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Mooshykris
April 1st, 2007, 05:27 PM
The Hardships of Game Making
A Report
on the major problems a game maker can encounter


Chapter I: Introduction

Hello everyone, I am Mooshykris, known (slightly) well for my Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal remake, Pokemon GS. Recently, the tension and stress from being the sole staff member of GS has built up to critical levels.

I have been working on fangames for two years now, and on GS for nearly one and a half. But, despite my best efforts, after all this time, GS has still fails to produce any major following. I have many times before, "given up," only to run back later looking like a fool. I've changes since then, but the situation still isn't improving (if anything, it's getting worse).

Now, I have had enough! My constant work on my projects still haven't payed off! Now, I am writing this report, to give an inside look at what it's really like to design a fangame, and more importantly, when your work isn't appreciated.


Chapter II: History of my Fangames

From my Pokemon GS thread:
Pokemon GS, as the name says, is a Pokemon Fangame.

But just what IS Pokemon GS?

In early 2005, I began making fangames. Among them were two games called Pokemon Garnet/Turquoise Version and Pokemon Golden Sky/Silver Sea Version.

Pokemon Garnet/Turquoise Version, Pokemon Garnet for short, was a fangame that took place 5 years before Firered/Leafgreen. This game took place in the brand new region of Pavvailion. It also had 150 new Pokemon + the 386 others.

Pokemon Golden Sky/Silver Sea Version were going to be remakes of Gold/Silver Version.

After many months of no help and few(er) supporters, I quit on both Projects. I left Pokecommunity in September of 2005, 8 months after starting. I would not return until March of 2006.

During the time I was gone; I stopped working on GoldenSky/SilverSea and dropped Garnet entirely. I had no inspiration left, until... Suddenly, I had a vision. A vision about a game combining both Gold, Silver, and Crystal into not just a remake, but an entirely new game. I called this game Pokemon GS.

In July of 2006, I re-opened the project. Pokemon GS thrived for a while. I thought that it would really succeed, but those days were short-lived. Soon the project fell into massive chaos and it was also becoming extremely hard to complete on my own. On August 29, 2006, Pokemon GS was cancelled, and I left Pokecommunity. And as it seemed, this time, it was for good.

Only the support of a special friend, did I bring myself back to returning to Pokemon GS. 4 days later, I re-opened my project. This time, nothing will stop me from completing this project. My eyes were opened to the fact that GS still had hope.

Another thing changed. Pokemon GS, once a simple Gold/Silver remake, has evolved into an unforgettable game. This game now includes 3 regions: Johto, Kanto, and Sevii, has a Pokedex of at least 251, and has a storyline that will impress all who see it.

In early November, however, Pokemon GS still was not getting very far. I needed more experience in the field, so I decided to stop work on it. For the next three months, I studied RGSS and RPG Maker XP istelf on the sites Creation Asylum and RMXP.org. Now, with new scripting comprehension and a revitilized spirit, Pokemon GS is back!

As you can see, I, along with GS, have come a long way since I joined Pokecommunity. Still, my project hasn't become all that popular. It really hasn't, and appears that it never will, become famous. If anything, my projects have become infamous! One example is the fact that GS seems to have become notorious for it's lack of the use of the starterkit, and other "fixes."


Now, I will discuss my first issue I've encountered along the path of fangame making:


Chapter III: Problem #1 - The Replies

The first issue I am into view is the lack many good replies. I have yet to have a game thread with more than 3-5 consecutive good replies. And I've had almost no replies over the course of my fangames, that wasn't criticizing something about the game (constructive or not)!

Here are just a few examples of past replies:

Note: I am not mentioning names, so as not to be offensive.

This one was in my second Pokemon GS thread:

if gs is short for gold/silver, i'd say "original name you got there"

As you can see, there are some problems with my project, starting with just the name.

Moving on, many people get great replies to their threads, starting with their very first post.

Take a look at the very first reply to my most recent GS thread:

Um... This, is not how I remembered GS. Sorry, but the old version looked much better.

Great Huh? If that wasn't bad enough, they were followed closely by this:

The game is ok, not too bad and not too great. What you could do to improve it is making it look more like pokémon games, resizing the screen to 480x320, inserting Pokémon font and the font-shadow script. That way it would look much better than it is now.

Anyway, keep it up and welcome again

~-----

this:

Fix your resolution and your font and the game will look much better. Have you got your battle system done?

this:

Fix your resolution and your font and the game will look much better. Have you got your battle system done?

this:

I agree with ----- and ----------. You should fix the resolution. You should also fix the font. One last thing: your maps appear to be large and bare. Make them a little smaller.

this:

Anyway, looks good other than those points.

this:

Mapping needs some improvement, it looks dull even if it is deriving from the original GSC maps. Font and Resolution needs changing as said before and I've said it many times now, custom graphics.

and this:

The game looks great and I agree you should use the Pokemon fonts and I will attach a copy of the Ruby and Sapphire font to this post.

Everyone seemed completly focused on the fact that my resolution didn't match the tiny screens that "the other Pokemon Games have!" And of couse my lack of use of the Pokemon_RS Font, which by the way, was being used in the screenshots!

Another big problem I've encoundered way to many times is the lack of any replies at all! I've had 3-6 topics on multible forums that died because of a total lack of replies. Because of that, I couldn't update it, because it was against the rules to double post! And for those who ask "Why don't you just edit it?" That makes no difference! It doesn't save my topic from death, does it?!


So far I've covered the basics of whats going on. In the next chapter, I will discuss just how unpopular my games seem to be.


Chapter IV: Problem #2 - The Inability to generate Supporters

Over these past 2 years, I've worked on three different projects, spanning an unbelievable 13 threads! Unlike most fangame threads, which average between 100 and 500 posts per thread (some even breaching 1,000!). Mine, however, have averaged at only about 15 to 45 posts per thread (one of them reaching a record breaking 84!).

Also, unlike mine, many of these threads have been around for months at a time, some even for more than a year. My threads are lucky if they survive 3 months, let alone 8-12!

Lastly, when you view people's signatures, you see bars saying thing's like "Pokemon Ancanite Supporter!" Beyond that, I've seen Ancanite seemingly take over half of the PokeCommunity members, while GS is left behind, with to date, only 3 devoted supporters!

