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OdHero

About 'Having an idea'.

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Everygames design article, forum, or discussion always seem to have a statement along the line of... 'You say you got a great idea for a game? I can tell you that your idea could be fantastic but it isn't worth nothing'. I am on of the people who have had an idea for a game, rather than amazing new gameplay more of making a good complex story, and hopefull creating a good combat system, mixing elemtents from previous games of it's kind. Anyway, I was wondering what do these people think idea as? Because when I think of it I mean having a plan of charchters, story, areas, enemies, gameplay elements etc, all planeed on paper. I was hoping that this was the start of showing my ideas to developers and see what they thought. Are most people thinking that ideas are rubbish in the form of 'Oh my lord, I though up of an amazing idea for a game, it crosses pac man with tetris!', or does a detailed plan of my ideas count for nothing?

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I get a general theme for the game, and how it's played. That makes a great idea for a game, but doesn't move it closer to a great game. It's just the foundation for one.

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I guess what I mean is, if I approach a games company, with a plan of all my ideas, thats in depth detail of story gameplay charcters etc, would they take the time to read through and consider looking at making a game out of it. Kind of in the same way someone gets a book published. I mean instead of just having a good idea and saying to a company 'Hey guys, I had this idea for a great game, just imagine pac man meets tetris, i can explain it abit more, but want to make my game, its sure to be a hit'.

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Quote:
Original post by OdHero
I guess what I mean is, if I approach a games company, with a plan of all my ideas, thats in depth detail of story gameplay charcters etc, would they take the time to read through and consider looking at making a game out of it. Kind of in the same way someone gets a book published. I mean instead of just having a good idea and saying to a company 'Hey guys, I had this idea for a great game, just imagine pac man meets tetris, i can explain it abit more, but want to make my game, its sure to be a hit'.


Imagine:

"Hi game development company. I just had this great idea. I understand you guys have lots of experience and ideas, but they're nothing compared to this idea. I want all of you to work on it for two years, figure out details, invest your blood, sweat, and tears into it until it is a commercial success. Then give me the money and credit because I had an awesome idea."

OR imagine:

"Hi game development company. I know you guys have your own profitable company, experience on making things that I know almost nothing about, but here is a great idea that I want you to spend the next 18 months and at least $1.5 million bucks on, because it's a really good idea. I'm only asking for credit as 'other design by', but you should drop your other ideas and use this one instead."

Are those realistic?

NO!

Why not?

Because you are offering them almost nothing (an idea) and they are risking and investing everything.

Now, imagine this one:

"Hi game development company. I'm offering $1.5M if you will make this idea into a game. Any takers?"

Or

"Hi game publishers. I've just spent the equivalent of $1.5M making this game, will you publish it?"

Those two might get you somewhere.

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I guess what I mean is, if I approach a games company, with a plan of all my ideas, thats in depth detail of story gameplay charcters etc, would they take the time to read through and consider looking at making a game out of it.


It's my understanding that they wouldn't even look at it.

Firstly, the company probably has ideas lined up longer than they could ever hope to impliment.

Secondly, they don't want to read a good idea only so you can sue them later for implimenting an idea that's even vaguely similar.

And that ignores any machinations that a gamedev company has to go through with a publishing company just to get their games greenlit...

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On the other hand, take these pieces of your post, re-arrange them a little bit, and you get this....

Quote:
Original post by OdHero, completely rearranged by frob
I ... have ... an idea for a game.
I can tell [the] idea could be fantastic.
I have ... a detailed plan of my ideas ... all planned on paper.
I [am] showing my ideas to developers [here on the forums.]
What do [you] think of this ... great idea for a game?


Then follow it up with something in Help Wanted:
Quote:
Something to post on the Help Wanted forum, properly formatted
I am making this game as my own hobby project. Here is a demo and basic proof of concept. Would anybody like to help it out?

Now you have a chance.

frob.

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
Quote:

I guess what I mean is, if I approach a games company, with a plan of all my ideas, thats in depth detail of story gameplay charcters etc, would they take the time to read through and consider looking at making a game out of it.


It's my understanding that they wouldn't even look at it.

Firstly, the company probably has ideas lined up longer than they could ever hope to impliment.

Secondly, they don't want to read a good idea only so you can sue them later for implimenting an idea that's even vaguely similar.

And that ignores any machinations that a gamedev company has to go through with a publishing company just to get their games greenlit...

It isn't hard to get somebody to just look at it. Post it and request comments. Several people here on the board are in the industry and can comment. [smile]

I seriously doubt that anybody would take your idea, or that your idea is sufficiently unique that you could sue a developer over it. I can count on one hand the number of those that I've seen, and nobody I've met has had the resources to implement them.

You can insist that it is a great idea, and that the idea itself is worth thousands or millions of dollars. If so, see a lawyer because that idea really is that valuable. Next, be prepared to sign an agreement with anybody you show the plans to so you prevent legal troubles with them. You'll also need to pay reviewers for their time, but it's not a big deal since the idea is so valuable. But that's almost certainly not the case.


frob.

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Actually, while I don't want to discredit your storying writing, world creating, and character building skills (they're almost definitely better than mine), those types of ideas are probably worth less than creative new gameplay style ideas, and are also the type of ideas that usually get criticized in the way that you are worried about. A lot of people can create characters, worlds, and stories (although some are better at it than others, no doubt), but new and creative gameplay styles can revolutionize the industry or create all new genres.

But such revolutionizing genre-defining concepts are much more difficult to come by as well (which is a good reason why they are more valuable), and it usually takes creative genius, plenty of experience of what makes good or bad gameplay, and a good chunk of luck in stumbling upon the idea.

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Quote:
Original post by OdHero
....I was hoping that this was the start of showing my ideas to developers and see what they thought.
You already read the answer in all the other forums, yet you still ask the question.

You asked so here is the answer.... your idea is worthless UNLESS YOU HAVE THE MEANS TO ACTUALLY MAKE THE GAME. No developer or publisher (of retail games) will even look at it. If you want to know why read http://www.obscure.co.uk/faq_idea.shtml.

As Frob said. The best use for your idea would be to post it here or try to assemble a hobby team in Help Wanted to make the game.

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Quote:
Original post by OdHero
I guess what I mean is, if I approach a games company, with a plan of all my ideas, thats in depth detail of story gameplay charcters etc, would they take the time to read through and consider looking at making a game out of it. Kind of in the same way someone gets a book published.

When you approach a publisher for a book, what they read is an actual piece of your book. You don't just walk over to a publisher and go 'I have an idea for a book that would be great, but someone else's gotta write it'.

In the same way, you could approach a game company with a working prototype of your game, and ask for funding to finish it yourself.

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