Developer Path: Stories of My Enchanting Failures, Part 2

    Hello everyone, Delfuego FM is with you again, and I finally matured to post the second part of the article! Due to an ambiguous reaction to the first part, an attempt was made to lay out the second at geek times, and ... it successfully failed. Therefore, you have to make a small habrasuicide and put it right here! So, let's go! ..

    Once I woke up and realized that the fears that had tormented me for several years and hindered the realization of my cherished dream were completely groundless. I had this knowledge before, the list of my projects and the length of the account in the bank could be more impressive.

    Your story, the first part of which you can read hereI am trying to protect you from my mistakes. I hope my story will save you some years. This is a story about game development, but it can be useful to all those who want to prove themselves in other areas (in particular, in the field of website development).

    More than six months after the fateful meeting on Nevsky Prospekt, I was invited to Moscow to become a game designer.

    While we were traveling with a friend from the Leningradsky railway station, Moscow greeted me with the song “Welcome to Paradise city”, playing on the radio. Then it seemed to me that I really was in the Paradise: finally a turning point in my life happened, the house was left behind, I was invited to work a dream in a dream city, everything is wonderful like never before, and it will get better every day.

    It really could have been, but ...

    Any competent specialist would see only one phrase in my test assignment: “Run, run from here and do not turn around!” - the fact is that in the test task I had to comment on a fragmented gimmick of game ideas in the style of "robbing cows in the style of a ruler, on wings like in Aion, and with eyesight like in the Terminator."

    It was clear that it would not be easy, but I saw a certain irony of fate and decided to take a chance: the Moscow employer, like the person who brought me to the game dev, was involved in gaming machines. But the Muscovite dealt with them legally, officially and on a very large scale.

    The documentation for the game was developed in the ancient fighting style of “swan, pike and crab” - the key details of the game changed several times every week. There was no decision maker, and my position did not imply such authority. Then, when the game’s design document was ready, problems with staff recruitment got out - I don’t know exactly what the reason was, but if they were shown the same stream of consciousness at the interview as I was, this is not surprising.

    After a couple of months, I went back to St. Petersburg, on a business trip to a conference of mobile developers. This conference coincided in time with the funeral of a classmate who died in a car accident. Earth rest in peace. She was the most beautiful in the class.

    After the conference, the authorities crystallized the thought "we need to simplify everything and quickly release a simpler game." This was a good idea, but as a simpler game, the authorities, for some kind of evil irony of fate, invented a runner in which it was necessary to create an accident with a car, crush pedestrians and create other mess on the road. For some reason, it immediately became clear to me that nothing could come of it.

    Days dragged on, and no lines of code, like game art, were added. It was at that moment that Unity fell into my hands for the first time, and if my mind were not obscured by the error that it is hard to program in Unity, I could pick this engine and find out what to make games on it is elementary simple - after 2 years, when I finally got used to Unity, in 1 evening I did what I could not do in Moscow for 3 months.

    After 5 months in Moscow, I was fired for "low efficiency" - with missing tasks, management, code and game content.
    A few months later, the man who fired me was kicked out with the same wording.

    I immediately tried to find a place in game dev, and found only a couple of teams of enthusiasts who offered to make the game for a percentage. And you know what I want to say? Never mess with enthusiasts who have not proven that they really can enthusiastically create good games. Better not mess with any.

    As a result, almost nothing was done on several projects in a few months. But then I still had a bunch of concepts, one of which turned out to be so original that I took it as the basis of my first game.
    But it was after, and then I decided that I got used to the development on enthusiasm, that there is nothing supernatural in organizing the process and I can take it upon myself, and then I will succeed.

    Of course, I was wrong. Three and a half projects, ten people besides me, three months and one half-killed prototype in the exhaust. Attempts at team building did not bring results, people fell off one by one, and the most prolific artist eventually left the project due to depression due to some personal troubles.

    Then the thought finally struck me: we must take everything into our own hands. Both the code and the graphics. Do everything yourself so as not to depend on pseudo-enthusiasts, and what does not work out is to order for money.

    This idea is perhaps the most correct of all that have ever visited me.

    However, out of ignorance, I decided that before starting development, it was necessary to seriously pump in programming and the “architecture of games”, and this delayed development by another 7 months (that’s a bastard!).

    During the time I was preparing for programming in Unity, I managed to make several more mistakes, including two epic files when creating one site (combo file!)

    Epic file combos started when I was asked to help in creating an online store. I decided to take on the design and signed up for the appropriate courses. The organizers of the courses were also involved in the creation of Internet projects, and I decided that they are just the people with whom you need to make the site. The project turned out to be quite large, and they decided to divide its development into 4 stages, and to do each stage according to a separate agreement. Never do that. Never.

    Stage 1 was the easiest and consisted of small changes to the wordpress template. But, since the entire project was voluminous, I did not see anything shameful in that 40% of the budget was paid for 5% of the work - I believed that this amount would be an advance payment for all 100%. And the fact that I went to these guys for courses was conducive to mutual loyalty.

    But in fact it turned out that after stage 1, the developers lost interest in the project and refused to do the remaining stages, which were not in the first contract.

    I tried to resolve this ugly situation on my own, but they flatly refused to negotiate with me, and as a result ran into a half-gang dismantling by the customer and still returned the money.

    After refusing to perform the remaining stages, I hastily found other performers located in Moscow. The previous file did not teach me anything at all - because of the rush, I formalized the relationship between the two legal entities and I am ashamed to admit how (almost nothing). But the studio looked decent, and the reviews on fl were good, the amount of the first stage was insignificant, and the customer was nervous when he got a website, and I decided not to delay the start of development. The contract, together with the full t / z, was drawn up after the transfer of money, but we did not see its signed version by the contractor.

    As a result, after breaking the deadline for 2 weeks, we were provided with something utterly misleading, practically not corresponding to the t / z and performed on an un negotiated cms-ke. A month later, attempts to get money back, it became clear that we were stupidly thrown. Although the amount was insignificant, we killed a lot of time for this lack of misery. These Ostap Benders have a blue arrow ribbon running from the lower right to the upper left on the logo on the logo freelance, so be careful.

    But back to game development. When the epic with the site’s undevelopment ended, it turned out that to create a game on Unity you practically did not need to know javascript - just go through its main course on codecademy, and then figure out how Unity works from practical experience. In my experience, JS knowledge is 5% in game development, the rest is perseverance while searching for solutions to the problem on unity answers both in the documentation and during code experiments.

    We are always looking for enemies, obstacles and causes of failure somewhere outside, but in fact all this is always inside. In my case, I was afraid to start developing games at least somehow, then I was afraid to organize development, and then do it on my own, believing that it was too complicated, etc. But in fact, the main obstacle was inside me. This search for enemies outside, not inside, since ancient times harms humanity. This is simply not customary to talk about, we are taught the exact opposite. So, now I am watching the riot police, who, together with his battalion, plowed the whole of Chechnya, and who cannot independently defeat the internal demons of alcohol addiction. He was taught to defeat an external enemy, not an internal one. And there are millions of such examples around the world.

    In all conflicts and problems there is always a third, invisible side. In a generalized form, it can be represented as our emotions, instincts, fears, delusions. All this is the main enemy and the true main obstacle in any business. If it is overcome, then the imaginary obstacles will disappear, and the other side of the “conflict” will be an ally.

    I hope you do not repeat my mistakes and your path to the dream will be smoother. In the following articles, which will again be on the hub, I will talk about the development of the visual style of our current game and some technical aspects. You can find some information in my profile.

    And thank you for your attention!

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