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I'm dreaming too high?

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If you wanted to make a game of AAA quality, its basically impossible unless you have 100 devs and a couple million dollars. Game development is always going to be very difficult for one person, as they alone have to implement programming, writing, artwork, animation, AI, marketing, etc. Unless you have the money to pay people it is going to be a long, tough, frustrating road. Especially if you are starting from scratch and have no prior knowledge in Game Development. 

There is a silver lining to this condescending statement of mine though xD 

Many game engines such as Unity and Unreal offer a plethora of good, cheap (many times free), easy tutorials that can teach you everything you need to know. You can also find many experienced contractors around here who will help you with your game for free in exchange for royalties on your profits. It is a long, hard, wretched hive of scum and villainy that will only be worth it if you are truly passionate about making games.

So to answer your question: No you aren't dreaming too high, but it will take time and practice... and a little bit of help wouldn't hurt.

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19 hours ago, Anri said:

One can only admire your dream to create a DS inspired game - I guess we are all here because of one game or another that inspired us to take up games development...

As soon as games began to add full motion video,  3D graphics and and enhanced sound and music, the days of a single person making a game were pretty much over.  The time that happened was back when the first Playstation arrived during the mid-90s.

That said, could not you scale your dream down to something more managable?  If you truly want to go it alone, then perhaps you could aim for something in the "16-bit era".   Dark Souls is obviously a 3D world hack-n-slash game, but I could easily see the possibility of an overhead 2D game.  Granted, it would be simplified in comparision, and you would have to put in some serious hard graft...but it could be done. 

what sort of game could i reasonably expect to create in 1 year?

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3 minutes ago, Infinisearch said:

What do know now?  Do you know how to make pixel art? 3d modeling? 2d or 3d animation? any programming experience? 

i have some knowledge of c#  not much more then the necessary to make pickups objects, i have some knowledge of 3d modeling but nothing spectacular i'm not on the level of making humans and i definitively suck at 3d animation

i have a lot of free time so learning stuff wouldn't be problem unless its something really hard to learn, i also don't mind using unity3d

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2 minutes ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

i have some knowledge of c#  not much more then the necessary to make pickups objects

Is this a reference to unity?  If not what do you mean by 'pickups'?

3 minutes ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

i have a lot of free time so learning stuff wouldn't be problem unless its something really hard to learn, i also don't mind using unity3d

If you are using Unity the hardest part will be getting in game art if you can't afford assets from the unity asset store.  Art will essentially be your limiting factor.  If you come up with a game idea with a clear picture of the game rules coding it won't be that hard if you're using unity since there are lots of unity tutorials available on how unity does things.  If you're quick at picking up things and can be logical at breaking down problems I'd say you could make a pretty good game in a year, but only if you can get your hands on art assets.  But as is commonly recommended on this website start smaller... breakout, tic-tac-toe, space invaders ....  So spend year one on smaller projects that build up your skills and problem solving ability.  Then move on to something bigger.

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10 minutes ago, Infinisearch said:

Is this a reference to unity?  If not what do you mean by 'pickups'?

If you are using Unity the hardest part will be getting in game art if you can't afford assets from the unity asset store.  Art will essentially be your limiting factor.  If you come up with a game idea with a clear picture of the game rules coding it won't be that hard if you're using unity since there are lots of unity tutorials available on how unity does things.  If you're quick at picking up things and can be logical at breaking down problems I'd say you could make a pretty good game in a year, but only if you can get your hands on art assets.  But as is commonly recommended on this website start smaller... breakout, tic-tac-toe, space invaders ....  So spend year one on smaller projects that build up your skills and problem solving ability.  Then move on to something bigger.

ok but really how hard can it be to do a dark souls like game?

people do hatsune miku models all the time on metaseq so how hard can it be to do an anime-style character on blender?

and there some tutorials on doing soulike like in sharp accent so programming shouldn't take decades

i could skip on character creation like Nioh and Nier that would save a huge deal of time

how long would it really take?

 

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1 hour ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

ok but really how hard can it be to do a dark souls like game?

people do hatsune miku models all the time on metaseq so how hard can it be to do an anime-style character on blender?

and there some tutorials on doing soulike like in sharp accent so programming shouldn't take decades

i could skip on character creation like Nioh and Nier that would save a huge deal of time

how long would it really take?

