Why do we want to make games? Why do we want work with the very thing which we enjoy? I don't enjoy work, so why would I want to work on Video Games? The answers are short and sweet, but that is only the silver lining. Games are hard to make these days, but it was never always the case.
After the jump, we will delve straight into the depths of hell… I mean game development.
Have You Made A Game Before?
Since then, I'd tried multiple times to create games - all without a computer might I add. I got my first PC when I was about 13 years old and quickly found a game maker online. The first engine I found was a very early version of the DOS based program called OHRRPGCE (Official Hamster Republic RPG Creation Engine). With this new found program, I designed and developed a game, but as the engine wasn’t advanced enough to import assets, everything in the game had to be drawn pixel by pixel, but it didn’t take too much to put together. The final game was called The Legend of Marsden.
Before we go any further I'll quickly explain something. In High School, my Geography teacher was Mr. Marsden, he had a moustache – a very prominent moustache, and to be frank, we sort of picked on him. In the year 2000, I decided that I'd use him for my game, but he was to be the hero. I also used some of the other teachers from my school – Mr. Dempster (the villain), Mrs. Shortly (a boss) and Mr. Bannister (another boss). The game was set in and around the grounds of my school, so I went about developing the entire school in the game. Anyway to cut a long story short, the game was somewhat successful. I gave it out to my friends, who gave it to their friends, and even Mr. Marsden himself played it. Everybody was having a great time.
In 2001, I left school to go to college, and it was at this point I had finished my next "masterpiece" - The Legend of Marsden II: Moustache of Time. I'll assume at this point you've picked up on my influences for these games. In this game, Mr. Marsden sported a Hawaiian shirt and was the king in a land known as Tirmena (Yes, it was influenced by the Legend of Zelda games on the Nintendo 64). Top and bottom of it all was that this game had more RPG elements than the first, but by the time I had finished it, nobody was interested in Mr. Marsden anymore. It took me longer to make the second game due to the depth of it. Shame really, it was better than the first game in almost every way.
A few years later I discovered RPG Maker XP - one of the most well-known RPG maker kits out there. After getting to grips with it I designed a massive RPG game as a tribute to Final Fantasy.
I had several ideas, and as the engine provided so many assets for commercial use, it was easy to use, but required much more time than my previous attempts. I had to use some of my own assets during the process as I eventually ran out of the given material. Anyway, time passed and I devoted myself to finishing the game.
I even attempted to sell it, and I made a little money off it and got some good feedback, but way back in 2007, I had no idea how to market a game, so that’s why you've never seen or heard of it (until now). To this day, I still have the game, data files, scripts and assets to Beyond Eternity. Maybe I will distribute it again someday.
Roll on to 2014, and in that time I've tried several times to create a new game, but everything I did failed in some way. As some of you may already know, I now run several YouTube tutorials on how to develop your own game in the Unity 3D Engine. As time has passed, I found it increasingly difficult to put together a game, so I resorted to showing people how to make games instead.
Where Is The Learning Curve?
Think about it, one man could have created Super Mario Bros in a relatively short time, as there wouldn't have been too much programming, minimal assets and the repetition of gameplay. To create Mario 64 would have taken one man much longer - most likely several years. Skip ahead to something like Dark Souls II, could one man on his own have created this within a reasonable timeframe? I highly doubt it.
How Do Developers Get Games Out Every Year?
No, they haven't, but developers are becoming too ambitious too quickly. Assassin's Creed Unity was a very ambitious game, and given the time it was developed in, it clearly wasn't ready for release. Sure, every game has a glitch or bug - whether it be a littlespelling mistake or a spinning head on a deformed doctor, the fact of the matter is that games are easy to develop, but hard to develop flawlessly.
Annual franchises are things we have come to expect, and these sorts of games usually fall under one of two categories: 1. They are rushed and broken, or 2. They are short and not quite as broken. I'm not going to start banging on about how short and pointless some games are, or how some games are a broken mess, just remember that they are difficult to get out each year.
What About Those One-Man Indie Developers?
Minecraft is a good example of an Indie Developer doing it right. Notch created the game, marketed it right and went on to make millions (billions maybe?). How long did it really take to make though? Think about it, all the hours he put into making that game. The simplicity of the game on the outside appeals to almost any gamer, but beneath the surface is a complex routine of programming and logic.
Conclusion: Is It Hard To Make A Game Then?
Even doing my tutorials in Unity 3D is demanding, and so many things can go wrong. For example, I had aproblem with some trees behaving badly in a recent tutorial. If I were a professional developer, that was time and money wasted. Developers want to spend as little money as possible on making their games, but in doing that, they make it even harder for themselves.
Games are getting harder and harder to make each day, and it is highly doubtful that you could feasibly make an AAA game in under a year. Remember, Beyond Eternity took me over two years to make and even now I know there are one or two bugs in it – Nothing game breaking, but it still sold a few copies and I still profited a little from it. If you want a deeper look at the game, speak up in the comments.
By all means, expand your knowledge on game development. It may even land you a job in the industry. Just don't forget your old pal Jimmy when you're making Fallout 5, Resident Evil 8 or Half Life 4.