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How to get off the ground?

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Me and some friends of mine have been building a game. We have tons of ideas, reams of documentation, tons an tons of gameplay worked out, balance issues discussed, mechanics from every angle, we've essentially built up an incredibly detailed map for a game. We have everything worked out. But we're stuck there, we have nothing but the idea work. How do we go about turning our ideas into reality? We're to the stage where we want to start working on programming, getting concept art made, starting to build the world. The problem is no one in our group has the foothold in that field. We need to find programmers, artists, coders, everything. basically, we're putting ourselves in the developer position, and are trying to form a company around this game idea we have. We're all willing to invest the time and energy into it to get the company off the ground, we just need help finding people who are as passionate about the game as we are in order for it to succeed. We really want this to get off the ground, does anyone here have suggestions on how to go about doing this?

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Quote:
Original post by Tsakara
How do we go about turning our ideas into reality?
... We ... are trying to form a company around this game idea we have. ...we just need help finding people who are as passionate about the game as we are in order for it to succeed. We really want this to get off the ground, does anyone here have suggestions on how to go about doing this?

Hey, Fredonia! My old alma mater!
Anyway, here's the thing. In my opinion.
I don't think you're ready to start a company, and besides, a company shouldn't be founded to make just one game. A farther-sighted business plan is necessary, if you're going the startup route. You're trying to do this the hardest way there is. In my opinion.
I think you ought to change your sights a little -- make an indie game, not to make money from it, but to build your portfolios, so you can get jobs or dev contracts. That's my opinion, anyway.
I wrote a bunch of articles on this very topic.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/article58.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/article60.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/finances.htm
http://igda.org/columns/gamesgame/gamesgame_Sep08.php
http://igda.org/columns/gamesgame/gamesgame_Oct08.php


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Quote:
Original post by Developer_X
Lets start with telling us more about your game, and making a formal post for requesting help on the help wanted board.


I would but we're worried about our ideas being stolen, currently all we have is the intellectual property, we'd rather not loose that.


Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Hey, Fredonia! My old alma mater!
Anyway, here's the thing. In my opinion.
I don't think you're ready to start a company, and besides, a company shouldn't be founded to make just one game. A farther-sighted business plan is necessary, if you're going the startup route. You're trying to do this the hardest way there is. In my opinion.
I think you ought to change your sights a little -- make an indie game, not to make money from it, but to build your portfolios, so you can get jobs or dev contracts. That's my opinion, anyway.
I wrote a bunch of articles on this very topic.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/article58.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/article60.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/finances.htm
http://igda.org/columns/gamesgame/gamesgame_Sep08.php
http://igda.org/columns/gamesgame/gamesgame_Oct08.php




Well, its not just a game, its an MMO, which we'll be distributing digitally to avoid having to whore ourselves out to a big publisher. We do need a better business plan, but we can't really kickstart the business until we get investors onboard with the project.
We're not programmers, we're not coders, we don't have the slightest idea how to make a game, we're not interested in getting jobs for a publisher or developer, we want to start a company to develop an MMO, it might be hard, but hey, CCP got money from their company by selling a board game. We're not interested in working for someone else, one someone elses timeline with an assigned budget, thats how games end up like floppy WoW clones. We're looking for people more then anything, I'm gonna go read the articles, but I'm not sure if they'll really apply to us.

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Ahh, the age-old "We have ideas, now how do we get those ideas made into games?" problem.

Let's face it: you aren't going to be able to find people to help you make your game until your game is already mostly completed. Unless you can pay them, of course. Assuming you can't, what this means is that you'll need to learn to implement it yourself. Now, the good news here is that the only major skills you need here are programming and geometry. Art can wait; it's perfectly fine to use developer art as long as you need to. Or you or one of your friends can try learning to make art, as well.

I just saw your most recent post, and I'm going to take the opportunity to be the first to tell you two things that you'll doubtless hear many times in the future:

1) Nobody else cares about your idea. Ideas are, frankly, cheap; it's the implementation that counts. I know you've spent a lot of time working on your ideas, and that work has value, but only to yourself. Everyone else has their own ideas that they're working on making into reality, and moreover they have more ideas than they'll ever be able to finish.

2) Don't start with an MMO. MMOs are, oh, ten times harder to make than any other commercial-quality game. Take World of Warcraft. WoW cost its developers millions of dollars to make, and they had to pay that cost up front. As amateurs with no proven capabilities, there's simply no way you'll be able to martial those kinds of resources.

My personal suggestion would be to take some smaller subset of your game idea and try to implement that. Get it as simple as you can while still representing some important aspect of the game you ultimately want to make. Make it as simple as, say, a 2D fight simulator or something like that. Even that will be a huge learning experience for you, and it'll help you pick your next project with care. Eventually, if you're very hard-working and dedicated, you'll be able to set your sights higher on something that involves multiple players. But it will take years.

