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Project Tongue: Need Opinions/Advice!


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#1 handymanjames   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

I'm not sure how to write this post so forgive me if it's difficult to read.

 

A few years ago I did this assignment for a game design class of mine. It was a real simple platforming game. It was inspired by one of my favorite games of the SNES, Zombies Ate My Neighbors. I've long since lost that game and anything associated with it but lately I've gotten this desire, an obsession almost, to create a new Zombies Ate My Neighbors. The spiritual successor if you will. I come here today to ask for some opinions/advice on the topic of doing so.

 

Let's call it Project Tongue for now, I haven't decided on a name for the game yet. I want to keep the game play similar to ZAMN and even expand upon it. I will not be using any assets from the game but rather a similar style. You would know it was based upon ZAMN. Is there anything I should know about the laws so that I don't open myself up for problems down the line?

 

I want to start a site to chronicle my endeavors and provide an area where people can help me test/come up with new ideas. I know little to nothing about web hosting and what I should look for. Ideally it'd be a blog, a download to test the game, and some forums. My budget is little to nonexistent right now so I'd like to keep costs low but have the ability to scale upwards if I generate some interest. Eventually maybe even adding a multiplayer component. Any links I could check out or hosts you recommend?
 

With crowd funding becoming more popular, of course I've thought about starting a campaign. The thing is, this is a learning experience for me. It would be nice not to have to work full-time and be able to work on the game instead. I just don't want to take people's money and not be able to deliver a product. Is there a way to gauge interest for my idea without going through Kickstarter or anything similar?

 

There are more questions but I'm having trouble composing my thoughts further so we'll leave it at that for now. Thank you for your time.



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#2 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:14 PM

As long as you clearly don't rip off the original game in any graphics, or complete mirror of game play features, you should be fine legally.  I would recommend saying "Inspired by" rather than any intention of duplicating it.  And of course don't call it "Zombies Ate My Neighbors! 2"  

 

As for crowd funding, it is possible, but more often than not, you won't get funded.  

 

What you need is to have part of your game working, so people can see a video of it, or even try some portions of it.  Then start going after crowd funding offering DRM free copies for X amount donation for when the game is done.  People don't want to invest in an idea when another crowd funding project is Showing me what I would be buying.

 

I recommend looking into Agile, the key idea is making tiny vertical slices that are complete in 2 weeks or less.  I.e. don't build out 6 features and the levels to start with, just start with 1 feature and get it done.  then add one more feature, and make sure it works completely. then another and so on.  It doesn't take long to get something playable, and you can get a following and keep them enticed with reminders and new features regularly.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#3 Paul Franzen   Members   -  Reputation: 334

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

A little off-topic, but If you're interested in seeing how the developers themselves expanded upon ZAMN, check out the two little-known (or at least, I only found out about them a couple of years ago) sequels, Ghoul Patrol and Herc's Adventures. Could find some inspiration there! (Or perhaps some lessons in what not to do, because I'm not sure people actually liked those games.)


Edited by Paul Franzen, 02 January 2013 - 12:42 PM.

Life in the Dorms -- comedic point-and-click adventure game out now for Xbox Live Indie Games!

My portfolio: http://paulfranzen.wordpress.com/


#4 handymanjames   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

I want to thank you both for replying. I read the replies through e-mail but haven't been back here since.

 

Do you or anyone else have any recommendations for a web host?



#5 Paul Franzen   Members   -  Reputation: 334

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

Actually, yeah! I use CCPG Solutions for my website, GameCola; their pricing is good, and they're very responsive if I ever have any issues or questions. Thumbs up.


Life in the Dorms -- comedic point-and-click adventure game out now for Xbox Live Indie Games!

My portfolio: http://paulfranzen.wordpress.com/


#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10158

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

James, I didn't see a Game Design question in your post.  But I did see Business/Law questions, so I'm moving this to that forum.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 08 January 2013 - 11:10 AM.

-- 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.




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