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Xbox 360, Ps3, Nintendo Revolution Coding


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#21 DrEvil   Members   -  Reputation: 1075

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:23 PM

I know studios can have in the hundreds of people, but in most cases that I've seen these studios are working on multiple game titles, which isn't really that many people working on 'a game'. If you have that many people working on a single game title and it's not an MMO, that raises some serious questions IMO about the competence of the management.

You should also know that if you do indeed work at a studio producing top 5 titles, surely you know enough to agree that what your studio does budget and manpower wise is significantly more than most studios. Either way your original figures were way off. Make 2 stacks of all the console games there are. In one stack put all the AAA releases, and everything else in the other stack. AAA games are the minority in the overall scope of game development console and PC alike. Game industry studies have known this as well.

I don't mean any of this to be personal, or to discredit your experiences but the actions of the huge studios don't mean the rest of the game dev world works the same.

For anyone interested, watch the Tim Sweeny video here http://www.pqhp.com/cmp/gdctv/

In it, Tim mentions several times about how big developers like EA think the solution to increasingly complex games is throwing more people at it, yet Epic works with a team of (think it was around 60), working on 2 titles at once, and they are cream of the crop in terms of pushing technology for next gen. I think they have proven for a while now that excellent tools are what makes a developer most productive.

Sorry for getting off topic, I just felt it necessary to bring the numbers back towards reality.

Sponsor:

#22 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:43 PM

I'm treading on thin ice if I give too much detal here, but in our studio, and my last one..both very large, both doing AAA titles, focusing on 1 "franchise" at a time, ie 3 skus, add on's and sequals in pre-production. 100+ man teams are the norm. That breaks down to 60 or so dev, a couple senior execs, 10+ production/pm, 5-8 design, testing, concept planning, and so on..They of course are not all actively involved at the exact same time on each componant part, but during crunch and other maximum effort periods we often find ourselves undermanned. They all play apart at some point and they all cost...the figures I gave, are not at all uncommon in my end of the market and there are more in that sector than you think.

It is indeed very common, for big studios to throw manpower at a project to get it out...sometimes it works..sometimes not..thats a different thread, and its not something I agree with because it is essenually bad management in the long term..but I have little influence over the money men willing to make these decisions at that cost.
Most of the big studios operate these team sizes because of tight deadline needs.

Epic, Id and a few others are not quite so bound by these constraints and can operate with smaller teams over longer timeframes, but their budgets overall are probably the same.

again if I get into specifics, its going to become apparent who I work for and I don't need the exposure...the original point of the post was to put things in perspective, I hope I've done that.

#23 DrEvil   Members   -  Reputation: 1075

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:04 PM

That's fine to represent the high end developers, but for every one of those there are handfulls of smaller devs, so it isn't accurate in the context of this thread to say games 'start' at $10mill, and it takes man power in the 100s for a shelf worthy title.

Ignoring the impossibility of finding this kind of investor, For <$5mill, a team of 20 experienced programmers could license the Unreal engine for $350k and pay themselves high end salaries for 2 years to produce a title that would easily be shelf worthy. This is a pretty accurate time frame to get game titles out these days. The future is licensing technology. Most companies can't afford the time or investment in build their own technology.

Of course this doesn't help the original poster any, as it still takes a highly experienced team to pull it off, and an even bigger miracle to convince an investor unless your team has some pull.




#24 KittyRa   Members   -  Reputation: 257

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:05 PM

Quote:
oh god...why do they keep on coming

listen dude, it matters not how good you THINK you are, even very basic PC games need a team of experienced coders, artists, producers, QA people etc, to be able to produce something that is commercially viable.

The best a hobbiest could manage, even a very good hobbiest with a few mates helping out, would be a nice little shareware or budget title (I've got my flame suit on, guys, so no point in getting mad at me you know its true, show me one hobby game in the top 20...go on? Top 40 then?)

Unless your idea is Tetris simple and goign to sell millions becuase it's cute, or unbelievibly easy to code you are talking about months or years of development hell to produce any kind of major title on a par with the retail sector.
And unless you can target the retail sector you cannot get access to console tech from the makers.

It takes teams of 100's now to produce PS2 and Xbox titles of the quality that hits the shelves, and will need more for PS3 and X360, and literally 10's of thousands of man hours to produce these titles. The budgets as has been pointed out start at 10million dollars....the kits themselves cost 20,30,40K+ each.

Do you really think a 14yo with no experience of the systems, no concept of game development procedure, and clearly no idea whatsoever of market realities can bang out a game in his lifetime?

None of the console makers will talk to you unless you have a team big enough to cope, a bank balance big enough to cope, a proof of concept demo that blows them away (which in itself will take a prototyping team 4-8 months to produce) and a proven track record of delivering high quality titles.

You have to prove to the console makers you can produce the game, that means huge marketing presentations, not just a call to the xbox helpline, you have to show them market straegy, quality control, production processs and proven tech...then...maybe if they think the idea will sell minimum 100K units (and that bar is rising) they will let you talk to them about buying dev kits and blowing your money.

please...get real, stick with systems that you can handle, PC is available to all and there's a good market, GBA,PS1, Dreamcast and linux PS2 systesm are available to the hobby market and will allow you to gain experience of console dev.

