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zackr

New Game Idea - How to Implement?

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zackr    133
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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Winegums    286
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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Replicon    306
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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Wiggin    374
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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Jettoz    288
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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Zahlman    1682
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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intrest86    742
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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jbadams    25712
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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JohnBolton    1372
Quote:
Original post by zackr
So basically: I need to know ... how to go about selling my idea to a game developer...


It is extremely unlikely that you will be able to sell your idea no matter how good it is. Read this: "I have a Great Idea for a video game...how do I sell it and get rich and famous?". It explains what to do with an idea for a game.

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zackr    133
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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Radan    404
It is usually a good rule of thumb to take your production time estimate and double it. If you are inexperienced in the field then triple it.

I don't mean to discourage you but I think you should take a step back and take a deep breath.

What I would suggest is to test your idea by moding a game into it. For example, someone mentioned Hal-Life. If you have half-life2 mod it into a demo of your game. You don't even need to polish.

Of course you can't publish your game that way but you will have a test bed for you ideas and a proof of concept. Then you can find people to come work with you on the project, or actually do it yourself with a clearer vision in sight.

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zackr    133
OK, after weighing up all the time required to get this game done, I've decided that it's going to have to wait until I can afford to employ a development team to get this done.

Since this is not likely to happen anytime soon, if at all, I think I should put this idea in the public eye. If you could tell me what you think of it, or even take it on board, it would be much appreciated.

This idea has the potential to be made into a few fairly different games, but the main concept is this:

The game is controlled by a player who has an RTS-like interface and controls the actions of his side/team. HOWEVER, the team can be human with a first-person shooter style interface (fully 3D, if the RTS-like inteface isn't). This allows several interesting opportunities for game-play.

1) Squad-based tactics, with a commander who issues (probably point and click, among other things) orders to a complete side, with further possible break-downs in heirarchy to allow individual teams of players. The ability to talk without typing to the commander by microphone, the ability to choose to ignore/reject the commander's orders (remember, human players), and the ability to react intelligently to changes in a situation make this a much more interesting RTS than has ever been made.

2) A complete RTS, similar to a meld of Warcraft and World of Warcraft (though by no means restricted to fantasy elements). This can involve the two ideas below, or even be similar to number 1, which has more of a tactical squad feel...

3) A single-player version, where the user takes on the role of commander first, using the RTS elements to play through a campaign, successfully or unsuccessfully, and then taking part in the action afterwards through the eyes of one or more of his soldiers.

4) Another single-player version, where the user can switch between both first-person and RTS styles.

Let me know what you think! The thing that put me off about this was the immense amount of time that would need to be invested to make this game style viable where you need maybe 4 to 8 people before any real fun is had. Bot scripting can be quite annoying, especially to make its AI seem believable, and making an MMORPG out of it would also be a significant undertaking...

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Palidine    1315
What you describe is basically the game Savage (made maybe 3-6 years ago).

http://www.s2games.com/savage/

A great game, super fun. Doesn't have the single-player mode of which you speak, but otherwise is basically identical to your idea. VoIP wasn't really feasible when the game originally came out. Savage2 will probably have that.

-me

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zackr    133
He he, dammit, and here was me hoping it was unique.

However, on the flip side - I'm glad. Means I get to play it now! Thank you :D

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darren_mfuk    148
hey,

Just a little observation, if you do change your mind ..
I would personally avoid using the Irrlicht engine.

It has its uses, and makes a good 'hobby engine' and good for learning,
but if you plan to make any progress yourself, I would avoid it.

Some may dispute it, but there are major bugs, and limitations with it, especially on the terrain rendering side.

The latest version (1.2) does not even come compiled, or with project files, so unless you are confident with that stuff, you could always try version 1.1, which does come compiled.

Again some major limitations, but there are 'mods' for the engine, search for IrrSpintz
Again, also un-compiled, but does have visual studio project files (ver 2005 only)
So if you have visual studio 2003, you'll have to do this yourself.

But if you just want to get off the ground, and start learning, or create a demo you could use to launch or sell your idea, then good luck [wink]

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Jettoz    288
Quote:
Original post by intrest86
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.


So what you're saying if I had the idea to make the first TV I should share it with people to beat me to that success? Well I'm sorry that's a stupid thing to do, if you just got a great game idea that could net you a lot of money and popularity for that game why would anyone with any intelligence go on a forum and spread the idea. The smart thing to do is get a team together under a contract to produced this idea copyrighted by you. You can have your opinion and I'll keep mine, I have a ton of game ideas that will never leave my head unless I program than make it into something. Just think about how Nintendo would be if they told their ideas on making a the SNES console which was one of the best developments in it's time or the idea of Zelda, Metroid or even Resident Evil and other titles. Ideas can be bad and good but also great if you tell people this idea thinking you should share it with others than people who have the power to use it and make it real and you my friend would be stupid to miss out on that success.

