Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

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Taleweaver
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#16 Post by Taleweaver » Fri May 06, 2011 2:34 am

Aleema wrote:* Someone drops out of the project. There's also the game-killing "my friend promised to do my art for me" dependency on others that easily falls through, and then you drop the project. In fact, it's almost guaranteed that if you hinge the success of your game on the good will of someone else who has no emotional attachment to your project whatsoever, they're not going to follow through. (That's an exaggeration. Good will often comes through, but you shouldn't be surprised if the random person you met on the internet -- or even a close relative -- really has no motivation for your personal hobby.) I try to avoid this by paying my artists and working mostly alone. It's great to work in groups, and can definitely be done, but if you conceive of your game in manner that you, personally, cannot achieve it on your own even if it's a crappier game, you're basically asking for failure.
This accounts for 80% of game creation failures in my case. Out of five unfinished games from my desk, four of them didn't get finished because of my artist or co-creator abandoning me sometime during the project. This percentage would be even higher if I took into account one project I finished even despite someone on the project leaving, essentially creating a game with unfinished content.

Really, guys, that's probably teamworking 101: When you promise to do a job, do it. When looking for help, be honest and realistic with the amount of help you need. Especially when making free games, you depend on one another. Don't let the other people down.
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#17 Post by OtomeWeekend » Fri May 06, 2011 5:51 am

I kinda agree with Taleweaver.

It's not really a game but I once joined a recently started scanlation group for a certain manga*I won't mention it*... But the editor never send me the clean copies turns out she has dropped it and without ANY notice or mail at us at all... i was quite disappointed since i was really excited to translate that manga... a total bummer. D:
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#18 Post by gekiganwing » Fri May 06, 2011 6:11 am

A few years ago, I tended to leave my games unfinished. I'd get quite a bit of writing done, and then decide that all I'd written was self-indulgent garbage with no grounding in reality.

Lately, I've been trying to write, at least every now and then. But I'm making even less progress, because I almost always lose interest after a few days. Four reasons why...

1. At times I want to do anything but writing. Even if I unplug my modem and my game systems, there's plenty more distractions.
2. Some of my ideas are currently too complex/lengthy to handle.
3. I'm kind of a stubborn, frustrated weeaboo... I keep telling myself, "Since I write in English, it can't possibly be any good."
4. Most of my unwillingness to write stems from depression.
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#19 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Fri May 06, 2011 6:36 am

gekiganwing wrote:A few years ago, I tended to leave my games unfinished. I'd get quite a bit of writing done, and then decide that all I'd written was self-indulgent garbage with no grounding in reality.

Lately, I've been trying to write, at least every now and then. But I'm making even less progress, because I almost always lose interest after a few days. Four reasons why...

1. At times I want to do anything but writing. Even if I unplug my modem and my game systems, there's plenty more distractions.
2. Some of my ideas are currently too complex/lengthy to handle.
3. I'm kind of a stubborn, frustrated weeaboo... I keep telling myself, "Since I write in English, it can't possibly be any good."
4. Most of my unwillingness to write stems from depression.
Writers block. Not much fun when even your mind seems against you. Lots of people, especially creative people, struggle with this. I think it partially stems from a fear of failure, since creative people tend to be drawn to doing creative work and enjoy doing it, but as soon as you have actual goals, it becomes a case of success or failure. When I went to uni for graphic design we learnt lots of techniques to force ourselves to create, since that is what we are paid to do. You can't really tell a client that you have an art block and so they can't have their logo until next week. I will try to find the papers that had some good tips so I can share it. It may help some people with idea generation.

