AuthorTopic: Some queries about short deadline game creation  (Read 7523 times)

Offline Terley

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Some queries about short deadline game creation

on: March 12, 2007, 12:49:13 am
well im doing graphic design in college (uk, im 18). and im about to finish come end of may, which means my final major project starts in a matter of days. Its an open brief which means we get to choose whatever we want for a project, it has to represent what we've learnt throughout the 2 years.

Im not 100% sure what I want to produce but im thinking about making and branding a short pixel-art game, where as I would design a few workable levels, create a poster advertising this game and possibly the packaging for the game itself.

I've made small mockups in the past, and have a good idea of what direction to take in making a short game but what im wondering is whether I'd be taking on too much, it's one thing having to produce a quality game, but its another to then take into account the amount of work planning and coming up with something original, knowing me I'd fill a sketch book or two with illustrations, ideas and research.. plus having it flow nicely into something promotable would be quite a challenge because I could spend ages making a 'cool' game but would it be something that'd work for my target audience?

for what I have planned, I can see myself working right the way up untill the night before the deadline. Any advice on how to go about this? I really don't want to head off blindly into something with such a tight deadline.

Im also thinking of narrowing down to maybe a sega styled game, or maybe a game for gameboy..

any comments would be nice, no one I know has any knowledge on game design so please, share your wisdom guys  :)

~ter
« Last Edit: March 12, 2007, 12:52:18 am by Terley »
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Offline AlexHW

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 01:19:54 am
what exactly is your assignment ? if it is related to graphic design, I'd spend most of my time on that. Do all the graphic design for the box or whatever and do the game last if you aren't required to have any actual product for the assignment. If you are required to have a product, then perhaps spend more time on it. What I'd do would depend on the assignment though.

Offline Lackey

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 01:38:59 am
Heh, the one game I've made was actually done for a design project too.  I used Game Maker and it didn't take too long.  Actually the project was a good motivating factor for me to finish it.

Really though, the difficulty and amount of time it will take depends entirely on you and how much time you have and how comfortable you are with your tools.

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 01:39:46 am
If you need to crank out a game in a short amount of time, I'd recommend Flash or Processing, I've made small games in less than a week in each, which little to no knowledge about the language.  I have heard good things about DarkBasic too, and I think it is pretty affordable.  I do not have any experience with GameMaker but it seems to get the job done!  Here is the link for processing, it has its own little IDE which is great for small, short-term projects:

http://processing.org/

processing does not perform particularly well at high resolution (like anything over 320x240 - i'd say 240x160 to be safe, if you'll have a lot of sprites), but it is super fast and easy and has decent 2d matrices.  Flash can get you a lot more performance at higher resolutions but I thought it a lot harder to learn than processing, and it is not free...both of these things will let you show your game in a web browser, which can make display VERY convenient.  Good luck!

Offline Terley

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 02:12:15 am
well my assignment as I said is totally open, its 100% up to us what we produce. Im not really looking to make just a game in general, im percifically interested in pixel art game. I wouldn't worry about how I'd get it running, my brothers more in tune with the technical side. I just want to concentrate on the artwork of the game..

This is eventually gonna be something that can be be displayed at the end of the school-year, so Im thinking, to cause less hastle to concentrate more on making mockups for a game, and whether I have the time. making it playable. It would definately increase my chances of a higher grade..

I was actually thinking of making a simple platformer, as RPG styled games tend to require a structured plot/storyline. I think it'd be a better idea to just work on a main character, a set of enemies, a great tile-set.. as to make a believable game without too much involved... even a strategy game would be good. anyway its gonna have to be up to me what I actually do.

It is related to graphic design Alex but, our course covers all sections of graphic design from; brand advertising, website design, general illustration, packaging, typography etc. But as graphic designers our ideas have to be unique and inative.. Which is why I need to go to depth to how I go about making this game, I need to set myself a percific target on what to find an inative idea. It is true though that I need to spend more time on the image of the game, and less on the actual game itself, but thats where what wondering, its new territory for me and its all well and good starting a small game by making mockups and stuff but how exactly should I go about it when im supposed to be making all areas of the game.

I just want some advice on where to start so I don't spend my first weeks achieving nothing and messing round in GraphicsGale, surely some of you have been involved in the promotional side of gaming?

I really just want to push myself to my own limits with this project, these two years of college haven't challenged me in the slightest. My last project was a 3 week deadline to produce a 3 page website in flash, I've used flash since I was 12. And im not saying im a pro but it just wasn't in the slightest challenging.

Yea I suppose the quality of the end product would really be determained on how much time and effort I put in, it's just out of my comfort zone (which is good) but im just eager to get any advice before I get into it.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2007, 02:17:42 am by Terley »
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Offline AlexHW

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #5 on: March 12, 2007, 07:20:34 am
maybe you could do a commercial of a game?
maybe an ad you'd place in a gaming magazine?
a magazine cover?

