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UltimoNoressi

Need help starting commercial game company in NYC

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Im have been put in a position of being able to start a game company, problem is I am a designer/producer/visionary/heart of the company type (much like a Sid Meier, Peter Molyneux,Miyamoto, Lord British type). I wont lie, I need help, when it comes to writing business plans, setting up a staff im pretty dumbfounded. Not to mention im not sure if we should go the route of design house where we just hire developers to put the games together for us, or we go in house. Thing is we would definitely have access to enough money to be able to set up distribution deals with publishers which I do have contacts with. This may sound strange but im looking for ANYONE in the NYC area who right now wont quit their day job, but eventually wants to run their own company, let me be the concept guy, the heart of the company blah, blah, blah. I have experience in the field, and have those in the industry from high end companies who can attest to my talent, problem is Im raw and I can admit that, but I also dont want to do this the purely traditional way either, im looking for someone who wants to break new ground, but also understands what it means to get us what we need as far as finances. I want to make a difference in this industry as ive been wanting to be in it since I was three years old, and I want my company one day to be respected not just industry wise, but by the gaming public as well, I would love to run on a similar system that Bioware runs on as they respect their employees and love what they do, I also want to give others who dont normally get chances in this industry a chance. I just need my (open minded and willing to take risks as well as being flexible) straight man who can handle these things, while I go be the crazy guy who makes the insane multimillion dollar IP's. I have a firm grasp on business, know the structure and even the corporate culture I want set up eventually (im not one of those guys idiot enough to blow a budget on some assinine far reaching seven year project like a Shenmue or something), but I really do feel like it saps your creative end, and Im sorry I have universes to create and MMO concepts to come up with. I am willing to share power, and this is not the gist of what im doing, im partnered up with someone else who is from another part of the industry and he beleives in my talent, and honestly we are really working on something pretty revolutionary if I say so myself when it comes to synergy. So if youre in NYC and you would like to talk please let me know, I cannot express how serious I am about this, and upon meeting me you will realize why I cannot pass up an opportunity like this and you can meet my partner as well. You can reach me at either madnon@hotmail.com or Maquiame@yahoo.com, or my aim Azuraedon.

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Quote:
Original post by UltimoNoressi
Im have been put in a position of being able to start a game company, problem is I am a designer/producer/visionary/heart of the company type (much like a Sid Meier, Peter Molyneux,Miyamoto, Lord British type).

Each of these people had prior game experience. Sid Meier had over a decade of experience before starting his company (it wasn't indie, it was aligned with Microprose). Molyneux was 27 when he started Bullfrog (Populus), and had done work before then. Miyamoto worked for Nintendo for three years prior to Donky Kong -- and Nintendo was a 90-something-year-old game company at that time. Richard Garriott (Lord British) didn't have any earlier significant failures, but his first game "Akalabeth" is something any competent student should be able to produce very quicly today. It was successful because there were so few games, and nobody feared viruses from programs distributed on disks sold in ziplock bags.
Quote:
I wont lie, I need help, when it comes to writing business plans, setting up a staff im pretty dumbfounded. Not to mention im not sure if we should go the route of design house where we just hire developers to put the games together for us, or we go in house. Thing is we would definitely have access to enough money to be able to set up distribution deals with publishers which I do have contacts with. This may sound strange but im looking for ANYONE in the NYC area who right now wont quit their day job, but eventually wants to run their own company, let me be the concept guy, the heart of the company blah, blah, blah.
So the only real asset you have is money? That's always a good start.
Chances are you will discover that your post belongs in the "help wanted" section rather than the business forum, but that mistake happens often enough.
Quote:
This may sound strange but im looking for ANYONE in the NYC area who right now wont quit their day job, but eventually wants to run their own company, let me be the concept guy, the heart of the company blah, blah, blah.

