Hi my name is Paul and I'm part of the new wave in indie games. Hope you guys aren't tired of them since it took me so many years to get here.

I started my project as a way to learn coding and it took over my life. It is a space sim that merged genres with real time strategy. It can be easily described as Battlezone in space, or flying the ships in Homeworld or like Dungeon Keeper but with space ships.

For the past 4 years the project has been my life and for the past 3 months Kickstarter has been my life, either preparing it or running it (this past month).

Ask me about creating games, recruiting artists, self promoting projects among the sea of other great titles, the Kickstarter process and whatever else you feel like.



Latest game trailer:


Kickstarter recap page:


Steam Greenlight Page:


Proof: Kickstarter update: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1718477862/void-destroyer/posts/525496

EDIT: Going to shut off PC for the night - if you guys have more questions/etc post em and I'll respond tomorrow - good night and thanks :)

EDIT: woke up and answered a few more questions

Comments: 126 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

Molehole6 karma

I just finished High school and I'm going to IT to study programming. I've already watched some youtube videos about Java but I am still a complete beginner. Any suggestions to efficient programming learning. What kind of projects should I start with. I'm totally not going to make a full sized game as a first project am I.

I'm also going to army for 6 months next week. Any tips how could I use that time to learn some programming?

VoidDestroyer10 karma

Keep in mind what works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

What didn't work for me was learning by myself via books. What kind of worked for me was learning in classes, but it didn't turn out great either.

What did work for me is having a goal that motivated me to the point of not giving up. The game project was that goal, I became obsessed by it and so stuck with it. Learning through books and schools has very big gaps (IMHO) they don't teach you how to create large projects that have to be maintained for years (which is what games tend to be). Book examples tend too basic to understand more complex ideas (like pointers). For example adding two numbers together.

I haven't been to the army so I can't comment on how you can learn coding while in it, sorry. But programming is basically problem solving, and a great way of solving problems is to - understand them, maybe during the army drills you can try to come up with unique game ideas and how you would simplify them as commands to the game via code. Programming is a skill like any other and while you are developing your body and skills in the army through practice and dedication - understand - that this is the same way to learn programming (through practice and dedication).

Good luck my friend!

Reliant2 karma

Void Destroyer early backer and a fellow programmer too.

That's pretty close to how I learned programming as well. Books and classes were never really for me. Studying and memorizing neither. I learned through figuring it out myself. I'd take an existing program, and modify it piece by piece and kind of reverse engineer how the programming language worked (with the help of Google telling me what the functions do).

My question for you, how do you keep from burning out?

VoidDestroyer8 karma

That's how I got started with Ogre 3D I'd modify the tutorials and see what happened.

Well I think the truth is that burning out is something that happens and it either stops you or doesn't. I remind myself that there have been many people through history that did very ambitious things and that they too struggled, but because they didn't give up we know their names now or are living with something that they created.

I also use the thought that people often call game programmers geniuses or some fancy titles - but I struggle all the time, and I've learned that this is ok, and just part of the process. I'm not a genius, I'm not naturally talented, what I am is motivated, a dreamer and obsessed. I'm ok with not being a genius and I'm ok with struggling.

At this point in the project it would be terrifying to give up (so much time spent... its become my identity), that's another thing that keeps me going. I've created a blog and refer to it and read about past struggles and that motivates me. Hey I did that cool thing... and I remember fighting with it for a week, so this new thing isn't so bad.

It also gets easier with more and more tools and now having Kickstarter backers like you (thanks!)- its incredible to be able to afford artists and not have to pay them token wages.

Another aspect of preventing burn out - knowing when to stop - taking a break, taking a walk, watching Netflix, talking with my wife (who is busy working on a Master's Degree), washing dishes - this helps with the physical (back pain) aspect of burnout.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Thought I'd split up my answers:

What kind of projects should I start with - for me what worked was the project of my dreams. This is often said to be not a great way to do things, people tend to say start small and work your way up. For me this wouldn't have worked, I would have quit trying to learn how to make Tetris and Pong. The deal is that games and programming (and learning anything new) is difficult - so whether you are learning Tetris or a 3D space sim - you'll face some similar barriers. Obviously the 3D game is more difficult - but there's more motivation if that's what your dream is. Its what worked for me - again what not work for you.

Molehole1 karma

Thanks :) I've always wanted to start with something big but programmers usually call it a huge no no. I'll see what I can do.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Again there's many different ways and even truths - the key whatever you chose is not giving up - and motivation is what helps in this aspect :)

jciecka3 karma

1) What language did you start learning in? 2) What did you code/use to create the game? 3) Given a chance to do it all again, would you? 4) 1-10 (best), how successful would you say this game has been?

VoidDestroyer4 karma

  1. When I was 7 used Basic to cheat on my math homework (using it as a calculator) and then copied code form programming magazines. In High School I took some Basic classes and tried learning C++. In College I took C++ (didn't turn out so great) and then later on Visual Basic (which worked out pretty good). Then started back in C++ for the game project.

  2. I used Microsoft Visual Studio - and what really helped me out is Ogre 3D which is a free and open source rendering engine. Because I really wanted to make a game and I'm not great at math and wasn't great at coding back then, using the rendering engine (an engine is just a bunch of code that is re-usable) let me very quickly get into coding game play elements, which is what I loved doing and which kept me motivated while I learned how rendering works.

