So, you're a new OHRRPGCE user and you've been working on a game?
Great! You also think that it is ready for release? Wonderful. Before
you hit that "submit" button though, you might want to consider a few
Most OHRRPGCE veterans will agree that over the years there have been
way more crap newcomer games than quality ones. I feel that some people
may set the bar too high for newbies though, considering the OHRRPGCE
could be their very first game making experience. Before you say, "I
don't care what people think about my game", you do. If you are
publishing your game to the internet, then you do care what people
think about it whether you acknowledge it or not. Just realize that if
you are starting out, its not necessary to have a groundbreaking or
innovative title. What is
important, however, is there to be
obvious effort behind your project that is identifiable to your player
base. I hope that the tips below can be used by new OHRRPGCE designers
to help make sure your project is genuinely ready for the public.
This section is a little background about myself and my game making
experience. You may consider reading it if you don't know me and need
some credibility for the tips below. If not, feel free to skip to the
I have been active in the OHRRPGCE community since around 2000. Going
by the name of Divine Bovine, I made a couple of petty games. One of
them was titled Sim
, and was a failed 48 Hour Contest game. The
other was Wendel's Quest for the Sacred Stones
, my first ever
game, that had very little content and should have never went public in
the first place. It wasn't until March 2007 that I realized I had been
doing it all wrong. I decided then to start working on my first real
game, The Omega
and I vowed to not release it until it was demo-worthy. Despite having
some issues with the first demo, overall the release was much improved
over previous games. I ended up releasing the full version over a year
later and it was met with fairly positive reviews.
Later on that year, I also released The
Adventures of Mikey T
for the first ever 8-bit Contest, which
went on to tie for first place along with Aethereal's Jailbreak
Then, in October 2010, I released my latest demo titled Homeward
Bound: The Account of Duck Duck
, which was also met with
positive reviews. With that being said, I still have a lot to learn
about game making myself. However, I think I've been around long enough
and have enough experience to suggest pointers to others as well.
Hype; But Don't Overhype
Hyping up your game is good, but be smart about it. It's generally not
a good idea to promote your game by promising a bunch of features that
you may or may not actually be able to pull off. Set realistic goals,
especially for your first game(s), and hype up the content you know you
can back up.
Don't Set A Hard Deadline
Unless you are part of team creating a commercial/shareware game (which
you probably aren't, no offense), there is no reason to set an in-stone
deadline. If you come up with a cool idea in early December and want
the game to be finished by Christmas no matter what, that usually isn't
good. Instead, set a soft deadline; one that can be pushed back if
needed. That way you have a goal to strive for but if you need more
time, you just push the release date back some.
Ask For Help
Don't take this one the wrong way. It is generally NOT a good idea to
ask someone to make you graphics, dialogue, story ideas, and scripts
when it comes to your first game(s). Yes, you may not be the greatest
artist, but if you plan to make your own games, you need to start from
somewhere. With that being said, it is GOOD to ask for help with
certain things. See the examples below:
DON'T...I really suck at graphics, can someone make me some?
DO...I'm not happy with my water graphics. Here is a screenshot, does
anyone have suggestions as to how I can improve them?
Have Tough Skin
Sometimes people can be brutal; some moreso than others. When asking
for feedback on screenshots or gameplay ideas, be open to what others
suggest. They may not always be right, but they can also jog ideas for
you and your project that you may have not thought about before. Just
be prepared; some people will be nicer about it than others. Don't get
discouraged; take what you can and learn from it.
Test, Test, Test
This suggestion cannot be stressed enough. Because I more or less
ignored this, I lost a lot of momentum with the demo release of The
Omega. You, the game designer, does not count as playtesting. There are
many people in the OHRRPGCE community that would be happy to test your
game for free and provide feedback. You could also just get family
members or friends to check it out, but the first option is probably
your best bet.
Demos Are Okay
Don't feel like you have to create a game from start to finish before
you release it to avoid being crucified by the public. When demos are
done right, they are welcomed by many. There isn't a set length that a
demo should be, but it should definitely be long enough to show enough
content and playability to make people want more of it. Launching a
demo of a game that has very little gameplay is not a great way to
promote your product.
Publish, Summarize, Advertise
So, you're ready to publish your game? Be sure to write a decent
summary of your game. Don't be too lengthy (put a detailed report in a
text file with your game if you like), just write enough to give your
player base an idea of what to expect from the game. Once your game has
been submitted with the summary to Castle Paradox, Slime Salad, or even
your own website, feel free to do some advertising for it. Hop on the
Slime Salad or Castle Paradox forums and post a topic about your game,
including a description and pictures.
When all is said and done, and your game is released, try to get some
feedback from it. The comments and suggestions that others make could
be valuable information for you to use in your next project, or perhaps
update(s) of the game in question.
A lot of these tips are common sense, but many fail to implement them
with their own games. If you take these simple suggestions and execute
them, you will likely have a much better response out of your projects.
This in turn will make you much more proud of your work, and possibly
give you the drive to make your future games even better.