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Give me tips you wanted to know when you first started using Stencyl

aleksanrt1516

  • Posts: 6
As you can see I am a beginner and i would like to hear some tips from more experienced Stencyl developers.. I want to know how were you feeling at start, did you have any troubles  or something like that.  And i want to ask you  is it possible to return invested money within a year (assuming that i bought pro version + certificates for publishing games to Android and iOs which all together would be 325$)

Thank you in advance!

VoidShard

  • Posts: 81
Here's one:
Nothing easy was ever done without hardship.

And another:
Peace by pieces.

And another:
Giving up doesn't mean deleting all your work, it means waiting a few hours.

More cryptic advice:
Simpler games are easier to make.


TheIndieStation

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  • Posts: 2170
As you can see I am a beginner and i would like to hear some tips from more experienced Stencyl developers.. I want to know how were you feeling at start, did you have any troubles  or something like that.  And i want to ask you  is it possible to return invested money within a year (assuming that i bought pro version + certificates for publishing games to Android and iOs which all together would be 325$)

Thank you in advance!

Yes, it can be viable if done right.

Here are my tips:

1. DON'T spend money on licenses yet!
- I will get some angry eyes on my now haha, but it will probably take you at least half a year before you have a game worth publishing if you expect to make money of it. So save it untill you are confident enough to start make that counter tick.

2. Start simple!
- Everyone says this, so it must be true right? But in al seriousness, if you start to big, you get frustrated, and you will loose interest.

3. Don't be afraid to re-invent the wheel, but don't try to sell it.
- Start by trying to break down and duplicate existing game mechanics, but expect a huge backslash when you try to publish your game as "check out my new game!". Instead use something like "Please have a look at my first/second/third game!" and don't feel ashamed to tell people you are still learning by recreating and modifing existing game mechanics.

4. ALWAYS make back-ups!
- I actually make a new back-up every single day. Go to file > export and save each back-up with a prefix like "game b001", and put them all in a folder in a safe spot. I also make a back-up of that folder each month just to be sure I will never loose a lot of work.

5. Don't be affraid to take a step back.
- If you started something that turns out to be more complex then you thought, take a step back. Evaluate what you didnt understand, and try something else that still uses that one part you didnt understant, without having to worry about the big picture.

KramerGames

  • Posts: 399
I think with that attitude you are going to get far, I wish I had been that smart when I started :-)


In reference to Indiestation's points:

1. I agree. Play around with it and publish some games on flashgame sites to gain some experience and feedback.

2. I was told that as well but didn't listen. Probably cost me hundreds of hours. I would guess that everyone does things inefficiently in the beginning, so it's best to make a small game, learn the lesson, make the next game etc...

3. While most comments on flashgamesites were totally useless, I also got some valuable feedback. This forum is also good to get some quality feedback.
Parasites United  (Idle Parasite Game)

JeffreyDriver

  • Posts: 1040
I agree with what's been said so far.

1. I've been using Stencyl for a year and feel that I'm almost ready to purchase a license and start publishing. If you buy a license too soon you may feel compelled to push out games which aren't actually very good.

2. Again, as IndieStation said, start small, but continue to push yourself to try and do more difficult things.

3. Your first game will likely be pretty bad (At least my first attempts were!) Don't let this dishearten you though, and ignore any haters. I'm just preparing you because if you upload your games to Kongregate expect mostly useless feedback, and for some idiot to tell you to go die in a fire. People on Newgrounds are much more friendly, and provide better feedback.

4. Don't worry about the graphics. Focus on creating something that works well and is fun to play.  You can replace the graphics later on if you need to.

5. Post questions in this forum! It's good for getting answers to problems, and for getting feedback on your games.

6. Try to focus on one project at a time. This is something I'm really bad at. I get ideas all the time and start tinkering.

7. Progress might seem slow, but you'll get quicker once you get used to Stencyl.

8. Attributes are the things that let you do the really cool stuff, and they're nowhere near as complex as they first seem.

9. If you're really stuck on something, walking away and coming back to it half an hour later can help.

aleksanrt1516

  • Posts: 6
Thank you so much guys, this means a lot to me!

merrak

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  • Posts: 1455
4. ALWAYS make back-ups!
- I actually make a new back-up every single day. Go to file > export and save each back-up with a prefix like "game b001", and put them all in a folder in a safe spot. I also make a back-up of that folder each month just to be sure I will never loose a lot of work.

Definitely--On more than one occasion I was glad I did this. I'd also suggest having an offsite backup (I use both Google Drive and a USB thumb drive)

There's some skill in managing a large project, which is another reason to stick to smaller ones. That said, I tend to prefer bouncing between larger projects. After some time you'll figure out how you prefer to work and what is most effective for you.

One thing that helped me--keep good notes. This includes documenting your code (use the comment blocks). I also keep a folder in my bookmarks for sites people leave that have useful information for research.

Bhoopalan

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  • Posts: 973
Is it possible to return invested money within a year (assuming that i bought pro version + certificates for publishing games to Android and iOs which all together would be 325$)

That question is like => 2x+3y+5z = 20. Find x. Can you do that? You'll need y and z value to find x value isn't it?

In short, You can make return on investment within a year (x). But that's completely based on the time you spend (y) and how hard or smart you push it (z).

If you're around for quite sometime you would know how many Stencyl games are being featured by Apple. Now I won't say making all those games are easy. But Stencyl definitely gives you a kickstart in designing many such games. I've been hurt quite a many times after seeing some Apple featured games "Why didn't I think of that? I'm capable of designing this mechanism but I didn't do it".
If I helped you at anytime, help me back build my twitter followers :)
https://twitter.com/imbhoopalan

Bhoopalan

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  • Posts: 973
One more pretty damn useful advice I believe: Don't be too skeptic that people are going to steal your game idea and avoid asking your doubts about your 'unique' game idea. It is always your game and no one would steal it until they see a successful end product.
If I helped you at anytime, help me back build my twitter followers :)
https://twitter.com/imbhoopalan

Bombini

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  • Posts: 776
Welcome!
Very good stuff has been mentioned already
Some more thoughts:
  • Be patient - it will take time
  • Make sure you are progressing through your projects fast enough to satisfy you - start with behaviours from others and maybe rebuild them your way later when you understand them
  • Understand what you are capable of and what not

Have fun!

twotimingpete

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  • Posts: 1665
Use tutorials. When I first started I found it kind of confusing because I was stubbornly trying to learn by reverse engineering existing behaviors. That's dumb. It opened up quickly once I started following tutorials.

fillergames

  • Posts: 666
One thing I do is to speak to yourself about what the code is suppose to do, and why each event has purpose in the code. Also add comments in the code to help you remember.

After that, find any ways to optimize it, and then keep editing on/finding new optimizations so your game can run better

aleksanrt1516

  • Posts: 6
This means so much to me, thank you! Tell me where did you publish your first game and what was the feedback like? Is it ok to publish your games on sites like Kongergate and Newgrounds even if you know they aren't good but you need some feedback?

JeffreyDriver

  • Posts: 1040
I published stuff to Kongregate but it's hard to get useful feedback there. As I said in my previous post, New grounds is much better for feedback. There's also gamejolt.

You can upload games to these forums too. I find I get very useful feedback here and people here expect to see prototypes and unfinished stuff.

Bhoopalan

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  • Posts: 973
Pick a journal when you start a game or half way through it. There are extremely helpful people here than any other forum like Kongregate or Newgrounds. Because here we all have something in common: Stencyl.
If I helped you at anytime, help me back build my twitter followers :)
https://twitter.com/imbhoopalan