View Full Version : The Unwritten Rules of Game Development

April 3rd, 2008, 1:09 PM
For all of you that post here, I thought I would finally share my thoughts on what the true unwritten rules of this section are, as well as what they should be. You should take these ideas to heart, but you also should leave room for new ideas and such to appear. Also, if anyone feels like they know of one I did not mention, then please, feel free to post it, so long as it is appropriate. WARNING: I may include your rules if I like them.

1. If you are starting a project, you've got to do something. Anything. I'm not talking about designing scenes, or "managing". I'm talking about doing something major for your projects, like mapping, spriting, scripting, or something along those lines. Story building is one of those things that is on the borderline. You might get people if your skill at that is obviously good, but you have to be REALLY good at it.

2. Before starting a project, hang around. Post in other projects' threads with constructive criticism. Help people with their own problems. Make suggestions. Create a new thread on a subject that hasn't come up in a while, but might prove useful. If people know you, they are more likely to help you.

3. Before starting a project, or joining someone else's, get the hang of the program you will use. That means that you buy/download it, and then start using it. In my experience, the fastest way to learn how to use a program, or even to learn how to script, is to simply mess around. Do whatever comes to mind, so long as it isn't too complex for you. I learned how to use RMXP simply by making something, then coming up with a new idea in the "I wonder if I could..." format, then actually doing that.

4. You don't have to "prove yourself". Just be a nice person. be helpful and kind. You'll make a lot more friends, and you won't be banned. You don't have to act "cool", or be the best at everything. That means that you're willing to admit to mistakes and fix the problem, and they you are willing to acknowledge that someone might be better than you at something.

5. You don't have to be completely original. The truth is, original ideas a few and far between. Just put your own spin on things, and, in most cases, you'll be fine. On the other hand, don't be completely unoriginal either. That's just boring, and you do not want to be boring.

6. Don't make pointless posts. Quoting someone and saying you agree with them is repetitive and annoying. Saying things like "This game rocks!" or variants of that is also pointless. Say something more, or at least prove that you read the posts before yours. On the other hand, don't make a huge post that says absolutely nothing, as most people will stop pretty early on. (On a side note, some may argue that this post falls under that last statement. I would then disagree, sayinfg that if you at least read the bolded textr, you would have an idea of what I was saying.)

7. Don't flame, troll, or cause other poinless pain. Most people will not appreciate the twisted wit, if any, that exists withing these posts, and prefer to ignore these posts, or to flame back. This just causes a long, arduous, and annoying thread that usually gets locked or deleted, and one or more users banned.

8. When you use someone else's work as a base for your own, give credit. It's that simple. If you don't many people may become angry, and you will lose your standing in the community. Not only that, but there are many things out there that the creators would prefer not to be used in somebody else's project without their permission.

9. Do not argue with the Mods/Admins. In this forum, they control everything. If you post against them in the public view, then you are not likely to earn their respect. Instead, if you disagree with one of them, PM them with a non-inflammatory message telling them about your problem and asking that they think on it. That way, you don't cause them public pain, and you're talking to them on a one-to-one basis. That way, you're much more likely to earn their respect.

10. Do not create threads referencing other threads/users/decisions. When a thread is locked/deleted, or a user is banned, there is usually a very good reason. When the Mods/Admins change one of the rules, or add a new one, they are usually working with the intent to help the board move forward, and become a better, more user-friendly place. As with the rule above, opposing their decisions can often leat to a swift and long-lasting ban. Also, if you want to talk to a user, the best method is to email/pm them, as creating a thread often results with them wither not noticing, being drawn out of their comfort zone, or even actions from the Mods/Admins.

