So, imagine a guy who's only ever wanted to make games. You might know one, heck, you might know two. They might even be brothers. They might even have a few different skillsets that could be used to develop a game. Now imagine that they're trying to find their niche. What kind of game to make? How do they go about this? Do they start with drawings, or with verbal ideas?
Sure, it may sound easy enough, but is it really that easy? From personal experience, no. It most definitely is not that easy. And I'll tell you why in a story. Kind of a journal I suppose.
It started when I got out of the US Army. Late night talks with a sixteen year old brother. Keep in mind I was 20/21 right around this time. Always ideas, as I smoked (curses US Army) my brother and I would delve into what we wanted out of a game. It was always the same, Space Opera, Bridge Commander, Wing Commander, Freelancer and Starflight were the words and ideas that came to mind. Planetary landings, large universe, dynamic economy, interesting architecture on planets, for stations. Technology technology technology. We didn't have it. Didn't have the time or the patience. I had only done some minor NURBS modelling when I was in highschool about 3-4 years earlier, and my brother had only really done small programs for doing his homework. Girlfriends came and went, he graduated, we played a lot of airsoft somewhere in there, got annoyed at living with our parents (yes, we lived with our parents until 2008) and finally struck out on our own.
My brother maintained his job as a CPHT for awhile, and it wasn't until the XNA Creator's Club came about that we really started striving for a goal. Sure, we'd spent time messing around, coding this or that, playing with free modelling programs. But we never really had a surefire direction to go. We messed with making our space opera for XBox Live! Community Games... it would be far too large and Microsoft would never go for it as an XBox Live! Arcade title. Now, this was a few months ago. The code for that engine has since been lost, because as young and sometimes complacent people we just didn't care if we needed it, my brother would rewrite it, I would remodel it, whatever. But now there is a direction.
The direction, not so much in story but in style. The story can just be an excuse for the game (Demigod comes to mind). We decided which direction to go, but unaware of the complete undertaking, we forge onwards. Modeling, coding, textures, animation, shaders, whatever. We have a semi-decent play mechanic, none of the underlying AI has been written so enemies stand perfectly still, the world is dead. It is a heightmap and nothing more. An editor must be created for world creation, and worlds must be populated with unique and interesting characters. Believe it or not, we've decided to do an RPG, and it is this RPG that we have codenamed "Shaped" that will be hopefully our entry into the world of gaming. If things go appropriately perhaps we'll have it on XBox Live! Community Games and in our wildest dreams it would be available on Impulse. We're very slowly creeping up on the end of our second week of development and things are shaping up nice. (no excuses for puns!)
Hopefully we'll be beyond pre-alpha with fighting enemies and everything before you know it. I'm really excited about this, and I'll apologize now if you read this thinking I'd give out details, or if you read it at all, I'm kind of long-winded. If you're also thinking about developing games, take a look at XNA, and Blender (http://www.blender.org) as it's been kind of difficult, but now things are moving ever forward.