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Interested in game development? I want to found a small Indie company in Seattle.

ZyreZyre Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Games and Technology
The Story: I've been wanting to develop games professionally for my entire adult life, but have lacked the means to do anything about it for years, not for the lack of trying. So I got the idea that maybe there are some like minded people here at Penny Arcade forums that would be interested joining me on this lucrative adventure.

The Job: This is by no means a large project, nor a funded project. All time invested into the project would be done in your spare time, something that you might be able to throw 10-20 hours a week at in addition to your existing job. The goal is to get our foot in the door after finishing the project to get recognition in the industry and perhaps go on from there as full time developers.

The Game(s): I'm kind of like Blizzard, I'll find a game I like, and I'll immediately find all the flaws or things I dislike about the game and what I would have done differently, and then design in my head and in my notes a game that plays similarly but better than the idea I got the game from. (Example: Play FPS Game A, Play FPS Game B, Game A does X features better than Game B, but Game B does X features better than Game A, take all the best features and make your own unique IP.)

The Project: I'm mainly interested at this point in developing X-Box Live Arcade titles, games that would sell for $10-15. Something that we could develop and go straight to Microsoft with and put on the Marketplace as a downloadable game.

What I need: I'm looking for some like minded people who know how to program, as I have little to no interest at all in coding. I myself would much prefer to design the rulesets and concepts of the game and later design the levels and environments. As the project goes on we might bring on an artist to do some if not all the artwork for the game, but keep in mind this is a simple project and the game I have in mind right now would be largely 2D, there would be little to no 3D models (subject to change though as the project develops)

In closing I'm not sure this is the best route to go for something like this, but I thought I'd give it a try. I have friends that are interested in working with me on the project, but both are heavily involved in their college educations (one as Computer Engineering major, another as a Graphic Design) and do not have any free time to devote to a project, especially if it's unpaid, as homework etc takes up all of their time. I worked in the game industry as a Software Test Engineer for both Nintendo and Microsoft for just over 4 years and I know how competitive it is to get any kind of job in this area for any development firm, a fellow STE I worked with had a degree in 3D design and was unable to get anywhere with it and spent the last 9 years of his career as a STE and I decided then that this wasn't the route for me anymore and have since changed career fields but have always wanted to be involved in the the game industry as a designer - so this is my shout out for anyone else that might feel the same way as I do in the Seattle area. Let's make our dreams a reality, one step at a time.

Zyre on

Posts

  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    This is pretty much like every "I want to make a game" post ever. Person wants to make a game, but they just want to be ideas-person, not any actual gruntwork.

    One, good luck getting people, especially from here, to do anything for free for longer than a week. This forum has tried making a game what, 3 times now? Ain't gonna happen.

    Two, you are much better off implementing an idea as a mod to an existing game.

    Do not waste your time with XBLA games. Microsoft's policies are stupid and you are more likely to get your game on there if it's a emu-port or a card game than if it's a new idea.

    10-20 hours a week is a big commit to a free project. That is about 2-4 hours a day counting all 7 days or 4 hours a day mon-fri. 9-5 and then 5-9? ahahaha no.

    It took me and another person six years to finish a game (1999-2005) that came second to high school, and then day jobs/college. The average time spent on it a week was about 5 hours, if that. The final playtime of the game is about 17 hours.

    So like I said, you want to start off making a small one-level mod for say Half Life 2 or Unreal, and find out if that's something you REALLY want to do.

    oh and this?
    The Game(s): I'm kind of like Blizzard, I'll find a game I like, and I'll immediately find all the flaws or things I dislike about the game and what I would have done differently, and then design in my head and in my notes a game that plays similarly but better than the idea I got the game from. (Example: Play FPS Game A, Play FPS Game B, Game A does X features better than Game B, but Game B does X features better than Game A, take all the best features and make your own unique IP.)

    this is pretty much what a marketing department thinks when they make a "mario killer" or a "halo killer" and you'll notice those series are doing just fine. Just because you think an idea works better does not mean it will be better. As a rule, every idea you think for a game defaults to absolutely fucking retarded until you prove that it works in prototyping and testing, no matter how good it sounds, because there's a difference between game design and "oh that would be cool"

    FyreWulff on
  • G. ThreepwoodG. Threepwood Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Suck it up and learn to code. That's what my friend and I are doing.

    Everyone has ideas.

    G. Threepwood on
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I agree with the last 2 posts. Your post reflects a lot of inexperience, and to mention that you're 'Kind of like Blizzard' drives the point in more.

    If you're serious about this, learn to program. Grab Unreal 3 with the bonus disc and learn the UE3 Environment (This will get you familiar with workflow, modeling, engine procedures and process). Pump out a level or 2 using their included meshes. Make a pac-man game using Xbox live. Get more experience then being a 'game tester'.

    Get a game design document.

