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zackr

New Game Idea - How to Implement?

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Just the other day I had the GREATEST idea for a game, one that has never been attempted commercially before (as far as I know). This game needs to be 3D as well as supporting networking, voice, and multiple platforms. This is all well and good but: 1) I have never written a game before, but I am familiar with C, C++, PERL, Python, Java, and the rest. 2) I'm unsure how easy it is to add on to previous 3D engines (and are there free ones such as the old Quake model I can use, at all???) 3) I want it to work on Windows, Linux and Mac (same kind of thing as Frets on Fire, which is made in Python, I think) Now, there is a TON of work in that. I have no resources other than my brain and my computer. I'm thinking that it would possibly be better to market this idea to a professional or indie game developer who can utilize the latest engines and do a nice job of it, while I get royalties or something (no idea how this works). Also, the gameplay itself is likely to be so fun and addictive that I almost want to play it now rather than wait for my possibly slow and doddery attempts (a proper development team would accomplish this project far quicker than I ever could). So basically: I need to know about the latest free 3D engine with network support - one that will allow me to modify it intrinsically AND how to go about selling my idea to a game developer... if the first is too hard after I've thought about it some more... HELP! thanks in advance :D

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1. Everyone, and I mean everyone, thinks their idea is the best ever. Yours may be it, or it may just be another idea.

2. Is this idea a game mechanic, or a whole new style of playing/genre? I.e. is it bullet time, or grand theft auto?

3. As I see it you have three options...

i) Learn OpenGL/DirectX and write the game yourself/with some friends. This would take quite a while, be moderatley-very difficult (depending on how skilled your group is and how easy it is to get support from a publisher), but means you keep more of the royalties, the IP, and the feeling of having created something awesome.

ii) Learn enough to create a demo, take it to a development team and get them to make it. This means your product will be made, it will be faster than option i), but it may not turn out as intended.

iii) Bring the idea to a publisher and ask them. This is going to be the hardest, since I'm sure games publishers get approached very often with people with 'the best idea ever' (think film producers and script writers...).


I don't mean to put you off, but what you're looking to do is no mean feat.


With regards to it working on engines, I can't tell you unless I know the idea, and I doubt you want to tell me :). With regards to free engines, the only pc one I'm aware of is OGRE (www.ogre3d.org). I don't particularly like ogre, but you might get along with it better.

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Before you get started on such a bleeding-edge, new project, you must realize that there are a LOT of unknowns. To help mitigate those things, I recommend you do a LOT of prototyping. Like, write some hackish code as proof of concept for the various pieces you will be putting together, and clean it up for the finished product.

We did something like this (just one notch up) at a company I used to work for. It was a totally new thing, and we all came in on a Sunday for a 12-hour marathon. Here's a list of features we want, implement just whatever features you want from that list in any way you want, don't worry about code cleanliness - it's just a bunch of proofs of concept. By the end of the marathon, we had like 90% of the features proofed out, and it really made working on the real thing a lot easier (and we had more confidence, thanks to having way less unknowns). then we all got a day or two off =).

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Quote:
Original post by Winegums
3. As I see it you have three options...

i) Learn OpenGL/DirectX and write the game yourself/with some friends. This would take quite a while, be moderatley-very difficult (depending on how skilled your group is and how easy it is to get support from a publisher), but means you keep more of the royalties, the IP, and the feeling of having created something awesome.

ii) Learn enough to create a demo, take it to a development team and get them to make it. This means your product will be made, it will be faster than option i), but it may not turn out as intended.

iii) Bring the idea to a publisher and ask them. This is going to be the hardest, since I'm sure games publishers get approached very often with people with 'the best idea ever' (think film producers and script writers...).


iv) Just tell us what your idea is.

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Umm don't share you ideas because that's just stupid. Someone could use your idea and make a product. These are some engines you might want to use, of course check google for C++ 3D Engines.

http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/
http://www.crystalspace3d.org/main/Main_Page

http://www.truevision3d.com/home.php (Not sure about this)

If you have Half-Life 2 you can use the Source Engine with C++.

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Strongly consider the possibility that you're not the one who should be doing the programming. Just because you have a brilliant idea doesn't mean you have to be the one doing that part; you might be better suited to doing the art, design (formally) or even "being the business guy".

You might consider reading the FAQ for the Help Wanted forum and posting there.

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Quote:
Original post by Jettoz
Umm don't share you ideas because that's just stupid. Someone could use your idea and make a product.

We say it all the time: The idea is worth almost nothing. Actually making the game is the hard part. Sharing the idea isn't going to hurt him, especially since this group has a body of experience that allows it to suggest ideas and revisions to it.

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Quote:
Original post by zackr
I'm thinking that it would possibly be better to market this idea to a professional or indie game developer who can utilize the latest engines and do a nice job of it, while I get royalties or something (no idea how this works).
Rule out professionals immediately - unless you have the funding to hire the staff for your own studio you won't even get them to look at your idea. At a minimum to get any interest from a publisher you'd need a working demo, and they'd still be expecting you to use your own team to create the game. Other studios aren't an option because as a general rule they won't even look at outside ideas to protect themselves legally in the case that they make a similar game to someone's idea.

You might be able to get some indie developers to take a look. In this case the difficulty would be in the fact that indie developers typically have a lot of thier own ideas, so you need to be pretty convincing to get people interested in working on yours instead.

Your best bet is probably working on a team yourself with a few other hobbyist developers.


Quote:
I need to know about the latest free 3D engine with network support - one that will allow me to modify it intrinsically
I don't know off the top of my head of any free engines that include network support, but you could consider the reasonably priced Torque engine as an option if you're willing to invest a bit of funding to licence it.

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Thanks guys for the huge amount of replies I received :D

I do believe that this idea is good, but, like has been said, there are many other good ones floating around.

And yes, it's a melding of two playing genres.

I guess that I have two options at this point in time:

1) Build it myself as a hobby (I have way too much other invested time in other pursuits to work at a game company)
2) Put the idea in the public domain and hope someone eventually latches on to it (because what good's an idea if kept to yourself...)

The Irrlicht Engine looks the ticket for me. Torque, while it looks good, is not strictly hobby material. I'm not sure about Ogre, either. Irrlicht looks like it's a bit more 'hackish' and IMO 'fun' to use. Is Ogre C++ based?

With Irrlicht I'll probably have to create Network code myself, along with other things, but I'm up for a bit of a challenge.

However, it all comes down to how much time I have. I'm thinking two or four years would be a rough development time for my game, given the amount of complexity I can see it generating.

The best scenario is that I have enough income in the next couple of years to EMPLOY a team to do it, but who knows (ugh, the artwork could take me forever).

What's the likelihood of someone in GNU/Linux taking this on board? That's another possible avenue.

[Edited by - zackr on March 18, 2007 5:20:47 AM]

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