What I think is scary is the fact that in late 2005, I left PC in hopes of inproving my RMXP skills, and then hopefully make my way up to becoming one of the more appreciated fangames. After months of studying RMXP, and ultimatlly buying the official version I decided to come back.

When I did, however, I found one of the biggest games of my early days on PC, Pokemon Light, cancelled. Other big games like Pokemon Treasures and Pokemon: Call of Latios were posponed. A new fangame, Pokemon Tropica had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere to gain almost instant sucess. Finally, a once little known project, now known as "Pokemon Ancanite," all the way to the top, even beyond C.O.L. and Treasures!

Within Pokemon Ancanithe's Thread, which by the way, has managed to survive since August 2006, has recieved replies such as:

I love you. This game is probably the best fangame ever. imo it even kicks CoL out of the top spot at this point. Keep up the good work!

and

God best fan game I HAVE EVER SEEN MADE. Everything is good from the fakemon to the maps to JUST WELL EVERYTHING!

(compare to: "Um... This, is not how I remembered GS. Sorry, but the old version looked much better.")

Now, I will continue on to Chapter 5.



Chapter V: Problem #3 - The Teams

Most of the time, I've worked on Pokemon GS by my self, unable to generate a good team.

In recent times my Team has consisted of just me, nicoleb, zach805, Theonym of RMXP.org, and Corona! of RMXP.org. Even so, I am still doing most of the Spriting, and Designing, and I am doing all of the Music, Mapping, and everything in between.

Then, when you look at a game like Ancanite you see this:

==========================
Part 2 – The Acanthite Team
==========================

Fangking Omega – project coordinator, story writer, head mapper and region planner, Pokémon ideas and designer, graphics ripper and custom graphics creator, events coordinator and minor scripting, and EX: Acanthite card sets co-leader.

Kangaskhan Kid – Lead designer and spriter

Cascade Gonpory – Designer and EX: Acanthite card sets co-leader

Mateo – Lead custom graphics creator

Pokémaniac – Lead stats, original attacks and original items coordinator, and Pokémon concepts creator.

Plateface – Original attacks, items and game ideas coordinator. ALSO a Pokémon concepts creator.

Crazy Weavile – Lead subplot/quest coordinator

Ivar – Lead music composer and coordinator

Maneachicken – Trainer designer and spriter, and Pokémon concepts creator

[ray.z] – Trainer designer and spriter

Venomwind – Character script writer

Criptexa - New attack ideas

Whitey Pokemon God - Custom tiles

Kholdstaire – Stats developer and metagame co-ordinator

Selestius – Storyboard director

ShiShiKo – Pokémon designer and artist

Minorthreat- Overworld spriter

Twin Matrix – Spriter and ideas assistant

ccoa - Scripting work, sprites, ideas and general motivator andcontributor

Pyro - Custom tiles developer

patrick3675 - Spriter and contributor

Jacob Coultino - Concept artist

Taillowfluff - Spriter

Jake - Spriter and ideas contributor


Now, just today in my recruitment thread on RMXP I recieved this reply:

Hey I'm not applying (though i might in the future) but i have some questions.

Do you have a Complete Pokemon System? (didn't think so!)
Check out DeM0nFiRe's Starter Kit Thread.

Do you have all pokemon Battler Graphics?
I do, PM me if you Want them (Tileset's too)

http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console.../index-gr.html
Go here for Pokemon Music (scroll down to the 'P' section

http://www.dex.pokemonpalace.net/
All the information you'll need for every pokemon for a Pokedex.

Hope any of this Helps and hope your project goes Well.

Now, I know he probably had good intentions, but it once again, appears like I don't have anything at all required to make a good fangame.


Chapter VI: Conclusion

Well, that was my report. I hope you carefully read it and consider my feelings. I could'nt keep them hidden anymore, I had to let them out.

I have devoted every free minute I have to the development of Pokemon GS, and still, my work goes unappreciated! I've tried and tried again, each time failing. And each time I fail, it becomes harder to try again. Now I've reached a point where I can't go on much longer.

Please read this, and add your thoughts.

~Mooshykris

note to Mods: I think I accidently posted this in games showcase, when you get it, ignore it.

Crazy Weavile
April 1st, 2007, 06:50 PM
Welcome to my world... I have what, three staff members outside of myself and no supporters. But I think that the reason people go for projects like Acanthite is because they know the owner from a different branch of faking. Sadly, this means fangames only succeed if made by famous people. My advice: become staff on a megaproject, and people will pay attention to you.

~Azura
April 1st, 2007, 07:17 PM
Well, I think it's is an important discussion and since I have made comments in the GS thread (about font and resolution), I'll try to put some points that you might want to consider about game making and forum posting.

When your thread hasn't received any new posts since you last updated, and you do have something new and nice to show (specially screenshots), you are allowed to double-post to bump your topic. A better alternative for this would be deleting your post and then re-posting it, which would be a "clean-bump".

Now, screen size in Pokémon fangames. Why? You may think it's just a general preference, but it isn't. Tilesets in RMXP are double the size they should be and, to fit in with that, you resize charsets, battlers, pictures etc. The main problem is: resizing the graphics for 640x480 makes things weird. Really. And other stuff like the menu also look too small in that resolution. Imagine placing all battle elements such as HP bars, Pokémons, field etc... the screen would be too much empty, what isn't good. Pokemon games are supposed to have a defined layout, that's why people, in general, prefer the resized screen.

For the font. The problem wasn't about being Pokémon RS or not, but mostly about the font-shadow script. Believe it or not, it does make a sensitive difference when you put it.

Now you may wonder why I've pointed those two insignificant details (and some people after me).

I've been here on PC for about a year now and I've realized that people are only interested on updates if you provide screenshots. You may have enormous posts telling about how far you are with your CBS. Most people just don't care. Fact is: screenshots count, specially if you have little details like the ones I mentioned.

I've seen the tons of screenshots you posted in your starting post, on GS thread, showing every little speech of your game. That isn't attractive for people. They want to see cool stuff, effects etc.


Continuing...

About the lack of good replies. You'll have to live with it, as most of the people here do. We post our games to get critics, both good or bad. Good games (the ones that have more "attractive" stuff) will get good replies and support messages.

About the lack of any replies. This one is particularly nice. There is a game here that everyone seems to love. It's thread has exactly 1,216 posts, making it a popular thread, no doubt about it. People have userbars, banners, messages of support, special content for fans. However, it seems to me that if you cut the crap there, you'll get about 100 posts. So, you should really stick to "quality" not "quantity".

