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Tips for starting my own game?

Discussion in 'Tools & Tutorials' started by Melix3, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Melix3

    Melix3 Member Donor

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    Hey guys!

    Like many other people I'm tired of games with very slow development, games that get rushed or games being abandoned in the middle of the story. So I'm thinking about starting my own game.
    I consider myself as a decent writer and would probably be able to create a compelling story, but I have absolutely no experience when it comes to developing a game or creating the art for H-games. So here's a couple of questions that I have to ask myself before starting my own game.

    1. Which program to use for the game.
    I've realised that the majority of the modern h-games uses one of the three following programs, but I'm unsure which one to use myself.

    RPG Maker
    There seems to be a lot of hate directed towards RPG Maker but I don't really know why.
    Most of the classic japanese H-RPGs use RPGM and the majority of the games that I enjoyed the most use this platform. It is easy to learn and gives you the ability to create maps for free-roaming and thus enables the player to have a more active gaming experience. On the other hand there seems to be many bugs and troubleshooting becomes one of the main aspects of game development. There also seems to be a limited amount of sprites.

    Ren'Py

    It's a free program for creating Visual Novels. One day I definitely want to create a game using Ren'Py but for the beginning I am not sure if it's the right choice considering that the gameplay elements are limited (visual novel) and it needs much more self-made backgrounds/images/CGs to actually be called a "game".

    Unreal Engine
    Definitely the most diverse one of the three, but also the most difficult to learn. Also needs more money investment to buy custom assets. I am 100% sure that it gives you the most options and possibilities but would make the first steps much much harder. Definitely not my favourite choice for my first game but maybe someone has a different opinion.

    Which of the three would be the best and easiest for getting started and also which of the three would work the best with either self-drawn or 3d-rendered pictures?
    This leads me to my next point.

    2. Style of art
    For me there's only two options:
    - drawings in japanese manga-style or
    - rendered 3d-models

    Drawings
    I honestly prefer this option, even though I have no experience with either of them. It gives much more freedom when it comes to creativity and would also make it easier to change/adjust things and enables the creation of new characters/backgrounds pretty quickly. Huge downside: You have to redraw everything for almost every scene.

    3d-renders
    This one probably needs some time to get into I guess. But the huge advantage is that once you have all the models, you just have to tweak them a little bit and re-render new images for completely new scenes.

    Programs:
    I already own photoshop but I heard if you want to draw yourself you still need either Manga Studio (Clip Studio) or SAI to efficiently draw the lines. Since Clip Studio currently costs $100 in my country I'd prefer SAI but please give me your opinion on this. I also already own a cheap graphic tablet.

    For 3d-models the best option would be DAZ I guess, but it needs a lot of investment for character models, hair, clothes, etc. so I guess it will be pricey. Also rendering takes its toll on the hardware which would sooner or later need an upgrade too. I don't even want to think about creating my own models from scratch because that seems to be impossible for a beginner.

    Sorry for the long posts, I just wanted to give you a insight into my thoughts so you could give me tips more easily. :)

    TL;DR:
    RPGM, Ren'Py or Unreal?
    Draw CGs yourself or 3d-render them?
    When Drawing: PS, SAI or Clip Studio?
    When DAZ3d: Buy models, create from scratch or morph?

    Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. crust

    crust TCMS wannabe Uploader Donor

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    This is simple. Quality over quantity!

    To be serious, rpgm, renpy or unreal, this is a choice of what you want to create. Will it be a vn use renpy, unity or unreal (or try to find a "legal version" of the steam vn maker. ;)). Do you want to add nice quests or hidden things with a awesome story use rpgm. It should matter for you in the first place, not for us.

    Can you draw? If not use 3dcg. Can't say something to drawing programs. But when you want to use Daz, take your time and use good light conditions, this will be 100% succesful to gain patreons (Ok, maybe the story matters a bit, too. Don't forget sex scenes in the first update. Or use it as bait like DmD :cool:).

