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ShiftyCake

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  1. Dark souls was built around a dark world-setting. The game really only followed one rule: be true to the setting. Difficulty naturally came about from following this rule. The setting was gruesome, cold and cruel. The game had to be the same. Customisation only went as far as the natural differences between people and races. I know I'm diverging from writing here, but from your survey, I feel you currently have fundamental flaws. Anything that takes from the setting is a flaw in a dark souls-esque game. You want your player enthralled into your world, not to bring them out of it. Minigames would just be a gimmick. The main objective shouldn't be either of the ones you mentioned. You shouldn't start with a powerful weapon simply because it lacks progress for the player. You can start with a weapon that can grow stronger as your character does, but never start at a high point. Your player wants to reach that point through their own effort. To move onto your story, there isn't much there. There is nothing wrong with it, but there isn't anything great about it either. It's more of a starting point for you to begin writing from. As for mechanics, the fighting style won't separate you from other games. Don't try and change that too much. Try and perfect it for sure, because dark souls fighting style had many flaws. But to do that, you have to decide on what direction you want to take it. Do you want it to be fast and fluid? Or slow and careful. Or somewhere in the middle. It's better if you choose only one direction for the fighting style, otherwise it'll be too much work. I also recommend balancing it around either melee or ranged weapons. Have you played Salt and Sanctuary? Great game, but using the bow literally breaks the game, and the gun is too overpowered. They wasted development time on something that adds no value to the game. And the game has too many flaws for them to justify that. Keep the monsters and bosses fair. Every attack they do must be able to be countered. If a player ever feels that they can only beat an enemy or boss through luck, rather then their own skill, then you have failed. Finally, the places in your gameplay where you can make a difference is the weapons, magical abilities and progression system. Though dark souls method for all of these are tried and true, it doesn't mean you have to follow it. Innovation may lead to failure or success, but that's ultimately up to you.
  2.   Okay that's fair enough. I've spent some time having a go at it, and I've got it mostly figured out. I've sacrificed a bit of the look but I think its turned out nicely. I only have one real problem now, but I'll post that separately if I end up needing to.
  3. Hey guys, I'm in the process of configuring a custom HTML tab for my facebook page. problem is I only know some very basic coding and am a complete dunce at it.   however I want to create a tab like this one: https://www.facebook.com/littlejayneycakes/app/536426523079089/   The differences being that I would be displaying an image only (rather then a sound file), and the button would link directly to a website.   Now, I have no clue how to do that and then get it to look as smooth as hers is. I just feel way out of my depth here, but I really want something similar to it. It looks great.   i was hoping someone would be able to help me, or at least point me in the right direction.
  4. Hey! Unfortunately I'm only 20 years old. I know you're looking for someone older, but I thought I'd post just in case since I really think I'd love to work on your project. I can see the dedication you have for your game by watching your introduction, it looks fantastic.   I'm currently attending university for a writing course, and I'm interested in expanding my portfolio, so I'm definitely happy to work for free. When I saw this project my eyes instantly lit up.   I will be up-front on the fact that I am mostly inexperienced. I have done a few minor item descriptions, and I have written a small number of characters for a university game. If you'd like to see what I wrote for those characters, the link is here   I have also written a couple of online serials in the novel format. So if you would like to see some of my more detailed writing, my current online serial can be found here   I would love to put my heart into the game you're crafting. If you'd like to contact me, just reply here or send me an email at: andrewj_varela@hotmail.com   I understand if you're not interested in taking me on, and wish you the best with your game.
  5. Not to mention that an idea is just an idea, and means absolutely nothing. It is your execution, your writing itself, that will determine a stories success or failure. Games are the same. Really anything is the same. Good ideas with poor execution will fall a lot faster then bad ideas with good execution.   Much further into development you can be worried that someone might steal your idea, but again it's a very very VERY small possibility. Backup your work on external drives and online. Keep a record of the work you do. That'll  cover you for the most part.   And to me, I wouldn't care even if someone did steal my story (or game). Sure, they're now making money off of it. But it would mean my game had what it takes, and if that's true I can make many more - because the one stealing it cannot replicate you, and you are what made that story or game. Though I have an odd perspective on things, so I doubt saying that will help you.
  6. @Scouting Ninja   Thanks a ton for all your help :) I really appreciate it! You've cleared up a lot of things so I can prepare for the future now. I think I'll remove the idea of hiring an artist and sound designer and look for a mix of store assets/my own simple work/hiring temporarily for some niche jobs. I won't hire an artist as a hobbyist, but I'll see if I can look for a sound designer. Otherwise I'll pay for them temporarily as well.
