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Making your own game, solo.

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How feasible is it to make a game close to the scale of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind if I am making it from scratch with exception to the game engine itself, most of the sounds and some art (all of which I would l buy). I have some skill in art and music creation as well as ideas for the game itself. This would be a hobbyist project.

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Its not feasable. I often catch myself trying to do stuff like that, thinking that i can handle it, but before long, i always realise that a one man team doesn't cut it for big games. Try shifting your focus to something smaller.

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I can't answer that for you, because I don't know you. Do you have previous game development experience? If so, in what roles? Are you familiar with large-scale projects in general already? How long can you stay motivated? What are the most important aspects of your game idea, and what aspects can be thrown out if you lack the resources to implement them?

Different persons have different motivation spans. For solo, unpaid hobby projects, my motivation span roughly lies between a few months and a year. After that I simply loose the motivation to go on. I've learned this by simply attempting projects and failing on them.

So, nowadays I'm going for game projects that'll take me a month, perhaps two or three (always longer than planned - planning is something else I want to get better at), and I'm giving them a high priority, no side projects and stuff.


Morrowind is a huge, huge game. It's not feasible for a single person, unless that person is extremely talented, experienced and efficient, and even then he lacks the benefits of a team - the end-product will likely not be very good. I think you're better off trying to create a much, much smaller scaled game. A decent, polished Flash game can take months already. If you succeed, then congrats! You know you're capable of handling it, you can learn from the feedback you get, and you can start with something bigger. Don't run before you know you can walk. Unless you want a baptism of fire. ;)

[Edited by - Captain P on September 16, 2007 2:57:43 PM]

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Original post by JasRonq
how big is feasible? btw, music will be by me, sounds likely found stock, art will be a mix of me and what i can find.


Feasible usually is arcade style games (at least in my case).

If you have ever used the construction set for Morrowind than try making some large stuff in that (whole guilds and such) to get an idea of what they had to do to get the game working.

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I would say it's very feasible with a pre-made engine.

Ask yourself this.

1. Can you learn the engine?
2. Can you learn the programming required to customize the engine?

If you can answer yes to both of these, and you are planning to hire artists, then I don't see why you would fail. Good luck.

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Original post by Theodore Fuhringer
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere in an interview that it took over 400,000 man hours to develop TES: Morrowind. That would mean 33 people working 60 hour work weeks for 4 years.

Just FYI.


Sheesh, read what the guy is saying, folks. Morrowind was not created with a pre-made engine.

It won't take near that time.

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Quote:
Original post by BubbaCola
Quote:
Original post by Theodore Fuhringer
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere in an interview that it took over 400,000 man hours to develop TES: Morrowind. That would mean 33 people working 60 hour work weeks for 4 years.

Just FYI.


Sheesh, read what the guy is saying, folks. Morrowind was not created with a pre-made engine.


Actually the engine for Morrowind was "pre-made". Morrowind used the Gamebryo Engine and according to the Morrowind Wikipedia entry it took "100 man years" to develop. That's despite using a purchased, pre-made engine.

I'm just trying to point out that some realism needs to be considered when approaching a game of such magnitude.

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well, morrowind was huge, I admit. There were a LOT of dungeons, NPCs, and side quests. If that were drastically reduced, how big a project would that leave the game? How much of the development time is spent in the side quests and the extra dungeons and such? What I'm looking for is something on that scale of world, items, monsters, and main quests. I'd be more specific but honestly I'm not much into figuring out the scope of the story yet to say how much I'm aiming at making.

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Well JasRonq, now that I've hit you with the bad news, here's the good news. :)

If you place the entire gameworld by hand it will take you forever. However, if you use a few shortcuts, for intance: use a procedurally generated terrain, this will cut your development time down significantly. Also if you reuse art assets (Diablo 2 did this) by re-coloring or re-texturing the same model over and over you can cut down on your art needs as well. It's all about how you use your time.

You could even come up with a random quest generator for your optional side quests. That could also reduce your load.

Just some thoughts.

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Quote:
Original post by Theodore Fuhringer
Actually the engine for Morrowind was "pre-made". Morrowind used the Gamebryo Engine and according to the Morrowind Wikipedia entry it took "100 man years" to develop. That's despite using a purchased, pre-made engine.

I'm just trying to point out that some realism needs to be considered when approaching a game of such magnitude.


I stand corrected, but I wonder what took them so long if they used an engine?

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Look at single person mods. Something like Minerva for Half Life 2. That's what a single, dedicated person (who knows what they want and how to do it) can accomplish with (mostly) pre made assets and engine.

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Quote:
Original post by BubbaCola
Quote:
Original post by Theodore Fuhringer
Actually the engine for Morrowind was "pre-made". Morrowind used the Gamebryo Engine and according to the Morrowind Wikipedia entry it took "100 man years" to develop. That's despite using a purchased, pre-made engine.

I'm just trying to point out that some realism needs to be considered when approaching a game of such magnitude.


I stand corrected, but I wonder what took them so long if they used an engine?


Quote from Wiki:

According to the team's reasonings, the endeavor took "close to 100 man-years to create". To accomplish this feat, Bethesda tripled their staff and spent their first year of development on The Elder Scrolls Construction Set, allowing the game staff to easily balance the game and to modify it in small increments rather than large.

You must remember, Morrowind takes place in a huge world.

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Original post by Shlaklava
If you have ever used the construction set for Morrowind than try making some large stuff in that (whole guilds and such) to get an idea of what they had to do to get the game working.


Seconded. The construction kit is what the game designers used to build the game, i.e. given the engine, artwork, music and sound, etc - the construction kit was the main tool used to create what was left.

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