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Bhelisarios

Help me with my gamedev hobby

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Hello,

I'm a former student of IT (one year) and now I study mass media. I quit because I felt not good enough to be a real programmer, but I always had a knack for mathematics and have a creative mind. IT was my dream (mainly game creating) when I was young. Now I miss it and want to go for it and do it as a non-profit hobby.

However, it isn't easy as you all know. Always being a fan of RTS or RPG games it's hard to get involved in easier projects. Never played 2D platformers, puzzle games or FPS. I know they are the way to learn, but they are the same boring to create as to play for me. Not learning much with little progress making these genres I feel lost. 

So, to the point of this post. How should I approach my problem to continue my hobby? I enjoy logical and algorithmic approach to problems and also creating simple pixel art is fun. Thank everyone for replies :)

 

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Make and remake small parts of an RPG game. And RPG game as a whole is generally very complex, but each individual part is not out of reach for learning. Take one part, like the combat, and clone what you see, try to start off in the starting area before all the whizzbangs are introduced. As you get better at creating the systems, you will be able to move on to more complex things. I recommend fully intending to just get it done the first few times, and then just do what it takes to get it done, then start from scratch on your next attempt.

There is a lot about development that you will learn from doing that cannot be taught, like how and why to do things certain ways, how to organize your folders, naming conventions... etc. But the more times you go over it from scratch, the more efficient and proficient you will become. After several small projects, do a few smaller RPGs that you think will be fun, just keep the scope small. Slow increments are the way to go, much like leveling up a character.

Other options are to make simple platformer or action games that you do like to play until you get pretty good at making games. Not always an option.

Finally, you may be able to join up with other people, maybe shadow another developer. I mention this last, because it has yet to work out for me. But I have seen others get going that way.

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57 minutes ago, Bhelisarios said:

Now I miss it and want to go for it and do it as a non-profit hobby.

Check out RPG Maker MV, it might be of interest. I'm almost certain you can use your own sprites but you should double check. It's mostly non-programming but there is Javascript support.

Also an interesting read... (uses an older version of RPG Maker)

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/305509/Kan_Gao_on_the_benefits_and_drawbacks_of_designing_in_RPG_Maker.php

Sorry for the gamasutra link BTW. They suck and I will do penance.

Edited by fleabay

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DavinCreed: That's a good idea. Maybe it will be manageable this way. 

fleabay: I know it but thanks. Also, I like Construct and Godot engine :)

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May be you should try simulation and strategy games as area of interest. Simulation games have a strong time component in them, strategy games give the opportunity to learn about AI.

Simple turn-based strategy games may look simple and boring, but they are hard to write an AI for, much more than RTS in fact, since in the latter you lack time to compute anything really smart.

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1 minute ago, Alberth said:

May be you should try simulation and strategy games as area of interest. Simulation games have a strong time component in them, strategy games give the opportunity to learn about AI.

Simple turn-based strategy games may look simple and boring, but they are hard to write an AI for, much more than RTS in fact, since in the latter you lack time to compute anything really smart.

Programming ai will be sure a lot of fun a something harder to get into also. Thanks :)  but  I don't understand how simulation have a strong time component. Maybe because of my not so good English...

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In a simulation, all things in the simulation move at the same time, possibly at different speeds. If you have a train at 40km/h and one at 50km/h, the latter should move faster than the former.

Your program has to handle that, updating position of both (or many) trains each iteration. Stuff doesn't move by itself.

If you also relate game speed to real-time, the amount of update also depends on the change of wall-clock time, since the last time you looked.

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Make the games you like playing.

Also agree with @DavinCreed, work on small parts. Before you know it, you can combine them to a whole.

Concentrate first on the real guts of the simulation, not the 'window dressing'.

Decide whether you are a programmer or a game designer (or both). Then use the appropriate tools (e.g. one with strong programming aspect, or one with little/none).

I also put in my vote for GMS2 and Godot (esp. with C#). I used Construct2 for a whole year and wish I could get my time back again. But it might work for you.

PS I'm a long-time developer, but currently I'm loving Inform 7 which doesn't use programming. It's an outdated type of game, but I'm having a ball playing with it, just for the fun of it :)

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I would agree with the previous replies, make and design a game of a type you love playing! 🕹️

Just remember to set the scope a narrow initially, it is very common to start with a very grand idea and then get demotivated by the amount of time & effort it takes to reach the finishline. Starting with a smaller, very basic game (for example, a small RTS with very (and I mean VERY) basic graphics, one or two units and some preprogrammed map for example)

Managing to complete something like that will make you want to design an even better game next time! The most valuable resource as a gamedev (at least imho) is keeping that spark of creativity alive and keep feeling that building your games is actually FUN

I wish you all the best!

 

Ps. As a pre-emptive strike to some people that might comment about suggesting doing a RTS. Yes, an RTS is not so simple generally, but I honestly think that if one really boilds it down to a few key concepts it would be doable 😉 Ds. 

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