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lougv22

Is it possible to finish a game on nights and weekends, while working a full-time job?

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@Orymus,

 

By decent I mean a game of quality that is good enough for it to be released on something like Steam (most likely). I am not shooting for consoles or mobiles, just PC, as it seems the easiest to publish a game on. The scope of the game is not too large, I think. It's basically a 3D fighting/action-adventure (as in, you walk around the environment, talk to some NPCs, fight some baddies, and eventually there are some harder, boss-type, battles) with 2-3 levels. As stated above, I use Mixamo Fuse for the animated 3D models which makes it very easy and much faster (not to mention cheaper) than hiring a 3D artist.

 

To answer your last question, it's not a criterion for me for the game to be profitable. I am not counting on any potential income from it to pay my bills, etc. At this point I plan to keep my day, bill paying, job. So basically, I just want to finish the game, have it released on a PC, and if somebody buys it, that's fine. If not, that's fine too. I look at it more as an artistic venture than a business one. I want to implement my vision for a game and put it out there and see what people think. Making any profit from it would be a secondary bonus.

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@Orymus,

 

By decent I mean a game of quality that is good enough for it to be released on something like Steam (most likely). I am not shooting for consoles or mobiles, just PC, as it seems the easiest to publish a game on. The scope of the game is not too large, I think. It's basically a 3D fighting/action-adventure (as in, you walk around the environment, talk to some NPCs, fight some baddies, and eventually there are some harder, boss-type, battles) with 2-3 levels. As stated above, I use Mixamo Fuse for the animated 3D models which makes it very easy and much faster (not to mention cheaper) than hiring a 3D artist.

 

To answer your last question, it's not a criterion for me for the game to be profitable. I am not counting on any potential income from it to pay my bills, etc. At this point I plan to keep my day, bill paying, job. So basically, I just want to finish the game, have it released on a PC, and if somebody buys it, that's fine. If not, that's fine too. I look at it more as an artistic venture than a business one. I want to implement my vision for a game and put it out there and see what people think. Making any profit from it would be a secondary bonus.

 

Hey, from your answer up there, why are you even asking if it is possible?

 

If its just a hobby for now, forget about what is possible or not. Find out yourself!

 

 

To make this post maybe a little bit more helpful:

 

From what you write, that sounds quite doable... I never really used Fuse, but I know Mixamo (tried their online service way back), so I am sure they can deliver. IF these character models will then be unique enough to still look interesting is something I would question, so you certainly might need to invest some more down the line to make sure your mixamo characters fit in with your game, either time or money to create or buy the needed props and outfits, hair and body parts. Even so, with the animation and rigging taken care of, you are right, a good portion of the character 3D modelling woes are gone.

 

There is still a very good chance you completly underestimate the amount of work the level design for your game is... if your action-adventure has at least a normal length, that is an awful lot of content needed. You might be able to buy most of the models (though for a large world with many different zones, you will need a lot of different models, or you need to be good with modifying the models you bought).... still, creating the levels from all that will take quite some time, not to mention scripting events, enemies, coming up with a story and the dialog system, and so on...

 

 

But in the end, nothing of it sounds really like uncharted waters. You will most probably find help without problems online if you get stuck. So yes, very doable until releasing the game...

 

Then you have to manage to get on Steam, which is more a marketing and community building feat. Others have managed it before, so not out of reach clearly, though different skills are needed for that.

 

 

So if you have a day job that pays the bills, and are not too fussed about being successfull, or how long it takes to release it... just do it! Give it a try... worst that can happen is you give up on this game idea of yours after a year, having learned a lot, most importantly that Indie dev-ing is not for you. Which is something that nobody can tell you, you will have to try out yourself.

 

And even if you do not manage to release this game in a sensible time, maybe continuing building it is still fun 5 years down the line, maybe you start a new game project after a year that IS successfull... as long as you have a blast along the way, why not?

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I did it, although it's an android games and decent is a matter of perspective.

Working on it on week-ends and coding it in native language, beside my full-time contract.

It should be even more possible now since I switched to unity. So, go for it men, and create something awesome !

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3D fighting/action-adventure

 

3D can be overwhelming on your own.

If you are to use 3D, may I recommend focusing on an arena-like level (enclosed) as opposed to actual levels?

A lot of recent games have minimized scope while retaining a good core experience by doing so.

