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Gian-Reto

Member Since 21 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Jun 23 2015 08:12 AM

#5236333 What should I do now that I implemented a game mechanic that is not popular a...

Posted by Gian-Reto on 23 June 2015 - 08:10 AM

Just my 2 cents:

 

never listen to players! Gather stats, analyze them, and then make an informed decision as to what is the right way forward.

 

Players opinion can be part of your statistics, they might be all of the statistics you have / can collect / need to collect, but always take players opinion with a grain of salt. Players will try to skew your statistics just to get an advantage with a newer patch, or keep an existing advantage. Players interests are not your interests, and the vocal minority that is normally being heard is not speaking for the majority of your players most probably.

 

 

What does that mean in your case? That means that when players tell you your new mechanic sucks, and the old one should stay, they do not say that the old mechanic is inherently better or worse than the new one. They just state it seems to be better to them, as individuals, at the current point in time.

 

1. Maybe they loose an advantage they had before, some inbalance they were able to abuse

    => you can safely ignore their opinion for the sake of your games balance

2. Maybe the new mechanic is confusing to use, maybe players do not understand it

    => go back to the drawing board and see if the mechanic itself needs tweaking, if you need tutorials or better UI Feedback

3. Maybe the mechanic is changing the gameplay to such an extent that players might not like the game anymore

    => this is now a question were you need to ask yourself: is the new direction better for the game? is the amount of players you might loose because of it greater than the amount of players you might gain thanks to these changes?

 

 

 

In your case, Friendly fire will certainly cause the gameplay to get very different, and might confuse players because of lacking feedback and tutorials.

Make sure you really think about the impact this new mechanic will have on gameplay (can a unit hit itself? Will you give players UI Feedback when their units line of fires cross friendly units? Will you prevent units from shooting in this case to prevent hitting friendly units?)....

Make sure you update your Feedback (graphics, sounds, texts) to let people know when they risk friendly fire, or when they just hit their own unit. This will give players the options to avoid friendly fire, so that in the end friendly fire will still change gameplay somewhat (cannot form the firing line of units that happily fire through each other, and other similar tactics used in games without friendly fire), forcing players to adapt their tactics, while making it hard for players to accidently hit their own units.




#5235075 Need an engine

Posted by Gian-Reto on 16 June 2015 - 04:01 AM

As to what engine, any will do, as HyperV said above. With your basic needs, Game Maker should do fine, which seems to be a pretty simple 2D Engine with a flat learning curve... if you want to get into more advanced, 3D angines, Unity and Unreal 4 are the best bets as they have the biggest communities and are pretty up to date, though any 3D engine will most probably be overkill for your game idea, and you will face a MUCH steeper learning curve...

 

 

There are also specialized Card Game engines... they do little more than show your cards you configured, but what I have seen they seem to be pretty good for creating a card game without much programming... examples: gccg.sourceforge.net, lackeyCCG

 

Of course, you could program such a game from scratch without too much troubles. You would need to learn a graphical library to use for rendering, and write your own game loop and util functions in the language of your choice, but that would most probably be a very good learning expierience, if you are looking for that.

 

Well the beauty of my idea is that it uses real athletes which makes the whole stat choosing easier and I can also just duplicate card templates and change colour schemes based on rarity. The actual mechanic of choosing a winner is as simple as comparing two stat values as DerekL mentioned above. I was just wondering if there was an engine or tool specifically tuned towards more menu driven games rather than 3D intense, graphically heavy games.

 

That immidiatly raised a red flag with me.

 

Never, ever, EVER use real persons in your game, if you not...

a) have the means and resources to reach out to all of these persons and basically "license" the use of their names and likelyhood for you game.... and that will most probably be VERY expensive, and means all of them might want to have a say how their likelyhood is used and represented in your game.

b) create a parody... google "fair use". But be aware that is still a slippery slope, as abusing "fair use" might result in somebody sueing you.

 

Of course, if your game will never leave your computer, ignore what I said. But if only you want to use your game in your future portfolio for finding a job, prepare to be asked "Did you get <person X>' consent? Did you pay licensing fees?", and make sure you have a GOOD answer to that.

Nobody in this industry likes people that ignore copyrights and trademarks without a second thought, and using a persons likelyhood without their consent comes close to that.




