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cutting the cost of game development

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it is ridiculous to me that as the cost of producing other forms of entertainment has gone down, the cost of producing games has risen dramatically. as it stands, commercial game development requires a team of professionals, programmers and artists, which drives prices up and keeps novice developers out. this isn''t the case in other industries, like the film and music industries. while the price of making a huge hollywood movie has risen, the ameteur filmmaker can purchase the tools necessary to make a movie for under $1000. digital video camcorders continue to drop in price, and pretty soon the only way to tell a hollywood movie from a non-hollywood movie will be the amount of special effects that they slather on the screen (and the price of effects software is dropping too). likewise with music, where anyone with a couple thousand dollars to spend could get a copy of protools and make a song out of thin air. but, if the average gamer wanted to make a game, he would have to drop everything, enroll in university, attend for up to 4 years, and then get an entry-level position that allows him little control over the finished product. but all the gamer wants is a better game. i have a solution to this problem: game-making software. now, i know that there are small "rpg-makers" out there, which usually work with sprites, and aren''t quite relevant today. what i want to see is a program that allows the user to create his/her own 3D models and then to place these modules into a game setting. the user could dictate the rules of the game, getting as in depth as possible. such a program would not only reduce the cost and burden of game development, but would also help to insure quality products from an industry that now has to compete with a bunch of ameteurs who know what they like and what they don''t. of course, this would be a complicated, multi-tiered program, and would take a team of programmers and artists to assemble itself, and it would still take one user a long time to create a worthwhile game, but at least it breaks the monopoly over game design. any thoughts...?

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doesn''t pie in the sky 3D do that?

also GameStudio 3D does that to some extent.

there are plenty of game-authoring tools.
have you done an extensive search?

but to answer your question, yes it is a good idea, for game designers .

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I think the coolest thing about game development is that it is very difficult to get in this bussiness. That''s what makes it challenging and worthy of the effort.

Anyway this is totally IMVHO.

Now, about your idea, i think it would be very difficult to make a tool that doesn''t produce a set of games that are almost identical, as it happens with current rpg-makers.

Well, that''s all, now i will continue to work hard to get myself into real game developemment.

(sorry about my english)

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Ultimetly your bound by whatever restrictions the game making program has, sure you can make lots diffrent games, but they all have conform to the same basic rules.

Maybe if there where more free game engines availble the indpendent developer could do more but at present thats not the case. Afterall couter strike was done using the halflife engine is very popular. If there more options like that we could have more and possible better games, for instance if there was an RTS engine would see a lot more RTS games out there I''m sure.

But your comment on how the programmer has to go to university first and get traing. That is natural and its the same in all field, you have to gain the skill, experince and knowledge nessary to do a task before you can start. Afterall you can become a musican with out learning an instrumet.


-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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Game development can be very inexpensive, but it takes a lot of sacrifice and effort to get into. Having just gotten my first game published without a degree and without spendings hundreds of thousands of dollars I can tell you it is possible. On the total, aside from sweat equity, my team and I invested about $11,000 and one year of our time (full time) to get into the industry. Don''t worry, it''s possible but it takes a lot of time and effort.

Charles Galyon
www.neopong.com

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syn_apse, your take on the film industry is far over simplified and way off point. You''ve obviously never attempted to film a short.

For an example, one of the more successful low budget films to date is El Mariachi, which Robert Rodriguez made for just over $7000. And even at $7000 he borrowed the camera to shoot it on, he got all the guns on loan from the local police (free), all the actors worked for free, all the locations were in a small town in Mexico where the actor of the main character knew everyone (free), and Rodriguez was the only crew member (no room/board/food for other crew).

And basically 3D is to computer games what "special effects" are to "Hollywood" movies.

Honestly, I suggest you go rent El Mariachi and Desperado DVDs, and listen to the directors commentary. Its interesting, and in a weird way applicable to all Indy creations.

There arent any shortcuts or tools that will make up for lack sheer creativity and talent. And if you have creativity and talent you can make something good with almost anything you are given.

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yeh, i know there are a few of them out there, but they would all, like many of you have mentioned, make similar games. this isn''t what i want. i see no reason why it wouldn''t be possible to make a program that is capable of creating very different types of games; a maya or protools level program, with different modules for different types of gameplay experiences; rpg, rts, fps, combat.

quote:
Original post by kryat
syn_apse, your take on the film industry is far over simplified and way off point. You''ve obviously never attempted to film a short.

For an example, one of the more successful low budget films to date is El Mariachi, which Robert Rodriguez made for just over $7000. And even at $7000 he borrowed the camera to shoot it on, he got all the guns on loan from the local police (free), all the actors worked for free, all the locations were in a small town in Mexico where the actor of the main character knew everyone (free), and Rodriguez was the only crew member (no room/board/food for other crew).

And basically 3D is to computer games what "special effects" are to "Hollywood" movies.

Honestly, I suggest you go rent El Mariachi and Desperado DVDs, and listen to the directors commentary. Its interesting, and in a weird way applicable to all Indy creations.

There arent any shortcuts or tools that will make up for lack sheer creativity and talent. And if you have creativity and talent you can make something good with almost anything you are given.


please shut up. you obviously have no idea what you''re talking about. first of all, el mariachi is 11 years old. the point of my post was that the costs of ameteur film production were coming down, not going up in the past decade. the key word here is ameture. secondly, the vast majority of a film''s production budget goes towards creating a visual atmosphere, buying props and securing locations to film. with a game, you don''t have to worry about all that. a self-contained game making program would provide you with the tools needed to create all of the visuals needed for the game, without any need to borrow guns from the police department. third, please don''t compare 3D models in games with special effects in films. they aren''t even close. 3D is to special effects as a bomb is to the explosion that it creates.

and last but not least, i resent the implication that because i would enjoy such a product that i haven''t the creativity or talent to make a good game. i guess it''s all of the creativity and talent that keeps pumping out the same half-baked video games year after year after year. bullshit. there is absolutely no connection between learning a programming language and knowing what makes a good game. thats like saying that if you know how to use a camera, you also know what makes a good movie.

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Part of the reason the cost of other mediums has gone down is because they are more mature mediums, and the pressure to lower costs has been around for a long time, in addition to the technology advancements necessary for allowing that.

Game design, however, is still a maturing medium, and frankly, I doubt anybody knows where this business will be in five years or the what the products will look like. Those of us who think we do are keeping our cards closer to our chest, especially with recent developments.

Plus, it''s more cost intenstive to make games. Film, dance, painting, music, they require very little programming, modeling and animation if at all. Those skills have to be paid for, and, the bar for those skills is being raised all the time by the level of competition.

I don''t think the average gamer has to drop everything and start the long haul, I think if that is a choice one feels one is forced into instead of makes freely as a choice, perhaps this is not the business for one to be in. I do it out of real passion, like I do all my creative products. That way I know at least they will get done and they will get done as well as I can do them. Sometimes an artist has to forget about the commercial aspects in some parts of the creative process.

Game making software would be great, and aren''t there a ton of people out there trying really hard to make it. Uhfgood told me about this product on dead-code.org that seems to have a pretty good product, and it is free.

I look at is as a demo making tool and design tool, because a lot of it is rudimentary, but the point is, people are out there trying to make the game making software you want, it, just like the rest of this business is maturing slowly.

I think things will be going that way, and game making software will be around soon, but I also have to say that each game is unique, and a general toolset might not be exactly what everyone needs every time.

Addy

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