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Nozyspy

A Nobody with a good idea - Why cant we have a crack at game design too?

120 posts in this topic

Quote:
Original post by Majorlag
I'm going to go ahead and say it, because the others seem too polite. I apologize in advance for being so blunt about it, but: Quit acting like an arrogant p***k. You seem to think that you know everything there is to know about game design and as such believe that it is your right to have your vision made.

You don't even know how much you don't know. You have no experience, no way of knowing the pitfalls of the real development process, no way to know how to deal with unforeseen problems, no way to know how to deal with outright failure. Thats why you have to work your way up, its a learning process as well as a way to prove yourself.


Riggghhttt thanks for that…Seriously, thanks. It is now completely obvious that despite what I tried to explain about the way I felt, I have come across as an arrogant, bumbling fool. I clearly have given you all completely the wrong impression and have accomplished quite the opposite of what I had hoped.

I am not a complete dunce you know, I have worked in a team before and observed the development process of a large mod. I’ve been on the receiving end of someone that had a ‘grand vision’ and wanted others to do the work because he couldn’t himself, and indeed I tried to help him accomplish that. In my own little realm of modding I make or modify all my own textures, shaders and sort of makeshift ‘models’ if you could call them that… I plan out all the level flow, weapon placements and level design etc, and arrange all the beta testing. My experience may only be limited to the game that I mod for, but its not like I don’t know anything at all.

Obviously however those experiences cannot be extrapolated into the larger world of game design, and it is now clear that it is probably 95% impossible that I or anyone else would ever get their own ‘grand idea’ realised in real life.

Quote:
Original post by Kekko
Nozyspy:
I consider myself a good programmer. Not great, really good or brilliant, but good. I'm probably among the better ones you can get for free. Because you know what? I would totally join you and help you envision your dream *if* I had the time over which I haven't since another guy with a vision snapped me up already.

But assuming I had that time, here is what I look for in hobby projects, speaking only from my very own personal experience:

- Awesomeness! Sell me a design/idea! This is usually done through a great design document or something similar that contains as much information as possible about the game. I'm a little confused why you come here complaining about why no one will make a game out of your great idea when you don't even tell us your idea. And no, a paragraph or two doesn't count. We want sketches of game screens, gameplay features, character bios and monster details (or whatever your game contains), etc. If you can sell your idea to developers, then you can probably sell it to players (with sell here meaning convincing them to download and try it). Most people here know that coming up with a couple of paragraphs is ridicolously easy while filling in all the details is fricking hard. From what you have said here, I cannot envision a game, there is just not enough information. And if I cannot envision a game, I will not be inspired. And if I'm not inspired, I'll not work for free.

- I want to do what I think is funny. If I sign up to program the game, I don't want to do manual writing or playtesting or marketing or art or sound engineering or something else. And the artist will probably only want to make art. You have basically three ways to make people work on your dream. You can sell your dream so well that it becomes their dream too (see above), you can pay them or you can make sure they have fun while working on it. This probably means that YOU will have to do a lot of stuff that nobody else likes to do, like playtesting, documenting,

What I'm trying to say is that if you can show us a great idea for a game (Not just telling us you have it, I also have several.) and promise us that you will take care of everything and just let us get on with programming/art making/music composing or whatever we want to do, then I think you will find willing recruits. Which means you'll be both designer, manager and producer. And all these three roles are just as hard and probably harder to be good at than being a good programmer or artist.



Thank you! Finally someone who is at least positive! Your comments are appreciated mate. You also touched on the main thing that I left out – completely on purpose – details of the idea. As I do some modding, I am used to keeping details quiet until they have more fully ripened, so that no one else might take the idea and claim it for themselves (which has nearly happened before…).

Sorry about that, but that’s just what I have learned to do.

The bare bones of my ‘fantasmagorical idea’ are thus:

- Period adventure, including references to and appearances of (real life) people and places.

- Archaeology, ancient mysteries. And no, not an Indy or Tomb Raider Rip off…

- A Mixture of FPS and exploration / puzzle gameplay. Though with more of a focus on the FPS side.

- Locations that most people have never heard of, but which do really exist and are ‘real life’ adventurer sort of places, mixed in with some fictitious locations. Including the ruins of Babylon, the Great Sphinx and the lost tomb of Alexander the Great.

- Bad guys: Sinister Germans / Russians – people who generally make good bad guys… And a burned to a crisp ‘uber mummy’.

Those are just a flimsy few of my ideas, the details are locked away in my brain. Since most of you said that ideas alone are worthless, I thought I should write a few down. Perhaps they are worth 0.001p now?

Clearly though I should just stick to writing a book…or maybe making some kind of mod, since it is clear now that getting your idea noticed is not as simple as I desperately hoped it would be.

I should probably just get lost soon I think.
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Quote:

Perhaps they are worth 0.001p now?


Not in the least.

'A Mixture of FPS and exploration / puzzle gameplay.' Says nothing of gameplay.

And really, it sounds like a Indy/Tomb Raider/Mummy rip off... (and I fear perhaps a dollop of Myst *shudder*)
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Clearly though I should just stick to writing a book…or maybe making some kind of mod, since it is clear now that getting your idea noticed is not as simple as I desperately hoped it would be.


Being that you often mention books, movies in reference to your game, it seems to me that you have an idea for a story but arn't entirely sure what medium to use.

One thing to think about is what are you trying to achieve in turning it into a game vs writing a short story or novel? Is it just for the coolness factor of having made your own game? is it to make money? or is it truely the best way for someone to experience your idea?

