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Starting Something You Can Finish

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I don't want to veer your thread off-topic but your title, "Start Something You Can Finish", should in my opinion be followed with, "but make something you want to play".

People new to game construction start out with their uber-idea of remaking their favorite MMO or FPS, (but with lasers and free health care!), and collapse under the complexity, and then get told to "Start Something You Can Finish"

Only to discover that they lack the drive and willpower to soldier through a 3D version of pong or breakout.

The advice I would give would be design your game, then cut features mercilessly, then implement the skeleton that is left over.

Focus(like your laser beam idea) on building an executable that embodies the strictest core interpretation of your idea.

You want a deliverable, you want to be able to email it to testers and friends. You want it to compile and to function. Not just on some milestone day in the unforseeable, and thus un-accountable future. You want an executable at the end of your first coding session.

When someone says to you, "I hear you're making a game" you want to be able to hand them a disk. "It's not flashy yet but you can get the gist of it when you play it."

Isolate your game play, get it functional ASAP, and then be prepared to iterate.


You can always add in the laser beams once you have something you can ship, even if shipping means a zip file and outlook express.

If you have a hard time getting jacked up over a frogger clone it doesn't mean you don't have what it takes, it means you're not a fan of frogger, and should probably not be making a clone of it.

With the current state of free or nearly free game engines you can be proto-typing on Day 1.

Start something you can finish but make something you want to play.

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Quote:
Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom
Start something you can finish but make something you want to play.


Beautifully said.

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Quote:
Dreddnafious Maelstrom

I don't want to veer your thread off-topic but your title, "Start Something You Can Finish", should in my opinion be followed with, "but make something you want to play".


The converse is: "play games you could have written yourself". No point playing the FPS of the month.

A corollary: "make games that are at least somewhat playable very early in the project". It's an enormous boost to motivation to be able to fire up the prototype and have a bit of fun rather than grind code for months.

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Some great points already.

I'll add: Get something happening on the screen. (Sort of like getting an executable on first session, but more general and applicable to later dev stages too.) This is naturally from a programmer perspective, I doubt it's very useful in design process by definition. ;-)

Also, depending on the person you are, working with someone else might be a good booster to motivation.

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