Is it right for me to scope big when making my first video game?

I know it’s off-topic subject. but this is an important question for me that needs to be answered. I really need any advice from experienced people who managed to make their first game successfully. before… you know… begin making my own game too.

the issue I’m about to face is confusing. and I don’t know where to start. in fact, I’m confused about two possibilities and I’m afraid that one of them would be wasting my time with no progression: shall I scope big and aim high? or start small and making prototypes?What level am I?Am I ready to make my first game?

knowing that other game developer’s out-there on the internet are advising to scope small, meaning that I must make a mini simple game that require A MONTH of development at the most. any other than that would result a failure.

but let me tell you where it all started with me, so you can estimate my current state. I know it might get too long. but it’s A fateful decision for me that I need help making it right.

I love video games a lot. especially the third person genres. 7 years ago, I decided to put my paper drawings hobby into Computer 3D Design. I started with small modelling programs that create basic shapes ofcourse, but afterwards, I developed myself until I knew how to use the big ones like 3ds max. and that for the 3D designing specialty which toke me 3 years of experience until I got nearly mastering it.

Then, I decided to begin to know coding and programming, as exploring what game engines are there that I may start with; I began with a very small engine called 3D Rad. started coding and practicing C++ on it, and I made a progress. and learnt to put theories and Ideas, and then turn them to a code that would be compiled and played in a game engine… made a lot of prototypes also on this engine! until I’ve managed to scope for the high engines like Unity which toke me 2 years of experience knowing its basics and mastering it. (and also made prototypes out of it) see the last prototypes I made with Unity:

Latest prototype I was working on. powered by Unity 5.

A video posted by Omar Nader (@don.omarnader) on Jun 11, 2016 at 7:29am PDT

and also this which I made its level entirely:
Complete Level prototype. powered by Unity 5.

until I saw Unreal Engine capabilities, and decided to develop using Unreal Engine, since it was more stable and suites my desired game needs. I practiced on it for 1 year ago and still do until today, as knowing the basics that at least would make me develop my game. see my first prototype on Unreal Engine 4:
Batman prototype. powered by Unreal Engine 4.

now don’t think I’m showing off or something. in-fact I shared with you my latest progression just to know the answer of the question:

I decided to put my experience into a video game: shall I start big? or start small?


I don’t even need to read that text wall to answer this one. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, start small. Choose a core mechanic and design a single level around it. Once you get something playable and you determine it is fun you can slowly start adding different mechanics to it. There is no point on making a lot of levels or modes if you can’t finish a single one.

There is absolutely no downside to starting small and scaling up. There is absolutely no benefit to starting large and scaling down.

Ok Now I will get off topic How did you learn the coding in unreal engine. What tutorials did you use, or what book. I need to get started I do know c++. I am aware of object oriented prog. But i dont understand c++ api. So again what resources did you use to learn this stuff. Please help

Documentation, the wiki, and picking apart the sample projects. ShooterGame touches just about everything.

got it, but I need to follow through with you a little more. what I wanted to say is I’ve already created a level:
two on Unity: (before I convert developing on Unreal)

and one on Unreal:

about the Unreal level you saw in the video, I’ve added some advanced mechanics to it: like Climbing up walls, grabbing, AI system, fighting… etc.
but unfortunately I didn’t share my latest refined prototype just yet. but if you want me to upload a video showing an overview for the latest progression, you know, to estimate the issue little more, I’ll do.

is that applicable to me? or what would I do next?

Right, you have a video of Batman running around, but I see no gameplay. You can add wall climbing, fighting, and grabbing, but I’ll ask the same question in every iteration. Is there gameplay? What makes your game special that I can’t do in other games? Stay small and make that one mechanic really shine. Once you’ve done that you are free to expand. This applies to every developer big and small.

you should be familiar with the basics of coding first or things may get a little blurry for you; basics like: how to define variables, what is the if statement? how to properly write the code?… etc.

there’s a bunch of tutorials out there on the youtube teaching the basics of C++ coding.

when you know the basics you should know how to communicate with Unreal Compiler through C++ language.
there’s also a bunch of tutorials out there from the official channel of Unreal that teaches you how to code for Unreal using C++.

and the most important thing in learning coding is the consistent exercise on the codes, these things doesn’t work if you take it theoretically. you have to try and fail as many time as it gets to learn coding. it’s not very hard though, but the result is very rewarding. :wink:

umm… got it! thank you very much! I was very confused though. and I think I know exactly what you mean. :smiley: