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Final Fantasy VI game - chronological order of building & being challenged by the community

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I want to make a Final Fantasy VI style game. Here was the original thread in Game Design: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/648755-wasting-potential-and-seeking-cloning/

Okay, here is what I want:

I want opinions on the chronological order in which I should build the game. For example, the order of art, programming, etc. I learned something like this in college but what I learned was a complex answer and a complex method. I'm looking for a simpler answer and a simpler method, which I'm sure I can find here since people tend not to beat around the bush too much here :).

I also wanted to be challenged by the community. I want you to throw out some challenges for this game. Something more practical than "Make it in C++ and make your own engine." I planned on using Scirra Construct 2 for this game because it's easy. However, you can offer me up any challenge you want to. Like for example, going back to the C++ idea, if you were to say, "I challenge you to use C++ and x engine", that's a much better challenge, whether or not I do it. You can challenge me in art, programming, design, etc., if you so desire.

Thanks :).

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Hi,

 

I'm not sure how developed your skills are but if you're starting out I would strongly advise you against making things harder than they need to be. Sure, a challenge is a great way of learning new things but it can also be very demotivating to get stuck on something you only half understand. I made my little game I'm working on "the hard way" and I've been at it for a year and a half now - In the end I'm glad I did but I wouldn't want to go down that road again any time soon.

 

As for the order of building: I lean towards figuring out how the game will look (atmosphere and theme e.g. "claustrophobic scifi platformer" or "funny steampunk adventure") before you start doing anything. However, the art is the last thing that actually gets made for two reasons: a) I am primarily a programmer b) during the process of making the game things may be taken out or put in and I don't want to spend time on art I'm just going to throw away.

Ofcourse, in an actual company these things would be planned ahead and developed simultaneously.

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I believe you should start with figuring out the game mechanics - first on paper, then with prototyping. You should figure out how you want to handle equipment stats, levelling up, spells, damage calculations, etc. Even more importantly, you need to figure out how you want to handle combat itself. Do you want to use the ATB system just like in FFVI, or do you want to take your own twist on it?

 

Next, you should think of what kind of story you want to tell. Most likely a large scale epic, but you will also need to think of the themes you want to explore. Afterwards you should figure out the overall progression of the game, in terms of story development, area exploration, and character development. Map out all of the important events first and fill in the smaller details later. Since combat is central to these kinds of games, remember to weave important battles into the story development.

 

You begin programming as soon as you start prototyping the game mechanics, and you continue to program throughout. Work out all of your ideas about the game mechanics, story, and characters on paper first - in fact, get a sketchbook going. I would advise against progressing the content in the code until you're fairly certain of your decisions. Art, sound, and music should come last. In the meantime you can use placeholders for all of those things.

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Hi,

I'm not sure how developed your skills are but if you're starting out I would strongly advise you against making things harder than they need to be. Sure, a challenge is a great way of learning new things but it can also be very demotivating to get stuck on something you only half understand. I made my little game I'm working on "the hard way" and I've been at it for a year and a half now - In the end I'm glad I did but I wouldn't want to go down that road again any time soon.

As for the order of building: I lean towards figuring out how the game will look (atmosphere and theme e.g. "claustrophobic scifi platformer" or "funny steampunk adventure") before you start doing anything. However, the art is the last thing that actually gets made for two reasons: a) I am primarily a programmer b) during the process of making the game things may be taken out or put in and I don't want to spend time on art I'm just going to throw away.
Ofcourse, in an actual company these things would be planned ahead and developed simultaneously.

Hi.

I've been using programs like Game Maker and Scirra Construct 2 for a combined total of 13 years. Right now, I can probably make something between Pong and 2D Mario in the common languages with some references and a bit of reading. And I learn a bit quicker because I know some stuff :).

I recommend you try this game of mine for focus on what I might be capable of: http://games.softpedia.com/get/Freeware-Games/Block-Critter.shtml

Personally I think I'm capable of more if problems don't get in the way :). By the way, what I linked is a Construct 2 game.

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Note that we are talking about a game that has 100+ hours of content in it. Making a game even remotely resembling FFVI in features, art, story is a real challenge and could be consider too ambitious for a project in almost all cases. After weeks, months, quarters the further challenges you invited won't be remembered by anybody else than yourself and are not so much "for fun" anymore.

 

Regarding the order of things I have experience in similar task and my advice is not to try to plan the schedule too accurately in advance. You'll probably find yourself doing it in little pieces here and there rather than taking the task as straight-forward as it seems on paper. It doesn't make sense to stare at lines of code and move different colored blank squares for 4 months and then start painting all the pixel art in one huge go, then start planning the area layouts. You'll most likely want variance in your tasks and get to a phase where you have most core mechanics working such as 1-2 characters, a starting city/area that you can use to try and develop features, an "open world" system with fights etc. You probably won't do audio at all before you have an alpha version.

 

Everything will flow with your mood. There will be drastic changes, you will redo features, you will redo art and rewrite dialogue, cutscenes, story, but little by little things start to freeze because changing them would be too much work smile.png

Edited by ShadowFlar3

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Note that we are talking about a game that has 100+ hours of content in it. Making a game even remotely resembling FFVI in features, art, story is a real challenge and could be consider too ambitious for a project in almost all cases. After weeks, months, quarters the further challenges you invited won't be remembered by anybody else than yourself and are not so much "for fun" anymore.
 
Regarding the order of things I have experience in similar task and my advice is not to try to plan the schedule too accurately in advance. You'll probably find yourself doing it in little pieces here and there rather than taking the task as straight-forward as it seems on paper. It doesn't make sense to stare at lines of code and move different colored blank squares for 4 months and then start painting all the pixel art in one huge go, then start planning the area layouts. You'll most likely want variance in your tasks and get to a phase where you have most core mechanics working such as 1-2 characters, a starting city/area that you can use to try and develop features, an "open world" system with fights etc. You probably won't do audio at all before you have an alpha version.
 