11. Do not ask for help with someone else's work. That means that if you are using a starter kit, you PM the creator of the kit, instead of posting for help. It also means that when you use someone else's script, you try to find a way to contact them. You chouls only ask for help if that member can no longer be reached or found. That means you tried PMming them, Emailing them, and Googling them first. (Contributed by DarkPegasus (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=6983))

12. Do not create various help threads. If you need help with something that is your own work, post it into the Help and Request Thread (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=80029). That thread was created for people to ask for help. By ignoring that thread and creating your own thread, you are breaking an official community rule. By breaking community rules, you are setting yourself up for locked/deleted threads, as well as a possible banning. Also, if making one help thread isn't allow2ed, what makes you think that making several will be, even if they all have different titles? (Contributed by DarkPegasus (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=6983))

13. There is no "because it sounds cool" rule. When you start a new project, don't include every Pokemon region and a couple hundred new Pokemon just because it sounds cool. If you do, you won't get any experienced people to help you, and your project will probably die rather quickly. Not only that, but if it doesn't die, you will probably have to drop all of those extra regions and the majority of the new Pokemon. Also, you must realize that MMOs are extremely difficult to build, even for experts. That is why there are so few, the notables able to be counted on two hands. (Count your fingers! :)(Contributed by DarkPegasus (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=6983))

14. Don't say you'll do something you either can't or won't do. That means that you don't make a thread saying you'll make a game if you haven't worked on the game for a while and at least made the basic framework for your game before starting the thread. That also means that if you don't think you'll be able to do something, you don't say you'll do it. That just disappoints people, or, if you continue to do it, annoys and possibly angers them. (Contributed by DarkPegasus (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=6983))

15. Use Google before asking a question. Chances are, someone else has asked the same thing before, and you can find the answers, or lack of answers, somewhere on this forum or elsewhere. It's a very simple method of finding stuff you need without having to bug members with incessant questions. (Contributed by DarkPegasus (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=6983))

16. Learn the basics of a job before asking someone else to do it for you. That way, you have an idea of the kind of work that job takes, as well as the constraints and time necessary. Not only that, but you might find out that you can do that job yourself, or that you might need a little less help than you thought. You also might find that what you are looking to have done it way too much, or altogether impractical. (Contributed by Heatran (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=10162))

17. Skill makes a better projects than friendship does. That means that if you let a friend contribute to a project, that is is actually worth something. Temporary bad feelings between friends is better than a ruined project. Too many projects have horrible images or strange, incompatible contributions from the creator's friends. These just lead to problems in the long run. (Contributed by Crazy Weavile (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=42817))

18. Be mature and responsible. When someone gives you contructive criticism, you take it as they meant it, not as though it was a personal insult to your mother. (Sorry for the reference) Usually, when people offer advice, they have good intentions. It is never a good idea to "throw a tantrum" and start flaming people at random. That only leads to you getting banned, and to general bad feelings in the community. (Contributed by jonsploder (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=51922))

19. Respect other members, especially if they have been around here for a while. Chances are, the other members have seen something similar to your problems, and will probably be quite willing to help if you don't bite their heads off. The older members are especially helpful, because they've been here for a while, and they know how things are likely to play out. Not only that, but they usually have very good advice to offer. (Contributed by jonsploder (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=51922))

20. Do what the Moderators/Admins say. This may seem like a repeat of rule number nine, and I think it probably is. I also think that it is important enough to be two different rules. Avatar (http://www.pokecommunity.com/member.php?u=160), our most active moderator, may not always seem to be the nicest guy, but everyone has their faults. In truth, Avatar is doing an especially good job keeping a moderately difficult board in check. If you don't like one of his decisions, take it up with him (in private). I assure you, Avatar acts with the best interest of the board at heart. If people start to actively oppose avatar (as has occasionally happened before on a small scale), then what is likely to happen is a locking and possible deletion of this entire board as too much trouble to maintain. A single used can ruin something for everyone. Don't let it be you.

Now, I know that this is nowhere near complete, and so I invite you to add your own rules as you see fit. Please, I hope you got something out of this, because it wasn't meant to simply die and disappear, like so many other threads.

Demonic Budha
April 3rd, 2008, 1:29 PM
Hear Hear! I agree with most of these.

April 3rd, 2008, 1:37 PM
11. Do not ask for help on something you haven't started - "I need help with my CBS" is the most obvious. You are not asking for help, you are asking somebody to make it for you. "I am stuck with the damage calculations in my CBS and I need help with them" is a good example.

12. Do not make various threads for help - This applies for all those "I need help with my game". You already broke rule no 1, don't do it more than once. And no, if you change the name of the thread it's not ok.

