Online game-amateur hands. History of leisure
Yes Yes. I was not sealed up and not mistaken. In this story I’ll tell you how many years ago I came up with the idea to open my own online game, despite the fact that all my knowledge in this area came down to two things: 1) online games are played via the Internet 2) they are placed on a mythical server and created harsh programmers. And I am a ballroom dance teacher (conditionally).
I collected all the bumps I could, made all conceivable and inconceivable mistakes. Now, after many years, I understand that now, from Moscow to Kaliningrad, readers of this article will put their hands to their faces and rightly call me naive (in the mildest wording of all possible). But I do not consider writing it a crime, because for a number of reasons, partially covered in this story, every day I come across young, and not so, people who are suffering to build their game from dirt and cones. Maybe my habrapost will open their eyes to what gamedev is for an amateur.
This article is filled with tube memories, flavored with a small pinch of self-criticism, and in many moments completely devoid of common sense. If, however, you are interested, then welcome to cat.
Stage 1: Denial. Or a thump in the skull box ideas
Long ago, while still a senior student, I first learned what a browser game is. The dial-up connection did not yet give room to everyone there 3D pyshch-pyshch, and therefore my first game was the well-known browser-based space online strategy from the then-famous German publisher. She, like the first love experience of hundreds of generations of men, captured me with my head, forced me not to sleep at night, to commit frenzy, and, as a result, as expected, broke my heart
On a languid evening of 2008, playing another shooter in the evening at a beer, I realized that this type of game does not give me anything other than the clear letters WSAD on the keyboard and calluses on the index finger. I must, no, must create the game of my dreams. I must reject this boring fashion in 3D and give the world something great. Of course, with the cows and the guards. This idea, like light from above, illuminated my consciousness. She was a revelation sent down from heaven, she was a gentle whisper of angels promising me riches, glory and a place in history. Of course, now I understand that it was the machinations of Satan and just nonsense in the empty head of the next dipper, who thinks that the system must be overthrown in excess of a dose of its transcendent flight.
So my gamedev story began with an undeniable truth.Gamedev, like a startup, begins with an abstract idea and high expectations. And life eventually puts everything in its place.
Stage 2: Anger. Or an analysis of the resources and costs needed to conquer the world
Since I already knew that an online game needed a server and programming skills, I firmly decided that at first my personal PC would be the server, and I would learn programming in a month. And I’ll get the finished game in about two months. Yes, at that time I was far from 18. Yes, my expectations were not destined to come true. But do not rush to break your face with a fespalm, dear Khabrovite, otherwise by the end of my story it will turn into a solid hematoma. Plus, as a miserable and ridiculous excuse, I ask you to make a discount on the fact that no units and frameworks were available to the masses at that time.
Of course, over the year of my work, I have mastered only basic knowledge of HTML. Yes, yes, and yes again! I thought that it was HTML that was needed for the development of the game, because I went around a dozen different browsers and all of them were displayed to me in the form of an HTML page.
All my knowledge of server administration came down to installing Denver on a computer and sharing it on the Internet.
The blow overtook me from where I was waiting for him. From the bowels of the insidious Internet. I just drove into the search bar "create your own online game for free" and was stunned by the abundance of topics in various forums. There were hundreds of archives with ready-made server scripts for the BK clone games and grass I didn't understand (then I read the name that way). It was like finding out that a magician flew into a courtyard in a blue helicopter and was really giving away all gold bullions for free. Of course, I immediately downloaded all the archives with the games and began to study them. It was during the study of archives that I realized that the wizard was a perverted sadist, a blue helicopter - a holey idle bucket from a garbage can, and gold bullion ... uhh. Not at all gold and not at all bullion.
The analysis took about three months of my time and revealed two things to me:
1) Browser games are often written in PHP-MySQL-Flash bundles
2) All that is ready on the Internet is garbage that is not worth it and the soles of a homeless person from the gateway.
The discovery, in turn, brought awareness of the following things:
1) We must begin to learn three new web technologies;
2) It will take years;
3) I can not pull.
This terribly upset me, because I realized that after so much time I, in fact, did not move a single step on the path to the game of my dreams.
So I got a second important lesson: if you consider yourself cooler than professionals, then before you start building a house, carefully study how others do it. And what tools do they use. This is what will save you from death under the rubble after you build a foundation of wallpaper and insert a sand-gravel mixture into the window frames.
Stage 3: Bargaining. Or money decide that everything
Awareness of my mistakes led me to understand that I could not pull the project alone. But I also discovered the knowledge that I am not alone. So I needed like-minded people. Preferably ready to do all the work for me, but of course, under my guidance. After all, only I carry in my head the image of the very game that will conquer the world. The reader will ask me: “Etishkin forest! What kind of game did you come up with in your head? What is so sick of your sick consciousness !? ” This is the question I received at one thematic forum in the topic where I started recruiting adherents to my team. And I realized that I can not say anything specific. I knew that the game should be browser, cool and addictive. But I did not see any details behind the light of this dazzling concept. Of course, in the forum I tried to hide this fact behind the screen of the fact that this is a terrible secret and I'm afraid that the idea is stolen by more enterprising igrodely. That everyone just has to do a good job for me now, to bathe in dollars and glory sometime later. However, I could not lie to myself. I sat down and began to describe the game of my dreams on paper in full detail. The result was the very cosmic browser game that I mentioned earlier, but with only a hundred different whistles on top. I heard the theory that women are looking for a partner who has the features of her father. I heard the theory that a man is looking for those features in his wife that were his first girlfriend. I don’t know how true these theories are, but I can say for sure that any game that you want to create and consider innovative and revolutionary has already been implemented to one degree or another, even the most embryonic one, to you. You just need to submit it as no one thought of it.
