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EXECUTION Starting my own Game Development Studio

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latterdaysamurai

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Main Goal:
Start my own game indie (small) development studio.
- Create a Hit Game or one that sells decently well
- Hire staff, design and develop another more complicated game (<- This is neverending)

How?
- Before coming back to join this forum I spent hours upon hours learning the C# programming language and a little bit of Unity. Enough to get me started. I figured I just needed to start or I'll enter the tutorial hell loop or "action faking".
- I'll have no staff. I'll be the Programmer, Designer, Artist & Animator. I'll need to hire a music composer for some music down the road. Mostly everything you see I'll do by hand.

My Tools
I purchased a new Acer Nitro 5 Laptop. *Upgraded the RAM to 32 GB.* (It works perfectly using the tools below and has enough horse power for development)
I purchased a Gaomon PD1650 to draw 2D sprites
I bought a license for Aseprite to draw the draw sprites. (It's like Photoshop/Paint but built specifically for the pixel art style and 2D animation.)
I bought a license for Pyxel Edit to do 2d sprite tile sheets. I may not use it but just draw big scrolling backgrounds for this first game.
A free personal license of Unity. If I make a game that gets a $100,000 in revenue then you'll have to pay.

First Project:
A Top down space shooter game like Space Invaders, Ikaruga, and Raiden IV. (Edit: This first project is practice and I'm not selling it.)

I'll post update here in a few minutes of what I did so far.
 

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JeremyCreed99

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Main Goal:
Start my own game development studio.
- Create a Hit Game or one that sells decently well
- Hire staff, design and develop another more complicated game (<- This is neverending)

How?
- Before coming back to join this forum I spent hours upon hours learning the C# programming language and a little bit of Unity. Enough to get me started. I figured I just needed to start or I'll enter the tutorial hell loop or "action faking".
- I'll have no staff. I'll be the Programmer, Designer, Artist & Animator. I'll need to hire a music composer for some music down the road. Mostly everything you see I'll do by hand.

My Tools
I purchased a new Acer Nitro 5 Laptop. *Upgraded the RAM to 32 GB.* (It works perfectly with the below with enough horse power for development)
I purchased a Gaomon PD1650 to draw 2D sprites
I bought a license for Aseprite to draw the draw sprites. (It's like Photoshop/Paint but built specifically for sprites and 2D animation.)
I bought a license for Pyxel Edit to do 2d sprite tile sheets. I may not use it but just draw big scrolling backgrounds for this first game.
A free personal license of Unity. If I make a game that gets a $100,000 in revenue then you'll have to pay.

First Project:
A Top down space shooter game like Space Invaders, Ikaruga, and Raiden IV.

I'll post update here in a few minutes of what I did so far.
Sounds interesting, what type of games will you planning on selling and on what platform?
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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First Project:
A retro top down 2D Space Shooter

Behind the Scenes:
I haven't made any design documentation yet and kind of just exploring. I will lay out level designs and scenarios once I actually get a working prototype of a single level. This will take a long time since I'm doing everything alone.

- Fighter Design
All art is by hand. I created a Space Fighter based on modified design of F-22. Took a couple hours or so. Drawing using pixel art style is pretty intense. I limit my palette to about 5 colors per object and 256x256 pixels. Pixel art is all about working with limitations. Many games limit way further than that, like 32x32 pixels or less for objects.
ship01.jpg

Laser
laser.JPG

- Animation
Completed space fighter with animation I'll use when the player turns. I'll reverse it for turning right. I've never animated outside a flipbook or two as a kid, but it's quite difficult. 2D animation requires you to redraw object. I now have even more respect for people like Chuck Jones, Don Bluth, and Glen Keane.
View attachment 62148704288__0B4EC8DC-505D-444D-93FC-6CAD2148E7EB.MOV














This Update
1. Gameplay: Player can move and fire laser.
2. Enemy disappears after taking some damage. (There is a bug though where he dies in 2 shots instead of 4. Need to work that out. I believe it's due to the collision box around the enemy.)
Much work needs to be done. As of last week the player can move the fighter left and right (without proper animation yet) and shoot the laser and destroy an enemy. Here is video of that without visual effects etc.

