What's the hardest part of making a full game?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by kpenrose92, Aug 12, 2019 at 9:29 PM.

  1. kpenrose92

    kpenrose92 Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    I'm curious - most of us agree that making a full game is like scaling a giant mountain with many deadly hazards and walls that can't be climbed - we all agree it takes planning, work ethic, intelligent design practices, and good game design in general.

    I'm wondering though, what do you think is the hardest part of making a full-length video game from scratch? Is it coming up with enough good ideas for fun gameplay? Is it the implementation of features? Is it the need for organization? Or is it scaling up your systems to support large amounts of objects, rooms, etc?

    For me, it is probably organization and scalability. The bigger my game gets, the more debugging that needs to be done. And the more enemies and other objects I build, the more possibilities for error, and thus, the longer that debugging takes. It's a vicious cycle that I'm trying to keep down by reducing dependency between objects, but it's not easy.

    Let me know what you think!
  2. Khao

    Khao Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    The hardest part is holding back.

    No, you don't need that complex crafting system.

    No, you don't need the VS mode.

    No, you don't need that infinite procedural overworld.

    No, you don't need that many named NPCs.

    No, you don't need the day/night cycle.

    No, you don't need a second playthrough with redesigned dungeons.

    No, you don't need more endings.

    No, you don't need the stupid long story mode.

    And 100% no, your game does not need to do everything.

    It's super easy to think your game needs something when it would be a better game if you spent your effort somewhere else. The hardest part isn't realizing what exactly your game needs, but realizing what exactly it doesn't. Don't get attached to any of your game's features, even the ones that you think are the very core of the project. Because it might turn out it's not making your game better. And if it doesn't make your game better, working on it is a waste of time. All finished games end up leaving something out, and you need to know when to stop adding new ****. If you come up with a new idea in the middle of development and desperately add it in, you'll most certainly have a new idea by the time you're done. Just be ****ing careful.

    (By the way, the list above is not a list of things you should never have in your game, but when you're considering the complex crafting system for your linear platformer with simple mechanics, the stupid long story mode for your 4-player party game, or the VS mode for your epic single player RPG, you really should think twice about it).
    Cpaz, Old School Ben, Toque and 5 others like this.
  3. RefresherTowel

    RefresherTowel Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    Work ethic is probably number one. Ideas are (in general) easy. Most people have more ideas than they'll ever implement in their life and even if you don't, you can find a million for free by googling "game ideas" or something like that. Work ethic encompasses learning good coding practices so projects don't fail through lack of coding chops. If you're going to complete an actual complete game, you're going to have to both fail a lot at previous projects and spend a lot of time working on why you failed by learning coding techniques and best practices. Then, once you're at a point where you can actively manage to not fail technically, you'll need the same dedication and work ethic you showed getting yourself to the point of being "experienced" to maintain active development on a project for what could potentially be multiple years (though, it should really only be multiple months at most for your first complete project).

    Most people can't do one of those two work ethic related things.
  4. BaBiA Game Studio

    BaBiA Game Studio Member

    Jun 20, 2016
    I find that staying focused and motivated can be a major problem that stops all of my game making.
    I finished my last project in June, and have just been procrastinating/unfocused with trying to start my next game (which I have a good design of) as I am just struggling to get motivated enough to get properly started. Instead I try to find other things to do instead which don't actually benefit anything towards creating my game.
    Toque likes this.
  5. Toque

    Toque Member

    May 25, 2017
    The hardest part is just finishing the game.
    woodsmoke likes this.
  6. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

    Jul 2, 2018
    The hardest part of developing and finishing a game ( or for any software development ) is writing the ALL the instructions for it, for someone to understand. This specific part of pedagogy ( google defines this as : the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.) , is called technical writing.

    You have to brainstorm and plan out using outlines, how your going to explain your idea to an idiot, because you cant assume they know what you know. You cant assume that they will naturally understand your game, just like the way you understand your game. You have to walk them through all the details of each part of the game that you mentally fly through in your train of thought. The complexity of the game, will determine the complexity of the manual that will explain it. Some games, have a built in tutorial ( that can be turned off ) that will walk you through, so that you understand the basics as your playing, but when you need to know something a little more advanced then you have the manual as a reference guide to read.

    The proof of well written documentation, must pass the test of one question :

    How well can you explain your game in writing to someone else, so that they will understand it the way you do, without question?
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 2:21 PM
  7. KPJ

    KPJ Member

    Jan 19, 2019
    The motivation is one of the biggest parts holding indie devs back, from finishing their game. They quickly lose interest in their project, for example, they get another idea that they think is "better" and start working on that, or they just find their game boring after a while. Having the grit to actually finish your game and not give up, is one of the hardest parts of developing a full game, and its what being an indie is all about.
  8. HeWhoShallNotBeNamed

    HeWhoShallNotBeNamed Member

    Nov 9, 2018
    I find that one of the hardest parts for me is the way all the systems you build for your game interconnect. This is great for a player, but the more you build onto your game, the harder it is to, for example, just work on a battle system without also having to add things to your movement system, inventory, camera, etc. Sometimes you sit down to work on one thing and go down a rabbit hole into something else, and it feels like you didn't get anything done because you never really got to that one specific thing you were planning on working on.
  9. AzureCube

    AzureCube Member

    For me, the hardest part is keeping everything organized so that a feature implemented at the end of development doesn't break one added at the beginning.

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