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jsl

Need your professional opinion

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I am a computer software professional and a long time MMORPG player, I really love MMORPG, but have never been able to get a position in the computer gaming industry in my area (there basically no MMORPG company in my area). Develop a game I like has been my dream for few years. I talked with a investor friend last week about my dream, they are also like MMORPG market. Even they have never invested in the gaming industry, they are still willing to participate if I decide to start building my own game with a solid design. Since I have never worked on any computer game related project. I need your help to make up my mind. This is the basic idea. I have informally designed the economy system and crafting system, since those two systems are what I really like to be improved in my game, but has no idea about story line yet. So I will partner with one game designer and one system architect to start up a company, spend 6 months to a year finish up content design and system architecture design. Then outsource all the graphic works to a third party company, and build up a team offshore to do all the of coding job. I am confident that I can start to make my dream come true. In your professional view, do you think I can do this in reality? Any idea to help me make my dream come true? By the way, any of you know the size of the Star Wars Galaxies team? thanks JSL

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Since I have never worked on any computer game related project. I need your help to make up my mind.

Don't make an MMORPG.

Ask yourself: Can you build a spaceship?

If not, you simply don't have the funds to meet your dream. The second Mars rover cost $200 million. Reasonable estimates place the initial development costs of World of Warcraft at around $30 million. Factor in millions in hardware costs, a support staff in the hundreds (remember: labor is not cheap), bandwidth costs, future development to keep content rolling, completely revampting the hardware several years later, and the costs to date could easily approach $1 billion.

Could you come up with a world where a few hundred people can interact? Probably, but it's not the game you have in mind, and chances are it won't be financially viable. Start with something simpler. MMORPGs should be left to the veteran developers with years of experience and the financial stability to swallow initial development costs.

If you can get a small shareware studio rolling, you will be in a much better position to be picked up as a designer for a larger company.

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JSL wrote:
>I am a computer software professional ... I talked with a investor friend last week about my dream, they are also like MMORPG market. ... I have never worked on any computer game related project.
>I will partner with one game designer and one system architect to start up a company, spend 6 months to a year finish up content design and system architecture design. Then outsource all the graphic works to a third party company, and build up a team offshore to do all the of coding job. ... In your professional view, do you think I can do this in reality?
>By the way, any of you know the size of the Star Wars Galaxies team?

Here are the first 3 problems I see with your plan:
1. Do you have any idea how much work is really is involved in making an MMORPG? I don't think you've planned for a big enough team. Read about Star Wars Galaxies (for instance) on Wikipedia - and buy any boxed product and look at the credits.
2. If you ever figure out how much work is really involved, and therefore how much money is really needed, your investor is likely to back out. Extremely unlikely you can ever obtain the amount of money needed. Read http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm and http://www.sloperama.com/advice/finances.htm.
3. Without any game industry experience, it's unlikely you'll be able to get any professionals to work with you on this. You'll all be amateurs. The blind leading the blind. (It's possible, but unlikely, that you'll be able to accomplish your far-too-ambitious goal with amateurs. Read http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson24.html#rea.)

That's my professional opinion, FWIW.

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Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, sheesh...

Puzzle Pirates was made with under 1 million budget and a quite small team. And it has been very succesfull. Though, if you try it out, you can see that it is targetted to a very different audience than todays major MMORPGs. You can not compete with the biggest players on this field with no experience and a small budget, but if you select your target group carefully enough, your experince in gaming industry and "small" budget dont matter so much.

That being said, I still wouldn't do it. Start out small. Build single/multiplayer games and sell them in the internet. See how it goes. And please forget about Star Wars Galaxies!

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Original post by jsl
I am a computer software professional and a long time MMORPG player, I really love MMORPG, but have never been able to get a position in the computer gaming industry in my area (there basically no MMORPG company in my area).

This is the basic idea. I have informally designed the economy system and crafting system, since those two systems are what I really like to be improved in my game, but has no idea about story line yet. So I will partner with one game designer and one system architect to start up a company, spend 6 months to a year finish up content design and system architecture design. Then outsource all the graphic works to a third party company, and build up a team offshore to do all the of coding job. I am confident that I can start to make my dream come true. In your professional view, do you think I can do this in reality? Any idea to help me make my dream come true?


Even if you'd be able to create properly working program, you'd have problems because of overcrowded market, servers, and law issues. (This will break your neck with high reliability.) Now you said words outsource, offshore, and similar. Do you really think they would deliver what you want? Of course 15 uni students might be happy, they would have job as a "real" game developers. You might be even lucky and receive a product you specified, then discover you need something else.

Try to make some noncommercial freeware first, and get some experience in the computer game industry, it's not as forgiving as common software industry.

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