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Difference in how much work is needed?

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[size="6"]2d vs 3d and isometric vs first person

I'm going to create a game design and it's probably going to be a singleplayer rpg.
The game needs to be somewhat "fast/easily" made because I am going to hire a developer to make it for me after I've completed the game design.

I just know that there's so many different engines available to use that making a 3D game might not be too hard/much work?

Examples of games: Cthule saves the world, Baldurs Gate, Oblivion.
How much more/less work would it take to create each of these games?
(not how much it took to make them when they were made but today with the engines we have available)

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Quite a bit of time and money, actually. One of the most expensive aspects of a project are the assets -- the models, sprites, and audio. Programming a 2D or 3D RPG won't be *that* big of a cost difference, seeing as they both work the same pretty much (mechanically speaking). However, if you want to make a good looking 3D game it can be a bit more expensive because there are additional aspects to worry about when it comes to the models and assets.

Even with today's engines, it's quite a bit of work.

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Yeah, the engineering work isn't dramatically different I've found, but the assets cost a whoooole lot more.

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Quite a bit of time and money, actually. One of the most expensive aspects of a project are the assets -- the models, sprites, and audio. Programming a 2D or 3D RPG won't be *that* big of a cost difference, seeing as they both work the same pretty much (mechanically speaking). However, if you want to make a good looking 3D game it can be a bit more expensive because there are additional aspects to worry about when it comes to the models and assets.

Even with today's engines, it's quite a bit of work.


So making a game with minimal graphics (cthulu saves the world) can cut down the development costs by quite a lot even though it still requires aboutly as much work?
If I made a game like Cthulu saves the world, I wouldn't have to pay for graphics because even I could draw a childish tree in paint hehe.
I know there's a lot of royalty free audio available too, things like sound effects (walking, clicking, explosion etc). Voice over isn't necassary.. So close to null in asset costs?

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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1322931099' post='4890162']
Quite a bit of time and money, actually. One of the most expensive aspects of a project are the assets -- the models, sprites, and audio. Programming a 2D or 3D RPG won't be *that* big of a cost difference, seeing as they both work the same pretty much (mechanically speaking). However, if you want to make a good looking 3D game it can be a bit more expensive because there are additional aspects to worry about when it comes to the models and assets.

Even with today's engines, it's quite a bit of work.


So making a game with minimal graphics (cthulu saves the world) can cut down the development costs by quite a lot even though it still requires aboutly as much work?
If I made a game like Cthulu saves the world, I wouldn't have to pay for graphics because even I could draw a childish tree in paint hehe.
I know there's a lot of royalty free audio available too, things like sound effects (walking, clicking, explosion etc). Voice over isn't necassary.. So close to null in asset costs?
[/quote]


Actually there can be ALOT of work for the 2D (doesnt have to be minimalist -- think of the animated 2D of the old games and worse ones like old Ultima Online which had changeable equiptment and they had to do countless overlay layers to make that work). They took alot of work to do even as limited as they looked back then.

Anyway you can do simpler graphics with the 2D -- like have one frame represent each action of your avatar -(who wouldnt have interchangeable equiptment) and one frame view for most objects. You can even do an ugly 3D using 2D assets ("billboarding" on a 3D grid terrain) and resort to the old spining box with texture surface for powerups etc... . 2+1/2D view like the isometric views canalso be done (still being 2D artwork with or without animations).

You may be able to short circuit some of the asset drawing by using a digital camera (and have someone pose for you) for some of the figure action frames as well as use it to take pictures of static objects to use for scenery items (you could mine the internet for pictures/parts of pictures to use as well, I suppose though if you are going to try to sell the game that might later be an issue). Even drawing your 'childish' tree gets tedious when you need like 100 different game items to be created and many are alot less distinctive as a tree is.

You could even just do quick and dirty iconic pictures initially just to represent objects while you debug your game mechnics and object behaviors (much easier watching a graphical interaction than watching a ream of log output)

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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1322931099' post='4890162']
Quite a bit of time and money, actually. One of the most expensive aspects of a project are the assets -- the models, sprites, and audio. Programming a 2D or 3D RPG won't be *that* big of a cost difference, seeing as they both work the same pretty much (mechanically speaking). However, if you want to make a good looking 3D game it can be a bit more expensive because there are additional aspects to worry about when it comes to the models and assets.

Even with today's engines, it's quite a bit of work.


