The methodological creating process, and your approach.

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Mandakaru
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The methodological creating process, and your approach.

#1 Post by Mandakaru » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:34 am

Hello there, I'm new here, I lurked a little but since this place seems friendly enough I will just asking questions until I get used to everything, if I commit any gaffe I do apologize in advance. I've already worked in an handful of games, some for myself and others with friends on small forums, just for fun, though most of then never have been finished or are just too ridiculous and embarrassing to be posted here, anywhere really. I only work for myself, so they are more often then not...unorthodox. I wanted to start a new project, an relatively small to medium one, more focused on being "high quality" with a certain degree of complexity, to test the waters, and I was wondering what is the best way to start the project. And I wish to do so as I go posting it somewhere, I normally work more if I have a place to show what I've been working on.

I'm a methodological pragmatic individual, typically to start in any of my more large or time consuming projects that I have in mind I start with a "script" of what to do in steps, separating in parts until everything is done, then I just put every piece together, like a puzzle, if my mind is not scattered on the 1000 possibilities or I lose interest it works relatively well, for someone like me at least. In this case I wanted to start with the game story, starting with a resume of everything that happens, then building up from there so it's easier to spot anything I want to change, from there build the games mechanics on top of what is written to finally do the art, since often is the more time consuming and grinding one.

What exactly you would think of that? Most of my methods are not set on stone, I like to adapt as I go, so I'm open to any suggestions. I was thinking for the beginning, starting working on the key points of my games story and pitch it on the writing board for feedback.

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Re: The methodological creating process, and your approach.

#2 Post by parttimestorier » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:23 pm

I think starting with the story makes a lot of sense. My process is typically to write a full draft of the story and then program the basics of it all using placeholder art before commissioning any of the real art. I tend to use free sprites from the Creative Commons section here as placeholders, and pay particular attention to which of their facial expressions I end up using and whether there are any I want that they don't have. If I get all that done before starting any work on the final art, then I know exactly what I need, and I'm unlikely to realize later on that there's some other art I should have asked for and didn't think about.

The only problem with that method is that you end up spending a lot of time working on the project before you really have any finalized visuals you can show anyone. And if you're trying to generate some interest in your project, it can be hard to catch anyone's eye with just descriptions of the story and screenshots using mismatched placeholder art people have seen in other projects before. If you also do the art yourself, I might recommend doing at least a little bit of it early and maybe some general concept art, just so that you have something nice-looking and original to make your project stand out.

I also think there are people around here who like to work on small projects for themselves and aren't concerned about anything big or marketable too. You could probably share some of those "unorthodox" older projects if you want to and find a bit of an audience for that too!
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Re: The methodological creating process, and your approach.

#3 Post by Mandakaru » Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:55 pm

parttimestorier wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:23 pm
The only problem with that method is that you end up spending a lot of time working on the project before you really have any finalized visuals you can show anyone. And if you're trying to generate some interest in your project, it can be hard to catch anyone's eye with just descriptions of the story and screenshots using mismatched placeholder art people have seen in other projects before. If you also do the art yourself, I might recommend doing at least a little bit of it early and maybe some general concept art, just so that you have something nice-looking and original to make your project stand out.
Yep, that's really reasonable, normally I'm the hermit type of fellow and I only create mostly for myself, only posting on the internet because all the feedback and, just like, people enjoying what you do really makes me happy and helps a lot in keeping me pumped up on creating. So things like that never cross my mind at any moment, but you are indeed mostly 100% correct, I should worry about this. I like your idea of writing and programming as you use some placeholders, at least the basics so you have some kind of silhouette of what the game will be, thinking about it, maybe ideally I should do some kind of "pre-pre-alfa" as an proof of concept, and use my method to go building the game in small blocks, like Lego. Thanks, I knew this would help, I just didn't expect to come so soon.
parttimestorier wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:23 pm
I also think there are people around here who like to work on small projects for themselves and aren't concerned about anything big or marketable too. You could probably share some of those "unorthodox" older projects if you want to and find a bit of an audience for that too!
Nah, I'm good, my games had their audience, they are just chock-full of weirdness and inside jokes, I would have to translate then to english and even then, it would all be inane gibberish that would make a joke DooM.WAD looking like No Longer Human.

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Re: The methodological creating process, and your approach.

#4 Post by akhayashiii » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:14 am

I'm not very experienced with VN development but in the few months I've spent working on my projects, I've learned one thing or two. I found out that the best way for me to start a project is thinking about the premise, and then expanding it to an outline from beginning to ending(s). After that, I design my characters because having an image of them helps me to imagine the scenes while I'm writing the script. Sometimes I draw the character sprites that will be used in game in the initial stages of development, but for CGs I wait until I have the scene written and set on stone.