    Above all, if you want to start up as a game developer you must be the most organized and disciplined mother fucker on the planet.

    Aumni on
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/aumni/ Battlenet: Aumni#1978 GW2: Aumni.1425 PSN: Aumnius
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    PA Forums, torpedoing hopes and dreams errrrrrryday.

    <3

    PeregrineFalcon on
    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    PA Forums, torpedoing hopes and dreams errrrrrryday.

    <3

    Just bringing the pain(reality). It's one of the most (if not THE most) competitive industries in the world.

    Aumni on
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/aumni/ Battlenet: Aumni#1978 GW2: Aumni.1425 PSN: Aumnius
  • DisDis Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Learn to program and learn to design.
    You can only be an idea guy if you can afford to PAY others to do the programming and designing.
    If you want people, get your ass started with making a DEMO or prepare to PAY high for people to do it for you.

    Dis on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • HerrCronHerrCron It that wickedly supports taxation Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    As a rule, every idea you think for a game defaults to absolutely fucking retarded until you prove that it works in prototyping and testing, no matter how good it sounds, because there's a difference between game design and "oh that would be cool"

    Limed for truth.

    hell, there are alot of people *in* the industry that could do with having this shouted at them on a daily basis.

    HerrCron on
    sig.gif
  • Lave IILave II Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Ha ha ha. Oh OP.

    "I want to have all the fun coming up with ideas so you can go through the pain of coding it for me.."

    Ha ha ha.

    Ha ha ha.

    Oh my.

    Lave II on
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 Really, stupid? Brockton__BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    A couple years ago, I wanted to make my own games. I figure I'd start with modding NES games, because hey, they're old simple so it was probably easy to program them, right? I got myself the editing tools, a couple ROMs and I went to work.

    Holy.

    Fuck.

    It's all fucking hex code, which I find to be ridiculously hard to program in. That project lasted about a week.

    I would have been better off importing Mario sprites in VB and recreating the entire game.

    JustinSane07 on
  • SanguineAngelSanguineAngel Lord Centre of the UniverseRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Hello, just to throw in my words of wisdom (and lack of real experience):

    If I can lend some perhaps softer words here. You have the ideas, which is good! Personally I find way too many games, even big budget super hits, are produced without the benefit of truely devoted ideas people - ie. coders fulfilling the role of writers, designers and so on and so forth. (I presume a lot of the time, although the odd interiew with developers is quite revealing!)

    However, these good people speak the truth. Personally, I am like you: I have some IMO extremely good, solid ideas, systems and concepts with a view to a completed project. I am, however, a realist. I know that my visionary game will likely never see the light of day. But since when did giving up get anything done!?

    So I am compiling a comprehensive design document. With some good friends of mine who can help me with concept art and perhaps even scores if we feel chancy (all collaberative like a real team). Armed with this lethal document, I will then progress with a demo as those above have suggested. Testing out various systems and mechanics that I have set forth. For this I will need to know a lot more programming than I do now! Beyond my Computer science A level I know nooothing. So I will have to hit the books and learn. Not easy but worth doing.

    Importantly, by the time I hit the programming stage, I will have a comprehensive design document which will mean I can then concentrate primarily on the technical side of things, safe in the knowledge that I have something real to work from.

    However, if you believe you have something special, if you can really produce something great, then why not?

    Good luck to you!

    SanguineAngel on
    steam_sig.png
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Wait, I just reread that.... you have friends with the abilities you need but won't do it for you because it would require too much time for an unpaid project?


    Yeah, pretty much buck up and learn to code if you feel that strongly about your ideas.


    And actually like, write a full-out design doc.

    Khavall on
  • UtsanomikoUtsanomiko Bros before Does Rollin' in the thlayRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I would think if you were to convince programmers and artists to work on your 'idea' instead of putter around on their own, at the veyr least you'd have to:

    1) Design and prototype everything.

    Programming and animating are huge jobs even when every feature and function is planned out in detail, and you can't just tell them "oh, make him run at, you know, a good pace. Just do what feels right and I'll tell you if it's wrong later. Also I just thought up a couple new features that will completely change how zone data is saved." You'll need to design a lot of 'boring' things like menus, interfaces, matricies, and be able to convey that to people who actually do have a professional grasp on whether or not those things are doable. Then you'll need to be able to design them to actually work as intended when the alpha build reveals your rock-paper-sissors initial design is either horribly imbalanced or Not Fun.

    Flash animation and a functioning grasp of programming (even if you hate writing code and don't have the mind for it) at the very least would be really important in designing the game.

    2) Show your designs and demos off in entirety.

    Everyone has an idea for a game. Nobody is interested in working on your idea instead of their own. Nobody want to 'steal' your idea even if it is good. You're in no position to worry about it getting stolen. What you *do* want to do is convince people your 'ideas' are not only complete, solid, ready-to-make designs but totally awesome and deserve to be worked on over someone elses'. And no programmer is going to start on your project based on your word even if his own efforts have GUIs like inside-out cars; no artist is going to stop drawing Goku for the 500th time unless he thinks your guys' alpha is cool enough to deserve more than mspaint stand-ins.