But I was distracted. Back to my brainchild. Having sorted out my vision of the game and received a couple of dozen unflattering reviews from members of the forum, I realized that no one was eager to work in a team for an idea. Especially if you do not see its prospects in the same way as you see.Of course, everyone wants fame and money in the future. But the stomach asks for food now. At that time, I had already formed a source of stable income from my main activity, and I boldly decided to put this money into the implementation of my gaming idea. I hired freelance programmers, paid muddy types on the forum for game scripts that were supposedly so cool that they were kept in the Templars' bins, so that they wouldn’t end up with light carriers like me. I was ready to pay my mythical forum team, but, in fact, there were only couch mother's advisers and great theorists. Which in words Leo Tolstoy, but in fact zilch simple. I lowered a lot of money and got a public browser script with a couple of hundred crutches. But none the less no less functional than the original game, which I wanted to surpass. At the exit,no one is eager to work efficiently for money if he does not share your idea.
So, after another year of fruitless efforts, the circle closed for me. Then I decided that I needed to buy a finished product and wrote a letter to the company owner of the same browser, which was my first love. Years later, I want to return by time machine at that moment and give myself a mind. Like the Scarecrow from a fairy tale. Of course, I did not receive an answer. And I decided to buy another game, similar in functionality, but already operational and ready to be finalized with a file. It was a deal with conscience, a bargain with the original idea of how I see the game of my dreams. But that was better than stopping and quitting. There was one little thing left - to find that very different game. I began to crawl through all the space browsers, even remotely resembling the very one. I played them to understand how raw or high-quality this product is. But each of them was still the same leaky buckets from the public, just put on crutches. They did not cost a single ruble.
The conclusion I made from this stage of the game-site is: you need not only to have an abstract idea, you need to formalize it and implement it at least as a concept with a reasonable investment of effort and resources. The first pancake will almost certainly come out lumpy, but you will gain valuable experience if you do not rest your horn and perceive the collapse of the concept as the collapse of the idea as a whole.
Stage 4: Acceptance. Or how I met that one
After all the adventures described above, which I heroically created for myself, I already decided to throw the idea in a distant box, but then fate turned to me with an elastic ass and invoked her wagging. In the course of sorting through all the cosmic browser games that I could reach, I came across a game project worth attention. It was a browser that was written by one very stubborn and, probably, like me, a stubborn, enthusiast. However, he, unlike me, had programming skills. There were few players in the game, the administrator’s attitude towards the players reminded me of the concentration camps of the Third Reich, and its design made my eyes bleed. But there was almost everything that I wanted from the game of my dreams. I persistently played the game for a month and once again visiting the game forum I found out that its owner distributes the engine completely free under the GNU / GPL license. I understood, that I can’t find a better engine. But the approaches to the game aspects, which are implemented by the programmer, do not allow me to write it into the category of my like-minded people. So I made the biggest, and perhaps the most correct step. I firmly decided that my programming skills to create a dream game would never be enough. We need to take the best of the tools or opportunities available in terms of strength here and now, not expecting a better tomorrow. Sometimes even contrary to ideals. After all, tomorrow will always be tomorrow. But having received the tool or base, you need to squeeze it as productively as possible. that my programming skills to create a dream game will never be enough. We need to take the best of the tools or opportunities available in terms of strength here and now, not expecting a better tomorrow. Sometimes even contrary to ideals. After all, tomorrow will always be tomorrow. But having received the tool or base, you need to squeeze it as productively as possible. that my programming skills to create a dream game will never be enough. We need to take the best of the tools or opportunities available in terms of strength here and now, not expecting a better tomorrow. Sometimes even contrary to ideals. After all, tomorrow will always be tomorrow. But having received the tool or base, you need to squeeze it as productively as possible.
The lesson I learned from this stage of my game dev: like-minded people are sure to be. You just need to understand where to look for them. If they are not there, then creating your game is an unattainable peak for a person who owns only an idea and desire, but does not own knowledge. Even with start-up capital.
Looking ahead, I’ll say that with the same enthusiast we joined forces a couple of years later. But this is a completely different story.
Stage 5: Depression. Or the clink of crystal dreams
It was 2010. Having received a game script that suits me, I broke a piggy bank, bought a cool hosting and a sonorous domain name. After all, the game of my dreams deserves the best. I hired a good programmer and he installed the engine for me. And now, this moment has come. I entered the game as an administrator. I was a demiurge who will sculpt a new world from this clay. I will be Shiva, from whose rib a game will be born, which is destined to shake the foundations of the universe. There was only one problem. I was alone. Alone in the vast space of my game and my own ambitions. And, as time has shown, there were still too many sawdust and rainbow bubbles in my head.
The conclusion that dumbfounded me at this stage: it’s not enough to think up and create a game, it must be made attractive to the player.And to show the player the charms of the fifth size that your game can boast of, you need sales and advertising channels. Without this, your project is just your personal toy.
Here is briefly and my whole way, from the birth of an idea to the desired result.
The most important stages are the promotion of the game and the receipt of financial buns, I will describe in the next article, if anyone is interested. There, the number of pitfalls and fakaps just rolls over. Which is not surprising, because the release of the game into the light is like a life story of a tadpole, which must go a long way until it becomes a frog. And there are a lot of predators and underwater currents around.
I ask for leniency from the Khabrovsk citizens for the fact that he could have missed the strings of some events somewhere. All the same, the journey was long, and something could be forgotten. Perhaps I will supplement the article in the future.
I will be happy to answer your comments or make grammatical changes to the article. Again, if this is of any interest to anyone,
Part Two: Online play by the hands of an amateur. Part 2: "The Tale of PR"