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nicksaiz65

Can I do this by myself?

9 posts in this topic

Hi, guys. I'm programming a level player for a fairly large project I am working on now. It is a 2D platformer, which I want to be about 5 hours long in the end. Right now, I am working on making some early level prototypes, and testing out a few simple mechanics. Once I finish the game, which I want to do in about a year, I want to sell it. I am 100% sure that I can program this game all the way through. However, the thing I am worried about is design. I'm a noob at game design, and even though I've read some articles on it, I'm really inexperienced(as in I've never done it before.) Do you guys think I could design a [i]high quality[/i] game given my skills? If not, what should I do? Also, do you think its feasible to be able to make money off this, with this being my first game? I could really use some cash [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img] And if so, where should I look/what should I do to sell it? I was thinking Steam. Thanks for the input in advance.
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[quote name='nicksaiz65' timestamp='1355294510' post='5009720']
Do you guys think I could design a high quality game given my skills?
[/quote]No. Sorry dude but besides the code you must build artwork.
From personal experience I can tell you can have the most awesome logic in the world. If the artwork is sub-par, you won't be able to impress anyone unless they're interested in getting their hands dirty. The key problem here is "high quality". Quality polishing easily takes man-months by itself.

[quote name='nicksaiz65' timestamp='1355294510' post='5009720']
Also, do you think its feasible to be able to make money off this, with this being my first game?[/quote]It's not impossible but it's extremely unlikely. Don't take it for granted. I've seen something really basic on greenlight but again, this was so basic I wouldn't consider it high-quality.
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Not if you continue the way you are.

You seem to only want to make this game if it'd be successful, if it'd make money. That is not a way to sustain drive and you will quit 2 months in when it gets tough. LEARN about game design, no one is stopping you. How do you gain experience? You do it. You do not HAVE skills currently as you do not have experience, but that doesn't mean you can't make a high quality game. And most of all, make a game because you're passionate about the design, not making money. The cold hard truth is that most people make nothing off of their video games.


Grab a few art books, design books, modeling books, programming books and get to work. Just because you do programming doesn't mean you can't learn other skills related to game making. High quality means well rounded, if you only know one aspect then you will NOT achieve your goal. Learn all the skills you need and refine them - it's the difference of being a one trick programmer into what every employer desires. Edited by jdturner11
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[quote name='nicksaiz65' timestamp='1355294510' post='5009720']
Also, do you think its feasible to be able to make money off this, with this being my first game?
[/quote]

I believe it is safe to say that nobody has ever made any money off the first game they've made (not including the rare college grad that is able to get a job at a game dev without any existing game projects under his belt). The vast majority haven't even made money on the first few games they've made.

Bottom line is, you need a substantial amount of experience to be able to make a game of high enough quality that other people will be willing to pay to play it. And unless you are some sort of game development savant, that experience takes years of commitment to obtain.
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It should probably be mentioned that your ability to make money off of a game you create will probably have less to do with your programming and art skills and a lot more to do with your marketing and sales ability. Having a high quality product does not automatically equate to sales. Having a lower quality product does not mean you can't make sales.

That may be over simplifying it a bit though so I'll add that you should probably consider sales and marketing as a full time job just as you would programming or art development.

Other than that general advice, I know nothing of sales or marketing so I can't really point you in the right direction.
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A few good points have been made here already but I'll throw a little bit of my personal experience to give you an idea.
Like others have said, do not focus on success in terms of it making money. Completing a large project is a *HUGE* success in and of itself.
Making money in the indie games market right now is largely hit or miss, it may seem contrary to the 'indie' moniker but the only really successful ones today have a pretty large marketing budget (for 'indies') of about 30k-100k.
On the personal side, I had big eyes when I set out to make my first game and it was a rousing failure and a serious eye opener into just how much work goes into a making a game. As Krohm said, artwork is no small task, and as an engineer I found it personally one of the most daunting tasks. But I really don't want any of this to discourage you, pretty much everyone on this board at one point or another started a game, probably by themselves, and whether they finished it or not learned a ton along the way.

Poigahn put it really well: "..don't give up."
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So I'll interject my opinion, and I hope not to offend you; I'm just giving my perspective. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

From my understanding of what you wrote, you're building up an engine and may or may not have an idea of what you want and you want to know that if; without any real practice, you can build a polished enough game to sell?

My initial response is no and I'll tell you why.

I don't think you should be looking to make a profit before you even know if your game is fun or not.

A major production with hundreds of employees and an army of advertising professionals can't guarantee profit and neither can an indie developer working on their own. You can get an idea of what could sell, but you'll never know if your game will sell one copy, let alone make a profit.

But aside from that, I think the biggest problem you'll face is being compelled to finish a project that you're looking at to make some money instead of having a deeper investment in completing your game.

In my humble opinion, I think you need to think more about what you can do for your game and less what your game can do for you.
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[quote name='nicksaiz65' timestamp='1355294510' post='5009720']
1. Do you guys think I could design a [i]high quality[/i] game given my skills? If not, what should I do?
2. Also, do you think its feasible to be able to make money off this, with this being my first game? I could really use some cash [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
3. And if so, where should I look/what should I do to sell it? I was thinking Steam.
[/quote]

1. This question has been addressed sufficiently by previous responders.
2. This is not a Game Design question. This forum is for Game Design questions. You'll get better answers to questions about making money in the Business And Law forum. Is it feasible? Probably not. Is it possible? Definitely yes. Is it likely? No.
3. You really ought to take this question to the Business And Law forum (after you've read the other posts on the same question there).
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My advice.  Make a simple prototype.  SIMPLE.

Once done in a few months, have some people play test it and get feedback.  Cut the stuff they say they didn't like.  Add more of the stuff they enjoyed.  Be sure to get a diverse cross selection of test players and you'll be fine.

Also, play some of the more successful platformers, especially the indie ones.  Figure out what made them succeed.  I recommend "Knytt Stories" and  "An Untitled Story".  And "Cave Story".  Pretty much anything "... Story"  But definitely don't limit yourself to these titles.  There are tons to choose from.

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