About the lack of a proper team. That may or may not be a problem. There are good games being done by 1~2 people team. It is possible.

About the lack of supporters. They'll come eventually, when your game shows some nice progress, features etc. People like to see a simple menu, a simple effect, a simple custom character, and they'll come saying "I love you" when you deserve it, of course.

Suggestions for your game-making career. (Yes, I'm aware you're not a noob) Researc what famous games have that make them famous, like Acanthite and Liquid (or maybe Metropolis lol) and improve it. Instead of this sort of jealousy, study the behaviour of more experienced game-makers (Please, don't take this as a "you're noob" insult, just a form of knowing how to do, what to post etc)

As I said before, keep it up and good luck.

~Azura.

Mooshykris
April 1st, 2007, 08:25 PM
Well, I think it's is an important discussion and since I have made comments in the GS thread (about font and resolution), I'll try to put some points that you might want to consider about game making and forum posting.

Thanks for posting.

When your thread hasn't received any new posts since you last updated, and you do have something new and nice to show (specially screenshots), you are allowed to double-post to bump your topic. A better alternative for this would be deleting your post and then re-posting it, which would be a "clean-bump".

Thanks, didn't know that.

Now, screen size in Pokémon fangames. Why? You may think it's just a general preference, but it isn't. Tilesets in RMXP are double the size they should be and, to fit in with that, you resize charsets, battlers, pictures etc. The main problem is: resizing the graphics for 640x480 makes things weird. Really. And other stuff like the menu also look too small in that resolution. Imagine placing all battle elements such as HP bars, Pokémons, field etc... the screen would be too much empty, what isn't good. Pokemon games are supposed to have a defined layout, that's why people, in general, prefer the resized screen.

Well, one thing, for now, until an "organized" starter kit comes out, that's not happening. I had pleanty of conflicting scripts in there. And now, with GS's dependance on the SDK, It'll have to wait (unless you can find the script with out the need for a Starter Kit.

For the font. The problem wasn't about being Pokémon RS or not, but mostly about the font-shadow script. Believe it or not, it does make a sensitive difference when you put it.

Ok, I guess I'll have to scrap the shadow font script.

Now you may wonder why I've pointed those two insignificant details (and some people after me).

I've been here on PC for about a year now and I've realized that people are only interested on updates if you provide screenshots. You may have enormous posts telling about how far you are with your CBS. Most people just don't care. Fact is: screenshots count, specially if you have little details like the ones I mentioned.

I've recently begun to notice that.

I've seen the tons of screenshots you posted in your starting post, on GS thread, showing every little speech of your game. That isn't attractive for people. They want to see cool stuff, effects etc.

Working on them, I also have a few things I'm trying out, some assitance with Tilesets and other graphics could help.

Continuing...

About the lack of good replies. You'll have to live with it, as most of the people here do. We post our games to get critics, both good or bad. Good games (the ones that have more "attractive" stuff) will get good replies and support messages.

Just wondering, how much further do I have to go before I can get a thread without constant reminders of "problems"

And especially without a "I like the old one better reply" I wonder about that one anyway, seeing that GS didn't change that much between threads.

About the lack of any replies. This one is particularly nice. There is a game here that everyone seems to love. It's thread has exactly 1,216 posts, making it a popular thread, no doubt about it. People have userbars, banners, messages of support, special content for fans. However, it seems to me that if you cut the crap there, you'll get about 100 posts. So, you should really stick to "quality" not "quantity".

What are you talking about, exactly?

About the lack of a proper team. That may or may not be a problem. There are good games being done by 1~2 people team. It is possible.

If you say so, it just is hard to get those "custom graphics" and such alone.

About the lack of supporters. They'll come eventually, when your game shows some nice progress, features etc. People like to see a simple menu, a simple effect, a simple custom character, and they'll come saying "I love you" when you deserve it, of course.

I am desperatly trying to get that far.

Suggestions for your game-making career. (Yes, I'm aware you're not a noob) Researc what famous games have that make them famous, like Acanthite and Liquid (or maybe Metropolis lol) and improve it. Instead of this sort of jealousy, study the behaviour of more experienced game-makers (Please, don't take this as a "you're noob" insult, just a form of knowing how to do, what to post etc)

It's not as much jealousy, as it is I've spent over the past 2 weeks at least 30 hours searching for recources, ect for the game. Simply put, I put so much time into it, but get really little back.

As I said before, keep it up and good luck.

~Azura.

Thanks again.

Welcome to my world... I have what, three staff members outside of myself and no supporters. But I think that the reason people go for projects like Acanthite is because they know the owner from a different branch of faking. Sadly, this means fangames only succeed if made by famous people. My advice: become staff on a megaproject, and people will pay attention to you.

Ok, so let me get this straight, I have to become part of Ancanite to become as good as Ancanite?! O...K...

And btw, I did get affiliated with Dark Star Inc. (Pokemon Metallic Silver) and they ignored me, even Flameguru eventully stopped contacting me.

I also tried to get in with Treasures before they died, they A. Said "I didn't have enough experience" to work with them. And B. Said they were "too busy" to complete the few sprites I needed, which they were doing for Treasures, anyway.

DarkPegasus
April 2nd, 2007, 07:02 AM
When your thread hasn't received any new posts since you last updated, and you do have something new and nice to show (specially screenshots), you are allowed to double-post to bump your topic. A better alternative for this would be deleting your post and then re-posting it, which would be a "clean-bump".

That is still against the rules... Especially the "clean-bump" as I have learned in the last few days...

I posted:
Sorry for the double post, I will delete the previous post.

Is this song a "whole" song, or just an intro for the series?

And the reply from a mod:

It's still a double post. Next time edit your post instead of deleting it and posting again.

Intros are almost always shorter versions of the song, but you can always find the original versions somewhere in the net.


As to what Mooshykris posted... I can't disagree with what you say... But lets see what makes Achanite so popular, although I do think there are some games out there that deserve waaaay more attention. So the reasons:
1. It's been in production for almost 2, maybe even 3 years.
2. It was never stopped, although restarted
3. The updates are constant
4. When there is an update it is usually big, with a lot of screenshots
5. The screenshots usually show entire maps, so people take more than 3 sec to look at the screenshots
6. They show some of the updates via images, then some via hyperlinks this makes people interested and more likely to post.
7. There are some custom tilesets, and that is almost, if not even more popular than systems around here
8. Fanking makes very long posts and people think that they can also answer with a long post, which, they think, makes them smarter
9. Lets admit it... Fanking is more of a "classic PC member"...

