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Some Advice For Newbies (Read 25220 times)

Started by kmvegas, July 26, 2013, 05:00:28 pm
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Some Advice For Newbies
#1  July 26, 2013, 05:00:28 pm
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Hey, I just wanted to share a little bit of advice for those of you who are about to embark on your first M.U.G.E.N. projects and are about to start "the ultimate Street Fighter" or other "best (insert game title here) ever".  I've been around the hobbyist game development scene for over a decade and had my share of projects that start out small and soon spiral out of control with ambition before I've ever really learned what I'm doing.  I've seen it with myself and many others and it's a shame so many of these projects never happen after being announced to the masses.  You may have already announced your project and been met with the "believe it when I see it crowd".  They aren't just trying to be negative or crush your dream project.  They've been around and seen people and projects come and go.

If you want to be successful and get the most out of M.U.G.E.N. or Game Maker or whatever your tool of choice is, you have to learn to start small.  There's a learning curve and it's highly unlikely you'll develop the best project in the world while you're still reading tutorials.  I'm no expert, but as a casual M.U.G.E.N. user myself, here's some things I've learned so far.

  • Start by customizing a copy of M.U.G.E.N. on your computer that you have no intent of sharing.  It's just your sandbox to play in and tweak and that's what M.U.G.E.N. is really about.  Don't worry about impressing anyone, just go wild and have fun.  Download characters you want to add, don't worry about making them.
  • Eventually, you won't be able to resist getting under the hood and getting your hands dirty with making your first character or at least customizing one you downloaded.  TUTORIALS are your friend, and they are out there.  I started learning with a video series on YouTube.  Expect some frustration but don't let it discourage you.  This is the part where you find out if you have the time and patience to bring your own creations to light.
  • Ok... there's no stopping you.  You've learned all you can stand and you think "well the only way I can learn anymore is to try that dream project".  That's kinda where I am and it's a difficult place.  On one hand you think you're ready, on the other hand you find yourself needing to ask several questions a day in the forum, not that there's anything wrong with that.  So here's how I've chosen to deal with it.  I wanna do my own Mortal Kombat.  But the last thing I wanna do at this point is get on the forum and announce my hundred fighter roster with every fatality ever and such and such.  I've chosen to take it one character at a time and from the people that have been around here and know allot more than I do, that seems to be the way to go in this little hobby.  I figure I'll start by putting together a basic Johnny Cage and I expect to spend allot of time tweaking and perfecting him.
  • Last but not least, don't think you need to push yourself to say any character, stage, project, etc. is a hundred percent done - ever.  As the Street Fighter II series showed us, there's always room to further advance, tweak and balance.  I don't mean you need to make a Champion Edition, then a Turbo, then a Super, and a Hyper, and all that.  I mean what's going on under the hood.  Work toward that 1.0 version that's ready for prime time but embrace the idea of 1.1 and 1.2 and 2.0 and so forth.

I'm sure these things have been said before but it never hurts to hear it again from someone who's seen a few things.  How I've learned things isn't iron clad, it's just been my own path.  Veterans and others, please feel free to add your own advice to help the new guys get started without burying themselves into oblivion with that dream project they're gonna debut a week after they discover M.U.G.E.N.  Thanks for reading!
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#2  July 26, 2013, 06:02:36 pm
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I support this! I did more or less the same.

This should be stickied, there's so much truth in that post!
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#3  July 26, 2013, 10:04:36 pm
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Oooh, now this I like, very much.  Sticky please, if there isn't any other advice topics.
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#4  July 26, 2013, 10:29:47 pm
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I suppose I could say to start out small, start out with a small project you want to do, like a stage, character, small edits, and such. Get to understand the coding of the thing you want to work on better. Editing is a good way to start with understanding the basic coding of the different kinds of projects you can have in Mugen.
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#5  July 26, 2013, 10:33:34 pm
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Not only that but the sandbox part is very important, the more you edit and make, the more familiar you become with MUGEN's syntax, triggers and controllers. It's a good idea to do self challenges as well from time to time, as in, "Can I make this feature work for MUGEN?" or "How close can I replicate this attack from this F.Game I like?" And thus the more obstacles you encounter, the more chances that you'll find a way around are.

