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EXECUTION Starting my own Game Development Studio

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Hadrian

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Update (10/20/2020)

I'm spending much of my time learning Blender now to build 3D models and texture them. I'll be replacing the 2D artwork mostly. This will take time to learn. I'll later import models into the game engine.

Flying out of town for a few days as well so no learning until later next week.
Love watching your progress... just released my own demo in a thread on the forum for my retro game Bootcamp USA. Hope you check it out! I also just finished the book Atomic Habits and it very very clever... with some excellent ideas on how to combine things you know into making a novel approach to the market... Candy Crush is the perfect example... e.g. You could do something truly innovative like make an indie game based on the classic movie "Inner Space"... Now that would catch peoples attention even in a crowed market! :bicep:
 
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eTox

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Hi Hi are these communities/e-magazines/websites/forums?
That's not the questions you should be asking my friend.

You should have googled them already. Had a WTF reaction and came back to say thank you for pointing to wonderful resources.

PS:

If you weren't surprised by them, then you haven't opened up your eyes in gamedev yet. Don't be surprised later on
 

AppMan

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Update (10/20/2020)

I'm spending much of my time learning Blender now to build 3D models and texture them. I'll be replacing the 2D artwork mostly. This will take time to learn. I'll later import models into the game engine.

Flying out of town for a few days as well so no learning until later next week.
Fake business action ?
Stay in 2D games , so you will not get crushed by bigger players .
 

Raja

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Fake business action ?
Stay in 2D games , so you will not get crushed by bigger players .
true, and may I suggest casual style game which do not need tons of graphic work, Kind of game which are for kids.
now a days there is very popular game among us, look at its graphic.

I suggest if your skills are little above basics make game for kids (like simple game) and test it on adults.

the main thing is it should be simple. it will save you both time and effort. try to make it have virality from start means game will be better if there friends also play it. can be comparing scores or multiplayer or collaborative.

look at angry birds, was it 3d or flappy bird or candycrush.

have faith and just begin.
 

Hadrian

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That's not the questions you should be asking my friend.

You should have googled them already. Had a WTF reaction and came back to say thank you for pointing to wonderful resources.

PS:

If you weren't surprised by them, then you haven't opened up your eyes in gamedev yet. Don't be surprised later on
No time my friend. That's why I asked. I'm in the execution stage... very little time for anything else right now that doesn't help get my product into the market. I won't be googling anything unless its benefits are explained clearly beforehand as my time is just too valuable... sorry if thats sounds a bit crabby! :peace:
 
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Raja

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No time my friend. That's why I asked. I'm in the execution stage... very little time for anything else right now that doesn't help get my product into the market. I won't be googling anything unless its benefits are expained clearly beforehand as my time is just too valuable... sorry if thats sounds a bit crabby! :peace:
that's rude, if you don't need feedback you could have stopped us from posting on your thread.
have some respect man
 

Hadrian

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that's rude, if you don't need feedback you could have stopped us from posting on your thread.
have some respect man
I probably just read that message the wrong way... under such time constraints I’m very short when I don’t get straight answers, And I’m a very direct person. Once again sorry if I appear crabby... :peace:
 
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Hows the Viking themed Speedball coming? Speedball was one of my fav games of all time.. I actually wanted to clone it myself once I get my other retro games done... Basically I'm combining Combat School and Platoon into one!

Hmmm might be able to cross promote it in my Celtic themed apps...

To be honest, it doesn't move much, currently. I had a lot of stuff to do with my new business, starting a new job, fighting the windmills of bureaucracy, and I'm really feeling under the weather since I got vaxinated...well, as you can see, I'm making excuses, or other priorities.

Biggest problem currently is: I'm learning Blender for my new business and now think about a 3d version, but that would be overkill and no real clone anymore. And I never ever played Speedball 2, to be honest. But I've created A RetroPie and should get to that immediately.

Also, a real problem is (and it always has been): I'm watching a lot of Unity tutorials and continuously get new ideas. But as we all know: It's the finished, published and played game that counts.

Which kind of apps are those Celtic apps, may I ask? I'd be interested.
 

EmotionEngine

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Update (11/03/2020)

Progress:
--------------
35+ hours of Blender tutorials.
Result: I'm now able to make basic game props.

I'm no master but I'm approaching Intermediate level. Below is a finished 3D render what I worked on using a tutorial. I made the spoon, donut plate and table without the tutorial.
The textures placed on my models were from www.poliigon.com. The donut texture was hand painted by me.


