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View Full Version : Livin' the dream, then failing


Zaidyer
01-03-2008, 06:06 AM
Who here has had experience with game design?

Okay, now, let's go one step further: Who here has had experience at failing with game design?

Since about 2000, I've been working on an amateur project called Damasca (http://www.damasca.net). The goal was to make a whole new game that played like the good entries in the Mana series, but was also an MMO. The major difficulty here was that instead of just making a game, we wanted to make the most awesome game ever, so our standards were much higher than we could satisfy. By the time we finally knew what the hell we were doing, we had wasted about five years on the conceptual design (and a huge amount of forum chatter), and once we finally got that sorted out, we found we had all grown up and no longer had time to actually build the game. On top of that our lead programmer, who was even one of the most active members in the entire community, actually got hired by a professional games company and he was pretty much forced to leave the amateur hour.
Now we can't even bring in new blood because nobody wants to make these kinds of games anymore. The whole thing is really depressing.





Um... I just realized that's going to be pretty hard to top, but please, humor me a little.

Makkara
01-03-2008, 06:45 AM
The goal was to make a whole new game that played like the good entries in the Mana series, but was also an MMO.

If I wanted to be mean, I'd say that you failed right there. I won't do that, though, because I'm totally not mean at all. Totally.

My own tale of woe is a bit less dramatic. I have all these awesome ideas (that's my story and I'm sticking to it) for games, but I'm far too slothful to actually put them into practice. Some of them are quite simple too, things I could easily make if I just worked on them in my spare time for a couple of months. Curse these lazy bones of mine!

Tomm Guycot
01-03-2008, 08:58 AM
Who here has had experience with game design?

Me!

Okay, now, let's go one step further: Who here has had experience at failing with game design?

Also me!

Since about 1998, I'd been working on an amateur project called Mythri (http://www.teamxkalibur.com). The goal was to make a whole new game that played like the good entries in the Final Fantasy series, but was also portable. The major difficulty here was that instead of just making a game, we wanted to make the most awesome game ever, so our standards were much higher than we could satisfy (though we did get licensed by Nintendo). By the time we finally knew what the hell we were doing, we had wasted about five years on the conceptual design (and a huge amount of forum chatter), and once we finally got that sorted out, we found we had all grown up and no longer had money to actually build the game. Or a publisher. On top of that our lead programmer, who we had paid actual real money, actually got hired by a professional games company and got out of dodge pretty quickly. Our replacement was way more bad ass in programmery, but again--no more money.
Now we can't even bring in new blood because there have been quality portable RPGs for years now, and we all have real jobs, and we would still never get a publisher. The whole thing is really depressing.

(I changed the above to reflect my experience. Now you needn't feel so bad!)

shivam
01-03-2008, 11:04 AM
and what blows my mind? a girl who worked with tomm on that game was one of my best friends during my time in Japan.

Parish
01-03-2008, 11:26 AM
I briefly dated a girl who later went on to work on that game with Tomm.

Oh yeah, ice burn. I win.

Tomm Guycot
01-03-2008, 01:03 PM
I dated a girl* who worked on that game.

oh double ice burn

*(not the same girl)

cortbassist89
01-03-2008, 01:07 PM
Oh RPG Maker... all the good times we had... all the terrible terrible games I attempted to make with it...

I did however once make a couple of Aqua Teen Hunger Force games with Game Maker that weren't too bad, but have long been lost in time, thanks to the purging of my harddrive.

cortbassist89
01-03-2008, 01:13 PM
And to add onto this, I'm hoping to sometime eventually finish writing the story and script for a game I thought up.

But I'm sure it'll make it's way to this page once it fails so here's me being proactive haha.

It takes level progression and basic gameplay from Mega Man, action-rpg elements from Bioshock, and uses two deep fighting systems (hand-to-hand and weapon combat). It's about a high schooler arriving late to school only to find that the freshman chemistry class has accidentally created a deadly zombie breeding virus upon the school.

His mission? Save the Prom Queen so she'll date him.

Tomm Guycot
01-03-2008, 01:24 PM
River City Rising Ate my Neighbors

I'd buy it.

zonetrope
01-03-2008, 01:25 PM
One of these days my roommate and I are going to learn how to program old AGI Sierra-style adventure games and release our magnum opus upon the world: Wu-Tang Quest. Also, our podcast Mega Man musical where bosses sing battle rhymes to the tune of their stage music.

cortbassist89
01-03-2008, 01:37 PM
River City Rising Ate my Neighbors

I'd buy it.
I should totally steal that title because I'd yet to come up with one lol.

I've actually got quite a bit planned out, and the game's point is to make fun of game and high school cliches while also being really enjoyable. Unfortunately, I'm not gifted with programming talent, so all I can really do is design it and write it.

Wu-Tang Quest

I would buy that.

alexb
01-03-2008, 01:38 PM
Amateur game design sounds pretty incestuous.

Octopus Prime
01-03-2008, 01:39 PM
The horrid pits of RPG Maker are full of such stories.

I once made a "game" with it wherin you fought sentient coffee beans in a field that spelled out my name in flowers. Also: there was a Fish-worshipping cult.

It was significantly less awesome then I make it seem.

Parish
01-03-2008, 02:01 PM
That sounds pretty much like the final battle of MGS3. Mostly.

Brickroad
01-03-2008, 02:40 PM
Does RPG Maker count? No? Okay.

