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StauntonLick

Overambitious Much?

19 posts in this topic

Apologies if this topic has been raised before, but I'm intrigued - why are the "Help Wanted" forums overflowing with people looking to craft revolutionary MMORPGs, which will unseat WoW, beat CoD and have better graphics than Crysis?

We've all seen these posts - the "idea guys" who post some half-baked story and purport it to be a magnificent basis for a world-class game - all they need is a large group of talented coders, artists and composers who are willing to work long hours for free to make their vision a reality.

As someone who is serious about the industry and looking for actual work, it's frustrating to get bogged down by all this clutter. However, more frustrating is the almost total absence of any projects that actually look like they're even achievable. Where are the iOS games, the quirky puzzlers, platformers and original ideas that mark the classic "indie"?

I'm intrigued to know why this type of development seems to be the most viable yet underrepresented on this forum. Any ideas?
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1315476635' post='4858980']
[quote name='StauntonLick' timestamp='1315476197' post='4858977']Any ideas?[/quote]Probably because the main demographic here is typically young, ignorant, talentless and generally lacking in understanding about how games are made and the functioning of the world in general.
[/quote]


Haha - I didn't want to be too controversial in my OP, but I think you've probably hit the nail on the head.

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The over ambition is probably due to this : [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect[/url]

The lack of indie programmers asking for help with their smaller projects is probably that the experienced developers are mostly making their products rather than seeking help.
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1315476635' post='4858980']
[quote name='StauntonLick' timestamp='1315476197' post='4858977']Any ideas?[/quote]Probably because the main demographic here is typically young, ignorant, talentless and completely lacking in understanding about the functioning of the world in general.
[/quote]

I can't tell if you're joking or not. For anyone thinking that you aren't, I'll chime in and say that GD hosts some of the brightest minds in game programming that I've come across. However, those people aren't trolling the Help Wanted forums and a lot of them left the Lounge.

You can go to any forum of a "cool" topic and see the same thing. Car racing, acting, singing, etc.

"Hey I want to make this really cool movie, it's like Avatar but way better. I need some experienced camera men and effects guys. Some of my friends are pretty good actors so we have that covered. I'm going to produce it. We can't pay you but we'll give you a share in the profits."

The realistic people are going to start small projects that most of them can manage solo. I mean realistically, unless you have a lot of experience and are really good at directing people on what to do, bringing a whole bunch of people on to a team from a forum, that you've never worked with before, is probably not going to work out well. For those people that can make it work, they probably already know people and don't need help from random internet strangers.

I suppose the best way to go about it is to start the project yourself. That way you can host the expectations, "This will be an extremely basic mouse shooter, it will not be sold for money". I would try to team up with no more than one person, more than that and you're going to have issues. Personally, I think if you can program, there's no reason you can't do a game on your own. A programmer can make a game with crappy art, but an artist doesn't have a game until someone makes it for them. If you're a programmer, have a good working prototype or even a finished game before asking for help. If you're an artist, have some digitized assetts or synthesized screenshots, write an extremely detailed spec/design, and be prepared that your programming buddy can and probably will make changes to your idea in implementation.
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I guess people with more realistic Ideas also have better sources to get their "help". Just asking for help from total strangers on an internet forum is after all pretty desperate :D (at least it seems to me). If I needed help I would first ask my way around friends etc..
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[quote name='ChurchSkiz' timestamp='1315489025' post='4859032']I can't tell if you're joking or not.[/quote]Sure there's some smart people here, and there's some brilliant professionals, but mainly this site is [i]"I wan't to maek teh gamez"[/i] noob-central... not that that's a bad thing ([i]I was in that demographic too[/i]), it's just because most people end up here because they [i]don't[/i] know how to make games and want to learn, not because they already do and want to take on apprentices.

...and like you say, the professional members don't waste time on the help wanted section, which leaves the other 99% of members to their fun.
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And of course fix your post signature, so I don't have to copy/paste the address and change its TLD(?) in order to visit your portfolio. ;-)
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Well if you view most of the people in that forum, it is usually their first post after being on the site. So yea its basically 13 year olds who say "I'm going to be the President and CEO of [insert stupid game team name], but I dont know how to do anything, I will just oversee the project."

Really the best thing you can do anyway is just go solo. Online teams are the absolute worst idea ever and never accomplish anything.
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1315491496' post='4859049']
[quote name='ChurchSkiz' timestamp='1315489025' post='4859032']I can't tell if you're joking or not.[/quote]Sure there's some smart people here, and there's some brilliant professionals, but mainly this site is [i]"I wan't to maek teh gamez"[/i] noob-central... not that that's a bad thing ([i]I was in that demographic too[/i]), it's just because most people end up here because they [i]don't[/i] know how to make games and want to learn, not because they already do and want to take on apprentices.

...and like you say, the professional members don't waste time on the help wanted section, which leaves the other 99% of members to their fun.
[/quote]

I wouldn't lump the crowd in Help Wanted with the entire GD.net site. If you view noobs as a pareto chart you're going to have an extremely high proportion in the Help Wanted section, Breaking In section, For Beginner section, some in the Lounge. The rest of the forums are filled with expert advice from top-notch developers. You don't see Hockey MMO posts in the Math & Physics or AI forum...
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Well, there is the expression, "don't bite off more than you can chew". Some people need to learn that for themselves. Ambition is a good thing though, and failure is a part of the learning process when it comes to setting realistic goals.
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[quote name='Katie' timestamp='1315499902' post='4859102']
Maybe we should have a separate "MMO Help Wanted" board?
[/quote]

Great idea, then just pipe it to /dev/null and maybe the Gamedev database won't go down so often! [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif[/img]
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Good to know there is intelligent life out there!

I wouldn't say that working over the internet is a complete non-starter - I try to deal offline where I can, but it's the difference between your client base being anyone within an hour of your house vs. the whole world. I've spoken to a couple of the indie devs in my area, and they always say they'll pick someone they know over a stranger nine times out of ten, even if the stranger's work is better, as you know they're reliable. So I'm working on making sure I'm "someone they know"!

I think we need a filter in Help Wanted that takes any posts for MMOs and files them in the bin.
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I agree, although I'd add that the iPhone often falls into the overambitious case too, rather than being a typical example of classic indie projects - people who think that doing something "on the iPhone" is a guaranteed money spinner, because they read about one company that made millions. (Never mind that you never hear about the people who don't do so well; or that there are far bigger platforms like Windows or Android; or that there are other download stores like Nokia's Ovi that have a far bigger downloads per app ratio.)

I think we can also draw a line between "ideas people" - people who think that bringing "ideas" to the table means they can get everyone else to write their MMORPG for them - and people who can program. Whilst it is an easy trap for programmers to get bogged down in writing something too complex (I know I've done it in the past when I was younger), it doesn't seem to be on anywhere near the same scale as the former. In my experience of Help Wanted, the hopeless MMORPG cases are almost from the "I've got a great idea" people...
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1315576034' post='4859491']
[quote name='ChurchSkiz' timestamp='1315498568' post='4859091']The rest of the forums are filled with expert advice from top-notch developers.[/quote]I can't tell if you're joking or not.
[/quote]

I've never had a specific programming or design issue that wasn't answered with a range of answers from practical to insanely complex but brilliant. So no, I wasn't joking.

Again, not the beginner forum.
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The Dunning-Kruger effect has something to do with being over-ambitious, but I think it's mostly something simpler behind the drive for these ideas.

A lot of people wanting to build MMOs are doing it for one main thing only -respect. You can get some respect making smaller games, if they're popular enough. But if you want more respect you gotta go big and ridiculous. They want to follow Hideo Kojima and John Carmack in their footsteps, which makes them not too different from the people that think they can get a game designer job overnight. Back on track, where can millions of people play one game together? Enter the MMO game. These game planners want to hear/read everyone say "Hey have you played this awesome RPG? I can't get tired of it". They don't want to do it because they're interested in how an MMO game gets done.

So there you go, some just need to be a bit more frank when they post, so say "I want to make this MMO not just because I think these ideas are cool, but when it's done I will feel LIKE A BAUS".
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It's been a dream of mine to make an MMORPG that can join the ranks of the great ones such as WoW.

However, realistically speaking, I don't have the skills (YET)..... So i think it's reason enough for me not to consider making an MMORPG (YET)....
At least I know how to hold my horses in the meantime.

So, I can just enjoy making some 2d games, then hopefully when I grow up, I can get into such into programming teams with the likes of Blizzard/etc. one day, then finally, when i get some cash, build my own mmo.


For now, it's boot camp for me, and I'm enjoying it :))
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