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/usagi/ - U.S.A.G.I. Game Jam

Uboachan / Sushichan Associated Gamejam Initiative
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Please excuse the off topic thread, but this chance is too good to let it pass, because right now there are quite some skilled developers around here.

Since years I am interested in creating a game too and in the past few days I finally decided to stop only thinking about it and give it a try.
The problem is that I can't draw, compose, or program. In the past I have been told that my writing is quite good, but unfortunately this was always regarding my native language, which is not English. I am aware that I can't do all of that on my own, no developer creates their own art, their own music, does the coding and the writing. Still I would like to make a game with as much of my touch as possible, but I wonder how I can do that. I thought about throwing money at somebody for the art and at somebody for the music, so I could still tell them what I want, how it should look like and how it should sound. What I ask myself is if it is possible to create a game without programing? I know there are different RPG makers, but do they really require no coding at all? I have an idea for an RPG, so it would fit, but I know nothing about all the different RPG makers and often read stuff like it is restricting regarding what it can and can't and that it is hard to give a game your own touch with it, which makes me unsure if it would be a good choice. A other idea would be a visual novel, but as you surely already guessed, I have once again no idea regarding how to do that.
I have time and I have money and I would like to create the world myself, be it with writing, clicking it together in RPG maker or somehow else. Can somebody of you point me in a direction of how to tackle this? I would be glad for any help at all, like where to get a software for creating, how to decide which to use, where to find somebody to commission for art and music, how to get my creativity flowing, their own experience about creating one, how to learn necessary skills and so on.


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Hi, I would like to start out by saying that I am someone who has four years of experience in the field of game development and while I have only managed to have developed three small games in my spare time, I hope I might be able to give some noteworthy advice.
RPG Maker MV was the first game engine I had utilised and I personally feel that it is a solid introduction to teach you how video-games work on a simple format. It does not feature programming, as it tackles on user created scripts (known as 'events' in the engine); which are created using built-in commands, that can be modified to build what you want to make.

(Let us say that you want to create an item, hm? You start by creating an event, setup the properties to make it an item; by not making it move and having it be intractable after the player presses the enter key, setting up the sprite of the item and finally creating the script on what happens after the player interacts with it.)

This is the central core that you will be using to build your entire game and while I admittedly found it to be difficult at first, it does become second nature the more you try to build advanced functioning events. Tutorials are all over the internet, if you want to build something advanced, but just can not seem to get it right. There is one underlining flaw of all of this, however. It is that games built on the engine can end-up feeling very ‘formulaic’. For all its ease of access, if you are thinking of wanting to build your dream RPG game then you are either going to have to spend a couple of years working on it, or may want to look into an advanced engine (which is the better alternate). From the UI, interactions, movement, combat, level design, as well as progression; RPG Maker is super limiting on these factors and you have to really get creative when it comes to creating events, if you want to bypass them. Which is why I had mentioned that you may need to spend a couple of years, or more, working on your game to truly get what you want out of it. Even though this may seem negative on the engine's front, you have mentioned that you are a beginner and want to jump into game development, so for what its worth; I feel that you would benefit from these set-backs, by only focusing on what is important, rather then creating the whole picture, if you catch my meaning. Overall, while it can be limited on many elements, it is practically guaranteed that you will be able to create a functioning game using RPG Maker and I do recommend it to a new developer, such as yourself.
When it comes to looking for people to commission on art and music, I do not have much knowledge on what to say, rather then what a friend had told me. When creating his own visual novels, he searches artists he finds on twitter, or fiverr and such and selects one that would fit the style of the story he is trying to tell, then commissions them. When in need of music and sound effects, he just noodles through royalty free websites, uses what he finds from there and leaves credit where necessary.


You mention that you are good at writing, which is a fantastic skill to have that works hand-in-hand with game development. I make use of my writing skills to come up with short byte-sized stories, locations, concepts and characters that could work as potential ideas for a future game. The three short games that I have made for example, were a combination of one idea intermixing with another. Thinking about it, if you can muster, try to write up your own short stories and concepts and try to build a minor five-minute game out of it, or the like and see where that leads you. The game does not need to be good pre se, but it needs to be working as intended. I believe that this tactic will aid you in understanding RPG Maker, if you plan to use it.
Lastly, a piece of advice. Just like any other skill, developing a video-game is not going to be easy to get into and will take time to master. It requires plenty of patience, time and most importantly: realistic expectations. I think I speak for everyone, when I say that we all thought out first idea was going to be next biggest hit that everyone was going to talk about. I personally daydreamed all the time about how my first RPG was going to be the game that bested the likes of the Fallout series, created a legacy like Yume Nikki and was going to spawn a fanbase as massive as Touhou Project. Yes, I had crazy expectations and then found out that the game I was working on, for a whole year might I add, had barely even featured a finished level, with half of my time spent on constant arguments with myself on if a running animation looked nice. It was a mess and I had to sever the plug and think of a new project altogether. These scenarios are going to happen in one way, or another, but as with all things, you can only get better by making mistakes.
That is all I can think about in the top of my head. This ended up being a massive wall-o-text then I thought it was going to be, but I hope I had been able to lend some helpful advice, if not then well… I need to prepare the clown makeup.


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Hello, thank you that you take your time to give me some aid.

RPG Maker MV sounds like a good starting point, I will give it a try. What would be an advanced engine though? I surely won't lay my hands on it, because I know nothing about developing a game yet, but you mentioning this made me curious what kind of engines are out there, how they are different from each other and what would be a next step to RPG Maker, or even alternatives, because you said I could even decide against using it.

