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CulDeVu vs game development

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Oi thar e'rybody!

So, I'm really bad at making video games.

I really like making prototypes and exploring new and cool mechanics.

These things don't go together very well.

See, it's not that I loose motivation. I'd be more than happy to work on it if making any sort of artwork weren't such a gargantuan bottleneck. Artwork is one of those things that it takes way too many hours of my life to make anything that I would ever be proud of. And games are one of those things that require a lot of art.

I can level design. I can mechanics design. I can't do sound design, and I can't do artwork. And it's kinda ironic, because those are the two things that players (at least my friends) notice first about a game. And it's hard for me to work on something that I'm not proud of.

So, after kinda slacking off for a week or so, I've decided that I'll put the non-euclidean prototype away for a while. If anybody wants to pull it back out of its grave to make something of it, PM me or something. My personal opinion is that its mechanic deserves to be placed in a game that's been showered in love by the developers, and that's something I can't personally provide, with my schedule and talents.


Now to wonder what I'm going to be doing next, because I can't just sit around doing nothing.

I've always wanted to make a space combat game. I used to pour way too many hours into the Rogue Squadron games and into Tie Fighter back in the day. I don't know what it was, but I loved flying though asteroid belts, swerving around space rocks and chasing enemies and blowing up things in zero-g.

And you know what? They don't look that content-heavy! You know, besides space rocks and planets and forests and other spacecraft and stuff. But other than that, there's no carefully hand-crafted anything in them usually!

What do you guys think? Does anybody else find space combat games fun?

As always, thanks for reading.
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Oh, man, Rogue Squadron, I have fond memories of that game: it was the first PC game I've ever played, and also the first 3D game I've ever played (before then I played on a SNES). I remember being so happy after getting all the gold medals. Never played the sequels, though.


Anyway, regarding  the content of space games, I would bet that it would still be very challenging to make a space level look good, despite its lack of content. What I'm going at is that, at least regarding to aesthetics, you shouldn't worry that much about the amount of content, but rather about the art style of said content.


Try to find an art style that is simple, fast to make and decent looking, or simply team up with an artist, but try not to lose sleep worrying about graphics. At the end of the day, it's the gameplay that matters, as cliché as it sounds.

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I played Rogue Squadron on the N64 but was impressed that it ran at a smooth 60fps on it (must have to do with the Expansion Pak). I prefer the more arcadey space games like that one, or Strike Suit Zero, over the deep simulations.


Space combat is something that looks pretty easy to approach on the surface. IMO designing cool spaceships are easier than designing good looking characters. But I echo what AFS is saying about art style. SSZ for example has some striking backgrounds all done with artistic liberties to be memorable to the player. In contrast, I hate the default skyboxes for Space Engineers. It's an interesting game mechanics wise but the gray-ish green backgrounds look blah.


I think one of the bigger challenges would be getting the controls tight. That makes all the difference for having a enjoyable game. XNA has a spaceship tutorial for example, but its controls felt too loosey goosey so you had to tweak variables in the ship and camera movement for it to feel much better.

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Oh, absolutely. I'm not going to try to say that space combat games are in any way easy to make, it's just that they're much more in the realm of something I can do, given my own personal strengths and weaknesses.


My last project, a platformer, had to have tight controls as well, along with good level design and story and art and animation and a ton of other things to be considered "decent". While making a space game in general is hard in its own, I feel like the barrier to making a decent game is, while different, probably easier than making a decent platformer. Now, that may just be because of the number of platformers out there in comparison to the number of space combat games, but from my point of view, it seems like a good guesstimate of difficulty.


Thanks for the responses though! Much appreciated!

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