#5233503 How do i approach game design and development as an artist?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 08 June 2015 - 04:14 AM

Look for a programmer... explain your vision to him, see if he is interested in it. Ideally, he has his own ideas, that go into the same direction as yours, and you can combine your ideas into a bigger, more refined vision.

But then there are also many programmers that are actually looking for projects, that do not have an idea to implement. Maybe somebody would like to work on a game project, brings a decent amount of expierience to the table, and would be happy to work with you to implement your idea?

 

Just make sure you sell yourself well... you are NOT just the idea guy if you have as much art expierience as you told us in the OP, and I am pretty sure no programmer would call you that. Make sure you have things in place that both show your expierience and skill, AND help you explain you ideas better.... concept sketches, drafts of game art, maybe, if you have the time and interest, start roughing out level design and stuff like that in a game Engine like Unity.

 

 

And that is the last thing to keep in mind: even as an artist with no programming expierience, you could do much more than just art if you wanted to. Modern game engine editors will let you get pretty far with zero programming expierience.

You can build the levels for your game in the editor without writing a single line of code. You can show off these levels in the editor view, or with some internet search skillz and copy-pasta, you can create a simple flight-through or even user-controllable script.

Of course you will face some learning curve to get an understanding of the editor and the engine, and you will have to invest some time into building the levels....

 

But at some point somebody needs to do that anyway, and depending on how many people you want to get involved, or how many people you can get interested, somebody might need to take on the hat of the game- / leveldesigner.

Given your game needs a lot of code, versus not so much art, or that you are quite fast at churning out the needed art, you might be the best candidate to do the level- and gamedesign, ESPECIALLY if you are the one who came up with the initial idea.




#5231429 Using Celebrities In My Game

Posted by Gian-Reto on 28 May 2015 - 01:46 AM

AFAIK, If you create a parody, you might get away with it (google "fair use")....

 

Else you will most probably need the celebs approval. Which might not only mean getting in touch with them or their managers, but also paying something for the privilege of using their "brand".

 

 

But as others said, it depends on the country (of the celeb, where you do business, where you live... if its illegal in one of them, you should avoid it anyway), and get a lawyer involved, as the internet is a bad advisor when lawsuits are a potential fallout of a wrong decision.




#5228803 Can a lone indie dev do an open world like this?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 May 2015 - 10:07 AM

Caveman 3,0 is a solo gamedev project. open world. custom engine. 65 types of weapons, 50 types of monsters, 300+ types of objects, 1000+ actions, a 2500x2500 mile game world, 10,000 dungeons.

 

i have 26 years experience as a gamedev.

 

time spent so far: about 10,500 man-hours.

 

 

Really impressive, Norman!

 

 

I think your example shows what can be done with dedication (that is some awesome amount of hours you put in there), AND with a strong focus in gameplay.

Correct me if I am wrong, Norman, but as far as I understood your project it is some kind of massive prehistoric simulation, meaning no story or setpieces, no manmade structures, and other similar constraints that keep the scale down a little bit.

 

 

I would say for the TO, the important things to take away from the example is:

 

- 12'000 hours / 6 hours per week = 40 years of dev time...

 

- You need to make a clear commitement to what you want to focus on. If the scale and the open world are the most important aspects, you have a good example here. Just don't try to pull a GTA stunt and try to make it a story driven game, also with a deep combat system, and vehicle physics, and so on at the same time. The last GTA version was so expensive to produce for a reason.

 

- Norman has 26 years of expierience according to his own word... that is an impressive number. You can bet he knows enough about game dev not only to pull a massive project like this off, but also to be realistic about the timeline and scale he can achieve.

As a beginner, you might want to take some additional baby steps first....




#5228765 Can a lone indie dev do an open world like this?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 May 2015 - 06:14 AM

At the end of the day - or should I say: end of the decade? - what counts is that the OP will gain lots of useful experience from trying to pull this thing off.

I don't think we gain much from trying to talk him out of it.

There are things that you just have to try and do yourself.

And, perhaps he will actually accomplish something?

 

True dat.... if people always listened to common wisdom at the time, a lot of great and revolutionary games wouldn't have been made...

 

 

Though it is kinda helpful to embark on such an adventure with the good advice that others deemed it difficult to pull off... also, that was what the TO asked. If it would be possible.

