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Can one man make it?

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Hello everyone,
I have the following problem in which I seek for your advice.

I started design games a year ago. I tried to find people to create a team and start creating games. Although I have a great idea for an MMO game I soon realized that we should start making small and simple projects/games at first, to gain the needed experience in order to undertake larger projects like the MMO I designed for example. So, we decided to go with the iPhone platform.

The problem is that from my team I am the only one working full time and also I have to constantly push some members to get their job done. I know that no collaboration is perfect but I am the one that has the most to lose because I decided to work full-time on this venture and base my future on it while the other members have day jobs which I totally respect.

My question is how can I include myself in other areas of the gaming production as well?

So far I am generating the idea of the game and design it. I also think of the marketing strategies that we can do for our game and try to educate myself on social media etc.

I am constantly observing my teammates when they work on our game. From my observation I came to the conclusion that I could undertake the part of animation by creating it using a Biped in 3D Studio Max. This way I will only need to hire someone for the character creation. I was wondering what would be the cost of that per character?

The next pain is programming. I was wondering if I can use Unity to create a game. I read that it doesn't require any programming skills. Is that true?

I should add that the game I want to start with is a Running man type of game you see in dozens in the App Store. A character that runs endlessly in a repetitive stage.

I can compose my own music and apply the needed SFX in a game since I have experience in music composing.

Please tell me, is my thinking right or not? Is there any advice you can give me regarding my situation?

Thank you in advance,

GamerGamer

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I think the only place one man can make it is fun flash game. I stress on the word 'fun'. It doesn't have to be the next tetris, but it have to be fun. Other than that, it's going to take a lot of resources, and for one man team, that equal time and money.

GBA was the last tiny / small 'console', and I was almost a part of some australian simple game collection that they develop using an engine (I forgot what name). But that GBA engine was complete with level editor and assembly like scripting language. Too long, can't remember what it was.

Even then, your business probably develop games using other people IP (read: outsourcing).

Things changed, sorry.

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Simply put: I think it's possible to make a game by yourself.

However, you must have at least a good understanding of every aspect involved in the project as they all link together (otherwise they wouldn't form a single product).

One of the most important things of making a game by yourself is your ability to produce your design. If you can't make the software to do what you want, then obviously you'll not get anywhere. So you'll have to either learn to program (good long term worth) OR use an engine that requires no programming, where you'll have to learn whatever scripting system they have (limited long term worth).

Secondly you'll have to understand how models / assets work and how they're made, otherwise you won't be able to use them when you try and import them in to your "game". Even if you aren't making them yourself, you will need a good understanding of how it all works.

Designers and overseers are everywhere to be seen. I (along with probably a high % of others on these forums) could probably come up with several good, basic game ideas in a day. I'm not saying your ideas are worthless, no ideas are, but it's quite a small part of the undertaking. I've worked with quite a few people on projects and it's always someone who's termed themself a designer or manager that damages team morale by setting high demands with little to no knowledge of how it's all done.

So theres my little bit of input, hope it helps.

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You can definitely make casual games by yourself. However, quitting your job to work on indie game development is a horrible idea. Unless you have a large inheritance you want to burn through, I suggest you immediately go get a job to generate a source of income.

Even if your game is successful, the amount of money you will make from an iPhone app is small and probably not enough to live on. Even developers who make tons of games and have huge hits (the guy who made desktop tower defense for example) spend months or years at a time making games that only net a few hundred or thousand dollars. These are people that do it for a living and have years of experience. You are going into it green.

Read gameproducer.net, specifically the sales statistics sections to get an idea of what experienced developers are making. In most cases, it's not money you would want to quit your job for.

http://www.gameproducer.net/category/sales-statistics/

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In my opinion, a good idea worths zero but its execution worth a lot. That's why it takes a team to execute an idea.
I understand everything you said.

In your opinion, is Unity the best tool for a non-programmer to use for a simple iPhone game?

Thanx for the input guys.

GamerGamer

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It depends heavily on what you mean by both "one man" and "make it." Tarn Adams does pretty well for himself as a largely one man show with Dwarf Fortress, pulling in $16k in donations the month he released the latest version and $2-5k other months. He works on it full time and doesn't even charge for it! Conversely Cliff Harris runs Positech Games by himself, outsourcing the creation of a few of his art assets, and he made $189k in direct sales in 2008.

But, you should note both of those guys (as well as a great number of other indie devs) always have the skills to pull off their one man shows. Cliff does a lot of his own art and music as well as all of the programming.

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I think a small team, such as a one-man-team, needs to make sure the project does not need a lot of textures and 3D models to be created.

So, you would be wise to choose a game idea which does not need a lot of graphical content to be good.

For example, choose a game type with only robots instead of a game type with human beings and animals. The robots can be 'painted' with few colours and do not need complicated textures to look realistic.

And so on.



Simply because you will not have time to create the textures and 3D models... so keep this in mind when you choose a game idea for a hobby project.

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Imelior and Reptor you're both right.
I know I will need to outsource a lot of the graphics with character creation and background being almost certain for outsourcing.

What about Unity? Is it a good choice for my case?

Keeping it simple is definitely crucial in my case Reptor. You're right.

Thanx guys

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You would use a programming language for scripting with unity like javascript or C#. That said, Unity is a nice looking engine and of course would be much easier than trying to build something from scratch ;)

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