Next Update:
More tutorials and then begin making new 3d art assets for my game.

donut_and_coffee_final_wireframe.jpgdonut_and_coffee_final.png
 

EmotionEngine

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Fake business action ?
Stay in 2D games , so you will not get crushed by bigger players .

You're sound like I have only one chance. Like my computer and drawing equipment vanishes on failure. Failure is good. You learn from these things.

For the aesthetics, you can use 2D and 3D rendering at the same time. (See Grandia 1, Breath of Fire III and Xenogears)
 
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eTox

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In mobile games you either have:
1. $1M upfront investment
2. A versatile team of 5-10 creative developers (artists, programmers, user acquisition and gamedesigners)
3. At least 1 year of time
Or you have nothing.

There is no "I'll make a couple grand to survive". It's not even a red ocean. It's f*cking lava.

Just like any business there are costs of acquisition and they aren't in your favor. The algorithms on platform don't push you forward. Nothing helps you.

What works now is getting a great IP and testing massive amounts of potential game creatives through FB. What ever get's the cheapest CPI (and cheapest I mean ~$3-5 per install) then it's what gets created.

All of you fools on FLF thinking you know shit just by faking action. It cost me 5 years, personal and family bankruptcy, over $100k lost. Just to open my eyes to what other people were telling me. Mind you: I am a software developer, I have great art skills, I know paid user acquisition, I studied in depth game design and I've managed a remote team of devs...

People never learn from others mistakes... never.

Take a real problem you can solve right now, solve it and market it better.

Games are great, but come back when you have the above 3 things in your pocket to lose.
 
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Andreas Thiel

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I would love to simply bash the naysayers, but I feel a disturbance in the force as well.

You have great sources of inspiration and are pragmatic about things, but some of the red flags:
- Spending hours on a sprite for the project. I'd feel better if you'd just worry about the code aspects and render simple quads first ... or concentrate on asset creation.
- You have been in the industry for 20 years ... as something. But no relevant experience with programming or asset creation!? Somehow the terminology you use seems amateurish at times.
- No concrete plans for the first commercial projects (many genres are on the table ... but maybe you just don't want to reveal too much?). I am worried about motivation / drive. How much does the desire to create something awesome really burn?
- The list of tasks for the sandbox project seemed somewhat naive. It is not that you can't do it, but you probably have some knowledge which gives you a false sense of security.
- A lot of interests. Mostly a good sign, but there should be clearer priorities.
- You seem to follow tutorials without getting to the bottom of things. Just learning about the high level challenges won't get you to a point where you can tackle the more difficult challenges.

I sure hope we can watch how you conquer all those challenges. I might be wrong and read something into the posts that isn't there.

Just my opinion:
- The simple project idea is probably a good one. Don't go from sandbox project directly to the RPG game. Think flappy bird first. Gamedev communities suggest: text adventure game, then clone Tetris, then Breakout, then a scroller etc.
- To get the indie marketing right, get involved in the community game early. Follow indies and think about what kind of project it would take to get followers / likes.
 

EmotionEngine

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- You have been in the industry for 20 years ... as something. But no relevant experience with programming or asset creation!? Somehow the terminology you use seems amateurish at times.
You assume the game industry his comprised of only positions that make commits to a repository which are later compiled into builds. Forgetting everything from producers, associate producers, office managers, qa managers and more. None of those actively write lines of code, write engines, write renderers, code review, design levels or create assets for implementation. Yet in those positions you didn't mention you mostly understand what the process is at a high level. If I got too deep in terminology about how code, source control, build systems, automation and unit testing works it would blow your mind.

The whole point of this thread is to show progress on learning of things I do not know deeply.

I will no longer be updating this thread. At least not for a long time.
 
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Andreas Thiel

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If I got too deep in terminology about how code, source control, build systems, automation and unit testing works it would blow your mind.
You might be surprised and you might get better feedback in general. Unless you just want a journal ... in that case your approach is fine.

Hope the decision to not update the thread is a practical one, not emotional.
 

lowtek

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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:
View attachment 34937

Video Result
View attachment 34935

Some constructive feedback on your coding:

You've written the code with a clear and consistent naming scheme, so I can tell what everything is doing just by reading it (and I don't even know C#).

This means that none of the code you have there needs a comment. It's just wasting your time to write them and it doesn't tell anybody anything useful. The presence of the comments is just visual noise that makes it harder to read what is going on.

The purpose of comments is so that you can comeback to the code later and understand the thought process behind the design of the software. Comments should be used sparingly and should give context as to why something was done the way it was, not what it was doing. This is because well written code will be obvious (as yours is), except at branch points where you have the choice of doing something one way or another. It is at those points that you should drop a comment: "Have to do it X way otherwise we get a bug in Y function".