That's my opinion about it...

~Azura
April 2nd, 2007, 08:45 AM
That is still against the rules... Especially the "clean-bump" as I have learned in the last few days...

That wasn't in the Game Development section, was it?

;)

acrof
April 2nd, 2007, 11:27 AM
That remembers me of my first project for a fan game, amazingly it was called Pokemon GS Dark Silver (2004), almost the same name of your game.:laugh:

But when I was working on it, I simply noticed that I WAS ALONE into making it, nobody would help me.
Soon I lost the will to work on it, and it died in the same year (2004).

In 2006 I think I discovered why:

* There are too many Pokemon GS hacks and fan games almost finished, that are well known, so trying to compete against them is a waste of time, because you will work hard to make something that already exists.

* People do care about Screenshots and they will not like if you don´t show coll stuff in them.

* People are blind to games that don´t fit the with the
jurassical standard of the GBA/DS pokemon games.

If it doesn´t have: (same CBS as the original GBA games, same font with SAME SHADOW EFFECT, with same resolution, with same graphic style) people will not like your game.

* However, some people don´t like the standard (me for example:P ) and look for something different.
These people will like your game if it it´s SIMILAR to the original GBA ones, but not the SAME as them.
Like having a REAL RPG story line. (because, you know, pokemon story lines are horrible, if they even exists)

That´s what I have learned of pokemon game making, over these years.

Mooshykris
April 2nd, 2007, 11:36 AM
That remembers me of my first project for a fan game, amazingly it was called Pokemon GS Dark Silver (2004), almost the same name of your game.:laugh:

But when I was working on it, I simply noticed that I WAS ALONE into making it, nobody would help me.
Soon I lost the will to work on it, and it died in the same year (2004).

In 2006 I think I discovered why:

* There are too many Pokemon GS hacks and fan games almost finished, that are well known, so trying to compete against them is a waste of time, because you will work hard to make something that already exists.

* People do care about Screenshots and they will not like if you don´t show coll stuff in them.

* People are blind to games that don´t fit the with the
jurassical standard of the GBA/DS pokemon games.

If it doesn´t have: (same CBS as the original GBA games, same font with SAME SHADOW EFFECT, with same resolution, with same graphic style) people will not like your game.

* However, some people don´t like the standard (me for example:P ) and look for something different.
These people will like your game if it it´s SIMILAR to the original GBA ones, but not the SAME as them.
Like having a REAL RPG story line. (because, you know, pokemon story lines are horrible, if they even exists)

That´s what I have learned of pokemon game making, over these years.

I see many similarities between the two. But that seems to clearly say: "There is no purpose in trying to compete with these other games, so making GS is a lost cause"

Neo-Dragon
April 2nd, 2007, 12:31 PM
If it doesn´t have: (same CBS as the original GBA games, same font with SAME SHADOW EFFECT, with same resolution, with same graphic style) people will not like your game.



I disagree with that one. My current game- Protectors- has a pretty different CBS then the original GBA games and people seem to like my game.

DeM0nFiRe
April 2nd, 2007, 02:03 PM
Here's why you can't get any recruits: It's just another fangame. I mean with pokemon acanthite and pokemon metropolis, they have most of the systems already. you already went to my starter kit thread on another site asking for a menu(Spam, by the way), and you had already given up on the battle system. the guy who said check out my starter kit thread wasn't too far off. I am making the starter kit for everyone to use. It will have al the systems and everything else you need.
Once you have all the systems, try recruiting again. People won't want to help you if it seems like you just want them to script systems for you.
And don't get upset about constructive criticism, It is there to help. you could a.) take advice and make a game people will like, or b.) ignore them and make a game that is frustrating even to look at.
Bottom line, when people want to help you, let them.

Mooshykris
April 2nd, 2007, 02:29 PM
Here's why you can't get any recruits: It's just another fangame. I mean with pokemon acanthite and pokemon metropolis, they have most of the systems already. you already went to my starter kit thread on another site asking for a menu(Spam, by the way), and you had already given up on the battle system. the guy who said check out my starter kit thread wasn't too far off. I am making the starter kit for everyone to use. It will have al the systems and everything else you need.
Once you have all the systems, try recruiting again. People won't want to help you if it seems like you just want them to script systems for you.
And don't get upset about constructive criticism, It is there to help. you could a.) take advice and make a game people will like, or b.) ignore them and make a game that is frustrating even to look at.
Bottom line, when people want to help you, let them.

WWWHHHAAATTT?! What are you talking about?! I asked on the RMXP thread if the Kit was going to be SDK compatible?! And who said I'd ever given up on a battle system?!

DeM0nFiRe
April 2nd, 2007, 03:04 PM
HA HA oh whoops sorry man. I was thinking of the wrong person... that's my bad. Really sorry about that one. I was thinking of KenchinBlade. man i suck.

well in answer to your question: I don't know. I am not developing it specifically for the SDK but I don't know if it will work. I geuss you can find that out for yourself. I'm just curious though, why does it need to be SDK compatible?

Mooshykris
April 2nd, 2007, 03:13 PM
HA HA oh whoops sorry man. I was thinking of the wrong person... that's my bad. Really sorry about that one. I was thinking of KenchinBlade. man i suck.

well in answer to your question: I don't know. I am not developing it specifically for the SDK but I don't know if it will work. I geuss you can find that out for yourself. I'm just curious though, why does it need to be SDK compatible?

I answered that question on RMXP.

DarkDoom3000
April 3rd, 2007, 02:50 AM
whay u complaining about.. everybody goes through it...

anyway i had no team and pokemon illusion turned out good...ish
i cant seem to find the thread...good memories. ah well i moved on.

Vavavoom ♣
April 3rd, 2007, 03:10 AM
\

Now, I have had enough! My constant work on my projects still haven't payed off!




You see, I already told my-self that sentence (Not with the exact same words). But now, my game, Pokemon Gale, with help or not, it will be finished.

