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No Pain, No Gain! [Devlog] - Gideros Forum

No Pain, No Gain! [Devlog]

Chapter 0: Intro

Hey guys!

I have long wanted to create a devlog or something... I feel that I should start it today (it's a good sign to start new stuff right after new moon, I'm supersticious you know :D ).

As I remember, I've started struggling with different game ideas since last summer...


Then I realized that in my situation the most sober decision will be to make few games that are not too complicated technically and not pretending to be a masterpiece, yet have the potential to at least support me a little bit, even in the worst case.


I've chosen Idle game genre, because of two reasons: 1) personally I'm a big fan, I've played dozens of them; 2) they're technically not too complicated (though they require an ugly freaking hell of monkey coding cause of hundreds (if not thousands) of interdependent elements and variables there)


So I've decided to not do anything else until I release current chosen project. No matter what. Even if I'll be frustrated or disappointed in the process, or whatever. Hell, even if I'll make yet another discovery of a yet another super mega cool game idea!!!11 (I'll definitely write about them ideas later)


The first chosen project is about bodybuilding.


I've played some incremental games from this category and I wanna add something else to the niche.

In the upcoming posts I'll write about fear and loathing that I've had to overcome to squeeze some game art from freelance game artists. And many more. And some useful practical information also. :)


Okay now I have to go to sleep and wake up earlier.
The devlog is definitely to be continued...

P. S. Very early draft prototype, constructed from shit and sticks at the end of last year:
image
(Thanks God, nowadays it looks a bit better)

Likes: MoKaLux, kinrpg

> Newcomers roadmap: from where to start learning Gideros
"What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months." - Fred Brooks
“The more you do coding stuff, the better you get at it.” - Aristotle (322 BC)
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Comments

  • MoKaLuxMoKaLux Member
    hi apollo14, you have very good writing skills and good humor too! I am looking forward to reading your devlog.

    Peace.

    Likes: Apollo14

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  • elitedayeliteday Member
    MoKaLux said:

    hi apollo14, you have very good writing skills and good humor too! I am looking forward to reading your devlog.

    Peace.

    Agree! :)
  • olegoleg Member
    чекаю на шедевр =)
    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
  • gemboy100gemboy100 Member
    So I've decided to not do anything else until I release current chosen project. No matter what. Even if I'll be frustrated or disappointed in the process, or whatever.
    I learned that my lack of game design skill/will always choke my game in late dev stage when it needs to expand. If I have "great" idea for a game, I instantly jump at coding and doing art without thinking about completed game= a big mistake
  • antixantix Member
    @gemboy100 that approach can work but generally it's good to do at least a little planning first :)
  • Apollo14Apollo14 Member
    edited July 24

    Chapter 1: Working with Freelance Game Artists



    I already lost count with how many artists I tried to work.
    Sometimes I had to seriously question myself: Are they narcs or something?

    I wanted to share some stories with you guys, but later on I came to conclusion that it'll be a bad idea, cause you won't believe me and think that I am narc myself.

    So I'd better write something about lessons that I've learned for myself (I don't promise they'll ever help anybody on this planet except me).

    So my conclusions are:

    1) Freelance artists all but one are unreliable ****heads.

    1) Before talking to artists I myself must create whole project in photoshop from draft clipart from web. Every single popup window, picture, letter, etc... every damn pixel.
    And then I can ask them not for "design" but for "redesign". Redesign is much cheaper. And artists easily understand what I want.
    If I don't do it in advance, I will have to do it later anyway, and this step can't be skipped or done partially.

    2) I must not hope to find artist+animator within sane price range.
    It's better to become animator myself, it takes only a week or two to master basics of Dragonbones or Spine and become able to animate 2D stuff myself. Spine software is slightly better than DB, cause in DB we can't use IK-rigs when we export it to json. But since I have no money at the moment for non-castrated Spine version, I'll have to suffer a bit.

    3) Artists that are good at drawing characters, usually are awful at interfaces (and vice-versa).
    It's easy to find good interface monkey designer, who is not able to draw but has already made like hundreds of interfaces. And it's cheap, there're plenty of them webdesigners, app designers, etc.
    So:
    *separate draft interface designer (me)
    *separate interface re-designer
    *separate character drawer
    *separate 2d animator (me)

    If you wanna hire 'all-in-one' artist, it will be expensive as wedding.

    4) The only type of artists who is almost 100% reliable is the one who earns money through upwork.com or some other freelance networks. He has reputable profile with dozens of reviews from customers, and he doesn't wanna waste his reputation or be banned. Otherwise (if he has nothing to lose) he is free to screw you any time. It's just yet another boring project for him, nothing special. Maybe there's a new patch of his favorite MMO or a new Game of Thrones season, or God knows what else (here should have been a phrase about drugs).

