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EnochDagor

What it was like then...

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I am just wondering, if the guys who made DOOM back in the 90's were to try and make a game now, what kind of costs would they incur... or specifically the costs a small group of guys trying to make a competitive game would incur. Do you think they would be as successful now as they were then (assuming the graphics, etc. was up-to-date)? Why? -E

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Original post by EnochDagor
I am just wondering, if the guys who made DOOM back in the 90's were to try and make a game now, what kind of costs would they incur... or specifically the costs a small group of guys trying to make a competitive game would incur.

Do you think they would be as successful now as they were then (assuming the graphics, etc. was up-to-date)? Why?

-E


The guys who made doom still make games. (their company has grown quite abit though).

just visit www.idsoftware.com

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I understand they make games now, but they do it with nice cars, great financial backing, etc. Back then, it was a garage thing. Which is more of the scope of my question.

-E

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The primary cost in making a commercial game today is the cost of content. Compared to contemporary games, DOOM does not have a lot of content and the cost to make it was relatively low. The reason for its success was primarily its technical and gameplay achievements.

Also, keep in mind that DOOM was not a big financial success. It was shareware, and most people did not pay for it. Real financial success came with the commercial release of DOOM II.

For an independent group, the key to keeping cost under control is to make a game that does not require a lot of content (or a game in which the content can be procedurally generated). Even though commercial games typically cost millions of dollars to make, there are still games made by independents that are relatively successful and don't cost millions of dollars.

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Also, keep in mind that DOOM was not a big financial success. It was shareware, and most people did not pay for it.


The first episode was shareware. Plenty of people paid for the full game. Enough to make most of the id guys very, very rich.

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The primary cost in making a commercial game today is the cost of content.


Very true. The more successful garage studios nowadays (the ones who actually make games that get noticed and make money) are people like the guys who made Defcon, whose name I can't remember... in any case, Defcon in particular had no art apart from a world map (generated from publicly available data) and their previous title had almost entirely procedurally generated graphics.

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ID did not get rich off of DOOM. It wasn't that incredibly successful. ID doesn't make money making games. They make money selling engines. They got rich after Quake, when they started licensing.

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Doom, Content-wise, had nothing to be ashamed of when compared to the competition at the time.

Nowadays, making a game as much content as say, Half Life 2, Halo or Far Cry, would be impossible for a small team of bedroom coders. It would take way too much time. They would have to simplify the content dramatically to compete with the industry releases, and the scope of the game would have to be dramatically reduced.

It's possible to make a very successful indie game and make money out of it, just not something grandiose. For example, Little Big Planet. The content is not that much, but the technology used and creativity is what distinguishes it from the rest. Most of the time consuming work is actually designing the levels to be played, coming up with fun puzzle ideas. A lot of that can be user-generated, and that is encouraged.

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