But till you get that $10-20M int eh bank, forget about current consoles or nect gen systems..They'll become available to the hobby market in time, but you ain't ever going to be able to write a game at home for the PS3 withouth a lot of people backign you up...which then brings up teh managment side of things....

rant over.
While what you are saying is very true, I don't like your attitude.
Quote:
Which compiler and language is best to be done for these consoles?

I plan to make a game for the PC, Xbox 360, and Ps3, and I need to know about the compilers and what programming language to use.

C++ except probably the Revolution. Nintendo seems to like using C more than C++. No idea about compiler but I don't see why VC++ wouldn't work.


#25 TravisL742   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:26 PM

Thanks DigiDude.

#26 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:30 PM

Quote:
Original post by DrEvil
That's fine to represent the high end developers, but for every one of those there are handfulls of smaller devs, so it isn't accurate in the context of this thread to say games 'start' at $10mill, and it takes man power in the 100s for a shelf worthy title.

Ignoring the impossibility of finding this kind of investor, For <$5mill, a team of 20 experienced programmers could license the Unreal engine for $350k and pay themselves high end salaries for 2 years to produce a title that would easily be shelf worthy. This is a pretty accurate time frame to get game titles out these days. The future is licensing technology. Most companies can't afford the time or investment in build their own technology.

Of course this doesn't help the original poster any, as it still takes a highly experienced team to pull it off, and an even bigger miracle to convince an investor unless your team has some pull.


wanna bet?
plenty of teams try this...most fail, few get the backing, as you point out its pretty well impossible to get the backing, so lets not ignore the impossibility, lets understand why its impossible...its becuase investors do the research and realise the real success comes from the $10M+ projects. The smaller less well funded teams, nearly always fail to deliver, or worse their games fail to break even..this is all a matter of record if you care to check it out.

you really think 4.5 millions goes that far with 20 people??? think again. running a studio costs more than just the salaries, and engines even good ones have many hidden costs. Development is a money pit, and the pit gets wider and deeper the more you get into i.


Digidude..I couldn't care less...its hard world...people need hard facts.


#27 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:40 PM

I won't go into the details of which company I was working for, but I was working on AAA games in my last job, and the dev teams were made up of about 30 people, with maybe 2 or 3 in QA.

Obviously,the games didn't sell as well, as I imagine the games of other the anonymous posters did. I'm not talking about the big sellers like Halo2 here, but if I mentioned the games I worked on, you would most likely have heard of them. (Since I'm anonymous, I can also say that you probably thought they were shit for the most part as well, but hey, that's life :D)


#28 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 02:01 PM

no I'm not going to say they were rubbish...but the fact is most low budget titles simply do not sell....its true! you can quote the odd exception to the rule but for the most part the figures show clearly money in = money out.

You have to spend a lot of dev money these days to get the game to the standard needed to get your publisher to justify the $40M+ advertising budgets EA and others put up to get the things to the top of the chars


AP, I have never ever heard of any studio using 2 or 3 QA on AAA titles...thats lunacy..the smallest QA depts I've worked in, had easily a dozen or more people...theres simply no way you can test a retail project with so few people


#29 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4505

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 02:05 PM

Is it still a "rumor" that Nintendo Revolution will allow homebrew games to be made on it? Or has that been squashed?

#30 Chad Smith   Members   -  Reputation: 1041

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 06:53 PM

Alright,
I am not going to act like I know alot about the Game DEvelopment world as I don't as I am only 15 and I have only been studing C++ for a month and a half.



But,
My Step-Dad works in the Advertising Agency, so he has had some expierence with some some Big Name Publishers and even Developers. He has sat down and talked with alot of them and he has taken me with him one time as he made freinds with someone from THQ.(can't remember name. I think it was Dave Something, but anyways)he has talked to them about some of the stuff they do when he had some free time waiting to go to a press check he asked them do they get out and do they tell them who they are? He asked 3 people from different publisher companies and almost all said "Yes, we do. I love just interacting with the fans." Now, that does sound a little rubbish but I just don't understand why you just can't say what Companies you work for? I am only 15 so I may not understand it yet but to me it seems like, if you work for a company and they don't want you to say the comanies name or game's name then that is a little werid if I must say so my self. I mean come one, if you did then that company would get free advertising and the game may get a little more sold! So, that does sound a little weird.

But anyway, I am only 15 so I may not understand this yet, so you may just want to ignore me.


Chad

#31 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 07:21 PM

yup you are very young and don't understand, but you will. Dev companies are very secrative about costs, and technology and how they do things.

Pretty much everything we do and know is governed by NDA's (non disclosure agreements) that come from the console makers, the publishers, the licensors, the developers themselves, and anyone else who wants to keep info secret.

Thats why its very hard to get any real info on hardware specs, and details of when a project comes out or whatever. Lots of people know this info, none of us can talk about it under pain of legal action and job loss.

A leak of any kind can cause uncertainty about the company, its ability to deliver, the quality and so on, which can hurt a share price, and somewhere along the line there is always a public company who's share price needs to be protected.

