Where do I start? [Yeah, I know... I'm being Vague]

Paul Green

Hey All,

Finally the forums are back for me (I've been on hiatus for a few months and only just come back to searching for them)..... So, as to my Subject Title 'Where do I start?" let me explain.

I'm 43 years of age, with a full time life, family, job, etc, etc.. But I still love programming, I'm rubbish when it comes to art and music, and 'acceptable' when it comes to programming. I'm not one of those 'l33t' programmers who thinks he knows it all, and has answers for everyone about my own way of doing things... why... because I enjoy it as a hobby. I've done some Ludum Dares and the like.

I've started programming when I was a kid (8bit - 65xx) and never really 'released' anything (had a couple of things out on CSDB and GB64), I have a nasty habit of getting stuck for one reason or another (either a solution I need doesn't return in Google, because I'm not using the right words - I end up getting a post on reddit deleted because it's a 'repeat' of something I didn't find to start with - I'm in need of graphics {like the current project I have on hold, don't need the I.P issues} - I don't have ideas - {i think I should stop now, you get the idea}) I've had various previews put places, but nothing like I see others doing.

I generally operate better under instruction, i.e. someone tells me what they want (ideas), I go forth, attempt it, provide, get feedback, change...rinse/repeat.

I'm seeing more and more indie stuff going out there, I see lots and lots of people accomplishing what I'm trying to do. I've watched all kinds of videos (udemy, youtube), tutorials, examples, how to's, etc I see all these great ideas, but I never can get any out there myself.

I guess what I'm trying to get too (as I don't want it to turn into a TL;DR) were should I go, if I wanted to get together with a couple of like minded people, but maybe they are into art and/or music, but understand it's not going to be a 'new company upstart' or they understand it might be 5 years before something even approaches a 'marketing stage'. I did try putting a couple of posts on a location in reddit, I had a little feedback, but when I replied to their questions, either they changed their mind, or they went in another direction (i.e. some said to me they've decided to use Unity now, not GM) There seems to be so many people out there, on Facebook, various forums, who have all these great ideas, as so much of these 'engines' these days do 'most' of the work for you, everybody seems to be trying to do it.

Can anybody help me? Does anybody else have a similar situation, what did you do? were did you go? Who did you reach out to? what Forums/IRC channels did you go to? I need something to keep me in the programming spirit, I don't want to turn into an old 'wanna be' or a 'has been' yet, who spends more time playing 'WOW' than doing what he is trying to enjoy.


If you are well experienced in Game Maker, you can start by making games of your own and try to make your visual look decent. Because trust me, a programmer wanting to make games look better will most likely want to try doing it him/herself. If that doesn't work out (in the visual department) you can always request for a collaboration project in the collaboration section to those who can draw visuals for you or you can request for some sprites.

Try doing this hobby and make some money out of it. You can try releasing games on Steam or HTML5 and see where that goes and how well it turns out.

I'm like you as well. While I'm not really strong in programming as you, I am also not the best in the visual department as well. Still, using the amateur skills that I have, I tend to make my own sprites and do coding. If I'm stuck at coding(which is quite often admittedly), I ask for help here.

I got a lot of ideas that I would love to start working on but unfortunately, even if I become a natural in game maker studio, I still lack the resources that I want for my games and one of them is producing beautiful visuals. I can use my own skills but I want my games to look atleast good because I care for each game I make.

I currently have a job, but eventually, I want to form my own company and become a second party developer for Nintendo. Its extremely difficult that's true but that's what I want to do in the end. Hopefully, the games that I make in game maker and beyond may one day be ported to Nintendo NX and beyond due to demand.....who knows?


Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
When you have no social following and no previous work behind you, it's difficult to get people to collaborate with you, and those that you do get tend to be "dreamers" (who dream about getting rich but don't really want to put in the effort) or "butterflies" (people that flit from project to project but never really settle on any one for much time)... usually strong collaborations are created through getting to know like-minded people in social circumstances like Expos or Game Jams, or through them contacting YOU after seeing your work and liking what you are doing.

I would 100% recommend that you move around in social media as much as possible and get a base of peer-followers, especially on Twitter and Facebook (although Tumblr, Vine, Google+, etc... are also great), and that you post updates on what you are doing, as well as things that interest you, articles you find, etc... Follow people that you respect in the indie industry (not sure who to follow? Maybe check out my gamedev list for twitter... :) ) and little by little you'll start to get people interested in what you do. Also, don't underestimate the power of royalty free resources... sites like Envato and GameDevMarket are goldmines for decent priced material and can go a long way in making a product look or sound better without breaking the bank nor requiring a collaboration.

I would also maybe shelve any BIG dev ideas you have for a year or so and concentrate on pushing out smaller games... make some free stuff for Itch.io or GameJolt, participate in Jams like Ludum Dare or the GMCJam here, and generally just get some content that you can show people and say "I made that!". Not only will it give people more faith in you as a team member, but it'll help boost your confidence and once you get a couple of polished looking games out you'll find that getting people interested in working with you is a lot easier!


The Laughing Rogue
Thank you for the relatable question, Mr. Green, without which I might not've heard Nocturne's reply.
Thank you for that motivational speech, O Nightly One, which I'm bookmarking right now. $:^ )

(Two decades of obstacles, losses, and restarts haven't been very kind.)
In the past couple weeks, I've actually been considering opening a Twitter account. I'm still hesitant (resistant), but this thread is the surprise push. I'm putting it on my To Do List right now. $:^ J

(And to think, I was almost asleep and only came here to grab a quote for someone. Nice.)

Regards, all,

EDIT: Huh. Twenty minutes later, I'm Twitterpated. $F^ }
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Beside random friendly people, I think there is a mentor thread somewhere on the this forum. You might see if there's someone there that can lend a hand. I'm a book learner myself.


šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
IMO the first step would be to decide what you think is the most fun in making games... is it programming advanced cool gameplay features, or is it telling a story? If you're going to look for a team, look for people that makes games for the same reason; that will make the art and sound fit better together with the actual gameplay. It's basically a special case of the "you make better stuff if you have a clear vision to work towards" theory, but it's broad enough that it'd benefit the team even if you don't put too much effort into organizing it.

Another important thing I've learned from collabs is that you need to find a way of communicating regularly that doesn't feel too formal. It shouldn't be a chore to report to the others, and you should try to be friends and not colleagues. It's a lot easier to silently drop out if the others feel too drab and boring than if they're your buddies. (The alternative is to do only collabs with people you already know, which is more situational but works even better).

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that there's a lot of free, open-source/royalty-free resources around nowadays, so if you just want to mess around and make a little game or two but can't sprite or compose, you can probably find professional-looking/sounding resources to use anyway. This topic features a list of some interesting stuff you could be interested in, for instance.


Since you're mentioning teams, I'm surprised I don't see more game design/pitch documents. If anyone is serious about working others, you really need a common focal point like that.


šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Since you're mentioning teams, I'm surprised I don't see more game design/pitch documents. If anyone is serious about working others, you really need a common focal point like that.
Having seen the GMC's average and collective ability to plan/organize things properly over the years, let's just say I'm not surprised. :p (Just ask Nocturne about the GMCG projects...)