  3. Yes I would, its like this - if you had a chance to pursue your dreams would you pursue them? That's basically your question. This is an incredible opportunity, and this is na incredible time. With the internet we have limitless information - we can literally ask someone for information and people tend to love giving it (eg: myself and you now). I've spent a lot of money on the project and I've spent a lot more time, I've been coding it till my back tells me to stop and my eyes feel itchy and dry. Its worth it, creating things is incredibly fulfilling.

  4. The game hasn't been commercially released, and the Kickstarter funds will go towards artists. There is a lot of competition and a lot of great projects don't make it. So I think I would say I'm at a 6. I have a chance that's better than average :)

KevinBlowsGoats2 karma

What price do you plan to release Void Destroyer at?

What are you plans for Void Destroyer post release? Expansions? Small DLC?

As a small developer, how important to do you think it is to get your game on Steam?

VoidDestroyer2 karma

Price: I don't know. I want it to be affordable and I want as many players as I can get. As a nobody/indie I'm fighting for attention and not money. I want my ideas to shape space sims, so pricing will reflect that to grab as many impulse buyers as I can - then poison their thinking into what a space sim should be like (what my game is).

Plans: I love coding, so I want it all. I want to add in more sandbox elements. I want to add in FPS elements and even some mech combat. Its pretty nuts when you think about it - but keep in mind "coding" doesn't cost me anything and I enjoy it. Without coding the game I wouldn't have much to do :)

It is one of the most important aspects unless you go viral (eg: Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft). My project hasn't gone viral so it is one of the most important aspects. Like I said I can code "for free" but I can't create art myself, and my time is limited by my day job, by being a husband, home owner etc etc. Getting on Steam - could possibly lead to doing this full time.

Void Destroyer doesn't have many viral like elements - there isn't crafting or creating things to show off to your buds and have them show off to their buds etc.

geekcream2 karma

I want what makes me want Star Citizen. Ship internals. Vessels that can hold 2 or more individuals that can do repairs or boost systems.

Thats what I want.

Throw me some trek.

VoidDestroyer2 karma

Yeah - so the truth is I can't compete against that - so I won't. My project is more about war, more about combat, with lesser detailed ships (in terms of polygons, interiors and systems) I can create bigger battles - simply due to performance reasons, and because when a ship you are remotely piloting dies the game isn't over you jump to another ship. So my battles can be bigger and more deadly.

Because SC is focused around the one ship at a time idea and my project is - whatever you want man. I can give that experience of switching ships when you feel like it when the situation calls for it. Plus you can command them like a RTS, so I'm going for an evolution in terms of features and merging gameplay elements (so going with my strength of risk taking and coding). SC is going for an evolution in terms of visuals and details.

geekcream1 karma

Still loving it man. Keep up the good work.

VoidDestroyer2 karma

thanks! This right here is part of what keeps me going. I'd still keep going mind you, but I'd smile less.

Algirdyz2 karma

Hi, I am also working on a game alone, but I am only a programmer (studying c++ in a University, among other things). My current plan is to do some work with the game until I have something to show with placeholder models. And start promoting it just like you. Then fund it either myself or through kickstarter. I have a few question.

  1. Did you hire freelancing artists or did someone join you as a team during the development. Either way, aproximately how much did that cost you, if you can give the information that is.

  2. Is it possible to promote the game without it looking good. Meaning that there is gameplay to show but the models and everything are really shitty.

  3. How many hours a day did you work for these past 4 years?

Thanks, and good luck.

VoidDestroyer4 karma


  1. I hired freelancers - and most of them non pros - which is what I was able to afford, and even then I paid token fees. I never added up the costs, I'm a bit afraid too. Maybe when its over. Getting help is extremely difficult, most lose their will, hiring non-pros is cheaper, but pros - need the money - so they will produce, provided you can pay. Hiring non-pros is almost always a spinning your wheels in mud situation in my opinion. But often there is no choice. Non-pros do it sort of for fun, and the fun disappears when the work tends to start. It takes a very special person to dedicate themselves to someone elses project (eg: mine) for little pay. At the same time I always felt I needed to pay since I had the goal of going commercial. I found one very dedicated artist, and a terrible thing happened (he had a sudden heart attack), a friend of his luckily took up the helm and we've been struggling ever since.

  2. Yes its possible - but lets be honest its extremely difficult. There are so many great projects out there, some better and a lot worse. You have to claw your way through both, yes you are competing against the a lot worse as well since they add to the noise and the overall perception of indie games. You can promote but - self promotion is hard - you have to be popular before you are popular, its a catch 22 in a lot of cases. Some projects go viral and then its all over, but most don't. If you want to stack the deck - have a awesome, funny, catchy trailer - if your graphics are ugly - make them simpler - until they aren't ugly anymore - so go textureless, or use blocks, or what not.

  3. Besides a full time job - I'd estimate 2-3 hours a night on weekdays and 8 hours per weekend. Its going to increase now that I have the added motivation of not disappointing Kickstarter backers.

Algirdyz2 karma

Thanks for answering. Just another quick question. Where did you look for those artists. Can you recommend any websites?

VoidDestroyer3 karma

No problem. Here's some leads:

http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedevclassifieds << right here :)

http://www.deviantart.com/ << big gathering of artists most these guys will do contracts

Long ago gamedev.net had a free recruitment section that now has a pay per add.

Artists tended to find me as well fairly often.

Modding forums and game forums tend to have fans/modders/artists that I'd message, this might be your best bet. Find one that's doing it for fun and suggest co-operation.

