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Duninn

Finding my creative niche.....

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So I posted in the beginners section, but found myself more drawn to the actual creative side of Game Design. With that said, I am seeking advice on how to advance to my ultimate goal of creating the experiences and bringing the stories I dream of into reality. I will break this post into sections to help ease readability. My mind does tend to wander into different areas rather swiftly, so I apologize if some ideas expressed are irrelevant.

 

1. Background: Simply put, I have very little background in game design. My degree is in Sociology, a subject I love due to the fact it lets me see how the world influences the development of the people that inhabit it, from the culture to the technology. I actually feel that this degree helps me in my pursuit as I can begin to think about how the game affects the player more easily. Aside from that, I was raised with little to no outlet to express my creativity. I have learned to create small things like gifs, or even write guides on steam (i.e http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=224840550 ), and even making a few youtube videos of me gaming. I actually like sharing my ideas and views, but usually don't, mostly of fear of rejection. I have dabbled on CGCookie before as well, and seek to return to it later as I want to make some pixel art, sprites, and explore 3d modeling via Blender as well. I am trying to self-teach myself at the moment, as I have no formal education in the area. I have pretty much given up on intensive programming languages like C++ or Java, as I like basic math skill and find it extremely difficult to learn it now (I have tried to take math college courses recently, did not end well). I am currently reading the book "The Art of Game Design: A book of Lenses" as well, downing about two chapters a day.

 

2. What I want: I want to make games, I want to create an experience and tell the stories that fill my insane mind and fill me with passion. That is what I desire most. I want to make games that help others as they have me as well. I suffer from depression time to time, and honestly some games are such masterful works of art that they can lift me up and change my outlook, others provide a distraction from the stresses of the world. Basically, I want to express myself in ways that I believe can create a memorable experience for others and possible help them when they are depressed and feeling alone. I also would not mind learning code if it is not math intensive. I have HTML5 basics down, but from there could use a recommendation. 

 

3. What have I done?: As mentioned above, I have wrote guides, made videos, and attempted to learn on CGCookie. I say attempted as my studies were interrupted due to an illness and I almost lost my life. At the time I was bed bound for a few months and....well my focus is terrible and I am working on it. What have I done recently may help. Recently I have been constructing a card game, one I most of the design stages done. I just need to polish off the rules and do some balancing, a few test groups, find an artist for the card art, and such. So basically the brain work is done but the real work is left. This game currently fills an entire Moleskine notebook I carry with me daily. I also plan to release a digital copy of the game, if possible, that users who own it can invite friends for local play on either phones or tablets. That way they don't have to carry the pack with them whenever they want to play. 

 

Besides the card game, I have about 3-6 games in other various notebooks that I am defining more of constantly, writing and expanding on. Some are simple 2D style games like Shovel Knight (I say simple but I know are massively complex), to an entire MMORPG or MMO Survival game. I am also planning to restart my studies on CGCookie when I get more funds. Besides this I am reading the book mentioned above.

 

4. What I have: I actually have a lot of software that I have been buying on sale. So its note like I can't start trying, but at the same time I have so much software because I don't know which one to start using. Here are just a few.....Game Maker (All of it via humble bundle), Game Guru, Leadwerks, Sonar, App Game Kit, Construct 2 free, Sprite Lamp, Spriter Pro, Substance Paint, RPG Maker VX Ace, Music creator 6 touch, Blender, and more. Yes, I am oddly equipped but seek opinions on which are to start.

 

5. My issue: I have no clue where to start. I am writing, but I want to learn A, B, C all at once as well. My artistic skill is complete crap, but I can do some pixel art and 3d modeling. At the same time I don't know if I should focus on writing, learning a coding language, trying program A, B, or C, or even starting a blog to try and write some articles and express myself more. Essentially, I am all over the place. That is why I wrote this. I am hoping that if others can see something in my situation that I can't, or if they have had similar issues, that they can provide me with some advice of how to proceed. 

 

Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from you all soon.

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So you've decided you want to be a game designer (not a programmer, not an
artist), and you already have a degree.

Do you want to do game design as a job (working at a company in a team of
game developers)? Or are you envisioning some other working environment?

The job track is described at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm

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So you've decided you want to be a game designer (not a programmer, not an
artist), and you already have a degree.

Do you want to do game design as a job (working at a company in a team of
game developers)? Or are you envisioning some other working environment?

The job track is described at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm


Personally, I would ideally like to one day run my own company and team, as I do believe I have strong management skills. Currently I do train people in my job and build relationships, even as a merchandiser, and then I have raid lead for eight+ years, so have experience in it.

Also the link does not load for me for some reason.

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Personally, I would ideally like to one day run my own company and team, as
I do believe I have strong management skills. Currently I do train people in
my job and build relationships, even as a merchandiser, and then I have raid
lead for eight+ years, so have experience in it.


You have to start somewhere. Either with a job, or at an indie company
(where they might or might not pay you). Preferably with a job. Working
with others for a few years, you build... oh, now I'm just saying what I
already said in my article 29: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm

Also the link does not load for me for some reason.


Yes, I've noticed that my site has been hiccuping a lot today. Must be some
issues at the webhost, Aabaco. Just try again.

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Read the article, found it informative. While above I do want to run a team, I should add I always want to contribute to the game, either writing, level or character design. I am still reading that book as well. Perhaps I should finish my card game first, as my first true game.

Another question, is there a forum or post that tells you how to script video game dialogue and content?

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Thanks for the advice thus far. Will continue to draft my card game, actually have to find an artist too that wants to draw for "R rated" card game, based off the crude humor.

I currently want to try and create a writing sample for opinions, but taking my time. Good writing isn't rushed in my mind and should come from a creative burst of inspiration

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Good writing isn't rushed in my mind and should come from a creative burst of
inspiration


Good writing IS rushed in the industry, and should come from a creative burst of
a need to be paid (1) and to gain good karma with the other stakeholders on the
project (2).

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Good writing isn't rushed in my mind and should come from a creative burst ofinspiration

Good writing IS rushed in the industry, and should come from a creative burst ofa need to be paid (1) and to gain good karma with the other stakeholders on theproject (2).

Then perhaps I should do a small writing sample after work this weekend, and have it critiqued. I am starting to get more active on writers forum. I just need to replace need for pay with need for experience and knowledge

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I was almost in the exact same boat as you a few years ago. I loved writing, and wanted to be creative any way I could manage, but Video games was my dream. I didn't have a team at the time, and didn't have the skills to do the art or programming by myself, so I was kind of stuck. there were so many skills I needed to learn that it was just overwhelming...so I sat down and tried to figure out what one skill I could learn while still writing that would give me a finished product...and I hit upon audio. I started making audio dramas and stories, working on strengthening my writing while learning the ins and outs of audio production.

If you're interested, here's one of the stories I did, which is also about depression, so there's another boat we're in together :)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs9FdfzVJVs&t=2642s

Not saying it has to be audio, that's just the avenue I took cause I had a little experience already and a lot of friends interested in acting. You said you're working on a card game? Keep working on it! maybe make that you're avenue. make it super creative, maybe think of a way to weave your writing or storytelling through that...idk. just keep at it and think outside the box :)

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