First Project?

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YawningKuma
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First Project?

#1 Post by YawningKuma » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:30 am

Hello! I'm very new to this whole VN world and actually digital art/coding/Ren'py in general. I saw another thread kind of talking about making a huge project as their first project and how they spent 3 years on it and I had an idea for VN that seems kind of large. I was thinking more of finishing it in a summer time span (2-3 months), is that too short for a VN game? Should I start off with a smaller idea as my first project and figure out all the bumps and hiccups along the way? Basically I'm wondering what your first project was and the time span it took to create it?

Also as a side question is making a VN all by yourself a bad idea, I'm seeing a lot of people use groups but it seems like they pay them and I'd really only be making a VN for fun and the satisfaction of finishing something (also I couldn't pay for people even if I wanted to).

Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong section and thank you for all replies!

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Re: First Project?

#2 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:41 am

YawningKuma wrote:Hello! I'm very new to this whole VN world and actually digital art/coding/Ren'py in general. I saw another thread kind of talking about making a huge project as their first project and how they spent 3 years on it and I had an idea for VN that seems kind of large. I was thinking more of finishing it in a summer time span (2-3 months), is that too short for a VN game? Should I start off with a smaller idea as my first project and figure out all the bumps and hiccups along the way? Basically I'm wondering what your first project was and the time span it took to create it?
I'm still working on my first project (as part of a team). It's been a few months since we started, and I imagine it'll take a few more to complete the script, which is my job. It's a little larger in scope than what might be good for a newbie, but since I'm not responsible for the other assets, I think I'll be okay.

There seems to be a general consensus here that shorter projects are better for people new to making VNs, so don't worry.
Also as a side question is making a VN all by yourself a bad idea, I'm seeing a lot of people use groups but it seems like they pay them and I'd really only be making a VN for fun and the satisfaction of finishing something (also I couldn't pay for people even if I wanted to).
Actually, there are quite a few folks who are primarily hobbyists, so depending on what your project is, it may be possible to find others who would like to work with you. :)

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Re: First Project?

#3 Post by Kailoto » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:50 am

Mad Harlequin wrote:
Also as a side question is making a VN all by yourself a bad idea, I'm seeing a lot of people use groups but it seems like they pay them and I'd really only be making a VN for fun and the satisfaction of finishing something (also I couldn't pay for people even if I wanted to).
Actually, there are quite a few folks who are primarily hobbyists, so depending on what your project is, it may be possible to find others who would like to work with you. :)

Welcome!
It's true; you'll find that plenty of people will be willing to work for sheer experience if they find your idea interesting enough. Doesn't mean you have to, but if you feel like it, don't be afraid of throwing your idea out there!
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Re: First Project?

#4 Post by Alera » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:26 am

Welcome to the VN creators family! \O/

For my first...2 VN projects I worked with someone else and we were both very-very inexperienced, just starting out, similarly to you. I guess one of the things we wanted to make was a biiiit too big for a first newbie project? I was doing well with the art, but there was a lot of writing and story figuring out to be done. Needless to say, both projects failed. It was a lot of fun doing them but nothing came out of it. After that I went on and did a project completely by myself. My sole purpose was to finish something and release it and have other people play it. I spent 5 days making it on my own and...I did it! (It's the Tortichki game in my signature)Win!

So this is what I've learned from all of this:
- Working with other people is fun but if you're both newbies, you might not get anywhere
- Working on your own is nice because if things don't go well you have no one else to blame but yourself (I'm not saying that in a negative way, you can do it!)
- I think working with someone who already has a bit of experience would be really good because then they can teach you things and guide you and still have fun!
- Small projects are good. No project is too small.
- These forums are the best place ever. I've learned tons about VN deving from just hanging around here.

Just think about what you want to achieve with VN making and the skills you have. Some people just want to draw or write for VNs for example so they prefer to work for other people, which is always an option. I wish you luck!
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Re: First Project?

#5 Post by truefaiterman » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:44 am

You can make a solid visual novel in a single month (the yearly event Nanoreno is a good proof), and hell, my first visual novel was made under 24 hours (with an already written story, which took me like two days or so. I took the story and challenged myself to make it into a visual novel in a day).

Working with a team is always wonderful, but I'd also recommend you to try and make something small by yourself: this way you can know better what are your best skills, the worst, and you get to know your limits. A summer is a good quantity of time if you plan thing well enough, though, and working with more people can be a great experience if you get along and do your work.

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Re: First Project?

#6 Post by YawningKuma » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:09 pm

Thank you everyone for your replies! I think I may just start with a small project to get my feet wet and all and save the bigger one I have in mind for when I have more experience. This community is so friendly, I can't wait to explore it :D

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Re: First Project?

