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#1 Verdict   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:16 PM

Hi everyone, a few years ago I had two game ideas that I know would be very popular, fun, and lots of people would play them. Recently, my heads been flooded with ideas of games that I think would be successful. A total of 10 games all together so far. Half of them are multi-player, the other half is games you play alone. I have one HUGE MMORPG that I really want to do, but I'm thinking I'll need to release all these games first in order to fund it. I have two games that I want to release at the same time. Completely different, but not very big games. I mean there's a lot and plenty in the games, just aren't huge games and not much animation in them. I'm more than half way done with getting everything down on paper, I just don't know where to go from there.

How freely do you talk about your project ideas when trying to hire people to work on them?

Should I hire people that live nearby or is it usual to have a team that live in other states/countries?

How much money would it cost me to create a game with no character animations?

How big of a team do I need for a gaming project, what type of people do I need, coder, graphic/animation artist, etc.?

Are there people who would join a team, work on the games for free, and get paid when revenue begins to come in?

Whats a fair percentage of the revenue to each person depending on what they are contributing to the projects?

The games aren't big, but there's a lot to do in the games, how long would it take to complete?



What questions did I forget to ask? I had more, just can't remember them. And any other info I'll need would be much appreciated.

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#2 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28649

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:30 PM

1) How freely do you talk about your project ideas when trying to hire people to work on them?
2) Should I hire people that live nearby or is it usual to have a team that live in other states/countries?
3) How much money would it cost me to create a game with no character animations?
4) How big of a team do I need for a gaming project, what type of people do I need, coder, graphic/animation artist, etc.?
5) Are there people who would join a team, work on the games for free, and get paid when revenue begins to come in?
6) Whats a fair percentage of the revenue to each person depending on what they are contributing to the projects?
7) The games aren't big, but there's a lot to do in the games, how long would it take to complete?

1) Ideas have almost no value. Talented staff have high value. Talk about the ideas as much as is required to get the talent required to make the idea real.
2) If you're operating an office, then local staff is the norm. If you're operating an amateur team, then telecommuting with volunteers in Germany and Brazil isn't out of the ordinary.
3) That depends. It's like asking, "I just took $10 out of my wallet, how much money is now in there?", how could you know?
4) That depends. How much content do you need, and what kind of content is it. You need enough people of the right disciplines to create that content in the time-frame required.
5) Yes, but they're probably less talented and/or experienced than someone who demands a salary.
6) Depends if they've been compensated already or not (e.g. a salaried person usually won't get a % at all). If they're working for free, then the percent that they contributed to the project.
7) That depends. I grew up in a town -- it wasn't a city, but it wasn't a village either. How long does it take to walk across this town?

And any other info I'll need would be much appreciated.

I might sound harsh here, but all of the above questions should be answered in the business plan for the game. If a project-lead, managing-director, etc, of a games start-up was going to hire people, they'd have to have all of this nailed down.

On the other hand, if you're doing something amateur where no money is really involved and it's a learning exercise for everyone involved, then it doesn't matter. I'd seriously recommend making your first few games this way (with absolutely no expectation of making any money) so that afterwards, you'll have some experience on which you can answer these kinds of questions.

#3 Verdict   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:25 PM

Trust me, I was expecting your kind of reply to my questions, I really have no idea about creating games, creating a gaming industry, or anything. I just have game ideas, I know how I want the games to be, how I want them to be played, the way it looks. Other than that, I don't know where to start outside of the idea.

Maybe this question might help me out a little better, what would a game like Farmville consist of, as far as the number of team members, time, financial, etc. aspect of it?

Also, I have no other ideas for games other than the ones I'm working on now. Two of my games are stand alone games, four are in series, three are kind of the same format but just targeting three different demographics.

#4 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17771

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:36 PM

How freely do you talk about your project ideas when trying to hire people to work on them?

In my opinion you should be very open when talking about your ideas -- there's almost zero chance they're actually unique, and even if they are the idea alone has little-to-no value -- it's the implementation or expression of those ideas that holds value. By openly discussing your ideas you are better able to attract good helpers who are genuinely interested in the game, and by getting open feedback you may be able to further improve on your initial ideas.