    Let me explain this (This is only occurs if you don't publish only one update.), 99% of every game which uses 3dcg has crappy pictures with crappy light conditions, there are only 2-5 good games with decent light conditions. This matters, look at Big Brother (Bad example when it comes to story), Dreams of Desire, Daughter for Dessert some other games (forgot the names :test2:).

    Take your time, don't publish every month if you are still learning the programs.

    Edit: If you want to still draw your game don't buy cheap! Really the cheap stuff sucks. A nice thing to have would be a drawing monitor or maybe a drawing tablet or (Samsung galaxy tab s3, looks god for me, I can't really draw but this looks solid for me. Maybe you should ask someone about this, if you aren't already know this by yourself.).
     
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  3. AkitoH

    AkitoH Active Member

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    It's important to be comfortable with your creation. Taking opinions matters, but if they conflict with what you'd prefer, it's best to follow through with what you want to do. That way, you get the most fun out of it and you won't have it in your mind to quit half way through.

    I prefer Ren'Py because it seems easier. When it comes to adult games, chances are the player is gonna have one hand occupied, so RPG is tedious getting from one location to the other. It's time consuming, at least for me. Especially in a big map.

    When it comes to the art, like I said, whatever works best for you and whatever you enjoy more. First things first, before you focus on the player's enjoyment, you have to enjoy your creation first and foremost.

    If you're a good artist, go for drawings. I actually downloaded a cracked version of Clip Studio Pro. (Cause I'm dirt poor and ain't shit). I love Clip Studio because the layout feels more simpler than Photoshop. Another FREE app you can use is Krita, but I personally like using CSP more.

    If you feel patient enough to work with Daz, go for that, but make sure you're PC can take it. Mine can't at the moment, so I'm looking into getting a new tower.

    When it comes to models, one thing that Daz artist "Morzte" from Tora Productions told me, and I quote, "If you find a pretty model and you like her, then use her. The important thing is that you like the model you're using, irregardless if players will like her or not." Mortze told me he rarely uses a base model and morphs most of his. He'll only keep the base facial features if it makes the character "look special." So keep that in mind if you choose Daz.

    And be patient with Daz. For me personally, when I played with it a little bit, I found it to be a bit easier than it looked, but my specs aren't fit for Iray rendering. Even 3delight rendering took close to 6 hours at the least. But I had the basic concept. But I would tell you to take a few months and practice with Daz first and learn the ropes. Don't rush into it as soon as you have one good rendered image. Experiment. Ask questions here. Do what you need to do. There are A LOT of games here that quite frankly rush into production with horribly looking renders with stiff poses and positions so obvious that it's clear they don't take the time to get experienced with Daz. All they care about is making a quick buck cause it's the easiest way to get by on Patreon nowadays. It's not a passion to a lot of developers. Make sure this is yours.

    Also, you don't have to buy anything from Daz if you'd really rather conserve your money. There is an assets thread here where members upload Daz content here for free and you can install them and use them. And if you don't see the asset you want, you can request it in the requests thread.

    Please Log in / Register to view this link


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    You can also use

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    which has a lot of assets as well. But if you feel more comfortable buying them, more power to you.

    I hope this helps a bit.
     
    Melix3 likes this.
  4. DarthSeduction

    DarthSeduction Lord of Passion Donor Game Developer

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    Hey, the others have given the unbiased answers, I'll give you my personal one. What I wanted to accomplish above all else was a good story. As a result I chose to make a VN. Ren'Py is incredibly easy to work with, the small amount of python you need to learn to make a working game can be absorbed in 45 minutes to and hour and a half. It's very user friendly.

    As for the art, if you know you can draw and have access to the tools to do 2D art well, go for it. Summertime Saga makes a ton of money on 2D art, so don't be afraid to be different. If you aren't confident with your art, have you ever used any sort of modeling software? Daz is common here for its prepackaged models, however its not exactly intuitive. I'd take a couple of months familiarizing myself with it and modeling with it before ever trying to make a game.

