Tiny Birds

fangame The Do's and Don't's For a Fan Game

14 posts in this topic

This is for people like me and those that are still on the Magic School Bus of fan gaming and even hacking. Mostly the former.

So, when making a fan game, what should you do and should you NOT do? I already know not to use PAINFULLY bright colors.

But, what do you recommend? Feel free to add your wisdom! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I recomend to have own ideas and not being inspired by someone else's work,be yourself!

Also if you are one of these people like me who are big fans of prototype content, use the (example) sonic 2 beta stuff you like and if it's in an unavaiable version, then let someone recreate it or do it yourself :)

Edited by Hexagonal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hexagonal said:

I recomend to have own ideas and not being inspired by someone else's work,be yourself!

If I wasn't inspired by someone else I wouldn't have ever started to make fangames in the first place so i don't think this is a good idea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

1 minute ago, Neo_Fire_Sonic said:

If I wasn't inspired by someone else I wouldn't have ever started to make fangames in the first place so i don't think this is a good idea

I meant like having stuff similar to other games, ex. Reborn's 2014 version being too much of an ATS clone is a bad idea

Edited by Hexagonal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inspiration is one thing, blatantly stealing is another. There were a couple of recent fan games that were basically just recreations of BTS (as Falk has released its assets and that of ATS)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sslaxx said:

Inspiration is one thing, blatantly stealing is another. There were a couple of recent fan games that were basically just recreations of BTS (as Falk has released its assets and that of ATS)...

Well, it might be just me, but I like Sonic Tortured Heaven. The creator atleast put some effort into it

But I have some advice. Try out every engine to see what you think would work the best for your fangame, and make sure to test out the engine, because ya reaaally dont wanna go into making a fangame without knowing your engine. Trust me, I should know.. Basically, make a lot of tests before starting to make your fangame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I'd like to also add a little more: 

Do' s

1. As Goku stated, always test your game to see how it runs. Some engines are awkward and some stand strong!

2. This one is coming from experience- plan and brainstorm and not just about the plot! Level design, flags, enemy placement, and even music and level appeal are imperative.

3. ALWAYS BLUEPRINT !! ALWAYS BLUEPRINT !! Draw out your levels on paper.

4. Always save a backup of your game on a flash drive. TRUST ME.

 

Don't's

1. Never get cocky with your fan game. Humility goes a long way.

2. Never place too many enemies and pitfalls. Don't Super Mario Maker your game.

3. Don't use others' public sprites without credit to the spriter and/or ripper. I'm saying this as an artist.

4. Don't warp music tracks. This is mostly for hacks.

Anymore ideas? Post 'em!

Edited by Tiny Birds
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not just about being cocky, some people get way too over-defensive about their projects.

And oh yes, backup everything! Project files, documentation, raw source files, the works. So easy to lose everything, or worse, to lose one important thing and then find you don't have a backup for it.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Well one thing I've known from experience of dealing with certain people that you shouldn't do. Don't be a d**k if you've been given criticism about the game.

I'm not talking just about being over defensive about your game (which is also something you should avoid). I'm talking spamming people's social media with alternate accounts, generalizing your critics as an offensive stereotype, getting people to either dislike spam or flag down a youtube video that you disagree with, or even giving their friends a hard time.

Doing any of these is what will give you a bad reputation in the long run as I've seen with certain fan game creators of Sonic World (The Blitz3D One), Mega Man Eternal and Jotex the Speedior for example. Criticism may be hard to take in since you may not even know right off the bat how you can fix a problem that's being addressed, but being a d**k is not the right way of going about things.

 

And another thing, don't steal assets that weren't made for public use like lets say Sonic Overture's sprites for Sonic for example. That's not cool in the slightest and you could easily get in trouble with the original creators.

Edited by SunkythePootis
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Learned this from past experience, but make sure the physics engine cooperates with the level design. Games like ATS and BTS suffer super poorly because of their disjointed and weird physics make platforming and traversing not fun. 

Edited by BlueHero200
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure you are using a decent base engine which you can change to fit your project.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 8/25/2017 at 0:59 PM, SunkythePootis said:

as I've seen with certain fan game creators of Sonic World (The Blitz3D One)

I was mobbed by its fans and given a million excuses from a dev for why they refuse to even try to improve the wonky controls. And that was after I praised the rest of the work they did on the game, but pointed out that the controls are so stiff and slippery it really takes away from what could be a great experience. Even that kind of half-praise criticism was too much for them.

The real reason they don't want to fix the controls is that they'd rather keep adding another dozen playable characters than make sure the fundamentals are working correctly. Y'know, ignore the necessary but tedious part and just do the fun stuff. Hell, maybe they literally don't have a programmer on hand who's even capable of digging into the engine itself. Wouldn't surprise me, because they clearly don't see anything that could be improved about that clumsy Blitz engine.