3. I'm kind of a stubborn, frustrated weeaboo... I keep telling myself, "Since I write in English, it can't possibly be any good."
I don't think that is true at all, I'm sure you have the potential to be a fantastic writer (if you aren't already). Personally I think english is one of the best languages to use. While being one of the most complex languages (the word 'set' has 464 different meaning. 464!) because of it's evolution from multiple languages and the rules that have just as many exceptions as actual applications it is an incredibly flexible language that is in constant flux. There are so many possible ways to say something and you can break rules left, right and centre while still having it be understandable. You should see how Australians have butchered it :D

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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#20 Post by rinrin » Fri May 06, 2011 8:20 am

gekiganwing wrote:4. Most of my unwillingness to write stems from depression.
Perhaps you would find this an interesting read: Five Tactics for Designing Games While Depressed
...especially the last part about turning depression into inspiration.

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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#21 Post by Nimuell » Fri May 06, 2011 1:19 pm

*Someone drops out of the project - In some cases you can't overcome this.
Some time ago I was collaborating with my friend, we were both really enthusiastic and even had started WIP tread on the forums, but then due to the arguments between us everything came to and end... our 12 years long friendship too. Our friendship started to fall apart after half a year of making our VN, but the story and this project kept us together and (if looking back now) it all was just destined to end this way. The most hurting thing was to part with the story itself, because the idea for the story wasn't originally mine and characters too. I came to love the characters really much, as if they were mine and they've become a big part of my life... To part with them was more painful, then to part with my friend.
And so this project will never be finished.
Now I'm working on my own story all alone, as I still didn't lose the desire to make visual novel. I'm quite stubborn and that can be good thing.

I still feel bad for dropping project after posting a thread, and well, there were people who were interested, I've got such a good feedback and all... I'm so ashamed. :oops: To the point, where I'm just lurking and stalking here silently, not really posting anything. Guess I have to overcome this guilty complex of mine in the end. T^T

I got a little off the main purpose of this topic, I'm sorry for that.
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#22 Post by Elenakiara » Fri May 06, 2011 1:48 pm

Nimu-chan wrote:I still feel bad for dropping project after posting a thread, and well, there were people who were interested, I've got such a good feedback and all... I'm so ashamed. :oops: To the point, where I'm just lurking and stalking here silently, not really posting anything. Guess I have to overcome this guilty complex of mine in the end. T^T

I got a little off the main purpose of this topic, I'm sorry for that.
Aww, you shouldn't be ashamed! Not being able to continue a project because of a problem in the game-making team is really not something to feel bad about. :3

Back on topic, I find that when there's a WIP thread, it does help make us feel bad when people are waiting on it. It doesn't help too much at times, when someone has writers block. xD One of the other reasons I am sometimes tempted to drop a project is when I feel like my writing isn't interesting enough. xD It seems more interesting in my head and when I plan, but when I write, I'm always wondering if any non-Ancient Rome fan would like it. I guess it just means that I have to try it out and gain experience as I go on. xD

By the way, it's cool that you're not always just lurking silently, since it's nice for me to see another Russian here. xDD
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#23 Post by Nimuell » Fri May 06, 2011 2:10 pm

Elenakiara wrote: Aww, you shouldn't be ashamed! Not being able to continue a project because of a problem in the game-making team is really not something to feel bad about. :3
Oh well ^^; I understand that, yet I feel so guilty.
One of the other reasons I am sometimes tempted to drop a project is when I feel like my writing isn't interesting enough. xD It seems more interesting in my head and when I plan, but when I write, I'm always wondering if any non-Ancient Rome fan would like it. I guess it just means that I have to try it out and gain experience as I go on. xD
So true. I'm also facing this difficulty, because I'm more of an artist, than writer, and while I'm more or less confident about art, I'm not so sure about my writing. Yeah, in head it sounds so interesting, but when I try to write it all, I just can't stop wondering if any sane person will like it.

