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Tutorial Doctor

Any Game Makers Here?

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So, I modeled my level and characters. I did the UV unwrapping. I textured some of the stuff. I added lights and cameras. Then I started programming. I got it working. I have the animations going. Now it is time for the AI and the objectives and such. So I finished all of that stuff, and it is all working fine (no bugs)...

 

BUT I STILL HAVEN"T MADE A GAME!

 

When I look through the posts here, I see a lot of discussion on how to do this technical thing, or that technical thing. I see people want to make a cool MMORPG or a cool FPS. But I don't see much talk on making games. I mean, I do see posts on how to solve this programming issue, and use that algorithm, but I don't see many game makers. 

 

(Excuse me for sounding so pessimistic) 

 

I figure a lot of people just want to make those formulaic games because you don't have to know anything about game theory or anything. Most people play FPS anyhow. 

 

To me a game maker is like the person who made UNO, or the person who made CHESS. I mean, they actually made a game. Unique games at that. 

 

So I am going to change my answers to beginners who want to learn how to make games. I am not going to tell them to get this engine or that engine. I am not going to tell them how to learn this programming language or that programming language first. 

 

Making games is more than just scripting some character to do this motion when that key is pressed. To actually create a game I think that game theory and game mechanics should be understood first. Then you can layer your cool ideas on top of solid mechanics. 

 

All of the technical stuff is just busy work to bring a game into fruition. I would rather bypass all the programming and modeling and stuff and just have my game pop out of a microwave oven so that I can play it ASAP. 

 

In fact, I would rather the whole technical process be skipped (wouldn't we all)? 

 

Talk Game Theory and Game Mechanics, and then you are talking game design. 

 

So, I put my game on hold, because I don't know anything about making games. 

 

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All of the technical stuff is just busy work to bring a game into fruition. I would rather bypass all the programming and modeling and stuff and just have my game pop out of a microwave oven so that I can play it ASAP. 
 
In fact, I would rather the whole technical process be skipped (wouldn't we all)? 
 
Talk Game Theory and Game Mechanics, and then you are talking game design

 

I don't see many posters here who are interested in just discussing game mechanics or other design features. I do see a large number of people who want to make their specific dream game, right now, no matter how much thought they've given to the actual design of it. There's nothing wrong with that on a public forum, but until they start developing the skills needed to produce the game it's all just fluff and no amount of design discussion will get them even a single step closer to what they want. Maybe your approach is different from what I'm interpreting it to be, but I personally think it would be kind of cruel to prod people into developing their designs into the greatest concepts ever just to know that, at the end of all that, they still won't be able to even begin to make it.

 

I do see lots of suggestions that people with nothing beyond a fleshed-out game design try prototyping with board games or pen-and-paper games, which sounds like it would fit pretty well with what you're advocating. But the vast majority of the "I want to make a game!!!" posters here seem extremely resistant to that. Whatever their individual reasons, they want a video game, generally at a level that might as well be a AAA title given how much they can actually do to produce it. If it's not a step that moves them an inch closer to a playable video game, they won't even pretend to consider it.

 

Maybe you'll have better luck. But I personally see all too many people come here already with "game ideas" who don't care about, or intend to develop, programming skills or other practical game-making skills at all. Unfortunately, discussion of game design and mechanics doesn't seem to interest them much either. It's just not what most beginners seem to come here for.

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I'm baffled by how there are characters to model or AI to program if there isn't a game design.  There's got to be at least fragments of a design there, even if it's all subconsciously chosen instead of consciously evaluated with theory.

 

Game design theory can get really deep and fascinating; it's a topic I love, and love to talk about.  But the heart of game design is always going to be the emotional thought "Wouldn't it be cool if...?"  This is true for any piece of art or entertainment that anyone is inspired and driven to create.  It may not require any original mechanics to accomplish that "wouldn't it be cool if...?"  A lot more of the creative process is about blending and remixing things we've encountered than creating anything unrelated to any of our experiences.  The human mind does a lot better at reacting to prompts or other input than it does at generating ideas in a vacuum or onto a blank page.

