Sign in to follow this  
Red Cloud

Can you contact a retail game company and send a design doc?

Recommended Posts

This is probably a silly question, and sounds very newb, even to me, but is there any way of contacting retailing companies like Square-Enix or Atari, and sending a game design to them to see whether they are interested? It's a crazy thought, but I've been developing an RPG game idea for a few years and I'd be flattered if a company even took a look at it and gave some feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can send them a game design proposal. However, the general procedure when they receive a game design proposal is to shred it without reading, because of all the legal issues involved: if they were already working on a similar idea, they would have to prove they were not inspired by yours. Even if you give up all rights on the document, they still need a lawyer to sort out the validity of your disclaimer.

Now, there are two questions. First, would they be interested? No, they wouldn't, because to create a game you need a full-time designer present on-site to react to testing results and opinions, and a single idea, no matter how documented, provides them neither with a full-time designer, nor with enough information to decide whether you'd be worth hiring as one. So, great, he's sent us an idea, let's stash it in that corner with all the others and get back to work.

As for the feedback, the reason why on-site designers are necessary is exactly because they can't decide from the beginning on whether a game idea is good. They certainly could point out flagrant mistakes in your design (although they wouldn't spend valuable company time on it, and probably have other things to do with their free time) but not much more than that — the best answer is still prototyping. But this means contacting designers, not companies, because companies don't ask their own designers to answer to outside questions on company time for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In general no, for the reasons explained by ToohrVyk.

If you're after some feedback you'll either need to contact some designers personally and hope they feel like helping you out, or just make some or all the the design publically available and ask for feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In addition to ToohrVyk's true words, the key to making a game a success (aside from shameless marketing [wink]) typically is the implementation of the idea, rather than the idea itself. As has been posted here before, ideas are a dime a dozen and a lot depends on the abilities of the designer and the rest of the team to pitch in gameplay, assets and features that will make for a good execution of the idea and result in a fun game.

While I was pondering what game idea could possibly be innovative for this, I realized just about any genre has been covered by some game or the other. No matter how good your design is, it's unlikely it will be revolutionary, let alone (re)define a genre. Game settings, like ideas, also are a dime a dozen and aren't really key selling points for a game. Aside from the art resources needed to create a great setting, even the richest setting only serves as a backdrop for your gameplay.

There's that word gameplay again... If there's anything I've learned from coding some games for a few competitions, it would be that -despite the nextgen scale & graphics hypes- fun gameplay is the key factor in creating a succesful game. Your game doesn't have to be innovative or look great to be fun to play, it just has to be well executed and feature rich. And here's where the prototypes come in. Try to code as much as possible of the gameplay in your prototypes and try to get a hold of some decent artist(s) to provide original content. This should also make for a good excercise in selling your game. After all, if you can't convince other coders and artists that your game is worth working on, there's little chance you can sell it to a publisher or studio when the time comes.

Hope these random ramblings are of any help [smile]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this