I won't say to stay away from indie game development, because I think one can make a dent there with the right concept and execution, but I will say to perhaps partner up with someone to do the art. Programming and artistic skills are rarely found in the same person, and trying to do both is just going to exponentially increase your development time. Decide which one you are better at, and find another amateur to partner up with for some early projects and quick wins. If you're dead set on doing the programming, then try to find some free texture packs out there (they exist) and just use those as placeholders. There's no real point in reinventing the art for space invaders when you can just use simple block sprites, or free aliens drawn by some other aspiring artist.
 

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Everyone is doing e-commerce and I decided to do something within my wheelhouse.
Good for you. Stay true to yourself. It's hard to be on here and not get sucked into ecommerce or affiliate marketing in one way or another (speaking as someone who was sucked into affiliate marketing :) )
 

EmotionEngine

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Some constructive feedback on your coding:

You've written the code with a clear and consistent naming scheme, so I can tell what everything is doing just by reading it (and I don't even know C#).

This means that none of the code you have there needs a comment. It's just wasting your time to write them and it doesn't tell anybody anything useful. The presence of the comments is just visual noise that makes it harder to read what is going on.
The purpose of comments can differ from individuals. I use them like bookmarks at times and others not. One engineer says if your code is written well, you won't need comments. Others say the opposite and I know quite a few game engineers in games. One specifically told me the amount I have learned in a short period time even shames some of the people he has interviewed and loves my dedication. I have over 2500 hours of logged (kanban) hours of learning in a few years. A rarity by most individuals who aren't blowing time on Netflix.
The purpose of comments is so that you can comeback to the code later and understand the thought process behind the design of the software. Comments should be used sparingly and should give context as to why something was done the way it was, not what it was doing. This is because well written code will be obvious (as yours is), except at branch points where you have the choice of doing something one way or another. It is at those points that you should drop a comment: "Have to do it X way otherwise we get a bug in Y function".
Thanks I do know that. You can't determine everything I've written in a screenshot for an application that is spread across multiple files.
I won't say to stay away from indie game development, because I think one can make a dent there with the right concept and execution, but I will say to perhaps partner up with someone to do the art.
I'd rather learn enough art to create most of my own assets and have full ownership, even if it takes some time. I don't want to buy assets or use too many free ones.

Programming and artistic skills are rarely found in the same person,
Not true. I know a few artists who learned to code and have built things from scripts in Maya to their own games.
and trying to do both is just going to exponentially increase your development time.
Time I gladly spend. Most tasks of value take time.
Decide which one you are better at, and find another amateur to partner up with for some early projects and quick wins. If you're dead set on doing the programming, then try to find some free texture packs out there (they exist)
I already mentioned in a previous post I used www.poliigon.com I guess I was too stupid to figure that out.
and just use those as placeholders. There's no real point in reinventing the art for space invaders when you can just use simple block sprites, or free aliens drawn by some other aspiring artist.
I'm not creating "space invaders" for the sake of making it, nor is the first application meant to be sold but used for learning. I actually posted my intentions multiple times in responses. Unsure why the first thing I've posted must be something I'm making money on ASAP. Not even Unscripted supports rushing into things quickly for the sake of a dollar. It accounts for learning and MJ even mentions "Udemy" in the book. Something of this scope takes time.
 
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csalvato

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The purpose of comments can differ from individuals. I use them like bookmarks at times and others not. One engineer says if your code is written well, you won't need comments. Others say the opposite and I know quite a few game engineers in games. One specifically told me the amount I have learned in a short period time even shames some of the people he has interviewed and loves my dedication. I have over 2500 hours of logged (kanban) hours of learning in a few years. A rarity by most individuals who aren't blowing time on Netflix.

Thanks I do know that. You can't determine everything I've written in a screenshot for an application that is spread across multiple files.

I'd rather learn enough art to create most of my own assets and have full ownership, even if it takes some time. I don't want to buy assets or use too many free ones.


Not true. I know a few artists who learned to code and have built things from scripts in Maya to their own games.

Time I gladly spend. Most tasks of value take time.

I already mentioned in a previous post I used www.poliigon.com I guess I was too stupid to figure that out.