Good point right there, I think trying to build a scenario first will help to decide on a certain stile that can fit the story, its characters, the narrative and all.

Well I am good at writing in my native language, which is German, not English. Maybe I could think of the story in my native tongue and then write it down in English or write it in German and then translate.
I think I will go with that as a start, I have an idea for a RPG and I guess to start learning RPG Maker I could make few of the locations I have in mind and other stuff. Perhaps I can make each of it into a few minutes game, just as you said. This could be a good training ground.

Thanks for the heads up, I will keep that in mind to keep my motivation going.

Yes, this gave me quite a few things to think about and look into, thank you.


Might not be nice to hear but writing alone won't get you far in game developement.
Most games require programming, art and music, usually when people invest time into one of those 3 they will have a rough idea about story already so you won't just find a team makign a game only missing a writer.
On the other hand money goes a long way, if you're ready to pay well you will find decent people willing to work, especially artists just be careful to not get scammed, potentially free asset packs might be viable too.
As for "programming" RPG maker is definetely more simple than actual coding and there are easy to use engines for visual novels too.
The thign that concerns me (no offense) is that you didn't seem to look those up yourself yet. I saw a lot of people just talking about all their ideas on imageboards and never following up.
If you actually wan't to make a game you need to commit and do someeffort, just download rpg maker or whatever, maybe you fail who cares but if you wait for strangers to show you the "easy way" before starting you will probably never start


Hi, I'm a full time game developer. I saw this post on the main page and decided to give some insight.

>I am aware that I can't do all of that on my own, no developer creates their own art, their own music, does the coding and the writing.

I have no idea where you heard that, but it's false. You can absolutely do everything by yourself, the main issue with this is that it's never going to be as "high-quality" as someone who takes their time to focus in a single one of those things. That being said, even though it's not the ABSOLUTE BEST quality, you can still achieve some pretty good results, and the more you work on these skills the better you will get at them.

>What I ask myself is if it is possible to create a game without programing?

Apart from the RPG Makers out there, here are some tools that you can look into:

Construct 2 (or Construct 3): This is what I use daily to make games. The programming on it uses what we call "events", much as RPG maker, but you can make any type of game on it. It also has what they call "premade behaviors", which mean you can just add an image to your game, add a behavior to it (for instance, a platformer behavior), a solid ground and you can already move it around.

GB Studio: This is a lot like RPG Maker, but it makes games for the Gameboy/Gameboy Color. I cannot recommend it enough, especially for anyone getting into game development. Since graphics are only 4 colors and it only has small tiles, it's much MUCH easier to draw something here than any other tool. This is a great tool for learning simple pixel art and basic programming (since it also uses events).

GameMaker Studio 2: This one is a bit more advanced, but there are a ton of tutorials online, enough that you can get a simple game working no problem. It uses "GML", which is programming, but it's their own language. It also has what they call a "drag and drop" functionality that works somewhat like the events in Construct or RPG Maker, but I wouldn't advise using it - you'd rather learn actual GML since there's a lot more tutorials for it anyway.

>Can somebody of you point me in a direction of how to tackle this?

First thing you'd need is a GDD, a Game Design Document. Basically, it's a document that explains the entirety of your game. For instance, if you're making a Visual Novel, what happens as soon as you start the game? Which actions can the player take? How does any of these actions affect puzzles, or interactions with other characters? The more you think about your game and how everything is organized, be absolutely sure to write it down. Never just "keep it on your head", write everything down, even if you feel like it's going to change in the future.

Here's a simple GDD template for you to work with, keep in mind this is one is very basic, only so you can get started - after you're done with it, you should start writing down step by step what happens in the game (especially if it's more story-focused).


Also, about hiring people - you should only do it after you've got a good chunk of the GDD ready, and an idea of how everything is going to look - because once you start paying for assets, if you change your mind about how anything looks in the game, you'd have to trash what you currently have and pay for more art again.

By the way, if you start doing everything by yourself, the GDD helps but it isn't really necessary (since you can just change anything when you feel like it). The GDD serves more as a guideline not only for your own organization, but so you can explain your project better to other people (especially the ones you're looking to hire).

There's a ton more to gamedev than this, but I hope this helps you a bit!


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Thanks for your post, every feedback is appreciated.
I don't intend to join a development team, so this won't be an issue. Good point regarding scamming, maybe I could pay after they have done their work, or at least pay half before and the other half after, but not everything before.
Thank you for the information that there are engines for visual novels that don't require coding. I will look into RPG Maker for the RPG and one of those tools for the VN. My plan is to be able to do as much as possible on my own, but I will most likely commission somebody for art and somebody for music. Before I will take a look at the asset packs and royalty free websites, maybe they have something fitting.
No offense taken, I understand what you mean, I have seen that a lot myself. I just saw the current situation as a huge chance to gain valuable information, given the fact that there are game devs around right now, this is why I opened this thread.

Some valuable information, thank you for that.
I started to write down stuff a few days ago, like characters, locations, scenes, dialog and so on, just all the stuff that has been in my head for now. I am actually still on it, afterwards I intend to take a look at all of that software that has been mentioned. The GDD looks very great, as you said it would make it way easier to explain what I try to do. For example I could send somebody who I want to commission for sprites the character description and the GDD to give them a lead.

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