• entries
    7
  • comments
    52
  • views
    22086

?) I can't finish anything

Sign in to follow this  
AFS

1535 views

It goes like this:

1) Have an idea for a game.
2) Daydream about said idea for days.
3) Try to make the game for a few months.
4) Slowly lose interest.
5) Abandon the project.
6) Do nothing gamedev related for a few months.
7) Came up with a new, simpler idea for a game.
8) Go back to point 2.

It has been three years, with five games that I haven't finished. Remember the little platformer I was making? (The one with the sepia tone, you can find screenies on previous entries). Yup, even that game, as simple and short as it was supposed to be, was abandoned. I just lost interest in it, I can't help it.

I came up with a new idea a few weeks ago, and I already started working on it. Will this be the one that I'll finally complete? Probably not, but I'll make the attempt anyway.

So, what's up with the game, then? Well...

When I was a kid, I had a SNES, my very first console. I had six games: "Super Mario Brothers", "Primal Rage", "Operation Logic Bomb", a racing game about Lamborguinis, an NFL game whose name escapes me from the moment, and "Urban Strike", and loved every single one of them and played them non-stop, even if some of them were never considered good games, or even decent ones. Eight-year-old me didn't care.

All those games were simple enough for me to play them without trouble, except "Urban Strike"... Goddamn it, that freaking game. For the guys that don't know about it, it's a top down game in which you control a helicopter and complete various objectives while managing your ammo, armor and fuel.



I hated it at first, because unlike my other games, this one required following instructions, you just can't shoot everything and win, and I was completely lost because I didn't know english back then. I was stuck in the first level for years... until I discovered that if you pause the game, it shows the map and your objectives. Using a Spanish-English dictionary I managed to follow the instructions and finally, FINALLY, completed the first level. A few weeks later I completed the game, and I loved it.

I wanted to make a little homage to said game (even though the SNES port sucked), which brings me to this new project: a top down shooter where you use helicopters to shoot things (pew pew!), while having somewhat of a plot, no matter how silly.

Some notes about the game:

- Three playable protagonists, each one with its own chopper with different weapons.
- Unlimited ammo, but limited fuel; you need to find fuel around the map.
- Very short game, with five missions: an introduction, then three missions than you can complete in any order, and then the grand finale. Each mission lasts between 3 to 5 minutes.
- Each mission consists of various objectives that you can do in any order (for the most part).
- Each mission has a predetermined character assigned, you can't choose it. The last mission is a special case: you use all three characters at the same time, switching back and forth.
- There's a lot of dialogue in and between missions, shown using little text pop-ups (hopefully they are not distracting while playing!)

Like I said, I have already worked on this for almost a month reusing the code from previous projects (at this point I don't have to write anything). I have made some progress: for instance, a prototype of the first mission is almost done, for now just called "Oasis".

Here's a little animation of one of the characters (for now just called "Green") shooting baddies and using his overpowered secondary weapon

9CCQg4y.gif

The "art" style is based on papercuts and drawings made from kids. Yeah, I know it looks ugly, but I promised myself not to worry about graphics that much. I'll try to improve them as time goes on.

That's it. I have much less free time now, I got out of Uni and now I have a job and I'm a productive member of society (ha!), but I'll try my best to finish this by the end of the year: five months doesn't sound that crazy for something as simple as this, and like I said, I don't have to write code anymore, because the code used in previous projects has everything I need for this game.

Thanks for reading smile.png
Sign in to follow this  


20 Comments


Recommended Comments

Hello there!

 

Hello!

 

1.: It does not look ugly at all! I think you nailed one of the most important thing with it when it comes to graphics; it looks consistent smile.png ! I think it looks fun and has a certain charm. The footage feels like its from a finished game. It is COOL, no need for worries ;).

 

Thank you!

 

I still think that it's ugly, haha, but many thanks for pointing out consistency, I didn't think about that.

 

Like I said, I'll try to improve it as time goes on. The idea is to make it look like it was drawn by a bunch of kids, so it *should* be ugly, just not *that* ugly, you know?

 

- One strong decision to focus on completing a project for once and not focusing too much on the project itself (by that I mean not ignoring the game and design, but completion had to be utmost importance in every decision).
- Reducing scope until I felt, that the expected development time will not be too much and I will not lose interest. After a couple of days of hard-core design and estimation sessions I settled on a two month long spare time project, which became a little more, but due to spending a lot of time upfront on goals and schedules I completed it and took less than two weeks extra more smile.png.

 

Good points.