Also never hesistating to ask for help is another good idea. There's always something you can learn from help, like a new trick and stuff, being curious is a great thing when it comes to MUGEN.
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#6  July 27, 2013, 01:47:30 pm
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Good tips. Specially about the game stuff. We've had very few true full games created in this community. Well less than 50. My experience was with a game where the sprites had been ripped for me, and a limited roster of 11 characters where i did everything myself, it took 18 months. Nothing else, just that game, when and as i had enthusiasm for it. It might be your "dream" when you come up with it, but about 6 months in it's "oh god why did i start this"

Results are good if you stick with it though. The important thing is to try and put yourself into the work, if you just shit something out because "first" (worst reason to make something) or because you've got a template that lets you do so the character is not as good as something someone has worked on for ages and really cared about. That sort of thing honestly shows up.


In M.U.G.E.N there is no magic button

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#7  July 27, 2013, 03:26:52 pm
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    • kmvegas@jabber.org
Thanks everyone for the positive feedback on this!  Though it's in no way a comprehensive "getting started guide", I thought I'd toss it out here while having my morning coffee lol I remember discovering Game Maker when I was about 20 and after learning how to animate a sprite in a few hours, me and a buddy (who knew less of game development than I did) decided we'd make our own version of Double Dragon.  To this day, "Double Dragon GM", as we called it, still doesn't exist.  Took me years to realize what I was doing wrong.  I'd like to save allot of people from similar disappointment (and loss of credibility - I once announced a project with videos and a blog and everything, only to abruptly pull everything down when I realized I was over my head).

As Cyanide said, results can be good but require a level of dedication that many people don't realize.  I think more often than not, someone stumbles across M.U.G.E.N. and their eyes light up immediately, thinking sweet Jesus in the cornfield, I gotta crash course a tutorial so I can make "Super Hyper Street Fighter 2 Turbo X Champion Edition" but first I gotta introduce myself and announce it!  Sometimes I get the feeling when reading such things that the post itself is a brainstorming notepad and those wild ideas don't exist on paper or a text file anywhere else.  You have to take the time to learn to use the tools and accept the path of trial and error you're embarking on to bring your own ideas to reality.  It's entirely possible to realize your dreams if you start with the right mentality, a willingness to learn and be taught, and allot of patience.
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#8  July 27, 2013, 04:48:09 pm
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Glad to see you giving good advice. I still do a bit of studying from all the feedback on new releases, help me guides from Mugen Development and pretty much anything else i can find useful. So far i learned coding isn't so bad just time consuming.... and spriting I'd enjoy making those *i need a paint program with masking Paintshop Pro does not have this function -.-* Only problem is I have plans for originals so I gotta make them from scratch rather than a base *editing other sprites*. Once all my studying is done and i have the right Paint program I'll finally get started. Seen lots of tutorials so far but coding is waaay to complex to get into it as a beginner but i've done a little experimenting with it. That's how i got Order Sol by Akutagawa to work for Mugen 1.0 along with some other characters.
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Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#9  December 20, 2013, 02:58:07 pm
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I suppose 1 more sticky in this particular board wouldn't hurt.
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#10  June 23, 2014, 05:30:58 am
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Glad i read this.. Can't wait to get my hands dirty...... Kappa
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#11  July 06, 2014, 03:41:36 am
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I have a 12 team fighter I'm starting out with. How small should I go with the roster?? 6,8 or should I just do a beta game and just have 4teams??
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#12  October 07, 2014, 08:50:57 pm
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I know this topic is a year old, or more, but i cant keep my self from posting here. Not 30 minutes ago I posted some info about myself in the Introduction part of this forum. Only about 10-20 minutes after I registered to join the forum. In my intro I mentioned that I began an SF project back in 2009 and I have plans to return to it. It feels like, although this post is a year old, everything kmvegas said was exactly what I just did. Just thought I'd share that. :-)
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Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#13  February 03, 2016, 03:37:10 am
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this post hit me right in the feels...
Re: Some Advice For Newbies
#14  March 02, 2016, 09:00:45 pm
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Really helpful man!



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