View attachment fightershooter1.mp4













All of this will be a good learning experience even if I do fail.
More updates to come down the road. It won't be consistent unfortunately.

Next Update (Hopefully)
1. Enemy fire moves and fires at player.
2. Spawn multiple enemies for the player to fight.
3. Enemy fire can take a few hits before being destroyed.
 
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Ravens_Shadow

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Games are tough business. Good luck!
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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Games are tough business. Good luck!
It sure is. I've worked in game development for nearly 20 years and have seen multi-million dollar businesses fail. Everyone is doing e-commerce and I decided to do something within my wheelhouse.

This is my first attempt at working on my own stuff. Taught myself how to code and do art because it's not my day job within the industry.

I'll be positive about it though. No one thought Stardew Valley would sell 10 million copies either.
 
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Hadrian

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Love this! I’m launching a demo of a Unity 2d retro game in about a week. I’ll keep you posted! ☘
 

thechosen1

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How do you test market fit / demand for an entertainment product like games?
Do you have a plan for advertising and promotion?
I love game development (I've dabbled in Unity for years for fun) but it's one of those things where you can spend years "building" and then find out you don't have something at the end that anyone wants to buy.
If you can overcome or solve that, then you have a fantastic business that you're highly motivated to work on!
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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How do you test market fit / demand for an entertainment product like games?
Do you have a plan for advertising and promotion?
I love game development (I've dabbled in Unity for years for fun) but it's one of those things where you can spend years "building" and then find out you don't have something at the end that anyone wants to buy.
If you can overcome or solve that, then you have a fantastic business that you're highly motivated to work on!
I’m not in it to get money immediately or fast. I’m doing this to learn the workflow. This space shooter isn’t the one I plan on selling.

I wasn’t clear in my prior post but this is the order I want to go in.

First Project: Learn Unity (Throw Away Game)

Second Project: Design and Develop game I want to eventually sell.

Third Project: Develop Another Game to sell with small staff (an Indie Game Studio)

Second and Third Project will be a game that the market wants. RPG, Sim, Adventure, Casino Game. Those are projects I hope to succeed.
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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I thought it would be better for me to plan out the development of my game at a high level. Real game studios do this and in greater detail for large projects. ("It's the little things that causes the big things." -MJ DeMarco)

*note this is the style of game I'm going for: Super Star Soldier <- click
34920
 

BellaPippin

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A Top down space shooter game like Space Invaders, Ikaruga, and Raiden IV.
What's yours going to have that those three don't? Why should I play yours and not those?
 

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eTox

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Games are definitely a tough one. Good luck!

I'd suggest:

- f2p bible
- mobilefreetoplay
- dev2dev
- gamemakers yt channel

If I was starting all of this again I'd focus on opening my eyes and looking really hard into what this business actually entails, unless you want the games to be your hobby
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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What's yours going to have that those three don't? Why should I play yours and not those?
The other three don't matter. I'm using them only for reference and cloning aspects.

Why? Here is a quote from one of the worlds most successful programmer:
34938
34940

I will be the only one playing this game. This project is only practice so that I can learn the development framework and dive into how C# is used with the engine for scripting. I outlined this further post #9.

Learning programming isn't like reading a book/video on dropshipping and then execute immediately. Learning the object oriented programming paradigm can take weeks and months and putting it into proper use takes even longer.