Seems most answers are pretty similar: "Yes, but....".




#5228737 Flexible Storyline in an MMO

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 May 2015 - 03:49 AM

There was an idea that I had for an MMO. The game has a basic backstory but players are encouraged to roleplay with other players and can get rewards for contributing to the overall story. Senior members in the game's comunity can be millitary generals and vote to plan what each faction chooses to do and every week or so a newsletter is sent to update the overarching storyline. Tell me what you think and if any game does something like this.

 

If you want to achieve that, take focus away from the usual RPG fare gameplay elements. I don't think rewarding roleplaying will be enough to make a huge amount of players engage in it, you will also need to make the usual leveling / looting / raiding grindfest less attractive.

 

Even then, prepare for your game to be quite niche. What I have seen on even "roleplay encouraged" MMO servers doesn't lead me to believe that most people care about roleplaying. So if your game FORCES people to roleplay, many will not play it. If your game merely encourages it, most players will just ignore the roleplaying aspects.

 

 

I don't know... I like the idea of having players influence the story in some way, but how to achieve that? How to make thousands of players have an influence on the story without ending up with little more than noise? How to prevent people abusing loopholes in the system to ruin the whole thing for everyone? What to do if players get upset about the direction the story takes because an organized minority might be able to steer it in some direction?

 

And how to somehow make this story influence gameplay so that more than just the few story-fans among the players are caring?

 

 

Sometimes a million monkeys at keyboards don't reproduce shakespeare... remember "Twitch plays pokemon"? That is the quality of output you can expect when you give thousands of random people control over something, without any constraint or strong incentive to achieve a desirable goal. Just as many people will use the system to PREVENT others from achieving a goal than the other way around.

 

 

Story Griefing... well, at least its a fresh way to get griefed in an MMO.




#5228729 Can a lone indie dev do an open world like this?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 May 2015 - 03:18 AM

Thank you guys!

I'll see how things go, don't worry I read all of your posts, I was asleep xD

To emphasise more on my project, I'm only thinking of doing around over a hundred unique activities with a lot of them procedurally generated.

I also allocated 6 hours a week for this project as I have other commitments. I don't know what will happen. Sure, the design part is the most fun IMO but I just hope I'll be able to do it.

Again, thank you. smile.png

 

 

6 hours per week? Good luck on that. That is only around 300 hours per year.... So you really might have to spend 10 years if you continue with this project and try to finish, even if you use procedural content and cut features.

 

 

Anyway, its kinda pointless to talk about time needed when your project description is still kinda vague, I don't know much about your skillset in programming, art or design, and so on...

 

 

To strengthen Orangeatangs point further:

 

Sure, use procedural content as much as you can. It can do a lot for you, if you built the procedural creation system right into your game it might even give you the power to create infinite-ish variation with procedural dungeons and stuff like that.

 

But: Without CAREFUL tweaking of your system and LOTS of work on it, most stuff coming out of your procedural creation rountine will feel like little more than noise. Because, you know, to create a programm that is CREATIVE is a task that is still not achievable today. Some scientists might have come up with an AI that can TRICK people into BELIEVING that the AI is intelligent or creative, but a) you can bet years of work went into that AI, and b) it is, to some degrees, still smoke and mirrors today. As long as there is no computer as strong as a human brain in parallel computing, non-logical tasks and so on, AI will always suck at tasks the human brain is optimized for... being creative is what made us top of the food chain for 1000s of years, so you can bet our brain is optimized for it.

 

 

Todays procedural content is very good to pad your game.... either to fill the non-important parts of the game, or come up with the less important stuff. Like procedural dungeons. RPG players are pretty much used to random looking dungeon architecture and hopeless padding to drag on the play time without bloating the games budget in past RPGs, and most RPG player actually care more for the leveling cycle and maybe some few setpiece story parts than the general feel of a dungeon, so having a dungeon made up of "noise" mostly, with some few carefully placed spawn points and geometry where otherwise balance would suffer is not so much of a problem.

 

Still, your procedure must be intelligent enough to create something that is not completly broken. If you pre-create it and make it static ingame, you can still rework it to make it balanced (though that kind of defeats the purpose of procedural creation).