The internet is full of artists pros and aspiring. Still its hard for programmer and artist to find each other - in terms of a good fit.

Good luck.

I_mod_Borderlands22 karma

I wan't to be in the game business as well, but where does one begin?

VoidDestroyer3 karma

Art side? Coding side? Design side? Music side?

Where to begin: start making something, follow it through, take a serious but honest approach and see where it leads.

I_mod_Borderlands21 karma

:) thanks for the quick reply, i will probably start with coding. sorry if i sound like a total noob, or inexperienced at creating games, because that is exactly what i am. The only type of game i have ever made was a 2d flash game, haha. I hope you do well with your games. I gave your game a positive on steam greenlight so hopefully we will see it soon.

VoidDestroyer5 karma

Don't forget - the original game makers - Pong, Tetris, even Mario - started at much less than you are starting now. You have the internet, people to ask for advice (eg: me :) ) you have game engines, documentations.

I made a little tank game in high school on my graphing calculator :) Your flash game is probably more complex than my start :) We all start at the beginning, no one is born a game dev, remember that, when you struggle remember that I struggle too, even now.

Thanks for Steam boost :)

I_mod_Borderlands21 karma

thanks :) when you put it that way i do feel privileged to be in a time where the internet gives me a readily available source for contacts and information. I have had an idea for a game for a while now, do you have any recommendations on software or coding i should learn to use?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

I'd have to hear the idea to make that kind of a recommendation.

I_mod_Borderlands21 karma

not much to go on really, i haven't put much thought into it, but i was thinking something like a 3D game about a guy and his dog. as i said not much to go on. sort of like the game "dogs life". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog's_Life

VoidDestroyer1 karma

If you do it right then people get attached to the dog and its an interesting game experience. I can't offer too much advice since its pretty vague, check out game engines (eg: Unity) and go from there. If you hit up against a wall, try something else.

centipeed2 karma

I've always thought that the biggest factor when it comes to "fun" in a space sim (As well as in a racing game) is how the ship (car) controls.

Is the movement for your game's space ships modelled after the movement from another game? If not, how did you go about figuring out how they should control?

VoidDestroyer2 karma

You are exactly right (in my opinion)- this is what I the "joy of flight" - in space there is no drag, there is drift. If a ship fires its left thruster it should continue moving towards "left"

Now if the player had to compensate for this manually - it might be fun - but not so much in combat with other ships. Don't get me wrong it could be made fun, but not in an action packed game that I wanted to create. So like many space sims (eg: Independence War 1 and 2) I've added a feature that compensates for the player (keeps the ship moving foreword or stops it) that can be turned off to allow for full manual control.

So it is fairly influenced by Independence War - which features Newtonian physics. That game's flight engine was a bit less forgiving than my project's, my ships tend to compensate a bit quicker for more dogfights (especially in smaller ships).

As for figuring out how they should control - it was trial and error on my part based on "what feels good". Since my project allows the player to control many different types of ships (eg: small fighters to large cruisers) there is a variety for the player to chose. In addition the game is moldable so the player could alter the flight characteristics of ships or create mods of ships that aren't effected by drift.

Having drift - means a more "in space experience" and I think more space sims should aim for this.

Nothus1 karma

Hey, I just noticed this thread now, hopefully you still notice this and perhaps can give me some input :)

I'm just finishing my Graphic Design university course in a few months and I'll be trying to break it into the Game industry, although I do have a few ideas and a fellow partner quite enthusiastic (also finishing a Graphic Design Course) to help, I still don't have the funding to be able to support the game making progress or pay for programmers and sound artists, although I already have the writing section and the graphic section completly covered.

So I will either try to join in on a paid job on another gaming company (if I'm able, even without any experience), or I will try getting into a job in Graphic Design.

Now for the question: do you think its too hard getting a programmer and musician to help produce the game without paying them? I mean, promising a share of the sales instead. Because as I said, I don't have way to basicaly "stay alive", so I wouldnt even be able to pay other game devs/programmers/sound designers.

Thanks a lot in advance! :) and best of luck on your game

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Thanks! - here's what I've come across (your experiences will vary).

Free work is worth what you pay for it. So imagine this - you need something from someone else. That person has options. What do you have to sway them? Do you have leverage/incentive? eg: money? That's one problem. Now of course there are generous people that will work for free - but chances are that they won't work for free for enough time that you'll need them. So a very best case scenario you'll end up with some code, not enough for a game, which is almost useless. Now lets say that the game gets finished like this - how do you divide the profit in this situation? Did you have an agreement? Do you have a bunch of dead weight? You see there's complications and money solves that, it transfers ownership and rights, it is an incentive, people that do it at a professional level will do things in a timely manner because they depend on the money - this is why it works and is better to find pros and pay them. Now you can't afford this - and in my situation something similar happened - which is why I did the kickstarter.

To make a professional game, you tend to need pros (same principle of as going to war - you need soldiers). Pros do this for a living, they need money to live.

This is what happened with me and art, I paid very little, I got some initial interest and then it dropped off and I was left with not enough assets and in conflicting styles. So basically I was 1 step forward - 2 steps back.

Good luck my friend, don't forget this doesn't mean you shouldn't try. There are many programmers looking for a talented artist and vice versa.

Metalmonkey421 karma

Hello, I get the idea from videos that VoidDestroyer will be a battlezone 2 type game, set in space and all shiny. Am i wrong in this?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Yeah - except I don't think that Battlezone allowed you to remotely pilot other tanks/units? Correct me if I'm wrong its been too long since BZ. Plus this project has a 3D map like Homeworld for commanding your ships.