  7.   Thanks. I just wasn't understanding. And I didn't mean they'd only be payed revenue on games they see through to completion, I phrased it wrong. What I meant is that they can't come on board, do a couple of things and then claim full revenue for basically nothing. That's what I'm worried about. I'm just not at the stage where I've fully developed an iron-clad business plan, so I'd iterate exactly how that works there when I am. I just need certain rules down to cover myself in case things go sideways.   I see what you mean on the time investment though, I wasn't considering it in that way. That leads me to some trouble since I can't realistically expect any sort of beginning artist to devote their time to me for free, when they can equally build up their experience and portfolio in safe ways while earning money. I assume the sound designer will work in the same way. Unlike an ideas person like me, I can assume they'll always be in heavy demand.   So then, let's say these are possible plans of action:   Plan A. Bring on board a beginner artist and sound designer. Offer them a suitable wage per piece of art for their experience, and also offer them even share revenues of the game and business. If they take the share revenues for the game, their wage will be lowered by a respective amount? ?I'm really not sure here. I think this just complicates things, and is really just a bad plan in general. It might be best to give up on this idea entirely.   Plan B. Advertise for hobbyist artist/sound designers for each individual project (keeping on board those who want to work on the next project). They'll hold part of the game revenue, but won't be involved in the business.   Plan C. Outsource as efficiently as possible. According to Scouting Ninja, my money is fairly okay to create my first game with, as long as I'm smart with it.         Can you give me any advice besides hiring a foreigner? I appreciate all the help :)
  8. There are a lot of creative ways to increase the difficulty of a creature in a positive way. Only increasing their stats simply makes things harder, not more interesting or fun. I don't think a game should ever be about being harder solely for the sake of it. Dark Souls, for example, was not meant to be such a brutal game. It simply came out that way as a product of the design.   As Scouting Ninja mentioned, diablo gives the stronger enemies special abilities. In Diablo 3, these abilities were randomised. They were all part of a central pool and when an elite monster spawned it would select a number of abilities from that pool that you had to deal with.   Another way to increase difficulty is to improve the enemies AI.   Or you might change its role from 'stronger enemy' to 'group commander'. The elite monster of a pack of goblins is able to command those goblins as an army, rather then having them fight you haphazardly.   Or even change their fighting style. A goblin may wield a small spear to strike at its target. An elite goblin may wield a large spear, using it expertly to attack from a far range, perhaps incorporating more attack variations to mess with the players rhythm.   There are endless possibilities to make an enemy harder. I always notice when a game simply increases an enemies stats and pretends the enemy is now 'harder', and I always hate it. Trust me, it is the perfect example of anti-fun and lazy design. Do not do it.
  9. Okay thanks for the info guys. First, my budget will probably be around $1-2 thousand dollars, so obviously it is a very tiny budget - but I'll be starting with very small games. I won't be making anything amazing here, that's for sure.   I should also mention that my first game will be a Shoot 'em up, so think of that rather then an isometric game. I'm sure both the 3D modelling and animation will be much simpler for that type of game.         The artist and sound designer I bring on board will be taking no risks as an entrepreneur.  They won't be paying for anything, and I'll be doing all of the time investment for everything except their own work (art and sound), unless they want to take on some extra work (but it is optional). They can leave the business and games at any time, but will only be paid the revenue on the games they see through to completion (I'll give them a smaller revenue share if they do a lot of work on a game they leave).   This means they can focus entirely on improving their work, possibly gain money without ever having the possibility of losing it, while at the same time expanding their portfolio with games that will (hopefully) be seen as well designed. If I was just starting out as an artist or sound designer, I think that would be very enticing. But I don't really understand the industry, which is why I came here in the first person. I could be wrong   So I think my best plan of action is to have multiple plans of action. These are the three I've come up with for now:   1. Bring on board a beginning artist and sound designer, and slowly build up our experience together as we work on games that start off small in scope, and grow as we do. We'll split the game revenue as evenly as possible, and they'll have shares of the business if they're interested.   Backup Plan 1. If I fail to locate an artist, sound designer or both, I'll advertise for hobbyist artist/sound designers for each individual project (keeping on board those who want to work on the next project). They'll hold part of the game revenue, but won't be involved in the business.   Backup Plan 2. If I fail to locate the necessary hobbyists, I'll outsource as efficiently as I can with my limited budget.   But I think Scouting Ninja brought up a valid point in his statement. So @Scouting Ninja   If I'm understanding correctly, students who are just starting out don't know how to apply their craft they've learned. So if I brought on such a student, and had him doing all of the artists work, he'd need to be told exactly what needs to be done, rather then being able to figure it out on his own? So he's learnt how to 3D model and animate, but he doesn't fully understand the mechanics and reasoning behind what he's learnt? Am I understanding this right?
