Public Group

# Could do with a little perspective on something....

## Recommended Posts

I think I might be with a team that is deep within development hell and they are all in denial about it. I have been working on a project with a small group and we all have no previous experience or educational background. The guy who had pulled us altogether had an idea for a game but the story is so confusing and convoluted after 3 years of working on this project... I still have no idea whats going on with the story. All I can say is its a platformer with a large explorable map and systems and mechanics dreamed up so grand out of all the 100 things he wants in the game we still only have 2 mechanics down. Every time I have tried to throw my voice in and suggest maybe we should put a pin in this idea and focus on smaller experiences so we can build our skills up and tackle it later when we know more of what we are doing, I get shot down. I'm told, "oh it will only take a year to make this game" of which both I and the artist look at each other very doubtful each time he says that.

So leaving out the backstabbing power plays a certain member of the team kept using which blocked me from having access to the game so I couldn't test out my work for myself, phage requests on what they wanted animated which lead to me redoing animation more time then I think was needed. I mean I redid the run animation over 60 times and in the end, they chose to use the very first freaking one I made! Whenever I tried to think logically and ask for a group meeting to talk about characters and how they move so I could get a better idea of what to do I was told "No, no, no this back and forth is a faster way of working"....again run animation took 60 attempts before they used the first run cycle I made.

In the end, we weren't working towards making the whole game, it took us 2 years and 5 months to make a demo of the game. Then our programmer disappeared and also took with him the code for the game. We should have stepped away from that game and accepted, for the moment that it might be time to take a break from it and focused on crafting smaller experiences to build up our skills and our group's portfolio but no that wasn't to be. We where to start again from scratch, new programmer, new textures and level designs and new rigs and animations. 3 years of work has gone down the drain and now I have to start again... the only problem is I can't bring my self to do the work.

I have become stagnant where I am and I feel like its time I should move on. I want to try and do things my way and start small and work my way up and not plunge headfirst into a project that feels like an ocean in scale for a small team. I want to focus on my own skills and learn new ones and understand more than just one trait in the spectrum of game design. Though since I have been with the team for so long and put so much time and money into this venture...I'm scared to walk away. Though on the other hand how long are we gonna spend on this game, is it gonna be another year like the lead designer said (again and again) or will it be another 3 and all we will have to show for it is a shiny new demo and none of the full game...

Should I suck it up and try and kick my butt back into gear or is this the time to step away and look into new possibilities?

##### Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, NeverSay said:

Should I suck it up and try and kick my butt back into gear or is this the time to step away and look into new possibilities?

We can offer some advice, but the final decision is yours, and only yours.

That said, some points are not clear. What exactly is this team? Are you an small/indie game studio? Is this a professional project or is it being made in your spare time? Are everyone putting real money in this venture? If not, who's paying the bills? As I understood, you're an 3d modeler and animator in this project, right? Do you have other responsabilities? How was decided which person has each role (design, management, production, programming)? Everybody agreed with one person having so much power over the project?

From what you said, this project is already deep in development hell, and suffering from severe management problems. If the team couldn't do 3 mechanics (out of "100") after so many time, you're in deep trouble. A programmer being able to disappear and taking all the code is ridiculous: the code (and other assets) must safe if a person leaves. Not being able to run the game to test your work also seems bad. Redoing work is acceptable sometimes, but only with a purpose, not walking in circles. Doesn't feel like a good project (or team) to be part of.

If you decide to stay, can't you do smaller parallel projects for yourself? With this, you can learn new skills and have a better chance of having a finished product, that you could be proud of.

This other thread has some ideas about keeping the scope clear, with help of a good design document. It can really help to keep everyone on the same page about mechanics, level design and othet things.

##### Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, NeverSay said:

Should I suck it up and try and kick my butt back into gear or is this the time to step away and look into new possibilities?

Never allow projects like this to impact your life, they are hobby projects so keep them that way.

Leave when you want, there is no real obligations. Allowing them to keep what you made should more than cover your part.

