Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Your Dev Team Size?

This topic is 5499 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I posted this in the General Programming forum, but I think the Game Programming forum is more appropriate: Just curious as to some of you out there who have small teams making games starting out. I''m doing some simple stuff right now alone with 2 guys doing graphics, so three people right now. We are starting over building breakout (yeah we tried for awhile too big too soon), and the graphics guys are building skins for each level right now, but what about you? What kind of teams do you guys have? 2, 3, 5, 10 people? Have you noticed at the end of a big commercial game, you''ll see credits for 50+ people? How big of games have you written? This is more for discussion. Being a lone programmer, sometimes I wonder what I can really accomplish by myself. I enjoy it, and will do game programming for awhile until my brain gives out, but for discussion sake, how big is your team and what do you expect to accomplish with that team? ( even if it''s one person ) Much greatness is achieved thru perseverance and faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ONE!! I rule!

quote:
Original post by Paladin__
Have you noticed at the end of a big commercial game, you''ll see credits for 50+ people? How big of games have you written?



Did you know that old games were developed by ~10 people? I played some old games (Strider in NES), and read the credits:

Programming: a name here
Artist: a name here
Producer: a name here

etc...unlike today''s games:
Programing: 5 names here
Artist: 5 names here





My compiler generates one error message: "does not compile."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good organization will determine your need for people.

With my work it''s always a matter of finding 1 responsible, mature and professional person to handle each different area of the project.

My area is engine design and system analysis. Im an old school programmer, 13 year network veteran with a penchant for game balance and picking things to pieces to see what makes them tick and then optimizing them. What I look for is good people to take over the other aspects of the game. I need to find someone to be responsible for artwork, someone for coding, someone for website, someone for databases etc. Once those people have been selected, if they want to solicit more help from others thats up to them.

Depending on the scope of your game sometimes 1 person per field is more than enough. Sometimes 1 person can cover 2-3 fields. For example I dont concider "skins" it''s own field. I clasify that as digital art and whoever is heading up the digital art gets the skins job thrown at him. On my current project Artwork is broken into concept art, digital art and 3D modeling. 3 very distinct subclasses of artwork. For a game like breakout I would expect 1 good person should be able to handle all of the artwork. I wouldnt see a need to bring 15 people onboard to make a paddle game =)

But you know what. It''s your game =) If you need 10 people use 10 people. Just keep them focussed or the whole thing degenerates into a redneck test of manhood as to whose ideas are "better".

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right, I know I could handle Breakout on my own. I have 3 people right now, so I''m using 3 people. But I''m guessing what one programmer and two artists are capable of?

I was trying to do it all on my own and spend part time doing code, then part time on graphics. I was moving too slow to feel good about anything.

With Breakout, I''ve filled in the gaps of all the stuff I skipped the first time around and had them create skins for the game itself.

Just wondering how big of a game 3 people could make? Seems like a huge task for what I have right now. Oh, I''m not discouraged or anything right now, but I like the discussion, and it helps me feel better about what I''m trying to do.

I know the BIG stuff is usually done by 10 to 50 people in a reasonable amount of time. Do pre-built game engines help offset the need for so many people?

Much greatness is achieved thru perseverance and faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''m just one person right now. I''ve got the programming down pretty well, and 3-d modelling is okay, but i suck at texture art, so I may have to look for someone for this later, once I get the engine fully designed.

I only work very part time at game programming (I''m in school, studies come first), but I''ve alreay got a really good skinned skeletal animation system down with vertex shaders. I think if I had 8 hours a day to sit and write code, I could already have a good engine done.

I don''t see the need for super large teams. I''ve never taken on a huge project, but I don''t see the need for so many people. I think a lot of the credits are for marketing, testing, producer...blah blah. I''d rather work in small teams, it seems much easier to organize. I can understand having a programmer for the different aspects of the game, sound, graphics, etc. A lot of people seem to end up as level creators or level designers, which to me, seems like it would take longer than the programming in some cases.

________________________
Grab your sword, and get prepared for the SolidSteel RPG engine, coming soon...(i.e. when it''s done)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, I do alot myself. I''ve been lucky in the fact that work requires me to learn Photoshop to do web graphics, so it wasn''t much of a stretch to begin to learn texturing. I''m still learning mind you, but I''m not having to learn the Photoshop interface.

I didn''t want to pay 3k for 3D studio max, so I bought Truespace as my 3D software package, but it''s taken time to learn it and I suck at it hehe, thus my two friends as graphics guys. I also paid for Milkshape. Anyone who would offer a cool package at a great price deserves my money. I don''t like hacked copies of anything. Being a programmer, I wouldn''t want others to get hacked copies of my stuff, so I want to do right by others.

I''m a wanna-be musician living in Nashville, so I hope to tackle game tracks and sound as well, but I feel it''s alot for one person to do when you put it all together. I have a very nice keyboard, and I''m very good at guitar. A drum machine should fix the only thing that I lack when it comes down to it, along with computer sound software I''ll need to learn.

