Post Reply I want to make a game
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26 / M / Laramie, WY
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Posted 6/19/17
Hey everyone! If you are reading this then I am in need of some advice.

I'm seriously considering making a go at becoming an indie game developer. I see a lot of games on Steam and other popular games that have been designed and created by one or two-man teams or small, independent studios, and figure that it's fairly possible to be able to get ones idea out there without going through a major publisher or trying to assemble a crack team with the development tools that are out in this day in age. I even already have an idea that I've formulated. I want to try and move forward on it, and I've figured the best way to start is to invest in a development studio software (such as RPGMaker or Godot Game Engine) that can provide the basic engine, functions, and assets that I need to begin.

However, I'm at a loss as far as to what software, if any, would work best for my specific idea. On that note, I would like to share some of the basic details behind my proposed concept, in hopes that anyone here knows of or has worked with a game engine or developer software suite that would work best with it.
The concept so far:

*Genre and Story: The game will be a JRPG of sorts, with anime-esque characters, but set in space, 1000 years from now, and with several RTS and tactical elements involved.

*Graphics: Rather than bother with 3D animation I decided instead to go with a simple, retro design. Overworld and combat scenes will be two-dimensional with sprite graphics (for a general idea of how I want the game to look take a look at the game VA-11 Hall-A which is available on Steam) Dialogue and cutscenes will involve either higher-resolution sprites or 2D paper-dolls with a dialogue box, similar to how dialogue scenes work in the Persona and Fire Emblem games.

*Game World: Overworld travel will take place on a galactic scale, starting in the Sol System and branching out. Players can move their fleet within star systems using their ships own warp drives and impulse engines, and travel between systems uses "warp corridors" which are areas of compressed space generated by paired gates in linked systems. Both in-system and warp corridor travel involves the risk of attack by pirates, leading to randomly-encountered ship battles. In addition, players will be able to pick a "shore party" to land on planets, moons, and stations, where they can explore, conquer enemy installations, or found colonies. These, of course, will involve random encounters of ground battles. The speed of overworld travel will depend on your warp drive, and in addition there will be an element of fatigue (similar to Infinite Space, a DS game by Sega from a few years back) that reduces ship performance the longer you are traveling, but can be restored by docking at stations.

*Semi-Real Time Combat: There will be two types of combat - ship based and infantry based. Both combat will be real time but pauseable, with characters/ships being able to queue orders while paused then execute them when unpaused. Units will have a resource similar to Fallout's Action Points or X-COM's Time Units that determine how many actions they can take, which will deplete when they take actions like moving or attacking/firing. When idle or defending they regain AP/TU at a rate determined by agility stats (for infantry) or ship reactor output (for ships).

*Ground Battles: Infantry based combat will be grid-based and take place on a variety of settings - ships, space stations, and the surface of planets. Your party will consist of up to 10 or so characters against enemies, and you may have advantages or disadvantages based on terrain, etc. Certain battles will have specific terrain based objectives, such as disabling anti-air turrets or defending a location for a certain amount of time. Think Fire Emblem or X-COM but without the turn-based restrictions.

*Ship Battles: ship based combat will involve up to 7 or so ships on either side, with the possibility of a third, neural combatant with 3 or so ships (because gamers just looove escort missions lol). They can be moved around freely on a 2-D map using point-and-click orders, and will be able to have different equipment and weapons to attack, defend, repair, etc. Some ships will also act as carriers to be able to launch fighters. Finally you can have your ground party board an enemy ship, which will temporarily pause the ship battle and zoom in to the enemy ship as the site of an infantry battle. You'll have a limited amount of time to try and take control of the ship or wreck certain systems (engines, life support, etc), after which the space battle will continue and whatever you did to the ship during the boarding battle will affect its performance in the ship battle. Think Infinite Space or FTL, only with the ability to move your ships freely on a 2-D battlefield from a top-down perspective.

*Ship & Fleet Customization & Colony Building: You can customize your ships with a variety of different systems, weapons, and augmentations. In addition there are different ship classes you can buy, each with their own pros and cons. You can also invest in building colonies on certain planets, which will provide a steady income and allow for R&D on advanced ship parts, but will also be attacked periodically and need your help defending.