3 Years is a long time to spend on a project you did not believe in. The real question is do you want to leave?

29 minutes ago, NeverSay said:

I think I might be with a team that is deep within development hell and they are all in denial about it.

Happens all the time and in many different ways. Very-very few of these projects ever finish even with skilled team members. There needs to be someone who drives the project, even if they are hated for it later.

When you pull out of the team remember that you can't use stuff based on there concepts in your own work or portfolios without there permission. So don't bother taking it with you.

If you join a project like this I advice not uploading "Final" work until the game passes the design phase. This saves a lot of effort on your part as most games never finish the design phase; in fact it looks like the one you worked on is still stuck in design.

Only placeholders is needed during design and can be used up to publishing.

##### Share on other sites

NeverSay, it's clear that the project is not being managed well. Rather than continuing to pour energy down into a bottomless pit, why not find another project that doesn't have all those problems? Perhaps you know and trust some of the people that were involved - if so, it would not be a mistake to work with those people again. But it would not be a good idea to work again with the person who was running that project.

##### Share on other sites

Hello there.

Unless this is paid contract work, you should just walk away.  And do not feel bad about it because after putting in at least two years of your life, you have got very little in return - and they are still expecting more.

While I understand all too well that games require some room for experimentation,  when its your free time you are giving up, you dont want to have to bugger about redoing things just because your best friend is trying play George Lucas.  Sounds like they have no respect for your time and effort, and taking the piss if not paying you for the insult.

As you have already figured out for yourself, a small team needs to keep it small and slim. Get out of there and make space invaders or something more suitable.   Bring back the fun!  Team up with a programmer who is struggling on the art side( and just grateful to have another soul to work with ) and you'll most likely do far better.

##### Share on other sites

We can offer some advice, but the final decision is yours, and only yours.

That said, some points are not clear. What exactly is this team? Are you an small/indie game studio? Is this a professional project or is it being made in your spare time? Are everyone putting real money in this venture? If not, who's paying the bills? As I understood, you're an 3d modeler and animator in this project, right? Do you have other responsabilities? How was decided which person has each role (design, management, production, programming)? Everybody agreed with one person having so much power over the project?

6

We were a small group of random people who got talking in a chat room and then tried to make a game in our spare time, I got to know them well before I even thought about putting any money towards the project but when I thought they where trustworthy I put a lot of money into it (software, software subscriptions, convention costs.etc..),  though thankfully I didn't do what one person did and sink their life savings so they could work on the game full time (which they lasted 8 months before needing a job).Though besides that we all chipped in to pay for stuff but the main software I use for my work (of which my focus is 2D character rigging/animation) is in the name of someone else in the group....and he is the one who ran away...so that opens up more possible problems for me using that software to the point I'm considering just saving up and getting it again with my own money so I fully own it and not just a 3rd of it. At the moment besides working on this game I'm working what is supposed to be a part-time job but i end up at work more often then i get days to myself, so I burn a lot of the midnight oils. As for roles, we each took the role of what we had some skills in but as for leader ship...well it started off as a democracy but then just spiraled out of control.  Hope this clears up some of the points.

Also thank you all so far for your input, I think I needed to write this all out so it's not in my head and just having the fresh perspectives on this is very helpful

##### Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Lactose said:

Sounds eerily like the Sunk Cost fallacy at work.

O_O well that was ever more the eye opener and quite the interesting read.

##### Share on other sites

Just out of curiosity,  what animation software are you dependant on?

##### Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Anri said:

Just out of curiosity,  what animation software are you dependant on?

A software called Spine, it lets you take 2d images and turn them into 2d rigged puppets, it also has a strong meshing tools that allows for good control of deformation and weight painting. It's a good software but I'm curious if there is a way to do the same thing in Blender or something.

