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#ActualJTippetts

Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:58 PM

It absolutely is a Catch-22. That's the thing. Given an unproven team with no past titles to their name, the financial risk to investors (and yes, donors are investors, though they expect other rewards than the purely financial in return for their investment) is just too high for most to be willing to take the bet. Your choices are limited. It's a tough fact to come to terms with for some, who see it as some unsurmountable bar to the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams. We see it here on the forums seemingly on a weekly basis: starry-eyed idea types who could make a ton of dough with their innovative idea, if only they could find some way of drumming up some starting capital. They put up some posts (there have been plenty of GDDs posted here; the Game Design forum is a veritable boneyard of them. Go see for yourself.) and ask for feedback, but they never get past the rub: without something concrete, something written in code and functional and playable, the GDD is worth less than the paper it is written upon. (Figuratively speaking).

You've heard the old adage "Ideas are a dime a dozen"? It gets repeated around here a lot. A lot. It's true, though. You could have the most potential-laden idea ever, for the greatest best-selling hit since Doom hit the shareware circuits, but without practical execution on that idea, almost nobody will value it as you do. Certainly, nobody who will actually pony up real, green dollars to see it happen. There needs to be something more, something concrete and visible to make the potential investor say "hey, that is neat. I want to see that get finished."

A block of text doesn't leave a lot to the imagination. It leaves almost nothing, because very few people will give it more than a casual perusal. Certainly, few will bother expending the emotional energy, however minor, of imagining to fill in the holes to the depth that you do yourself. The realization of your vision is ultimately in your hands. It's your responsibility, and reacting with anger or frustration when people point out the Catch-22 will solve nothing. It won't further your game being made. Neither will putting up another Kickstarter project to languish for months in the land of $15 dollars pledged (maybe more, depending on how generous your immediate family and friends are) for months and months until the deadline comes and goes. Blocks of text don't accumulate pledges. (And certainly not $500,000 worth of pledges; I highly recommend that, as a first-timer, you set your sights lower. Lower. Lower still. $500,000 for an untested team is just... that's pie in the sky, friend.)

So you can get mad, or argumentative, or frustrated. Or you can take some steps on your own. You can do some heavy duty legwork and networking to try to bring to the table potential investors (real investors this time; VC types, or somewhat wealthy family and friends who are willing to take a risk because they know you personally and trust you, etc...) along with a team with the correct technical skills to get the job done. It'll probably be a balancing act like you wouldn't believe; just as investors won't pony up cash on wordy and insubstantial GDDs, neither will technical types pony up code or assets without promise of payment. You'll need to vet your technical team to ensure that you have the skills available to finish, as well as the experience to complete the job. I honestly don't know all of what would be involved in this sort of process, because it is so far outside anything I've ever attempted, or ever would attempt.

Alternatively, you could take the initiative and start filling some of those technical holes yourself. Find people in your social network that have the skills you need and would be willing to volunteer their time and energy (and volunteer it would be, until the sales start rolling). Reach out to folks on this forum or others (we have a Classifieds section here) to recruit. Without cash, what you'll get will be volunteers who are not emotionally invested in the project, who likely don't have the experience you need (as they are doing it to learn) and will 99% of the time bail on the project after a few weeks if not days, their emails and IMs becoming more and more infrequent, their excuses coming more and more handily. You'll have to spend a lot of time weeding out, cajoling, wheedling and persevering, and your likelihood of success would still be statistically nil.

It's a hard world.

Final suggestion, this is a forum rife with coders of all stripes and experience. Read the back posts, read the resources, pick up a language and learn it. Get something together, something that can show the world rather than tell the world what your game is really about. It will take time, I'm afraid. But you have to decide for yourself if it's worth it.

Any way, best of luck with this.

#1JTippetts

Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:57 PM

It absolutely is a Catch-22. That's the thing. Given an unproven team with no past titles to their name, the financial risk to investors (and yes, donors are investors, though they expect other rewards than the purely financial in return for their investment) is just too high for most to be willing to take the bet. Your choices are limited. It's a tough fact to come to terms with for some, who see it as some unstoppable bar to the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams. We see it here on the forums seemingly on a weekly basis: starry-eyed idea types who could make a ton of dough with their innovative idea, if only they could find some way of drumming up some starting capital. They put up some posts (there have been plenty of GDDs posted here; the Game Design forum is a veritable boneyard of them. Go see for yourself.) and ask for feedback, but they never get past the rub: without something concrete, something written in code and functional and playable, the GDD is worth less than the paper it is written upon. (Figuratively speaking).

You've heard the old adage "Ideas are a dime a dozen"? It gets repeated around here a lot. A lot. It's true, though. You could have the most potential-laden idea ever, for the greatest best-selling hit since Doom hit the shareware circuits, but without practical execution on that idea, almost nobody will value it as you do. Certainly, nobody who will actually pony up real, green dollars to see it happen. There needs to be something more, something concrete and visible to make the potential investor say "hey, that is neat. I want to see that get finished."

A block of text doesn't leave a lot to the imagination. It leaves almost nothing, because very few people will give it more than a casual perusal. Certainly, few will bother expending the emotional energy, however minor, of imagining to fill in the holes to the depth that you do yourself. The realization of your vision is ultimately in your hands. It's your responsibility, and reacting with anger or frustration when people point out the Catch-22 will solve nothing. It won't further your game being made. Neither will putting up another Kickstarter project to languish for months in the land of $15 dollars pledged (maybe more, depending on how generous your immediate family and friends are) for months and months until the deadline comes and goes. Blocks of text don't accumulate pledges. (And certainly not $500,000 worth of pledges; I highly recommend that, as a first-timer, you set your sights lower. Lower. Lower still. $500,000 for an untested team is just... that's pie in the sky, friend.)

So you can get mad, or argumentative, or frustrated. Or you can take some steps on your own. You can do some heavy duty legwork and networking to try to bring to the table potential investors (real investors this time; VC types, or somewhat wealthy family and friends who are willing to take a risk because they know you personally and trust you, etc...) along with a team with the correct technical skills to get the job done. It'll probably be a balancing act like you wouldn't believe; just as investors won't pony up cash on wordy and insubstantial GDDs, neither will technical types pony up code or assets without promise of payment. You'll need to vet your technical team to ensure that you have the skills available to finish, as well as the experience to complete the job. I honestly don't know all of what would be involved in this sort of process, because it is so far outside anything I've ever attempted, or ever would attempt.

Alternatively, you could take the initiative and start filling some of those technical holes yourself. Find people in your social network that have the skills you need and would be willing to volunteer their time and energy (and volunteer it would be, until the sales start rolling). Reach out to folks on this forum or others (we have a Classifieds section here) to recruit. Without cash, what you'll get will be volunteers who are not emotionally invested in the project, who likely don't have the experience you need (as they are doing it to learn) and will 99% of the time bail on the project after a few weeks if not days, their emails and IMs becoming more and more infrequent, their excuses coming more and more handily. You'll have to spend a lot of time weeding out, cajoling, wheedling and persevering, and your likelihood of success would still be statistically nil.

It's a hard world.

Final suggestion, this is a forum rife with coders of all stripes and experience. Read the back posts, read the resources, pick up a language and learn it. Get something together, something that can show the world rather than tell the world what your game is really about. It will take time, I'm afraid. But you have to decide for yourself if it's worth it.

Any way, best of luck with this.

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