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Ayejes



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9th November, 2009 at 02:05:17 -

I have read a few times that some have said that when designing games you should stay away from the game and sound libraries and design your own.

Well what is the point of paying money for mmf if not for the graphic and sound libraries? Maybe if you are a good graphic or sound artist than that's great for you but if you are not well endowed with such great talent than what?

Personally I prefer the libraries over my own designs for the most part.

It's not like I am getting paid to write these games anyways. I am doing it because it is a fun hobby. If someone said that I would pay for a game with better graphics and sound then I would hire someone other wise, I got better things to do with my time than to add the time involved in trying to design better graphics or sound. That is one of the main reasons why I am willing to pay money for mmf as apposed to other game development systems.

That's my two cents.


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9th November, 2009 at 02:12:04 -


Originally Posted by Ayejes
Well what is the point of paying money for mmf if not for the graphic and sound libraries?



I think you missed the point of MMF2, somehow. MMF2 makes it easy to put whatever you want, be it custom or pre-made, into a project without knowing complex languages. If you want to use library graphics and sound in your projects, that's fine, but it's hardly why you buy MMF2. People usually tend to prefer your own work, even if it's awful, simply because it becomes your work, and not a slap-dash compilation of freely available art.

 

  		
  		

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9th November, 2009 at 02:42:19 -

You don't need skill in art to make good looking games. Look over popular indie games that use tiny colour palettes; Knytt, Cavestory. They're all quite simple in their art.
There are also willing artists who'll gladly use your game to showcase their art. Surely you know of at least 1 artist, either online or locally? The same can be said for musicians or sound designers.

However I recommend you do your own art no matter how bad you think you are at it. That way you get total creative control over the game, it takes longer but then again you said yourself you're not making any money from it.

 
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Ayejes



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9th November, 2009 at 02:44:35 -

Maybe your right, but I actually play my own games even if no one else does and I prefer the mmf graphics over my own and the sound effects.

I heard a well known game designer once say that if you don't enjoy playing your own games than why should you expect anyone else too.

As for my games, the background music is not mmf background music.

As for the graphics I would say most are mmf and some is manipulated graphics.

So that's me, but I also understand what you are saying.



 
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9th November, 2009 at 02:48:53 -


Originally Posted by Ayejes

I heard a well known game designer once say that if you don't enjoy playing your own games than why should you expect anyone else too.


That's a bit true. Personally I always set out to make a game I would enjoy playing, since I have quite strange tastes in games most games don't sit well for me. But after I've finished making them I've probably put in tens to hundreds of hours worth of testing and I no longer want to play them. I also don't enjoy playing Jetball (old game me and a friend made), I've had emails and stuff from people who do enjoy it so it does happen.

 
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9th November, 2009 at 02:49:05 -

I get what you're saying as well, Ayejes. But the key in that designer's quote is the word "your." When you're using stock graphics, it's not really your game, is it? It's your coding, but that's about it. Library graphics are good for getting used to the way things work, but making a project fully yours is definitely worth it.

There's a certain amount of truth in the statement that you should enjoy your own games. But if you're the only one playing them... there's not much of a point. And in that case, you really don't need to care what they look like if they please you!

 

  		
  		

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9th November, 2009 at 03:40:21 -

Art is over-rated.

To Dr. James: That is a VERY optimistic view when it comes to art. Asking someone to do art for a 2D game is like asking someone to hand you over a kidney. If the game isn't already finished or you aren't paying for it you might as well forget it. Granted, you can get lucky and run into someone that is willing to do it for you, but they are few and far between.