HAVE A GOAL!:classic:

Fangking Omega
April 3rd, 2007, 08:22 AM
A lot of it is down to delivery... people are happier with pretty pictures than most other things. I have a graphics-heavy team these days - and one scripter excluding myself, as I'm not THAT good (I tend to handle events rather than scripts). You DEFINITELY need the systems or a promise of systems that you can more or less guarantee, otherwise you're not taken entirely seriously, but looking good is unfairly the main focus here.

I think Crazy Weavile alluded to this; I come from a card faking background. Part of Acanthite's success is due to a couple of people I picked up from my card faking days: KangasKid and Cascade Gonpory are good friends of mine who contributed to the Pokémon design. People like the designs because they're true to what Pokémon should be - the designers do a great job. There was also Mateo who's been backing me in the graphics department for nearly 4 years, providing me with pretty buildings to make pretty maps with. Again, it's all about what people can look at.

An original story was developed, some promise shown with scripting, lots of pretty screens and features were displayed, an in-depth introductory post... More people are drawn in, and a team is built. Eventually a quality scripter arrives and we're shooting along. The further we go, the more people look.

I will make a sweeping statement here.

You do need a team - one person alone can't do it as I discovered.

However, one person or a small number of people CAN lay the ground work ;) And this can lead onto bigger and better things.

You site Acanthite a lot in your main post as being a successful project - I'd say it's been pretty lucky in that it survived the more difficult period where progress was a bit slow, and it didn't ever get "cancelled" or "abandonned" and so on. But it's taken a fair amount of time and luck to build up and attract the right people for the job.

If you've got a good idea, determination, patience and a little bit of fortune are the key ingredients. It's a tough world, but you gotta have the drive I think. Personally I admire what you've done and I think you've got the ability to go far with it.

You've made an interesting and very realistic analysis. I think it's worth considering for a LOT of developers and would-be developers on this scene. Why do some fail where others succeed?

Mooshykris
April 3rd, 2007, 09:57 AM
A lot of it is down to delivery... people are happier with pretty pictures than most other things. I have a graphics-heavy team these days - and one scripter excluding myself, as I'm not THAT good (I tend to handle events rather than scripts).

Sadly, I don't have any kind of background like that. I'm horrible with graphics, so I don't make fakes or anything. I've failed completely with fanfiction writing, so I can't find anyone there. The only talent that I have that can contribute a good amount to GS, is my amazing skills with MIDI editing and conversion.

You DEFINITELY need the systems or a promise of systems that you can more or less guarantee, otherwise you're not taken entirely seriously, but looking good is unfairly the main focus here.

First thing, the "main focus" of PC or this thread? Now, to what you said, I am doing the best I alone can in this respect, seeings as I am working with scripts I find on RMXP.

I think Crazy Weavile alluded to this; I come from a card faking background. Part of Acanthite's success is due to a couple of people I picked up from my card faking days: KangasKid and Cascade Gonpory are good friends of mine who contributed to the Pokémon design. People like the designs because they're true to what Pokémon should be - the designers do a great job. There was also Mateo who's been backing me in the graphics department for nearly 4 years, providing me with pretty buildings to make pretty maps with. Again, it's all about what people can look at.

I see what you mean, I've finally secured a concept artist. Now all I need is a Tileset/Game Sprite person.

An original story was developed, some promise shown with scripting, lots of pretty screens and features were displayed, an in-depth introductory post... More people are drawn in, and a team is built. Eventually a quality scripter arrives and we're shooting along. The further we go, the more people look.

I am desperately trying to get this far.

I will make a sweeping statement here.

You do need a team - one person alone can't do it as I discovered.

However, one person or a small number of people CAN lay the ground work ;) And this can lead onto bigger and better things.

You site Acanthite a lot in your main post as being a successful project - I'd say it's been pretty lucky in that it survived the more difficult period where progress was a bit slow, and it didn't ever get "cancelled" or "abandonned" and so on. But it's taken a fair amount of time and luck to build up and attract the right people for the job.

If you've got a good idea, determination, patience and a little bit of fortune are the key ingredients. It's a tough world, but you gotta have the drive I think. Personally I admire what you've done and I think you've got the ability to go far with it.

Well, one reason I stopped my projects is: Like back in my G/T days, when I quit, besides needing the real RMXP, I needed more experience to make a good game.

And, in reality, now I have no intent on quitting GS, but I would, above all, love a thread that can last more than 6 months, especially having more than 100 posts.

You've made an interesting and very realistic analysis. I think it's worth considering for a LOT of developers and would-be developers on this scene. Why do some fail where others succeed?

Anyway, thanks for your review.

Mooshykris

Legacy
April 3rd, 2007, 10:05 AM
C.O.M.E.T. That's what you need to make a game. Unless you have each of the five points listed, and you need to have bags of the stuff too, then you are doomed to fail. Simple as that. Even if you do have these characteristics in abundance, you still need a good amount of luck. Harsh fact of life, really.

Creativity.
Originality.
Motivation.
Enthusiasm.
Talent.

raubie
April 3rd, 2007, 11:45 AM
dude, why would this be a bad comment:

"The game is ok, not too bad and not too great. What you could do to improve it is making it look more like pokémon games, resizing the screen to 480x320, inserting Pokémon font and the font-shadow script. That way it would look much better than it is now.

Anyway, keep it up and welcome again"

A part of creating a game and showing it to the world is taking critics.
When you're not able to handle constructive criticism then don't show your game at all. Personally I don't see why you created this thread, to whine about your games getting negative comments? Deal with it, learn from it, and don't stop trying.

Also:
"I have many times before, "given up," only to run back later looking like a fool. I've changes since then, but the situation still isn't improving (if anything, it's getting worse)."
If you don't want to create a game then don't do so. Nobody is forcing you.

Also:
"The game looks great..."
Why is this a negative comment again?

Also:
"I have devoted every free minute I have to the development of Pokemon GS, and still, my work goes unappreciated! I've tried and tried again, each time failing. And each time I fail, it becomes harder to try again. Now I've reached a point where I can't go on much longer."
If you would take some critics and improve your game here and there you it probably would go appreciated. And again: Devoted every free minute to it? Why for god's sake? If you don't want to then don't!

If you only want to hear comments like: OMG I luv ur game!!eleven! Wer dit u g3t the gr4fixzors? Then don't post your game at all. I find it rather sad that you posted this nonsense in the first place...

