Game Development - from Noob to Guru

Dear all

this thread does not want to be taken serious.
But it want you to think about yourself and your expectations.

All numbers are wild guesses :evilgrin:.

What are Game Development “Skills”
It is as simple as it sounds: Game Development Skills is the knowledge to create a game with the tools provided.

Skill level - Skill class :wink:
00% Noob
05% Beginner
30% Intermediate
60% Advanced
75% Experienced
85% Expert
90% Guru

You see there is no 100% skill class. That is to leave space to the top. But feel free to tell everybody you have the 100%.

The typical game developer is starting with no clue, quickly increasing the first few skills and finally discovering the hidden secrets of game developing.
BTW. I’m writing game developing, not programming or modelling ;).

How to increase the skills?

  • Develop games
  • Contribute to games
  • Follow tutorials
  • Read Books about game development
  • ask more or less intelligent questions + read the answers
  • practice practice practice

Now the interesting part.
The “Skills - Project-Size” - Ratio


What does that mean.
The blue graph shows the skills of the developer as shown above.
The red graph shows the size of the project as the developer has planned it.
The green graph shows the size of projects he can handle with his skills.

  • According to our forum, 90% of the Noobs plan a game project that is simply HUGE. So we define HUGE as 100%. They start their project and discover a MMORPG + Next generation Graphics + BBQ on the GPU is a little bit to much as first project.

  • Suddenly they turn into Beginners. The project size drops down to something more realistic, but according to their skills still to much.

  • After failing a few projects they give up or turn into Intermediate. The projects size drops a bit more. The reason is simple … an Intermediate want to proof he is able create a game.
    Welcome to the club of game creators :cool:.
    At BlenderArtists.org a game creator should have at least one thread in the Finished Games forum. If not look at the projects of our heros!

  • Our heroes created a game and turned into Advanced. The next game project should be a bit more ambitious. Unfortunately the bit is a bit to much again. But the experience of that turns an Advanced to an Experienced.

  • The skills of the Experienced increased but the planned projects too. Luckily it is always possible to put slowed projects on hold and grap a new one. Team projects are quite promising at this time, as an experienced would not look lame anymore compared to others. A game developer should discovered his specialization as well.

  • Anyway the skills to judge your own abilities increases and the following project are much easier to complete. Now you are an Expert.

  • To discover the last level of skills you need time and practice and someone who calls you a “Guru”. A Guru has his own highly sophisticated, but he is clever enough not to tell everybody. While he is working on that he spreads his wisdom in this or that project always checking that it does not eat to much of his rare spare time. A Guru is pretty good in judging how long a project will take and if it has the potential to result in a finished Game.

(BTW. I’m not a guru :no:)

Why are there so less experts and gurus?
It takes a looooong time to come to this level. A lot of game developers give up at a certain level (mostly blaming the tools). Other change their live and loose interest in game creation. And some become Experts and Gurus but move to other communities.

The “Skills-Documentation” - Ratio



That are interesting charts. When looking at it keep an eye on the other one.
The project sizes increased with the skill level. Even we think we have a huge brain we can’t keep a full sized project in head (not if you need to remember what your girlfriend wishes for her birthday). Therefore it is recommended to write down your ideas = documentation.

For mysterious reasons nobody want to do that. I do not want to explain it because of the posts max character limit. It is 1000 Characters not 1000 pages. But to give this universe of reasons not to document anything a name … it is called lazyness. And I’m the emperor of it :evilgrin:.

Back to the chart.
Blue graph = skills again
red graph = the amount of documentation created relative to the
green graph the amount of documentation needed.

Green has a direct relationship to the project size. Finally even a Pong game should have a document that tells the user, what he should do, can do, who created it and how much it costs. Yes writing a user’s manual is part of the game development process.

Lets look at the graphs.

  • The Noob wants everything and wants to do nothing, not even writing down what he wants. Where is the “make my game”-button?

