Sheesh! Creating games is hard work! My respect to anyone who manages to release a game to the public (no matter how bad it is haha). This is my 3rd attempt at developing a game unprofessionally. I’ve been applying to dozens of game industry companies eagerly wanting to contribute and gain experience, but it’s very difficult. I always knew it wasn’t easy, but you figure since there are hundreds of people like me looking for opportunity, and companies have dozens of positions waiting to be filled, you wonder if they really are looking for employees?
Anyways, I’ll continue my job search venting in another post, so let’s get back on topic…
1st Game Attempt – Ballad of a Fallen Angel (Working Title):
This was my first attempt at developing a video game. This was during my college days back in 2009 with a group of fellow colleagues who are also friends to this day. Because of my limited experience, I didn’t want to make it a large scale project as typically seen in action, role-playing and any similar type of games. What I wanted to make was a visual novel. This is different from traditional games because it doesn’t require animated characters, in-depth battle systems or even much interactivity at all.
Think of it as reading a book, now add:
- Various SFX such as an alarm clock or the slashing of a sword
- Various background music such as the hero’s theme or a general battle theme
- Static images of the characters such as one with a happy expression or a sad expression
- Various background images such as a forest area in the sunlight or the interior of a bedroom
- Progress through the game simply by clicking your mouse button!
A game of this scale doesn’t need more than a handful of people (in my opinion). When I attempted it with my colleagues/friends, there were only 4-6 of us (I forgot the total number but it couldn’t have been more than 6). I was the lead designer so this had to be managed, directed and produced by me, every aspect of it. This didn’t mean that I was to draw or program, it mean I had to coordinate what to draw and what mechanics of the game needed to be programmed (such as a photo gallery section and a movie gallery section of the game).
I believed that we only needed one person for each aspect of the game’s development:
- 1 artist for the characters
- 1 artist for the background images
- 1 programmer
- 1 composer for the SFX and music
I was in charge of determining the story, setting, characters, dialogue, how the game progresses and basically everything that didn’t require actual code and drawing. The template of this game was based on 50 page story I was writing as part of a homework assignment for a creative writing class. On a side note, this 50 page story is now 100 pages including 8 chapters and is intended to be a full length novel.
Because the game is based on my story, it needed to be completed in order for us to complete the game. This was over 3 years ago (I’m embarrassed to say). The reason why it isn’t complete is due to a combination of:
- Stress with work, school, personal issues
- The NEED to create an original world, languages, technology and anything else. Basically, I tried to re-create earth from the beginning of human interaction to far into the future. (This is a lot more difficult than I originally thought!)
Because I added so much to my plate (metaphorically speaking), this made it intimidating whenever I thought about working on the novel. Also, this lead to the development of a couple of documents detailing and structuring the world, settings, mythology, original languages and so on. Unfortunately, this made the novel take a backseat for a while, which also put the development of the game on hold and eventually, stop completely.
Another reason why this became intimidating (and stressful) was because I wanted my “world” to be the foundation of everything I would attempt to create such as:
- Video games
- Literary novels
- Animated TV shows
- Graphic novels
- Whatever else!
So as you can see, hopefully, why it’s taking a long time to complete the novel. Don’t worry though, I’ve recently started working on it again and you’ll find out why in…