I'm not creating "space invaders" for the sake of making it, nor is the first application meant to be sold but used for learning. I actually posted my intentions multiple times in responses. Unsure why the first thing I've posted must be something I'm making money on ASAP. Not even Unscripted supports rushing into things quickly for the sake of a dollar. It accounts for learning and MJ even mentions "Udemy" in the book. Something of this scope takes time.
Lol @lowtek it appears he doesn’t want your opinion :)
 

lowtek

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Lol @lowtek it appears he doesn’t want your opinion :)
hahahah, yeah I gathered. That's ok. It's not the first time in my life I've been told to piss off. I'm sure it won't be the last, either :p
 

EmotionEngine

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hahahah, yeah I gathered. That's ok. It's not the first time in my life I've been told to piss off. I'm sure it won't be the last, either :p

I never told anyone to piss off. The thread is mostly of people telling me what NOT to do.

I figure I'll do what I want and there's nothing wrong with that, right? We're all going to be okay.

Like I said earlier, I'll be posting here much less.
 

Andreas Thiel

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I never told anyone to piss off. The thread is mostly of people telling me what NOT to do.

I figure I'll do what I want and there's nothing wrong with that, right? We're all going to be okay.

Like I said earlier, I'll be posting here much less.
Hope you change your mind about posting less. I can see how this is uncomfortable, but you will do fine if you
a) either keep telling people that you mostly want to journal while you figure things out / prove a point and are not looking for feedback
b) or engage in a less defensive way and show that there is more substance than we suspect over time

Forget about details like comments in code ... you will probably change the way you do things 100 times in the near future ... but you might want to take the comments about priorities seriously and come up with a high level plan and do the math. How many hours do you want to invest in each skill? Where do you want to be 2 years from now regarding each skill? When do you want / need to hit the market? ... think: Tesla Master Plan 1 & 2.
 
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AppMan

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You're sound like I have only one chance. Like my computer and drawing equipment vanishes on failure. Failure is good. You learn from these things.
No, too much fast switching from one idea to another will not give you any learning experience. It is like soneone open shop for only 3 months then close it to open another type. he didn't really learned everything in that 3 months.
 

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I never told anyone to piss off. The thread is mostly of people telling me what NOT to do.

I figure I'll do what I want and there's nothing wrong with that, right? We're all going to be okay.

Like I said earlier, I'll be posting here much less.
While surely some people think every one is the kind that can get from A to B in a perfect, straight line, and don't understand that some people need to take a detour to get to their destination, I found criticism on this forum to be useful. Constructive criticism helps more than people clapping and nodding. But up to you if you don't want to take it.
 

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Hmmm.

While eTox probably would have had a lot of insights to offer, he basically did the same as he did in my thread: Tell you it won't work because he failed to do it (in my thread, I even explicitly stated that it is close to impossible to make reasonable money as an indie game dev). There's a lot of bitterness in his words, which I find absolutely understandable given what he has given and lost in the attempt. But actually reading about the process of how it all played out would probably be more helpful.

But still, there are ways to make it. Even without a million dollars upfront. They're very slim, and you have to be very original. But I'd also strongly advise against making indie game dev your "fastlane" business. "But that just means high barrier of entry!", I hear you shout. That, for better or worse, is not true. Just look at the myriads of titles published these days. Game development has never ever been easier and the barrier of entry has never been lower. And given that "Do what you love" translates to "Make games" for millions of people...go figure.

The problem I smell here from the way op approaches this industry is that he doesn't really approach it as an industry. Coaching yourself to make games is fine. As a hobbyist. But the "plan" described in the first post reminds me of this:


Personally, I can say that I wouldn't want to work in this industry anymore. The marketing strategies, targeting children and getting them addicted and turning them into gamblers...sorry. There are probably other ways to do it. But if one industry has really figured out how to abuse the weak spots of the human mind to the point where you have no control anymore about your behavior without actually using a whip, it's the gaming industry (or consumer democracy, but let's not digress).


Another meta-comment from a man who already had a business "doing what he loves" (being me, we had a comic book publishing company):

If you make your hobby a job, you'll end up without a hobby and without a job. Doing things for the sake of it is great. Once you have to approach things like a business, it'll drain a lot of passion you once had for the subject . The best people from an industry point of view are often the ones who don't actually like the product. Did you know that Stan Lee hated comic books? Yeah. Still, look at Marvel today.
 

EmotionEngine

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Fake business action ?
Stay in 2D games , so you will not get crushed by bigger players .
My apologies for getting offended in prior posts.
It's been 6 months and my perspective changed a bit. I didn't ignore your suggestion and I decided to stay in 2D. You were right.

I'm finishing up a practice project within the month and then I'll be working on a game idea that I'll attempt to market and sell. I learned a ton about Unity and more of C# . I learned how to create better 2D pixel art, animate, and the tile system. I can do some stuff in my art workflow without even looking at documentation or tutorials. Thanks for your suggestion. I really appreciate it.
 