What makes this who endeavor tricky is that I'm learning game design, art/animation with this using other programs. I'm a one man game studio. Game development studios (including indie) usually have more than 5 people and each has a separate discpline whether thats focusing on engineering, design, or art. Many of AAA games have hundreds of people and can have over 50 people modifying the source code alone.
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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Update (9/19/2020)
  • Enemy fighter is now instantiated and comes down toward the players location. In programming terms: Used C# to make object become visible by giving the variable data to store in memory. The variable is created prior in the SpawnManagement.cs file. The object instantiates at run-time.
Issues:
Having a difficult time with creating enemy waves to produce multiple enemies moving in different patterns. I also have yet to have the enemy fire back at the player. More to come later.

A peek inside the source code:
34937

Video Result:
View attachment enemy_movement.mp4
 
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BellaPippin

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The other three don't matter.

No one but me will be playing this game. This project is only practice so that I can learn the development framework and dive into how C# is used with the engine for scripting. I outlined this further post #9.

Learning programming isn't like reading a book/video on dropshipping and then execute immediately. Learning the object oriented programming paradigm can take weeks and months and putting it into proper use takes even longer.

What makes this who endeavor tricky is that I'm learning game design, art/animation with this using other programs. I'm a one man game studio. Game development studios (including indie) usually have more than 5 people and each has a separate discpline whether thats focusing on engineering, design, or art. Many of AAA games have hundreds of people and can have over 50 people modifying the source code alone.
Ah ok. I thought you were going to release it as well. A friend of mine made an indie called Trials of Azra, that one is on Steam. It was a two man thing, took them 2-3 years I think, they worked full time from my friend's garage-made-office room. You should check it out; it's like a metroidvania type game so it has a lot of levels/enemies. I think that took most of the time.
He's doing the same thing now again, but on the side of his job. This one will be only him. If you want an intro maybe you guys can bounce ideas off each other, let me know. For the record he's in London rn.
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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Ah ok. I thought you were going to release it as well. A friend of mine made an indie called Trials of Azra, that one is on Steam. It was a two man thing, took them 2-3 years I think, they worked full time from my friend's garage-made-office room. You should check it out; it's like a metroidvania type game so it has a lot of levels/enemies. I think that took most of the time.
He's doing the same thing now again, but on the side of his job. This one will be only him. If you want an intro maybe you guys can bounce ideas off each other, let me know. For the record he's in London rn.
The good part is even if I fail, I'll have C# skills to improve upon and that language is used outside games. I spent hundreds of hours learning C# separately from Unity. Unity is simply an Engine that integrated C# for its scripting.
 

thechosen1

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This seems like a good way to learn, but the main thing I gathered from TMF was that “building” is less important than “finishing” and/or selling. I guess if this is a hobby, that’s different. But it does not sound like a business.
 
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latterdaysamurai

latterdaysamurai

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This seems like a good way to learn, but the main thing I gathered from TMF was that “building” is less important than “finishing” and/or selling. I guess if this is a hobby, that’s different. But it does not sound like a business.

You're not building software in one go, sorry. You can't go from not knowing any frameworks or languages to building something competitive immediately.

I've been in the game industry for nearly 20 years for my day job and I know this for a FACT. Even Zuckerberg knew a web stack before making Facebook and he did other websites before that. John Carmack developed other software including a Mario 3 clone before developing Wolfenstien and Doom.

I created this thread mostly keep accountable to the process, outlined in Post #9.
 

srodrigo

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Your journey reminds me a lot of mine a year and a half ago. I actually made a space shooter similar to Space Invaders but with puzzle mechanics. It took me a month working full time 6-7 days a week. That was the first game I released and was great fun and learning. I really encourage you to carry on with your plan, as game dev is technically challenging and, as you say, it's good to break the ice first with smaller games.

What I'm doing now is to try to make a game a week, to get better at game design, as it's very unlikely to make a good game that you can make money with if you haven't designed a good amount first. It's going to be challenging as I work full-time on a different thing, but 10-15 hours a week should be enough to make a tinny game or prototype I can ship and learn from. I'm going to do this for a few months before I get into any serious project.

Best of luck. I'll be following your thread.

EDIT: Grammar
 

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