• 22
• 10
• 19
• 14
• 14
• ### Similar Content

• By Shtabbbe
I've had a game idea for a while, and I wanted to finally try to create it.
Its a 2D open-world tile-based MMO. The concept is it is one world and multiplayer only, so everyone shares one world no matter region, platform, etc.
I am having problems finding out what to use to start development, I tried Unity but saw some of the negatives and refrained and now im stuck, could anyone recommend some intermediate friendly 2D engines that can support what I am looking for? Preferably in languages that are or are somewhat like Java, C#, Python, JavaScript, Lua.
Thanks for your help, im very new at this if you cant tell

• A few questions about some c++ code
So I am starting to get back into c++ after about 12 - 14 years away from it (and even back then, my level of knowledge was maybe a little above beginner) to do some game / SDL programming. I was following a tutorial to get at least a basic starting point for an entity component system and it works however there was some code that I don't quite understand even after looking around little.
First pice of code is:
T* component(new T(std::forward<TArguments>(arguments)...)); This seems to be assigning the component with the results of what is in the parentheses though normally I would expect this:
T* component = new T(std::forward<TArguments>(arguments)...); Is this just syntax preference or does the compiler do something different with the parentheses (it is weird to me as when I see that, I think it is a function call)?
The second piece of code I think I understand the general idea of what it is doing but some of the specific are escaping me:
template <typename T, typename... TArguments> T& Entity::addComponent(TArguments&&... arguments) {   T* component = new T(std::forward<TArguments>(arguments)...); So from my understanding, the first line would basically take this:
entity->addComponent<TransformComponent, int, int, int, int>(x, y, width, height); and take of the first item in the template and assign the to T and then "group" (not sure the correct term) the rest of the items as a collection of some sort and then the ... on the second line would group the arguments (that would need to match the template group) that were passed in. Then the third line is effectively converting the template / passed in arguments to be called like this:
TransformComponent* component = new TransformComponent(x, y, width, height); The parts that are a bit confusing to me is first the &&. From what I have read (from stack overflow), that symbol means rvalue reference or reference to an argument that is about to be destroyed. Not quite sure what it means by it about to be destroyed.
The second part, which I think related to using &&, is the std::forward<TArguments>. The explainations that I have found so far as are bit confusing to me.
I will continue to try to find the answer to these confusions but I though maybe someone here might have an explanation that might make more sense to me. I would also consider it quite possible that there is some prerequisite knowledge that I might not have (I mean I think I have a decent understanding of pointers and references) so if there is other stuff I should looking into, that would be great too.

• Hello I am looking for advice to what I should do next as I just completed the Unreal Developer Course on Udemy and now am at a lost as what to do farther as practice and to expand my knowledge. My background is 2 years studying college in Videogame Design and 3 years working on 4 years studying Software Engineering in college. I am mainly focusing on using my C++ knowledge with Unreal Engine to make indie games but I do also know Java, and C# as well, but I do not know Unity. I am welcoming any advice that can help with my current situation with my current skill set

• If this is posted in the wrong forum or could use more tags, I apologise. This my first post.
I am using ASSIMP to import FBX files for my system. Using Blender, I use Empties to create attachment points. Is there a way to get to these or detect these easily? The only way I can come up with is by going through the rootNode, and all of the child nodes, looking for names that match what I have entered. Which is quite cumbersome. Surely there has to be a better way of detecting an Empty ?