If you want ingame procedural creation, or want to prevent having to clean up after your procedural creation system, you will need to spend A LOT of time tweaking the system.

 

 

And then at some point you might get procedural content that is balanced enough and fun to play.... but now everything feels kinda generic and boring. Because, creating engaging content takes time, planning and special setpiece geometry!

There is no way to cheap out on creating that one special moment that should hook players... you might not need to make every minute playing special, but beware making to many percent of the game feel like boring generic cookie cutter ware.... there are enough boring cookie cutter games out there.

 

 

There IS procedural stuff out there that can achieve greater results than the sum of its pieces... what they call "emergent gameplay". Physics engines for example can contribute a lot to that (though tweaking physics to get it right for your game is a HUGE task of its own)... the Borderlands franchises weapon creation system is another such example.

These systems work so well because they just are there to ENHANCE the existing gameplay, they are not the CENTER of the game.

 

And theses systems worked fine for the creators of these games even though they are inherently broken and unbalanced, but because of how the game is setup, it doesn't matter.

The weapon creation system in Borderlands produces quite ridicolous stuff. Wasn't so bad in BL1 (and actually, back then it had much more character because even with fewer parts available, the system had more variables in it), in BL2 the variance between a normal and epic/legendary weapons is extreme (and actually, the fact some purples are MUCH better than the oranges thanks to perfect part combinations that are not possible with the more limited oranges also is... I tried it smile.png ).

A lot of the end game content is only beatable with this ridicolous gear. So to some extent, finding the weapons that exploit loopholes in this unbalanced system is key to beating the game on the highest difficulties.

Same with Physics engines... to balance every damn situation that might arise is almost impossible, so the devs will just set up constrainst and (in)visible walls to prevent the worst (like falling out of the scene. The rest they mostly leave in as gameplay elements... even though some things might be patched later because they can be abused.

 

 

Now, if you try to make emergent gameplay front and center of your game design, you better prepare your game for the random and ridicolous results that might happen. If you don't want that kind of results, your workload will explode again.

 

 

To come back to procedrual creation of level geometry:

The more you care about how your world looks, and how balanced it is, the more you move away from emergent gameplay centric and more into a story or quest driven design, the more will either have to rework your world after the procedural run, or the more you are embarking unto a long quest for the perfect procedural creation routine.

 

The games that DID pull it of successfully most probably both pumped a lot of time into their tools, adapted their game design for it and made sure they had the needed amount of assets to both make the procedural run output not look too bland, as well as enhance it with setpiece geometry and scenes.




#5228570 Can a lone indie dev do an open world like this?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 12 May 2015 - 08:32 AM

The world will be around as big as Saints Row. So not all that huge at all but will be regularly updated after release. And will have a specialisation system for a more traditional sense of progression.

 

I am not the big Saints Row fan, so I cannot really speak from expierience (you should not count on people in this forum knowing every game out there and just try to describe the size with your words), buf AFAIK, Saints Row as a game is quite big.... as in, AAA big. Checking the amount of people that worked on a project usually is a good reality check.

 

Now, I cannot get number on the different Saints Row titles, but the developer itself, Volition, had around 200 employees before hiring 100 additional staff lately.... so lets go with 200.

A lot of these will not be actual developers... Marketing, HR, Management.... lets go with 50 actual developers that were involved with Saints Row (yes, numbers pulled out of my ***, but better than nothing).

 

Seeing Volition having a title out roughly every 1-2 years, lets go with 1 year development time for an isntallement of saints row.

 

Now, you have 50 expierienced devs that work on the game for a year, so 50 man-years of dev time for a title "like" Saints Row.... IF all the involved devs are as expierienced as the volition staff.

 

Do you have the 100 years it will most probably take you as a not so expierienced dev to recreate this game? No?

 

 

This is where proper scaling comes in. You need to cut down on the man-years needed to finish this project, else you can already see that you will not be able to finish it.

Now, one good way to cut down the amount of work is to cut features. Instead of giving the player everything including the kitchen sink to do, focus on very few, clearly defined game mechanics. Finetune them to perfection, but leave out everything else that will not contribute much to the final game...

 

seems to go against your idea up there? Well, an open world game where players can do EVERYTHING is the very height of feature creep! If that is your goal, you will spend an awful amount of time just on that.

