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death23

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Hey guys I have a couple questions I wanted to ask yall. First I wanted to comment on Biowares recruitment method (bioware.com) In this page http://www.bioware.com/bioware_info/jobs/austin_jobs/ read the positions available part and keep reading until you hit the How to Apply part. Stop there. Now on this page http://www.bioware.com/bioware_info/jobs/artist_faq/ it says this "Have you ever hired anyone that lacked computer or digital art experience? Yes, BioWare has a strong history of hiring very strong 2D artists and providing training. We feel that talent and personality far outweigh the amount of time it might take to train them on the computer/software they would be using. The computer is a tool, therefore, when applicants demonstrate a very high artistic ability, their 3D work will be that much stronger. We realize that teaching our employees is very important... there are always new things to be learned, even with relevant experience, we require a person to continue to challenge themselves technically in their job." Now on this page http://www.bioware.com/bioware_info/contact/ it says this "Proposal and Submission Policy At this time, BioWare Corp. is not in the business of developing or publishing outside proposals or submissions for new games or software products. As a result, all unsolicited submissions, proposals or ideas relating to game concepts, story ideas, or other proposals cannot be accepted and will be destroyed upon receipt. If you are interested in a job at BioWare, please see our Jobs Page for further information. Thank you for your cooperation." So am I reading this correctly? Is the only way to break into the industry is to apply for a position they are looking for? Do all companies work like this? The reason I'm asking is because I wanted to develop a new game with the idea already in my mind and it says they aren't looking for new game ideas. So then that kind of leaves me out of the picture as I don't want to work on someone elses project. I want to be the director of a new game and oversee everything that is done as well as draw character and background concept art. THey kind of contradict themselves in a sence when they say they "are always on the lookout for talented people" and people can submit general applications. So are they looking for people just to fill the positions they are asking about or people who want to start new projects or what? As they aren't very detailed about the whole thing. I'm not attacking Bioware I just want to know if its going to be this hard to get into the industry wanting to start a new project/be the director and all for any company. I have no college experience. I can draw on paper though but I still need help in learning how to draw stuff like people and enviorments. This leads me to my next question. Someone told me Bioware teaches you how to draw stuff like people and enviorments (so I wouldn't have to go to an art school I'm presuming) but I'm not sure if he meant like on paper or like 3d modelling. Do you guys know anything about this and do other companies offer this as well? If they do how do you inquire about this? Would it just be easier/more expensive to hire a team by myself and work on my idea? As well as rent motion capture stuff and get a ps3 devkit (is this even possible?) Well thanks for all your help guys

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Well, for starters....

If you have a game idea and all you want to work on is your idea then start working on it. Build a full design document, start putting together a team, and go...

That being said, everyone that works in the industry has their own idea that they want to work on. They won't want to work on your idea because that would mean that they can't work on theirs. And since they are already in the industry and you aren't, what could you possibly know that they don't.

Now for a company like Bioware, the majority of their income comes from pre-packaged publisher deals. Which means that the publisher needs a title to compete in a specific genre and Bioware's job is to create that title. This leaves very little room for new ideas.

If you really want to get into the industry you need to learn a skill and become extrememly good at it. If you want to be a game designer start designing games that are FUN. How many games have you designed that other people thought were fun? How complex were the games? Can you communicate your ideas well enough to direct a team, maybe even manage them as well?

Game designing is hard, don't think that your first idea will be great. And stay away from ideas that contain 'MMO' or 'RPG', they are the hardest types of games to create and if you don't have any skills your idea will never make it off the drawing board.

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So; Bioware's willing to hire artists withouth Computer or Digital Art experience, based on an outstanding portfolio of traditional 2D art.

Since you neither want to be an artist, nor an employee, I don't see what possible relevance that has for you.

You're looking for someone to hand you a wad of cash so you can go make your dream game, and Bioware (getting a lot of these requests) have told you (and everyone else in your position) pretty definetly NO.

Yes; all companies work like that.. the games industry is not in the habit of funding wannabies. If you want to access funding from publishers, you need to have an amazing demo, a team that looks like it can execute, and ideally an impressive track-record. No, being able to draw some stuff on paper does not count.

Finish college, finish a portfolio, then we can have the second half of this discussion.

Allan

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Quote:

So am I reading this correctly? Is the only way to break into the industry is to apply for a position they are looking for? Do all companies work like this? The reason I'm asking is because I wanted to develop a new game with the idea already in my mind and it says they aren't looking for new game ideas. So then that kind of leaves me out of the picture as I don't want to work on someone elses project. I want to be the director of a new game and oversee everything that is done as well as draw character and background concept art.


It is standard policy among game developers and publishers not to accept unsolicited "idea" submissions. Primarily due to reasons of time, feasability and legality.

