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Unity Avoiding the 5 most common (and costly) mistakes guaranteed to derail your game

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AskCarol, Sep 8, 2020.

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  1. AskCarol

    AskCarol

    Unity Technologies

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    We just release this blog post about how to avoid some common (and costly) mistakes guaranteed to derail your game

    Creating games isn’t easy. It’s not just about sitting down, thinking of a cool idea, and coding it up – a lot can go wrong. Read on to learn about some of the most typical pitfalls. If you can overcome these, you’ll improve your game’s chances to succeed in a competitive marketplace.


    Please take a look and feel free to let us know if this content is valuable to share with the community in the forums :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
    mandisaw, Akshara, JamesArndt and 4 others like this.
  2. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    So basically avoid ambition :p
     
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  3. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

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    avoid ambition = short time hot game
    ambition = a classic
     
  4. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Did I miss something? I didn't see anything that advises against ambition:
    • Mistake #1: Not planning your game properly from the start
    • Mistake #2: Not targeting the platform that best suits your game
    • Mistake #3: Wasting internal resources and using difficult workflows
    • Mistake #4: Inadequate profiling
    • Mistake #5: Over-engineering
    I think for #1 the author could have distinguished between planning production operations (e.g., setting limits and requirements such as budget) versus planning game design (which is typically more iterative and experimental). But, apart from that, it all seems like reasonable advice.
     
  5. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

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    Against ambition: Ambition will pick up one of these points and omit it or distort it to achieve a particular characteristic. For example:
    • Mistake #3: Wasting internal resources and using difficult workflows
    Study and research, or quality often wast internal resources and use difficult workflows.
     
  6. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Planning the development and or the schedule of your game's development is one thing. There could be an entire segment for researching and doing market/genre analysis to see if your game is even something financially viable. Far too many investing time making games that just never recoup the investment in making them.
     
    mandisaw likes this.
  7. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    The blog post is fine, and each point has merit, but they are too general to be really useful. You could legitimately argue the counter-point too.

    1. Don't worry about planning your game too much at the start, get something done!
    2. Consider porting your game to multiple platforms!
    3. Don't over-engineer your workflow, just get something done every day!
    4. Don't do premature optimization!

    The key would be to provide some examples/stories of things that went right/wrong to anchor the point in some context. There are a lot of post mortems out there that could be referred to.
     
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  8. Peter77

    Peter77

    QA Jesus

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    It's easier to just make no game. Also saves you an Unity license. win-win :)
     
    Kofiro, Ryiah and JamesArndt like this.
  9. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Hey oddly enough I have been looking to pivot to other ideas that might be a bit more stable for passive income. Considering maybe using Unity to make cartoon shorts for YouTube.
     
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  10. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Damning It eats my draft that answer the people not getting the joke, well another time. But planning "creativity" can't be done, there is a lot more nuance on that statement I just made, but basically what I refer with that statement and the other one on ambition is that you need to be warn more specifically about some aspects of making "cultural artefacts", it's very not like utilitarian project. And stuff like artistic perfection and technical achievement have very often made or break games in the history, balancing that observation with sanity check is important, making "cultural artefact" is generally knowing how to straddle this fine line and cope with the uncertainty that creativity creates.
     
  11. Antony-Blackett

    Antony-Blackett

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    #1 mistake. Not focusing on product market fit.
     
  12. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Corollary: you wouldn't create minecraft that way, ie don't create do "fast follow", being the best second is better than being first. :p
     
  13. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Use simpler language please, you could have just said “Mistake #3: using Unity”
     
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  14. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Also please add another mistake which is “reading tips from blog posts written by companies that don’t really make games”
     
  15. Antony-Blackett

    Antony-Blackett

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    Pretty sure notch had some interest growing around minecraft fairly early on. The key is to validate as early as possible but not too early that you get false negatives because you’re not conveying the idea well enough
     
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  16. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I was there when it happen on the tigsource forum, just saying infiniminer didn't have the same interest and notch lift its main mechanics straight from it, also notch basically invented early access with the infdev and the indev double version. But the point is that he didn't planned an audience to make decision, at all. It grew organically sure, but with the market logic you wouldn't start with the whole concept, the idea was to make a 3D dwarf fortress basically, with the elements of block editing of infiniminer, rogue like was like niche within a niche and he drew a lot of inspiration from them too, even the retro style was not mainstream at the time, and was under a lot of backlash and seen as "lazy indie dev". (trivia: notch didn't named minecraft, Paul Eres did, based on the name warcraft to evoke familiarity)

    The thing is minecraft took a lot of obscur mechanics and made them mainstream by luck, ie youtube helpt a lot because it was at a point where the algorithm favored let's play of games, Yogcast notably really spring the game to a mainstream audience and skew younger, while before it was a curiosity for an indie crowd looking for innovation.

    The end result is that these niche genre that had no traction(and method like PGC) became slowly popular, the big interest in crafting, survival, rogue like/lite, procedural generation games, open (wandering) world with no goal, it all comes out from that one game. It was also one of the first indie success to turn indie from avant guard hobby games to full commercial venture, by demonstrating market can be big. Even fortnite can obviously be trace to it.

