Now, this is a hard topic for myself to talk about, but I think it’s best for myself and other aspiring game developers.
Frofist is a mobile 2D brawler, where you play as an african american kung-fu fighter, killing humanoid pigs. Inspiration was heavily taken from a movie genre in the past called blacksploitation.
Now if that isn’t starting to set off some “racism alarms” in your head, there were plans to make it even more obvious.
- What went well?
The art. I’m not saying it just because I worked on the art side of the game (designing UI/UX and leading the rest of the art crew), but I think our team made some fantastic work when it comes to the looks of the game. Sure, there were some inexperienced people working on it, but it helped to have a couple of experts in there, too.
I enjoyed my time working on the project, since there were very few instances of people having different minds about something. The art side of things were going smoothly, and whenever a question came up, a little bit of talking set us straight back on tracks!
- What didn’t go so well?
Here’s where the sad part is. We had new people working on the project, yes, but we also had a lot of experienced people on every task, in coding, art, design and production.
That being said, as the game was a school project, we were set some limitations of which game engines we were allowed to use. Unity and Unreal were banned.
We were also given an option between two game engines, one that has been released publicly (not going to tell the name, it was a horrible engine according to other people working on their own projects!), and one that was being developed by our school’s engineering students. We chose the engine made by the people at our school.
Problems began right off the bat, when our game development had started. The engine was clearly too early in its development. It wasn’t proven to be working by creating even the simplest game on it, not even Pong!
Everything went wrong with the coding side of things, and our coders worked extra hard and long hours to solve seemingly impossible issues, leaving them frustrated and burned out very early on.
At the end, we tried to salvage the project by porting it to Unity (the other version was left as some sort of a demonstration that the engine works), but it was too late at that point. Time was over, our coders were burned out, and our designer was left without work as he couldn’t test out anything!
- What could’ve been done better?
Honestly, in this situation, I’m not even sure what could’ve been done better, other than just begun development on another, proven engine. It does give me some insight to the problems with modern game development; new engines are really difficult to make, especially today as we are pushing the limits of graphical power and optimization. I cannot even imagine the trouble AAA studios have to go through, when they’re trying to create new engines for their games.
- What’s for the future?
For me, I’ve begun working with a new team, and some of our team’s most aspiring members have gotten jobs from local game companies. It was a fun project, and I will always keep it in my memories as a great learning experience, rather than aiming for money and fame. I wish the best for the rest of the team and their future projects! And you, who wants to become a game developer: work smart, not hard. Burnout can happen faster than you think.