  • The Beginner starts with a small project and keeps everything in his head (on that size it seems to be fine) unfortunately a beginner can only distribute one copy of his game. Even a game developer has only one head to be bundled in the box. Luckily the project fails because the beginner forgot what he wanted to achieve. Typical case of missing documentation. Yes, writing down the requirements is part of the game development process. I do not talk about hardware requirement. Roasting chickens on the GPU should not be a requirement (for whatever reasons gamers it is).

  • The Intermediate finished the game with or without documentation. (Keep in mind the project size is small). Now he recognized users are crying for manuals, screenshot and videos. While sitting there and writing the manual the intermediate recognized it is nearly the same what he wrote an a napkin at the beginning of the project.

  • = Notice for the next project -> keep your design document.

  • The Advanced does exactly that, he writes an electronic version of the design document. Unfortunately he changes his mind in the middle of the project which invalidates all written documents. (No time for updates). Finally he has to write the user’s manual from scratch. That is not so bad as the Advanced discovered some design flaws that he needs to correct (which invalidates the new documents either).

  • The Experienced is clever he just digs through his chest of unfinished ideas and can present a design document within … half a day (depends if he can find the one from two years ago). If not it takes him one day to write a new one. The projects have a size that makes it impossible to change the design in the middle of the development. That keeps the Experienced head straight forward using the design document as his bible.

  • The Expert takes it easy he requests the design document from other developers. Then he changes it to fit his opinion. Luckily the Expert knows what documents are needed and what they should contain. Finally he writes a lot of documents to communicate with other team members or that he does not forget to replace all the cubes with real models.

  • The Guru writes Tutorials and Books not documentation. He might review the documentation of Experienced+. That is all you can get from a guru. A guru has to maintain his appearance of mysticism. Documents would destroy that.

  • BTW. A guru adds the Users manual to the game ;).

I hope you enjoyed reading this. Today I’m a bit ill. That’s why I have some silly? thoughts today.

If you have some comments post it here

Monster

That is sooo cool!
I really like your presentations!
Knowing where one stands, compared to a logical reasoning such as yours can help one re-evaluate one’s goals!
In my case, it’s a bit hard to place in the graphs.
When I started using Blender, 3 years ago, my project was big! Now it’s bigger! I made hundreds of tests and tried various things, all this helped me learn a lot. So I might say I got to the advanced level… Now, I’m too stubborn to give up on my “impossible” project, so I try many different ways to make it work, after it failed to comply!
Did I learn my lesson?.. naaah!

Very interesting, and I agree with your findings in the charts, though I’d say the skill line in the first chart would be closer to the project line, and sometimes below - it is often wise to tackle slightly more than you can handle, and rise to the challenge, at least in parts.

Great post Monster, I think I am advanced,I tend to change game projects(I did this two times) now I think I won’t do that again, I hope so.
I have my Game,Idea, and I will go till end.
About blaming the tools, when I talk about Blender GE, yes there is to blame a lot but while is free-open source…
I stopped making two games because of the performance and not enough features.
Tho,now I work on two games and both of them are going great, but a big problem relates to GE performance and not everybody will be able to play the game because of that.
I like good graphics and that eats frames, all my games/maps/project etc features good graphics,and I won’t be able to leave that( good graphics), I would rather change the engine then making ugly games.
As I said there is to blame the tools, many things are missing and it’s harder for the dev to make a game.

Anyway, great Post Monster, I hope I can
finish a decent game featuring nice gameplay and good graphics on BGE.

Great thread, interesting read. :slight_smile:
I rate myself as ‘Beginner to Intermediate’ as I haven’t released any proper games yet but I feel I know how to make a small game. As of writing this I could release Grid, but I may never release it, I want my first ‘Finished Game’ to be fun and look better than ‘Beginner’ level. Great thread Monster, where exactly do you rate yourself?