So I didn't set out to re-create BZ or Homeworld or some other space sim - but I have taken elements from them and tired to give players something unique - aspects that I wanted :)

Metalmonkey421 karma

No your right BZ didnt let you remotely pilot units, that would be Ender's game maybe :) thanks for the reply

VoidDestroyer1 karma

BZ did let you command them while in the tank while VD does it via the 3D map - some people that control like in BZ (not having to switch to tactical). Its something I'm considering post release.

Either way BZ was revolutionary since it combined genres and took that risk, and apparently it didn't play out financially - though we are still talking about it now.

Andere1 karma

What science fiction movies, games and books were your biggest inspiration here?

I kickstarted your game, by the way. I hope it goes well!

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Thanks! You name it and it has inspired me. But to be less vague - I'd say the strongest on the movie/tv side would be Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5. The battles, and flight dynamics and weapons. Battlestar Galacitca has a similar "sound in space" type of feel, where sounds are very muffled (also Dead Space in vacuum sequences).

I really love all sci-fi - Star Trek, Star Wars (even the pre-quells heh - awesome space battles at the very least). Farscape had some very unique designs and ideas :)

As a kid I played X-Wing/Tie-Fighter and loved Wing Commander. Independence Wars and the X series are more recent examples. Homeworld on the RTS side and Battlezone as well. Star Craft and other RTS games have a influence. Essentially every game I came across - even Dark Souls (most recent) which shows an incredible amount of thought and craftsmanship are inspirations - even though its not a space sim. It has a very nice feel to combat, and I strive towards that idea - that there is a feel to a game, and it should feel good/satisfying.

Andere1 karma

In games like Freelancer, which you've likely played, I always wanted to play the large ships... to pilot something like a carrier or a battleship. I like that your game opens up to that range of ships.

VoidDestroyer2 karma

This is exactly why I added it - because I wanted it :) And with this - you can fly the little guy or the big guy. Its up to the player and up to the situation.

That's the awesome thing about game design and being an indie - you want it you add it :) In terms of coding I can easily do it, too bad I'm not great at art. I envy guys who are good at both.

Vawx1 karma

Was making games something you've always wanted to do? Or, was it something that you stumbled upon?

Also, what are your favorite sort of games to play and/or make?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Yes and yes. Yes I've always wanted to make games, I remember talking to some friends when I was 8 making up game ideas after playing Commodore 64 games. Then sketching (badly) ship designs. I did stumble upon it as well - I wanted to learn programming in anticipation of a College class and I wanted something to motivate me - so making a game and it became an obsession.

I love all types of games, but I prefer PC games versus console - although for just fun console games hit the mark. I love RTS, I love FPS, turn taking, my grew up with games from pong to the current gen, so I love em all. I've only made this game so so far this is it, but I hope to make all kinds of games - I'd love to make a very simple arena type robot fighting game one day, maybe I'll get the chance in the far future.

Metalmonkey421 karma

What time frame are you hoping to be ready for? you have a set plan or more will not let it out the bag until its 100% ready? I know its early just a ball park guess or main issues to sort out before you will have a better idea.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Time frame - within 6 months to complete the game for the "initial commercial release" - then using funds from that keep going.

While in development it would be very bad for me not to let it out of the bag - because of bug testing and play feedback. So about 2 years ago I released it to the public as a free alpha and it continued on until this point with updates.

Its great because I simply don't have the capacity for the level of play testing required, so having Beta testers is a great thing. By day 3 of the Kickstarter campaign I fixed several bugs including some crash bugs, that I'd never test for that new players immediately hit. Players are great play testers, and luckily there are very dedicated fans that are willing to do this :)

nzShockwave1 karma

To short this out. Me and a friend is planning on making an iOS/Android game. This is the first thing big we have had our minds in doing. It is a very simple puzzle game.

Question is: How should we plan out time? I planned on going over to his house, live there for a day or two and try to finish a big part in that time. Is that a bad idea? I mean his father is a pretty skilled Coder and had licsense to all the software we'll use. And we could ask him for help.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

This is something I don't have any experience with - coding as a team. I've solo coded the game engine (using third party components/engines as well). So whatever advice I'd be giving it wouldn't be from experience and just guesses. The best thing I can come up with is - try it and see what happens.

Try anything, try everything, don't avoid work, don't avoid trying, don't fear failure - failure means you tried something and learned a better approach.

Good luck with your game.

nzShockwave1 karma

We were planning on using unity

VoidDestroyer1 karma

I didn't use Unity - it wasn't a big thing back then plus I wanted full control over the source and I love coding so I wanted to do it all (read most of it - not so much rending and physics math). It doesn't mean that Unity isn't a great tool, there are a lot of awesome projects out there and the engine will only improve so it is a good choice.

It sounds like you guys are staring early which is great, I wish I started earlier, if only for my back not to hurt so much - don't forget that your body is a resource - take breaks and don't sit too much - ok enough old man advice giving.

nzShockwave1 karma

Thank you sir soo much for your advice!! Very grateful for the advice :)

VoidDestroyer1 karma

anytime - check out these two vids - I go through a bit of game development in them:




If they are a bit confusing - no worries - this is deep into the project so where you'd be starting should be simpler.

godtrousers1 karma

Well done. I hope it all goes well for you.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Thanks for the well wishes!

buhdoobadoo1 karma

How does one get into sound design for video games? I've been trying to get involved in that world but it's been incredibly difficult. Good luck with your project! It looks great!

