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Question Trouble starting building my game

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Erior92, Dec 25, 2021.

  1. Erior92

    Erior92

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2020
    Posts:
    4
    Ok, so I've got a block right now, I have a whole world built up in concept and every feature I want in my game planned out and thought out, been thinking of this game for years now and been wanting to finally build it, hell i just want to play it, its my ideal game and no one else is making it so I might as well do it myself.

    I'm running into the problem of where to start, I know what code I need to write and how to write it, what assets i need and everything, but i just don't know how i should start building this game, I'm kind of trying to keep it under wraps because this will be a first of its kind sort of game and if I can pull it off it has potential to be the next big indie game....its a huge undertaking for an indie solo dev but its execution is rather simple, at least the base build would be...I'm just struggling with where to start to begin putting everything together, should I first create simple assets I can edit as I go so I can build off of it, should I just start with basic assets and build my source code first?

    so I'm at that point where I have so many starting points and things to put together and do that i have a mental block as to where to start actually building.

    Anyone have any advice or suggestions where to start?

    [edit:] so I did watch the tutorials in that where to start topic, I didn't realize it was mostly what I'm looking for here, but still not sure where to start to begin building the game beyond those tips and tricks...anyone else have this problem?
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
  2. Schneider21

    Schneider21

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Posts:
    3,512
    I opened your post yesterday and wanted to respond, but I just didn't have the energy, as I've answered this kind of post dozens of times and a small piece of me dies every time I have to write it out.

    First -- and I can't stress enough how important and true this is -- you need to understand that your game idea is worth absolutely nothing. It doesn't matter what the idea is. I can promise you that you aren't the first person to think of it, and there's likely a number of people working on building something almost identical to what you're picturing in some form or other. Games that succeed don't generally do so because they're a unique idea that nobody else had. They succeed because a person or team executed that idea and actually finished creating and publishing it.

    Part two of that harsh truth is this: nobody here cares about your game idea. Not like in a rude way, mind you. It's just that we all have more ideas for games than we have time to even really think about, much less dedicate time to actually working on. So your concern about sharing any details on your game in fear that someone will steal your idea and execute on it first are unfounded.

    As part three of that, if your game idea is so easy to copy and create based on a high-level description alone, your idea is worth less than even the normal I-have-a-great-idea-for-a-game content. You don't need to share details on the story or characters or anything (again, we don't care, but not in a rude way... it's just not relevant to us providing assistance), so if you boil your idea down to the essential gameplay loop and what kind of systems and functionality you need for that, that is the kind of information that would help us steer you in the right direction.

    - - -

    Next, where to start. You said:
    I find this statement extremely confusing. If you know what code to write and how to write it, I'm not sure what part you're actually struggling with. Project architecture? That's something that tends to be highly opinionated and can differ from project to project, let alone person to person. Or is it literally just how to make that transition from "this is how you make a basic script to move a ball around" to "here is how you make a complex and awesome animated and customizable character controller with physics interaction, ragdoll, inverse kinematics and network capability." If it's that second one, buckle up, buddy.

    I generally sugar coat this better, but I'm still exhausted from the holidays and booster shots and stuff, so I'ma just lay it out straight and unfiltered today: If you don't know where to get started on a project, you're simply not experienced enough to successfully create that project at this time. While it's perfectly normal to run into issues with specific parts of a project, not knowing where to begin is the clearest sign that you just don't have the knowledge needed. The good news is that you absolutely can acquire that knowledge. The bad news is that there is no shortcut to experience. You gotta put in the time creating things, be it smaller complete projects or working on smaller parts of larger group projects... anything that gives you exposure to what clicks with you as far as how to build a complex project from start to finish.

    Let me phrase it another way just to drive the point home. If you're not sure where to begin, you're absolutely not ready to create your magnum opus project yet. Feel free to work on parts of it that interest you as sort of a disconnected system, or as a prototype / tech demo kind of thing. But if the part that's blocking you is the beginning, you need to back way up and redefine what the beginning looks like, which will probably mean doing a lot more learning, writing code that you discover down the road is terrible (this is a good thing, I always say, as it shows you're improving), throwing it out and starting again.

    If none of that sounds appealing to you, it's worth seriously considering if you want to actually make video games. That sounds like something rude a gate-keeping type would say to try to discourage perceived competition or something, but I honestly just see so many people who seem to enjoy discussing their game ideas far more than they seem to be interested in actually working on creating a game based on those ideas that I try to encourage people to consider their actual goals. Sure, everyone here would want to have a hit game with their name in the credits and their bank account attached to the Steam listing. But the amount of time and sheer effort required to get to that point from where you're at now is immense, and the percentage of people willing to stick with it through all of it is extremely low.