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EmotionEngine

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I have early intermediate knowledge on getting a game running in Unity and programming skill. The problem I'm facing now is the art content itself. I can create the assets but they look terrible and I've been practicing awhile to get better at 2D pixel art. My character design is trash. It's really hard to get good quick at art. One thing I noticed, it's easier for me to do art for inanimate objects like street signs than actual characters. It's like some mental hang-up or something.

I know the alternative is to ask someone else to do the art but I really want to be in control and have this all done by me. I want to truly own all my content assets. Should I count this as a loss and move on from my game ideas? I don't want to stuck in the "sunk cost fallacy" as MJ puts it in the book.
 
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Andreas Thiel

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The mindset sounds a lot more healthy in general. No, not the "Should I count this as a loss and move on from my game ideas?"

You seem to have a belief issue now. You should be able to get pretty far with shitty placeholder graphics. That said, I think that kind of doubt is healthy if it gets you to pivot.
The mental math behind the doubt is probably right. When your character spritesheets take 48h each to create and you'd have to create 200 ... then the math is broken.
A Metroidvania game with Disney level animations ... move on if that is what you currently have in mind ... or make outreach your priority and try to partner up.

Ask yourself what you can reasonably accomplish over a finite timespan.
This is kinda where people were going with the Angrybirds and Among Us suggestions.

You posted the copycat quote by John Carmack. I think that is the way to go in the art department now.
Not copying to create the actual art you will use, but to come up with an art style for a game idea that you can pull off.

Maybe set a timebox for it, invest some time in researching indie game styles and if you don't manage to come up with something, then consider moving on. I always land on Bomberman when I do that exercise.
Does not require too many assets and the game mechanics make it great.
 

EmotionEngine

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The mindset sounds a lot more healthy in general. No, not the "Should I count this as a loss and move on from my game ideas?"

You seem to have a belief issue now. You should be able to get pretty far with shitty placeholder graphics. That said, I think that kind of doubt is healthy if it gets you to pivot.
The mental math behind the doubt is probably right. When your character spritesheets take 48h each to create and you'd have to create 200 ... then the math is broken.
A Metroidvania game with Disney level animations ... move on if that is what you currently have in mind ... or make outreach your priority and try to partner up.

Ask yourself what you can reasonably accomplish over a finite timespan.
This is kinda where people were going with the Angrybirds and Among Us suggestions.

You posted the copycat quote by John Carmack. I think that is the way to go in the art department now.
Not copying to create the actual art you will use, but to come up with an art style for a game idea that you can pull off.

Maybe set a timebox for it, invest some time in researching indie game styles and if you don't manage to come up with something, then consider moving on. I always land on Bomberman when I do that exercise.
Does not require too many assets and the game mechanics make it great.

Thank you. Very useful information that I can immediately apply.
 

EmotionEngine

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Update (7/27/2021)
[Had a busy month and a half at my rat race job. Now that I have more time I've begun full production on this game. ]

What is it? 2D Action Platformer Game
Inspirations: Metroid, Gunstar Heroes

- Design Document 95% Complete - 2 Pages - Design Pillars, Features, Input Devices, Gameplay Mechanics, Story etc. (Just need to outline milestones and dates)
- Art: Base player sprite finished and is now in the engine. (Sci-fi character)
- Animation: Idle animation for player sprite completed and is now in the engine.
- Coding: The player can move left and right. Unfortunately they always face the same direction. Will fix very soon.

Completion Rate: 2% (estimate)

Notes:
I know a few composers in game industry. I may ask (and pay) for them to write the music or I will learn chip-tune music style myself. I've found the software.
 
Last edited:

peterb0yd

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God I hope you have a marketing strategy planned. I didn't read the whole thread, but man did I mess that one up when I launched my game to the market.

After college, I spent 3 months building a sweet little mobile game with LibGDX. It was my third game ever built and I had high hopes. I worked with a designer friend to do the graphics, I created some music sounds using my favorite DAW (I did music production as a hobby back then)... and I rigorously tested the game for bugs.

All was looking good.

22 years old... about to blow the f up and get rich on the app store.

Then?

*crickets*

No one gave a f*ck. I did get a few downloads, but I didn't know what else to do... so I just moved on to the next venture and let the game die.

I still think it would have done pretty well had I put some damn effort into marketing the thing. It was really fun! It had all the elements that make a game fun and addicting.

Anyway, that was nearly 7 years ago. It's just water under the bridge...
 

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