Fangking Omega
April 3rd, 2007, 12:52 PM
If you only want to hear comments like: OMG I luv ur game!!eleven! Wer dit u g3t the gr4fixzors? Then don't post your game at all. I find it rather sad that you posted this nonsense in the first place...

I think the main issue raised here is actually an important one, so to dismiss it as nonsense is quite ludicrous.

Mooshykris definitely brought to light an important issue that some games on here don't actually get enough support to possibly be successful regardless of the effort put in. Taking his G/S as an example, he's learned to script which is a lot more than some people on here have bothered to do as they lie in wait to be spoonfed another starter kit.

However, he's not a superhuman and can't do it alone. But he can't seem to generate enough interest to acquire the help and support of others - for example he needs gfx artists and tileset makers because that's not his personal strength.

Taking Acanthite as another example, I don't have a clue how to script which is the IMPORTANT part, but I can put together pretty screenshots and a nice story. However I wouldn't be able to finish the game with just that. But I've been lucky enough to get a team together, even if only attracted by pretty pictures at first. And maybe I had a bit of carry over from my fake card fame. But is that really fair - does my ability as an artist of sorts mean I have a god-given right to be successful on this scene when my RGSS knowledge - the power of creating the game's core - is mediocre at best? No.

Look at how many games have been completed. Hmmm...

Are the "big" projects like CoL and Treasures (not to single you out guys - there's just not a lot going on so far as I can tell!) having as much effort pumped into them these days? Or are the developers just trying to disguise the complete lack of progress observed recently? Yet they still attract a lot of attention.

I think this scene is a great one to be involved with, and it's sad to see that not many people are managing to bring their visions completely to life.

Maybe there aren't enough resources?
Or would that just be more spoonfeeding?

IMO developers need to work together in some regards. I'm not suggesting that all developers share everything, but a little help for some of the more promising projects might be healthy.
Teamwork is vital to the success of this scene.

It's just difficult to make that happen.

I don't think in making this thread Mooshykris was implying that "OMG I NEED MORE GOOD REPLIES LOLZ". This is a COMMON effect observed in the fangame making scene, and I for one am not foolish enough to dismiss it as irrelevant or nonsense, Raubie.

Mooshykris
April 3rd, 2007, 06:01 PM
I think the main issue raised here is actually an important one, so to dismiss it as nonsense is quite ludicrous.

Mooshykris definitely brought to light an important issue that some games on here don't actually get enough support to possibly be successful regardless of the effort put in. Taking his G/S as an example, he's learned to script which is a lot more than some people on here have bothered to do as they lie in wait to be spoonfed another starter kit.

However, he's not a superhuman and can't do it alone. But he can't seem to generate enough interest to acquire the help and support of others - for example he needs gfx artists and tileset makers because that's not his personal strength.

Taking Acanthite as another example, I don't have a clue how to script which is the IMPORTANT part, but I can put together pretty screenshots and a nice story. However I wouldn't be able to finish the game with just that. But I've been lucky enough to get a team together, even if only attracted by pretty pictures at first. And maybe I had a bit of carry over from my fake card fame. But is that really fair - does my ability as an artist of sorts mean I have a god-given right to be successful on this scene when my RGSS knowledge - the power of creating the game's core - is mediocre at best? No.

Look at how many games have been completed. Hmmm...

Are the "big" projects like CoL and Treasures (not to single you out guys - there's just not a lot going on so far as I can tell!) having as much effort pumped into them these days? Or are the developers just trying to disguise the complete lack of progress observed recently? Yet they still attract a lot of attention.

I think this scene is a great one to be involved with, and it's sad to see that not many people are managing to bring their visions completely to life.

Maybe there aren't enough resources?
Or would that just be more spoonfeeding?

IMO developers need to work together in some regards. I'm not suggesting that all developers share everything, but a little help for some of the more promising projects might be healthy.
Teamwork is vital to the success of this scene.

It's just difficult to make that happen.

I don't think in making this thread Mooshykris was implying that "OMG I NEED MORE GOOD REPLIES LOLZ". This is a COMMON effect observed in the fangame making scene, and I for one am not foolish enough to dismiss it as irrelevant or nonsense, Raubie.

Thank you Fangking! I'm glad I have some backup. It seems that no on

And to answer some of these things you said: So as to NOT look like I'm being spoonfed everything, I scrapped the Starter Kit completley, with a mind set to do this (semi)alone.

I still can't script my own scripts yet, but I've learned enough to take a script and double it's power, thus making my own custom script, which is benefiting many people on RMXP.


Now, my reply to what Fangking said on this is:

I think most people here aren't reading this very well, because you're obviously misinterpreting what I've said:

You see, I already told my-self that sentence (Not with the exact same words). But now, my game, Pokemon Gale, with help or not, it will be finished.

HAVE A GOAL!:classic:

Hmmmmmmm, get a goal... I think I've had one for a while, thank you.

dude, why would this be a bad comment:

"The game is ok, not too bad and not too great. What you could do to improve it is making it look more like pokémon games, resizing the screen to 480x320, inserting Pokémon font and the font-shadow script. That way it would look much better than it is now.

Anyway, keep it up and welcome again"

I never said it was bad, I was comparing it to other threads' replies.

A part of creating a game and showing it to the world is taking critics. When you're not able to handle constructive criticism then don't show your game at all. Personally I don't see why you created this thread, to whine about your games getting negative comments? Deal with it, learn from it, and don't stop trying.

Now, I have to say, this is very original, I've only heard this one like...every time I try to bring this subject to light. If I didn't accept criticizm, I would'nt have left PC for 6 months to try to become a better game maker.

Side note from this: Do I have to hear this constantly?! This kind of thing is why I made this thread. I'm tired of hearing that same line, it's ridiculous!

Also:
"I have many times before, "given up," only to run back later looking like a fool. I've changes since then, but the situation still isn't improving (if anything, it's getting worse)."
If you don't want to create a game then don't do so. Nobody is forcing you.

Hmmmmmmmmm... Has it ever occured to you that I WANT TO MAKE THIS GAME?!

Also:
"The game looks great..."
Why is this a negative comment again?

Read above... and read the entire reply too!