 

I don't think I have problem with "scope creep" like many do (usually my ideas stay the same and I rarely think about adding stuff) but I do have a problem with focusing on finishing the games: I rarely set deadlines and instead I just work until I feel that it's ready. The problem is that I never feel that it's ready, there's always something to polish or change and I get stuck on silly things, wasting hours because I don't like how the camera moves or because the player character is too big or too small, you know, small things like that.

 

This time I'll try my best to finish the game first and then polish, instead of the other way around. I'll try to make all the five levels as soon as possible and then start worrying about the details.

 

Good luck and most importantly, have fun ;) !!!

 

 

Thanks for the good vibes :)

Share this comment


Link to comment

My recommendation is to use a milestones list and check them off as you go, do NOT erase them. This little trick has helped me with all of my games. When you feel like you haven't done anything, you can look at this list and see how much you have actually achieved thus far. It is very easy to get caught up and feel like you have nothing.

I would recommend reading a journal I made years ago with regards to this very topic.

 

Don't give up, be proud of what you make.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Well, aren't you guys lovely. Thanks for taking the time to post.

 

But this is the thing. When I go to work, I have no choice but to continue the project and stick with the code I have, refactor, fix, bolt stuff on and so on. Hobby projects are defined literally by the fact that I don't have to do them. If I did, they wouldn't be hobby projects.

 

Yep, that's exactly it. Because it's a hobby project, you don't feel pressure to finish it. It's both a blessing and a curse.

 

I, for one, can't imagine myself having a full time job making games, but ironically that seems like the only way for me to actually finish something, haha.

 

But hey, even as a hobby, I think that a factor that really helps finishing something is having an audience. Hearing someone say something like: "man, I can't wait to play this" is a HUGE motivator. When you make the games alone, with the only person aware of its existence being you, it's much easier to abandon the project, nobody will care.

 

On the other hand, I would hate to announce something, keep a group of people excited and then say that I won't finish the project...

 

Maybe one day you'll remain engaged enough to finish something, maybe you won't. As long as you have fun in the process, the hobby projects have served their purpose.

 

Well, I can't say that making games has been 100% pure fun, but the process has been very fulfilling and I started to appreciate games much more, so yeah, I can say that this hobby had a positive influence on me so far, and I plan of keep doing it :)

 

... maybe you also have an attitude problem, I mean this style is unique and awesome, really! smile.png

 

Yeah, I'm not known for having the best attitude at anything, haha, I'm usually very critical about myself (or so I've been told).

 

Thanks for the compliment about the style. Hopefully when I say that "it's ugly" I don't come across as fishing for compliments, it's just that as a programmer I'm very aware of my lack of artistic skills and I understand that a game can't catch the attention of people just by gameplay alone (especially when said game is just another shooter).

 


I think the most important thing is to make conscious decisions about abandoning or continuing projects: Why am I doing project X, why I am losing interest.

If you can answer these and similar questions, the whole not-finishing-business gets a lot less painful since things don’t feel like they went out of hand. And in other cases you might realize that you should have abandoned something earlier or keep working a tiny bit more.

 

 

Good point. Usually when I abandon something it's caused by impulsiveness rather than a conscious decision. I'll keep that in mind.

 

My recommendation is to use a milestones list and check them off as you go, do NOT erase them. This little trick has helped me with all of my games. When you feel like you haven't done anything, you can look at this list and see how much you have actually achieved thus far. It is very easy to get caught up and feel like you have nothing.

I would recommend reading a journal I made years ago with regards to this very topic.

 

Don't give up, be proud of what you make.

 

Oh, funny you say that. In my "main.cpp" file I have a HUGE to-do list (why it is in my main file is another story), but instead of marking stuff as "done", I just delete it to keep the list short. So the problem is that days later I can't remember what milestones I managed to accomplish, and it feels like I didn't make any progress at all.

 

I'll mark them instead of deleting them from now on, thank you.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Same cycle I've been following my whole life.

re: the graphics. I find that style completely awesome. It really takes me back to the days when I was a kid, my friend and I would draw maps on sheets of graph paper taped together and move green army men around. I really, really like that style and I think you should run with it.

Share this comment


Link to comment

 It really takes me back to the days when I was a kid, my friend and I would draw maps on sheets of graph paper taped together and move green army men around. I really, really like that style and I think you should run with it.

 

Oh, man, I thought I was the only one that did that!

 

As a kid, I used to tape together several pieces of paper and draw a city on it and then make races using toy cars, haha. I also remember trying to make a war game like chess but with paper soldiers and a huge paper board. I guess I could say that paper was my computer back then.