    They need to be convined you know what you're talking about and can actually pull some weight, so you need to be the one to take the first couple dozen steps. You need to do step 1 and get people to scrutinize it positively if there's going to be any chance anyone gives a shit.

    Also, work on mods way before total conversions, let alone games from scratch. Get some fresh and fun ideas that can use existing games and alter them. A lot of people get their feet in the door by mods. You don't need a moonlighting programmer to toil on a graphics engine for two years just to show you two can make a game as a team.

    Utsanomiko on
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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    Wait, I just reread that.... you have friends with the abilities you need but won't do it for you because it would require too much time for an unpaid project?


    Yeah, pretty much buck up and learn to code if you feel that strongly about your ideas.


    And actually like, write a full-out design doc.

    Yes...

    @OP: You'll probably have a hard time finding people to code for you, for free, for an extended period of time. Coding ain't pretty. And debugging can be murder at times. I say this and I really do enjoy coding.

    Learn to code yourself, or if you do any coding yourself, pause and think about what you just asked someone else to do.

    tastydonuts on
    “I used to draw, hard to admit that I used to draw...”
  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    It's not a company if you're not paying anybody; it's a club.

    RainbowDespair on
  • RCagentRCagent Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I reccommend atleast learning how to create mods for various game engines. You CAN be an ideas person and still work at the same time. Try creating maps for Team Fortress 2 or any other multiplayer games. If you are able to create a map that is playable and fun you should have a good understanding on level/map design. There are many level designers out there, but few are actually capable of making a fun level design and layout.

    And if you are really ambitious, learn to code. If you are capable of making a beta or proto version of your idea and people actually find it fun, there's a chance you can get some people behind you.

    Though if you are AWESOME, you can make the entire game yourself. This is completely possible, the best example of someone doing this is Audiosurf. One guy made that and he's pretty much rich now.

    RCagent on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    You know, it's not a perfect parallel, but I'm a music composition major.

    The major basically is "I make good music, anyone wanna play it?" It's an extremely limited field. There are maybe 20 or so other composer in the school of music here.

    Part of what I have to do for my major is get performances of my work.

    You know how I do it? One of two ways.

    One:I give them a score, I give them a mock-up recording or a full recording if I can get it or do it myself. Basically I give them a completed piece of music and all they have to do is perform it. I don't give them my initial planning phase notepad and say "Play something like this"

    Two:They know me well enough that they don't need to see the work before they agree to put in the time necessary to learn it, rehearse it, and perform it.

    Think of design the same way. You can't just say "I have an idea" and expect other people to do the work for you, the least you should do, if you have no programming ability at all, is have a complete summary of the way all the mechanics work. Flow charts for menus, mock up videos of what it would look like just done with animation stand-ins, everything. Prototype and mock-up everything. Then show it to people.

    You have to make people want to work on your project. You do that by showing them that what they'd be working on with you will be more fun, and better for them than anything else they could do with their time. If your friends won't work on it because they're doing other things then make a design doc that makes them work on it because it's better than the other things they're doing.

    If you can't convince people who are already your friends to work on a project, you will never, ever be able to convince strangers to work on it.

    The good news is that if you do actually follow through with everything and work on a good game and see everything through and follow all the right steps and start at the bottom and actually are making things that are good it's not long before all you basically need to do is say "Hey, new game, you in?", or better yet, people asking you to dev their game.

    Khavall on
  • HerrCronHerrCron It that wickedly supports taxation Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Importantly, by the time I hit the programming stage, I will have a comprehensive design document which will mean I can then concentrate primarily on the technical side of things, safe in the knowledge that I have something real to work from.

    As an ammendum to this, while having a design doc is a good idea, don't over spec everything.
    Coding a game is a pretty fluid process and what you set out at the start might hsve to be changed due to technology limits, or you've discovered that mechanic X is shit or decided to change stuff around based on playthroughs and testing.

    By all means, have one, it is a good thing, but don't be afriad to go "fuck it" and change stuff up. It's not a bible, just sort of a rough roadmap.

    HerrCron on
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  • AccualtAccualt Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Zyre wrote: »
    What I need: I'm looking for some like minded people who know how to program, as I have little to no interest at all in coding. I myself would much prefer to design the rulesets and concepts of the game and later design the levels and environments. As the project goes on we might bring on an artist to do some if not all the artwork for the game, but keep in mind this is a simple project and the game I have in mind right now would be largely 2D, there would be little to no 3D models (subject to change though as the project develops)

    So you have absolutely no useful skills for a project like this and you won't be paying anyone who does. What you need is to man up and either learn how to program or stfu.

    Accualt on
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