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Acharis

Game about game development (simulation)

13 posts in this topic

A very, very simple game about making games. Turn based simulation (sort of an economic simulation I guess).

You run a company that make games. First you hire people (artists, programmers, designers). Then you make a game (select a genre). Then publish the game and earn money (the game earns money depending how good and popular it was, the sales decreases over time). In addition you can do several extra things like buying equipment, improving office, spend money on advertisement, etc.


I have a problem with these parts:

1) How to make an algorithm to evaluate if a developed game is good or not (sales)?

2) How the process of making games should look like? (it should take into account the people you hired and possibly other decisions)

3) How many turns the game should last? What should be the ending? Should there be an ending?


Again, I want it VERY simple, I want to spend like 1-2 weeks on making this at most. The simplier and easier to implement the better.
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Why don't you set it up so that your goal is to make a set of games that match up to current demand?
You could do it a couple of different ways. You could have an upgradeable market research skill that tells you what games will be in demand for the current dev cycle. Then the player tries to create a combo of game to make that breakdown. At the lowest level your market research will be only 60% accurate and it would go up 5% each time you upgrade it up to 95%. If its wrong you will make from 50-80% as much money as if it was right.

So if its 30% shooter 20% rpg 10% rts 10% tbs 20% mmo and 10% social you try to make your output as close to that % as possible. If you can only make one game you might try to make a shooter as the highest % market. You could alternately employ a competition stat so a smaller studio might try to target a niche market until you get big enough to compete with the big boys. Say the shooter market is loaded with AAA games so your company makes an rpg instead and builds up capital.
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The trick would be making such a game fun. ANYWAY.

I think that you could get some mileage out of having a potential playerbase which has underlying abilities and needs which the games fulfil. Some would be a dichotomy, e.g. uniqueness/familiarity, hi-fi/lo-fi graphics, challenging/easy. Others would be generally positive, e.g. good UI, good performance. That would mean there's still a possibility to focus on the risky/new genre area rather than it being a game teaching that copying is good. The attributes of the potential playerbase could change over time, as well as their preferences for specific genres based on which genres have has good games recently and catered to their playerbase well. There be other strategic elements such as partnering with hardware manufacturers, whether to use DRM, etc.

The process... hmm, after deciding to greenlight a project you can promote it various ways, shift budget between departments, physically move teams in the office (e.g. putting artists and AI people together might make realisticness of AI better), decide timelines and release dates, and release or cancel a project.

But 1-2 weeks... yikes! Not sure what would fit in that timescale.
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You should add all sorts of fancy things to lenghten the time the game sells. Such as making updates, selling extension thingys, allowing modding, making the game allow lots of creativity (so the players wont run out of stuff to do)

Also different ways to sell it (in store/internets-store, subscription, micropayments, membership benefits, donations...) which get you money based on other things. Like running it based on donations might work if it keeps players playing for a long time and it gets popular, but for a game people will play once or twice you would want them to pay before theyre able to play it.
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[quote][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]I have a problem with these parts:[/background][/left][/size][/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]1) How to make an algorithm to evaluate if a developed game is good or not (sales)?[/background][/left][/size][/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]2) How the process of making games should look like? (it should take into account the people you hired and possibly other decisions)[/background][/left][/size][/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][left][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]3) How many turns the game should last? What should be the ending? Should there be an ending?[/background][/left][/size][/font][/color][/quote]
In other words you just know that you want to make a game about game development and nothing else. These three questions are the ones you need to answer yourself, if you're a game designer. Asking others to answer them for you is like asking people to create your game for you.
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Yes, I'm familiar with all 3 games of this genre (GameDevBiz 1,GameDevBiz 2, GameDevStory). Althrough, I have not played all these (watched walkthroughs) or played a long time ago (I try to avoid playing the exact genre I'm making just before development in order to not get too influenced by the existing games), so my knowledge about these is not complete and I might be missing something obvious.

[quote name='AltarofScience' timestamp='1335471013' post='4935203']
Why don't you set it up so that your goal is to make a set of games that match up to current demand?
[/quote]Well, I'm not sure if matching a demand in the purest form is the best for this kind of game. I remember in GameDevBiz it was annoying that you always had to start with an arcade game if you wanted to survive. Some players complained that they wanted to make a company making RPG games and they could not. If possible I would give a bit more freedom to the players.
But I guess the "matching the demand" thing should be part of it.

Looking at it from the player's point of view you would be first selecting parameters of a game (genre, theme, etc) then you would execute the development (virtual team members modifying the basic parameters of the game). Then this all summed togeter will result in one number, which is the number of sales (and therefore the income). The most important question is how to make an algorithm for this...


@eugene2k - I wish answering 3 questions (no matter how important) would be all that is needed to make a game, I would be a millionaire then [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] But yeah, overall you are right, I'm lazy and want to make it the easy & fast way.
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Hmm.. so what's the point of designing something new then? Just clone whatever exists already.
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I thought of these:


1) Each genre has popularity (the the highest the better) and competition (the lowest the better). Some genres are high pupularity high competition (arcade) and some are lower popularity lower competition (strategies). This information is available to player. In addition the competition can randomly get a modifier (like +1, +2) which is to simulate the release of a very good competition game that got a lot of publicity and market share (so the player might want to wait out and release their game later/develop a different genre instead).
Each theme has popularity only (no competition). The popularity of themes is more fluid and more random (changes all the time while genres are more stable).


2) When you hire staff they might have special traits, like prefered genres and themes. If assigned to appropriate game they increase the quality if it is their favoured genre/theme.

I wonder if I should make some "company knowledge", like you can invent some "ideas" for a certain genre and "store" these in the database of the company. It's nice from gameplay point of view (sort of like upgrades system) but not very realistic (these tied to team members are more natural) and a bit complex.


So, the player has 2 variables to fit (genre and theme) and need to take into account the temporary trends (competition modifiers to genres), own speciality (staff genre/theme bonuses) and the base popularity/competition of a genre. In addition a game released in December (Christmast) yeld tripple sales in the first month (which might lead to agonizing decisions if there is a competition modifier in effect during december or if they game is not fully bug fixed before December).


Please provide comments/feedback/alternatives/personal preferences/etc.
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In regards to storing game ideas: I don't know what kind of gameplay you have in mind, so I might be off the mark here, but don't try to make the game uselessly complex for the sake of realism - a game only needs to set the goal for the player and provide enough tools to achieve that goal.
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I'm still looking for *any* ideas related to this topic :) Don't be shy, post, I don't bite and I don't shout :)
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[quote name='sunandshadow' timestamp='1335477001' post='4935227']
Have you played Game Dev Story as research already?
[url="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.kairosoft.android.gamedev3en&hl=en"]https://play.google....amedev3en&hl=en[/url]
[/quote]
Game looks soo fun :D
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I was thinking, what are the core parameters the player will deal with. I think it boils down to these two:
- [b]quality[/b] of a newly developed game
- [b]marketing[/b] (advertsing, hype, fans, image/reputation of a company)

Quality is basicly how much time was spent on making a game. The development team composition affects it (how skilled they are, how fast they are, how balanced the team is (proper ratio of coders to artists so none are idle), if their personalities match (how well they work together)).

Not sure about marketing, there definitely should be some sort of advertising budget (player's decision) that is used on a new game, but I have rather fuzzy idea what more :)
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Just saw this thread, and I swear the first thing that comes to my mind is Segagaga (half RPG, half sim), which is exactly like this (except with the added console war storyline on top of it as well), down to having to hire people with the sim part being game development.
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