Also, you mention a lot of your modding experience. Mods are a great way to see your ideas (especially stories) come to life. Is there a reason you don't want to turn the idea into a mod? There's many game engines out there these days and I'm sure you could find one that's somewhat close to the mark and take it from there.
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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
And really, it sounds like a Indy/Tomb Raider/Mummy rip off... (and I fear perhaps a dollop of Myst *shudder*)

Nonsense! It could be a Lovecraft ripoff. Oh wait, sinister Germans? Honestly, it sounds like Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
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You've mentioned your modding experience a few times. I'm curious - how much experience do you have with releasing mods/levels?


One of the things I learned from modding and level-design was that, unless you happen to have the same taste as your target audience, going by what you like can be rather dangerous. It's always important to let other people test your levels, to see how they work out with the public. I've been able to build some fine levels because I had playtesters. The main reason why some of my levels are flawed is the lack of playtesting. Sometimes, playtesters pointed out things they found fun, where I didn't expect them. At other times, they asked me to change or remove things that I thought would work well.

The main problem with ideas, the way I see it, is that they can't easily be tested - so it's hard to tell if they will work or not. A prototype that shows potential is much more attractive. Another problem is that some ideas can't easily be implemented. Perhaps the end-result would've been fun, but that's rather unimportant if you'll never get an end-result.


So, create something that can convince people. Something working, something playable. Ideas alone just won't cut it. That's why I occasionally create prototypes - to see if my ideas really have potential or not.
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If you're serious about this, turn your ideas into specific mechanics that you can test and that others can critique. As an example, let me take your idea and show you what I mean:

Quote:
Original post by Nozyspy
- Period adventure, including references to and appearances of (real life) people and places.


It's an FPS/adventure set in 1939 where the players travel around the globe seeking pieces to a 5,000 year old puzzle.

Quote:

- Archaeology, ancient mysteries. And no, not an Indy or Tomb Raider Rip off…
- A Mixture of FPS and exploration / puzzle gameplay. Though with more of a focus on the FPS side.


Gameplay relies on both combat and puzzle solving, with a unique selling point being that puzzle pieces have strategic value, forcing players to weigh whether or not to use them in combat or to progress in larger puzzles. For example:


  • Puzzle pieces can be used to lure enemies into traps but may be lost
  • Puzzle pieces can change the physics of the level but may be destroyed
  • Puzzle pieces can alter the geometry of the level but must be left behind for the change to stay effective



Quote:

- Locations that most people have never heard of, but which do really exist and are ‘real life’ adventurer sort of places, mixed in with some fictitious locations. Including the ruins of Babylon, the Great Sphinx and the lost tomb of Alexander the Great.


Rather than the typical locations found in games of this genre, the game will attempt to differientiate itself by focusing on more exotic locations such as imperial ruins in China, East European themed underground castles and mountain fortresses in Ethiopia. These set piece locations will be complimented by dozens of smaller levels representing key locations around the globe.

A key aspect to gameplay is that map travel is nonlinear and that the AI (in the form of enemies and competing treasure hunters) moves freely from city to city. So rather than the game telling players where to go, they must follow leads, pay for bribes and incapacitate enemies to find their next location.

Quote:

- Bad guys: Sinister Germans / Russians – people who generally make good bad guys… And a burned to a crisp ‘uber mummy’.


Players deal with three kinds of enemies: Agents of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; fellow archaeologists; and supernatural enemies. This mix results in three major approaches to combat:

  • Axis powers form smart tactical squads similar to the Marine forces in Half-Life, requiring use of cover and positioning
  • Archaeologists types exist as unique characters with distinct fighting styles, requiring the player to learn their strengths and weaknesses
  • Supernatural enemies (such as ghosts and mummies) use dumb wave AI similar to games such as Doom and Serious Sam


Axis and archaeologist enemies roam the global map at will, appearing in each level at a frequency based on their own needs driven AI. So players may be trying to follow leads at a bazaar in Tripoli or night club in London, only to square of against rivals who have either followed them or gotten to a lead first.

Supernatural enemies are restricted to tombs and ruins, but continuously respawn based on a regular schedule. When enemies are not present, sprung traps reorganize and retrigger, favoring puzzle solving. This allows players several strategic options:

  • They can clear enemies themselves, facing fewer traps and having a better chance at gaining puzzle pieces first
  • They can wait for rivals to clear traps / enemies, then attempt to steal pieces from them but risk rivals escaping to another city
  • They can employ stealth and puzzle pieces they've already found to turn a level into a death trap for monsters and rivals, defeating them without firing a shot


Each enemy type may fight each other on sight, creating the illusion of a dynamic world. Or they may also cooperate. The player can act to disrupt enemy alliances, weaken the resolve of Axis squads by disrupting their formations and even ally with archaeologists by trading puzzle pieces at key points in the game's story.

etc. etc. etc.

See what I mean? I don't mention story, location or characters because (to repurpose a quote) "they play's the thing." All of that can be swapped out. The setting could easily be an adventure in the world of H.G. Wells or ancient Rome and only surface details would change.

Most importantly, though, there's now enough detail for people to ask critical questions that you then hopefully take to refine your gameplay. For instance:


How exactly will puzzles be automatically generated?
How exactly will the player know how well they or their AI enemies are doing?
How does the clue following system work?
How will puzzles be used in combat?
etc.



Quote:

Those are just a flimsy few of my ideas, the details are locked away in my brain.


