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how many people have done this...

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you think of a game idea and you think its going to be the best game to ever touch the eyes of mankind, then you get into and you think 'this looks stupid...'. just wondering, because im seeing my game being good. ive come up with a decent story, nice little plot twist, adding 'fun' elements to the game, the coding is coming along, but imjust wondering how many others have had this thought and realized its not as fun as the mind made it seem. hehe

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oh no no. im not here pitching my idea, im just wondering how many others have gone down the road :P. im thinking to myself ive got a good idea, but then again, im not pro at game design. so im just wondering if anyone else has done that before. :P

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One way to tell whether or not you are progressing effectively in your game's development, is to have a somewhat patient non-technical computer-using relative play your game. See how far they get. If they ask a lot of questions, get stuck quickly, or find the game frustrating, then try to learn from their method of thinking.

It's easy to see the solution when you are its writer, so get someone else's take on it!

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I'm currently working on the finishing touches of a not-so-small Criminal Puzzle/Adventure game based on a Daily TV series here in Germany.

It's turned out pretty neat, but it's by far not as much fun as I Imagined it to be during the design stages. People do give me positive feedback, though.

Lets see how it fares... Official Release is in 3 Weeks.

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I've had plenty of ideas die in the planning committee, but that's not such a big deal for me. My big project is a generic sprite engine so I can rapidly prototype new games (and yes, I know about Flash already). Putting a new idea together with basic graphics doesn't take too long.

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As a mapper I can confirm the importance of playtesting. You will often know exactly how to play, you grew into your game. While a new player may experience a steep learning curve, or interpret certain rules differently than you expected. He or she may not even find it very fun to play, even while you had fun creating it.

Even better would be to have multiple people playtest your game, to gather multiple points of views. Not every gamer is the same and one person may absolutely like the action aspect of your game while another delves into the puzzling thing. Of course it's good to know the general public you're aiming at, but getting as much input as possible is a great way to make your game (or level, or whatever) appeal to a varied public rather than to a specific subgroup or person only.

I'd also recommend playtesting as early as possible. You can delve into details later once you've figured out the structure. Otherwise you'll be creating details that will be removed or changed later on anyway.

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as Captain P said, early playtesting will tell you.

If possible, play a mock game even before you start coding. Make it a board game, or on paper or with tiny steel soldiers. It's silly but will give you important insight... make sure to reproduce every element of your design for example if you are making a top-down RPG and you gotta click for every attack, tap the head of the steel soldier for each attack... have someone do the numbers and read them for you as you tap.

I think you get the idea :)
this is only useful for untested concepts btw, so there's no need to mock *the whole game*, only the bits you need to find out if they're fun or if they work together.

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I think the mockup is a good idea. I often sketch out my levels first and throw a quick'n'ugly thing together to get an idea of the gameplay flow, but with programming a simple version of a game takes much more time than it takes me to slap together a few brushes.

I've just started doing this on paper after reading your post, Madster, and it almost immediatly gave me another idea to ease the GUI for my game idea... Sketching and playing mocks (even playing them in your head) works. It doesn't substitute the real testing later on but it's a good way to save time and focus your efforts on things that are more likely to work. :)

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I've done that a couple times where I go "Wouldn't game X be great?" Then after thinking out some details, I realize that game X is just like any other game out there but with one, rather gimicky, idea.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Oh yes, all the games I made suck, but I had fun making them. I only made about 5 simple games though.

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I remember reading that most designers will second-guess themselves during the development of a game. And the advice given was to keep at it, and don't let yourself lose faith in your vision. I would guess that's probably good advice too, since you don't come away with anything if you don't finish the game, and you will likely regret it later.

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I spent about a year working on this one idea I had for a game. Several times I'd take a look at it and think, this is crap. Usually those moments coincided with being stuck on something or other unpleseantness that life would dish out. The opposite would happen too though far less frequently. The project got forgotten about as the need to pay bills took priority. Last I looked at it was a couple months ago and I thought, "This isn't that bad. I should really take the time to finish it up." At the rate I'm going I probably never will though.

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