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While MMO's are harder to make right now a major problem with the gaming industry is that its just pumping out crap redone overdone crap. with the occasional glimps off somthing decent. Programing is the code what makes the game work but it hardly makes the game. What makes a game is the content the mechanics what you DO in the game the players could give a crap about the programing and what code you used so when we started this project we decided that instead of focusing on the programing we would design the actual Gameplay rather then worry about what code to use or what servers to run. (also i fully understand that progaming plays a major part in creating games or else we wouldint be here we jsut decided to make it secodary to gameplay and content design).

As for the suggestion of making another easier game well thats harldy the point were not here to make a 2d flight sim and we dont think its easy dont we are fully aware of what we are getting into but it has been done before so hey why not us :)

Were not here to hear about why we shouldint make this game or what we should do instead and weve gone through the majority of what we are facing and what walls we will need to get over. What we want to know is if there are any suggestion ideas for the next step forward in the direction we will be going or if anyone is intressted in working with us with the skills we lack.

Also i would like to add that the game is hardly and idea anymore what we have now is a blueprint.

thanks o/

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I think you misunderstood me. I'm not saying you shouldn't make your MMO. I'm saying that you shouldn't make your MMO first. MMOs are huge projects, and any large project needs to be broken down into a set of attainable goals. That's why I suggested breaking out a small component that would be feasible to implement as a learning project, and then to go from there to a slightly larger project, and keep building your way up. In a few years you should have a decent portion of your game written in all these little mini-projects, but each will also be able to stand on its own.

I'm saying "To make your game, you need to start by making a very small piece of your game." I'm not saying don't make your game. I'm saying start small. If you start out trying to make the whole thing at once, you will fail. That's a guarantee, speaking as someone who has bitten off way more than he could chew in the past and discovered just how quickly the project got bogged down.

And, with due respect, programming is more creative than you give it credit for. It's more than just implementing the rules the designers come up with; it's implementing those rules, finding the thousands of edge cases and weird exceptions the designers didn't come up with but need to be handled anyway, making certain that the new rules don't conflict with the old rules you've already implemented, ensuring that the new rules are written so that the next new rules can easily be added, testing everything, figuring out how to get everything to work fast enough on the target hardware, and a million other things. These are all hard problems. If you want to make an MMO and you don't give coding the respect it deserves, you will not make it very far at all. Certainly you need a good design to make a game that's fun, but you need a good programmer to make a game that's playable.

"we dont think its easy dont we are fully aware of what we are getting into but it has been done before so hey why not us"

MMOs have been made before, but none of the commercial-level MMOs you've heard of was made by a group of rank amateurs who haven't written any code before in their lives. Hell, even the vastly simpler text-only MUDs weren't made by amateurs (though that would be a reasonable hobbyist project).

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Prioritise these:

1) Making good games.
2) Getting your designs made into reality.
3) Making millions of dollars off your ideas.
4) Getting a job in the games industry where you can do (some of) these things for a living.

If #1 is the top priority, then it is a good thing if people "steal your ideas", because you'll have helped the "stealers" cause games to be better.

If #2 is the top priority, then don't worry about "protecting your IP", just make it all public (copyright still protects you from plagiarism...) and try and make an open-source game. After reading your brilliant ideas, programmers/artists can freely contribute to your open project and eventually make it real. No one is going to help you without seeing the ideas first.

Alternatively, if you've got a lot of cash lying around, contract a developer to build the game for you. Once they've reached a prototype milestone, you can use their work to raise more money from investors in order to pay for the rest of the development.

If #3 is the top priority, by all means keep everything secret. Find a few million, hire a lawyer, hire a managing director, start a company, hire some experienced programmers/artists, make a prototype, pitch to a publisher/investors, hire 50 more people, make the game and then (hopefully) profit.

However, as Tom alluded to, if you're going to spend the million dollars required to start a company, you probably want a better business plan. Make some licensed pixar games or whatever crap you have to, until your company is *stable* -- then when you can afford to pay extra staff, use them to build your good game.

If #4 is the top priority, then see #2, then put the open-source project on your resume. Then once you're experienced and have a large network of contact, you can try #3 later.

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Well we dont intend on just trying to outright create the game right now right here we will want to start small creating a small glimps into our game through a combat alpha ect.

And while i dont deny that programing is very complicated takes lots of work and is an art form of its own that has no bearing on the gameplay itself sure better programing means smoother gameplay less bugs ect but it has absolutly nothing to do with actualy content story line immersion mechanics you can really create anything you want with programing. But its what you programed that counts.

To the player the programing means nothing and really to me what the player is playing is what counts.

Basicly im saying i care more about the board game that im playing then the cardboard im playing it on. the gaming industry as it stands put so much into the programing but not the gameplay because its easy and that why we havent seen much in the way of innovation in recent years.

Also id like to point out that eve-online was created by a group of guys who started by selling a board game they created to make the money to hire the programmers to make the game they wanted and poof 10 years one of the best mmo's to date.

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I'm just wondering how are you going to create your game? I mean, what is your plan here? Are you looking to hire the programmers / artists / sound engineers and whatever else?

Because in that case your going to need some money. How are you going to get that money?

All you have is an idea, and an investor is unlikely to be handing you millions of dollars to make your game just based on your idea. If you are John Carmack at id software, then maybe. He has a proven track record. You unfortunately, don't.

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