If you mean that you know the ideas in your mind but can't get them out on paper that is a serious red flag. Creative types know that everything is all warm and fuzzy in the mind. It's the (sometimes painful) act of getting them down on the page, where they can seem lifeless in comparison, that really allows you to make what you dream.

Quote:

I should probably just get lost soon I think.


And seriously, guy-- this was said earlier, but I'll say it again: You need to cut this sh*t out. Keep a crisis of confidence to yourself, particularly if you aspire to lead. Would you say this if a pitch wasn't going well if you did get a shot in front of someone with decision making power?

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nozyspy

I ask myself this question constantly, as it is probably the thing that annoys me most about the games industry. The thing is, everywhere I read says the same thing; go to a university, do loads of courses, become a lowly minion at an unheard-of games studio and then somehow work your way up into a decent position at one of the well known studios. All this must be accomplished before you die of old age, if you ever want a crack at designing your own game.


Not exactly. You must go to university, do loads of courses, become a lowly minion and somehow (maybe) work your way up to a lead designer position on a project in a competent development team. For all you know, it might not even be a project of your choice!

Nobody said anything about getting a crack at designing your own game in the sense that you're given complete freedom to be creative and design something original from scratch, develop your own ideas and such.

There are only two ways to have such freedom (obviously limited only by what is technically possible or rational). One is to be an amateur game developer and do everything yourself the way you want to, and the other is to be the producer who finances everything.

Today there are such things as fixed standards and expectations for each and every genre and sort of game. I won't pretend to know much about inner workings of leading development teams in the industry, but I highly doubt that too many (if any) people in game design today have as much creative and artistic freedom as seems to be the popular opinion among aspiring game designers.
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Quote:
Original post by Talin
Today there are such things as fixed standards and expectations for each and every genre and sort of game. I won't pretend to know much about inner workings of leading development teams in the industry, but I highly doubt that too many (if any) people in game design today have as much creative and artistic freedom as seems to be the popular opinion among aspiring game designers.


I've only worked for a couple of companies, but from the war stories I got from friends and what I've heard from talking to folks at GDCs, this seems to be the case.

Barring winning the lottery (where you divide by x million to see how many games you could make with that [smile]) I'd always vote for the modder / amateur path. Yeah, what you make doesn't get to always have the production values that comes from an ever-toiling legion of minions, but it's completely and totally yours. Nobody gets to tell you no-- for good or ill-- and you can do things nobody else has ever tried.
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Hmm thanks for the insightful comments chaps.

Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
And really, it sounds like a Indy/Tomb Raider/Mummy rip off... (and I fear perhaps a dollop of Myst *shudder*)


It is absolutely nothing like any of them!

Quote:
Original post by gxaxhx
Being that you often mention books, movies in reference to your game, it seems to me that you have an idea for a story but arn't entirely sure what medium to use.

One thing to think about is what are you trying to achieve in turning it into a game vs writing a short story or novel? Is it just for the coolness factor of having made your own game? is it to make money? or is it truely the best way for someone to experience your idea?


The story could be adapted for any medium. However there are problems with each. The story requires some globetrotting, going to many disparate locations in a film is not an easy thing to pull off. Games don’t always allow the set-piece scenes that you might want. And as for books…well generally there are no pictures in novels (though you can add them on the odd page, as I have seen in some Sherlock Holmes novels), the thing is that one of the underlying themes of the story requires subtle hints dropped in here and there.

For instance, near the start, a bunch of coal miners dig out a lump of coal with an odd gold object encased within it, The patterns on the object crop here and there throughout the game and are meant to refer to the ‘grand scheme’ of the overall story arc. The thing is that these patterns aren’t meant to be obvious – a carving on a wall, a symbol in a scroll. The player is meant to just ‘notice’ these things appearing now and again without the story requiring that they be explained, at least in the first ‘part’. The idea is that each story is self contained and yet this common thread runs through them all, becoming more obvious untill it becomes the main objective of the final ‘story’. Like I said, the story arc idea I had in mind is meant to be split over three ‘episodes’.

Quote:
Original post by Captain P
You've mentioned your modding experience a few times. I'm curious - how much experience do you have with releasing mods/levels?


One of the things I learned from modding and level-design was that, unless you happen to have the same taste as your target audience, going by what you like can be rather dangerous. It's always important to let other people test your levels, to see how they work out with the public. I've been able to build some fine levels because I had playtesters. The main reason why some of my levels are flawed is the lack of playtesting. Sometimes, playtesters pointed out things they found fun, where I didn't expect them. At other times, they asked me to change or remove things that I thought would work well.


Modding experience… Jedi Academy is one of my favourite games of all time (ridicule that all you want!) and the engine used is really very modifiable if you know what you are doing. I make multiplayer maps for this game, nine released maps, 2 in production and one on the drawing board. I released my first level in 2004, however I modded for my own enjoyment for almost a couple of years before that. I have my own site and I work as a file reviewer at JK2files.

I have studied the singleplayer and multiplayer level design in this and quite a few other games to get a sense of the linearity or the ‘openworldiness’ of them.

I am seriously considering trying to make a mod about this idea, but that still requires much searching and enquiry to ascertain its practicality and feasibility.

Wavinator, your suggestions are excellent, a lot of excellent points there, so thanks for that mate.

I only offered a few small snippets of my idea before, so I will elucidate a bit further.

The story is set in the late 20’s early 30’s when the Nazi’s first started poking their noses around. As everyone knows they were obsessed with many ancient mysteries which they hoped would further their quest for world domination. They also make excellent bad guys, because frankly everyone hates their guts, they’re evil and sinister.