No, it doesn't sound strange.
Quote:
Im raw and I can admit that, but I also dont want to do this the purely traditional way either, im looking for someone who wants to break new ground, but also understands what it means to get us what we need as far as finances. I want to make a difference in this industry as ive been wanting to be in it since I was three years old, and I want my company one day to be respected not just industry wise, but by the gaming public as well, I would love to run on a similar system that Bioware runs on as they respect their employees and love what they do, I also want to give others who dont normally get chances in this industry a chance. I just need my (open minded and willing to take risks as well as being flexible) straight man who can handle these things, while I go be the crazy guy who makes the insane multimillion dollar IP's. I have a firm grasp on business, know the structure and even the corporate culture I want set up eventually (im not one of those guys idiot enough to blow a budget on some assinine far reaching seven year project like a Shenmue or something), but I really do feel like it saps your creative end, and Im sorry I have universes to create and MMO concepts to come up with. I am willing to share power, and this is not the gist of what im doing, im partnered up with someone else who is from another part of the industry and he beleives in my talent, and honestly we are really working on something pretty revolutionary if I say so myself when it comes to synergy.
Each of these elements takes millions of dollars.
Quote:
So if youre in NYC and you would like to talk please let me know, I cannot express how serious I am about this, and upon meeting me you will realize why I cannot pass up an opportunity like this and you can meet my partner as well.


Clearly you are an "Idea Man", you have a few game ideas and want to put out a game. You claim to have some contacts which is good. But what else are you bringing to the bargining table?

Good game ideas are cheap. Quality programming, artwork, sound, music, scripts, testing, management, marketing, and producing are all more difficult and expensive.

I know of people, and I'm sure there are others on the board, who are interested if you have any significant resource other than just ideas. Post those resources instead.

[Edited by - frob on July 6, 2006 10:43:02 AM]

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If your serious about this you can try going to some of the the local game development groups. NJ has a chapter of IGDA that meets every month (NJ IGDA Chapter).
There's a meetup.com game development group. They have a meeting every month (gamedev.meetup.com).

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Ult, you wrote:
>I need help, when it comes to writing business plans, setting up a staff im pretty dumbfounded.

These will help, then:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/finances.htm

>we are really working on something pretty revolutionary if I say so myself

[Yawn] Good luck!

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Quote:
Original post by UltimoNoressi
Im have been put in a position of being able to start a game company, problem is I am a designer/producer/visionary/heart of the company type (much like a Sid Meier, Peter Molyneux,Miyamoto, Lord British type).
This role you think you fit doesn't exist and never has. These people you mention got to where they are today by actually making games, not by sitting around thinking up ideas and then waiting for someone else to make them. Furthermore the industry they started in doesn't exist any more. Gone are the days where someone with no experience can set out to make a game (costing tens of thousands in total) on there own (or in a team of 2-4). Now you need to invest many millions of dollars in teams of 30-100 people, design the game, budget it, schedule it, build the team, project manage it and deal with the publishers and hardware companies over an extended period of time. The person at the heart of such high risk, high cost ventures needs to know what they are doing because every mistake they make costs tens of thousands per day.

[Edited by - Obscure on July 7, 2006 6:10:49 AM]

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1. I worked for one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, and was given the opportunity to design the online version of their number one game, so obviously I must know what im doing. Ive also done consulting work for years, and have been a part of several big projects, so obviously I must know what im doing. You are not speaking to some dreamer who has never been anywhere or who has contacts by annoying some developer, no ive been in the mix just like everyone else.

2. I repeat I never said I want to be some idea man I said I am a game designer, Game design documents have to be done, etc, other things have to be done on this end, etc, we need to build up a staff, we need to plot the direction of the company, I do not wish to do this alone. I will do it for now, but I realize that this is not my strength, my strength is on the creative end. How what Im saying is any different from when Molyneux said that he hated being involved in the business end while he was at Bullfrog? I know certain things on this end, I know what I would like to see, im saying taking the time to implement them is hurting me on the creative end. I know where my strengths are, while I can be a jack of all trades id rather be a master of something. Doing the numbers isnt my thing, its taking too much time from me refining the acutal IPs that we will be selling.

3. I recommend reading Rick Dakan's (Cryptic Software/NC Soft) City of Hero diaries, alot of my background is similar to his, (except ive worked in the industry already) which is heavy pen and paper, City of Heroes is not an old game, and I remember reading several times Mr. Dakan stating that he still achieved his goals without some so called traditional background. Now last time I checked COH was an award winning game, so obviously the end justifed the means.