Everything will flow with your mood. There will be drastic changes, you will redo features, you will redo art and rewrite dialogue, cutscenes, story, but little by little things start to freeze because changing them would be too much work :)


My original project was going to be a cow game similar to Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) but with modern graphics. I think making it would have been harder than this new idea, Final Fantasy VI, a SNES game. Final Fantasy VI is, 25 hours long if I remember right. I agree that it is a lot of gameplay. We'll see though.

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I think making it would have been harder than this new idea, Final Fantasy VI, a SNES game. Final Fantasy VI is, 25 hours long if I remember right. I agree that it is a lot of gameplay. We'll see though.

 

 

You can complete the game in 25 hours or a bit less but with sidequests and additional bosses, areas, collectible items etc the game offers content for more than 100 hours and some people have their save files clock even considerably more. The total amount of work translates to even more because FFVI has branching story with multiple options throughout the game which increase replay value.

 

In my opinion all of that is part of the assumption that people have when you flash the FF card around.

Edited by ShadowFlar3

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In my opinion all of that is part of the assumption that people have when you flash the FF card around.


But it's not like I'm saying, "Hi, I'm new. I want to make a MMORPG!" in which case, rather than help with advice, people have to tell me not to do it. Final Fantasy VI is an ambitious project, but not for a college student studying Game Development (My major is art but I have a lot of other courses) who has at least a couple of years experience making games. Which I kind of have a lot more.

I suggest playing the game I made, that I linked to. My inspiration for it was kind of WarioWare. I'd say I did a pretty good job at it.

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With all due respect, good faith and benefit of the doubt I will give to you,

 

 Producer 

Hironobu Sakaguchi

Directors 
Yoshinori Kitase 
Hiroyuki Itou

Main Programmers 
Ken Narita 
Kiyoshi Yoshii

Graphic Directors 
Tetsuya Takahashi 
Kazuko Shibuya 
Hideo Minaba 
Tetsuya Nomura

Music 
Nobuo Uematsu

Image Designer 
Yoshitaka Amano

Battle Planners 
Yasuyuki Hasabe 
Akiyoshi Oota

Field Planners 
Yoshihiko Maekawa 
Keita Etoh 
Satoru Tsuji 
Hidetoshi Kezuka

Event Planners 
Tsuka Fujita 
Keisuke Matsuhara

Effect Programmers 
Hiroshi Harata 
Satoshi Ogata

Battle Programmer 
Akihero Yamaguchi

Sound Programmer 
Minoru Akao

Effect Graphic Designer 
Hirokatsu Sasaki

Field Graphic Designers 
Takahara Matsuo 
Yusuke Naora 
Nobuyuki Ikeda 
Tomoe Inazawa 
Kaori Tanaka 
Takamichi Shibuya 
Shinichirou Hamaska 
Akiyoshi Masuda

Monster Graphic Designer 
Hitoshi Sasaki

Object Graphic Designer 
Kazuhiro Ohkawa

Sound Engineer 
Eiji Nakamura

 

>

 

 a college student studying Game Development (My major is art but I have a lot of other courses) who has at least a couple of years experience making games.

 

FFVI was done by a development team consisting of experienced professionals working on it for their living.

 

It's totally okay for you to try it, by all means. But it is risky and you shouldn't probably publicly invite additional challenge that could be viewed further ridiculing your goal. Remember that while interacting with the community it is wise to stay humble, as always :)

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With all due respect, good faith and benefit of the doubt I will give to you,
 

 Producer[font='Open Sans', Helvetica, Arial, 'DejaVu Sans Condensed', FreeSans, sans-serif] [/font]
Hironobu Sakaguchi
Directors 
Yoshinori Kitase 
Hiroyuki Itou
Main Programmers 
Ken Narita 
Kiyoshi Yoshii
Graphic Directors 
Tetsuya Takahashi 
Kazuko Shibuya 
Hideo Minaba 
Tetsuya Nomura
Music 
Nobuo Uematsu
Image Designer 
Yoshitaka Amano
Battle Planners 
Yasuyuki Hasabe 
Akiyoshi Oota
Field Planners 
Yoshihiko Maekawa 
Keita Etoh 
Satoru Tsuji 
Hidetoshi Kezuka
Event Planners 
Tsuka Fujita 
Keisuke Matsuhara
Effect Programmers 
Hiroshi Harata 
Satoshi Ogata
Battle Programmer 
Akihero Yamaguchi
Sound Programmer 
Minoru Akao
Effect Graphic Designer 
Hirokatsu Sasaki
Field Graphic Designers 
Takahara Matsuo 
Yusuke Naora 
Nobuyuki Ikeda 
Tomoe Inazawa 
Kaori Tanaka 
Takamichi Shibuya 
Shinichirou Hamaska 
Akiyoshi Masuda
Monster Graphic Designer 
Hitoshi Sasaki
Object Graphic Designer 
Kazuhiro Ohkawa
Sound Engineer 
Eiji Nakamura

 
>
 

 [font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]a college student studying Game Development (My major is art but I have a lot of other courses) who has at least a couple of years experience making games.[/font]

 
FFVI was done by a development team consisting of experienced professionals working on it for their living.
 
It's totally okay for you to try it, by all means. But it is risky and you shouldn't probably publicly invite additional challenge that could be viewed further ridiculing your goal. Remember that while interacting with the community it is wise to stay humble, as always :)

People in modern days can actually make many SNES or Genesis games. A single person can make a 2D Mario or even something like Super Metroid. Part of it is improvements in software, most likely, but the other element seems to just be magic.

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