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Thread: Devilish Dungeon

  1. #1

    Default Devilish Dungeon

    Hi everyone. I've decided I eventually want to make a game called Devilish Dungeon. Basically my own vision of a Dungeon Keeper game with more D&D inspiration. I've been jotting down ideas in notebooks for a few months and it got to the point where it is something I don't want to give up on. I'll be working on it on my freetime and I'll probably eventually hire people for skills I don't have like making concept art.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    Good luck.

    What are the skills you do have?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    Not very many at the moment for making games which is embarrassing to put out there haha. I feel like I have a mind for making mechanics and a whole picture come together well. And I feel capable of learning the programming part of the game and know many programmers. I hope to learn to make my own music because I have a good idea of what I want some of the music to sound like but I'll probably get some help for that too. Art and 3d modelling and animation I'll probably have trouble learning to do all that while juggling other shit but who knows I might just make it a hobby for a few years and do it mostly myself. I was planning on using Unity and using Blender for 3D models. Any recommendations I would be happy to hear. I didn't have motivation to learn any game development skills until I felt passionate about game ideas so I have a lot of work to do I guess.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    Well, yeah, if you have to start from nothing I would certainly recommend keeping it as a hobby and certainly not starting your own business and competing with people who started programming at a young age and/or have a formal education in software development.
    If you want to just fool around with it I believe you can get somewhere just using unity, but if you want to get a bit more serious I'd start with learning C# and making very basic programs/games to start out with instead. Once you've got a feeling for making stuff you can better understand where you want to go with it. If the first thing you do is a very big project there's a very good chance you'll never finish anything.

  5. #5
    Lords of Nether
    Lead Game Designer
    DBlac's Avatar
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    Jun 2017

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    take what YM is saying to heart. Even we had previously participated in a number of small projects, some freelance, some from the education we were doing and they teach you many valuable skills, often not even just in terms of producing but team dynamics. Take it from me, if you try to go full in into something this big (and believe me, making an rts like this is one of the biggest challenges you can undertake) youre going to find yourself in trouble before you know it. Taking things as a hobby at least at first is preferable. I came up with the first ideas for LoN when i was around 14 is so give or take 12 years ago and it only started development on a fluke half-joke remark to people i was working with on other things at the time. Do not give up on it, but be realistic about your goals, capabilities and expectations, because thats the only way to actually get something done.

    Honestly there are so many things i could think to tell you right now about doing this sort of thing but it would probably take all day and i still wouldnt be done.. and i have UI garbage to deal with >.> But one advice would indeed be to try and proliferate in terms of skill. I'm lucky with the team i have and my own skills, as i myself am a decent writer, concept artist, game designer, texture artist, etc, also having to take on things like the PR, and my teammates usually have a pretty broad range of skills such as Blutonium, who can not only sculpt in 3D, but do a vast number of things that prepare a model, as well as things such as graphic design and others that help in other areas. Generally the more you can do the less people you will need, which is why we can currently move fairly fast for a 4 person team. As for the music thing, i dont wanna dash your hopes or ambitions there but consider that an actually good composer, such as ours, has not only had many years of experiance with music, but often even formal education into things as indepth as music theory. The money you pay for an experianced composer to make your music, while you simply direct them because ofcourse you have to give them a direction, will likely be a very worthwhile investment. That however is something to think about when things start getting serious, focus on mechanics first, there will be a surprising amount of things you encounter that will require a significant amount of focus to overcome. As for engine, its hard to reccomend one over the other. Unity is easier and more accessible to start in but comes with a myriad of frustrations and ridiculousness, and Unreal is a bit more difficult but versatile and reliable from what i hear. Hard to choose, but we've decided that if all goes well with LoN, our next project will be in Unreal.

    Anyway, like i said, too many things, not nearly enough time, but good luck. Keep it simple at first and only go big once you are certain you and the project are ready for it.
    Last edited by DBlac; March 14th, 2018 at 10:36.

  6. #6
    Your Majesty Hapuga's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Austin, USA

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    As a meta-suggestion in a sort, to summarize the summaries here + a hint of my own stuff.

    I was on this forum since "old" version, before the move in 2009. Since then, on this forum alone I have seen probably at least 5 projects start, make some basic progress, before failing. About myself: I am professional software engineer, I have been in gamedev for last 4 years. Before that, I was a part of several large modding teams and have released several big mods/addons, so a total of about 8 years of gamedev.