13. The it sounds cool rule - If you are a beginner in game making, don't go around and making a game with all the regions in it, or even worse a MMO, let's face it, it'll probably never get finished and you won't get anything from it (if you are going for the regions you'll only get the hang of mapping, and if you are making a MMO you will get the hang of... well... nothing).

14. Do not make a thread for a game you don't plan on making - If you are only making one to be proud of yourself, don't do it. We'd rather see 1 active thread than a sea of dead ones.

15. Google before asking - Many answers for the questions you post here can be easily found by using Google, it's a miracle worker.

Comments on Glitchfinder's post:

This thread is brilliant, but like with all noble things around here it will die out pretty soon, people just don't seem to care... Nowadays there are more n00bs (sorry for using this term) than, well, regulars (those who have been around for some time). I'll consider it as a mark of time.

Virtual Chatot
April 3rd, 2008, 2:22 PM
16. Learn the basics of programming before asking for Programmers to join staff - Programming isn't that hard to learn, learn it before you ask around for programmers

Crazy Weavile
April 3rd, 2008, 4:10 PM
17. Skill is more important than friendship- too many times I've seen, say atrocious sprites, and yet the game's creator refuses to remove them because one of his friends did them. Sentiment is NOT more important than quality.

April 3rd, 2008, 10:08 PM
"13. The it sounds cool rule"

Stupid rule... If you never get started how are you supposed to ever get finished? Okay if you are new to game making you should porbably start with smaller projects but that's just stupid, BYOND/DM is a very easy program to make online games with so doesn't matter if you are beginner or an advanced coder. Also even if you are not a beginner it's all about your will! Do you really want to finish and what are you ready to sacrify.

April 3rd, 2008, 10:43 PM
... he is absolutely right. Not salmjak, but rule 13. DO NOT start a project with 8568756927634725 regions, 500 new fan-pokemon of which 2 are currently completed and don't even look like pokemon, and the WORST is someone that tries an MMO.....

I am currently working on one, and I (not being modest) am quite decent with it. Sure I am not a master that has spent 10 years of their life dedicated to online coding, but I have spent alot of time and effort into learning code. Now with this - not being a complete newbie to coding, or CAN'T code, I barely manage. I have to sped alot of time researching, studying and memorising code. Some-one that wants to start of could never manage that and only waste everyone elses time.

17. Be mature and responsible. (using grammar correctly at least). I have seen so many people throw a tantrum over some nice person kindly pointing out with generous constructive critism that they need to fix something. This basicly ensures that you will not be one of the manbe 3 people that actually get into game in depth, let alone a demo.

18. Respect people. Usually the older members are much much more mature and reliable than the newer people that joined in 2006+. This includes me. Respect their opinion like that of an adult, as they have almost always seen your problem before.

April 13th, 2008, 8:23 AM
I love how you guys posted new rules! I added most of them to the list, as well as a new one of my own. On a side note, I think that if this isn't floated, that some of these rules are good enough to be added to the official rules list. Anyway, I still welcome people to submit their own rules. I'd especially appreciate some suggestions from Avatar, because he's the local mod, and he knows the local problems better than most of us.

April 13th, 2008, 10:14 AM
One of the problems in this section would have to be the amount of people who do not read the stickied threads (specifically the rules)
For example, there a lot of threads created frequently that could be avoided if people would take their time to read up on the stickied threads and search the forum before posting.

If you take your time to get yourself familiar with the section and how it works, you won't be treated as harshly as new people generally are. The truth of the matter is that it's simply the same old tiresome thing happening time and time again.
In the end you just get tired of dealing with it and you end up not wanting to waste your time dealing with/justifying your actions in relation to these cases.

There are also too many people who overestimate themselves and their capabilities. If you've recently started out and are thinking about doing a Pokemon project, my simple answer is: Don't.
You need much more experience before you throw yourself at such a project.
Yes, I know there's Pokemon Essentials by Poccil, but that only provides you with the necessary framework; you have to do the rest by yourself and if you can't do that then there's pretty much no point in you attempting.

In short, you may have the tools to create the project, but, how is that gonna help you if you have no knowledge on how to use them?