Savathun
01-03-2008, 03:06 PM
Um, I tried designing some maps for Unreal Tournament until I realized my ambitions were much larger than my abilities and became hugely frustrated. That's about it.

I've done some voice acting for super small game mods and one big one, but that's about it and it's not really design.

Balrog
01-03-2008, 03:37 PM
The first thing I wanted to do when I graduated college was start writing a game. So I spent about 6 months writing a 3D renderer in java. After another month of tweaking and optimizing and stuff I came to the realization that no one used java for a reason: it's slow. I took a break for a while and then spent 5 months or so writing a puzzle game that I abandoned out of lack of interest. I'm currently working on a TRPG that I'm keeping small and simple so that I can actually finish it. *sigh*

Red Hedgehog
01-03-2008, 09:33 PM
College pretty much completely cured me of the desire to make a game. Programming-wise, anyway.

Though ever since high school (maybe junior high), I had the desire to make a Dragon Quest with more complex battle system and more adventure elements (branching conversation paths, needing to use items to solve certain puzzles).

spineshark
01-03-2008, 09:42 PM
I tried drawing sprites once for a tongue-in-cheek Mega Man II romhack, which would be titled...Mage Man. As hilarious as I still find the idea, it's just not worth it. I've come up with a few relatively legitimate ideas for games as well, but I'm well aware that nothing will come of them.

Zarathustra
01-04-2008, 12:24 AM
TOMM SAY- "The major difficulty here was that instead of just making a game, we wanted to make the most awesome game ever, so our standards were much higher than we could satisfy (though this priorital imbalance was somewhat mitigated by our mostly very low standards for the music (http://www.teamxkalibur.com/team.html) we subjected ourselves to)."

Yes, yes... i think i understand now... ;)


EDIT: Triple-infinity Ice Burn. Ahem.

XerdoPwerko
01-04-2008, 11:08 AM
Me!



Also me!



(I changed the above to reflect my experience. Now you needn't feel so bad!)


Dude, you're one of the guys that was making Mythri?

Man, it's a huge honour to, even just virtually, shake your hand. I followed the project a bit every time it was covered on RPGamer, back in 99/2000, when I was in College. Even if it didn't come out, it was awesome from what I saw, and you're still a hero and full of win and awesome.

That is all.

Octopus Prime
01-04-2008, 07:10 PM
Dude, you're one of the guys that was making Mythri?

Man, it's a huge honour to, even just virtually, shake your hand. I followed the project a bit every time it was covered on RPGamer, back in 99/2000, when I was in College. Even if it didn't come out, it was awesome from what I saw, and you're still a hero and full of win and awesome.

That is all.

Dude, it's Tomm. Everything he's involved with is made of win and awesome. At least everything I'm aware of.

...which at the moment consists of Contra 4, Skygunner and (presumably) Persona 3 and Steambot Chronicles.

Kirin
01-04-2008, 07:51 PM
Don't forget Contact. For which Tomm's localization and manual (if I'm remembering right) were pretty damn awesome, even if I totally failed in my attempts to get into the gameplay.

Tomm Guycot
01-04-2008, 07:54 PM
At least now I know why you guys put up with me.

reibeatall
01-04-2008, 08:07 PM
I once heard that Tomm was camping and got into a fist-fight with a Grizzly Bear. The Grizzly Bear didn't stand a chance.

Tomm then felt bad because he found the bear cubs and decided to raise them as his own. To this day, the bears serve as bodyguards.

Jeanie
01-04-2008, 08:18 PM
I once heard that Tomm was camping and got into a fist-fight with a Grizzly Bear. The Grizzly Bear didn't stand a chance.

Tomm then felt bad because he found the bear cubs and decided to raise them as his own. To this day, the bears serve as bodyguards.

If he could be up Grizzly Bears, why would he need bodyguards?

reibeatall
01-04-2008, 08:19 PM
So he doesn't have to expend the energy.

nadia
01-04-2008, 08:58 PM
Many, many years before Mega Man X Command Mission, a bunch of us who thought we were king shit within the MM community strove to make a Mega Man RPG. Oh, no one could actually program or anything unimportant like that. We just made some concept sketches, accused each other of stealing story ideas and lapsed into heroin addiction.

...Well, the last thing didn't happen, but we all kind of scattered with nothing done.

Stiv
01-04-2008, 10:08 PM
Back as a teenager I made a true abortion of a Marathon scenario but thank god I didn't bother finishing it. Meanwhile I have finally started work on something which will go somewhere but honestly the answer will likely be straight into the rubbish bin. Only time will tell!

Kirin
01-05-2008, 11:28 AM
The only hand-made thing I sort-of almost finished was a Marathon map of my college dorm room somewhat Fantasy-land-ified. I think we maybe played it once or something.

I started an RPG-maker game based on my grad school's anime club... yeah, right, like that went anywhere. While starting out I got so frustrated with some of the cart's undocumented resource menus that I went and made a FAQ for all of them (still up on GameFAQs (for the PSX edition) last I checked), and by the time I finished it I was totally burnt out on the whole process.

Then there was the early FF-like RPG I started in on. Written in HyperCard. Shut up, HyperCard was awesome. I actually got as far as a fairly functional world map system before that one petered out.

So, uh, yeah, nothing more than futzing around compared to you guys with really *epic* failed projects.

Red Hedgehog
01-06-2008, 12:19 PM
HyperCard was awesome.

So true.