I think my key now, is to keep it simple. A simple game can go far if it''s fun. I love Role Playing Games, but that is just alot of work to do. I will write a few, just because they are fun, but I don''t expect them to be the greatest things in the world. Maybe one day, when I''m worth my weight in salt, I will group up with a few people worth their weight and do a big game. Who knows. I''m having fun, that''s all I know right now...



Much greatness is achieved thru perseverance and faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, I''m that way right now, except for a few graphics friends I know that help. They are not what I would call professionals, but they do have an ability, and an interest... kinda like me right now.

I will end up doing most of the programming stuff on my own, but being by myself, at what point would I consider myself good enough to write games for a living? Since I live in TN, it''s not like the game companies are here. AND, since I don''t want to move, I guess if I ever wanted to do more than just be a hobbyist (which isn''t a bad thing), then I''d have to write games and sell them over the internet. I do enjoy game programming alot, but with work, wife, kids, dogs, Church, etc, I''m lucky to get 2 hours a night or every other night writing games. Makes it hard to progress as quickly as I''d like. We programmers can be impatient when trying to accomplish something.

I hear producers are worse for the big time games. I''ve seen a few online games released no where near ready full of bugs. Oh well, such is the nature of the professional business I guess.

Much greatness is achieved thru perseverance and faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the place I work right now we have a couple of projects going on. One of them, that''s further along, started with about 20 people and is now up to 30~40 or so. The other project is at about 15~25 people...but I''m not sure if that''ll grow or not.

One thing to realize is that the larger a project gets it not only requires more actual work, but more coordination as well. If you''re the lone coder and you go to work on something new in the game, you almost undoubtably know how that hooks in with the rest of the game. If you''re on a larger team then part of the work is coordinating your work with the rest of the team. Are you going to do something that breaks something else? Are you going to re-invent the wheel? Are you going to introduce a gameplay mechanic that works well with the rest of the game? Etc? It can be a daunting task to say the least...

Same thing on the art and design side. The team as a whole needs to make sure that all the levels and characters look and feel the same, and that the quality and style is consistant throughout. Or for design, you need to make sure that the levels and interaction in one area "fit" with the other areas....and all that kind of jazz.

Another thing to realize about big teams is that the producers, testers, QE, publisher producers, etc all play into it. There are milestones that you must turn in, and approvals for art, design, and code that must be met. Bug testing and tracking is often done both locally and at the publisher. All of this must be coordinated. Oh, and don''t forget getting demos ready for magazines, going to trade shows like E3, etc. All of this takes extra time and effort, but is what makes it possible for your game to get into market, become known, etc.

All things being equal, I''m of the opinion that a smaller team that has more time can make a better game then having more people that work within a shorter time. However, that does not usually turn out to be the case. Almost all publishers want your game to be ready to go within 1~2 years, and usually for multiple platforms. This kind of time frame, coupled with the ever-increasing expectations of what a game will play and look like are why the team size has grown quite large over the last few years.

I still think a lone guy, or small group of people can make a good game. It just requires very good planning, time, and patience =)

-John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've noticed that a lot of people that post around here are lone wolves. ( 1 person ) I guess thats just because of the difficulty of getting a team or that a large amount of people are still learning.

I stick to me, myself, and I. It gives me confidence in my abilities and I don't depend on others to do my work. All and all I would say that until a person is pretty skilled at their programming ability, they should stick to themselves.


Well that was my two cents...



[edited by - XtremeMatrix on November 25, 2002 10:09:21 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 programmer(me), 1 artist/musician/designer/storywriter, 1 musician, 1 artist/level maker, 2 artists who sometimes contribute, 1 sound effects person

and we're accomplishing making a game! (It's pretty big and It'll be done soon too!)

[edited by - atcdevil on November 26, 2002 10:47:50 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 person

I expect myself to always create challenging games

I expect to complete my ultimate project, a culmination of all the strengths of other projects currently being worked on.

Fortunately, it''s going so slowly that by the time it gets written the technology to implement it will be available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The development team that me and some of my friends created includes 2 programmers, 2 3D modelers, 1 pixel artist, 2 story writers, 1 special effects artist, and 1 level designer. That''s 9 people on our development team.

If thispost = 0 Then
GoBack()

Else
Read()
End If

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it''s hard as a new game developer to keep a team of friends interested. I had 6 people at one time trying to make a simple RPG, but because we aimed too high, I lost almost everyone, except 2. Keeping a team motivated and busy is something that can be as difficult as making the game itself. I made some quick progress up front, but then everyone got discouraged when things slowed down.

It''s probably easier when it''s your job and you want to pay the bills. I DID trim my sites back and I''m making some 2D games right now until my skills develop to where I want them to be, but until then, a team goes through ups and downs that I think a single developer can manage better. I do the bulk of the work right now, so when I hit times when I just don''t feel up to programming, it''s easier to take a break without worrying about the team impact of my laziness.

There ARE good and bad sides to having a team, but I think the key is to treat the hobby like a real job. Even the fun stuff can feel like work sometimes.

Much greatness is achieved thru perseverance and faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites