually achieve and feel good about when I finish one.

What helped me was making a very simple game, but functional and 80/20 bug free and expand it step by step. This way you keep learning towards your goal and have the constant fun of achieving new things with relatively small tasks.

#14 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2037

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:35 PM


Is it even possible for a one man team to make games like those? And if possible, about how long would it take your average person (with no day job) to make something like that?

 

don't know about your average person, but once you become a skilled programmer i can tell you what it would be like.

 

i've never done a mobile app, so i'd need to get up to speed on the hardware capabilities and APIs - say 2-4 weeks for both. 

 

tower defense - rapid prototype in a day or two, alpha in a month easy. maybe pubic beta in two months.  release in 3-4 months, depending on how far you go on scope and quality.  

 

once you learned to write game apps and worked with a number of platforms and APIs, a new hardware platform or API is no biggie.  same as with all software.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#15 rwtwm   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:56 AM

I've just started on this very voyage myself so can hopefully provide a little bit of input. I'm currently writing a simple game for android, which will be my first published game on any platform, and am doing everything myself. That is coding, artwork & music (though have used some useful free sound libraries for SFX, try soundjay and freesound).

 

I started about 3 months ago with only a limited knowledge of Java specifically, but a functional knowledge of general programming concepts. From there it probably took about 3 weeks to learn enough Java to get a functional prototype, a further 2 to learn enough android to port it and since then it has all been about making it look and sound like an actual videogame. 

 

As others have said on this thread, when working on your own, adding the polish is the hardest bit. I've spent a good few days just on my background image and I have very little in the way of animation! (That could be because I'm a better coder than I am illustrator though). I hope to be finished within the month.

 

I'm also going to directly quote this because I think it is the most relevant point of the thread.

 


Please try not to look at SEQUELS to popular games when starting out. Like Bloons TD 5. Go have a look at Bloons Tower Defense (the original) and the second version. If you go look at versions 1 and 2 ... (and then any after 2) you can see how that the key to getting this thing done (which was done by 1-2 people originally, plus 0-2 people doing art and sound stuff) was that they did a SMALL, but complete game.

 

Don't overstretch yourself, and set small manageable goals. If you want to make a tower defense game, build something simple and functional with just one tower to start. Code it in such a way that you can extend it easily. The worst thing I've found about working solo is the shear length of the todo list. So take pride in each time you get a new tower to fire at the enemy, and if you get something new that works well stop and play it for 15mins or so and be happy you got that far.






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