When fighting my depression about writing skills, I just say to myself that even if my writing is bad and too naive, it still is something that I created. With more practice, it will get better.
By the way, it's cool that you're not always just lurking silently, since it's nice for me to see another Russian here. xDD
:D While I was lurking here, I noticed several Russian people ^^ that's quite a good amount for english-speaking community
Ah, anyway I'm also always glad to see Russian here :D Приятно познакомиться)))
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#24 Post by Sapphi » Fri May 06, 2011 8:01 pm

gekiganwing wrote: 3. I'm kind of a stubborn, frustrated weeaboo... I keep telling myself, "Since I write in English, it can't possibly be any good."
I think that mentality might stem from the fact that most of us were fans of Japanese visual novels before we tried to make our own, so our expectations for our own projects are skewed by our experiences with Japanese VNs. The Japanese way of writing and organizing ideas is not necessarily the same as other languages like English, but it doesn't mean it's better. I think as English speakers, we should more compare our visual novels with English literature than Japanese. I agree with Auro-Cyanide here - English has a TON of potential and is extremely expressive!

(Related to this, there's a disturbing syndrome in original English-language work that is inspired by anime or manga. It's things like completely non-Japanese characters using expressions like "Eeeeehh?!" and just Engrish-y writing in general that seems to be hoping to emulate the feel of translated Japanese work, but just turns out to be really off-putting. This seems like it might be a result of people thinking the same thing as you about their work and deciding that they need to make it more "Japanese" for people to like it. Nothing could be further from the truth!)
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#25 Post by Agent Zero » Sat May 07, 2011 2:00 am

Blue Lemma wrote:I think something similar came up a while ago, but it's always worth a revisit: What causes game projects to be abandoned?

I'll start out with the things I can think of:

* Game longer than expected - The game is so nice and manageable in your head, and you start writing parts of it. However, when you reach a certain point (generally the end of the "fun" scenes and things you could quickly create) and dissect all the parts listing the writing and art involved, it looks really daunting. This kills your enthusiasm and confidence.

* Other obligations - You had enough time to work on the game when you started, but real life strikes! During the course of development, you get busy with school or a job, a personal issue, or something else unexpected. When you have time to come back to the game, the momentum is broken, and the game just isn't as appealing as before.

* Stuck in a spot - Somewhere along the line, you get stuck trying to resolve a plot issue or writing a scene that just doesn't seem to work. Another momentum and enthusiasm-killer.

* Game switching - While you're making a game, you come up with a better cooler idea! Time to work on that instead! Of course you'll come back to the original game later (you probably won't), or you'll work on two at once (which practically guarantees you don't finish either of them.)

What strategies can you use to overcome these issues? What other issues have you run into?
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#26 Post by Flince » Sat May 07, 2011 2:18 am

Sapphi wrote:
gekiganwing wrote: 3. I'm kind of a stubborn, frustrated weeaboo... I keep telling myself, "Since I write in English, it can't possibly be any good."
I think that mentality might stem from the fact that most of us were fans of Japanese visual novels before we tried to make our own, so our expectations for our own projects are skewed by our experiences with Japanese VNs. The Japanese way of writing and organizing ideas is not necessarily the same as other languages like English, but it doesn't mean it's better. I think as English speakers, we should more compare our visual novels with English literature than Japanese. I agree with Auro-Cyanide here - English has a TON of potential and is extremely expressive!

(Related to this, there's a disturbing syndrome in original English-language work that is inspired by anime or manga. It's things like completely non-Japanese characters using expressions like "Eeeeehh?!" and just Engrish-y writing in general that seems to be hoping to emulate the feel of translated Japanese work, but just turns out to be really off-putting. This seems like it might be a result of people thinking the same thing as you about their work and deciding that they need to make it more "Japanese" for people to like it. Nothing could be further from the truth!)
I agree with this. I mean, the reason I started following Ren'py is because I wanted to read VNs that are not from Japan and see how it goes. Japan have adapted many literature/tales into VN but there's still a similar trend or style incorporated into those works and after a while, you start wanting to see different things. One of the reason I hesitated trying Katawa Shoujo at first was because of this. When I first heard about it I was really exited about reading a quality western VN but when I heard the name my interest dropped (played it after that though and it was great).
PS.I'm still waiting for a Lovecraft VN adaption. Someone do it! *winkwink*

