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 Why I am a crazy man... 
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Post Why I am a crazy man... • Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:17 am
I've kept it a secret to no one that I want to make videogames; as a whole, all I want out of my life is to make others happy. Entertainment is the only business I can see myself in, and of the forms of entertainment available, videogames are the one that I most understand. Like no other thing, when I look at a videogame, I can pick apart exactly what makes it good (or at least what I like about it) and how well the parts of the game work together, in other words, I can look at a videogame and see what makes things tick; I would go so far as to call myself a hacker of videogames. Not one to oversell myself though, I'll admit that this skill isn't too unique, nor am I even the best, but it's what I have and I must work with it. Oh, and the work to be done...
Taking apart videogames is not my only talent; I am a fairly decent storyteller. I'd entertained the idea of writing books for a living, and throughout that time I never considered myself an author, merely a storyteller that uses books to get his story out. When it became too hard to ignore that I didn't have what it takes for being an author, the storyteller title still held true.
A good story can add immeasurable value to a game, and so I aim to use my skills of storytelling and videogame-hacking together. Therein lies my problem, one that cannot be avoided. The way that I make stories includes a tremendous amount of detail, and this is just the way I work; it would be more counter-productive of me to think some other way. This is obviously a very time consuming, tiresome, and erratic way of thinking, one reason why I find it hard to work on other aspects of game making. Another is that even if I were to learn all the necessary skills for programming (the most glaring area of design that I cannot fulfill), that's just not where my skills lie; I am naturally inclined to make stories in my head, but I have to force myself to work with code and I cannot expect to achieve my best by doing something that I'm not naturally inclined to do.
I have seen games (and not just games, comics are another medium which comes to mind quickly) where the storyteller was obviously someone whose skills lied elsewhere, and I recall how unimpressed I was at the story, though the game or art might be excellent. Looking still at comics, they don't always work as well in other forms of entertainment (namely movies); so many movies are made based on comics that are terrible, even though they're big names in the comics industry, and yet we have movies like The Avengers that are still based on comics, but the writing is excellent and that's what makes it good (this can also be seen within the comics themselves as plenty of series have multiple authors that work on individual arcs that can vary in quality depending on the writer). You'll also have comics where story is perhaps even more important than the art such as Watchmen and The Sandman, and those are hailed as classics rivaling books, a supposedly better form of storytelling.
But for all my self-righteous talk about how valuable the storyteller is, it's nothing on its own (The Sandman in particular I could not imagine being only a book, the art helps it so much that to take it away could not possibly give the same kind of experience as when it's present), and I too am just completely unable to make a videogame with my skills alone.
And so, I have absolutely no idea what to do next, and hardly anymore of an idea as to what I'm even doing right now. I need someone else's help, but don't know how to ask for it (and simultaneously feel awkward doing so), who to ask for it, and hardly even what to ask. I don't feel that I should expect anyone else's help, it's not like I can pay people (not that I can pay myself), so it's also asking a rather huge favor. I also don't have a job or income, so I don't see how this could possibly get my full attention if I want to survive, especially since I consider videogames to be just as important as food and shelter, a trait that would be a bit more justifiable were I to actually be making my living off them. On top of that... a million other things on my mind that escape me at 7:00 a.m.
I have said this all in public, so obviously I would appreciate replies (though please don't feel the need if you've nothing to say, and if it's short, I'll be in the chatbox again in about eight hours) though I know that these have all been statements. Like I said, I don't even know what to ask.

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Zora Guard
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Post Re: Why I am a crazy man... • Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:28 am
I think I might have some good news for you.

While I can't say what other companies QA department is like, at BioWare, we have a section of QA called "Gameplay" where testers work closely with the very people who designed the weapons, and characters of ME3 and test for "what makes this character fun" versus "does this actually work and perform as per expectations". While the latter is a part of their work, the main focus is what makes this weapon fun or if it isn't, what can we fix on it to make it enjoyable. If something isn't as enjoyable as it should be, the designers will actually do the changes you might recommend on said item to make it better and all in all, would give the players "out in the wild" a reason to pick that character or weapon. While I can't say much, I can say that this had to happen for something that I was working on.

I'm not sure if working as QA is your angle and I realized this might not have to do with the story of the game, but since you seem to promote yourself as someone who can pick apart what is enjoyable, that might be a good position for you. No coding needed.

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Post Re: Why I am a crazy man... • Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:48 pm
While that would be a wonderful job, it's a bit out of my reach at the moment, if only because I can't even afford to move to where the job is at. I suppose I might not have made this clear, I was speaking of independent development, making my own game, one that I would be working on in my own time even if I was a QA tester (the same as if I had any other job), and I would still have all the problems I listed above (except the one about not having a job). QA testing would be a fantastic job for making money, but it's not really a realistic option for me right now.

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Post Re: Why I am a crazy man... • Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:33 pm
Why don't you just make your own game? There are a lot of tools available here:
http://www.pixelprospector.com/the-big- ... ing-tools/

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Post Re: Why I am a crazy man... • Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:15 pm
theonlypie314 wrote:
Why don't you just make your own game?

That was very much my intention, I thought that I'd outright stated as much.
I didn't see a single engine on that list that did not require programming knowledge, the closest was one with a custom, easier to learn language that I will look into, but I'm not sure how well that'll work out. I think the most I could accomplish on my own would be merely a demonstration.

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Post Re: Why I am a crazy man... • Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:40 am
Here is what I'm picking apart so far and it might be wrong but:
- you want to make your own game but..
- have no interest in programming

so it basically sounds like you want to be a producer or writer, someone who drives the vision of the game and have others bring it to fruition through programming and art?

If that is the case... try this tool:
http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/

There's a platformer and action version of this as well (with a cost mind you) but when you buy it, you get all characters, art, and a demo to see how it all comes together. You could also use sprites, tiles, or music from other games if you wanted to. There's also a tool online that you can easily make your own custom sprites:

http://charas-project.net/charas2/index.php or
http://www.famitsu.com/freegame/tool/chibi/index2.html
http://www.famitsu.com/freegame/tool/chibi/index1.html

There's several tutorials online you can read as well. I played around with RPG maker and thought it was pretty easy to build your own town, easily put in text for NPCs, or make a cave to go into.

While it may be a lot of work or you can get to the point of having a demo, its better to have a demo at least so you can have it in your portfolio if you ever want to apply at a game company

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Post Re: Why I am a crazy man... • Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:41 pm
Learn how to program. If you want to create games this is paramount.

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