So making a game with minimal graphics (cthulu saves the world) can cut down the development costs by quite a lot even though it still requires aboutly as much work?
If I made a game like Cthulu saves the world, I wouldn't have to pay for graphics because even I could draw a childish tree in paint hehe.
I know there's a lot of royalty free audio available too, things like sound effects (walking, clicking, explosion etc). Voice over isn't necassary.. So close to null in asset costs?
[/quote]

I think you're under-estimating the amount of work even a "simple" 2D RPG game would take. Go ahead, see how tough it is to draw your main player's avatar, walking the different directions. Unless you're really good at it, (and since you mentioned doing it in paint, I'm guessing you don't do much of it), it's going to be very painful, or very ugly.

Now, go ahead and draw the different tiles you'd need, and design a world using those tiles.


I make games with simple graphics (my players are balls with an arrow pointing the direction they are facing), so I don't have to worry about assets too much; however, I have no plans to sell my games, I just make them for fun.

maybe you should look at rpg maker, and do it yourself:
http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/

Or other engines:
http://www.engine001.com/
http://www.ambrosine.com/resource.html

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I think you're under-estimating the amount of work even a "simple" 2D RPG game would take. Go ahead, see how tough it is to draw your main player's avatar, walking the different directions. Unless you're really good at it, (and since you mentioned doing it in paint, I'm guessing you don't do much of it), it's going to be very painful, or very ugly.

Now, go ahead and draw the different tiles you'd need, and design a world using those tiles.

QFT!

A full set of 2D tiles for a big RPG can run into several hundred megabytes of final assets (the original Photoshop files are much larger). Even the smaller DS RPGs that I've worked on, the compressed final assets were easily in the 60MB size for graphics assets.

Drawing all of those tiles, exporting them for countless iterations as they are improved upon, making them appear consistent and look good together, etc., can take several thousand work-hours.

The code can be similarly complex, taking several thousand work-hours. Even small web-games are generally developed by a team of programmers working together into several tens of work-years.

A small team of 10 people working for just six months and starting with an existing engine, which is not atypical for a small 2D game, is still a combined total of 5 work years, or roughly 10,000 hours.

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[size="6"]2d vs 3d and isometric vs first person

I'm going to create a game design and it's probably going to be a singleplayer rpg.
The game needs to be somewhat "fast/easily" made because I am going to hire a developer to make it for me after I've completed the game design.

I just know that there's so many different engines available to use that making a 3D game might not be too hard/much work?

Examples of games: Cthule saves the world, Baldurs Gate, Oblivion.
How much more/less work would it take to create each of these games?
(not how much it took to make them when they were made but today with the engines we have available)

Even with engines you have this is going to take a long time and with only one developer they are going to take even longer. These are games made by 100 man teams, often with an already existing engine. Just using an existing engine isn't the end solution you will always have to write code to extend them to do what you want.

Gameplay code is not something that is standardized and needs constant modification to get to what you want it to be. Yes input and all that is already polled for you but you still have to drive the player character from that as one example.

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[size=2]The game needs to be somewhat "fast/easily" made because I am going to hire a developer to make it for me after I've completed the game design.

I hate to be a downer but, if you're looking for something somewhat fast/easily made, you probably don't want to get into video game development. Something on the scale of Baldur's Gate is pretty ambitious for a one/two man team, even by today's standards. Even if you really scale it down to something with minimal assets and a small world, there's still the tsunami of programming details you'll have to contend with.

By the sounds of your post and replies, I'm assuming you're not a programmer and not a designer. Correct me if my assumption is wrong, but if not, I'll only be yet another guy throwing out this same warning: know something of game development if you want to develop games. How do you know that your design is technically feasible? This isn't just for your game design but for your ability to attract other people to your project. As a programmer, I wouldn't want to deal with a design and project limitations set by someone that doesn't understand what it is that I'm actually doing. This kind of situation never ends well and, if you're asking us for something as basic as a time estimate, you're not nearly prepared.

Take a step back and learn some programming and/or scripting. I would say that you are ready once you can prototype your ideas and gameplay mechanics. This, along with some other techniques such as storyboarding, will greatly help in both refining your design and communicating with a team. Hell, I've even heard of designers balancing gameplay with Excel spreadsheets. Use your imagination. Just don't "write a design document". Without some idea of the underlying technology and some prototyping aids, it'll just seem like a gargantuan task and never reach completion.

Oh, and start small!

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How do you know that your design is technically feasible?


This question right here should be enough reason for OP to start learning programming. Well said.

You've gotta know if it will work before it will work..... 0_o

It's the same reason why Minecraft is not an MMORPG which supports 100,000 simultaneously logged-in players per realm... it's just not technically feasible! (possible, yes... feasible, no.)

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