    - - -

    If you're still reading and haven't closed the thread in disgust or just blocked out my words, thinking I'm just some bitter old developer trying to break the spirit of aspiring developers, then you're one step closer to success. The next step (in my opinion) is to start translating your dream into a plan. Namely, forget your big project idea for now. Focus on learning how to do the stupid little things that seem super easy when you're just watching a tutorial video. Instead of just following along, though, learn the material. Figure out what's happening behind the scenes. Don't just copy a line of code from a guide... look up why it's being done that way, and maybe what the alternatives are. Immerse yourself in knowledge, dive as deep as you can before coming up for air, and push yourself to go deeper each time until your lungs burn and your muscles ache. Don't just think about where you want to get to, but chart a course and create a plan to follow that course, then start executing.

    The idea itself is worth nothing. It's all in execution. So stop thinking and start doing, and you'll be well on your way.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Erior92

    Erior92

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2020
    Posts:
    4
    so I took your long thought out post to heart, and realized the best place to start is just that, re learning until i can develop my more advanced scripts and parts of my "Magnum Opus"

    I think my biggest thing i was stuck on was wanting to specifically start somewhere and just bulldose my way through, getting each script made and then put together what assets I've made, so I decided it'll be best if I get my most basic scripts built and working with the most basic assets until I have something that's at least one portion of my game somewhat playable and get the next piece ready and so on, eventually getting to the asset creation and the higher level stuff that expands upon concepts already seen. I'm quite positive with how i have to do this part time that it'll probably be years before I even have something playable that is even reminiscent of my full dream.

    Thank you for your time and effort in educating me and helping ground me Schneider, I tend to dream too big and not take the necessary baby steps haha.

    Also its not so much that its easy to copy or replicate, its the core pieces that would be nothing new, but the execution and where I expand upon said ideas and concepts, mind you thats only IF i can pull that off eventually. Think of Valheim, its honestly nothing new, the concept and style of the game has been done hundreds of times before, its the execution really that made it such a great game and such a hit, I'm not looking to get rich or anything off this game, not looking to become the next valheim or minecraft or what have you, I just want to play this game, and I want others to enjoy it. And hell, if someone creates a close enough version to what I'm dreaming of, I will buy and play it because again, I just want to play this game.

    P.S. I've started simply by creating a character controller I like with a plane and a cube, starting with the "Stupid little things" for a frame work
     
    Schneider21 likes this.
  4. Schneider21

    Schneider21

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Posts:
    3,512
    I'm glad you took my response the way I intended it! I don't want to kill your dreams or anything... more like just temper them a bit and help turn them into something that's actually useful to you.

    The thing about working on a project for years before you have something playable is that doing that would likely destroy your motivation. It'll get really hard to justify spending your precious free time working on something that doesn't give you any real visible results when you hit that Play button, you know?

    There's a good chance that if you start on a core framework now, by the time you've gained enough experience to really be able to execute on your plan you'll look at everything you've done and feel like it was written by a kindergartener. So I can't say I recommend spending a lot of time on that at this point either.

    Instead, focus on tiny projects you can complete in a few weeks... a month or two tops. I know it seems boring, but recreate old arcade games and such. To make it more fun, put a little twist on the gameplay, or do something different with the graphics -- whatever suits the thing you're trying to learn at the time. I recreated Pong in a day to try to jumpstart my game dev stuff because I'd been stuck working on enterprise app stuff for a while and had been neglecting my game projects.

    When you get to the point where architecture is what's holding you back -- where adding new features becomes challenging because you're not sure how to get all your disparate systems to interact with each other deterministically -- hit me up again. I'll try giving you the ECS pitch at that point and see if it opens up your mind the way it has for me.

    Another thing I've been doing that works well for me as a fulltime employed father of two is to dedicate a bit of time each day for my projects. Usually it's about an hour after they go to bed. Sometimes it feels like I'll never make any meaningful progress only putting that amount of time in, but others I feel insanely productive during that time because my brain is thinking about stuff all day and that hour is purely execution time. It might work better for you another way, but at the very least, try to set aside regular, scheduled time instead of just jamming away at it during every free hour is what I'm trying to say.

    Okay, enough reading. Time to get started on a mini project!