The protagonist is a middle class Englishman, who fought and was a Major / Lt. Colonel during WW1. Not rich, but not poor either, so no super rich Lara Croft-alikes here. Said character worked for British intelligence, which automatically bestows upon him all the necessary prerequisites of brains and toughness etc. that you expect from an adventure hero. Possibly related to a famous archaeologist, hence the interest and training, or protégé of a famous university professor.

The idea is that there is a hierarchy of bad guys, and that the initial one you encounter is just one of the lower bad guys. The mastermind being someone who you for the most part only hear in voice, similar to how Professor Moriarty is in some of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

The artefact(s) – here there are some problems, which I am still trying to resolve. My grand scheme is that the lump of coal with the gold object embedded in it is what starts off the main thread of the series leading to a hunt for pieces of a device. The device can bestow upon the user great power, but only if they are strong enough to contain its power. Here is where the burned to a crisp mummy comes in. the device destroyed his body but his mind was strong enough to contain its power.

Ehem, back to the original McGuffin for the first story, this is where the problem lies. Really I would like it to be unrelated to the main story arc. The idea is that the first story is self contained, similar to how the original Star Wars movie is, in that it is a story in its own right but can be infinitely expanded upon should it be successful.

My original thought is the Ark of the Covenant. Now, this is not a cheep Indy rip-off. As far as I understand the Ark actually ‘disappeared’ after the Babylonian’s besieged Jerusalem, hence logically it should be in Babylon, not Tanis in Egypt… This story route allows some interesting globe trotting, since the idea is that the Ark is sealed in a hidden vault under the ruins of Babylon. Once the Babylonian’s captured it they became terrified of it and the Hebrew God, and sealed it underground so no-one could ever find it, and it wouldn’t bother them. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.

The door to the said vault can only be unlocked with 4 / 5 keys, each of which was given to an important Babylonian official. Through time Babylon was conquered by many nations. So one piece of the key is in the Tomb of Nebuchadnezzar, another in the lost tomb of Alexander the Great, and after the British gained control of Iraq one piece is in the basement of the British museum, etc.

The problem with the story is that its been done before in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and it also presents interesting religious issues since the Ark is a sacred object to a few different religions.

Alternatives could be a ‘sun stone’ that illuminates the surroundings without fire, some kind of ancient sword or other device.

Enough of the story, onto the gameplay.

The gameplay is more action oriented than Tomb Raider, however set piece puzzles would still play an important role in reaching the main objectives of each level. The environment should play a major role in the game, with the player having to find an appropriate path down a mountain pass for example, avoiding sheer drops and falling boulders. There being multiple paths down to the bottom. All the while enemies occasionally pop out from behind boulders and take pot shots at you.

One idea I had was for a British museum basement level. Basically you have a 30 minute time limit before a bunch of things turn up to find the ‘thing’ that is being searched for. You have to make your way around several large rooms and crowbar crates open until you find what you are looking for. The object could be magnetic ala Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, hence you would have a compass on the HUD to help you find your way to it. To avoid frustration the level might not end when the countdown timer expires, but rather, along with finding the object, you now have a bunch of armed goons to deal with.

No blood or sex and very minimal swearing, I envision this being suitable for most ages, these things aren’t necessary for a good game anyways. Weapons include army issue rifle and pistol, along with a shotgun, grenades and possibly some form of sword.

A sidekick (probably a young American with a penchant for fast cars) who will join you occasionally perhaps offering hints as to which direction to take and help in combat. This character ends the game with two Bentleys. How?! See below.

During the course of the story your discoveries will earn you a nice paycheque (including one from the Greek government). Your house serves the same purpose as Croft Manor in the TR games. Part for fun, and part training area. As you earn money from your discoveries you can add extra ‘bits’ onto your house like an extension, or a firing range etc. This could be nearer the end of the game, at the start of game ‘#2’ or at strategic points throughout the game so you can go back to your house and practice new moves, aim, awareness etc.

Right, those are again just a few of my ideas, I cant write any more as my fingers are tired, and I don’t want to tell you everything! I am sure I can trust you guys, but, ehhmm, who knows who else reads these forums?!

o.O

Noz
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I really think you should just start writing novels instead of trying to make games. You clearly have a lot more ideas for story than gameplay and I doubt a game would make a better medium without turning gameplay into boring grind with story doled out one bit at a time as a reward.
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Noz wrote:
>I am seriously considering trying to make a mod about this idea, but that still requires much searching and enquiry to ascertain its practicality and feasibility.

Why is the word "but" in that sentence? Is this your way of saying "but it's too hard"? Another interpretation of "but it's too hard" is "but I'm too lazy." You should just do that feasibility study if you're so passionate about your game, and if it's not feasible scale it down.

>Enough of the story, onto the gameplay.
>The gameplay is more action oriented than Tomb Raider...
>One idea I had was for a British museum basement level. Basically you have a 30 minute time limit ...

And why are you telling us all this? Just because some have said "all you've got is story, what's the game?" If you have a game in your head, you should put it on paper. We don't need those details to answer your question.

>I don’t want to tell you everything! I am sure I can trust you guys, but, ehhmm, who knows who else reads these forums?!

There are some who say "never tell your game ideas," and others who say "just tell'em already." Commit your concept to paper, copyright it, and either publish the design or don't, depending. And of course, then you should design more games too. Nobody makes his fortune on one game idea. It's about a career, not one flash of brilliance.
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Way too long of a thread, not going to read it all.