#7 Post by Lesleigh63 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:46 pm

I went for a small kinetic VN as my first project. It took me a year to make not counting the false starts as I changed ideas (probably wasted a couple of months there). The writing took around a month once I'd finally settled on the idea (9000 words). The art (sprites, background, CGs and GUI) took eleven months [I'm really slow and probably overdid it with the art]. I used creative commons music.

How fast you'll be will depend on your strengths and weaknesses and if you decide to do everything yourself or use creative commons material - plus how much time you can devote to it.

I found it a lot of fun though. Good luck with it.
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Re: First Project?

#8 Post by CrimsonMoon » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:37 pm

My first project was done in a timespan of almost two months with a group of people. It was for NaNoReNo, but of course we didn't manage to finish it in one month. But it's a good first experience for me. :D It was a pretty short VN with 30+k words and 6 endings. So I guess, yes, you can finish a project in 2-3 months, but it depends on the scope of the project. I think it's good knowing when to limit the project so that you can finish it. :)

I like working in a group because it helps to motivate me to do something. If I'm working alone, I tend to...slack off a lot. >.< Also, if you're working in groups, the work load tends to become less heavy. The others can give input and ideas too to improve the story. But there are others who like to work individually because it's more flexible. Meaning, you can work on your own pace. Not have to worry about anything, etc.
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Re: First Project?

#9 Post by SundownKid » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:38 am

YawningKuma wrote:Hello! I'm very new to this whole VN world and actually digital art/coding/Ren'py in general. I saw another thread kind of talking about making a huge project as their first project and how they spent 3 years on it and I had an idea for VN that seems kind of large. I was thinking more of finishing it in a summer time span (2-3 months), is that too short for a VN game? Should I start off with a smaller idea as my first project and figure out all the bumps and hiccups along the way? Basically I'm wondering what your first project was and the time span it took to create it?

Also as a side question is making a VN all by yourself a bad idea, I'm seeing a lot of people use groups but it seems like they pay them and I'd really only be making a VN for fun and the satisfaction of finishing something (also I couldn't pay for people even if I wanted to).

Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong section and thank you for all replies!
Assuming you are new to coding and ren'py... in 3 months you may just be able to make a game that lasts a half hour. So yes... definitely make it a short idea, because otherwise it will take forever.

Making content is hard. Those 100 hour jRPGs pad it out with repeated enemies and battles, but a story based game is pretty much all content.

There do exist people who can make a VN or any indie game by themselves. I guess it mainly depends on what you can handle art wise. Assuming you can't pay anyone it will be more reliable to do everything yourself. But sometimes paying someone is worth the time and effort spent trying to do it yourself. Consider looking into creative commons assets to save time.

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Re: First Project?

#10 Post by tayvienoon » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:45 pm

I also started messing around with Ren'py and I'm probably just going to work by myself. (I want to try and learn a bit of everything before I commit myself to other's projects.) Seeing this thread makes feel a bit better about the scope of my not too long game.

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Re: First Project?

#11 Post by Kuroonehalf » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:01 am

I finished my first visual novel a month ago. It lasts roughly 1 hour and took me 2.5 months to make. I did everything except for background music, because I don't know anything about composing, so I resorted to free-to-use material there.

Whether you can make a visual novel on your own and how long it takes depends entirely on the skills you have and the quality of product that you want to produce. The less you know and the higher the bar of quality you aim for, the longer it'll take.
In my case I had many years of experience doing illustration, some experience doing UI and backgrounds, and some in coding. However, I strived for a relatively high level of quality so I had many things to learn, even in the areas I had most experience with already. With writing, the thing I had least experience on, I took a lot more time.
If I were to make a visual novel of the exact same scope again I suspect I could get the dev time down to 2 months, maybe 1.5. It's still a lengthy procedure, especially if you take several roles. Basically each extra role you take will add one integer to the total multiplier of time taken. So say you take half a month to take care of one role, taking care of two is very likely going to take you a full month.

I vehemently advise against going for something of big scope for a first project. Even something that you think is small scope will 100% be many times more work than you expect. You're going to be biting more than you can chew regardless, because it's your first project. But you can attempt to make it much more manageable if you tone down the ambition. My advice is to try to make a 15-30 minute game to start off. That will give you a good bit of experience and perspective.

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Re: First Project?

#12 Post by CaptainSecretFire » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:32 am

When I started making games, my ideas were all massive and so large in scope that I could never have dreamed of completing them on my own. I've found creating small stories within the same universes as my 'really big ideas' has been really satisfying, in exploring these worlds and encouraging me to start working on new ones alike. Having a solid world to play in, and worldbuilding itself has changed the way I look at game-making and valuable ideas. No matter the size!

Just the observation of a game design student ^^ Whatever merit they may have, I've seen people stay committed to mammoth ideas and make them. So I guess it's about following your heart and passion?

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