 


To answer your last question, it's not a criterion for me for the game to be profitable. I am not counting on any potential income from it to pay my bills, etc. At this point I plan to keep my day, bill paying, job. So basically, I just want to finish the game, have it released on a PC, and if somebody buys it, that's fine. If not, that's fine too. I look at it more as an artistic venture than a business one. I want to implement my vision for a game and put it out there and see what people think. Making any profit from it would be a secondary bonus.

 

It can be frustrating to work on it alone, but given the right level of motivation, this sounds like a somewhat realistic end. Just need to consider any tool license you might acquire and try to break even on sales if you can, so that you're left with the experience of the process and no debts.

 

From personal experience, it is easy to start, it gets harder as you go, and the final stretch to complete it has absolutely nothing to do with game development (and this is a part where a lot of indies fail and die hard). Putting a game on the market (even without marketing effort) can be tiring, and often involves you learning a bunch of stuff about a bunch of things the very hard way.

 

Best of luck though!

(am perhaps you should really take a look at my article on Getting Games Done, as this references a fairly similar setting as yours).

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Yes, it's possible. In fact, I just made a game over the weekend.

 

How do you do it? You have to be very careful about what you work on and how you do it.

 

1. Scope is your ENEMY! If you have a weekend to put out a game, your game needs to be super simple. Almost a tech demo / prototype.

2. You're going to have to spend money. I spent $110 to make my weekend game by purchasing assets from a market. It took the creators weeks to make these assets, so if you want to create them yourself... you're not going to finish in a weekend.

3. Build the CORE game play first, then add on to it. Don't invent the core game play in your head and add on to it in your head. Add, test, iterate.

4. You should use Unity or Unreal Engine. It's going to take you several months to get proficient enough to bust out a game in a weekend. DO NOT build your own game engine.

 

I'm going to spend a day or two more to polish my game, then release it into the wild and see how people like it.

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3. Build the CORE game play first, then add on to it. Don't invent the core game play in your head and add on to it in your head. Add, test, iterate.
4. You should use Unity or Unreal Engine. It's going to take you several months to get proficient enough to bust out a game in a weekend. DO NOT build your own game engine.
 

 

Yes and yes. 

 


I just made a game over the weekend.

What about the big project now? I probably need to catch up on your journal...

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I just made a game over the weekend.

What about the big project now? I probably need to catch up on your journal...

 


I'm still working on it :) The weekend game was just a tech demo / MVP to get some quick lessons learned and a feasibility assessment for implementing a virtual reality game with hand gestures -- ie, fail faster. I'll use these notes as design considerations for the main game we're working on. 

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My share, it's possible if you keep yourself motivated and define a game feature set that's realistic.
I've done it myself, took me 4 and a bit months (using a GDD with a smart planning and everything wrote out on forehand).

http://www.gamedev.net/blog/2036/entry-2261126-booh-released-lessons-learned-and-more/

And on the day job I'm a project manager on non-gamedev IT software and a father of a 2.5 year old daughter.

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4. You should use Unity or Unreal Engine. It's going to take you several months to get proficient enough to bust out a game in a weekend. DO NOT build your own game engine.

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with making your own tech.  

I saw this talk referenced many times over the last few weeks: 

 

With all these tool suddenly available for free, there will soon be a flood of games that all look the same, use the same assets from the same stores, have all used the same 3d party libraries, and are all terrible games.  If you are making a small, simple game (which should be the goal if you're doing it yourself nights and weekends) then these tools can actually hinder the process.

 

Forcing yourself to only use what you make forces you to focus on the fun, not the graphics/sound/animations/UI/etc.  This isn't the popular viewpoint but still worth considering.

Edited by Glass_Knife

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I don't think there is anything wrong with making your own tech.

 

The only thing wrong with making your own tech is if you are trying to do so without the past experience to do it right, or without significant amounts of your own tech you've already created.

 

If you've been developing games for years and have tons of prewritten 3D routines for directX or opengl, why not use them? You'd be much more productive than trying to learn something like unity or unreal engine.

 

Again, If you've been developing games for years and your concept is small enough that you can produce the game using nothing but programmer art, and simple shapes, then why bother with a huge engine? It would be akin to a boat anchor you're forced to lug around whilst you're just trying to walk across town.

 

For the absolute beginner who's only just cutting their teeth on C# or such, then unity etc are a good choice. Personally i've never had the urge to learn them for the two reasons above... YMMV.

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