Also:
"I have devoted every free minute I have to the development of Pokemon GS, and still, my work goes unappreciated! I've tried and tried again, each time failing. And each time I fail, it becomes harder to try again. Now I've reached a point where I can't go on much longer."
If you would take some critics and improve your game here and there you it probably would go appreciated. And again: Devoted every free minute to it? Why for god's sake? If you don't want to then don't!

http://img364.imageshack.us/img364/5674/bdeadgh1.gifWhere on earth is your mind?!http://img364.imageshack.us/img364/5674/bdeadgh1.gif

When did I ever say I didn't want to make this game?!!!!! And why "for god's sake" would I spend every free minute of my time working on GS?!!!! Maybe because that's what I enjoy doing, "for god's sake!!!"

If you only want to hear comments like: OMG I luv ur game!!eleven! Wer dit u g3t the gr4fixzors? Then don't post your game at all. I find it rather sad that you posted this nonsense in the first place...

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, so this is just nonsense, well... If you think so, that's your problem not mine.

Mooshykris

raubie
April 3rd, 2007, 09:42 PM
"The first issue I am into view is the lack many good replies. I have yet to have a game thread with more than 3-5 consecutive good replies. And I've had almost no replies over the course of my fangames, that wasn't criticizing something about the game (constructive or not)!"
Sorry but to me it looks like you're not happy about the (in my opinion) constructive criticism you got about your game, not comparing it to other threads.

"Hmmmmmmmmm... Has it ever occured to you that I WANT TO MAKE THIS GAME?!"
Heh, ok, you just made it look like you were making it for other people. If you want to make this game then do so. But if people don't like then why would you care? It's your game, you're making it for yourself and not for others.

"Now, I have to say, this is very original, I've only heard this one like...every time I try to bring this subject to light. If I didn't accept criticizm, I would'nt have left PC for 6 months to try to become a better game maker."
I'm just telling you again just to make sure you know it, I'm not trying to be original I want to make sure you know it ;) Also, it's good that you're trying/tried to improve yourself, I'm asuming you're taking peoples critics and learning from them? In that case forget most of my previous post.

Also, I think that a small issue on your game could be that there are allready a lot of g/s remakes. You have to show people why the would want to play your game. A custom battle system just won't do. I think the main reason why acathinte is so popular is because of the new pokemon and the new region. A new land with new creatures is more fun than an old region with old pokemon right?

Anyways, even though I'm not to fond of this topic I wish you best of luck with your game (if you're still working on it) and games you will create in the future. :)

DarkDoom3000
April 3rd, 2007, 10:54 PM
dude... people are trying to help.
ya know...

making a game can be hard, who gives a poopie about other peoples copmments. if you know you can do it. do it!
if they comment omethin good then...good..
if they comment something bad, then try to improve.

like the resulotion thingy, mabye make options for changing it...or make a small res version and a large res version

PokeCreator_09
April 3rd, 2007, 11:32 PM
A part of creating a game and showing it to the world is taking critics.
When you're not able to handle constructive criticism then don't show your game at all. Personally I don't see why you created this thread, to whine about your games getting negative comments? Deal with it, learn from it, and don't stop trying.

If you only want to hear comments like: OMG I luv ur game!!eleven! Wer dit u g3t the gr4fixzors? Then don't post your game at all. I find it rather sad that you posted this nonsense in the first place...

He's not whining and he doesn't want the little comments that says, wow, this game pwns..and stuff like that. He wants criticism, but he also wants to know what to improve on. Half the people replying to is thread complain about the font and screen size, but they don't tell him anything else to improve on. It's opkay to get comments like that and it makes you feel good about your game,but every now and then you need an in-depth opinion.

Mooshykris
April 3rd, 2007, 11:52 PM
He's not whining and he doesn't want the little comments that says, wow, this game pwns..and stuff like that. He wants criticism, but he also wants to know what to improve on. Half the people replying to is thread complain about the font and screen size, but they don't tell him anything else to improve on. It's opkay to get comments like that and it makes you feel good about your game,but every now and then you need an in-depth opinion.

Thank you Poke_Creator_09! It's good to have some support on when others who support you aren't!

Anyways, reguarding:

OMG I luv ur game!!eleven! Wer dit u g3t the gr4fixzors?

You do know that if anyone said something like that, I'd report them as a spammer.

Mooshykris

raubie
April 4th, 2007, 12:07 PM
You do know that if anyone said something like that, I'd report them as a spammer.

Mooshykris

Yeah, I'd do the same. <_<
Anyways, It seems that I have taken your intentions on making this thread wrong. It just looked like you were complaining about not getting any good replies while you were getting them and it kinda looked like you were making the game for others. Sorry for my immature behaviour. Guess we all one day learn from our mistakes, today I learn from mine xD. Even though I (still) think comparing (fan) games (and the comments they get ;)) to each other is a little bit odd.
Also, I think you could've claryfied things a little bit better. (perhaps it's better to say somewhere that you are not complaining about the comments you receive, incase another dumbass like me makes the same mistake)
Once more, I apologize.
Also "OMG I luv ur game!!eleven! Wer dit u g3t the gr4fixzors?" Was an example. I don't expect
anyone to post crap like that ;)

Keep your head up.

Raubie

Fangking Omega
April 4th, 2007, 01:32 PM
I think the main issue we need to consider now is how to improve things for developers and make it easier for them to move ahead.

DeM0nFiRe
April 4th, 2007, 02:19 PM
You do need a team - one person alone can't do it as I discovered.
Uhh.. this isn't necessarily true. I am making a pokemon starter kit followed by a pokemon game by myself and I find it's easier to work on this kind of thing alone. I mean with systems this complicated, you need ta make absolutely sure they all work together. I suppose you could use a team to make the story and pokemon but i wouldn't call that a need.

Legacy
April 4th, 2007, 02:23 PM
However, he's not a superhuman and can't do it alone. But he can't seem to generate enough interest to acquire the help and support of others - for example he needs gfx artists and tileset makers because that's not his personal strength.
I disagree there. And with some other things you've mentioned in that post too.

The only true quality a game developer needs is the ability to create. Whether that be through RGSS, or any other scripting language, or through the use of event coding. If you can do that then you are on the right track to getting a completed game.

However, if you can't, you're in big trouble. I am fiercely opposed to so called "game creators" that can't actually make things happen other than build maps or create tilesets and other graphics. There are more than enough graphics out there to use to create a Pokemon game. No question. All you really need to do if graphic design isn't your strong point is to find the existing resources and use them.