 

 

Of course, there are other things to cut. Cut the good looking graphics, come up with a graphics style that is acceptable and requires less work to create assets for. Things will look less nice than in Saints Row, but maybe the size of the world can still be the same.

 

 

Anyway... TL; DR: is it achievable? Yes. Will you have to make cuts that most probably will hurt and will take the project far away from what you dream of now? YES!!!




#5228507 For those who know about designing game characters.

Posted by Gian-Reto on 12 May 2015 - 04:23 AM

As scouting Ninja mentioned above, you are mixing up the 3D artists part of the work and the technical part (Shaders in this case).

 

Read up some information about what a shader is... this will help you a lot in the future. Because shaders in modern game engines can do a lot more than simple basic gourad shading... for example cell shading in your case.

 

Or they could do cell shading with a color mask as input, and parameterizable color inputs (so your players could choose any RGB value as eye colors... how cool is that?). All the artist has to do in this case is create a single mesh, a single set of texture maps (diffuse, normal, gloss, whatever your cell shader needs as input), as well as an additional set of color masks (think B/W images where the parts that should be affected by the color input are white, the others are black).

 

The rest will be handled by your shader. Depending on what engine you use, and what your budget is, you might be able to achieve that with off the shelf shaders.... at least for Unity there are already shaders like that available in the asset store, altough I haven't seen one that supports cell shading yet.

Of course, you can reach out to the devs of these shaders in the Unity forum, they might be willing to add a cell shading option to their asset. 

 

 

Mesh defomration is a little bit more difficult to handle. Depending on your needs, your artist WILL need to model multiple meshes (if the mesh shape is extremly different, like with different hairstyles, that is the best solution).

Things like different body types COULD be solved with a mesh deformation system. Of course, this is not that simple to achieve, I haven't seen any off the shelf asset yet that does it, though there might be tutorials on it on the web as plenty of peoples have tried it in the past.

 

What such a system does is that you have a base mesh (or multiples / parts) that can be deformed / stretched based on player input during character creation (I think you also have played around with such a system in some MMO).

Then everything needs to be baked together in the end, maybe the textures needs to be replaced or adjusted.

 

Again, that gives player a wider range of choices, while it MIGHT save your artist some time at the cost of a technically more complex system for your character creation. If you can get a premade system somewhere, might be worth it.




#5227785 Programmer art in a Kickstarter

Posted by Gian-Reto on 07 May 2015 - 09:35 AM

 

time. So, following your advice, I'm just not going to mention the engine, I'm just going to say that I'm updating the game. smile.png

I'm not worried about which engine will power the game, I'm worried that I'm going to show videos and screenshots of the game in one engine, then the engine would be switched and my backers would be shown screenshots and videos in a completely different engine.

 

 

Again, make sure the game looks better in the newer engine, or mention the new features / performance improvements made possible by the new engine.

 

An engine from 10 years ago most probably is not able to multithread at all... Unity is not top of the class here, but at least the physics are now properly multithreaded with PhysX 3.3...

 

10 years ago, pixel lighting and bump mapping was just starting to appear in most games.... with Unity 5, you can use GI and other modern technologies to make your game look better with just a little bit of tweaking.

 

You could probably upgrade the old assets to use the new PBR standart shader if you create the additional maps needed in an image editor. For non-metallic parts of the assets thats gonna be easy if you take the specular route instead of the metallicity one. Take the old spec map, create gloss and spec from it, tweak the brightness. For the metallic ones you need to add colors to the metallic parts, which is a little bit more complicated, still, the result does look spectacular if done well, so might be worth it.

 

 

Just mention the good stuff, leave out the boring technical details that consumers mostly don't care about. If somebody asks, you can still tell him what engine you switched to. If somebody is questioning the decision ("Why u not Cryengine???"), you could just respond with some clever prepared statement, and then again let the shiny before-after pics do the talking.

Really, your upgrade should give you more than enough improvements to talk about.

 

 

3 years instead of 7 sound very viable considering how good and intuitive the Unity editor is if you have used Unity before, and how engine editors mostly looked 10 years ago.




#5227689 Programmer art in a Kickstarter

Posted by Gian-Reto on 07 May 2015 - 03:03 AM

 

 

 

The problem is that I now have no money to make a game. Zero. Zilch. None of my previous prototypes worked out because I am not an artist. And I can't afford to pay an artist right at this moment.