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #6 on: March 12, 2007, 04:36:41 pm
I actually have one other piece of advice, if you do decide to program an actual game, and it is this:

Unless you are doing a super-physics-heavy simulation type of game, your time WILL be spent something like this:

10% Programming/Coding
20% Testing/Tuning
70% Artwork/Level Design

Especially when you are talking about doing a simple platformer or arcade-style game, this is the kind of time investment you are looking at.  Programming won't really be that big a deal; cranking out the artwork, even for a very simple game, can be a hugely time-consuming process, especially if you are trying to raise your own personal bar (this usually means trial and error, experimentation, throwing things away, etc).  I made a kind of joust-arkanoid mashup in college that had pretty crappy pixel art graphics, mediocre physics, and really bad AI, and it took me around 120 hours total, split up the way I posted above.  The art was so bad, and it still took so long to come up with everything I needed for the game...

Ah and one final thing - depending on what you are using to make the game, you will probably have to manually snap your sprites to integer positions just before rendering, to prevent weird in-engine aliasing (Again, depends on the engine, but for good clean pixel art I have had to put this in myself many times).

Offline setz

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 02:11:39 pm
10% Programming/Coding
20% Testing/Tuning
70% Artwork/Level Design
I understand what you're pointing at, but I think there's alot more work put into testing and tuning, imo if you can its best to get someone to test certain areas of the game and such as they get in a playable state, so you know whats wrong/needs a fix, and what can be better, so-forth.

I made a kind of joust-arkanoid mashup in college that had pretty crappy pixel art graphics, mediocre physics, and really bad AI, and it took me around 120 hours total, split up the way I posted above.  The art was so bad, and it still took so long to come up with everything I needed for the game...
I'm actually working on a breakout/arkanoid clone, I found the graphics the easiest thing to get done, the actual artwork itself was rather easy and quick to make, most of my time is going to tweaking the physics. However with a picross game I programmed, the coding was easy, the levels and testing took up most of my time, so I would say that timeline really depends on what game you're making. Testing could be perhaps the most important part; nobody wants to play a really buggy game.

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #8 on: March 14, 2007, 04:48:47 am
Yeah, don't take my little percentages as being indicative of importance, just time spent, and just what I remember from working on that project.  Now, I will grant that I was a much worse and slower artist back then :P  and I've always been a decent coder and tweaker/tuner.  However, I think most game projects that have more than one level, and that have unique artwork across much of the gamespace (rather than maybe 1 or 2 tiles), will easily sink a vast majority of their time on that stuff, and not on the game code.  But I think you're right that it can change quite a bit depending on the project!

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Re: Some queries about short deadline game creation

Reply #9 on: March 14, 2007, 04:55:46 am
well my assignment as I said is totally open, its 100% up to us what we produce. Im not really looking to make just a game in general, im percifically interested in pixel art game. I wouldn't worry about how I'd get it running, my brothers more in tune with the technical side. I just want to concentrate on the artwork of the game..

This is eventually gonna be something that can be be displayed at the end of the school-year, so Im thinking, to cause less hastle to concentrate more on making mockups for a game, and whether I have the time. making it playable. It would definately increase my chances of a higher grade..

I was actually thinking of making a simple platformer, as RPG styled games tend to require a structured plot/storyline. I think it'd be a better idea to just work on a main character, a set of enemies, a great tile-set.. as to make a believable game without too much involved... even a strategy game would be good. anyway its gonna have to be up to me what I actually do.

It is related to graphic design Alex but, our course covers all sections of graphic design from; brand advertising, website design, general illustration, packaging, typography etc. But as graphic designers our ideas have to be unique and inative.. Which is why I need to go to depth to how I go about making this game, I need to set myself a percific target on what to find an inative idea. It is true though that I need to spend more time on the image of the game, and less on the actual game itself, but thats where what wondering, its new territory for me and its all well and good starting a small game by making mockups and stuff but how exactly should I go about it when im supposed to be making all areas of the game.

I just want some advice on where to start so I don't spend my first weeks achieving nothing and messing round in GraphicsGale, surely some of you have been involved in the promotional side of gaming?

I really just want to push myself to my own limits with this project, these two years of college haven't challenged me in the slightest. My last project was a 3 week deadline to produce a 3 page website in flash, I've used flash since I was 12. And im not saying im a pro but it just wasn't in the slightest challenging.

Yea I suppose the quality of the end product would really be determained on how much time and effort I put in, it's just out of my comfort zone (which is good) but im just eager to get any advice before I get into it.

If you want to know all about game design just shoot me a PM, I've been in and led 2D and 3D projects several times over. Also I'll tell you now, a team isn't anything without a scripter. True if you have a default engine you could produce something satisfactory, but alas without a coder to pump the ideas into script you will have in no manner a way of chance for success in a game.