Put simply, there are thousands of people like you who all think they have got the greatest idea since sliced bread.

So to begin with, you just blend in with the noise. Why would anyone choose your idea as opposed to the thousands of other people who would probably even be willing to pay to have someone make their own idea.

Finally, game design isn't really about the idea or story. Game design is about realizing how to make things fun. You can talk all you want about your incredible plot and setting but plot doesn't make a game. The truth is most "great" ideas are actually so full of holes they wouldn't even be useful as a sieve. Just take a look at any games "suggestion" thread.
Well over 99% of the ideas are novelties that sound somewhat cool but wouldn't be able to stand up to a light breeze.

Frankly, if you cannot skim through the average games suggestion thread and realize why game studios don't pick people off the street to design games, you are in no position to design one yourself.



Game studios are not going to throw millions of dollars away on some kids crappy dream game idea.
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Quote:
Original post by Kaze
I really think you should just start writing novels instead of trying to make games. You clearly have a lot more ideas for story than gameplay and I doubt a game would make a better medium without turning gameplay into boring grind with story doled out one bit at a time as a reward.


The story is intricately wound in with the gameplay. ;) The gameplay ideas I gave you were just a few examples of possibilities.

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Noz wrote:
>I am seriously considering trying to make a mod about this idea, but that still requires much searching and enquiry to ascertain its practicality and feasibility.

Why is the word "but" in that sentence? Is this your way of saying "but it's too hard"? Another interpretation of "but it's too hard" is "but I'm too lazy." You should just do that feasibility study if you're so passionate about your game, and if it's not feasible scale it down.


You obviously aren’t familiar with the difficulties of creating a decent singleplayer mod in our community.

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
And why are you telling us all this? Just because some have said "all you've got is story, what's the game?" If you have a game in your head, you should put it on paper. We don't need those details to answer your question.


I got the impression people wanted a bit more detail, and really that I was just a hair brained madman who has no idea what gameplay is! The game in my head is on paper, and by the time I have finished will at least have filled the blank book I bought for the purpose.

Quote:
Original post by r691175002
Way too long of a thread, not going to read it all.

Put simply, there are thousands of people like you who all think they have got the greatest idea since sliced bread.


You cannot properly understand my thoughts unless you make the effort to read as much of the thread as possible. I never said my idea was the ‘greatest since sliced bread’, just that it was good (I think) and that it resides in a part of the gaming market that seems rather underdeveloped.

Quote:
Original post by r691175002
So to begin with, you just blend in with the noise. Why would anyone choose your idea as opposed to the thousands of other people who would probably even be willing to pay to have someone make their own idea.


Believe me, if I had that much money I would have already completely funded and made he game by now. :P

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Original post by r691175002
Finally, game design isn't really about the idea or story. Game design is about realizing how to make things fun. You can talk all you want about your incredible plot and setting but plot doesn't make a game. The truth is most "great" ideas are actually so full of holes they wouldn't even be useful as a sieve. Just take a look at any games "suggestion" thread.


Personally I disagree with that, I believe story is an extremely important aspect of the gameplay as a whole. The gameplay could be absolutely rubbish, but if it has a good story people will still play it, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness is an example I believe.

Many older games also have excellent stories, which is part of the reason why a lot have become legendary. It appears that these newfangled ‘next-gen’ titles prefer to concentrate more on ‘pretty colours and flashing lights’ than a good old ripping yarn. As someone who appreciates a bit of effort being put into a games story line, I find this attitude most disappointing.

Take the entire Tomb Raider series for example. The gameplay is nothing new, its mostly the same across the games, with tweaks and upgrades along the way, but in general the same formula. It’s the story that makes them special to a lot of people.

You know what all the buzz on the forums for TR: Underworld is about at the moment? Story. Only a few posts actually seem to have talked about gameplay (like the new ‘sonar ping’ device). It is the story that everyone wants to know, the theories and spoilers are flying around all over the place.

More games that create that kind of a buzz, and less games that are mindless shoot-em-ups would be a good thing.

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Original post by r691175002Game studios are not going to throw millions of dollars away on some kids crappy dream game idea.


Yeah, games studios throw millions of dollars away on some executives crappy dream game idea instead.

Look, I know I came here in a bit of a ranting mood, but I believe I explained my feelings and state of mind clearly enough. Although there have indeed been some very helpful and informative posts by helpful and informative people, I was rather hoping that people like you who had most likely been in my position and felt the same way at one time would at least be a little more encouraging.

Most people however have done little to dispel my impression that the games industry is very elitist, and once you get into the ‘club’ you rise above the crowd of ordinary gamers from whence you came. Believe it or not, just because you haven’t worked for years at a games studio or haven’t made an uber-mod doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director. I know personally many people who are better at what they do than the people who made the actual game.
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Original post by Nozyspy
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Original post by r691175002
Game studios are not going to throw millions of dollars away on some kids crappy dream game idea.


Yeah, games studios throw millions of dollars away on some executives crappy dream game idea instead.

No, they pour in big money in something that looks like it'll make them more money in return.

But really, seeing the games industry as only that is misleading. There are many different companies and relationships and situations out there. Some foster an atmosphere of creativity. Others work only by the mercy of their producers/financiers. Either way, getting a team to work on your idea isn't just a matter of getting 'in the industry'. The industry has many faces and scarcely few are 'total freedom to implement your own ideas'. Even those that are still need to deal with reality: if the game doesn't make money, it may mean the end of that company. Why would you deserve such a sacrifice? That's a huge risk right there.