To Ayejes: I perfer skipping the art completely until the very end, well at least the sprites. As far as level design goes, it's a good idea to get the right sizing down at least. As far as spriting goes, try to treat it as much like a 3D model if you can, take the different sections of the body and separate them, then rotate them around similar to bones of a 3D model, if you have photoshop or some other editing software that allows you to do layers or rotate easily, use that (in photoshop in the general preferances, makes sure to change the smoothing while you are rotating to keep the parts from getting blurry). If all you have is a click product, you could possibly copy each part into it's own animation, then use the Rotate all command, then copy and paste whatever wherever however. Then when your done and you really take pride in your work, you can go through and clean up any iffy edges. If you are doing multiple sprites of the same basic shape, it helps to make a generic stick figure to do all the animations then paste the sprite above that template (this is much easier in photoshop because you can put the template animation in it's own frame and change the opacity or whatever). I used to use a program a while back called iDraw3 (it was popular with the RPGMaker crowd) that had a nifty little feature where you can select a small area like a marquee tool, then click on the different frames with the same size as the first, and if you did it in order, a little window would show the animation very nicely (and this was much better than in MMF2, whereas you had a full sheet to deal with, and not the separate pictures and frames like in MMF2's sprite editor). But either way, it's always a pain in the ass to do sprites, but this way is a bit easier for non-artists than re-drawing each frame. It sounds to me like you keep getting into roadblocks where you feel you can't continue because you have to add in new animations. I say skip it, you'll get a heck of alot further.

 
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9th November, 2009 at 04:08:50 -

Well I wouldn't say Dr. James is being "very" optimistic at all. It is hard to get a good artist to work with you online, but if you make a lot of small games with programmers art that are fun you are more likely to get an artist. Heck I've had artists volunteer to help me.

Now I'm the same way about art as you are OMGGames, I don't create any art for a game until the engine is finished and I know what the game is going to be about. If I can't visualize the finished product in my head I quit working on the idea.

I'm a code centered person, so a nice little engine is enough to start me on a game making spree. However, I have had music be an inspiration for a game idea before(Not that I ever finished any of these "music inspired" games )

It's perfectly fine to use the library graphics when you just start off. That way you can get used to the way mmf works. Just don't expect anyone to like your game because of it. I don't even have the libraries installed myself.

Edited by UrbanMonk

 
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Ayejes



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9th November, 2009 at 04:37:39 -

Doesn't it seem a bit contradictory to say it's okay to have a graphic artist design graphics for you, but it's not okay to use the mmf graphic libraries? The graphic artist graphics are not done by you, just like the mmf libraries.

The same can be said about the sound effects. I have used the mmf sound files, but I also have purchased royalty free sound effect cd's in the past. And my back ground music is from a professional artist.

I have done some good art work in the past and on a rare ocasion it has been very professionally looking. At times I have even done it in a short period of time, but that has not been the norm. I have used some 3d design software, but for 2d graphics it has never done me much good. It's actually been easier to just rotate the 2d sprite and then do a cut and past job for various limb positions and then go back and work on the right shading.

Time time time.

Well who knows maybe if I practiced more at it more. I have done fair with pastel drawings in art class, but computer painting and graphic design seems more difficult.



 
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9th November, 2009 at 04:43:38 -

Personally I just think the library graphics are bad. Also most of the library graphics are for a specific type of game, and if you were to do anything different with them the art would be inconsistent.

Having an artist do specific graphics for your game is a whole lot different than just grabbing some premade graphics and building a different game around them.

Edited by UrbanMonk

 
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Ayejes



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9th November, 2009 at 05:17:38 -

Well I guess in the end I just think differently on this issue. I thought about this for a bit and it just seems a bit contradictory.

To say that the mmf graphics are bad but it's different if you use your poor to bad graphics, seems contradictory.

For that matter to say if you use your own graphics and sound files makes the game 100% yours is a bit contradictory as well. Because you didn't really even do the coding yourself. You used a cheat, the mmf engine and interface, instead of programming it yourself in some computer language.

Infact that is why I changed to mmf, because hard coding was too much for me and it was taking the fun out of game design. Mainly the hunting down of coding bug after coding bug. I was trying to do some complicated things, because I start off with a story line before I write a game and I could not get the code to do what was in my mind at that time.

But back to the point. You did not actually code it, you cheated by using klik. Infact even a program language is a cheat, if you really want to say you did it all, try programming it in machine code.

A painter does not go and do it all himself either. He does not grind and make all his own paints or his own canvas or his own brushes, but rather he buys the tools and then combines them to produce what he/she wants.

Well each to his own.

I say do what you enjoy and don't worry about the rest.