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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#27 Post by Blue Lemma » Sat May 07, 2011 7:23 pm

Need more English-pride! After all, isn't American pop-culture enjoyed and loved by people in countries all over the world? And it's in English! It's true ;)
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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#28 Post by Silvere » Sat May 07, 2011 7:48 pm

Blue Lemma wrote:isn't American pop-culture enjoyed and loved by people in countries all over the world?
Bah, go away. xD

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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#29 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sat May 07, 2011 9:47 pm

Blue Lemma wrote:Need more English-pride! After all, isn't American pop-culture enjoyed and loved by people in countries all over the world? And it's in English! It's true ;)
And not only english! The point is that almost all languages and cultures have amazing literature heritage. Some of the greatest fairytales of all time originated from European languages like German and the Middle East is rich with mythology. Just because Japan started the fashion, doesn't mean we should end it that way. Japan took American animation and created something of their own, I'm sure you could do the same with the visual novel genre. Having pride in yourself and your stories is a great way to boast your confidence and motivation. I for one am very interested in seeing different types of stories, perspectives and techniques, not just the same Japanese cliches.

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Re: Reasons for Game Creation Failure (and how to overcome?)

#30 Post by Taleweaver » Sun May 08, 2011 11:05 am

To get back on topic, here is Taleweaver's

Wall of Shame
or: The best games I started but never finished

1. Love Revolution
Does anyone remember this awesome and ambitious idea for a completely fan-made dating sim/VN cross? Twelve girls, three endings - per girl! - and a plot with more twists and turns than your average bobsleigh course made this project much too large too handle. Even though I did my best, created one of the girls myself and wrote approximately 20k words for the plot (plus an entire plotline for many of the girls), the project suffered from artists coming and going, three different programmers in the same number of years and finally a creator that lost interest in the game himself. (No, that wasn't me.) At least I can claim I stuck with the team until the entire thing was really dead.

2. Foxtaile
The game where my programmer left me and I was still too unskilled to program it myself. The story revolves around a female kitsune (Japanese fox spirit) who finds a samurai wounded in one of the last battles of the Sengoku period and maybe falls in love with him. My only real otome game, if you want to put it that way. Even though I couldn't program to save my mother at that time, I still wrote a full, 50k words script and a detailed decision tree. For a long time, the game looked as it could still happen; Rioka created absolutely stunning character art, but then I found I still didn't have any decent BGs to match it. And then another person who promised to complete the project dropped it. I don't know if I'll ever have the motivation to finish it.

3. The Pilgrim's Path
Or: The Loyal Kinsman part 2. Yes, I wanted to continue the adventures of our now-squire with investigative abilities, sending him on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Very much like The Canterbury Tales, he would have been accompanied by many other pilgrims - and then, one of them dies in an accident! A few days later, another! It soon becomes clear that these aren't accidents but murders, but who's committing them, and why? Is it the strange shadow that apparently follows the pilgrims? And can our protagonist find out the truth before he becomes a victim? I had an entire plotline for this game and an entire set of characters, but I failed to interest any artist I talked to, except for one, and that guy said yes and then disappeared without answering any e-mails. (To the credit of the LSF, he's not from around here.)

4. Generation XXX
Er, yes. A hentai game. I'm not going to talk about that one here. Somehow, the project came along super-slow. I had two artists working with me, one for the character art, one for the BGs, and the latter did 2 pieces of art out of 8 I needed. I wanted to wait with the script until I had more art to work with, months passed, and the game was never completed. In retrospect, that was probably a good thing; the story is really strange...

5. Unseen
Another project that's probably better off dead: The narrator of the story is a man in his late thirties who stalks a sixteen-year-old girl. The tale is told entirely from the perspective of the stalker, making this a very unsettling game. I wrote two chapters and then decided I didn't want to go down in history as LSF's local pedophile, took the twist idea from it (the stalker is actually not real but only exists in the mind of the girl, who suffers from paranoia) and made The Dreaming.
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Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming
Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
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Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift
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