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- Russia, Moscow
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Level 10 Blank Slate
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It looks like I've started to spend a lot of time in the "underjudgement" games, trying all that stuff which all of you sent last month. It looks like a lot of crap was made on this planet. If internet like Earth had an ozone layer and your bad animations like carbonoxid (CO2) was killing that layer, than internet right now should have been in great danger. But this is not true, and internet continue to live, what I cannot tell about my head. The migrens and headackes start in my head after a month of my blam and protection work. I've become more agressive, lost appetite, can't differ smells around me. Yesterday I said to my topology teacher that his lectures should be blamed and left the class. I started fear the darkness. Now I watch morning children cartoons (some Sesam Street-alike morning program) about talking creatures just to calm my self for rest of the day. My psychiatrist says that I should start doing more sport and stop playing computer games. Smart, heh. So I'm looking forward to send someone the medicine bills that I payed last month.
What the problem? You should make your cartoons better. Try not to rush and do some real work, to make everything frame better before sending anything to NewGrounds. To help you I wrote down some useful tips:
First of all before sending the cartoon you should take your passport and see the birth date. Now count in mind how old are you now. If you are less than 16 than probably you should NOT SEND ANYTHING to newgrounds. Also I think that you shouldn't use internet, go and do your homework - it is really more important than flash games.
Do not ever send the game before you gave it to test another 5-6 players (also with the movies). If No one did like it, than your movie/game will be blamed. Try not to take some shit from your home to other people apartments. There is no way that all your self-made games will be good. And there is no way that if you like the game everyone else will like it too.
Next problem is "school projects". I know physics and I know math, but still no way I'll understand what all that moving dots all around the screen are. Have mercy! I sleep for 6 hours, mostly all other time I watch movies. Noone in whole internet will understand your flash-project without good presentation, good documentation and maybe some video of you telling about it. Math and physics are amazing, but only if you can tell it so everyone will understand.
Also there is another problem, big one about "my first flash project". I could also now them as "a birthday card for my father", "I hate my school friend Mat", "Some love letter for my GF Charry ^_^, I love you, many kisse", "please don't blame my movie", etc. You know what? It is very good that you learning flash at school, or you can read books about flash and making games and videos like in guides. But as I can see mostly all except one or two first movies aren't playable. The reason is simple. While you try to make first movie or game you don't think about: plot, sounds, game extras (achievments, more weapons, bonuses, secrets), graphics, original idea, controls. When God was creating animals, his first creations were ugly unsymmetric monsters. But he destroyed them, because he believed that world should be beautiful or at least some kind of interesting. I really aperciate that you make flash animations, but please try to show it to people when you started to get something prettier or interesting. So lets talk about most common mistakes:
- First of all you was programming animation for 8 hours and didn't spend 5 minutes to write documentation. It's awful. Write something about the game in flash-submissions. Write why you make it, who helped you, what new you found out about flash, main details about game plot and game controls (if you don't have "help" menu in game)
- Really, write somewhere about game conrols. Even if they are just arrors mention it somewhere.
- Make a play button or start button for your game. Sometime I don't even know am i playing or not. Game may have interesting idea, but no graphics and control documentation. So I sit and watch on the screen with some black squares and red triangles. Are we on? What is happening? Should I start or did your game crush into polygons?
- If you do not draw, can't make a cool character it still doesn't mean that your game should have shapes like you was painting in painbrush. Rounds should be more roundy, squares like squares. If game look like it was paint in 5 minutes in painbrush than I just vote "0" and don't watch further. Someone thinks that stick-men are good solution for graphic problem. Don't believe them. I've seen so many unsymmetrical stick-men that were drawn with thick lines. I still have nightmares with them. Work more on your shapes, lines and colors in the game - use photoshop, corel draw and watch other people works to learn about style in witch you make pictures.
- More about graphics. It sounds strange but good background is also important. Often some building or trees in the back make animation more interesting and realistic. When my eyes are tired of main characters I watch what is happening behind and near them. Make dynamic backgrounds, maybe some secrets or interesting details (Star wars poster, rick-roll sign, broken TV, Sega or Nintendo consol, dead body, car crash, mostly anything).
- Now more about controls. Characters should move like snails. If i press go or jump it is very annoying to wait when the hero will land somewhere. Movements should be smooth and controls sensetive. Look for it, for some optional settings. I can see that some good graphic games with good plot have this problem. The game won't be rated high if you should press three times "up" just to make one jump.
- Do not make your game speed to fast or to slow. Can't give good recomendation about it, but if you are making arcades try to watch similar projects and measure characters speed. How fast does Mario run, pacman, ship in "Asteroids" and etc.
- Now one of the hardest thing for begginers and one of the main stick-man animation mistakes. The animation should be SMOTH! If your character walks he should do it continiously. Work on movement animations, specialy for main heroes animation.
- About music and sounds. When you shoot there should be a sound. When something blows up it should be with sound blast. And try to fin good music for your game. I've seen one game with creapy animation and plot, but there was nice old swing music theme in background - it was nice. Don't forget to add buttons in your game that turns ON and OFF music and sound FX. Sometime I see that button and press to turn off the music, but than I press it to turn music ON and it doesn't work! What a shame! Buttons should work in opposite direction too from OFF to ON. In internet there are some sites that have all this music and sound samples for free. You can use them:
- About what happening in the game. Your game should be infinite. Like in tetris everything go faster after some time - so you always die. So make difficulty levels in your game and make them changing in time. Add scores so players can compare their progress. Also if you have some kind of shooting games try to make some missions. When player lose the game or win it ALWAYS make "game over" or "congratulations you won" screens. Players like when at the end of the game they granted some pictures or animations in appreciation for all time they lost on beating the game.
- It looks like mostly everyone make dull games that look pretty the same. Make your game more individual. Spend more time on making game secrets, secret characters, bonus levels, interesting enemies, new weapons, upgrades, achievments. Look for the NewGrounds game "Update". It's an "asteroid' kind of game with a lot of upgrades. Most of the time people don't like the gameplay but are interesting in buying and trying new weapons.
- Game weapons should be different. Really I've seen games where only their picture on screen changes. Weapons should become more powerful with different radius of shooting and splash damages.
- About some games that shouldn't be on the NewGrounds ever. Oh, yes, baby! What do you know about button games, games when you need to move a cursor to the button exit, games when you need to move your cursor through the labyrint without touching the walls. DON'T EVER DO THEM! EVER! NO REALLY! If somene says that he likes them - they lie. Yes, there are some exceptions, but I'm pretty sure that your game not in it. This games wins because of nice graphics, good puzzles and new interesting ideas that make that kind of games individual - but I can't remember when last time I've seen good game of this kind (more than 6 month ago). So don't even try to make this games.
- And don't put half-made games in blam and protection. Please, do find yourself a group of beta-testers than you'll be able to have more individual aproach to your work from many people from your alpha version of game to full release.
Now I think I've listed most of begginers mistakes. I will try to add more, but for now when you make your game just go through this list and answer questions:
- What did I make in my game to avoid this mistakes?
- What did I make new in my game?
- What can be interesting for people in my game?
- Can I make my game more interesting for people?
- Do You like your game?
The moral of this post is simple: Many people make games, but only units spend much time on their projects to make everything in their game work perfectly. I don't always look for some kin of SUPER-NEW-FUNNY-MODERN game, but I do search for game that works and look pretty even if it is mario clon or "button game".
Good luck in your works. Be good boys and girls. Now you can go and eat your pie.
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