Constructing a game and staying motivated / on task
Hey DevForum, this was my first ever community tutorial, and I’ve noticed several new topics on this issue. I’ve come back to re-construct this post for it to become more informative. If you’ve got some time to read, please do get comfy. The post is fairly long, I’ll try to keep it to point. The old post will be available below:
Hey everyone! This is my first community tutorial on the DevForum. If I made a mistake anywhere please let me know below
This post has been heavily updated for a clearer understanding. Please let me know if there are any mistakes.
This tutorial was constructed mainly towards project leaders that are responsible for getting their team together and assigning tasks to each other. This is also targetted towards those who want to start new teams and strive. Please also note this post is in no way factual to everyone but may apply to some people.
We’ve all probably dreamed of making a game that would reach the top page, though, to most that dream is far away, it’s not unreachable. For those who understand the feeling of giving up or failure will be able to benefit from this tutorial the most.
Motivation is what drives us to make games and try, there are other factors that may also have the same effect such as desire but motivation is like the building block at the base that supports everything else. To keep this short, I’ll go straight to the steps and the reasoning behind it.
To know how to stay motivated, we must know why we aren’t motivated or why we lost interest in something. The most common reasons are:
- Lack of supporters for what you are doing
- Thought of negativity such as “this is not gonna work”
- Not seeing visual progress
- Majorly messing up and giving up
A lot of people give up, but to those who are strong, that keep going, good job. But… there is a problem. You are most likely stuck in a cycle where you keep coming up with games, start working on them only to give up on the game in weeks or even months later.
So how do I break out of this cycle? Why am I getting nowhere? This is where I come in and construct a general plan. This plan works great as it mostly solves the points listed above.
Know how your capabilities and skills
DO NOT go making a game expecting it to go popular if you are in a state where you are in need of constant help, watching tons of youtube tutorials and literally copying the models or scripts into your own game. A game needs a framework (explained below), and merging scripts and models from different people is not going to help. If you don’t know how to script learn the basics first. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make any projects or just read the API all day (it’s boring) but if you expect your game to go popular and it doesn’t, well, it really does affect you mentally. This is a vicious cycle of trying and failing until you either know that you need to get better OR you just literally give up. Have fun, make projects, work in teams but don’t expect anything big from it. Do projects for the sake of learning don’t do it for popularity right off the bat. A very common issue is the lack of knowledge/ability to create what you want to make.
Hire a reliable group of people that you are close to
No, I don’t mean close to as family but more as a friend. It is so much more fun and motivating when doing things with a friend rather than doing it alone. I see a lot of people just hiring random people with talent but the problem is they don’t fit in the group. If you’re hiring people get close to them, add them to the group and become friends with them. You should know the members of the team well.
Constructing a good game idea with plans
Please, don’t go making a game without an idea of how your game is going to become. This usually results in a roadblock where you don’t know what to do next and everything just gets delayed. You want a plan and a linear path to go down and finish. Don’t idle around, don’t go off-topic. Get the game finished (Please note this does not mean don’t take breaks, those are important).
Constructing the base
When making a game, you shouldn’t go straight into details and all that right off the bat, instead, think of this as building blocks. What you should do is construct the basic framework. As a scripter (personally), I always start with things such as the datastore, and etc to make a functioning game. Your team’s goal is to create the most basic form of your game possible. This is where people go crazy using all their hype and motivation to work on stuff such as trading, in-game events, all that extra stuff. What you should do is make the game, get the builds, animations and everything and then slowly build up which I will explain further below.
So why not make the whole game? Well, this deals with a little bit of psychology. Remember point 3? Well, if you’re working on features like trading, that’s cool and all but people want to see gameplay and content which is why I suggest creating the basic form of your game first. By seeing the game in a playable state, people will have more motivation overall as they see their game come to life. This is the stage where after you’ve upgraded your game you start adding those extra features to do the “finishing” touches. The main purpose is to distribute, most of the work and to provide visual progress to your team to show them that: “hey we got this”.
Finishing off and polishing
If you’ve followed all the steps above, you should have a functioning game that can be played and now your job is to finish off by fixing bugs, improving on builds, textures, adding multi-device support and etc. The features are “extra” additions to the game. Welcome, all of you to the end.
I hope this tutorial has helped a few people, this was written mainly on personal experience being a person who’ve started many projects but ended up giving up on them. Now that I know what to do, I’m going back to my old game with my pals to finish them. I hope you all will be successful.