    There are several reasons that cause projects to fail, lets look at them closer.
    Reason one - ambition. While a great, inspiring factor, ambition tends to give people false hope of accomplishment and makes them neglect the potential pitfalls. Every single game starts as an absurd, over-scoped concept. Every. Single. Game. The skill and "wisdom" comes from the ability to know what you realistically can do. This is where you need a good project manager, and a good discipline lead (this what art directors, programming directors etc do for the most part - determine the scope). After you determined the "realistic" scope, you delve into details, and from here, once you get your hands dirty, you start understanding what is feasible. Sometimes it is feasible to increase the scope a little bit, most of the times its the opposite - scope gets reduced even further (features get simplified or cut, or replaced with different mechanics). Sometimes, when you have a "brilliant, bestest idea" on paper, the reality will surprise you. This is where technical designers come in handy - somebody who is great at prototyping concepts quickly. The main concern about any single feature is: whether it is a fun mechanic or not. It is impossible to deduce how the game will play from a paper concept. Sometimes the ideas that appear as sucking totally blast. Sometimes the opposite - all the brilliant, amazing ideas you had are just... not fun. And this is where the designers iterate, and iterate, and iterate some more.
    Reason two - lack of skill set. This is probably second most serious obstacle aside from overscoping. Most indie/hobby devs simply do not possess the skills to do what they want. The single biggest limitation that I see in gamedev over, and over and over, is inability to think architecturally on a global scale. This mostly affects designers, tech designers, tech artists and programmers, but does affect even "traditional" artists (concept, character, envo) as well. Most indie/hobby devs take a very straightforward approach while writing a game - they linearly add things that they think their game needs, not thinking about whether this is a scalable solution or not. For example, number 1 mistake that every single indie game project I have seen makes from engineering standpoint - no separation between engine tech and game tech. The entire code depo is a motley mess of files which do everything from loading assets to controlling the character AI. As a result, such games eventually run into insane technical debts, and very often an entire project crumbles. Ability to step back and kinda taking a perspective look on what you are doing is an attainable skill that comes with experience. Thats why every single project of such type needs at least 1 experienced engineer, designer and artist to lead the rest of the team, monitor the "health" of the project and train junior and inexperienced people.
    Reason three - loss of interest. This is a very serious issue that usually comes as a derivative from one and two. The reason is very simple - people start encountering obstacles in development, and if they cannot resolve them in a fast, effective manner, the problems pile up and the morale drops. It is an uneasy task to continue when things barely works, and nobody really knows how to make it better. This usually comes at project midlife crisis - a very sad event, as a lot has been done, and some good ideas potentially were implemented, but continuing forward is either not feasible due to a significant technical debt, or extremely difficult due to lack of direction, lack of communication, lack or motivation.
    Reason four - team communication. This is the "magical" area that to an extent has to click, and this is why a project needs a project manager - development must be structured whether you want it or not. Unstructured, "friends kinda making shit when they feel like" development does not work. You need milestones. you need clear goals. You need to track the progress. You must be on track on what you, and your colleagues are doing. You need to be vocal when you are stuck, or somebody else is struggling.

    Making games is very difficult. Making RPG/RTS games is even more difficult. I really encourage you to try, but I would encourage you to try small - learn a skill first, like basic programming, basic art, basic design. And then, find a solid team, and join them. Obtain experience. It does not matter if the project fails. Seeing how to fail and why, can be more important and valuable than immediate instant success. And then later, once you are more experienced, you can start your own thing.
    Last edited by Hapuga; March 15th, 2018 at 15:23.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Hapuga View Post
    Reason three - loss of interest. This is a very serious issue that usually comes as a derivative from one and two. The reason is very simple - people start encountering obstacles in development, and if they cannot resolve them in a fast, effective manner, the problems pile up and the morale drops.
    To add to your post, having been a project manager for dozens of projects with large and small teams comprised of highly skilled and completely new developers, it is my experience that the fast majority of developers much rather start a new project than finishing an old one. Even when there's nothing wrong with the software/project they are working on, but simply as a character trade. They seem to enjoy the early stages, starting on something fresh and new, working out some cool new tech and acquiring new tools for the job, setting up a framework and sometimes even seeing rapid progress. Then inevitably there comes a stage at even the best managed project where it gets to be more grunt work, where you're not spending just a bit of time to get the main flow to work, but lots and lots of time getting all the alternate flows to work and making everything idiot proof. This is the phase where the developers need to be properly managed and motivated, and it's quite easy when it's their job and they simply have to work on the project I tell them to work on, but I can fully imagine developers working on their own volunteer projects to just do the thing they enjoy more and that's a new project.

    On a slightly unrelated note, that's also the reason why I had faith in KeeperFX, because Mefisto seemed to realize this from the start and set up is project in such a way that he could walk out at any moment and he'd still leave a viable project behind, and he did.

  8. #8
    Your Majesty Hapuga's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Austin, USA

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    fast majority of developers much rather start a new project than finishing an old one. Even when there's nothing wrong with the software/project they are working on, but simply as a character trade.
    Very much this. A lot of people have a short attention span, and as soon as "novelty" phase fades, a lot of people vanish.
    Sort of how 99% of people finish the 1st quest, 90% finish 2nd, and 50% get to 10th in an RPG game.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    Thanks for taking the time to give me thoughtful advice, that means a lot to me. Currently I'm an Electrician and don't plan on changing my career so this is definately limited to a side project. Since this is the case I also plan to take as much time as I need to learn what skills I want to know and figure out what parts of the game I want to hire people for. Currently I have been focused on writing and piecing together the room mechanics, overall mechanics, creature skills, creature purpose, creature behavior, environment and exploration aspects, UI, etc. I want to finish fully writing out everything about the game before I even start on it. I'll show you guys some details about it once my ideas are a little bit more fleshed out.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Devilish Dungeon

    My advice is to work the other way around. Get something working first, learn from that, see if that part is as fun as you expect. Writing down a lot will not help you nearly as much as you think. Expect that whatever code you write first, you'll have to throw away eventually, but you'll get a much better product much more quickly.

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