The only way you are going to make YOUR idea any time soon is to make it yourself. There are a lot of things that a studio considers before starting a new game, and the process by which the design for that game varies from studio to studio. Rarely, however, is it the work of a single man or woman. While some studios may have company-wide meetings or accept design input from all employees, you have no guarantee your input will be included in the final game. It would take many years of hard work to get yourself into a design lead position where you can have final (or near final) say on what ideas are approved.

You also seem to want to occupy the roles of art lead and design lead; this would be rather difficult.

Quote:

I have no college experience. I can draw on paper though but I still need help in learning how to draw stuff like people and enviorments. This leads me to my next question.


Then you should go to an art school, and develop a killer portfolio.

Quote:

Someone told me Bioware teaches you how to draw stuff like people and enviorments (so I wouldn't have to go to an art school I'm presuming) but I'm not sure if he meant like o


You have to go to school. BioWare is not a school; they'll expect you to have the groundwork and raw talent. When they say they'll train you, they mean train you. They don't mean educate you. There is a difference.

Quote:

Would it just be easier/more expensive to hire a team by myself and work on my idea? As well as rent motion capture stuff and get a ps3 devkit (is this even possible?)


It would be easier as far as you'd get your idea developed sooner. It would be more difficult as far as you might very well fail to complete anything, and developing a game is hard work. It would be more expensive, certainly. It would be very difficult to rent motion capture studio time (very expensive) and impossible to get a PS3 development kit (for policy reasons, and expense reasons). A PS3 kit will do you no good anyway, because I'm sure you cannot afford to pay the programmers and artists you'd need to make use of it.

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Thanks for all the help guys

Odin

I do want to be an artist as I mentioned in my post and I dont expect anyone to hand me money as I know game development takes time especially if you want it to come out good. So I dont know where you are getting your ideas from.

Even if the industry wont accept ideas it would be nice if they did as the games Im seeing today arent that great like grand theft auto clones, zombie clones and movie rips. I know they have their reasons as stated. As far as just getting paid for just ideas and how much, Im on the fence.

jpetrie

How much do you think it would be total for me to make a game? I want to make a fighting game and am not sure if this would sell well on a computer platform, so thats why I wanted to do it for the ps3.

So I cant walk into a studio and say hey I have this great idea for a game and maybe they will like the idea (or what if I present a software demo of my work or a portfolio) and give me a job as an artist and director? SOrry if I asked this already as it is late.

So what does train mean exactly then as I'm not following.

I would really like to see this happen and am commited to the project. I cant help but feel though that my dreams in some way have been crushed by what you guys are telling me.

[Edited by - death23 on September 5, 2006 11:01:51 PM]

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Original post by death23
I cant help but feel though that my dreams in some way have been crushed by what you guys are telling me.

That reminds me of that line from The Simpsons, when Nelson Muntz says: "Some of us prefer illusion to despair."
As though those were the only two possible approaches to life...

[Edited by - tsloper on September 6, 2006 12:08:50 PM]

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Original post by death23
I want to make a fighting game and am not sure if this would sell well on a computer platform, so thats why I wanted to do it for the ps3.

(Might as well pimp Microsoft's stuff for them one more time today...)

You can now make games for the XB360 (and the PC using XB360 controller) with Microsoft's XNA framework using C#. It won't be quite the same as having an XB360 dev kit... there are some major limitations regarding networking and disk access, among other things. But you WILL be able to get a game up and running on the XB360 in the near future, and you will be able to distribute it for free to a (limited) audience.

That might be a good way to get a game out there and maybe get a little bit of attention, if you make a good enough game. THEN you will have something to present to major studios and publishers.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Don't be depressed by the responses. You should be motivated. What people have been telling you is, basically, there is a chance, but it will require lots and lots and lots of hard work to set you apart from the other couple of hundred people who ask the same question on this site EVERY MONTH.

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Original post by death23
Even if the industry wont accept ideas it would be nice if they did as the games Im seeing today arent that great like grand theft auto clones, zombie clones and movie rips.


Your definition of "not that great" is an opinion. Whether you consider this unfortunate or not, game development is a business just like any other and business considerations factor into deciding what game to make. A game that everybody on the team wants to make that isn't going to sell well in the projected market will be most likely be scrapped in favor of one that will sell well; the business interests of a studios publisher are a factor as well, as studios are generally reliant on publishers for cash flow. The professional game development industry is does not have the freedom of creativity that the independant and hobbyist industry does, and if you want to be a professional, you have to understand this. A good deal of it has to do with money...

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Original post by death23
How much do you think it would be total for me to make a game? I want to make a fighting game and am not sure if this would sell well on a computer platform, so thats why I wanted to do it for the ps3.


