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Hello, there chappies. I have recently had the misfortune to have collide with my brain, quite uninvited, a little speck of inspiration which grew, unbidden, into a complete idea for an extremely complex game. Now, the downside is that, while I would love to see this...um...'vision', if you will, realised, I know nothing about programming and have no intention of getting involved in the game industry career-wise. My interest in this is purely that of the architect, not of the craftsman. Even assuming, perhaps unrealistically, that anyone else would see merit in the idea, I'm loathe to hand over my idea to a big company, as we all know what they do to ideas...unless this is made in it's entirety, it will be distinctly average and not worth the effort. Does anyone here have any advice? If I want to see this thing built, will I really have to spend thousands of pounds buying the use of a game engine and spend years coding it on my own? Any teeny-weeny scrap of advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Quote:
Original post by Skycaptain

If I want to see this thing built, will I really have to spend thousands of pounds buying the use of a game engine and spend years coding it on my own?


Yes.

Or you could save the pounds and code the engine yourself as well.

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I can't code; not a sausage. I'll have to learn from scratch. That could take rather a long time, couldn't it? Ah, well. Needs must, eh?
Checked out that A4 thing. That looks cool. I'll get stuck in. Ta muchly.

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You will never, ever get a professional company to make your idea into a game (in fact, most won't even read idea submissions just in case they ever decide to implement something similar).

Now, unless you have the funds to hire your own programmers, you'll have to do it all yourself or with some friends. You don't necessarily have to buy an engine; there are a couple of free ones floating around, but you still have to know how to program very well to use them.

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Unfortunately, idears for games come at a dime a dozen. The best bet would be to write what you have down, in it's entirity.

You may notice that there are many holes to be filled, for example, many 'graphical' idears sorely lack any story, and vice verse. Try to fill in these holes, and write that down too.

You should then try to think about how you would play this complex game, will it be 2d? 3d? text based? What kind of controls will you use? how many players? (and many more). Come up with as much as you can, and write it down too.

What you end up with at the end of this cerebral experience is a document that is very close to a "Design Specification", and a good bout of RSI.

Depending on how much detail you put into the specification, you may be able to post it here, and get some interest from developers, etc. Perhaps you will be able to pick up some people to help you make this game into a reality.

An important thing to remember here is that you will probably need help to complete this (especially if you have no code experience). Anyone that you add to the project will probably want to influence it as well. Also, if you are not willing to put in any more of the work than just the idear, your 'share' of the game will be quite small. Think 'Finders Fee', if that.

Another path you could take is to complete the Design Document, and if you have a bit of cash hire people to do it. Places like guru.com can supply developers if you have cash. The good thing about this method, is that you get to "keep your baby" so to speak. Bad thing is, that it's likely to be more expensive, you will be paying for the developer's years of experience, and their tools. Is this worth it?


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thats a pickle you have there Skycaptain. I think most of the advice here is pretty much exactly right. Dont take your game to a publisher/developer. they either:

A) throw it straight it the bin
B) Take some of your ideas and not give you credit
C) (worse case scenario) take your whole idea as their own. You could try and sue, or take legal action, but the chances of winning are slim and would cost you loads.

i think stagz advice is very good. write down every little detail of your idea. you can find articles on how to write design documents on the net. Fill in any holes you have just like Stagz advises.

One possible solution is to ask maybe an independent devco if they would like to do your game. Check www.GarageGames.net and you will find many independant games developers that would be more willing than a big publisher to take on your idea. And less likely to rip you off. You could work with them remotely bouncing ideas of each other and advising on the actual design of the game. They may even be able to suggest some ideas that may make your 'vision' even greater.

On the downside, they probably wont be able to make the game as pretty as a big developer. and it might take them longer. but i think this may be a good avenue to explore.

hope it helps and good luck! :D

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I have rather a detailed concept of how it should both play and look. As it's a strategy game, the interface would be fairly simple, with the main emphasis being on making it easy to navigate.
I'm trying to put together a design document, just so I can have a clear reference to stop me losing track more than anything, but I'm having some difficulty understanding the language used in some of the templates. I shall persevere, though.
As my financial resources are, for the purposes of employing other people, literally nil, I may well be building it entirely on my own, unless I can convince some mates that it is a worthwhile use of their time.
Really, I just want to build it because it's the game I've always wanted to play, but that no developer will ever make. Even if I'm the only one who ever plays it, that's fine...
Mind you, I'll give your idea a try, Multiverse. I don't mind about pretty, it's mostly gameplay I'm after, anyway.

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come to think of it Skycaptain, me and my mates are finishing uni soon, and we would possibly be making a game as a team to show prospective employers that we can make a game and work in a team.

Actually it'll be about 5 months, but, if you havnt got anywhere with getting it made, and you still want it made after that time (and we havnt got a job already!) we might be able to help. i know thats a lot of if's, but if the situation is right, we mite be interested in seeing your idea and hopefully being able to get it made into an actual game.

i know thats a long time away, and is likely not to happen, its still a possibility to consider for the future.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Hey, it's something!
I'll warn you now; it's a strategy game. I'm not sure how enthusiastic you'd be about that.

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Maybe you are trying to run up a wall with no bricks.

At first games were a total mystery to me when I started coding and then after I wrote my first game I realised it was no longer a mystery but many.But to which answers can be found.

Maybe you should at least give programming a try, you might like it, and it will help you understand the goobledook we speak.

Quote:

I dont know by whom
Development(programming) is inversly proportional to the management

That's because the management dont know what the programmers are talking about and the programmers cant even belive what the management is talking about.

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Ow. I've been trying to make some headway in this thing myself. I now have a very bad headache, although that may be at least partly down to the 'flu. It looks like I'm going to have to buy about a million books with titles like 'C++ for Idiots' and so forth, as I cannot find any tools or gubbins online that would make life any easier. If I wanted to build a FPS I would be laughing. Alas, I do not. Screens full of bizarre squiggles and made up words, here I come.

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Okay - first things first - don't learn C++. The amount of work from non-coder to C++ engine dev is staggering.

Honestly, for you, I'd recommend a complete platform. Something that handles everything, including code.

There are a few:

VirTools. Problem: they don't list the price on their site. In IT speak that means "If you have to ask, you can't afford it". The scripting language is all graphical - a wire-based functional language very similar to LabView.

Torque. Clunkier than VirTools, but cheap as platforms go. Traditional written-script embedded language.

3d GameStudio. Don't know a thing about it, but its generally considered "kiddy".

First things first: Ego-Shooter? Vehicle? Strategy?

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Well, learn to program then. I did, being in exactly the same situation ("I'll be the designer, but i don't want to get stuck programming"). Now, i'm more interested in the programming then the original game idea i had that made me learn to program in the first place.

I'm not saying it's the easier way to go, but if you are as stubborn as i am, you might pull it off. It's much more difficult to find someone to do it for you, i'm sure, unless you have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around.

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The idea is for a strategy game. Rather a complicated one, even compared to the likes of Rome: Total War. I'm not looking for great graphics or whatever, just something simple to build a prototype for just now. I can't seem to find anything that will let me do what I want to do, though. Even a nice 2d wotsit would do. You don't REALLY need super 3d swirl-o-vision for a strategy game.
I tried Game Studio; I'm sure it's great for adventure games and all that first-person stuff, but I can't see how it would be any help to me. Maybe it would, but the manual doesn't seem to indicate that this is the case.
Still; I guess if it was easy to pick up, nobody would be willing to shell out £30 a game, would they?

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