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Game dev. idea, need some input.

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Hello.

My friend and I are avid video game players, and it has always been our dream to create a largely successful MMORPG.

From our experiences with games, console & PC, we know what we like and we like to think we know what a lot of other people would like.

We have a lot of great ideas for ingame features, from the basic stuff found in most (if not all) MMO's, to some much more complex ones.

It was my idea to launch a basic website, where we would post our ideas and update them as we build upon them and add new things, essentially building the game's features, classes, systems and formulas from our ideas and have them displayed on the internet for others to see.

Another idea I had for the site would be to setup a forum where interested people could comment and criticize our ideas, possibly adding on to them. AND if they were to add enough, or suggest a feature/idea that we do use, credit them on the forum, the future game, and give them future ingame stuff (like a special title, costume, mount, etc.).

Now I would like to know if setting up this site would be wise. I really would like to share our ideas with others and have a community of people that are genuinely interested and that help develop the game with us receive recognition when the game is made (because it will be made!) and for them to feel that they are getting a game that they will actually want to play because they helped make it what it is.

I do not however want the ideas and concepts stolen from us and the community to then be used by someone or some company. So if I setup copyright for all information on the site, would I be protected?

Thank you in advance.

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The sad truth is that good ideas don't really have much value -- the ability to implement ideas has value.

Secondly, you cant really copyright a gameplay idea anyway.

So if you're doing this for money, then I'd reccommend gathering the skills/tools required for building games instead of perfecting ideas.
But if you're doing it for the love of MMOs, then I'd reccommend sharing your ideas with everyone, hoping that the good ones catch on in the collective unconcious of MMO designers everywhere.

Lastly, if there's just two of you (and your ideas), then you're not going to be able to make an MMO - maybe an MO, but that extra M is a rediculously expensive investment that has bankrupted extremely seasoned and experienced companies.

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Well, you will often encouter similar questions in these forums, and it is quite hard to answer them ...

When a friend of you tells you that he is a great fan of formula one, watching every race and believes that he knows how to make the cars even faster. That he has ideas he can't tell you, because he fears a racing team could steal it. That he want to setup a team to construct this new car never seen before without having any money to spend, but he is willing to share the trophy money. After poking him, he tells you that one of the secret ideas is to let this new car hover which will get rid of all these wheel issues.

What will you tell your friend without hurting his feelings or destroying his dream ? [=> please insert here] :-)

This is exactly what it sounds like for people with a professional IT background who works on different (large) projects.

PS: well, making a soapbox is quite cheap and makes a lot of fun ;-)

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You guys doubting our ability to make a game has nothing to do with the question.

Quote:
Original post by Ashaman73
When a friend of you tells you that he is a great fan of formula one, watching every race and believes that he knows how to make the cars even faster. That he has ideas he can't tell you, because he fears a racing team could steal it. That he want to setup a team to construct this new car never seen before without having any money to spend, but he is willing to share the trophy money. After poking him, he tells you that one of the secret ideas is to let this new car hover which will get rid of all these wheel issues.
'

Your friend then takes you to his garage and you see a car hovering in place. What do you say now?

Whatever happened to working hard towards your goals/dreams? If people were discouraged to do anything by someone saying it's impossible, we wouldn't be very far scientifically, now would we?

Thanks for your concern anyway. We'll work hard towards this goal, and who knows... someday you may see our game.

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Like it has been said many many time in many places, an idea worth nothing until you make it alive in your game or application.

So good luck in your dev, hard work always worth it ! in a way or an another one :)

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Quote:
So if I setup copyright for all information on the site, would I be protected?

Copyright covers the right to copy hence the name. That is to say no one could take the content on your website and post it elsewhere on the internet. It would not cover any of the ideas expressed there in, they could be used freely.

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Quote:
Original post by LTN
1. Whatever happened to working hard towards your goals/dreams?
2. If people were discouraged to do anything by someone saying it's impossible, we wouldn't be very far scientifically, now would we?

The only thing that has "happened to" it is that not many people these days are willing to actually do it. By all means, you should go for it.
2. I'm not very good at rhetoricals.

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Quote:
Original post by LTN
Now I would like to know if setting up this site would be wise.

Generally speaking, lots of people think their ideas are great. Maybe they're wrong and you're right. Even so, they're unlikely to recognise the greatness of your idea just by looking at it. Even if they did, they're unlikely to use it themselves, since they don't have the means to implement it. Even if they did have the means, it's likely that their implementation may not be good enough to be a problem.

Which is, in fact, the real problem your face. Let's say your ideas truly are amazing - unfortunately nobody will implement them for you. You've said you're prepared for hard work, which is great! But the first step of that work is moving beyond the idea phase and into the action phase, because you don't just need to make your ideas reality, but you have to do it better than other people would.

By all means, foster a community, although you'll find it hard when you have nothing to show for it yet. Just remember that your value will come not from the uniqueness of the ideas but from the unique way in which you put them into practice.

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Quote:
Original post by LTN
My friend and I are avid video game players, and it has always been our dream to create a largely successful MMORPG.

Players dream to play. Creators dream to create.