 

I don't think the character creation system in Dark Souls is that big a deal to implement, if you compare it to the rest of the game.

 

But let's turn this around a bit.

Do you think the developers behind Dark Souls are a group of incompetent or inexperienced people? (Keep in mind Dark Souls is at least their 3rd game in a very similar type of game experience.)

Just on the programming side, there's almost 20 people listed in the credits of Dark Souls. Their previous game (Demon's Souls) was released 2 years before Dark Souls. Some people would most likely have started on Dark Souls before Demon's Souls was completed, but let's be on the "games don't take long to develop" side of things, and say they developed the game from start to finish in 2 years.

Just on the programming side, that turns into roughly 40 man years of programming work required.

Add in the fact that they had a lot of code, tools, etc. that they could most likely reuse in order to make Dark Souls quicker than a pure "from scratch" game. Additionally, these years come from developers who have already invested many many years into learning their skill.

The logic is similar for the other aspects of the game -- art, sound, level design, enemy design, story, QA, etc.

 

If it was so easy to make a Dark Souls game, why did Dark Souls take so long to develop?

Why didn't FromSoftware just hire 5 students and have the game finished in a year? It would have been much cheaper, after all. So what was FromSoftware's reason for spending years, with probably close to 60+ people working on it?

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18 minutes ago, Lactose said:

I don't think the character creation system in Dark Souls is that big a deal to implement, if you compare it to the rest of the game.

 

But let's turn this around a bit.

Do you think the developers behind Dark Souls are a group of incompetent or inexperienced people? (Keep in mind Dark Souls is at least their 3rd game in a very similar type of game experience.)

Just on the programming side, there's almost 20 people listed in the credits of Dark Souls. Their previous game (Demon's Souls) was released 2 years before Dark Souls. Some people would most likely have started on Dark Souls before Demon's Souls was completed, but let's be on the "games don't take long to develop" side of things, and say they developed the game from start to finish in 2 years.

Just on the programming side, that turns into roughly 40 man years of programming work required.

Add in the fact that they had a lot of code, tools, etc. that they could most likely reuse in order to make Dark Souls quicker than a pure "from scratch" game. Additionally, these years come from developers who have already invested many many years into learning their skill.

The logic is similar for the other aspects of the game -- art, sound, level design, enemy design, story, QA, etc.

 

If it was so easy to make a Dark Souls game, why did Dark Souls take so long to develop?

Why didn't FromSoftware just hire 5 students and have the game finished in a year? It would have been much cheaper, after all. So what was FromSoftware's reason for spending years, with probably close to 60+ people working on it?

lets shove dark souls aside for a second

suppose i want to do a game with minecraft level of graphics

3rd person with a camera that tracks the enemy and the ability to dodge based on iframes

how long would it take to get the main character and 1 enemy in a white room working?

if it takes more than a year to do that with unity then i might as well give up

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3 minutes ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

how long would it take to get the main character and 1 enemy in a white room working?

Depending on your skill level when it comes to modelling, animation and programming, maybe 2-4 weeks doing everything on your own to get some prototype of that specific mechanic working. (Personally, I couldn't do the animation + modelling on my own, and would have to rely on someone else for that, but could probably have some code for it up and running over a weekend).

Turning that prototype into something fun, polished, good and filled with content? Most likely years.

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3 hours ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

what sort of game could i reasonably expect to create in 1 year?

Just now, ObjectivityGuy said:

how long would it take to get the main character and 1 enemy in a white room working?

The difficulty with these is that everybody is different.  What one person could do in a few hours may take another person weeks.  A person who used a tool or language professionally every day for years will have radically different speed than someone picking it up for the first time.  A person who is implementing a system similar to one they've developed many times will likely build something better and easier to use than a person who has never worked on that type of system before.

A common challenge to help game developers learn their actual pace is to build a game in a month.  Figure out what you think you can make in a month and spend the month building it.  At the end of the month that project is done. Don't keep working on it. Write up your experiences, what went wrong, what went right, if you didn't finish what you wanted record why that was, etc.  Then start the next month with a brand new project with new goals.