EDIT:

Just to add something I forgot, yes I understand that sharing an idea can allow others to help you making it a lot better. However todays society of people are nothing more than selfish people who would back stab you for $5, with the few that have respect for anyone but themselves. I've had ideas in the past that people stole from me, and yes they made it some where with these ideas while I'm left in the dust. I've learned from personal experience to keep ideas in your head and do your best to make them something more than just a thought.

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intrest86    742
Quote:
Original post by Jettoz
So what you're saying if I had the idea to make the first TV I should share it with people to beat me to that success? Well I'm sorry that's a stupid thing to do, if you just got a great game idea that could net you a lot of money and popularity for that game why would anyone with any intelligence go on a forum and spread the idea. The smart thing to do is get a team together under a contract to produced this idea copyrighted by you. You can have your opinion and I'll keep mine, I have a ton of game ideas that will never leave my head unless I program than make it into something. Just think about how Nintendo would be if they told their ideas on making a the SNES console which was one of the best developments in it's time or the idea of Zelda, Metroid or even Resident Evil and other titles. Ideas can be bad and good but also great if you tell people this idea thinking you should share it with others than people who have the power to use it and make it real and you my friend would be stupid to miss out on that success.

If this idea was just "Hey, I have a great idea, lets make moving photographs!" then yes, the idea would be worthless. The valuable parts are the knowledge, research, and work that go into discovering the ways to make it possible. Giving away those could be stupid, but the first bit is nothing.

Giving away the blueprints for a new console would be stupid, but giving out the idea "We'll make a new console and call it the SNES" would not be. In fact, they do it all the time now. Sony stole/copied/had the same idea as Nintendo for motion sensing, but the execution of the idea is still the part that has value.

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Kaze    948
Quote:
Original post by Jettoz
So what you're saying if I had the idea to make the first TV I should share it with people to beat me to that success? Well I'm sorry that's a stupid thing to do, if you just got a great game idea that could net you a lot of money and popularity for that game why would anyone with any intelligence go on a forum and spread the idea.

theres a difference between a game design document and a idea

just the same if you went to investors with the greatest idea ever to make a box with tons pictures in it you probably wouldn't get too good a response. If you had a design for the electronics recording and transmitting of and redisplay of images in a practical manor and a working prototype you might get a better response.

And in all seriousness most of the ideas that do get posted here either A: arn't that original or B: the only reason they don't already exist is because their unfeasible with current technology or game development budgets (ex. the MMORTSFPSRPG)

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Jettoz    288
Disagree with me if you want but an idea for a game is a blueprint to that game design. Telling someone of a great RTS idea and going into details with units and what not is no different than giving blue prints to the public for the best new console system. I'm also talking about ideas in general not on here only, if you have a great idea why share it before you've made something? I've seen a lot of people with great ideas who will also make something and see if theory is equal to practical with their idea before sharing it with anyone. Well I don't think like other people so I'm not going to change my point of view on this, I'm done expressing my point of view on this subject.

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Radan    404
Quote:
Original post by Jettoz
Telling someone of a great RTS idea and going into details with units and what not . . .


Right there, it ceased to be just an idea, it started to take shape of a design document.

It is not smart to share a design document, but unless your idea is so simple that it contains the design in itself (for example: http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/)
you can safely share it with others as it is not worth much on its own.

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Glak    315
"detailed description of game" != blueprints
source code == blueprints
code==design

Giving away source code is (generally) the road to no money. For example right now I am making a new programming language. It is awesome. It has elegant syntax, functions as truely first class objects, arbitrary nesting of any sort of expression, multiple dispatch and a whole bunch of other great stuff. I have no fear that you will steal my idea because I really didn't give you enough to get anywhere.

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Jettoz    288
Quote:
Original post by Foot Soldier
Thinking of the game idea is the MOST FUN and EASIEST part of making a game. Why would anyone rob themselves of it by, "stealing" and idea?


Why would anyone walk down the street and pick up a lost wallet then keep the $100 bill instead of handing it into the police department or phoning the person and returning in it (Depending if ID is in the Wallet). It's easier to steal something than to come up with a good idea on your own or as I shown above get a job and work, I shouldn't even have to answer that question.

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Radan    404
Quote:
Original post by Jettoz
Quote:
Original post by Foot Soldier
Thinking of the game idea is the MOST FUN and EASIEST part of making a game. Why would anyone rob themselves of it by, "stealing" and idea?


Why would anyone walk down the street and pick up a lost wallet then keep the $100 bill instead of handing it into the police department or phoning the person and returning in it (Depending if ID is in the Wallet). It's easier to steal something than to come up with a good idea on your own or as I shown above get a job and work, I shouldn't even have to answer that question.


You missed his point by miles. Earning 100$ is not fun, thinking up a game idea IS FUN, extremely fun.

The point he is trying to get across is that everyone has ideas. Ideas, require no work, they are just that, an idea, a thought that has momentarily appeared in your mind. There is no work involved (other than subconscious). If there is someone completely without ideas then I would imagine they lead a very empty and sad life.

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