It Took 4 Years to Make a Game in 10 Days

Anthony Salter has become disheartened when he sees what some game developers are able to create in 10 days for the TIGSource Demake Competition. When you see HouseGlobe, the demake of the award-winning space RTS Homeworld, in action, you’ll be in awe. 10 days?!

If you read the comments, though, you’ll see the secret.

We made House Globe in 10 days, yes, but this is what we had before we started:
– A DirectX/OpenGL engine with Lua scripting and sound/music support
– TCP/IP hand-shaking between instances of the said engine
– Tools for creating/loading textures to the game

What I mean is, like the previous posters said, if you have the tools you can really pick up pace. So please consider that it took us 4 years to make all these tools.

Most of the work over the 10 days was just creating art and sound and play-testing. The tech was already there, and the game was written on top of that tech fairly easily. Contrast the work of Oxeye Game Studio with how my Ludum Dare entries went (see my post-mortems for LD#11 and LD#12), and you’ll spot the difference right away. I’m still learning how to manipulate technology to do things that resemble a game, and OGS has already done that work over the last few years!

I think this example ties into the idea of the overnight success taking years of hard work, and it shows that I definitely need to stop letting things get in the way of my part-time game development if I hope to ever make other people look at my work and drop their jaws the way I did when I saw HouseGlobe.

[tags] demake, indie, game development, business [/tags]

2 comments to It Took 4 Years to Make a Game in 10 Days

  • The analogy I use is that some have the paints, brush, and canvas ready to use while others are still out looking for the plant to extract the pigment to make the paint.

    The paradox is the people that use those tools most effectively are the ones that have experience with the pigment extraction process as well. I see some of these engines and tools as a boon to getting people’s ideas realized. But it’s only be possible recently with the computing horsepower that’s commonly available.

  • This is exactly why you’ve seen more games made in Flash over the last few years… and if you check out communities like Game Maker you’ll find an abundance of games, as well.

    Hell, Mockingbird (http://playmockingbird.com) has only been around since April and as of today there are 1,171 games.

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