    Well, hypothetically it's possible to hire a cool freelancer from Behance if we have hell of a budget. Theoretically, such well-motivated artist will be able to stay sober for at least a week or so (but I'm really not sure, probably that's just one of my fantasies, unfortunately I have no first-hand experience of throwing wads of cash to behance methheads)

    5) Wherever possible, I should choose "FLAT" art style, which is popular nowadays, even among top tier mobile companies. It's cheaper and faster in production, and it's easier to edit/add something. The less we depend on artists, the better.
    But it's important to know that many game artists are not able to work with that simple "FLAT" design. Even if they're really awesome at more sophisticated art style, and they themselves think that they will have no problems with flat design.

    6) It's better to ask artists to start from something re-usable, like game icon or something.
    So even if artist vanishes, at least he drops some loot (better than nothing).

    And I'm happy to say that this chapter has happy ending: I finally found decent game artist and squeezed most of the necessary game art, now it's like 90% ready. The other 10% I'll have to do myself, and I suspect that it might take lots of hours (hell, maybe even dozens of hours).

    But what to do... no pain, no gain, you know :smile:

    image

    Likes: hgy29, talis, MoKaLux, antix

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    > Newcomers roadmap: from where to start learning Gideros
    "What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months." - Fred Brooks
    “The more you do coding stuff, the better you get at it.” - Aristotle (322 BC)
    +1 -1 (+4 / -0 ) Share on Facebook
  • olegoleg Member
    @Apollo14 на рутрекері є некастрований Spine - але яйого видалив бо DB простіший і інтуітивно зрозуміліший..

    Likes: Apollo14

    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
    +1 -1 (+1 / -0 ) Share on Facebook
  • antixantix Member
    Thanks @Apollo14, some good tips in there!

    Likes: MoKaLux, Apollo14

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  • Apollo14Apollo14 Member
    edited July 17

    Chapter 1.1: Things that are bothering me...



    I have to confess, I'm a little worried about these 4 technical issues:
    - Spine integration (I didn't test it in the last versions of Gideros, I really hope it works as before and nothing got broken in their SDK or in the engine plugin)
    - Megacool plugin (guys mentioned on forum that something was broken after SDK update)
    - Analytics SDKs (I don't know yet what are the options in Gideros. I'd say analytics is really mandatory, without it I'll feel like a blind kitten, not knowing what users are even doing there in game; if something goes to sh*t I'll definitely have to know about this sh*t)
    - Push notifications (also mandatory for modern mobile games, especially in the economic Idle genre; I've never looked if we can send them in Gideros, and how we can send them)

    So guys, I have three questions:
    - Does megacool plugin work for you?
    - What analytics solutions can we use in Gideros?
    - How do we spam push notifications to players?
    Thx in advance!

    p.s. me coding game interfaces:
    image
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    > Newcomers roadmap: from where to start learning Gideros
    "What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months." - Fred Brooks
    “The more you do coding stuff, the better you get at it.” - Aristotle (322 BC)
  • olegoleg Member
    analytics is needed for large projects
    I decided to give up the analytics
    for small projects there are enough analysts in the form of achievements and lederboard..
    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
  • Apollo14Apollo14 Member
    edited July 18
    @oleg Imo no sane developer works without analytics nowadays, no publisher will ever talk to us without numbers.
    For example if I have bad day1 retention, how do I know what makes folks quit?

    okay since no answers should I waste a day or two trying to figure out what's working, what's not
    > Newcomers roadmap: from where to start learning Gideros
    "What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months." - Fred Brooks
    “The more you do coding stuff, the better you get at it.” - Aristotle (322 BC)
  • hgy29hgy29 Maintainer
    I use firebase for analytics and notifications.
    +1 -1 (+2 / -0 ) Share on Facebook
  • olegoleg Member
    Apollo14 said:

    @oleg Imo no sane developer works without analytics nowadays, no publisher will ever talk to us without numbers.

    publishers only need a quantity of visits per day-this analyst is in the store without additional libraries in the application ..
    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
  • SinisterSoftSinisterSoft Maintainer
    Yes, firebase is best for analytics & push messaging. See @hgy29 about it. :)

    Likes: Apollo14

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  • Apollo14Apollo14 Member

    Chapter 2: (over)planning game features

    image

    I don't know how many newbie gamedevs do this mistake, but I did it again and again... sometimes to the point that the project becomes almost impossible to to complete (I mean for a single human being without super powers or something, at least not within sane amounts of time).

    Probably it's because of my SEO background (websites required lots of planning and researching). But I did not fully realize that in game development sometimes even small feature can take days. And dozens of such features may and will take hundreds of days. And that's too risky to spend hundreds of days coding one little mobile game.

    They all look quick to implement, till I start coding them.
    It's like Murphy's law: "Everything takes longer than you think".
    Or Myke Tyson's pearl of wisdom: "Everybody's got a plan... 'til they get punched in the mouth".

