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MetaIIika

How many programmers and 3D/2D artists are needed to make a game?

13 posts in this topic

How about a 3D adventure game at least 10 hours long with graphics close to MDK2 or Unreal Tournament.
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you must realize that w/ those types of games, the programmers are probably more needed than the artists...the artists help, yes, but a lot of it''s the programming.

with 2D artist have more influence on the overall quality of the look of the game...at least IMO


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

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Still depends on a lot of things.

Are you liscensing any technology? If you got the Unreal Tournament engine, then you''d need far fewer programmers. And if you want to code an engine of the same quality in a mixture of Ada, Perl and assembly, well... you''re going to need a lot of programmers (And a huge QA department).

What kind of character density are you talking about? Will you create a village full of 50 completely differently skinned peasants? Or will each place have only one or two characters, and most of those clones of each other.

How many different levels/zones are you using? It''s a lot easier if everything happens in one place. ex: staying in one mansion (ala 7th Guest) vs. cross continent trip including trips to the Incan, Mayan and Egyption ruins and the top of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.

Will it be cross platform? If yes, you''ll probably need specialists for the the different platforms, on top of other programming needs.

What''s the time scale? You need more people to ship something in a year than you do to ship something in three years.

I''m sure there are other factors. Sometimes in the post-mortems on Gamasutra, they''ll specify the size of the programming and art teams in the closing statistics, so you might want to check that out.
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I would probably have to have it finished in a years time (limited funding). I have no plans to liscense a game engine, although I might if it doesn''t cost alot. The levels would be laid out closer to MDK2 in size, length, and design. It would be for Windows(for sure) and MAC(if time permits); then later go to consoles if it sells well. I was thinking about 5 programmers and 5 artists, but I''ve never produced a game before so I don''t know if thats best.
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These days, you''re looking at something like a 2/3 ratio of artists to programmers. Ie, way more artists than programmers. A good estimate for # of programmers for a full scale 16-24 month project is 4-6. These numbers will vary by game type of course, but that''s a pretty good average. And you need to factor in at least one sound guy, at least one lead designer, and probably a writer or two.

And most importantly, a publisher willing to part with 2-3 million for product development.
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Sorry to wade in as usual on these posts ...BUT
I have two points to make here:

1)You do not NEED 2 or 3 million dollars to make any kind of game. Remember this is not landing on the moon we are planning here, its a GAME. look up the word GAME in the dictionary, dont be surprised to see the word FUN in there somewhere.
I used to work with a guy who would play PacMan all day, even though he had Half Life installed. why? BECAUSE ITS FUN!
spending millions of dollars on a game will not make it a better game automatically. In fact, you are just making it harder to recoup your investment, and making it more likely that you are directly competing with the real big franchises like Quake, Sim City et al.

2)Are you trying to persuade someone to invest several million in your game? If so, and if you have to ask the gamedev boards for help on how many people you need, then you are NOT at the stage where somebody will lend you the money. (That is what they are doing after all).
I have several completed games under my belt, some of which are selling quite reasonably, yet I stil find it hard to get thousands of dollars from publishers in advance, let alone millions, and I know exactly my requirements, and have a firm commited business plan.
Its probably better to start small, get a finished product that shows you can deliver the goods, and THEN ask for the big sums.

Just my opinion, Don''t flame me

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Hehehe RM, That''s a classic answer

In my opinion you''d need 1 or 2 3d Modeler''s, 2 or 3 texture artists, and a 2d artist just to do stuff like the GUI.

As for programmer''s, it really depend''s on several thing''s. Sicne you can''t afford to license a 3d engine you''ll have to develop your own. Also, is it going to be multiplayer at all ?
How about graphic libraries, you going to use OpenGL ? D3D ? or some other third party.

For a full 3d adventure game 10 hour''s long of game play to be completed in 12 months. 7 Programmer''s approx. In my opinion, of course it depends on the skill''s of each person that''s in the project. And if you''re going to be producing it which no previous experience, I wouldn''t expect to finish on time, if at all.
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A publisher giving 2-3 millons to someone who starts planifying a game by asking "how many programmers and artists should I hire?"... well at least is nice to see that some game developers keep having a HUGE imagination.

I agree with Cliffsky.

No offense MetaIIika but I think that if you have just no idea about managing a game development team then you should not be doing it basically cos you will hurt people, those programmers and artists you hire will end up having wasted their time, you can start by doing something else related to games, or maybe selling hamburgers cos there''s a lot of people who are now selling hamburgers that know more about making a videogame if they would have the chance ($).

Does anybody remember the address of that site that had something saying "You know your game is in trouble when...", I want to add this.
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Cliffski nailed it on the head, but to add my own $0.02 worth:

First, if you really want to get something out the door before you die of old age, consider licensing an inexpensive engine (and there are several under $500.00, and two free that are worth using IMNSHO). For $60.00 you can buy the book that comes with the full source code for Fly3D, an OpenGL-based engine that has _zero_ use restrictions (I''m working with it for my next couple of titles, both first-person arcade games). For FREE you can get Genesis3D, an acceptable engine that has a lot of community support (I used it for my last open-source project, now spun off on its own). Writing your own engine (and by this I mean 3D graphics and audio systems along with the tools to support your custom engine, not including the AI and such) will add an easy 6 to 8 months to your development cycle.

Second, you''ll definitely need more artists than programmers for anything even faintly RPG-ish (and I''m assuming you mean that kind of thing when you say ''adventure game''). The amount of content that has to be dumped into such a game is _scary_ _huge_. If you''re doing a first-person shooter you can get away with less content (fewer textures, less audio work) but you''ll need killer engineers to get you excellent AI and top in-game effects (or you''ll end up in the bargain bin, a fate somewhat worse than death in some cases).

You might consider structuring your game in "episodes" - get the engine done, and put together a short (2-3 hours of play) "intro episode" and see how it works out. It lets you get some proof of concept for your game design before you commit to putting together the game equivalent of War And Peace...!

In my experience you can put something interesting and fun to play together with about 1-2 programmers and 3 or more artists, provided you''re not trying to outdo Diablo II. This is all, of course, in my arrogant and obnoxious opinion!

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It wouldn''t be a BGD thread without cliffski''s tired old tirade about not needing big budgets and don''t forget about roller coaster tycoon etc.etc.etc.

But if you''ve never produced a game before, starting off with a 3d adventure game is pretty unrealistic. Unless you''ve just won the lottery...
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Whew let me boil it down into a simple plan for you:

1) Read articles on GameDev and www.gamasutra.com
Your post painfully shows that you''ve done little or no research at all. Research is one of the keys to being a project leader, and also a way I generally start my work day off.

2) Play some more games. I see a lot of people that just played X title and want to make a game just like it. Expand your horizons and see what others have done, as every title you play may serve as good reference material in some form or another.

3) Read Gamedev''s Help Wanted section and play spot the whiner. You can get some good knowledge of how NOT to behave as a project lead form there. (Sorry guys, but it IS true).

4) I''m guessing you want to be the designer. Well then write a design document, or two or three. In fact write a design document on a game about washing cars. If you can make that into an interesting concept then you''re on the right track. Make sure to detail how EVERYTHING works. You don''t need to get into engine code, but you should know how many frames an animation should take etc.

5) Once you have those docs you can even begin to balance out how many people you''ll need in each department vs. the alotted time and the scope of the game.

6) Work. Project lead can easily become the equivalent of 2 full-time jobs with the time you''ll be investing.

Once you can do all that, you''ll know the answers.
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