I'm a seasoned video editor. Video editing involves loads and loads of tedious, repetitive bullshit mainly to do things people will never notice are there, but would notice the lack of because they're so fundamental as to expected by default. It would feel "off" for them to be missing. It's the same with making games, you can't avoid the boring technical stuff and just do the fun parts. Not every progress update needs to include brand new levels, sprites or something major and interesting like that. Sometimes you just need to sit down and work out how to make the game stop triggering people's anti-virus software, or why the "PRESS START" text on the title screen keeps appearing too far to the left.

That's probably another good point, you don't need to post constant progress updates. You're excited, but nobody else is going to be as pumped for it as you are especially if you're just starting out. You're just going to burn people out, and then they won't be reading when you finally have some real progress to show.

Don't take for granted people are going to be excited for your project. Give them a reason to be excited. And that doesn't mean just tell them about the cool stuff you're going to do, because anyone can talk about their ideas. We've all seen a million kids talking about their super elaborate game idea that would require a team of paid devs and millions of dollars to actually create, and how they're going to make it all by themselves with their zero years of experience. Show people that you are capable of bringing your ideas to life before you can expect them to get excited about them.

Never argue with a seasoned dev telling you something isn't remotely feasible. They know. Don't argue back about how you have the greatest idea ever and they just can't understand that, and how they just want to crush your dreams. They don't. They're trying to save you wasted effort on an impossible idea, one you might not even think is a good one anymore as you learn how things are done.

A lot of these Dos and Don'ts apply equally to any kind of project you do online.

Edited by Kyoko Soryu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kyoko Soryu said:

how they just want to crush your dreams. They don't.

They don't want to crush your dreams, they just do.
That'd be the only part I'd disagree with you, Kyoko. Don't get me wrong, you're correct with the assumption/exclamation that newcomers are generally cocky and bite off more than they could chew (hell, I was like that 15 years ago myself), but I think it'd be contraproductive to make them give up before they have even tried. If they fail, then they learned the valuable lesson of "the bigger they come, the harder they fall", albeit with loss of resources (which aren't even yours, so I don't see why you'd be so worried about them) and if they don't, then we have yet another prodigy in our circles and that is never a bad thing, now is it?

Now, casting fires aside, to add some points of my own to the list of answers, I'd suggest starting small and working your way up in the world. Instead of trying to make something original and failing, try to imitate, possibly even steal, I'm none to judge, and improve upon that.
Also, one thing I could suggest is, if you are a sly one, to make your first projects under a different mail address, name, ego etc. The reason being simple, reputation, in anything, is everything and should you mess up somewhen, you can just go incognito, start anew, but still carry over the experience you gathered.
Lastly, and this is the biggest point I can possibly think of, first and formost, remember to stick to yourself. In doubt, when everyone is siding against you, listen to yourself first and the others later. Whatever you are making (assuming you don't just play second fiddle), it is yours to make, so you and only you know what you're going for. If that involves doing every little thing you're being told by a nobody, sure, but if everyone is opposing you, remember who is the boss of you, you! Of course, this includes this entire topic aswell, if you think you'd be better off ignoring everything said here, then do it, that is the freedom you have, but at the same time (unless you chose your subordinaries and public image well), it will be your responsibility to assure that the product is up to your standarts too, so in the end, it's a two-sided blade.

That's all I can think of right now, maybe I'll edit it when I think of more points to mention, maybe not, who can say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, MrLevRocks said:

but I think it'd be contraproductive to make them give up before they have even tried

That's not at all what I'm saying. I'm very specifically referring to when you have a 13 year old insisting they're going to make an AAA game by themselves. In that case, they should hold off on doing that specific idea at this specific point in time. Focusing on something effectively impossible for you to do is a waste of time when you could easily be spending that time actually learning game design with a simpler project. I'm talking trying to make Sonic Colors when you don't even know how to make Pong.

My point is that nobody ever gets to start with their dream project, but everyone wants to. The people who are truly passionate about making games will keep going when they figure this out, so I personally think you're doing them a favor in suggesting a more realistic approach. Like I said, put the dream on the backburner, focus on the basics so that you can eventually pursue your passion project with the necessary skill. I definitely don't think you should shout someone down for not knowing what they don't have the experience to know.

And, of course, as you gain experience in a field you'll come up with much better ideas than the ones you started out with. By time you make your passion project, it will have changed, perhaps to something else entirely. And it'll be something far better than what you came up with at the beginning.

 

Edited by Kyoko Soryu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now