Edited by sunandshadow

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When I look through the posts here, I see a lot of discussion on how to do this technical thing, or that technical thing. I see people want to make a cool MMORPG or a cool FPS. But I don't see much talk on making games.

 

Keep on reading then.

There are some talented game designers around here.

That being said, most developers have their own idea of what game they are doing, and they only bring very specific problems to get suggestions. Thus, you may not read much about the general game idea, but that may be because they have a strong idea already in motion and just need to fix very specific corner cases.

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1. To me a game maker is like the person who made UNO, or the person who made CHESS.
2. When I look through the posts here, I see a lot of discussion on how to do this technical thing

 
1. That's a game designer. Game "maker" could be more broadly inclusive, to include anyone involved in the making of games (programmers, artists, producers, etc.).
2. When you say "here," do you mean gamedev.net overall? Because there aren't a lot of such technical discussions here in the game design forum. Maybe your post was moved here from some other forum? Edited by Tom Sloper

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I think you are seeing a lot of technical questions because they are "harder" and game design is "easier."  Now I put those in quotes for a reason because excellent game design is difficult but the overall act of game design is not.  EVERYONE has ideas for a great game.  It's easy.  What is HARD is making those ideas a reality.  Ask anyone to come up with an idea for a video game and they can.  Ask anyone to program an AI and most people CANNOT.  People ask technical questions because they are the hardest to figure out on your own.  Game design questions are usually answered by individual thought and reflection.

Edited by RedBaron5

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I don't think of game design as having ideas. In fact, most successful game designers I've seen aren't the ones with the big ideas. Rather, it's really a matter of saying YES/NO to these ideas, and shaping the product accordingly so that it remains coherent.

Tossing feature ideas around is easy, but defining the minimum viable product (MVP) is significantly harder. Likewise, defining extra features not by "how cool they sound" but by "which objectives they meet" requires more thought/skills.

 

I tend to think that game design is harder, because, as a developer, when the requirements are clear, it doesn't take that long to figure out how we're going to architecture the work (by not that long, I mean, relative to the project's scope obviously).

Game design is much more subjective and requires to own a vision, and sell the idea. It is cross-functional and requires many different skillsets.

As a matter of fact, most of the problems developers tend to have comes from unclear design.

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In fact, I would rather the whole technical process be skipped (wouldn't we all)?

Talk Game Theory and Game Mechanics, and then you are talking game design.

 

It's become apparent to me that some of the top experts in our community have skills related to 3D graphics programming. The sub-forums accommodate the number of people who encounter specific problems and it also represents how focused the community is on each topic. Anything specific would look better in the most specific sub-forum.

 

If you have an idea that would require a dynamic understanding of how video games work to respond to it goes here, I've seen plenty of people talk about what you're looking for here.

 

Actual games go here or indies sub-forum. I'm actually not too sure about this, I should take a closer look. It seems like this wouldn't be a very good place to actually advertise a completed game, it's not that easy to find. I had to look around a while to find gamedev.net in the first place.

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Yeah, not a lot of technical questions in the Game Design portion of the forum.  And the reason a lot of technical questions get asked is because they are relatable.  Just about all game engines have some form of lights, textures, physics.  Once you get to the nitty gritty implementation of a game, the code gets a lot more specific, so asking the right questions and getting the right answers gets a lot harder.

 

Though another sad thing, is that game designers often jealously guard their designs, afraid of poaching and stealing.  

 

Other times, its because for small games, the designs are often organic and changing.  One internal company game jam I did, the initial concept, and the final product at the end of the jam ended up very different.  We had to work with the restraints and roadblocks we encountered, and we made a fun game at the end of it.

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An afterthought.

1. To me a game maker is like the person who made UNO, or the person who made CHESS.

 
1. That's a game designer. Game "maker" could be more broadly inclusive, to include anyone involved in the making of games (programmers, artists, producers, etc.).


Or did you (Tutorial Dr.) actually mean by "game maker" someone who designs board games and card games rather than electronic games?
...Not quite sure what was the point of your original post... A lot of us here have made games, or are making games.

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