If anything, it's a privilege to get your ideas worked out.

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Most people however have done little to dispel my impression that the games industry is very elitist, and once you get into the ‘club’ you rise above the crowd of ordinary gamers from whence you came. Believe it or not, just because you haven’t worked for years at a games studio or haven’t made an uber-mod doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director. I know personally many people who are better at what they do than the people who made the actual game.

Smart people are dumb. And no, game-developers are no more elitist than modders are. In fact, I've seen more elitism among the latter (regardless of skill level).

But hey, if you know so many excellent people outside the industry, why don't you set up a team to get things done? Surely they will be willing to work for you because they're not in the industry...


In other words, don't you see that this has very little to do with 'the industry' and very much with practical, real-life constraints? Aren't you the one with the elitist attitude here? The guys who run game-dev companies put a lot of hard work in them. And so should you, if you really want to push this. Yes, it's a lot of hard work. If it's too much, then you, being the designer, must decide what to cut out, or live with the fact that your idea will never see daylight. You choose. Be pragmatic.
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...doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director.


Talent without experience is not enough to be a game director. Game companies can't wait for you to learn the things experience teaches you (usually via failure) when you're the guy piloting the ship.
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Original post by Nozyspy
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Original post by Tom Sloper
Noz wrote:
>I am seriously considering trying to make a mod about this idea, but that still requires much searching and enquiry to ascertain its practicality and feasibility.

Why is the word "but" in that sentence? Is this your way of saying "but it's too hard"? Another interpretation of "but it's too hard" is "but I'm too lazy." You should just do that feasibility study if you're so passionate about your game, and if it's not feasible scale it down.


You obviously aren’t familiar with the difficulties of creating a decent singleplayer mod in our community.

He isn't talking about making a mod. He's talking about doing the feasibility and practicality study.

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Personally I disagree with that, I believe story is an extremely important aspect of the gameplay as a whole. The gameplay could be absolutely rubbish, but if it has a good story people will still play it, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness is an example I believe.

You mean the game that was a relative commercial failure, leading to Eidos shifting Tomb Raider development to a different studio?

Quote:
You know what all the buzz on the forums for TR: Underworld is about at the moment? Story. Only a few posts actually seem to have talked about gameplay (like the new ‘sonar ping’ device). It is the story that everyone wants to know, the theories and spoilers are flying around all over the place.

Guess what... if you go to the FIFA '09 forums, you'll find them all talking about gameplay, and not about story! Funny, that. You're looking at a niche and expecting to generalise from that, but it doesn't work that way.

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I was rather hoping that people like you who had most likely been in my position and felt the same way at one time would at least be a little more encouraging.

Unfortunately there is nothing to encourage. Put in the work, make the game yourself. Or work through the industry and hope you get a shot. That's all we can offer you.

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Most people however have done little to dispel my impression that the games industry is very elitist, and once you get into the ‘club’ you rise above the crowd of ordinary gamers from whence you came.

That's the way any industry works, whether artistic or not. Why can't Average Joe design his own cellphone? Make his own skyscraper? Fly a fighter plane? Have his own operating system? The answer in all cases is that you can go one of three routes: 1 - do it all yourself, 2 - pay others to do it, 3 - work your way up to be in charge of a team that does it. This isn't about games. This is about life.

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Believe it or not, just because you haven’t worked for years at a games studio or haven’t made an uber-mod doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director. I know personally many people who are better at what they do than the people who made the actual game.

In your opinion. It's very easy to pick out a piece of work done by someone working on a mod team and compare it to something in a game, and say "hey, this is better than the 'real' one." Yet that misses so many important points, such as:
- the professional was working to a deadline, probably meaning that they had less time to dedicate to any individual item than the modder did. They have also had to generate all sorts of boring assets in that timespan which the modder can take for granted.
- the modder has a fixed target, in that the game is released and the specs are known. The professional often has to spend time reworking assets as the engine changes during development.
- the modder often has better tools, because the bespoke tools that they get to use are often what the professional only had at the end of the project, having had to contend with bugs and defects in those tools beforehand.
- the modder is targetting a higher minimum PC specification than the professional. Not only is their development PC likely to be faster (since it is months or years after the pro worked on the game), but they are not constrained to certain budgets (such as texture memory) or by other constraints (eg. execution speed) by a marketing department keen to hit as low a spec as possible.

In other words, it is rarely a fair comparison. But yes, some artists, coders, designers are slightly better than some of their commercial counterparts. So? Let them apply for the jobs, or work on indie games, and they'll do fine.
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Original post by Nozyspy
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Original post by Kaze
I really think you should just start writing novels instead of trying to make games. You clearly have a lot more ideas for story than gameplay and I doubt a game would make a better medium without turning gameplay into boring grind with story doled out one bit at a time as a reward.


The story is intricately wound in with the gameplay. ;) The gameplay ideas I gave you were just a few examples of possibilities.

I'm not sure how to put this politely buy I disagree. It seems like you just pasted your story onto a generic 3rd person adventure game. All the gameplay you listed has been done before in games with varying stories.


Quote:
[i]Original post by Nozyspy[/i
Most people however have done little to dispel my impression that the games industry is very elitist, and once you get into the ‘club’ you rise above the crowd of ordinary gamers from whence you came. Believe it or not, just because you haven’t worked for years at a games studio or haven’t made an uber-mod doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director. I know personally many people who are better at what they do than the people who made the actual game.