 

No investor would fund me because I only have a track record in mods and I do not have traction in user growth or revenue. And I am stuck in the vicious cycle "I can't get funding because I have no traction because I can't get funding...". So this mod is my only chance of getting traction when I have no funds.

 

I did pay for the RPG system and dialogue system from the Unity Asset Store but that was grocery money I sacrificed. My family probably wouldn't forgive me for it.

 

And it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to get a kickstarter as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. There was going to be a million dollar sale for my mother's business, but it fell through at the last minute, and I hoped that I would have used the money for a demo of a different game.

 

1) Almost no one has Zero Money... else he would have starved a long time ago in todays society (given you live in a country developed enough to have moved over copletly to a money based economy)...

Now, how you spend the money you have is a different thing.

Is it wise to spend grocery money on assets from the assets store? Well, only if you still can eat healthy and do not ned to go hungry because of that.

Is it wise to spend the money on an RPG and Dialogue system that you might have developped yourself if you had any programming skills, when obviously you badly need better art? Probably not, given you have programming skills.

 

Get a budget, and spend the money smart. Even with little money you could achieve a lot if you make sure every penny counts.

Or, given you cannot spare any money at all, wake up to the fact that you are on your own. Period. No shady equity schema will lure in the talent you need, you either get skilled enough yourself to build the minimum viable product, you sacle down your project to make it easier to achieve, or you forget about it.

 

2) Make sure you understand this: without a proven track record, a studio with expierience, or an almost finished product you can show, you are a nobody to investors. What they tell you might sound like a "chicken-and-egg" dilemma, but its just the hard truth and actually a honest and well meant hint.

 

Would you invest money, be it only 4000$, into a nobody you just met that approaches you with a project of his that sounded pretty shady... like in, unfinished, no team or expireince to asure you the project might be completed someday, and so on....

Would you believe he will invest the money wisely and create something awesome, or would you rather think either he will waste the money and fail, or he would take the money and ran?

 

Most things in the business world are founded on mutual trust... if you don't trust somebody, you will not lend him money, hand over the plans for the goods they should produce for you, produce something in the good faith that the other party will be able to pay for it later.

Trust is something you have to earn, and it takes time and work to do that. If you want investors to believe in you, you have to show them something extraordinary... an extraordinary track record (doesn't sound like you have any), an extraordinary product (which you haven't develop far enough to really show), an extraordinary company (which again, you don't seem to have)...

 

 

 

The problem is lack of funding. And no team of artists would work with me, unless I pay them. All the investors who rejected me kept on telling me "to build a product and get paying customers", as if it was the easiest thing in the world.

 

If I had a decent amount of money from investors, I would have spent some money to make a demo for a simple 3D platformer and gotten a good chunk of money on Kickstarter to get the platformer done and branch the game off to a low cost mini-game for smartphones. But I don't - and I have done a lot of work on this mod, plus I have a lot of scrapped content that never saw the public's eyes.

 

The heightmap is done and 70% of the world is done, but it's in a different engine. Porting over assets is very easy to do and the same with level design. I guess it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to try my luck.

 

PS. I had hoped that the world could be automatically ported over, and then destroyed as the storyline has certain settlements destroyed by a volcano. But the more I think about it, the more I think that the world should be done from scratch. If I were to make the world from scratch in Unity, it would be the same as in the mod but it shouldn't be like that. Volcanic activity does change land significantly. And the graphics aren't retro - they are very good assets for 2005, at least. They can easily be ported over - just import into Blender, remove the bounding box and export it to .fbx, and put the textures in the right places.

 

The graphics are the same in both engines, so I had planned a tech demo just to showcase gameplay in one scene and the videos would be the old locations prior to the eruption.

 

And the game does not need a million dollars to make, as this game will be a minimum viable product and is much scaled down from my original idea. After gathering quotes (and multiplying it by 2), I need $300k-$400k max to make this minimum viable product.

 

 

Okay reading that and others of your comments, I think you need to do some reality check... in addition to what I wrote above:

 

1) You will most probably not be able to assemble a Team without paying... you are on your own. Scale the first prototypes accordingly

 

2) You will most probably get no funding at all before creating an extraordinary prototype...