VoidDestroyer2 karma

Thanks - I can't comment on this since I'm on the coding/dev side - but I can give you some advice in regards on how to approach coders/developers.

Sound design is incredibly important to a project and I get a lot of "hey I'm a sound guy with xyz credentials is there room for me?" type messages. And usually these guys are very talented with very cool demo music. I respond politely that my project already is set for sound/music.

I think its very tough for sound guys. In theory every project needs you guys, but not every project is going to go my route and get an original score. Not every project needs unique sound design (VD's sound design is "muffled/in space/distant" type thing. Then there's all the competition, really good competition, and some of which wants to do the work for free to add to their portfolio.

Here's some advice: look for a project with no sound, look for a trailer with no music, now dub in sound/music to that trailer and send it to the dev. I think that's your best bet - something concrete that the dev can go - oh man that trailer is so much cooler now. Which almost always trailers are much improved with music (I should know, my music less trailers, always bombed, but music ones are very awesome). This does mean a bunch of work and that's all I can offer in terms of advice. Best of luck to you.

totzov1 karma


VoidDestroyer1 karma

Thanks - the thing is that more often then not the game/project is tied to my mood. Which is (like anything) good and bad - so sometimes I'm struggling with some feature and fairly gloomy, and sometimes its 5'oclock on a Friday every second where I'm ecstatic.

Its just natural for something like this that lives along side everything you do. The most important things are the ones we worry/think the most about, sometimes complain the most about.

Either way - it gave me a huge purpose, before this I'd spend my time watching TV or playing games (don't get to do much of this anymore - ooh the irony) - now I have something to do every second of the day, and often wish I was doing it when I can't.

totzov1 karma


VoidDestroyer1 karma

I was born in Poland - Szczecin. Moved to Chicago when I was 10. Its funny because on a Polish gaming site some commenters - kind of - bashed the project's art a bit. I'm sitting here going - you are my brothers and you stab me in the heart! hehe its all good.

Game dev might not be your thing (to commit too) either way if it is or isn't there may be some other creative thing that will get its hooks into you. Its a wild ride.

jayemjee21 karma

I'm an aspiring developer who would love to break into indie games. I have some experience with coding from college and have worked on my own small projects, including completing a game for a recent Ludum Dare. I work full time, and right now my game developing is purely confined to off-time/side projects.

My current plan is to refine my skills by making a series of small, simple games, starting by using Game Maker or Unity and eventually moving on to more complicated engines and languages. I plan to release these games for free online, to give people samples of my work and to show what I can do.

My question to you is, does that sound like a good plan? If not, why? If so, what advice would you give me, especially with regards to what kinds of games to make, what sort of concepts would be good to learn, how to market/share the games I complete, and where to find help from developers with more experience than me?

And, finally, congratulations on all the progress you've made with your own game!

VoidDestroyer2 karma

Thanks - yeah your plan sounds solid. Go in with an honest approach, know your limits, play to your strengths (mine is ability to hammer at the code). Building up a following is a way to go - I was very happily surprised when a bunch of backers said that they have been following the project for years :)

My advice on what types of games to make - space sims are still niche, rts games are fairly niche too, keep this in mind. You probably don't want to make a space sim - I say this because niches are both good and bad. You can have a loyal following and less competition but making it big is much harder. Pretty obvious stuff huh? Giving advice like this is kind of hard... ok here's some more - this is purely out of me studying the game scene (including indie) as I was working on the project - following it to get some clues as to what to do:

Games that hit it big are usually games that are easily "sharable" among players. What I mean by this is - Minecraft - a player builds a shack, posts a picture of the shack, inspires another player who builds a castle. And so on. In a space sim - this isn't really probable - ooh I blew up that ship real good! Isn't easily conveyed in a single screen shot. Another example is Kerbal Space program - where a player builds rockets and can show the results/design to others. A slightly lesser example is Project Zomboid where a player can show off a screen shot of time survived or a bunch of dead zombies near a zombie hoard that kills the player. So when going for game ideas keep this in mind. Giving the player tools to build/create often has been shown to work very well, especially at the indie level.

Marketing/promoting games is extremely difficult - you are basically begging people to play your game - for free. And people are resistant, some reasons are very understandable. This is some of the walls put up - it might be a scam/virus, its buggy, it looks like crap, its not a FPS, its indie, its retro, its not popular hence I won't try it so it won't become popular, there's another game like this already (which is funny seeing how many FPS games are out there for example).

Almost everywhere there is a wall between you and people that want to hear about your game, this wall is people that hate "marketing/promotion" - I've encountered this wall a few times people accused me of being some huge company rep getting paid to promote VD, which is very funny but also sad/alarming. Don't get discouraged, you have to break through this wall to get to the people who want to hear about your game, they are out there.

jayemjee21 karma

Thank you so much for your advice! I want you to know that I'm grateful.

I suppose I do have one other worry that's hounding me: the market seems really over-saturated right now. I can't help but wonder if it will be possible to be noticed at all.

That said, I still plan to move forward: I want to create for my own sake first. It's just a nagging doubt that I can't seem to get out of the back of my mind.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

That may be my #1 doubt. I'm sorry if this sounds very scary - but even at my level that's my greatest fear as well. I started this 4 years ago and back then I was inspired by Mount and Blade - a husband (coding) and wife (art) team (in case you weren't familiar). Few months later (don't quote me on that) Minecraft blew up and the indie craze began and still rages on.

