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Creating my first commercial game | Need some advise to be successfull

Hey guys and girls,

let me introduce myself first. I’m a 20 year old german computerscience-student in the first year. I have a passion about gaming (Like most of the people around here) and about creating things since i was a young boy. I have also a passion or lets call it a deep feeling or hope that i’m going to be successfull sometime. In my carreer as a hobbyist i worked with almost every tool that is out there for a certain amount of time and i had several different projects i worked on but at some point none of these projects felt like they were that good to keep working on it so i lost my motivation. I think to keep my motivation up is my biggest problem… I often think i have great ideas and i’m totally motivated and the next day it feels like it’s not worth the work… but no work - no success. This time i want to change. This time i want to keep my new project going till the end when its done. This time i want to ship a game.

A wise man said once: “The dumbest people are people who think they know everything”. With this philosophy i’m here to learn. I want to learn the technical side on the one hand and master UE4 and i want to learn from you, from people who have similiar ambitions. I want to look at what successfull game designers made successfull and also learn from unsucessfull projects to see what they did wrong. My primary goal is to create a great game. A nice bonus would be a commercial success but first i need a great game. Currently, im having vacation and one month to get a working prototype. I’m not going to tell you now what my new concept is about but hopefully i can post some results of my progress soon.

So what is your experience creating games? Did you already try something similar? Where did you struggle, what did you help? How were you able to motivate yourself? I’m very interested in your storys!

Best regards,
ElKapitano

In my opinion the main problems during the development process of a game are :slight_smile:

-the motivation = When there is nearly no progress, you will loose the motivation -> so try to set small goals so that you always think that you have reached/made something amazing
-the team = good teams should be well structured and all the members should “fit” together (the best team would be comparable with a group of friends :slight_smile:
-the game = you should have a clear goal in front of you, because otherwise it will be pretty difficult to finish the game. e.g create a GDD with the rough outliners of the game

The thing about making games, and any else that’s cool for that matter, is it’s easy to start but hard to finish so like a comedian working on a joke after a while it’s not funny to you any more.

What helps though.

Find someone to work with as misery loves company.

As an artist I ignore that I’m making something for money.

Make the game you want first and then worry about selling it second.

Do your thinking away from the computer.

Motivation is someone behind you with a shot gun telling you to get it done. Look for inspiration instead.

Have fun putting the nut’s and bolts together instead of envisioning what the completed game will look like. The design intent will always change through the process of doing.

Take a break every once in a while. I find that stepping back for a week or two usually gives me a fresh perspective.

Whats “good” is a perspective. Is the animation in South Park good?

Passion for gaming is not enough. You have to love to make games like a parent loves their misbehaving two year old. Also don’t expect the game to love you back. :wink:

The smartest people in the world wounder why they got into making games in the first place. Easier ways of making a living.

Find out first if this is the career for you. My impression is first timers are in **** with the idea of making games and not so much in love so drop out once the shiny time is over. If you enjoy a good challenge then you will do just fine.

Last have lots of patience. When you see someone doing something good and fast is it’s only because they have done the process many times before and made their mistakes and paid their dues.

Just some thoughts.

Oh

And always be having fun. :wink:

Pretty good advice there…

Did you actually took the time to think about WHY you lose motivation so quickly?!
You know, I used to believe that I loved Comic Books and wanted to doing just that for the rest of my life…

Turned out I was wrong.
When I began working on it, was hard to feel the pleasure, hard to find where it was. I would lose motivation from time to time until someday I understood: “-I just like to read it and draw some things, I don’t really like to do it.”
Then I was back at ground zero, looking for what I truly love (while working on common day jobs).
Long story short, in game development I work from sunday to sunday untill my back hurts and fingers lose flexibility; around 10 to 16 hours a day. And see no problem with it, still love it every day. Was not like that with drawing, I didn’t really love it.
I know, think about it. Some may pretty much love to play games, but doesn’t really like to work on it; some like to make games but doesn’t like to play… And that’s fine.
I would take the time to know myself better and understand the real reason behind why I lose interest when doing something I’m supposed to love.

I heard marketing is the most important part and where developers fail. This actually makes sense since some people can sell snow to an Eskimo and some can’t even sell water to the man with no name lost in the desert.

Thank you for your answeres so far :slight_smile: Especially FrankieV, you wrote some wise words down here. Looking for inspiration instead of looking for motivation is one key i guess.

@Bruno Xavier: I think my lack of motivation is not that i don’t really want to create games. I just have the problem that i have too many ideas. I work on a project for two days and suddenly a new idea comes to my mind which seems a lot better than the old one for that moment and my motivation for my old project is just gone. Maybe i shouldnt worry that much and keep one project going…

@WalkingDead: When my product is finished i have time to worry about that. I also have some marketing experience though.

I wonder if somebody has a concrete story about a project to tell?

LOL yea I have a story but would need about 10 pages. Might do a blog thing one day.

I sorta envy your position, your career is right ahead and there’s so many free tools – not to mention time – at your disposal.

I’m almost twice your age and only really started getting serious, but the advantage is that due to my job I have some disposeable income to throw at 3D modelers / animators and occasionally a programmer.

It’s a process, similar to playing chess? Don’t give up i guess, before Unreal i almost did :slight_smile:

Before Unreal, I modded some games. Each time I started , it was entirely a new process. I wrote scripts for RoN, in C, and I didn’t know any C beforehand. I scripted for CoH in Lua and did some modding with official tools, whereas I didn’t know how to use the tools, or any Lua beforehand.

It is important to keep the motivation up all the time. Also, get yourself lots of beginner materials, guides and stuff, bookmark all of them for later. You need documentation. Unreal got really good docs, but it’s no enough, you gotta go deeper in the internet for all kinds of stuff.

Small goals have been said multiple tines here, but I can’t stress how important that is, maybe most important. What I did first when I modded was to give a rifle AOE damage. It felt **** good when it worked; it was silly, broken and extremely basic, but a step nonetheless. Step by step you will get a solid thing. You wont know in advance, you won’t feel it until you see it. So it will be like your work isn’t worth anything, but believe me, time passes all the same, all the time, the amount of time you pour into a work is NEVER worthless UNLESS you abandon that project, then it becomes time wasted.

Sometimes there will be stuff fun to make, sometimes stuff that feel like drudgery. Both will be equally important for your project, most of the time the harder one will be more integral part. You should plan in advance and analytically, you should think ahead scientific, not based on emotions.

Also remember; Ideas are not worth anything unless they are executed. Those new ideas that come to your mind, they might feel better, but believe me, when you abandon your current project for a new one, then you’ll abandon that one for a newer one, and on and on. Always finish what you started. Sure, experience also pays, but end product pays back infinite times more.

P.S. I want to ask you questions about stuying in Germany. Can you please P.M. me with some contact info of you, so we can speak? (Google+, Skype?) Thanks !

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Best quote I have for your case :slight_smile: