List of small goals for first time VN makers

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Aurelia-Aurora
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List of small goals for first time VN makers

#1 Post by Aurelia-Aurora » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:48 pm

Got bored, needed something to write and spam this forum with:



List of Goals for New Game-makers

A lot of people tell you to not "bite off more than you can chew" (and that applies to me, too). Some tell you to even set smaller goals. But to avoid going too far with your goals... what kind of goals SHOULD you set?

Aurora's suggestion:

Make a small first game [] (For basic Ren'Py pratice, use free resources if needed, and make it kinetic, or in other words, no choices)
Make a non-kinetic game [] (Same as above, but with choices)
Make a small game with customized main-menu, textbox, et cetera [] (For customization practice)
Make three more games [] (All small, include different features like music room, CG gallery, et cetera in all of them)
Make a slightly bigger game (Not too big, medium-sized, think... eh, think the small game you made earlier, but with a bit more plot and choices... or alternately, think Unteachable with more choices!)
Make another game [] (Practice with all of the cookbook stuff until you start getting annoyed)

Optional:

Make a VERY small game with RPG framework [] (If you want to make a RPG)
Make a VERY VERY small game with dating sim framework [] (if you want to make a dating sim)
Make a game with tips menu [] (Found in cookbook, make it small with two/three tips)

And finally:

Decide on an idea for a long-term game, starton it, stop for a week, start again, repeat for a year or twenty-two until finished. [] (Put an X here when you have an idea, XX for started, XXX for finished)

Will add more later.

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#2 Post by LVUER » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:23 am

too many goals and you will confuse yourself (though it's vary from person to person). Just one or two short-term goal (eg: finishing NaNoRenO 2010) and then another one or two long-term goal (eg: making 10 games in a year, become a professional game developer in 5 years).

Also make one that couldn't be achieved easily but also possible to be achieved.
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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#3 Post by Headache » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:01 am

The goals are very useful as borderlines for n00bs like me. Thanks for making them. <33

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#4 Post by Gumaster » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:02 am

Well, it depends on the type of person you are, doesn't it? :P
I like jumping straight into the deep end...
Thanks to this forum, it's pretty easy to learn as you go, although the demo release I'm working on right now doesn't have too many flashy effects or complicated code (not ones that I made myself, anyway...)
I find it easier to motivate myself with a big project too, since it's more likely to yield results.
If you're working by yourself though, small projects are probably the way to go, since doing EVERYTHING alone is a lot of work.

Edit: Ooo someone made a post while I was typing this and I was alerted. What an awesome feature xD

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#5 Post by Samu-kun » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:02 am

If someone were able to follow those instructions through and release eight games excluding the final game and the optional ones, I'd be very impressed.

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#6 Post by dizzcity » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:09 pm

Very good advice! :) I'd just like to add that "small" in this case means less than 10 minutes for a single playthrough. (Which roughly translates into less than 5000 words for a kinetic novel). Very very small would be less than 5 minutes to finish the game.

To speak from experience:
My first game was a one-choice VN that took less than 3 minutes to play through. It took approximately two weeks to finish, working off-and-on, which is a good length of time to figure out your work process.

My second game, I wanted to be ambitious, so planned for a half-hour game, with customizations. The script took 1 month to write, the artwork, customizations and the rest took nearly 2 years (though the actual length of time spent on it was roughly equivalent to about 1 month of dedicated daily part-time work). Another 3 months after that to playtest, revise and edit. The larger the scale of your game, the harder it will be to (a) manage a team for that long, or (b) maintain focus and dedication by yourself in the face of a huge pile of work. There is a big gap between making a half-hour game and making a 10-minute one, so managing your ambitions is a good thing.

My third game was an experiment with user interface customization, so I made it another 3-minute playthrough game, with multiple choices and endings. Even after being familiar with Ren'Py and working from stock images, it still takes about 2 weeks to make by myself.