See also Why you should share your game designs, Tom Sloper's FAQ #24: Stupid Wannabe Tricks; specifically "stupid paranoia", and The Worth(lessness) of NDAs.

Should I hire people that live nearby or is it usual to have a team that live in other states/countries?

This is a business decision, and is essentially the difference between setting up a physical office space (in which case you would hire locals) or a hobbyist or independent team who may well be geographically distant.

It will probably cost more to physically set up an office, and you would almost certainly need to pay proper wages rather than work-for-hire or token payments you might give with a virtual team. Communication and project management is generally much easier with a physically present team however.

A physical office and/or working out of your home-office with local help is normally the more "professional" approach, where-as distributed teams are more likely to be amateur. You need to research both options and decide which approach you should be taking.

How much money would it cost me to create a game with no character animations?

How much money would it cost me to build a house with no windows?

There is nowhere near enough information for us to even guess at a ballpark figure for you on this one; the answer could range from no money at all working alone in your spare time right up to $100,000 or more.

To give you some examples, Braid cost $180,000, and World of Goo cost $120,000 (source). A game like Desktop Tower Defence, which has had millions of players and made the creator a lot of money probably cost almost nothing other than the developer's time (which is not to say a person's time isn't worth money -- it can cost you a lot if you're buying someone else's time Posted Image).

How big of a team do I need for a gaming project, what type of people do I need, coder, graphic/animation artist, etc.?

This depends on the type and scale of your project, as well as the skill-sets and available time of those involved. Some games are created by a single person, whilst others are made by massive teams. If your team gets beyond a handful of developers you will also need someone (or multiple people with a large enough team) to take on a management role. If you're serious about doing this as a business you'll almost certainly also want to talk to a lawyer -- preferably one with entertainment, and if possible video-game-industry experience.

At minimum you will need either at least one programmer, or alternatively someone capable of using a game-creation tool to put your game together. You will also need people skilled in the field of creating any assets (music, sound, graphics, etc.) your game requires. Larger projects may require or benefit from multiple programmers.

I would suggest that to keep costs and management overhead to a minimum you need to get technical advice from an experience person on the minimum sized team that can achieve one of your ideas, and that you should get your feet wet focussing on the simplest of your ideas with the smallest team possible before moving on to larger projects. Actually developing and releasing something will teach you many valuable lessons.

Are there people who would join a team, work on the games for free, and get paid when revenue begins to come in?

Yes, but these people may or may not be of an acceptable level of talent for you, and will very probably be less reliable than a paid employee. I would suggest if you're serious about getting you games made then you should at least look at giving an up-front payment and get people to do work-for-hire (i.e. they complete a specific task for a fixed up-front amount of money) rather than rely on free help -- but again this is a decision you must make for yourself.

Whats a fair percentage of the revenue to each person depending on what they are contributing to the projects?

I can't answer this any better than Hodgeman already has, so I'll just reinforce that his answer strikes me as correct.

The games aren't big, but there's a lot to do in the games, how long would it take to complete?

Again, not nearly enough information.



I'd recommend all of Tom Sloper's Game Design FAQs.

Hope some of that helps! Posted Image

#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9196

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:49 PM

Giving you The Business...
(IOW, moving thread to The Business forum)
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#6 Palidine   Members   -  Reputation: 1275

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:59 PM

Maybe this question might help me out a little better, what would a game like Farmville consist of, as far as the number of team members, time, financial, etc. aspect of it?



Here's an interview with the Project Lead from Farmville. The short: 10 people (core team), 6 months and $40 million dollars
http://www.graphics....ticle&artid=907

High price would likely be for the Amazon Cloud space to deal with all their bandwidth and putting in the whole micro-transaction infrastructure. But the article might go into that.

Bottom line: making games is expensive. The typical pricetag for a AAA quality game is between 30-100 million. Outliers like Red Dead Redemption are in the multiple hundreds of millions to develop. Super outliers like World of Warcraft cost ungodly amounts of money :)

-me




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