Advertising, even free advertising, is very very carefully controlled at all times to ensure only positive news gets out, bad news is never released unless its for legal reasons.

so you see, for me to let people know who I am, or where I work, means exposing my company's, status, size, type of work and so on, or having their name associated with my opinion, and thats simply not allowed, so I stay anonymous. Even to the point of not dicussing too mcuh detail that could result in someone I work with figuring out who I am.

and that ladies and germs is the last I shall post on this thread, bye :)

#32 technic   Members   -  Reputation: 139

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 07:22 PM

The main reason companies don't like the people who are actually making the games to be blabbing about internal company politics or practices on a message board is we aren't really trained in what is and what isn't right to say (which makes it more interesting to people in the industry, certainly). That's why marketing and advertising people have their jobs - like your Dad - they make sure to only show the good side of a product or company. It's an important job but I think you'll find few if any people on this message board are working in such positions.

#33 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:28 PM

[quote]Ignoring the impossibility of finding this kind of investor, For <

#34 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:32 PM

Weird post bug, sorry

Quote:
Ignoring the impossibility of finding this kind of investor, For less than $5mill, a team of 20 experienced programmers could license the Unreal engine for $350k and pay themselves high end salaries for 2 years to produce a title that would easily be shelf worthy. This is a pretty accurate time frame to get game titles out these days. The future is licensing technology. Most companies can't afford the time or investment in build their own technology.


There are teams of 25 or less doing amazing things on much smaller budgets with 6-7 month turnarounds... including developing their own tech. I think you underestimate some of the talent sitting around in small studios churning out $20-$30 games.

(Granted, a lot of small studios license Renderware. It's certainly a popular option, but in my personal opinion it sucks too much to be the future.)

#35 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:51 PM

ok, 1 last post.

Show me anything AAA in the current charts, written by a team of 25 or less under. You can't..can you, so please stop derailing the point, yes there's a budget market, and some of it is indeed very good, but and here's the point I was making, it is not AAA quality! It does not command $50-60 price points and no team that size ever will produce anything that does, therefore it does not get much advertising budget and yet it has to compete with those big products both for console maker approval and shelf space.

The budget market is very hand to mouth (I've also worked there), and very few budget games make profit but they do often keep small teams in work, using dev funds and no royalties to keep going...its not much of a way to make a living and the quality of the work reflects the low budget and rushed timescales invovled.


ok that really is the last post I'll make. bye


#36 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:59 PM

[quote]Original post by Anonymous Poster
I work in a major studio in production producing top 5 titles...My figures are generalised, but for the work we do the teams are around 120-130 people, NOT counting marketing.[quote]I'd love to know what they all do. Our teams aren't even 10% of that size.



#37 b34r   Members   -  Reputation: 361

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:13 PM

Hopefully, you can get access to a dev kit without an AAA title under your belt... But there's no way you'll get one without a publisher or several shipped titles and an established team (wich is pretty much mandatory to get a publisher anyway). The AAA certainly helps getting the devkit before they are even released to other devs but even a crappy obscure game studio can get one from its publisher soon enough to ship a title by the console launch time.

#38 Thunder_Hawk   Members   -  Reputation: 314

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 06:40 AM

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
yup you are very young and don't understand, but you will. Dev companies are very secrative about costs, and technology and how they do things.

Pretty much everything we do and know is governed by NDA's (non disclosure agreements) that come from the console makers, the publishers, the licensors, the developers themselves, and anyone else who wants to keep info secret.

Thats why its very hard to get any real info on hardware specs, and details of when a project comes out or whatever. Lots of people know this info, none of us can talk about it under pain of legal action and job loss.

A leak of any kind can cause uncertainty about the company, its ability to deliver, the quality and so on, which can hurt a share price, and somewhere along the line there is always a public company who's share price needs to be protected.

Advertising, even free advertising, is very very carefully controlled at all times to ensure only positive news gets out, bad news is never released unless its for legal reasons.

so you see, for me to let people know who I am, or where I work, means exposing my company's, status, size, type of work and so on, or having their name associated with my opinion, and thats simply not allowed, so I stay anonymous. Even to the point of not dicussing too mcuh detail that could result in someone I work with figuring out who I am.

and that ladies and germs is the last I shall post on this thread, bye :)


Thanks for that [wink]. It's information like this that I wish was more abundant on GDNet: the kind of discussion that yields real insight into the actual world of game development.
______________________________________________________________________________________The Phoenix shall arise from the ashes... ThunderHawk -- ¦þ"So. Any n00bs need some pointers? I have a std::vector<n00b*> right here..." - ZahlmanMySite | Forum FAQ | File Formats______________________________________________________________________________________

#39 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:22 AM

Of course, gd.NET staff could just look up your IP, and do some "digging" to find out who you are and who you work for. :D

#40 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:26 AM

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
no I'm not going to say they were rubbish...but the fact is most low budget titles simply do not sell....its true! you can quote the odd exception to the rule but for the most part the figures show clearly money in = money out.


You should, they really were rubbish, and for the most part they really didn't sell either. :)




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