    However there's another option the one I took. Find an artist. I lucked out, the guy I'm working with is doing some nice models. I can't wait to see what we do when we start really making the game.

    Also, If you don't plan on using RPGM to its full potential, don't use it. If you make a game that would be better suited to a VN on the system you'll just alienate your players who are going to feel like the system is working against them. My Girlfriend's Amnesia has a really interesting plot, but I can't keep playing it because I keep getting frustrated. Coceter Chronicles actually uses the format for exploration and makes good use of it, if you use RPGM be like Coceter, not MGA.

    Most important have fun.
     
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  5. Deaotrix

    Deaotrix Writer/Avid Player Donor

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    I'm on the same journey man. And like darth said, a compelling story is key. I'm currently learning to use DAZ for 3d models and settings, while learning both Renpy and RPG maker. Renpy is proving much easier to use but lacks the explorative aspects RPGM gives you. While RPGM allows you to build a world that PCs can move freely around, it tends to cause the story to draw out as PCs have to actually travel from point A to point B. I'm finding Renpy is perfect for a real story driven game considering it's so geared towards the VN aspect. Pretty easy in terms of scripts vs. RPGM since you don't have to account for player interactions the same way, or scripts for stuff like collision etc. As far as the art goes, I picked DAZ cause half the work is done for you (being that I'm not the best artist). I have some rough outlines for concepts for a few games but they are all on the back burner while I learn how to use these programs, get a nice little library of textures, models and poses for DAZ and dig around for appropriate sound clips. All of this while being wary of copyright laws. If you're making it for yourself, there's much more freedom in what you can use but if you plan on a public release, you'll need to be sure you haven't violated any of those laws. I'm seeing that people want something new too. So if you are making something you want others to play and enjoy, I'd personally stay away from the overused incest, corruption, 3D model template. There's plenty of those already and being a n00b dev, I wouldn't wager any of my work could hold a candle to already established titles like BB, DmD etc. (mostly considering I don't have anything remotely playable yet. lol)
     
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  6. DarthSeduction

    DarthSeduction Lord of Passion Donor Game Developer

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    Well, I'll say this. All you need is semiquality models and a good story to get me to play your game over either of those two. Both games are examples of networking done right. They didn't get there on quality, they got there on numbers. If you just make a patreon and expect people to find you you'll lose out. I was talking to some developers recently who have released a few games and one of them said this, "the more places I've shared my game, the more money I've made." Saying that, they weren't talking about more funding platforms, they meant places like here, subreddits, their own website to bring traffic. Because if enough people play your early version game and like it, you're bound to get a number of patrons from it.
     
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  7. Deaotrix

    Deaotrix Writer/Avid Player Donor

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    True. Something I had yet to even consider. Until I get more fluent with the programs I'll probably hold off on networking. This site has been awesome for resources and help with scripts and such but between work and a personal life, I don't have a ton of time to spend on learning all of them. If I had the skill I'd definitely prefer making something with 2d art. Maybe once I get fluent with Renpy I can find an actual artist to collaborate with.
     
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  8. DarthSeduction

    DarthSeduction Lord of Passion Donor Game Developer

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    If you're really serious about it, consider checking out the sticky post in the developer subforum about the Developer's Hub. There are plenty of active developers and artists, mostly of the daz variety, who are more than happy to provide people with help and knowledge. Just today someone needed help figuring out how to make a hud display constantly in Ren'Py and had no less than 3 people with advice for him when they had the time.
     
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  9. Deaotrix

    Deaotrix Writer/Avid Player Donor

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    Hadn't even thought about that. I'll head over there and check it out now. Thanks!
     
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  10. Melix3

    Melix3 Member Donor

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    Thanks for all the help!