If you are no good with graphics, don't focus on the graphics. Spend your time and energy on the programming. Actually do work to show off, do things that aren't common in the other fan games to make your game stand out.

Also, if you are good at graphics but no good at programming, then learn to program. Learn to rely on yourself to make progress otherwise you are doomed to fail. Try to argue otherwise if you want, but when you are relying on somebody else for 80% of your game's work then you are just waiting to be let down because, not only do you have to make sure that you're motivation and commitment don't fade, you also have to hope that their's doesn't either. And that's hard to do.

As to real advice for everyone. Just keep working and keep learning. With game development, you do need to have a certain creativity and vision to see what makes a good and unique game. But, you also need to have the knowledge and the skill to bring that vision to life. And you can only do that by learning and practicing.

Lihinel
April 4th, 2007, 03:09 PM
Uhh.. this isn't necessarily true. I am making a pokemon starter kit followed by a pokemon game by myself and I find it's easier to work on this kind of thing alone. I mean with systems this complicated, you need ta make absolutely sure they all work together. I suppose you could use a team to make the story and pokemon but i wouldn't call that a need.

I think he already mentioned before, that this statement is more about the graphics than the scripting. (the post where he speaks about the members of his team and that there is only one person for Ruby, while there are a lot more doing all that graphical stuff, fakemon and so on)

And about your "starter kit", its not done jet. And as far as I know, no real finished pkmn starterkid exists. (at least not for rm2k/3, xp and sphere) Those who are used by most people lack many features and some where not made that well. The real problem imo is not the missing Ruby skill of its creators, but the fact, that they didnt spend enought time to see how all the needed classes for all the features must work together.

Fangking Omega
April 5th, 2007, 05:33 AM
Fair cop I suppose. Perhaps I will specify... to make a GOOD project, you'll need a team. I'm yet to meet someone who excels in all areas; scripting and event making, graphics (all fields), mapping, story writing, original Pokémon concepts (if applicable), sound... with so many things to consider, I've found that a team is needed. While I'm sure some people might MANAGE by themselves on all fronts if they're well rounded, it's probably better to have the best people for each job to get the best quality out of the project.

Working alone isn't easy. As a developer, if I'm working on the project and realise I need something, if I was working alone as I once upon a time did, I'd have to leave what I was working on to sort out this other thing that I need. With a team on hand, tasks of the sort can be delegated and things get done efficiently. Also there are things that my level of skill in certain fields can't cater for. Someone else on the team however is awesome at it! A developer could have a great vision, but can't bring out the best of it alone.

DeM0nFiRe
April 5th, 2007, 04:48 PM
I think he already mentioned before, that this statement is more about the graphics than the scripting. (the post where he speaks about the members of his team and that there is only one person for Ruby, while there are a lot more doing all that graphical stuff, fakemon and so on)

And about your "starter kit", its not done jet. And as far as I know, no real finished pkmn starterkid exists. (at least not for rm2k/3, xp and sphere) Those who are used by most people lack many features and some where not made that well. The real problem imo is not the missing Ruby skill of its creators, but the fact, that they didnt spend enought time to see how all the needed classes for all the features must work together.

Actually the problem wasn't in not enough time spent, it was in the approach. It seemed to me that people were taking a harder approach because easier approaches seem too easy. But I am taking an easier approach and I am nearing completion of the ever elusive battle system and I have encountered no problems at all. In fact, the classes that my kit uses can work with anything if I'm not mistaken. I don't use the SDK but, in answer to your question you had for me Mooshykris, I beleive it will be compatible.
Anyway, back on the last topic, I suppose your right Fangking, It is easier to make a game like this with a team, but wether it is necessary or not depends on the focus and skill of the maker. I mean you don't have to be uber skillful to make pokemon sprites, but it can be frustrating to make 150+ pokemon sprites. So I suppose that a team would increase the chance of a game being finished, based mainly on the principle of reducing boredom.

Fangking Omega
April 6th, 2007, 03:11 AM
I see and appreciate what you're saying about working alone, but here's where I can't agree with you. I'm still to discover a maker with the FULL set of skills ;)

Thinking about how many games get discontinued and disappear, I would say with a helping of certainty that nobody will get far without assistance. It's just my opinion of course, but I think full quality is nigh impossible to achieve alone. And you raised the point that boredom is an issue. Working alone inevitably will produce boredom. This is where the game stalls, and other people lose interest too.

Teams don't NEED to be big. But you consider Treasures - that's a team effort, albeit stagnated by a lack of progress and a lack of a game engine. Think about CoL - people think Booda when you say that game's name, but not a lot of people realise he's got a small team helping him out on some aspects. I would probably say that these have been the biggest projects on the scene, inspirational to other developers (me included, I started because I saw CoL, and Treasures more or less started this scene in the first place), they have some real quality and plenty of exposure to the fangaming community.

I also think that in OFFICIAL games, they're put out by teams rather than individuals.

So... my advice to game makers?
Do build up a team, even if small at first.
Plan and present your game well - this will attract more help
Your game will then presumably progress faster and will have more quality, resulting in more popularity and exposure.

It also becomes a social thing to an extent and you do make some good friends within the team. It keeps the interest and good vibe flowing, and you're engaging with people on a worldwide scale in many cases.

DeM0nFiRe
April 6th, 2007, 05:51 AM
I see and appreciate what you're saying about working alone, but here's where I can't agree with you. I'm still to discover a maker with the FULL set of skills
hee hee, alright then, I'll show you a maker with a full set of skills when I make my Pokemon Aura game after the starter kit. I mean, like I said, I have nothing against a team, It's just that, to me, a pokemon game doesn't seem large scale enough to bother with a team. I mean, I'm in a company right now that I will probably use for my team for one of my projects that for now is actually named Massive Scale RPG or [MRPG]

Crazy Weavile
April 7th, 2007, 07:42 AM
Another awful thing: 90% percent of my replies are saying I need a spriter. Ugh... I need a bit MORE than that tidbit of knowledge. Personaly, I'll never give up on T/I, though. I'm beyond stubborn, and one day it WILL be finished.

DarkDoom3000
April 8th, 2007, 07:15 PM
ah, at least bad replies are betta than no replies cause ur project would be dea if ya got none!
(trust me i know, and its true no reply=no true updates=game going deep down the forum... where no-bodi looks=DEAD)