Many thanks

Andrea

• By POKLU
Hi there!
I think this post may get slightly depressing, so, reader discretion is advised.
I'm writing this to summarize what I did during my first game development process and hopefully someone will find it helpful.
So, in 2016 I tried to make a futuristic racing game in Unity. It was just for fun and learning purpouses but I knew I want to try to put it on sale on Steam. I asked some of my friends if they would want to join me in the adventure. And this is probably the first thing not to do because if you ask anybody if they want to help you with creating and selling a game, they will say "sure, absolutely!" and then when you start to assign duties they never text you back again. And that's demotivating.
Couple of months went by, and the game was more or less complete so I decided to put it on the thing that doesn't exist anymore, which is Steam Greenlight. I was extremely excited to see other people comment about my game (seriously it was super cool). My greenlight page wasn't the most popular one, but it was doing pretty good. Eventually the game passed, and was ready to be put in the store. This was truly amazing because it wasn't easy to pass the Greenlight voting.
The game was kind of shitty as I look at it right now, but it was the best I could do back in 2016. It looked kind of like a 4/10 mobile game. Nevertheless people were interested in it since it was unique and there wasn't (and isn't) any games simmilar to it. I posted about it on some gaming forums and some Facebook groups, just to see what people would think about it. And every comment was always positive which made me super excited and happy. Eventually, my game went on sale.
At the beginning my game was selling ok to me, but when I read other people's stories, I understood that my number of sales was below miserable.
Back then Steam had something called 5 "Product Update Visibility Rounds" which means that when you update your game, you can use the "Visibility Round" and your game will somehow be very visible in the store. Essencially you get 500,000 views for one day. This used to dramatically (to me) increase sales, so I used 4 of them in like a week, which is exactly what you're not supposed to do. I left one round for later, because I knew that my game is not the best and I may want to remake it in the future, so the last round may be helpful to get some sales. After about 1,5 month the game was dead and it wasn't selling anymore. I was kind of disappointed but I was waiting to get my revenue.
This is when I got my first big disappointment. On the Steam developer page, my revenue was about $1000 and when I got the payment, it turned out that half the people who bought my game had it refunded. So my total revenue (1,5 month) was around$600. So my game was completely dead. I abandoned it and moved on.
About half a year later there was a Steam Summer Sale which I forgot I applied for and the game made \$100. This was the point when I decided to refresh my game. I spent 6 months remaking it and when I was happy with the result, I uploaded it on Steam. I made a sweet trailer and everything and used the final "Visibility Round", expecting to revive my game and start the real indie dev life.
Huge f*ing disappointment #2: As it turned out, Steam changed the "Visibility Round" and now it doesn't do anything because I didn't get 500,000 views in one day... I got 1,276 views in 29 days.
I started searching for a PR company. I messaged about 8 different companies and one contacted me back. I explained that my game is out already, but I recently updated it. The PR company was cool, very friendly and professional. Unfortunately a revenue share wasn't an option and they weren't cheap (for me). They understood that and not long after that, we made a deal. I won't get into the details, but everything went cool and my game was supposed to get some attention (press announcement). I even got a chance to put my game on the Windows Store, which again, was super exciting. Microsoft guys were extremely nice to work with so if any of you are planning to put your game on sale I strongly recommend considering Windows Store.
For 4 months the PR company was instructing me on how to improve my game. It really was helpful, but come on, 4 months flew by. Although they were professional, suddenly we had a big misunderstanding. Somehow they didn't understand that my game is out already. Anyways, we were getting ready for the announcement and I had to make my website, which cost me some money. Also I had to buy a subscription for a multiplayer service for my game. (It uses Photon Network, I had to buy a subscription so more people could play online at the same time.)(Photon Network is great, strongly recommend it.)
Disappointment #3: I bought a page promotion on Facebook. Estimated: 310,000 people interested, 40,000 clicks to my page. Reality: 0 people interested, 20 clicks to my page.
The announcement happened.
And nothing more. 80 Steam keys for my game went out for the press, 41 were used, 24 websites wrote about my game, 6 hateful comments, 2 positive, 17 more visits on my Steam page, 2 copies sold which doesn't matter because it's to little for Steam to send the payment.
Estimated views of the press coverage: 694,000. Reality: probably less than 300.
I don't give a f*ck at this point about my game which I have worked on for 10 months. I don't care about all the money I spent either. I don't blame anyone. I'm just not sure what not to do in the future. I guess the main lesson here is don't try to revive a game, just move on and computers suck at estimating things.
Now I'm working on another game and I'm planning on making it free to play. I really enjoy making games, but it would be nice to have some feedback from the players.
If any of you want to know something specific about my game or anything, feel free to ask.
I expect nobody to see this post, so I'm probably going to paste it on some other forums.
Cya.
(sorry for the title being slightly clickbaiting)