We do not know how long it would take you to do anything because we don't know you.

We do know, however, that you won't make a game that looks and feels like a major game as a lone developer, because they invest tens of thousands of work-hours (or more) on the project.  Minecraft started as a single person project eight years ago, but today's Minecraft is a bad comparison as it has about 1500 work-years in the project with enormous teams. 

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8 minutes ago, Infinisearch said:

Whats an iframe?  

Invincibility frame.

It's a mechanic in various combat-based games. During certain animations (notably dodging by e.g. jumping away or rolling), the character is invincible/takes no damage. In some games, the "window of invincibility" (awesome band name btw) is also affected by the character's stats -- e.g. a higher Evasion stat leading to more iframes in the given animation.

Compare with blocking (which often reduces damage, and is often not as sensitive to timing) and parrying (where a succesfully parry will often yield to a counter-attack or the attacker being left off-guard for a moment).

Of course, different games and gamers tend to call these concepts different things, and have various details to them that differentiate them.

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4 hours ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

what sort of game could i reasonably expect to create in 1 year?

Assuming you have no programming experience nor skill in art or music...I would say you could make a rather nifty Asteroids, Tetris or Space Invaders style game.

It would take you six months to learn a language and basic skills with MS Paint and a sound/music package.  A further three months gettting to grips with a media api and the remaining three months to actually make it.

That, at least, can be done.

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2 hours ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

lets shove dark souls aside for a second

suppose i want to do a game with minecraft level of graphics

If unity can import the graphics and animations that you create its pretty simple to get something on the screen.  But your engine needs to support the animation type (vertex vs skinned mesh) you create... I don't know what minecraft uses and I don't know what unity supports.

2 hours ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

3rd person with a camera that tracks the enemy and the ability to dodge based on iframes

I haven't really used Unity in a long time and when I did I was just getting familiar so I don't know how exactly to do that.  But I did a quick google search and it seems that the lock on will have to be implemented by you.  Also the dodge thing will also have to be implemented by you.

2 hours ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

how long would it take to get the main character and 1 enemy in a white room working?

if it takes more than a year to do that with unity then i might as well give up

Again with what art?  Are you gonna make it?  Are you gonna buy it?  If you have a model its not that hard to get it into unity and on the screen.  Why don't you download unity and some of the free assets from the asset store and spend two weeks playing with it...?  It will give you a better idea of how fast you will learn, what is involved, and other such things.

edit - Oh and thanks @Lactose for explaining iframes.

Edited by Infinisearch

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If you want to do it alone, you can't make a full fledged 3d dark souls, but you could very well make a 2d souls-like in a year. The engines today make it easy to work with 3d, that's not the problem. The problem with 3d is creating the assets and good looking ones. It's a lot easier for a non-artist to make a bunch of good 2d art than to make good 3d art. I've seen other more complex games be replicated by single developers in 2d so it's very possible. 

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12 hours ago, Michael Aganier said:

If you want to do it alone, you can't make a full fledged 3d dark souls, but you could very well make a 2d souls-like in a year. The engines today make it easy to work with 3d, that's not the problem. The problem with 3d is creating the assets and good looking ones. It's a lot easier for a non-artist to make a bunch of good 2d art than to make good 3d art. I've seen other more complex games be replicated by single developers in 2d so it's very possible. 

its not like i want to do it alone its just that finding people to help is hard and usually doesn't end up well

also 2d to me at least seems to be harder than 3d

do you think i can at least do a 3d tower defense game?

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11 minutes ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

do you think i can at least do a 3d tower defense game?

Yes, of course. It depends on how fleshed out you want the game to be. You can make a barebones 3d tower defense in one week or you can make it ridiculously fleshed out and spend 2 years on it. Likewise, you can make a simpler version of a 3d dark souls. I didn't mean that you can't make a 3d game, I meant that you can't make a 3d game on the level of Dark Souls 3 alone, but it doesn't mean that you can't make a simpler version of it.

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25 minutes ago, Michael Aganier said:

Yes, of course. It depends on how fleshed out you want the game to be. You can make a barebones 3d tower defense in one week or you can make it ridiculously fleshed out and spend 2 years on it. Likewise, you can make a simpler version of a 3d dark souls. I didn't mean that you can't make a 3d game, I meant that you can't make a 3d game on the level of Dark Souls 3 alone, but it doesn't mean that you can't make a simpler version of it.

about the guy who was speaking earlier about artists and programmers getting promoted to game designer

suppose i wanted to enter from software with the objective of directing a game would i have a better chance learning to draw and becoming a concept artist then getting promoted or studying to become a game designer and trying to get hired as one?

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It's true. A game designer is a bit like a foreman in construction. The foreman makes sure the workers build what the plan says. In the hierarchy, the worker is inferior to the foreman. The game designer creates the plan and is also responsible for making sure the workers are making the game like in the plan. It's difficult for people to hire designers because it's a natural position of leadership. It's easier to climb the ladder from the bottom than try to jump to the top even if you'll never go back to the lower steps.

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21 minutes ago, Michael Aganier said:

It's true. A game designer is a bit like a foreman in construction. The foreman makes sure the workers build what the plan says. In the hierarchy, the worker is inferior to the foreman. The game designer creates the plan and is also responsible for making sure the workers are making the game like in the plan. It's difficult for people to hire designers because it's a natural position of leadership. It's easier to climb the ladder from the bottom than try to jump to the top even if you'll never go back to the lower steps.

i wanted to do games as an indie developer but the more i read about it the more i lean towards concept artist or book writer

do you think there is any chance of a book writer to participate in the production of a game if the book becomes a best seller and they make a game from it? or is the idea of a book turning into game already too far-fetched?

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That's unlikely. I don't know of any author that took part in the making of games made from his book.

If you want the odds on your side, learn skills that are directly related to game making like programming, sound design, visual art. Game design will come when you will be involved in the creation process of a game. Also, you don't have to pick a skill and be stuck with it. Most indie devs are jacks of all trades. If you realise that you don't like doing a specific task, just avoid it and keep getting better at the other things.

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2 hours ago, Michael Aganier said:

That's unlikely. I don't know of any author that took part in the making of games made from his book.

If you want the odds on your side, learn skills that are directly related to game making like programming, sound design, visual art. Game design will come when you will be involved in the creation process of a game. Also, you don't have to pick a skill and be stuck with it. Most indie devs are jacks of all trades. If you realise that you don't like doing a specific task, just avoid it and keep getting better at the other things.

thanks, that is kinda of sad, i hope i don't end up writing a book just so people go around breaking my canon like they did to Tolkien with Shelob in shadows of war

 

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So, at this point, If I were you, it sounds like your next steps are:

Download Unity

Do basic familiarization of Unity. 

Find a Tower Defense tutorial.  There's a ton out there, they're all shittily coded, but that's unavoidable really.

Follow the tutorial

Tweak the tutorial to make your game.

Finish the game.

Like actually finish the game.

 

 

Those last two bullet points will take you the longest.  

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"Just finish reading everything.

I don't want to destroy your dream but look at this game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust:_An_Elysian_Tail

made by one man in 2012 for almost 4 years of work. I think as someone told you before you will need at least 10 to 20 years to do DarkSouls alone.

In the meantime, there is hope. Just forget about Dark Souls for a while and make something that exists better for 2017. How? just go on youtube find those old Atari game and remake them, then modify it, make it better. With my level, I will make space invader clone in a day (using, of course, some codes I used before), so in a month I could make something totally different but still based on it. I can give you an example of my own game based on Pacman with now a totally different gameplay.

My advise if you don't know where to start is to participate in"2018 New Year Challenge: Missile Command" from this site. do your best, winning is not really necessary. try to finish your ideas within the 2 months of the challenge. Do it alone, you will get more experience from it than any of us can give you by our pieces of advice. 

Here is the link for the challenge :

If you are not able to do it or think it is a waste of time or any reason ... Then I tell you cash "Look somewhere else, Video games are not made for you". Remember, winning is not important, spend 2 months of your time in this project and see what you can do will be important and will teach you what to do to achieve your dream of a better DarkSouls game.

 

Edited by lilington

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