There are a to of great projects and as I said a lot of bad ones, you have to fight through both. But - dreams are called dreams for a reason - they are our reason for living, at the very least you'll (hopefully) be doing something you enjoy and that gives you a purpose, don't forget that. And don't forget that there are awesome, generous people that want to play your games.

Deviltrig1 karma

Huh. I had never actually considered the whole "easily sharable" aspect in games. It makes a great deal of sense though. That's actually a really good piece of advice I had never heard before. Definitely going to steal that to share with my friends who are also looking to get into game design, coding, etc.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

cool - glad you like that tid bit. I've been watching a lot of Kickstarters (in addition to games) - both successful and unsuccessful. The especially successful allow you to create it seems.

Killer graphics/sound/mechanics work/help too. But the sharable aspect kicks it up a notch.

tpolshighbeams1 karma

The long ship with red accents casually reminds me of the ship that space chick lived on that Tom Paris fucked in Voyager that everyone ended up getting mad about. Great looking game, I'll buy one!

VoidDestroyer2 karma

haha! Thanks! That sounds like about 50% of the Tom Paris episodes... I'm sure Ensign Kim got smacked around in that one too, poor guy.

WolfSpartan11 karma

I've never done anything remotely related to creating a game, but I want to so badly. What would be a good first step to understanding game design?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

You can model it (games/game elements) around real life - then don't forget to cheat. In game design you are a sort of a all knowing god, all the data/info/rules of physics are available to you, to create, alter, manipulate.

Game design is - when boiled down to the un-glorious - manipulating data. To get Mario to jump you give him a Y speed or 10 (so he jumps up) then a Y speed of -10 (so he falls back down).

The first step is to try - to start - anything. Imagine a feature then get started on it, start simple. For example I started with just displaying a scene on screen (a cube), this required knowledge where to position the camera, where it should face, and to create a cube on screen. Later you can move the camera (a representation of your character) then you can attach the camera to a cube, then move the cube and have the camera follow (eg: a tank or airplane). Then move other cubes around on their own - AI.

arose0201 karma

I've always dreamed of making games and YouTube videos for a living, all the fun careers, but I've just struggled to getting everything up and started, I don't have the funds for an apple developer account to start making apps, and I don't have the money for a Mac to make them on. I've tried virtual machines, and sdks for windows, but nothing has gotten me past the barebones basic progress.

Do you know of any grants, free licenses/hosting that I can get a game hosted on? I don't believe I have the cool factor like you had to get kickstarter money nor do I want to try to be honest

What gets you from learning and recreational to this is what I'm choosing to do with my living

VoidDestroyer1 karma

There are a lot of free engines for games - google it - to find specific ones you are looking for. Chances are there are free versions of the paid ones you are looking for. Some are fairly cheap (eg: I believe game maker). Some are free with certain restrictions Unity.

I don't know about grants.

I didn't have a cool factor for most of the 4 years I've spent working on it, so keep that in mind. For about 2.5 years the game looked like crap. There are still visual issues in it that I need to work on - hence the Kickstarter.

WD_Elvis1 karma

Hey! Im a computer enthusiast, i spent my highschool years teaching myself graphics design and 3d modeling, now i want to get into coding and make my own 2d scroller / 3d arcade games and move up from there! im fresh outta high school and ive been coding alot on the ARMA 2 and ARMA 3 series, but i find it extremely difficult finding ANY good resources to learn coding online. Do you know any good places to start? i have the basics and logic down for coding but the rest is just jumbled garbage blogs and whatnot showing you how to make a timer in java, not actually a game design focused coding class.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

If you can't find an online resource - then you have to learn via trial and error. Here's the thing - no one has the 100% perfect solution, and what works for one person/project might be terrible for another. Simplify the problem you are trying to solve then solve those little problems to combine them into the complex problem (eg: shooting a gun, having a character move, jumping, etc).

So basically - you have to try and you have to struggle - there is no other way sometimes, you'll get better, you'll learn. Don't forget that the first aero plane crashed and was a pile of plywood. In very few cases can a begginger not struggle - so don't be too hard on yourself. Failure is part of the learning process - so don't forget that to learn you'lll need to fail - a lot (as I did) but the little successes add up to a finished product.

Bottom line is - you'll have to figure out a lot of things by yousrelf - and that will make you a better coder/game designer.

thatoneguy1021 karma

Hey, I know I'm a little late, hopefully you can answer. First off I wanna tell you that I have a lot of respect for you and your team for putting in the time to create games, as I am a huge gaming fan. Also, I just started learning the game dev basics (mostly programming, I'm no artist) and I plan on getting into it one day. I'm 15, and was wondering what resources I could use to help me along the way and how to get started with game development. Thanks, and good luck with your game!

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Thanks - you have a great opportunity to start early :) Start by playing games, thinking about games and making games. Start small - and then expand. Picture a game, and drill it down to the simplest terms, and start there. So first displaying something on the screen, then having it move, go from there and initially copy existing games (in terms of what you can do in them), then hopefully make something unique.

You have unlimited online resources, books, etc - learn and struggle - don't worry about how long its taking or how difficult it was - everone in your position had to pass these steps. Stay motivated and focused and don't be too hard on yourself.

