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Enlighter

ANYONE here do programing for consoles?

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To do proper development for consoles (particularly the GameCube) you need a development kit from the console manufacturer, and they only give them out to pro houses with lots of experience and money, or publishers.

So given that 95% of the developers here are indie, and the other 5% are under NDA, you probably won''t find much.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.

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SO basically if you come up with a console game idea you have to submit it to the company and have them produce it?

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quote:
Original post by Enlighter
SO basically if you come up with a console game idea you have to submit it to the company and have them produce it?


Game ideas on their own are worth approximately $0.00. Complete game designs on their own are worth the same.


The console games business works more or less like this:

- To be allowed to release a game on a console you MUST have a publisher who is licensed to release software for that platform willing (in writing) to publish it. The licensed publishers are mainly the larger ones (EA, Infogrames, Take2 etc).


- To get hold of the development hardware and SDKs and be given access to the registered developer newsgroups and websites you must proove to the console manufacturer that:

a) You are a proper company, and operate from proper premises.

b) Your company and/or key staff have a track record of working on successful, published (i.e. sold through international retail) games. i.e. that you _know_ how to put together a console game and can cope with the technical and artistic challenges and differences compared to a PC game.

c) Your company is financially stable and well managed. To rent a single devkit sets you back around ~US$10000, each license of your build system (e.g. ProDG etc) around $3000 etc. Multiply by say 4 programmers. Add in the cost of debug stations, custom DVD burners, special media etc (all required). Add in the cost of artist preview hardware etc. Oh, and that you can afford a top security system and high insurance to cover that equipment. All before you''ve even started paying wages for the development.

d) Your company has a publishing deal for the game it''s proposing for the console platform (see above).

e) Your game is viable and will sell. They''ll want to see the complete game design document and technical design document. If you don''t already have the devkits, they won''t let you touch them until they''re happy with the game design etc. Even if you do have the devkits, they won''t let you release the game unless they''ve seen the GDD and TDD. They''ll also want to see the game near the end of development and have the right to prevent you from releasing it if they feel it doesn''t compare well with what your GDD and TDD said.


- To get a publisher to agree to publish your game you have to convince (note: not necessarily proove) them most of the same things you have to proove to the console manufacturer. Realistically, unless you can self fund (i.e. you''ve won the lottery), you''re asking them to GAMBLE in the region of $2-4million. Understandably they don''t like to take too many risks when dealing in that kind of money so go for safe bets. Both in terms of development companies they choose and in terms of games.


- Only established, industry experienced development companies (or startups headed by 15+ year industry veterans) can properly satisfy the above requirements from publishers and console hardware manufacturers.


- EVERYONE has an "idea" for a game, if I''m going to the airport and I tell the taxi driver I work in games he''ll tell me of this "cool idea for a *new* type of game". People try and tell me and everyone in the industry their ideas all the time. Everyone IN the industry has cool ideas for games, and usually a lot more realistic and viable than those from outside. Unfortunately it all comes down to money and risk - for every publisher that has $2-4million to publish a game, I''d say there''s at least 10,000 ideas that could be turned into products with that cash, and at least 400 companies submitting complete demos, GDDs, TDDs etc who''d like to be "the one" who gets that cash. Funding from banks etc is the same and more risky to the developer (i.e. are YOU sure your idea is risk free).


A common response when people first see how tough it is to get a console game out or obtain the hardware is "that''s so unfair, how are people/companies expected to break into the business" or "but XYZ game was crap, why don''t they give indies a chance" etc. The two common ways "in":

- join an established developer who is already licensed to develop for console hardware. Work on a few games there for say 5 years. THEN you have experience of working on console games and successful retail games - things a publisher and console manufacturer are going to want from key staff for a console product.

- start on a lesser platform with less (or no) requirements, for example the GameBoy Color - or even the PC. Get some properly published titles (i.e. retail) under your belt, get a track record as a company and then try to move up once your foundations are solid. Beware though - there are more people who want to have companies in this industry than there is funding to go around. Since the lesser (in effort terms) platforms are easier to get to work on, you find many more companies operating at that level (think of it being like a pyramid structure with the 3 major hardware vendors and their internal staff at the point and all the PC and GBC people at the fat end).


--
Simon O''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

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Would you mind talking further through e-mail with me about this? You clearly have much more experience then I and I would like to take advantage of your knowledge.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by S1CA



The console games business works more or less like this:

- To be allowed to release a game on a console you MUST have a publisher who is licensed to release software for that platform willing (in writing) to publish it. The licensed publishers are mainly the larger ones (EA, Infogrames, Take2 etc).




Absolutely not ture. You can buy a compiler for it from Metrowerks(PS2,XBox,GBA,GC). GBA and GameCube are encouraging that Idies dev for them. And are basically giving them away. Same with PS and XBox.

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Can you back this up with proof? I would love to see some evidence of this. Some links or contact info for nintendo would be great.

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Metrowerks requires you to be a licensed developer before they''ll sell you a compiler.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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