The idea of making a game may be extraordinarily awesome to you, perhaps, it was the whole reason you’ve started development on the platform. However, as we all may know, nothing comes easy. To create quality content, requires experience, knowledge, and a passionate team. Let’s get into it.
How is quality content produced?
When I say quality content, I mean quality content. Content that you find unique, amazing, beautiful and you can tell that a lot of effort has been put into it. Like anything else, to make something of quality is not to rush it, it’s to be passionate about it. To produce any form of content, you should be driven by passion and be motivated.
Where does the main source of motivation come from?
Motivation may come from different sources, some come from fame, others, maybe money. But these aren’t the only source of motivation, some people are motivated purely by influence or even just the idea of owning and running a game.
Let’s talk about game creation now. When it comes to creating a game, it may be heavily underestimated. Even though majority of the simulators on the front-page are clear cash-grabs and are considered “low quality”, they are on the front page because effort was put in they out competed the others. What I just talked about was only assuming you actually got the game finished. Getting a quality game finished is much more difficult than getting it popular. Why? If you’re game is a quality game, with a little exposure, your game will spread like wildfire and easily get what is deserves. And this is similar to natural selection. Majority of games just get dropped, discontinued and or disbanded. Let’s talk about a few reason that may be leading to these actions:
- Lose of motivation
- Developer “burn out”
- Losing Developers / Developers quitting
- Not enough support
- Financially unfundable
So let’s talk about how to construct your game.
Game Construction Steps
Know your limits. I’ve seen so many beginners get into game development with almost no prior knowledge completely reliant on YouTube tutorials and constantly asking for assistance to finally end up with a failed product of a game. The analogy is similar to trying to write English paragraphs without knowing English. You can’t expect yourself to just be able to create a game without experience or knowledge, knowing your limits is crucial to game development. So before going anywhere, practice and lower your expectations. Join communities and discuss. Here’s a chart that’s relatable to some people. (very sorry about the curse word).
Get friends. I’m not joking, friends doesn’t have to be other developers. Friends are extremely powerful motivational pillars. If you can, get friends that are willing to work with you. With friends, you can work for much longer and stay on task. It’s one of those little things where you lose track of time interacting while working. Here’s a few things:
[2a]. Talk and communicate with your friends, explain what you are doing and why as you do it. This is not only good for keeping you motivated, it’ll help prove what you know and you don’t, the common saying is if you can teach another a concept, then you’ve mastered it.
[2b]. Screenshare, having the psychological thought that someone may be watching you will mentally push you to behave and get work done. If you don’t have friends, you can join public development discord server and just join a channel and start screen sharing and working
Work solo or find passionate developers. I’ve mentioned already that if you don’t have your heart into it, you’ll most likely not be able to produce something great. You can’t force someone to have the same motivation as you when it comes to a project. However, finding these individuals that agree with you can greatly build bonds and keep you motivated. One reason I don’t hire developers for % is because commissions developers are usually not passionate and at time they aren’t reliable, they are there for the cash. Working alone eliminates these problems, but, you have to become flexible. One more thing, working alone doesn’t mean ignore everyone else, you can still get in a call on Discord and chill with friends.
Plan it, then act on it. I’m looking at you procrastinators, if you can’t stay on task give yourself a deadline and get it done by then. Feel free to read this for more tips for procrastinators.
Start a community. Start a Discord server for your game, do partnerships and grow your server. When a community expects something from a creator, the creator may be more passionate or motivated. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone. However, this is a good tactic to get some exposure on your game and get people to have expectations from you.
Start with visuals and get visual progress done. Psychologically, when you see that visually, the game is being done, it helps much more than knowing “oh my datastore is done”. Don’t just work on back-end for the whole time, start front-end and only make back-end that are a need. When you have visuals, you are much more motivated, you may be thinking “look how much we’ve done! We can get this done.”.
Start simple, don’t overkill on visuals, and get those visuals done. You can improve what’s done but you have to make what isn’t. Get your game done first, then go over it and improve it. Chill on the additional features, we don’t need trading or pets yet. It’s like a difficult question on a test, don’t spend all your time on it, skip it and come back or put something as a placeholder. If possible, you should use a framework to reduce amount of work. At the end of this step, you should have a functioning game.
Polish. I want to congratulate anyone who got here physically. This is assuming you’ve finished your game and it’s done. What you want to do now, is go back and be competitive. Add detail, make it look good, compare to your competitors and make it better. You can’t expect a similar game of lower quality to go front-page and suddenly out compete your competitors. You need to take down your competitors. Keep polishing.
Again, I do hope this tutorial has helped several people. Wake up guys, and get to work .