3LollipopZ-1Red2Blue1 karma

Hey Paul, I'm sorry that you didn't earn $1mil on kickstarter. Maybe next time :)

Your game looks awesome and I'm really looking forward to it.

By the way, you have now ruined my X3 experience :) . You said in one of your videos that it would be excellent to have a space game where if the ship you were piloting was destroyed that it wasn't the end of the game. Most space games are so unforgiving and I love your approach.

Oh, I did have a question. Can you elaborate on resources at all? (I secretly love being able to Turtle and have unlimited, but slow, resource increments). Are there any unlimited asteroids? etc.? Or is there a way you can harvest enemy ship scrap or something crazy like that?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Thanks! Yeah my goal is to ruin every other space sim for you and everyone else :)

In X3 - you get all these ships, but not a great way of piloting them, the remote control feature is a response to that. So I have a lot to thank X games and other space games, even though I'm criticising them.

Resources - yeah I'm still working on this, right now the asteroid bases have unlimited resources, asteroids break apart, but the player doesn't have a mechanic for mining asteroids yet (no mining ship for the player yet). Once that's in either I'll have a way of towing asteroids near a base, or asteroids won't break up when being mined. Ship debris - yeah that hopefully will be in (getting resources from them) - which I intend to be a part of the research system as well.

VeryGolfing1 karma

Hey Paul, as someone interested in voice acting, I'm always extending my hand to game developers in the hopes to contribute to as many projects as possible. I'm sure you're aware of the vast amount of free talented voices available, all over the Internet, that would be willing to provide dialogue in your games in return for a credit. Do you usually voice the games yourself or do you use websites to source voices?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

I don't voice them - there's a few issues that led me to this conclusion.

  1. Changing nature of the project - if dialog changes (which it will often since I'm writing it and it will be cheesy the first few times around - if I'm lucky).

  2. Added cost, sure you offer free (very generously - thank you) - but this is a commercial project, so free isn't appropriate.

  3. Added complexity - another thing to worry about besides - everything else. Its the lowest priority basically.

matthewhughes1 karma

How do you solve P vs NP?

VoidDestroyer0 karma

not sure what you mean?

sojorn1 karma


VoidDestroyer1 karma

Here's a link to the blog: http://voiddestroyer.com/blog

Pitfalls with Ogre - so far the limit with Ogre is me, not Ogre. I'm not great at math and at rendering, but that's not where my strenght is and where I tend to focus. I tend to focus on gameplay programming/elements. Anytime something visual comes up I struggle. Ogre has given me all the tools I've needed, usually when I come across a situation where I need something - I go - I wonder if Ogre has it, and usually it does. Its great. I don't have much to compare it to so I can't objectivly say if its dated or not (but! it gets updated and is still in development so I'd lean towards not outdated - though again I'm biased). Ogre will let me do it cross platform - plan is post release.

I used google to get me websites, usually Stack Exchange is one of the first hits and it helps a lot for algorithyms, file management, common and uncommon stuff.

How long it took me to get with Ogre - it took about a week of struggle - but back then I was a total noob both to C++ (setting up Microsoft Visual Studio apps was a struggle for me), rendering and game programming. Ogre makes this a lot easier with their SDK and examples/tutorials. It still wasn't easy for me, but that was mostly my fault.

Unity versus Ogre/C++ - that is a tough question. Unity lets you skip a lot of steps. Ogre lets you skip some of those steps. With Unity I might have been here 2 years sooner, but maybe not have the same game with so many features and such a great deal of control. Ogre and open source is future proofing. It sort of depends if you are going after the "one game" of your dreams, or a bunch of smaller games leading up to the game of your dreams.


sojorn1 karma

I can't unfortunately play alpha version – I have only a Mac with no Win environment in it.

How vast your space is? Is there an issue with the size of the "map"?

How big is your codebase (in terms of lines of code)?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

I'm not going for a "vast space" type game - there's a really cool project - Limit Theory - ltheory.com - that has that covered. I'm going for a more hand placed and combat focused game. So enemy bases and defenses are hand placed, so are asteroid/mine fields.

As far as the code base - there are 96 seperate files (double that if you include header files nad code files). Weighing in at about 3mb (so 3 million characters/keystrokes) - this number doesn't include edits/re-writes etc.

millymazilla1 karma

What Kind of Methods did you use to Promote this ? I'm asking because in the near future I plan to Start Promoting a youtube Channel and was wondering if you had any tips on promotion?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

I mostly went to online forums and posted about it - it worked ok. People tend to be interested in Kickstarters so it helped actually.

I don't have many tips except that you should try to do your best because you don't get many chances. So aim for a quality product, or communicate often on the progress. This might not apply much to you tube channels. Sorry.

millymazilla1 karma

it's actually valid advice, I always look at it as Make something that you would pass to your friends if you found it randomly

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Yeah that's a great way of putting itl

tuskiomi1 karma

is this based off ender's game????? if so will there be the doctor DOOM and the tiny doc? i want to buy this indie game :E

VoidDestroyer1 karma


tsbell731 karma


VoidDestroyer1 karma

Hmm.. do you mean in my coding of the game? I don't quite understand the question.

