285: The Game That Ate the Earth

The Game That Ate the Earth

It was supposed to be a simple little indie game, but Phenomenon 32 grew and grew until it collapsed in on itself, nearly taking its creator with it.

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EDIT: forget I said anything

Nocta-Aeterna:
Wow, this sounds vaguely similar to an idea I had recently, though I never got to work on it.
I do hope you'll eventually get it done, I'd love to play it.

Obviously you didn't finish reading the article. He did finish it.

Great article. Great insight for aspiring developers. Lots of heart put into this article.

Jonas Kyratzes:
The Game That Ate the Earth

It was supposed to be a simple little indie game, but Phenomenon 32 grew and grew until it collapsed in on itself, nearly taking its creator with it.

Read Full Article

I notice I got very tired just hearing about all those issues you had in development... I sort of want to try the game though...l but I am afraid of the bug monsters!

Hell of a story. Downloading it now to check out. I can deal with bugs for a good story. =) Good luck on future projects.

VZLANemesis:

Nocta-Aeterna:
Wow, this sounds vaguely similar to an idea I had recently, though I never got to work on it.
I do hope you'll eventually get it done, I'd love to play it.

Obviously you didn't finish reading the article. He did finish it.

Great article. Great insight for aspiring developers. Lots of heart put into this article.

ok, ok.. get it more stable then

I have a head of ideas that I want to try, but ideas are cheap so I am teaching myself C++ and SDL, and coding my first 'practise' game.

Its scary how much I see myself in this story...

Coding a game that looks decent, plays decent but is meh ? Yep!

Swearing at the computer because the program seems to be going mad ? Yep!

...

I am still at it, released it as a Alpha to a gaming community I play a lot of games and got barely any feedback, 2 comments and about 20 views since the alpha went up.

I want to stop working on this game and work on another idea, but I dont want to just drop the first game... its a bad habit ot leave games undone, and coming back to years old code is a nightmare or so I imagine.

Putting in hours, days and weeks into a project and getting barely a squeak of feedback is very disheartening, if you consider game developing remember that and just get over it... also never make your best game first, makes no difference how good your game is if no one knows about it ( in my humble opinion of course ).

ASnogarD:
I want to stop working on this game and work on another idea, but I don't want to just drop the first game...

As a programmer, one thing you absolutely have to realize is that sometimes things don't work out, and the best course of action is to scrap everything and try something different. It's painful to lose the hours/days/weeks of work that went into it, but you frequently end up better off.

Jonas Kyratzes, if you ever do an autobiography, let me know. I want to read it.

Probably could have replied on TIGS, but whatever. I hear ya man. The only difference between you and me over the last year? I (painfully) scrapped my projects, even after they were kinda working. I'm not interested in having my name on a piece of work that doesn't say what I intend. But the bigger they get, the harder they are to tame. Maybe increpare has the right approach to indie game design. :P

Sadly, I can't get farther than three paragraphs into the "background" description on the game's website without losing my suspension of disbelief. The description of the "Reality bomb" sounds like fanfiction; the description of a war-happy US government sounds like your typical liberal horror fantasy (Is the US taking the place of the Third Reich in your alternate-reality?); and a moon colony having been established by 1950 is exceptionally atemporal, especially since the "Reality bomb" is obviously designed to coincide with the Manahttan Project.

On a meta-level, I agree that it's quite hard to see flaws in your game when you're still working on it. I have a theory: whenever you're working on a game and nearing release, you need to stop working on it for a few months, then look at what you have and see, from a more objective standpoint, what needs changing.

This story is beautiful, beautiful.

Game design surely is the hardest art form. It has all the bad parts of creating something in all the other art forms, and what's worse, it tricks you into thinking it can have all the good parts as well.

This story convinced me of one major thing; I had to download this and play it for myself.

I'm only a few hours in, and holy crap. I can see why this project swallowed your life whole. It's flipping huge! I've only managed to find ONE comm tower so far, and I spend more time getting my ass kicked than anything. But the setting is amazing, the dialogue interesting, and there's a real sense of accomplishment each time I manage to garner JUST enough resources to earn that new bit of R&D I've been lusting after. The controls are a little gummy, but nothing too major.

Honestly, for what it's worth, you've got one new fan right here, based on this alone. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try that comm tower again. Maybe now that I have these boosters I can actually finish it...

Wow.

If "Construct" ever gets its bugs fixed, would you go back to looking at this?

Memory leaks were the first things I was told be wary of. I wonder how it slipped.

Reminds me of a line from the movie Elizabethtown (yes I saw it, don't judge me!):

There's a diffrence between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is merely the absence of success. Any fool can achieve failure. But a fiasco, a fiasco is a disaster of epic propotions. A fiasco is a folk tale told to other's to make other people feel more alive because it didn't happen to them.

Basically saying that if you fail spectacularly, it means you put a lot of effort into it at least. You tried. To simply fail means you just plodded along and then it didn't work out. So here's to you mate, anyone who has crafted something knows that kind of failure. I once wrote a 600 page novel that turned out to be utter garbage at the end, but it was a failure I learned invaluable lessons from.

By the way, Elizabethtown is actually pretty bad, so I wouldn't go watching it just because that one line is good. Fair warning.

Dude, it's a step forward. Be happy with that, at least. Anything else is just something to learn from.

Fascinating. hell of an article

Jonas Kyratzes:
On some days it felt like a religious experience, on others like the worst torture imaginable.

This sentence so thoroughly encapsulates game development it should be put on a plaque above the entrance to all game studios. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

This has value, it has value because you experienced it and because you shared it. If you had never finished the game, if not one person had ever played it. It would still have been worthwhile because you described the process honestly and concisely, which is perhaps more important than anything else.

Which is ironic considering how much I hate being forced to show my workings.

Thank you, thank you for going where few are brave enough to tread and for reporting back as man and not a half dead wreck. By your grace we all go forth a little better prepared and perhaps, we will stride just a little bit further on our journeys to create.

 

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