 
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9th November, 2009 at 05:39:08 -

Well if you want to look at it that way. I say you cheated by using windows as your operating system to run your game on. Why didn't you make your own? Heck even C++ would then be considered cheating since you're not making everything yourself a compiler is turning it into a binary not you.

Why not just throw the whole computer out and build the circutboard from scratch. Oh wait, you didn't make the silicon the the circutboard is made out of. Sorry.

Yeah, I'm failing to see your logic. It seems to me that you are just trying to excuse your own laziness.

You don't have to take out word for it. Go ahead use the library graphics see how far you'll go.

(lol, I feel so mean. )

 
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9th November, 2009 at 06:05:44 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk
Well I wouldn't say Dr. James is being "very" optimistic at all. It is hard to get a good artist to work with you online, but if you make a lot of small games with programmers art that are fun you are more likely to get an artist. Heck I've had artists volunteer to help me.

Now I'm the same way about art as you are OMGGames, I don't create any art for a game until the engine is finished and I know what the game is going to be about. If I can't visualize the finished product in my head I quit working on the idea.

I'm a code centered person, so a nice little engine is enough to start me on a game making spree. However, I have had music be an inspiration for a game idea before(Not that I ever finished any of these "music inspired" games )

It's perfectly fine to use the library graphics when you just start off. That way you can get used to the way mmf works. Just don't expect anyone to like your game because of it. I don't even have the libraries installed myself.



That's all fine and good for small games, but I think most beginning game designers are a bit too ambitious from the get go (heck, most game designers are too ambitious), but yeah, it's much easier to get artists for simple games that aren't animation heavy.

Hey, it's great that we agree on something. This calls for a celebration! Although I'm not 100% code centered, I usually don't start coding until I have a solid game design, so therefore I would be design centered, but even still I don't start anything with animations until the code is nearly complete.

To Ayejes: As far as liberary GFX are concerned, they shouldn't be used for anything other than placeholders if you are going for a professional look, and even then the collision box should be about all you need for placeholders. The point isn't that someone is doing it for you, but is it original? If you want your games to look professional, you don't want to use sprites or GFX from another game, unless it's part of a series. But if you aren't trying to be professional and you just want to get an idea down, or if it's a personal game for your friends around the 'hood, then by all means use the liberary GFX if it suits you.

As far as sounds are concerned they aren't the hardest thing to get ahold of. Go into my downloads and check out my game. All the sounds in that game are 100% original, and me and my friend did all of them using our voice with the exception of the footsteps (my friends shoes clapping together) and the "chains" when the killer is near you (we used some keys). But get some sound editing software, I've been using Goldwave for as long as I can remember. When you start a new game in that game, that is Eddie's voice going "Baw" or something stupid like that. We slowed it down and added some random effects and bam, a creepy unorthodox starting sound. Sounds are very fun to do, and all you need is a cheap mic (unless you want super-high-quality that UrbanMonk seems to be a fan of since he felt the need to trash the voice overs in my game. I'LL KILL YOU.) and some sound editing software.

The most important thing that having original content in your game shows is that you actually gave a damn about what you were doing. It's not saying you don't give a damn, but that's what it tells everyone else, and that's not just this community, and that's comming from someone who's new to this community, but not new to game development.

 
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9th November, 2009 at 07:28:40 -

There are also free sound websites and search engines, that is what I use for sounds. If I really needed to get a particular sound, microphones are not expensive.

Personally I don't enjoy looking at library graphics, they are rarely nice, they are usually badly compressed 3D renders transposed to 2D as well. I would rather look at someone's badly drawn graphics because I know at least they tried themselves and put that effort in.

I agree with James, you don't even need to be awesome at art to make a nice looking game. After all, it really will boil down to the game play which makes a game fun, not the art. And there are more games than you can poke a stick at with overwhelming graphics but total crap game play which you will throw away with little to no consideration about the art. Also, music, sound and graphics are sometimes not so hard to find in this community But like OMGGames mentioned, people are often too ambitious, and it also makes them (appear) greedy when they say that they are making an epic massive game which will knock everyones socks off, and hey, I need a 60-min soundtrack for music, voice overs for my 20 characters and I need sprites, backgrounds and objects for this massive RPG world. Or they are lacking enough information to generate any real interest in the game, it's just a post which says "hi, could someone make graphics for my platform game". No one's interested when they see a post like that.