    I should have mentioned that I want to make a female protagonist game. Since I've drawn Manga irl, I'll try to learn how to use PS/CSP to draw with a graphic tablet and then I'll decide if it works. After getting confident in drawing I'll create a short VN using Ren'Py for my first game and then maybe later switch to RPGM.

    When it comes to Patreon & networking, since I'm studying business management I'm sure I can pull it off. But I don't intend to do so until I've got at least one small game finished and I'm used to doing that stuff so that I can actually deliver updates on time.

    Also, it seems like there are some people who are looking for artists. Wouldn't it be wise to just focus on drawing at first and maybe collaborating with someone who's got experience when it comes to game development?

    But since my all-time favourites are games like Lilitales, Rhode's fortress and Sangeki of Gear, I really want to go into that direction when it comes to art which takes time I guess.

    Thanks again for all your helpful answers! :)
     
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  11. DarthSeduction

    DarthSeduction Lord of Passion Donor Game Developer

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    If I had cared one way or the other I might have taken time to storyboard with some simple drawings... I'm by no means good enough to draw my own game. However I was happy with either 2D or 3D... The only thing I did know is that I didn't want a manga aesthetic. Don't get me wrong, i'm a huge weeb, but I didn't think it would be the best way to do my story.
     
  12. Dezue

    Dezue Love Ninja Game Developer

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    Heyho, mate!
    Additionally to everything already said here, as for your question about collaboration: I'd strongly recommend working in a team!
    When you make games there's just SO much to do, and it's just easier to share not only the workload, but thoughts, ideas, frustrations, successes etc.

    For me, it's just SO nice to know my dev partner OniGiri is in charge of the whole technical part (and she's really good at it, too) and I can concentrate on art and bounce my design ideas off her...
    So, yeah, just my 69 cents [​IMG]

    Have fun developing!
     
  13. DarthSeduction

    DarthSeduction Lord of Passion Donor Game Developer

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    Wait... Oni, the artist, is a girl?
     
  14. muttdoggy

    muttdoggy Dogerator Staff Member Moderator

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  15. DarthSeduction

    DarthSeduction Lord of Passion Donor Game Developer

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    I was a fan of her art before ever finding the adult game industry... that's amazing that I never knew.
     
  16. Dezue

    Dezue Love Ninja Game Developer

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    Hey guys, just to clarify - I'm talking about OniGiri, our programmer at Team Tailnut :) She's a girl too, but I think you mean another Oni ;)
    Just edited it in the post above.
     
  17. DarthSeduction

    DarthSeduction Lord of Passion Donor Game Developer

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    yes i did
     
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  18. muttdoggy

    muttdoggy Dogerator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yeah me too. She's mentioned several projects so I thought it might be her.
     
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  19. lamarks

    lamarks Member

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    Thank you, thank you, for the question and your answers !!!
    too illuminating. thank you!!!
     
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  20. LimitIess

    LimitIess New Member

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    1. Write down the story, characters, event progression and interactions BEFORE you even begin the development. Lots of "developers" go straight to rendering and making 0.1 Patreon versions that they lose direction mid-way and abandon their games.

    2. Don't make a RPG Maker game unless it's an RPG. It extends the development time due to map design, scripting, unnecessary NPC additions, etc. Furthermore, RPG Maker games are annoying as fuck to play, due to the fact that 80% of the playtime you will spend walking from A to B and doing stupid "quests". It makes replaying the game a pain.

    3. Daz3D is amazing if you have the computer and the skills to support it. Even if you download most of the assets and models, take time and invest in learning positioning, light, modeling, etc. Avoid using base Daz3D models you've downloaded, because it removes all the originality from your game. I can't recall the times I've seen the same model or clothes on all these games.

    4. Don't use Unreal Engine if you don't need it. I don't see the point of making a visual novel on Unreal Engine. Ren'Py or Unity should be fine.

    5. Don't make a Patreon and release a 0.1 before you've designed all the maps and fleshed out all the characters and events. 0.1 and up should be about content addition and not technical or gameplay implementations.
     
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