But you still don't seem to understand that your not the only one who's played a ton of games and believes they have a amazing game idea that would make millions if only someone would make it. Its not elitism that with a large number of choices the industry chooses the people who are willing to put in the effort to learns a skill and gain experience in the industry.

Finally its easy to think up a game idea but in real life you have to deal with time and cost constrains, technical limitations and marketing.
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Maybe reading this article which has just been published on gamasutra will enlighten why a nobody with no experiance and just ideas won't get hired.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20373
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Original post by Nozyspy
Most people however have done little to dispel my impression that the games industry is very elitist, and once you get into the ‘club’ you rise above the crowd of ordinary gamers from whence you came. Believe it or not, just because you haven’t worked for years at a games studio or haven’t made an uber-mod doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director. I know personally many people who are better at what they do than the people who made the actual game.


Open your eyes and really listen.

Asking for the industry to risk millions of dollars and the livelyhoods of development teams and thier families on an unknown whom hasn't proven his worth through the well established inroads into the industry. That is like asking airline passangers to ride a plane flown by someone without a pilots license.

I'm sorry, moutains do not come equiped with elevators, if you want to reach the peak you are going to have to learn to climb. If you had spent all the energy you used to debate in this thread on reaching your goals, you would be that much closer to achieveing them.




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Most people however have done little to dispel my impression that the games industry is very elitist, and once you get into the ‘club’ you rise above the crowd of ordinary gamers from whence you came. Believe it or not, just because you haven’t worked for years at a games studio or haven’t made an uber-mod doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director. I know personally many people who are better at what they do than the people who made the actual game.

What's elitist about wanting to hire those who have relevant experience? Is it elitist that no one will let you run a major bank? Direct the next big Hollywood movie?

It's no different than any other industry. Intel isn't going to listen to you if you say you have a good idea for a new CPU. Ford isn't going to listen to you if you have an idea for better cars. Spielberg isn't going to listen to you if you tell him you've got an idea for a movie. That's not elitism, it's simply protecting their investment. They've got a lot of money at stake, and face it, it's risky to gamble it all on an unknown. If you want to become more than an unknown, then it's up to you. Don't blame anyone else for not falling at your feet at the mere mention that you have an idea. If no one are sufficiently impressed to hire you, you haven't sold your idea well enough. Or, possibly, the idea isn't good enough to be worth the trouble.

But let's turn your question upside down. Why should a studio head listen to you? Why should they give you 5 minutes of your time? How do they know that your ideas are so far ahead of everyone else's? There are over 6 billion people on this planet. All of them have ideas. Do you expect every single one of them to be given 5 minutes every time they get a new idea? Of course not.

You assume that your ideas are a hot commodity. They might be, but it is doubtful, because there are an awful lot of ideas in this world. But even if they are, so what? Don't expect people to come looking for them. you are going to have to convince people that your ideas are 1) better than theirs, and 2) so *vastly* better that it justifies hiring you, paying your wages, just for the sake of this idea. What else can you do? What else do you have to bring to the table?
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Original post by Spoonbender
What's elitist about wanting to hire those who have relevant experience? Is it elitist that no one will let you run a major bank? Direct the next big Hollywood movie?

It's no different than any other industry. Intel isn't going to listen to you if you say you have a good idea for a new CPU. Ford isn't going to listen to you if you have an idea for better cars. Spielberg isn't going to listen to you if you tell him you've got an idea for a movie. That's not elitism, it's simply protecting their investment. They've got a lot of money at stake, and face it, it's risky to gamble it all on an unknown. If you want to become more than an unknown, then it's up to you. Don't blame anyone else for not falling at your feet at the mere mention that you have an idea. If no one are sufficiently impressed to hire you, you haven't sold your idea well enough. Or, possibly, the idea isn't good enough to be worth the trouble.


Nono, that’s not what I mean by elitism, what I mean is the kind of thing I see a lot when modders get a bit too good at what they do, and they view the work or ideas of less experienced people as ‘worthless’ without paying much attention to what those people are actually doing.

What I feel is that the industry simply ignores people like that and rather hires people who share their philosophy of ‘money money money’ rather than ‘lets make a game people will really enjoy and keep playing for the next 10 years!’

Of course if you train and have proven yourself at something you have a better chance at getting the job, I have no problem with that. I just wish the gods of the games studios would come down from their clouds once in a while just to see what other people are doing.

Afterall, how often do you actually see a developer posting a personal message on the forums for their own game?! The only person I know of personally who know does this is John Smedley of SOE, and I respect him for doing that. He actually answered my email personally, something I doubt most execs do!

Anyway, this thread has reached its limit of usefulness for me, I appreciate the replies guys, especially the ones that were helpful. However I cant help but feel somewhat worried about the future of game design, afterall in our modding community ideas, whoever comes up with them, are treated with a certain amount of respect, far from being ‘worthless’.

Maybe I will stick to writing a book instead. . Or if I feel lazy and suddenly become rich, get a ghost writer to do it for me…

But anyway, I’m sure you have heard quite enough of me, obviously this is world where I have not done enough to be welcome, therefore I thank you all for your time, and say goodbye!


Noz
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Meh. This deserves to be said. People like you are the most annoying kind.

There is absolutely no reason why anybody on earth should take you seriously or even bother reading your post.

-IF- you really were a passionate aspiring game designer, you'd be at DigiPen, or making a mod, or learning to program. Read all of those things as -DOING SOMETHING- other than sitting there working on your pretend game design document which is worth less than a splash in the toilet bowl.