  10. Well, I'm looking for a 'beginner' artist for a reason. I'm not expecting them to be great, I'm expecting them to be like me - new, passionate, and looking to expand their portfolio/skills. I'd prefer not to go hobbyists because I think that'd be problematic. Rather I'll probably be targeting university students in their first or second year.   These games will be put on the market for a range of prices (depending on quality and scope), and the two I work with will get even shares in the revenue (and business if they're looking for that). They won't have to pay for any game and business expenses (at least for the first couple of games). I'll be managing everything from the documents and marketing/business to the game design and story writing. All they have to do is focus on their own work - the art and sound.   I think that this sort of deal would be very enticing, wouldn't it?
  11. Okay guys, thanks for all this information, I really appreciate it. So if I'm targeting beginner artists, should I look for an animator and 3D modeler separately? Or, if I have some patience (I'm in no rush), can I get one person who'll build up their experience in both. Would that be realistic?
  12. @Gian-Reto   Yeah, you're right. I wasn't thinking of isometric art like that because it seems like a completely different art style, rather then just a change of POV.     I want to go 3D for my isometric game, just because it's easier from a programming aspect as well (at least from what I've read). I guess my best bet is to take on board an artist who can do a specific range of things, and then outsource any other artist work I need.   That still leaves me with the question of: how much realistically can a single artist do at once? I'm looking for the artist to learn along with me, so it's not the skills I need - but the knowledge of how many skills they can realistically learn.   I don't know if I'm explaining this very well.
  13. Hey guys. Game art and animation is just entirely out of my depth, so I was hoping for some advice on the questions. This is for the future when I start looking for potential partners for my games.   Is Game Art Designer what you are called? I looked it up, but it just seems a little clunky.   Is it hard to be both a 2D/3D Game Art Designer? Would you need to specialise in one or the other.   And is it hard to be both a Game Art Designer and an Animator? Or again, would you need to specialise in one or the other.   To give just a little more information, I'm currently learning and improving my programming. Once I feel comfortable with my programming, I want to start designing games starting from very small projects, and slowly increasing in size and scope. When I start doing this I want to bring on board one hobbyist/beginning game art designer and sound designer each, and I'm (hoping) we will improve as we build the games, slowly building up our skills and expertise.   So then, is it possible for the artist I bring on board to tackle these jobs? Do I need to specialise in 2D or 3D games? And what about Isometric art (I have an isometric game designed), is that another specialisation? Do I need to bring in another person for the animation?   I'd appreciate any help with this, thanks.
  14. Okay, first just take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm not an expert, but I've designed a couple of games by myself. This is what I've learned on building the documents.   First thing I would say is to not split your design documents up so extensively for the prototypes. The first problem with doing so is that it will unnecessarily complicate things. The second problem is that you're restricting your team members access to the various bits of information.   I don't really understand what you're trying to do with the prototypes however. I get that you want to play-test whether something works or not, but you don't need a separate prototype each time you do that. Again, many prototypes would just unnecessarily complicate things. If you want to play-test many of your features external from the game you're building, just make a single prototype that does that function.   Next bit of advice I would give is to split up your documents (I know, ironic). For my own projects, I create the following documents:   Business Plan - marketing, the future of the game/team (say are you going to build a company around this etc.) - if you're ever looking to sell your game for money, do a business plan   Project management - managing the project, including QA and things like that - anything about the project that isn't directly related to the game itself, or the business plan   Game Design Document - The game itself. Target audience, scope, what do you want to achieve, what is in it - gameplay, story, GUI etc. etc. etc.   Technical Design Document - The technical details of the game. For example, this two-handed sword deals 5 damage. The player has a base of 3 health and 1 damage. At this specific moment, the player will say this text etc. etc. just every technical aspect of the game. Balancing is included in this.   Level/Art/Sound Design Documents - this is fairly simple. Details the level, the art and the sound design. Each will want to take from the atmosphere explained in the game design document. The art document should have concept art and than the real art.   I believe most people put the game design and technical design documents together as one, but I like to separate it - makes it easier to get to what you need. I also sometimes separate the GUI from the game design document if it is a heavy design aspect (say for an RPG).   The only reason I create the separate documents is that it becomes much easier to access the information you need without having to trawl through extra unnecessary things. I find it helps a lot when you're working on the game (but that's just me). I haven't built enough games to know if this assumption is correct.   Right now, though, your biggest problem is that you just don't have anywhere near enough information about the game. Make your prototype first. Is it fun? If the answer is yes, then go to your design documents and build your game extensively. It'll save you a lot of headaches in the future.
  15. I would blend the two. You want to engage the reader while also telling them what the game entails.