4. I am not looking to start up another EA or Ubisoft, im looking to start up a Bioware a place where my employees actually like to come to work, now I remember the company being started by two doctors, everyone starts somewhere. What im doing with my partner is something very very different as we are taking several gaming mediums and integrating them. Jaded? who cares, then dont answer, ignore me. A little interest? Would two hours of having lunch somewhere in the city kill you as to what we are trying to do, and I can explain my situation in far more detail?

Now to those that need it to be broken down even further I am a chef, someone has come along and asked me to help start a restaraunt of sorts, my business is cooking, I just need someone to deal with the things like lights, accomidations, forks, spoons, knives, and to be my partner so we can have the greatest restaraunt ever because I accept nothing less. Sometimes we will break rules, sometimes we may even be called crazy, the venture im involved in sounds very crazy, but at the same time it makes sense, as we will be providing multiple gaming venues at one time, all im saying is I need someone to let me concentrate on making the food which is what I do best, I can help out with other areas like marketing, music, etc, etc, etc. I can bring certain things to the table like media coverage (thats another story) but when it comes to handling the day to day numbers, I really dont want to do that, I will understand when we are speaking about them, I will share where I want us to go, but when it comes to those things honestly even as much as like suits, I know that I am not going to want to be at all the meetings all the time. Leave me in the kitchen to hone my filet minon recipes, my rum cakes, and my exotic sauces and drinks, just make sure that the restaraunt otherwise is stable so I can do these things, and remember that the end of the day its the FOOD that brings people to the restaraunt first, everything else second, I just realize that I dont want my place to be a hole in the wall with good food, I know I need someone who cares about the other things but realizes how important my part is and lets me do my thing. (the game industry seems to have lost track of that, I know alot of people dont respect the creative types as much anymore, and if you dont, please ignore this entire post as all the EA wannabes need not apply)

Those that do respond I ask please have a true love for gaming.

Madnon@hotmail.com, im more than willing to meet up with anyone, even if its for advice.

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Quote:
Original post by UltimoNoressi
1. I worked for one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, and was given the opportunity to design the online version of their number one game, so obviously I must know what im doing. Ive also done consulting work for years, and have been a part of several big projects, so obviously I must know what im doing. You are not speaking to some dreamer who has never been anywhere or who has contacts by annoying some developer, no ive been in the mix just like everyone else.

2. I repeat I never said I want to be some idea man I said I am a game designer, Game design documents have to be done, etc, other things have to be done on this end, etc, we need to build up a staff, we need to plot the direction of the company, I do not wish to do this alone. I will do it for now, but I realize that this is not my strength, my strength is on the creative end. How what Im saying is any different from when Molyneux said that he hated being involved in the business end while he was at Bullfrog? I know certain things on this end, I know what I would like to see, im saying taking the time to implement them is hurting me on the creative end. I know where my strengths are, while I can be a jack of all trades id rather be a master of something. Doing the numbers isnt my thing, its taking too much time from me refining the acutal IPs that we will be selling.

3. I recommend reading Rick Dakan's (Cryptic Software/NC Soft) City of Hero diaries, alot of my background is similar to his, (except ive worked in the industry already) which is heavy pen and paper, City of Heroes is not an old game, and I remember reading several times Mr. Dakan stating that he still achieved his goals without some so called traditional background. Now last time I checked COH was an award winning game, so obviously the end justifed the means.

4. I am not looking to start up another EA or Ubisoft, im looking to start up a Bioware a place where my employees actually like to come to work, now I remember the company being started by two doctors, everyone starts somewhere. What im doing with my partner is something very very different as we are taking several gaming mediums and integrating them. Jaded? who cares, then dont answer, ignore me. A little interest? Would two hours of having lunch somewhere in the city kill you as to what we are trying to do, and I can explain my situation in far more detail?