In any case, I suggest you work on outlining your story first, so you can have an idea on how the finished game will look like. In game development more often than not projects start small and tend to just grow bigger and bigger, so it's good to define your scope beforehand. I recommend starting small because as I said, your initial idea is likely to grow bigger as you work on it.

One thing that helps me a lot with managing my projects is creating Trello boards. I make to-do lists under three categories (writing, art and programming), so when I'm not feeling super inspired to draw, I search for something under the "writing" or "programming" to do, so I can still have some progress. For me it's satisfying to mark tasks as completed, so this method helps me to be more productive :3

English is not my first language so sorry if this seems confusing! TuT
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Re: The methodological creating process, and your approach.

#5 Post by Mandakaru » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:06 pm

akhayashiii wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:14 am
In game development more often than not projects start small and tend to just grow bigger and bigger, so it's good to define your scope beforehand. I recommend starting small because as I said, your initial idea is likely to grow bigger as you work on it.
I guess this is one of my fears, trying to do something too big and end up with another dead project. I was writing my draft here and thinking with myself what I would need to do that, able to do that in game there is, or if I'm capable of delivering; the art, the dialog, my general objective. The biggest problem and why I rely so much on methodologies and a more "robotic" work is to push trough the dread and lack of motivation most people have after the initial hype of starting a new project. It does help, but it's not everything, I'm always afraid of trying to, overdoing and allowing myself to let another project unfinished, because I hate when people do it, but I hate even more when I do it, it literally burns from the inside up, like little ants eating my heart away.

I probably shouldn't worry that much about those things, but is easier sad then done.
akhayashiii wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:14 am
English is not my first language so sorry if this seems confusing! TuT
No, your English is marvelous and what you said perfectly clear, there is no reason to apologize. English is also not my first language I understand how is to want to express yourself properly but be afraid of sounding stubid because your limitations. Even after intense study, writing in English for me is like running on the mud, but yours is good enough that you can confidently speak without having to justify yourself, trust me.

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Re: The methodological creating process, and your approach.

#6 Post by akhayashiii » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:34 pm

Mandakaru wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:06 pm
I was writing my draft here and thinking with myself what I would need to do that, able to do that in game there is, or if I'm capable of delivering; the art, the dialog, my general objective.
It's normal to feel overwhelmed, specially when you're doing the project by yourself. I think that to avoid that, we should set limits to the project so it won't grow bigger indefinitely. It's easier to do this when you have to commission your assets (because introducing a new location or character demands a new background or sprite, and this would cost money), but try to always keep in mind the amount of work that each scene will demand from you. If a scene that doesn't matter that much for the story requires you to produce a lot of assets that won't be used in any other scene, then it's better to cut it off.
Mandakaru wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:06 pm
The biggest problem and why I rely so much on methodologies and a more "robotic" work is to push trough the dread and lack of motivation most people have after the initial hype of starting a new project.
I sometimes have this feeling too, I have an idea for a new project and I start working actively on it for one, two days... And then the boost of inspiration disappears ;u; I think that one thing that helps on not letting this happen is taking some breaks. It's normal to feel tired of working on a certain project even if you love it, and when this happens that's when you need to take a break. If you're working on a story that you like and that you really want to show to the world, then the inspiration will likely come back after you rest a little.

Btw, are you brazilian? You said english it's not your first language and I just noticed that your username sounds like the name of a plant we have here XD
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Re: The methodological creating process, and your approach.

#7 Post by Mandakaru » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:18 pm

akhayashiii wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:34 pm

I sometimes have this feeling too, I have an idea for a new project and I start working actively on it for one, two days... And then the boost of inspiration disappears ;u; I think that one thing that helps on not letting this happen is taking some breaks. It's normal to feel tired of working on a certain project even if you love it, and when this happens that's when you need to take a break. If you're working on a story that you like and that you really want to show to the world, then the inspiration will likely come back after you rest a little.
I should try that, I always been the make it or break it kinda artist, I would force myself to draw until my carpel tunnel would allow it and when I finished I would spend hours suffering about the pain. Long story short I got completely burned out and fell in this really stupid depression spiral for being unable to create anything for trying too hard, it was really stupid, still is actually, I was basically asking for it tho.
akhayashiii wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:34 pm
Btw, are you brazilian? You said english it's not your first language and I just noticed that your username sounds like the name of a plant we have here XD
Yeap, I like flowers, I like the idea of something like a cactus giving birth to something so intricately beautiful like it's flowers, it's inspiring for me. I was thinking in putting "Manaka", like in "manacá", but "Mandakaru" is more iconic, and Manaka a girls name.

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