Unfocused and Unnamed Game

Trying to get my game back on track after several boughs with mental health issues, but have forgotten my High Concept due to forgetting to write it down.

As I am working fully independently, I already know the scope needs to stay small since I have to do everything myself for the most part. Free marketplace assets are going to be a big help, but I will still need to carry most of the workload.

Vague concept is a casual multiplayer survival experience with hunting animals for food, fishing, gathering crops and wild plants, logging, quarrying stone, mining ore, and building homes and stores.

The twist I am looking at is that the main work vehicles being upgradable and customizable Mecha with a focus on a Steampunk setting. This means the upkeep of the player characters and the Mecha as separate objects with different needs, but in game, and in creating the game.

While I have UE4, Blender, and a couple other programs to help, I have gotten very out of practice with all of them. Also, my mental Health only recently become more stable. So, I already expect progress in any area to be slow. To help combat this, I am going to be going more for a low-poly approach to everything, as that should prevent my mind from becoming focused on small details.

While Terraforming would help with gardening, I will have to either keep it limited to certain areas, or not include it at all. However, it is likely that the locations that players can build will also need to be limited to begin with since having the map completely buildable would be impractical at my present skill level. Also, landscape creations will be hard enough without having to worry about players destroying key area and trapping themselves.

Automation of mining and quarrying are likely to be things considered as extras to be added after the main game elements are in place, and story elements are also going to be limited. Probably only real story elements are going to be the ship the player(s) arrived on, and the starting Mecha (only one) that was on the ship.

The starting Mecha is probably only going to have a single arm (likely a spike driver), a torso cab/cockpit, and a tracked base.

Event with all this information, the game concept still feels unfocused in my head.

Hopefully, as the game progresses, the game concept will solidify once again. I guess first is going to be the slow process of building a few essentials for the game, and a map for testing mechanics.

At least with this post, I have the bulk of my ideas in one place, and written down. Also, it’s a place to get feedback on the developing art style.


Hi, I wanted to just say this, so here it goes:

I am also struggling with mental issues, mostly depression (on and off, seemingly at random).
What helps for me: Keep yourself positive, try to interact with positive people, don’t let yourself get down. Physical activity is also helping a lot in that regard. With that being said, let’s go to the next paragraph.

The game concept sounds very interesting, I can’t wait to play your game.
Keep the good work and most importantly your spirit up. I am wishing you luck!

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Hello @AlyssaThalon ,

I am so sorry to learn of your struggles with mental health. While we at Unreal/Epic Games are not mental health experts by any means, we are very happy to be here for you to post your game development ideas. We are so stoked to have you as a part of our community!

I don’t know if this helps, but I also agree with the very supportive post from @njivkov . Physical exercise is beneficial for brain health, along with good nutrition. Feel free to post whatever comes to your mind as you continue to build more and more ideas into your game. Perhaps in a way, forgetting your High Concept is a new opportunity to create something even greater! Some artists best work spring forth by recovering from a tragedy.

I encourage you to remain positive. Your concept sounds marvelous! If you build it, it will come!

If you are building this type of game alone, it will take you 6+ years (even on a small scale) . Don’t want to bash on all the positivity, but building a multiplayer / survival / crafting game is the most complicated thing there is to make.

Youll benefit a lot from momentum and seeing meaningful progress get done.

To that end, I’d agree with above post. The game you’ve described is a 5 million dollar game or minimum 5 year game (for a very experienced developer who has a clear vision).

I’d work on boiling down to an idea that is so crystal clear you can play it from start to end in your head. Something really, really simple. You’ll never keep working on a single game project for five years if its not some passionate dream you’ve had for your whole life. You will burnout. So you have to make games that take like 1 year max to finish (a few months is better).

Survival games involve lots of systems working together. It doesn’t matter if every system is simple - making many parts communicate as one is a massive mountain of work. And nobody can show you how to do it - it’s all project dependent so bug fixing is going to be on your own.

You’ll absolutely love seeing people play your game and you’ll really love if they get exactly experience that you designed from it. But to get to that point I think you have to make a game that takes just one system such as you’ve described and does it really well.

That’s another thing to consider: will you be happy if you put a ho-hum indie game on the market, or you put out a well-made, highly polished experience that people lose themselves in?

In fact, I wouldn’t think about the game as a system of mechanics you want to create. Define an experience you want people to feel, and then try to imagine the absolute simplest game mechanics that could deliver that experience.

(also, big thing that will help with motivation, focus, and productivity: get a buddy to work with. Hire help if you dont have one. It pays for itself.)

Have been back and forth on a lot of the core components behind this game idea, and while the survival concept and steampunk theme have stayed, other aspects have changed.

First, the voxel plugin has been something I have been looking at, and the Marching Cube or similar terrain generation would actually allow for the entire map to be randomly generated and would allow for the terrain to be altered by the players easily. Also, the overall size of the game world has finally solidified in my mind at 4,096 meters by 4,096 meters with a maximum height of 384 meters. Since it is an island, I figure a dormmate volcanic island would be practical.

With the game world being generated and edited on a cubic grid, this integrates the method of building into the existing world grid this would include the structures, farms, natural fauna, and resource generation, too.

While giving the Mecha to the player(s) at the start sounded interesting, having the player pursue the creation of it would give more of a sense of accomplishment and create a goal beyond merely surviving for the player to achieve.

So the starting premise of the players arriving by ship still works, but can have a sever storm strike and destroying critical equipment that the ship had been carrying, as well as damaging several of the ships systems would establish the reason for the lack (or limited amount) of supplies at the start.

With a known map size, the initial height generation could be saved in a 2d array which in turn is used to fill in a 3d array for specific location relevant information. Also, the array would help ensure chunk based terrain meshes would not have to pass information between them when there is a change made to the borders where chunks meet. This also breaks the islands primary generation into a few key zones which can then be used to extrapolate the initial 2d array data, and simple noise generation can be added as the 3d array is built.

By using the 3d array values as vertex point, the world can still be low poly without being restricted to cubes, thus allowing for more variety in assets. However, I can see potential issues in the event of concave areas requiring some extra attention to be properly translated to a mesh.

Not being restricted to cubes, also means not having to focus heavily on including item specific details in textures, too.

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