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Funding the developing of an Iphone Game

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Hello everybody.

I have an idea for an iOS game that i believe has great potential for success. All my life I've been an avid video-gamer, and as i've gotten older and had less time for console and PC gaming, Cellphone games have filled that entertainment void for me. I have constructed a blueprint for what i think will be a very addicting, user friendly iphone game.

I currently plan to outsource the actual development of the game, since i lack the programming knowledge to create my idea. I am aware that i will need to pay someone to design the levels and sprites, as well as a sound engineer for the music and FX, and most importantly, someone to program the game mechanics. The game is a simulation game with RPG elements (Stat building, level requirements.)

I'd like to consult with someone to get some cost projections for such a project. The game is fairly small in scale, however I know that development costs may not necessarily correspond directly to the size or complexity of the game. The game i have outlined would have;

-2 dimensional, cartoonish graphics. Something fairly rudimentary. The animations would be simple. (think final fantasy IV, perhaps a LITTLE bit more detailed.)
-Is decision based. You do not assume control of the characters movements, but rather choose to have your character engage in certain activities which yield stat increases in different skill categories. As the character's skills level up more activities become available.
-10 to 15 different levels.
-A couple of NPC's who will have scripts and set routines. No AI necessary.

For instance I need to know if the game mechanics i've described sound difficult to program. As i was mapping my idea out, i did what intuitively to me seemed like things that would be easier to program, however i do not know if these things actually are. Is such an idea possible to produce for under 20k? For under 15k?

Also, i realize that i need an effective way to convey my ideas to a programmer. is simply describing them in a text document sufficient? or should i use some sort of program that lays out the steps and processes in a more visual way?

I dont know if ive given you guys enough to go on here, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

-Alan

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If you could program this yourself, then you would likely be looking at a cost of anywhere between $3000-$10,000 to produce the game you are describing. The art content prices will fluctuate based on quality and who is doing it. Though, you will also need music and perhaps some writing too.

With programming costs, you are likely looking at up to $25,000 for the entire project. What you describe could take anywhere between 3 and 6 months to program. How much you spend really depends on how much the programmer is willing to do the project for. You cannot find a low quality programmer to do such a project though. It won't get done. You need to find someone who has already completed a game or plenty of demos. You can certainly save yourself some costs by designing EVERYTHING up front. That way, the programmer can just implement the game in a hard coded way which would be much faster.

Although $25,000 sounds like a lot, if you treat it as an investment and have the money to lay down on it, then you can certainly make your money back and then some over the long term. Well, if your game is good enough that is.

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[quote]For instance I need to know if the game mechanics i've described sound difficult to program. As i was mapping my idea out, i did what intuitively to me seemed like things that would be easier to program, however i do not know if these things actually are. Is such an idea possible to produce for under 20k? For under 15k? [/quote]

This is really hearsay - it's up to the team you put together. It's best to have a design document in place so that you can approach teams or individuals and have them assess the your needs directly. You may be able to strike royalty deals where there's a small up front cost and % per sale benefit.

[quote]Also, i realize that i need an effective way to convey my ideas to a programmer. is simply describing them in a text document sufficient? or should i use some sort of program that lays out the steps and processes in a more visual way?[/quote]


Like any other project, having the design and blueprints ready before starting always improves productivity and also gibes you more accurate quotes on costs and time. I would do both, provide a document describing the functionality of the game and provide visual diagrams that help mold it together. Artists will need to know what style of art (or sound effects) you are looking to reproduce or create. Programmers will want to know what technologies the artists will be using, platforms you are targeting, and well documented functionality requirements.

Best of luck!

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[quote name='Bandito' timestamp='1313012843' post='4847353']
1. I have an idea for an iOS game that i believe has great potential for success.
2. I need to know if the game mechanics i've described sound difficult to program.
3. Is such an idea possible to produce for under 20k? For under 15k?
4. is simply describing them in a text document sufficient? or should i use some sort of program that lays out the steps and processes in a more visual way?
[/quote]
1. That's nice. But why do you want to make this game? What is your plan for after the game is made? Then what will you do once you've accomplished that goal? The point is: one game idea is not a business plan.
2. You can approach a development team and ask them.
3. For that low a price, you would get a very small simple game.
4. Simple document is OK. You need a game treatment and a business plan to get funding, and you need a GDD for the dev team. See http://www.sloperama.com/advice/designprep.htm and http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson13.htm

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