 

That's exactly why I choose this style for this game, I'm trying to make a "game within a game", and the "players" are just kids.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Your artwork is really cool, like the style... like others have already said:

 

Also it reminds me of my childhood days where i drawn "games" like this and played this with my fingers only. Bringing those ideas to life are really cool. Keep going!

Share this comment


Link to comment

When I saw your gameplay gif, I was thinking "Wow, that's really slick. It's already starting to look like a real game. It even looks like it's fun." Then I saw you say you thought it was ugly... You're like one of those skinny women complaining about how fat she is. tongue.png In your next post, I'd love it if you could talk about how you accomplished your art style.

Lack of motivation is a common problem. And there are some good posts here on how to stay motivated.It doesn't help that the tool we use to be productive is the same tool we use to goof off. The main thing is, you have to make game development a priority. If you don't, then you'll never finish anything.

 

I think writing journal entries about it is also motivating. Especially when you get several people saying how cool it's looking. I'm so jealous! :)

 

This looks like a game worth finishing. I hope you take the time to do it. If you start to lose interest, send me a message and I'll yell at you until you get back to work.

Share this comment


Link to comment

You're like one of those skinny women complaining about how fat she is. tongue.png

 

Hahaha, sorry about that.

 

Thanks a lot for the compliments about the art style, I honestly didn't expect such a response. While I still think that it's ugly, that doesn't mean that I don't like it: I think that it fits with the game I'm trying to make and it's relatively quick to draw (which, to me, is very, very important!), so I'm definitely keeping it, but I can't help but wonder how it would look at the hands of a real artist, you know? Someone that knows how to choose the right colors, make things really "pop" and stuff like that.

 

But hey, I'm grateful that you guys think that it looks good, it really made my week. That's half the battle, though; now I need to see if you guys like the gameplay tongue.png (but that's something for another day).

 

In your next post, I'd love it if you could talk about how you accomplished your art style.

 

Sure thing, I may talk about it on my next entry (or the following one), but the art style is so simple I don't think the entry will be very long tongue.png

 

If you start to lose interest, send me a message and I'll yell at you until you get back to work.

 

Likewise, if I see you stop working on your turn based sci-fi game I'll write some slightly annoying comments on your journal, so keep it up wink.png

Share this comment


Link to comment

re: the graphics. I find that style completely awesome. It really takes me back to the days when I was a kid, my friend and I would draw maps on sheets of graph paper taped together and move green army men around. I really, really like that style and I think you should run with it.


This! Turn this into a game!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thanks a lot for the compliments about the art style, I honestly didn't expect such a response. While I still think that it's ugly, that doesn't mean that I don't like it: I think that it fits with the game I'm trying to make and it's relatively quick to draw (which, to me, is very, very important!), so I'm definitely keeping it, but I can't help but wonder how it would look at the hands of a real artist, you know? Someone that knows how to choose the right colors, make things really "pop" and stuff like that.


It doesn't look ugly. It looks hand drawn. The concept is unique.

Share this comment


Link to comment
It doesn't look ugly. It looks hand drawn. The concept is unique.

 

Thanks a lot :)

 

 

re: the graphics. I find that style completely awesome. It really takes me back to the days when I was a kid, my friend and I would draw maps on sheets of graph paper taped together and move green army men around. I really, really like that style and I think you should run with it.


This! Turn this into a game!

 

 

Haha, that could be fun.

 

When I first started learning C++ and SFML (three years ago I think), the very first thing I tried was making an RTS. It didn't go very well, obviously, but I managed to make a very buggy implementation of the A-Star algorithm, so at least I could select some units and move them using the right click. It crashed a lot, though.

 

I really want to make an RTS eventually (it's one of my favorite genres). A paper RTS with toy soldiers would be interesting.

Share this comment


Link to comment

When I first started learning C++ and SFML (three years ago I think), the very first thing I tried was making an RTS. It didn't go very well, obviously, but I managed to make a very buggy implementation of the A-Star algorithm, so at least I could select some units and move them using the right click. It crashed a lot, though.
 
I really want to make an RTS eventually (it's one of my favorite genres). A paper RTS with toy soldiers would be interesting.


There was an old arcade game, I cannot remember the name now, where you piloted an aircraft over vertically scrolling levels and destroyed as many enemies as you could. The goal was to make it to the end of the level. It wasn't an RTS and it looked very similar in design to what you showed in the GIF. Do something like that. An RTS adds unnecessary complication to what would otherwise be a simple and extremely fun game!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now