    Minecraft was an event like we see only in a decade.

    And some fast follower did good too (terraria for example, ditch the super mario engine to repurpose into 2D minecraft)

    Anyway that's what I say with coping with the uncertainty of creativity, that's one technique.

    But the main important thing is to know what's the main "ambition" is it financial or is it creative, those are in conflict.

    - If you go business, don't have too much creative ambition, hence the "fast follow", market review, use genre as guideline, "creation" is "faked" by variation on known popular idea, etc ... you try to predict the future from the past, you can create pretty stable company with that, creative minded people will be depressed. Player don't like EA or Activision but that work financially, so it's practical and sensible advice.

    - If you go "creative", yo need to be stable yourself to begin with, notch had a job and doing great, making games was a hobby, which is why the game had retro style graphics, because he was alone to start, when the game picked up some pace (not yet at mainstream level) he tried a bit to hired an artist to make higher quality cuter model (rana), but then decided against because block was more cohesive, which could have been market suicide. The point is that he could do whatever he wanted to fit his vision and not have to hurry, because he had the backing, there was no stake, so all the mistake above were moot, that's very important.

    Creative in the context of this discussion is "road less taken" and "far from mainstream". Minecraft is as much as a collection of idea from elsewhere as any games in mainstream genre, but without the mainstream part. This was a huge mitigation of risk, it only had to copy stuff he knew would work for him, infiniminer already prove block editing could be fun, biomes and pcg comes from dwarf fortress, etc ...
     
  17. Antony-Blackett

    Antony-Blackett

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    Financial and creative ambition do not need to be in conflict, thinking that they have to be will result in you believing it. You can do both at the same time perfectly fine. You just need to think about it more.
     
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  18. neoshaman

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    Well i don't to believe it when i live through it. But like i say it's a nuance and ambiguous discussion, for example the wild card is what constitutes creativity, it's deeply culturaland personal and people will feel offended if you say their generic fiction isn't creative, it's all relative. Also going safe doesn't always guarantee return, it's probalistic.

    But basically the point is it's only matter in term of managing uncertainty. Else when you say to look after the market wouldn't make sense, thinking about it has a cost, it mean you have too compromise the vision based on anticipated reaction, or you can fall into the trap of artistic perfection to sell the idea.

    For example, i want to make a game about how it feels to be caraibean, this objective mean than typical popular representation are in direct opposition of the goals, there is a huge set of expectations to destroy, and new to set to establish, there is a set of technological challenges never tackles in a satisfying way too, and there is a great deal of touchy subject to navigate around. It took me 10 years to narrow down what's essentially a very simple story, just to avoid the typical hurtful trap, i still have to narrow the gameplay to support it, and i struggle to represent some visual due to neglected aspects of current technical methodology. Turns out documentation isn't free when you are the world rounding error, it's not as simple as googling around, not everything isn't on internet. I tried 10 year prior to go the safe road, only to realize that's simply not possible.

    The thing is i felt immensely creative when all i was doing was permutations of existentialist donjon and dragon thing. But start tackling subject beyond the box and you get humbled very fast. Before i wouldn't believe when people said it wasn't creative, that's relative but their were still a kernel of truth in their assessment.

    The further you go from the established, the more costly it become, the lower the potential return and potentially you might overstretch and break. We have the hindsight of art history.
     
  19. bluwuu

    bluwuu

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    mistake 1,2,3,4,5: not beeing able to get license on unityhub
     
  20. chrisk

    chrisk

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    Mistake #0: Stay away from Unity unless you make clicker games or have a deep pocket. Or risk having cancer.

    I recently moved to Unreal after a long struggle with the clunky Editor. It was more like fighting with the Editor instead of making games.

    Mono is the root of all evil and we all know Mono is pretty much dead. Unity has no future unless the Editor is moved to .Net5 asap.
    I tried to reason but I failed to convince them. I can only blame myself for choosing Unity in the first place.

    I vowed not to piss toward Unity unless Unity proves worth making a game, and I won't believe the empty promises anymore. I've been bitten hard by it when I first heard about the bright future in 2018 United Copenhagen.
    The year 2019 has been such a mess and 2020 not very different. The legacy continues.

    Yeah, congratulation on IPO. Now that Unity went IPO, we will hear lots more empty promises down the road to please the stockholders. Unity always has been a business-focused company rather than an engineering company. End users will matter less and less.

    Oh well, I've been saying the following to summarize Unity in 3 words in the past.
    Unity is Stubborn, Lazy, and Incompetent. It will probably most accurately describe Unity.
    And wow that they Exited(IPO), I expect they will become more so.

    So please stay away from Unity if you can.
    My two cents.
     
  21. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    There is plenty worthy game made with unity, that's not the problem
     
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  22. AcidArrow

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    I feel like he means Unity Technologies making a game. (if not, yeah, you're right)

    It's one of the problems that arise when the name of the company is the same as the name of the product. It's another bad design decision :)
     
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