    So I cut everything I could (well, almost everything). Now my draft plans for current project look pretty humble (like 7 times less than before):
    image

    But I still couldn't help but create another excel file with another dozen of features for future app updates if it will gain some installs.

    But basically I feel like I'm ok now...
    image

    Likes: MoKaLux

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    > Newcomers roadmap: from where to start learning Gideros
    "What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months." - Fred Brooks
    “The more you do coding stuff, the better you get at it.” - Aristotle (322 BC)
    +1 -1 (+1 / -0 ) Share on Facebook
  • MoKaLuxMoKaLux Member
    @Apollo14 hello my dear, this is how I plan my projects.

    1- I am using a spreadsheet too! (landscape mode)
    2- I cut everything into small pieces
    3- I try to code one piece at a time
    4- I add more ideas in the spreadsheet as the project goes
    5- I try to accomplish all the tasks in the list until completion



    Hope you'll succeed.

    Likes: Apollo14

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  • antixantix Member
    My god you guys are sop damn organised! I usually write a few things on my whiteboard and then make the rest up as I go along ;)

    Likes: oleg

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  • olegoleg Member
    antix said:

    My god you guys are sop damn organised! I usually write a few things on my whiteboard and then make the rest up as I go along ;)

    and I just write the ideas into a text file, and during the development I can change plans 10 times =)

    Likes: antix

    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
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  • hgy29hgy29 Maintainer
    oleg said:


    and I just write the ideas into a text file, and during the development I can change plans 10 times =)

    I do the same, the text file being actually my init.lua :)

    Likes: oleg, antix

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  • antixantix Member
    @hgy29 That's not a bad idea, thanks :)
  • olegoleg Member
    hgy29 said:


    I do the same, the text file being actually my init.lua :)


    I just add the file to the project.
    image

    it happens that ideas come on future projects, and so as not to forget I write them in files on the desktop.

    and when I start doing this project-I just add a file to the project

    Likes: MoKaLux, antix

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    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
    +1 -1 (+2 / -0 ) Share on Facebook
  • Apollo14Apollo14 Member
    edited August 10

    Chapter 2.1: Unreal Temptation

    image

    In the last month I spent like 10-15 sober hours on my 2D project, and 100-150 hours on learning trying to understand how sh*t works in freaking UE4. I feel myself like a porn or gaming addict. In my situation it's bad idea to spend time on 3D when actual 2D project is almost half ready.

    I cautiously started diving into 3D half a year ago, and it may take another half a year (or more) to even start dreaming about minimum viable product.

    There're plenty of difficulties, one of them is horrible lack of info on mobile optimization. Not without sweat I gathered and tested like 1/3 of stuff that's needed, from different sources, and there're many more sophisticated stuff that I don't understand yet.



    And I'm not very unintelligent individual (at least in my phantasies), I know very well how to google and dig web resources (I used to do search engine optimization for 5+ years, when I was younger and dumber).
    But there're dozens of strange nuances that are mandatory to understand in UE4 mobile projects.

    So I really hope this month I'll stop being ue4 narcomaniac and start working on my actual doable 2D project. It's also interesting, dammit! :D
    image


    Likes: MoKaLux

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    fak.png
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    > Newcomers roadmap: from where to start learning Gideros
    "What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months." - Fred Brooks
    “The more you do coding stuff, the better you get at it.” - Aristotle (322 BC)
    +1 -1 (+1 / -0 ) Share on Facebook
  • olegoleg Member
    Just don't go to the site cgpeers.com :D
    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
  • @Apollo14 you may have a look at godot for 3D. I believe you will feel at home regarding 3D. For 2D gideros is better imho.
  • olegoleg Member
    MoKaLux said:

    @Apollo14 you may have a look at godot for 3D.

    For 3d there are only 2 programs: UE4 and Unity all the rest is crap
    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
  • nope! the world is changing and quick.
  • olegoleg Member
    MoKaLux said:

    nope! the world is changing and quick.

    One question: will you find a job at a large gaming company if you study GODOT instead of UE4?
    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
  • the reality is that I am a solo indie dev. UE4 for teams ok for solo not ok. Godot 2D and 3D for solo dev yes.
  • olegoleg Member
    MoKaLux said:

    the reality is that I am a solo indie dev. UE4 for teams ok for solo not ok. Godot 2D and 3D for solo dev yes.

    It's not serious ..
    my games:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=razorback456
    мій блог по гідерос https://simartinfo.blogspot.com
    Слава Україні!
  • hgy29hgy29 Maintainer
    oleg said:


    For 3d there are only 2 programs: UE4 and Unity all the rest is crap

    Well Gideros suits my needs for 3D so far (I am working on my second 3D game with gideros). If I ever need something gideros can’t do, I’ll add it to gideros anyway ;)
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