You will first need to become experienced game designers before setting your sights on MMORPG. And even then the odds are against you.

If you have enough free time, there should be plenty of life and game design lessons to be learned from the experiment, though, so don't let anybody hold you back.

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Also most companies like to keep their game ideas hidden, because the idea can be taken, but after they implement they can demo what they have, because at that point, your first already and you shouldn't mind someone else copying the idea. I suggest if you create the website, you don't share the idea, you should share the implementation in terms of alpha and beta testing.

There are a lot of people that are avid gamers, but the translation to designing and creating differ significantly. What are you current resources and qualifications for making games as well?

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Make your game then build a community.

The only reason to build a community first is if you're trying to build brand loyalty or something, which indicates that you're more interested in making money than making a game.

Also coding and actually running & maintaining an MMO are very different things. There's a reason why those things generally charge for subscriptions.

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Quote:
Original post by LTN
From our experiences with games, console & PC, we know what we like and we like to think we know what a lot of other people would like.

Sadly it takes a lot more than being an experienced gamer to make a good designer. All gamers believe they know better than the designers who made the games they play and think that they have the killer idea or featureset to make a game that is so much better, but they rarely recognise a number of important factors: what you find fun may not appeal to everybody (that is, a designer must design for the masses, not for themselves); making something awesome for one kind of player usually unbalances (and therefore make it not fun) the game for the rest; some cool ideas aren't actually(I mean, the technology doesn't exist) possible.

Finally, an idea by itself is worthless - the execution (or implementation) is whats of value. This doesn't just apply to game ideas, but all ideas (and I say this as someone involved in the startup scene) - so you shouldn't be so worried about people stealing your ideas. Everybody has killer ideas of their own anyway and would need to be persuaded to implement yours - they won't steal them.

Having said that, anything you produce is automatically copyrighted (you may need to have some kind of transferal of copyright contract with your forum members though). You do not need to register it (though doing so will help you prove its yours), BUT game ideas are easy enough to twist into something else to bypass the copyright (they just cant make an exact duplicate or derivitive of your work) and you cannot patent ideas.

Once you keep the above in mind, I would suggest reading Richard Bartles book Designing Virtual Worlds. Nobody should even attempt to design or implement an MMORPG or other online virtual world without having read this book at least twice, so if you really want to make an MMORPG, I'd urge you to read it. Its an exceptionally well written book, it covers a LOT of excellent material and is written by somebody whos been around from the very beginning of virtual worlds, MUD's and MMORPGs and has been active in the area from the start.


Keep in mind that making an MMORPG is very dificult, even for professional game developers. Making a successful MMORPG is even more dificult (and many professional developers have failed). Running an MMORPG is just as dificult (or perhaps even more so). Finally, running something of similar size and scale of the commercial MMORPGs is expensive.

Having said that, if you really want to make an MMORPG, don't let anything stop you. Be aware of the dificulties and problems you will encounter and persevere. It is very dificult, but it has been done. In any case, good luck.

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ever thought of designing the game as a table top. Even though its a MMO, you can learn and develop the game through simple battles in situations. The stats of classes and create the rules. You can see how fun it is through that. The Dragonlance series and the world were created through playing a table top game. ;)

If you have something that is awesome such as a complete game that is unique and has a selling point, document all your work and such and share it with the world, pitch it to companies, get investors, you will have a table top version to show investors and companies.

good luck.

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Quote:
Original post by LTN
Your friend then takes you to his garage and you see a car hovering in place. What do you say now?
So... does your friend have a working MMO game engine and the infrastructure to run it?
Quote:
Whatever happened to working hard towards your goals/dreams? If people were discouraged to do anything by someone saying it's impossible, we wouldn't be very far scientifically, now would we?
Most of us are just reccomending that you set yourself smaller milestones on the path towards a huge goal like this, such as a table-top RPG, or a SPRPG, or a MORPG -- many of the features of an MMORPG can be tested in these settings without the huge investment required of that extra "M" on the front (I know one guy who actually spent $1M of his own money building an MMO, and he didn't complete it).

Rocket scientists don't just start out, work really hard, and then build a space shuttle in their back-yard. They start out with model rockets, and then eventually end up building a space shuttle as part of a huge team using someone elses money.

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Make pacman first. Then make it multiplayer. Then ask yourself if you still want to make an MMORPG.

Setting up a website for your MMORPG would probably be unwise right now. Only because chance are high that you will let down all the people who you get to join your community by never releasing the game. Although, there is the possibility that your community members will be satisfied with just trying to help design a dream game, knowing it will never come to fruition.

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LTN you write that you want to build a community where people can "comment and criticize" your ideas. Based on your reaction to criticism here regarding your overall aims, though, are you sure that is what you want? Or do you want some community that will only agree with you or cheer you on no matter how unrealistic your designs are?

I invite you to take the skepticism here as a challenge and opportunity for self improvement. If someone brings up an issue, talk about how you'll solve it. If people are telling you that you're walking into a common trap, open yourself to how you might be repeating the mistakes of others and then talk about your plan to not fall into it.

Optimism might feed your courage, but realism will actually get you a finished game.

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