 

3) Result of both points above... in the end, you will have to do most of the work, if you don't manage to get funding.

 

 

Before anyone will be able to help your further, we need additional information:

 

1) what is your expierience with:

  a) programming

  b) art (3D, 2D)

  c) Game and Level Design

  d) Marketing, Storywriting, and other needed skillsets to be successfull as an Indie

 

2) What is your track record? Any finished games or mods? You keep talking of an unfinished mod that never got released, why wasn't it released?

 

3) What is your current job? Are you still a student? What do you study?

 

4) What are your long term plans? Are you doing this to get a foot in as an Indie? Do you plan to study CS, Art or Game Design and get into the Game dev industry? Are you trying to cash in on one lucky hit?

 

 

You need to realize, and maybe also make sure your mother realizes this:

Game Dev is hard.... creating not only a game, but one that pays off is even harder. about 10-20% of projects will ever pay off. The others either fail early or just fail in the market.

Your current project has a high chance of failing even if you get the funding and are able to complete it. There are valid reasons to still try to complete it, be it for expierience, fun, or just trying to get lucky. But if you cannot invest time and money into it that you can "throw away" (because you happen to have enough money and you like to spend time on the project), you better invest it somewhere else.

 

Depending on where you stand in your professional career, you might either

 

1) make sure to get a job that pays well but leaves you enough free time, so you can work on the project and save money to invest into it.

 

2) put your current project on ice and first develop the needed skills (programming, art, whatever) to have a chance of completing it, or at least build a prototype that can convince others.

 

3) Study CS or any other field that might net you a job in the industry, work in it for some years to get expierience and good contacts, save up money, and start-up your project anew once you are ready.

 

No matter how you look at it, it doesn't sound like you are ready to pursue your current project at the moment.

 

 

 

Well, I had already solved the programmer art issue entirely, by asking permission to use assets from an old project of mine. They're right for their atmosphere and very high quality but they would need a bit of a revamp in places.

 

It's just the game is likely to switch engines and I'm worried my potential backers aren't going to like that.

 

Good for you if that solves your art issues.... I take from that you have some expierience working with 3D art?

 

I think the engine switch is the least of your problems. If anything, gamers are always whining for devs to move to a newer engine. Game developers might know that this is a huge potential risks, gamers (which are mostly your backers on KS) will only dream about the potential pay off....

 

"Multi core support, so sexy"... yes, says the guy that has a dual core weak ass notebook that will not see much gain from multithreading anyway, because of no turboboosting anymore when all cores are under load, the CPU throttling under full load, GPU being too weak to really leave the CPU as a bottleneck, and so on.

 

1) Your Kickstarter audience are mostly consumers. Doesn't mean they have no idea, but they will see things differently. To them "Cryengine" means lots of visual glitz... not bad performance (that might be my prejudice now, as it seems to perform poorly even on powerful machines) and an ancient editor. Because they always will only see the consumer side of an engine, and only on their machine (which might be extremly powerful or weak leading to wrong assumptions about the performance of an engine).

 

2) Given that, a newer engine is mostly seen as a good thing. Throw out some keywords like multicore support, 64bit support, physically based shader support and sutff like that, and they will totally buy it (even though most of them have no idea what is really behind these keywords).

 

3) Given that you care about what people think of the engine, Unity might not be your best bet. Unity seemed to have gathered some bad press on Steam and other consumer forums, people seem to think of it as an inferior engine.

Doesn't mean that is really true, what most probably happened is because Unity has been free and available to hobbyists and amateurs for some time and easier to get into than UDK and UE4, a lot of subpar games have been produced with it. That will taint the name of an engine over time, like it did with Gamemaker.

 

You could either try to go under the radar by not mentioning the name of the engine, or you could go all out by not only mentioning Unity, but at the same time show what you can do now thanks to unity. People will quickly forget about an engines bad name if you show them the shiny...




#5227522 3D SCANNING: Need advice on getting into the industry

Posted by Gian-Reto on 06 May 2015 - 09:32 AM

 being defense contractors, we might have an easier time getting access to things such as tanks.