NaNoRenO is a good time to make a mid-level experimental game, of approximately 10 minutes length in playthrough time if you're working alone.

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#7 Post by Wintermoon » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:36 am

I've tried to follow the advice of starting small countless times, and each time failed to finish my small project. The passion just isn't there, and without passion, my projects die. Meanwhile my huge projects are slowly reaching completion over the years.

The one exception is very, very small projects that I can finish in a single day. Those I can finish, because they don't take my time or my focus away from my "real" projects.

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#8 Post by Aurelia-Aurora » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:52 am

Remember that crappy first game I posted?

Got an idea, started, lost the motivation, decided to continue it the next day.

Needless to say... it was finished in one day, takes about..ohh...ionno, 7 minutes to get all three endings if you don't skip and read fast?

Two frigging days. Horray.
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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#9 Post by Gumaster » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:53 am

At least they have endings, right? :P
My "first" was just an experiment to see what Renpy could do (Oooh a shiny new toy! Squeeee~)(Please don't imagine me actually going "Squeeee~", it will hurt your brain.)(Not in a good way.)
It involved a single menu with about six choices, and the entire 'story' was random nonsense coupled with a bunch of unrelated pictures from my pictures folder. Time it takes to get all six 'endings'? About a minute.
Then my second 'game' was just as short. It was just the (short) version of the WHO WAS PHONE?! joke. The only reason I made it was because I had some really awesome images of it (friend drew it at school) and because it took about five minutes. I use it as a test game for new code right now, since it's so small. Playtime about...10seconds?

And the actual 'first game I'm working on right now is currently at just over 86k words

Oh yeah, Yugioh. I only ever saw it on TV, so ENGLISH DUB. Anzu makes me think of that kid from Hanamaru now.

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#10 Post by Aurelia-Aurora » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:55 pm

Yugioh is undeserving of 4kids crappy english dub. No epic music (Violent Tremor hell yeah) and no smexy Bakura voice done by a girl.

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#11 Post by filsduloup » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:18 pm

Funny I have begin a lot of project vn with goal !

I dont think it's useful ! because i have gain practice and knowledge !

My new project has menu customized to an ancient projet, i use too the ancient charactere sprite to an ancient project, a better story inspired by an ancient project !
My probleme i searche the difficulty!

my goal it's use my knowledge and my art to finish a projet's easy ! Do not complicate life !

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#12 Post by Nanashiko » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:57 pm

I agree with what others have said, it just depends on the person. Me I like to go for one goal. True I sometimes forget. Though if I really want to do something. I mean really, I usually will get it done. I actually feel like I have been getting a lot accomplished and I actually just was messing around on Renpy.

Actually funny thing this practice VN I was never gonna go anywhere with, it was just comedic and something I did just to practice coding. Though I actually grew to like my characters I am gonna put them into a real game. Well we will see how it goes ^^

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#13 Post by IxIoN » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:40 pm

Well I started with a big project right away, mostly because I am prepared. I am novelist in here. I write in spanish, of course. Still waiting for the editorial finish publishing my first book and I have written a lot for practice. About the programming, I just have to do a little of research, its not a big deal.
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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#14 Post by DonSketch » Sat May 22, 2010 4:39 am

I agree with IxIoN doing a big project is not a bad idea.I am a manga artist before anything else so that's probably my main skill.
I make the backgrounds myself,the music,the script everything I even customize as much as I can.The only problem I have is sometimes I get a new idea and tend to give up on my last one and throw myself into another project (comic books).While this make me unable to finish a huge project,it gives me skill and practice.With all the effort I'm putting into this one I'm gonna see it until the end.(It's my first VN ever and my goal is to not make it look that way).

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Re: List of small goals for first time VN makers

#15 Post by unknown5 » Sat May 22, 2010 9:15 am

1) set impossible goal
2) fail at it
3) die miserable death

this is my plan, and i'm sticking to it. =P
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