Often there are no limits in coding a game - except what you are able to type up, so if you can simplify a complex problem chances are you can have a game. As a coder - you are in control over a universe that you create, a universe that's made up of data, positions, health, orientations, states, etc - you have access to all that data and manipulating it makes things happen (ships moving, dying etc). There aren't that many (any?) annoying ones since I have total control over my code - so YouTube's 300 view code is their thing and often I don't have to worry about someone else's code since I can modify it (everything is mine or from open source libraries).

avojacek1 karma

Hi will there be game pad support? Good luck :-) A.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Yes, game pads tend to work just like controllers, but not all the analog buttons work. There's very basic Xbox 360 controller and I'll put in full support when I get a chance (pre-release)

narekb1 karma

Good luck with your project, we need more indie devs like you, fellow coder! Question: What technologies/languages are used in progress of programming the game?

VoidDestroyer1 karma


Using C++, Ogre 3D for rendering, Bullet Physics for physics, CEGUI for gui and OpenAL for sound.

narekb1 karma

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Yeah I hope to one day to support other platforms (Linux and Mac) - its possible since Ogre and the other tools I've used are supported. Its just that now I have to focus on release before I can think about porting.

uber_n3rd1 karma

This looks great, have you considered a multiplayer component?

VoidDestroyer2 karma

Yes, its been on the back of my mind since the begining. I chose to focus on single player first - because its very difficult play test a multiplayer game - by yourself :)

I plan on adding multiplayer elements post release. There are a lot of multiplayer only games that are graveyards shortly after release, because gamers leave to other games and then you can't get a game going. Starting with single player - the goal is to build up a nice community then move from there.

davidrab1 karma

what's your background? Did you go to college? What degree? What's your day job?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Since I was a PC gamer early on - I had to eventually upgrade/fix my computer, so that got me started. Currently I'm a Systems Administrator, my job includes some coding here and there - apps that talk to databases as shortcuts over existing systems. My game dev coding helped out my day job a few times.

I got my degree while working on the game, development had to slow down during finals. I went to night school and got a IT related degree last year. Took me 15 years... on and off.

chatzoo1 karma

Where would be a good place to start to make your own game?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

This is a very vague question. Its like asking where would be a good place to start cooking... see what I mean?

Ask yourself what kind of a game? Do you want to focus on programming or art? In that case - which skills do you lack as a programmer/artist? In terms of programming start making the game - just start. Research online tools/methods that might help you (this is where the less vague parts come in) - try to learn those tools/methods.

bcent151 karma

Isn't kickstarter basically just asking for money?

VoidDestroyer1 karma

When you boil it down yes - but there is often a promise of something in return. In my case the game when its finished, participating during the beta, naming rights, helping design ships etc. Its up the to backer to weigh whether this will pan out - in my case there is a playable demo, videos and history of me working on the project. I think its obvious that this helped me in my Kickstarter being a nobody.

Kickstarter also gives you a good feeling of supporting a project, that may not have existed otherwise. I literally had to tell my artists to stop creating badly needed assets due to funds, now that won't be the case, so players will benefit from this - including supporters and anyone else who comes after. In the "olden days" there was a patronage system where artists were supported by benefactors, now I guess it evolved into Kickstarter.

Backing on Kickstarter gets somewhat addictive, you back a few projects, feel good and want to back some more.

HarkusLOL1 karma

If I liked games in which I have a spaceship I would be so happy. There's only like a thousand of them.......

VoidDestroyer2 karma

My game has ships that are rocks with big guns on them.


Your move...

HarkusLOL1 karma

I'm not trying to hate you player, I'm hating the game and the ridiculous amount of spaceship games it churns out.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

I'm not hating either. What games do you like?

Space games aren't for everyone, there's more (new) games now then ever before, and they are more easily accessible than ever before. So - coolness.

HarkusLOL1 karma

I like most genres. This one never appealed to me though, the only time I ever found a space shooter bearable was in Battlefront II and only barely.

Honestly I admire people who work hard on making games, I had to make a shitty flash game for a uni project once about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I fucking cried myself to sleep after trying to code that bitch.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

I had to take a accounting class - it was accounting 101 - I cried like a little sissy girl (no offense to big manly girls - you guys are cool) every time I had to do the damned homework. I hated how precise I had to be, in game dev if I fudge something up the game tells me (crash) or the compiler tells me. Its pretty sweet.

HarkusLOL1 karma

I took a mickey mouse course to avoid headaches. You get told when you make a mistake? Dayum, I remember the day before hand in on this flash game (my course has nothing to do with video games by the way) my friend and I are making finishing touches to our games. He adds some code, his whole game messes up and just flashes during playtest. I was in a laughing fit while he failed at solving the problem..... He eventually handed the project in late and got a 38.... I still laugh at that.

You seem cool, I just voted yes on steam greenlight despite the fact I'll likely never play your game.

VoidDestroyer1 karma

Via your vote I'll grow rich and powerful - rich/powerfull enough to force you to play the game (mandatory once I become president of the Solar system - elected as a thanks for training new space combat pilots via training course disguised as game) - ironically your vote is/was the deciding factor.

[deleted]0 karma


VoidDestroyer3 karma

no, but sometimes I wish I was a cat... I have a cat and his life can be pretty sweet, I occasionally give him some whipped cream, he loves it. Just now me and my wife went out for ice cream (from McDonald's the new dipped cone) - he loves ice cream - so then he sees us eating it, and he is meowing up a storm and rubbing up against our legs etc. So my heart isn't made out of stone so I take a spoon and scoop up a bit and offer it to him. He sniffs it and then leaves. The life of a cat... that's the life for me.

VoidDestroyer2 karma

nice (deletion) - now I'm talking about wishing of being a cat for no apparent reason.