I think it comes down to how you pitch it to others, if you need help, you have to go about the right way asking for it. But personally, I like to try to do everything myself.

 
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9th November, 2009 at 11:48:22 -


Originally Posted by Ayejes

To say that the mmf graphics are bad but it's different if you use your poor to bad graphics, seems contradictory.


Not at all. The problem with library graphics is that you have no say at all in them, you just get a load of graphics. When you're working with an artist (or any other kind of team member) you discuss what you're after and retain some creative input. The artist would create consistent art pieces, something you don't get from libraries.
Also: Your game then wont look like a thousand other games.

 
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9th November, 2009 at 14:15:34 -


Originally Posted by Dr. James

Originally Posted by Ayejes

To say that the mmf graphics are bad but it's different if you use your poor to bad graphics, seems contradictory.


Not at all. The problem with library graphics is that you have no say at all in them, you just get a load of graphics. When you're working with an artist (or any other kind of team member) you discuss what you're after and retain some creative input. The artist would create consistent art pieces, something you don't get from libraries.
Also: Your game then wont look like a thousand other games.



It's the consistency, it's always painfully apparent when graphics are really inconsistent. Well for me at least, as not just a game-maker but an artist that kind of thing really irks me. You won't find everything you need in one library set, so you end up having to pick and choose and end up with a garish combination of sprites that looks disjointed.

Even sometimes, people make clashing graphics even when they are totally custom.

 
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11th November, 2009 at 02:23:40 -

I'd completely forgotten that MMF came with graphics libraries x) Then I started looking through them and it took my right back to the days of KnP. Ah, the nostalgia.

I actually think it would be kind of fun to run a competition where you're only allowed to use library graphics. Kind of like the reverse of the NGC. I suppose it would either be a success and people would put more work into gameplay and interesting mechanics than graphics, or we'd just end up with a load of crappy KnP era games that all look the same...

 
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11th November, 2009 at 02:34:22 -

Hey that's a good idea actually! I remember a competition like that a while back, but the entrants could only use knp. The games that came from it were horrible!

 
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11th November, 2009 at 02:40:33 -

I'm not surprised x)

If it garners enough interest it could be a good compo though. Not too time consuming!

 
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11th November, 2009 at 02:50:11 -

Jon Lambert suggested a library graphics compo. I told him it would probably drive me insane to see people waste effort on projects that could be using their own work!

 

  		
  		

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11th November, 2009 at 03:07:26 -

Don't forget library sounds and library music! Essentially the only thing that would be custom is the programming! And I guess the concepts and stuff.

 
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11th November, 2009 at 03:30:10 -

Seriously, its fine to use the graphics and sounds it comes with. I spent a few years just using graphics others had made (mainly from sites like http://spriters-resource.com/) I think it was great to learn the program that way.

Although I'm just glad I didn't spam my hundreds of crappy games all over the internet (well the games I have posted already are fairly crap anyway).

 
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11th November, 2009 at 03:39:56 -

not true and you know it. Your game Final Vision was ace!

 
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11th November, 2009 at 13:37:15 -

Here's how it is: Nobody likes to see the same thing re-used.

With engines, you can get away with it, because engines are hard to recognize.
With sound & music, people don't like re-used ones, but usually there's so much sound and music out there you can take any of them and it doesn't sound reused.

Art is very noticeable, especially 2D art. They move and animate exactly the same way.

Let's put it this way, it's like writing a novel. Reusing engines is like reusing a plot from another book. It might feel the same way, but if there's enough on top of it, you don't see it. Reusing sound & music is like reusing the same characters with the same names. If you don't pay attention, you won't notice. If you do, it's not that irritating, because it's subtle.

Reusing art is like copying an entire paragraph from another book and putting it in yours. It just kills any feeling of creativity, because you're doing the exact same thing and there's no hiding it. It's up to you, really. You might be like one of those people who feel that the quality of writing isn't important, it's the plot or whatever. But it's not how others view it, and sadly, the libraries that come with MMF are about as useless as the manual.

 
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