I guess I would fall under the intermediate category. XD This post inspired me to actually make a simple game.

sooo true what you said about the noob :yes:

back when i was a noob (I am now in the foggy-grey zone between begginer and intermediate :cool:) i thought up this incredible large project which was…well…huge.

thankfully i realized and now im simply working on a “step-by-step” project, which is helping me learn more and more about the bge

The graphs are a perfect reflection of game development reality (in my opinion).

For those too lazy to read the whole post: Just take a few seconds to look at the graphs.

Please.

And watch this trailer:

A trailer for “Indie Game”, which is basically a documentary about indie game development.

Note the part where they refer to development time, and use the word years - for 2D games.

… Good luck with your MMORPG!

@Monster

Thanks for saying this. I just hope people listen.

… Now, what are the chances of that? :wink:

Yep, indeed a very interesting read! But this can be altered to a lot different situations in life! The more you learn, the more you see what you can’t do yet! And for many noobs a lot things just seem to be very easy ^^

I would say that I am somewhere between Intermediate and Advanced… At least I hope so xD

Hi, as someone that only found blender and the idea of making games 4 - 5 weeks ago, i can only relate to the noob - beginner part of your graphs, and i must say they are spot on. I was guilty of thinking “I can make the default cube bigger and smaller, lets write am mmo”, well as you may have guessed my plans have changed. According to your first graph I am now a beginner working on a much smaller game, that i am confident of finishing and am learning loads from.

The section on documentation had me crying with laughter, you are right again, the limits of my current documentation is a “ToDo” list, and that fact alone has caused more wasted evenings than anything else. Although i look on no evening wasted if i learn something.

This post is great, informative, funny and a glimpse of the good and bad time to come ahead.

And watch this trailer:

Interesting post Goran, that movie looks interesting.

I rate myself as Experienced. Luckily I published two finished game .

Oh, really? I never knew that >_< I always thought you were just a great teacher/helper to the community, I’ll be sure to check out your games. :wink:

Do not take it to serious. It is not necessary to publish a game. But if you do you realize that game development does not stop with that. It forces you to think about presentation (marketing), clean-up, support! etc. .
And
I think it is better to publish some “weak” games rather than to fail the presentation of the game of your dreams .
Assuming you’re replying to me, it makes me want to release Grid, and now I probably will! Thanks for the advice, and that thread link :slight_smile:

BTW I see me as an intermediate publisher .

That’s fine, but from now on you’re not Monster, you’re Modest. :wink:

Too true. I agree with all of it, even if you tell me not to take it seriously.

Monster, you are not “experienced,” not by a long shot. If anyone on this forum can claim to be either expert or guru, it it most certianly you.

I must say though that I am in a similar situation as torkusama, where I haven’t really had any successful games taken to completion yet (except tech demos), but somehow or other the game that I started a good 2 years ago (and worked on/off on) is still running, and progressing nicely.
I would consider myself an intermediate game creator (so long as you don’t throw character animation at me, then I am a noob)

Very insightful post monster.

I must be around: 30%, Intermediate. ^^

Hi

Good post.

By the way
For some odd reason, the ‘Finished Games’ forum will suddenly get a many many hits.

Also the ‘Your Guru’ by first time posters will bloat the BGE forums all over… Just out of blue!

Whats going on, folks?! It’s a miracle!

Yeah,everybody has it’s own weakness,my weakness it’s music, and a bit scripting.
Anyway, it is not a problem,I already have a very good scripter in team (agoose77),and a really talented composer (YouTube username CVAL09).

Good luck all!

This is a very interesting way of showing this subject to the users. I wish I had that idea when I first wrote a sticky on blender brazil forum about that subject.

From my own experience, I’m probably 60% - 70% with logic blocks and about 10% (i.e. inexperienced but not a noob) with Python.

Although my aim is to make a racing game, my main way of learning Blender has always been to break down each problem into one demo blend and make multiple approaches to see how it can be done. Its been slow, but I have learned so much.