To make a PS3 game that has even a glimmer of competing commercially? Assuming a one-year development time, let's say $150,000. Conservatively. This assumes one programmer at $50k (damn cheap for a lead PS3 developer), one artist/modeller at $50k (also cheap), and YOU don't get paid. The extra $50k comes from fluff like rent for office space, cost of tools (such as the PS3 kit, which isn't cheap), and cost of benefits for your two employees, legal fees, and other junk. Those numbers are also tragically unrealistic (they're way too low); they serve only to point out that PS3 development is impossible for you. If you have $150,000+ right now just sitting around, there are better things you can do with it (depending on your age; pay for college, pay off college, give it to me, buy a house, et cetera).

smitty1276's suggestion of XNA is a good one. You can begin by developing on the PC (since the 360 stuff is not available) and run your game on the 360 when it does become possible. Since you aren't a programmer, you'll need to learn (C#) or convince somebody else to work with you, ideally for free. In order to do that, you'll have to convince that person you bring more to the table than just being the "idea man" (nobody wants an "idea man," not professionals, not indies, not hobbyists; everybody has ideas, and if you bring no useful skills to the team, they don't want you because they'd really rather be working on their own ideas anyway).

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Original post by death23
So I cant walk into a studio and say hey I have this great idea for a game and maybe they will like the idea and give me a job as an artist and director?


No.

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Original post by death23
I would really like to see this happen and am commited to the project. I cant help but feel though that my dreams in some way have been crushed by what you guys are telling me.


It is good you are committed. Unfortunately, reality is reality, and you need to work within its confines. Take our advice; develop your game on your own, either entirely alone or with a team of other hobbyists.

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Original post by death23
Odin
I do want to be an artist as I mentioned in my post and I dont expect anyone to hand me money as I know game development takes time especially if you want it to come out good. So I dont know where you are getting your ideas from.


That would be this line; the part where you say you're not wanting to work on someone else's project (i.e not be an employee) and the part where you said you wanted to be a director (i.e. not an artist).

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Original post by death23
as I don't want to work on someone elses project. I want to be the director of a new game


Anyways, the short answer is, no..
1. The industry doesn't accept ideas from random people.
2. We end up producing GTA clones and iterative sports-titles because that's what the market/financiers want, not because everyone in the games industry has no new ideas.
3. Until you can show outstanding talent (yes, that includes those pesky things like knowing how to draw people and environments), noone will hire you. Go back and finish your education.
4. Senior positions are earned, not given; you get there by showing your skill, and doing your time.

Allan

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>> So am I reading this correctly? Is the only way to break into the industry is to apply for a position they are looking for? Do all companies work like this?

This should be obvious.

Companies hire people when they are looking for somebody to do a job. It doesn't matter if that is how you break in to the industry or if you are experienced, you won't get a job somewhere if they don't have a need for you.

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death wrote:

>How much do you think it would be total for me to make a game? I want to make a fighting game and am not sure if this would sell well on a computer platform, so thats why I wanted to do it for the ps3.

You can learn about the process of making video games, and the associated costs, at Sloperama.com. Article 10 is about the process, and Article 62 is about the finances.

>So I cant walk into a studio and say hey I have this great idea for a game and maybe they will like the idea

Read Articles 1, 11, and 21.

>(or what if I present a software demo of my work or a portfolio) and give me a job as an artist and director?

Extremely unlikely.

>So what does train mean exactly then as I'm not following.

College degree for starters, then practical experience actually making games cooperatively together with other people.

>Is the only way to break into the industry is to apply for a position they are looking for?

Yes. What were you thinking it was like? How old are you, and how much education have you gotten so far, and what is your present occupation?

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HI Tom

Well I thought I might be able to start working on my own game if I showed a comp. a demo or a gamedoc. that is if if they liked it and if they were to think this game might make them alot of money.

Im 23 and I'm not working right now and have no experience with games design. It's hard enough for me to do anything really since I have severe ocd and had to actually drop out of college because of it. I also have concentration problems which means when I go to read the awesome articles you have written I have difficulty understanding the material.

I just feel strongly about getting this game done and will no matter what it takes.

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death wrote:
>Well I thought I might be able to start working on my own game if I showed a comp. a demo or a gamedoc. that is if if they liked it and if they were to think this game might make them alot of money.

Yes, it seemed that's what you were asking (or that was part of what you were asking). And that's why I recommended you read FAQs 1, 11, and 21 on my website.

>I also have concentration problems which means when I go to read the awesome articles you have written I have difficulty understanding the material.

Ask any questions about specific areas of difficulty with the material.

>I just feel strongly about getting this game done and will no matter what it takes.

OK, you have three major hurdles to overcome:
1. To create a game requires large amounts of concentration from all active participants.
2. You probably can't do it all yourself (very few of us are able to do it all by ourselves, without collaborators), so therefore
3. You need money, lots of it, and that's extremely difficult to come by.

It is POSSIBLE to make a game all by your lonesome, with little or no cash. But the ease of doing it decreases tremendously without cash and without collaborators.

Read and re-read those FAQs, and like I said, ask for explanation of problematic passages anytime.

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