 

That might not really help... the games I mentioned are trying to get in as much different vehicles as possible, so from as many different nations as possible. If you are a defense contractor for a particular country, that might actually be contraproductive when trying to scan vehicles from a different country or military, especially still active ones.

 

In this case you might be better off not mentioning your affilation with the military, or use a subsidiary just to make sure people in russia will not get the wrong impression if your contract is with the US military, and you are sent to the Kubinka museum to scan a vehicle.

 

 

Also, mentioning active vehicles, I have a hard time imaging that the military would let you scan still active vehicles. AFAIK they also prevent people from measuring things like armour thickness (which is commonly done for historical vehicles) for obvious reasons (armour and other details are classified information, even some time after retirement of a vehicle), so I don't know how they react if somebody gets too close to the vehicle with a 3D Scanner.

 

 

But this gets slightly offtopic...




#5227518 Simulators don't require creativity but pay little

Posted by Gian-Reto on 06 May 2015 - 09:17 AM

Thats like... your opinion man! (to quote the Duke)

 

Ellington ?  Wayne??  Of Earl ?  Iron ?

 

The Dude ...  El Duderino...  Your Dudeship...

 

 

Nooooooooo, I got it wrong... The Dude of course. How could I?

 

 

 

 

Yes, technical precision on recreating (simulating) some 'thing', but plenty of creativity possible with what you then DO with that thing.

 

ie- Realistic Auto Sim turned into Death Race 9000 or realistic Demolition Derby

 

+1 .... just because some "Game" Devs turn the Simulation genre into "F1 2015", "Flight Simulater 15" or "FIFA Soccer 15" yearly sequels which try first and foremost to reproduce a RL activity and then make that Simulation of this RL activity accessible to the general player via smart user interfaces (which, as said, need A LOT of creativity to get right) doesn't mean Simulation has to be that.

 

You could create a "Life on Mars" simulator... no matter if it simulates a day in the life of green lifeforms, or of human amateur astronauts shipped to mars without a return ticket, both could be called simulation. Heck, as much as I'd like to say the "Goat Simulator" doesn't deserve the name for the buggy joke it is (and a quite expensive one, though I guess some people got their moneys worth of entertainment out of it), calling it a simulator is not completly wrong.

 

In the end, according to Wiki a "Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time", which means the important part is to have a system running in the background that is emulating this function.

Any game with a physics engine running could be said to be a simulator... of course, the definition of the genre is different, but there is a simulation running in the game. If the game then happens to largely revolve around the results of this simulation, you COULD call it a simulator (Angry birds anyone :) )




#5227471 Questions concerning crowdfunding/risks

Posted by Gian-Reto on 06 May 2015 - 03:28 AM

One thing to think about (mentioned on another thread, but just to make sure you don't miss it):

 

 

If you look at a lot of successfully, high-profile Indie Kickstarter projects, many of them are projects that are almost finished, but ran out of money!

 

That means 90% of the funding/money was there, but because of a combination of misplanning / tight budgets, the last few grands had to be aquired over kickstarter.

This means:

a) showing off your project is easy as by that time, you will have a lot of ingame screenshots, vids and maybe even a playable demo available.

b) maybe the project had time to aquire a fanbase... people already waiting for the game, which makes it easier for them to decide to invest

c) the project is already on a good way, the uncertainity factor is low. Again making it easier for people to reach for their wallets.

 

 

 

As others said, Indie Game Development is a high risk job decision. You can try it if you have the funds or a job that can pay the bills, but unless you are really lucky and work hard at the same time, you will most probably fail to make any substantial money.

Its clearly not a sane decision to drop out of your school for that, and even taking a break for pursuing Indie dev is only a good idea if a) you want to get into the Game dev industry later on and need some portfolio pieces for that, and b) whatever you do in the 6 months you pause your education, you need to produce a tangible result in the end.

 

 

My advice:

a) finish school, get a job and make game dev your hobby until you are creating something that looks promising and are close to finishing... THEN you might think about a kickstarter and going Indie, but make sure you have the needed financial reserves for that. Don't try to rely on a kickstarter for your living expenses.

b) or finish school, find a job in the game dev industry, learn the trade, save up money and make good contacts while working on your own projects in your free time... THEN continue as under point a (with the added credibility of having a track record in the game dev industry and hopefully good contacts to fellow game devs that might prove helpful one way or another).






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