*Additional Characters & Crew Assignments: There will be many characters you can recruit to join your crew. Similar to Infinite Space, these characters will have various crew skills such as Navigation, Gunnery, Medicine, et cetera. You can assign crew members to your shore party for planetary battles and ship boarding, or have them take a role on a ship to improve that ship's performance relative to the chosen role and relevant skill.

*Bounty Hunts and Parley System: Finally there will be a bounty hunter system which allows you to go after specific characters in the game. Some are pirates, some are terrorists. some are actually good characters but are wanted by the government, et cetera. You can encounter these characters in game and negotiate with them or fight them. Before or during battle you can send a transmission and negotiate by issuing various demands or requests via a "parley system." How they respond will depend on the demand/request, the status of their fleet compared to yours, your previous history, and "personality traits" such as Honor, Pragmatism, Bravery, and Mercy. You (as the admiral of your privateer fleet) will also have these stats, and your decisions during parley sequences will affect them, which will in turn will also factor into how these targets respond to your parley requests and demands. You may be able to avoid fighting a pragmatic foe, persuade an honorable foe to turn himself in, extort money or favors from a cowardly foe you defeated, or escape without a game-over when defeated by a merciful foe.

It's a lot, but I honestly think it's a well-formed idea, and I already have a plan to start it. If I can find a studio software that will make it easier without limiting or constraining what I want to do (for example I'm wary of using RPG Maker because I'm not sure if the only option it allows is normal turn-based combat like in FF games), then I can start working on the battle systems first. Once thats done I can work on the overworld, then possibly release the overworld+battle system as a Steam Early Access game while I work on the story narrative.

Let me know what you all think, and if you would like to play a game like this!
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17 / F
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Posted 6/19/17
Well I would say try using game maker perhaps if its on sale or in a humble bundle like it has been in the past if you need an engine. While I haven't messed around with it much it works pretty well for 2d games and if I recall its much less limiting than RPG maker but its more confusing.
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26 / M / Laramie, WY
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Posted 6/19/17
Hmm, good to know. So far GameMaker 2 is on Steam, but there are a lot of bad reviews - specifically a lot of recent bad reviews which I've noticed tends to happen if the devs fucked it up with updates. I'm also limited on money until next month... but that's ok since I'd rather take my time and spend money only on that which I'm certain will suit my needs. Also gives me time to do some more research and coding practice as well as refine my concept.
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23 / M / strangereal
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Posted 6/19/17
I've got experience in video game making albeit very minor at the moment. You should probably try to download unreal engine, unity, and so on and learn how it works and the language. Settings and concepts don't play a big role unless you got something that's working and proof of actual gameplay which I recommend doing a side scroller to endless runner and then to other more complex things. Though this is just from my perspective from the experience I've had.
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28 / M / Your screen.
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Posted 6/20/17
It's a neat concept and one I'd love to see come to fruition; but it's very ambitious. Perhaps too ambitious. Please be prepared to take several years to make this game.
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23 / M
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Posted 6/20/17
Most of the devtools got some kind of restricted free trial. You could try a few and then pick the ones you feel fit the best with your vision. It´s easy to get stuck trying to find the best software, The most important thing is to take the first step and start your project, even if it means getting less work done in the initial stages
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Posted 6/20/17
Disclaimer: Any advice I give has just been pulled from my arse and is not recommended for making important life decisions with.

BUT SINCE YOU ASKED...

Develop it on Unity or a game engine that is "in demand" in the industry.

That way even if you are forced to abandon your project you will still have a portfolio of work you can show future employers to help get your foot in the door.

If you are going to invest the time, you should have a Plan B so your efforts are not wasted if things don't work out.
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22 / M / US
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Posted 6/20/17
Or go hard mode and code it all by hand

Granted, that is probably the worst decision you could make, but at the very least it would be interesting.

Also, a personal suggestion from someone with no experience.
Ground or Space. Pick one and really make it good so you have something to show. Whole assing one thing is better than half assing two. Whole assing both is obviously better, but I'm talking minimum viable product here.
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