Everybody has ideas. Everybody. The clerk at GameStop has an idea for the best game ever. The cashier at Best Buy has an idea for the best game ever. My toddler has an idea for the best game ever. None of this makes any of these people a game designer, and none of them have the best idea ever, and none of them are going to get 2 minutes with a studio to pitch their idea.

Game design is not about ideas. It's about implementation. Yes, a game designer should have great ideas, but game design as a -PROFESSION- is the ability to turn ideas into something functional and entertaining that other people will actually pay money to play. It's a creative and technical skill and unless you create something to demonstrate that you have that skill, even a portfolio is worthless, because ideas on paper don't equal design talent.

If there weren't already 3 pages of this discussion, I might have been more patient with you. But all I really see at this point is your incessant whining and arguing and brash dismissal of everybody here that's telling you the bold truth, which is - PUT UP OR SHUT UP! So why bother?

Bottom line is this. You have no idea what you're talking about. Every single one of your assumptions is blatantly incorrect. Your ideas do sound like derivative dribble. You haven't demonstrated any real effort to accomplish your goal - making maps for a game you like is a start but only that. So sadly, this is probably simultaneously the beginning and end of your "gaming career". Short lived. Thankfully.

You're what we like to call an "Arm-Chair Designer". You like to come up with ideas. You like to think that your ideas are special, unique, beautiful flowers. You're not interested in understanding technology or how game art is made. You're not interested in doing any work. You want all of the control and none of the responsibility. You'd just like to sit there, pretending to be Miyamoto, barking design orders at a team of significantly more talented people (than yourself), and just smile as everyone else puts in the long hours to realize your "vision". Oh, and let's not forget that you'll also sit there and boldly critique and correct them, because you know better, of course.

Yes, an Arm-Chair Designer indeed, which is why we hate and reject those people and they get nowhere. This type of person is the truest bastard in the industry.

So, very simply, either get busy with a mod team or some education that's going to help you understand how games are made, or just go write a book - or make a movie - since those seem to involve less effort which is clearly very attractive to you (not that there's any truth to that notion).
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Original post by Nozyspy
Anyway, this thread has reached its limit of usefulness for me, I appreciate the replies guys, especially the ones that were helpful. However I cant help but feel somewhat worried about the future of game design, afterall in our modding community ideas, whoever comes up with them, are treated with a certain amount of respect, far from being ‘worthless’.

Maybe I will stick to writing a book instead. . Or if I feel lazy and suddenly become rich, get a ghost writer to do it for me…

But anyway, I’m sure you have heard quite enough of me, obviously this is world where I have not done enough to be welcome, therefore I thank you all for your time, and say goodbye!



Hey Nozyspy, I understand what your fructuation is. Some of your points made here are quite legitimate.

Fact:
A genius designer is gifted and born with. Not any hard working nor any experience nor any academic qualification can make one a genius designer. A genius designer is genius because he's genius. And only a genius designer can make excellent games. It's more or less like any artists or even any politicians, what is magical is the gifted part, not the hard-working part, not the experience part, and not the academic qualification part. Hard working plus experience plus sound qualification will never never never make any genius artists or desingers or politicians.

That said, a genius designer knows how important hard working is, how important experience is and sometimes how important qualification is to assist his art works.

Without good ideas there will be no good games at all, and only a genius designer will have the correct set of 'good ideas' which are not only implementable technically, but also will result in the great games. So no, not everyone will have those decisive ideas which can result in great games. To simply put, the greatest designers are not someone replacable with hard working, experience and academic qualifications. Just like the greatest artists and even politicians in human history.

So all you need is a good game engine to lessen your effort/cost/money to bring your good ideas into reality for everyone to appreciate. This is not allowed yet due to the fact that such a good game engine is technologically not available. You have to either persuade those big bosses to invest, or to make it yourself. The big bosses are usually stupid, they tend to fall for lies by those extremely communicative scammers instead of trusting a great designer. To put it short, they will treat great designers as scammers and will treat scammers as great designers simply because they are usually stupid and great designers can hardly be with candy-coated words as scammers.

So the only option is that you have to fund yourself for such a game engine to implement your ideas. Or else, you may have to wait for human technology to be mature and cheap enough to use at all. Microsoft XNA is just in its infant stage, it is not good yet at all. You need a good game engine and an arsenal of artistic works such as toom models and game items. By the current human technology, a good game engine plus the tons of sound artistic works may worth more than 10 million bucks. That's the point!

Moreover, all the executives inside any indy studio need to be politically correct. So they will not hire you or else they will be fired.

[Edited by - Hawkins8 on October 14, 2008 1:28:32 AM]
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Original post by Hawkins8
Fact:
A genius designer is gifted and born with. Not any hard working nor any experience nor any academic qualification can make one a genius designer. A genius designer is genius because he's genius. And only a genius designer can make excellent games.\


That is most definitely not a fact, most certainly not true, and actually somewhat absurd to say...
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Original post by QuantifyFun
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Original post by Hawkins8
Fact:
A genius designer is gifted and born with. Not any hard working nor any experience nor any academic qualification can make one a genius designer. A genius designer is genius because he's genius. And only a genius designer can make excellent games.\


That is most definitely not a fact, most certainly not true, and actually somewhat absurd to say...


Indeed, and what an overly depressing view he has on life and the industry!

Thanks for attempting to clear up this thread, QuantifyFun.
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