The Woes of Being an Amateur Game Developer: Part 1, The Idea - Destructoid

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I'm Sam, I'm 15 and live in England. I'm a PC gamer who plays mostly indie games but anything goes. Favourites include Binding of Isaac, the bit trip saga and Over the Hedge for gamecube. I like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and most films, even Indiana Jones 4 (fanboys don't kill me)
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Oh hello, I didnít see you there, welcome, take a seat, warm yourself by the fire for a while and talk of battles past. Welcome to a new and (hopefully) long series of blogs documenting my first ever venture into the world of game development. Iím not expecting much to come out of this but hopefully it will be entertaining enough and maybe a good game will rise from the ashes at the end.

Yep, thatís a phoenix

Lets start off with a bit of background info about me (stay with me here, there wonít be much). Iíve been a gamer most of my life, against my parentís will who think it is a total waste of time. I started with Nintendo and the GBA, moving on to the DS, followed by the Wii and then eventually PC via Steam. Realizing that my PC wasnít powerful enough to play much other than Portal I moved over to indie games and with indie games I stayed. They give off a promising aura, one that made me think that even I could make a game, finally I would prove to my parents that gaming wasnít a waste of time, that I could achieve something. I had decided, I will make a game.

For the record, I'm not chinese

I started out on my humble quest slowly, brainstorming ideas for games on paper: some simple; some more complex; and some fairly good. I had some pretty solid ideas down, I developed a few a bit further, but one came out on top and this is the game I am currently making. The game is called Dungeons and Deadlines. It is an exploration based game set in a modern day high school. There is a catch though, everything is fantasy. The students are hobbits, dwarves and elves; lessons include blacksmithing, magic and rune scribing; dragons power the furnace; and trolls are the dinner-ladies. It could best be described as a cross between Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter and Bully.

Imagine this, but with dwarves!

My goal for the game is to encourage exploration and secret finding. The environments will hopefully be totally interactive with many secrets hidden withing. The secrets in question will be collectible cards for an in-game card game. It will be able to be played with students in the game co-op or competitively and hopefully it will also be able to be played in real life. A meta game where in-game play gives you a bonus in real life. If this all sounds a bit random and unsure thatís because it is. I havenít refined any of these ideas yet.

Iíve already started on some art and general planning for the game, which I will be making in Flash, but the programming is holding me back from making any concrete progress. I knew that this would be an issue but hopefully I will get better as I go on. I would love to hear you thoughts on the game so far and the next part doing more of a detailed overview of what I have planned will be coming, maybe even with some art. Stay tuned.
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Living the dream since March 16, 2006

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