Now to those that need it to be broken down even further I am a chef, someone has come along and asked me to help start a restaraunt of sorts, my business is cooking, I just need someone to deal with the things like lights, accomidations, forks, spoons, knives, and to be my partner so we can have the greatest restaraunt ever because I accept nothing less. Sometimes we will break rules, sometimes we may even be called crazy, the venture im involved in sounds very crazy, but at the same time it makes sense, as we will be providing multiple gaming venues at one time, all im saying is I need someone to let me concentrate on making the food which is what I do best, I can help out with other areas like marketing, music, etc, etc, etc. I can bring certain things to the table like media coverage (thats another story) but when it comes to handling the day to day numbers, I really dont want to do that, I will understand when we are speaking about them, I will share where I want us to go, but when it comes to those things honestly even as much as like suits, I know that I am not going to want to be at all the meetings all the time. Leave me in the kitchen to hone my filet minon recipes, my rum cakes, and my exotic sauces and drinks, just make sure that the restaraunt otherwise is stable so I can do these things, and remember that the end of the day its the FOOD that brings people to the restaraunt first, everything else second, I just realize that I dont want my place to be a hole in the wall with good food, I know I need someone who cares about the other things but realizes how important my part is and lets me do my thing. (the game industry seems to have lost track of that, I know alot of people dont respect the creative types as much anymore, and if you dont, please ignore this entire post as all the EA wannabes need not apply)

Those that do respond I ask please have a true love for gaming.

Madnon@hotmail.com, im more than willing to meet up with anyone, even if its for advice.


Oh and thanks alot for the links (sloperama) they have really come in handy

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It comes down to money. If you have it, hire some programmers/artists/whatever. If you don't, you need to find some.

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Ult. wrote:

>1. I worked for one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, and was given the opportunity to design the online version of their number one game

Why don't you be more specific? Tell us the company, the game - so we can look you up in the credits. Some of us who are replying to you are using our real names, and our resumes can be seen on our websites. Why are you wearing a mask?

>Would two hours of having lunch somewhere in the city kill you as to what we are trying to do, and I can explain my situation in far more detail?

You need to be able to explain it all in a 45-minute lunch. Shouldn't take two hours.

>Now to those that need it to be broken down even further I am a chef, someone has come along and asked me to help start a restaraunt of sorts, my business is cooking, I just need someone to deal with the things like lights, accomidations, forks, spoons, knives, and to be my partner so we can have the greatest restaraunt ever because I accept nothing less. Sometimes we will break rules, sometimes we may even be called crazy, the venture im involved in sounds very crazy, but at the same time it makes sense, as we will be providing multiple gaming venues at one time, all im saying is I need someone to let me concentrate on making the food which is what I do best, I can help out with other areas like marketing, music, etc, etc, etc. I can bring certain things to the table like media coverage (thats another story) but when it comes to handling the day to day numbers, I really dont want to do that, I will understand when we are speaking about them, I will share where I want us to go, but when it comes to those things honestly even as much as like suits, I know that I am not going to want to be at all the meetings all the time. Leave me in the kitchen to hone my filet minon recipes, my rum cakes, and my exotic sauces and drinks, just make sure that the restaraunt otherwise is stable so I can do these things, and remember that the end of the day its the FOOD that brings people to the restaraunt first, everything else second, I just realize that I dont want my place to be a hole in the wall with good food, I know I need someone who cares about the other things but realizes how important my part is and lets me do my thing. (the game industry seems to have lost track of that, I know alot of people dont respect the creative types as much anymore, and if you dont, please ignore this entire post as all the EA wannabes need not apply)

You need to use the Enter key more frequently. Your game design will be very hard to read if you don't break it down into bite-size paragraphs! Just as the introductory lunch needs to be shorter, so your paragraphs need to be shorter.

I'm glad my links were helpful.

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You're going to need to do like I did. Spend 6 months, both on the internet and at a public library, reading up on this stuff. Business plans are not that hard to write. Good business plans are. I'll be honest, if you can't do that right now.. if you can't organize your own self, and have the discipline to learn it yourself, you will not be a Sid Meier. You will need to revisit your Expository Writing classes, so you learn to write more clearly. Like Tom Sloper said, if your forum posts are nigh-unreadable, how much better would your plan be?

There are tons and tons of info available for reading on how to set up a commerical company (leave "game" out of your search), and tons of books and info on how to manage human resources. I'm in the NYC area and chose Christopher Hoyt as my company's lawyer. He's phenomenal and worth every penny. http://hoytlawgroup.com

I'll be honest here, there's one line in your original post that has me doubting you'll be able to make anything:

-I just need my (open minded and willing to take risks as well as being flexible) straight man who can handle these things, while I go be the crazy guy who makes the insane multimillion dollar IP's.-

Crazy guys can't run companies. Crazy guys don't make insane multimillion dollar IPs. I wish you much luck, though, if you're determined to see it through.

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