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HappyHeathen

I have an idea, and that's about it. Please help

31 posts in this topic

Over the past couple weeks I've been kicking around in my head an idea that I personally think can make a great game. I don't have any programming skills, nor do I have the time to learn them, but I'm stubborn and I want to make this thing a reality. Without going into too much detail it would be a shooter, 1st or 3rd hasn't been decided yet. It wouldn't really be open world, but would be open ended. Think along the lines of the original X-Com. It would be class based and it would center around co-op play. And finally, I know they're getting used a bit too much in pop culture right now, but it would be a zombie game. Let me know if anyone is able and interested in helping, and we can go over more of the details.
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[quote]I don't have any programming skills, nor do I have the time to learn them[/quote]
Nuh-uh. If people could make games (above gamemaker-style level) without knowing any programming, it would be known. If you really can't spare any time to learn, then your best bet is to hire a developer (need to get him interested first) or get a friend to do it with you. Otherwise you really need to learn some programming if you want to make it yourself, and it does take a while. That's just how it is, you can't have something for nothing (a.k.a. there is no such thing as a free lunch).

Secondly, have you looked online for similar games, there's a very significant probability someone has already made exactly the game you describe (and possibly already milked it, if it was successful). That doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't proceed, though, but it might be something to consider.

If you are looking for actual partners instead of how to learn the basics of programming, then this should go into Classifieds (Help Wanted).
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[quote name='HappyHeathen' timestamp='1335507856' post='4935308']
don't have any programming skills, nor do I have the time to learn them, but I'm stubborn
[/quote]
Well, as Bacterius stated, this will be ..uhhm... challenging. The "idea guy" and even the "game designer" will have a hart time to get his game idea realised. Take a look at this [s]sad [/s]interesting [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/623717-why-dont-game-designers-get-respected-in-indy-teams/"]discussion [/url]about game ideas and game designers.
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[quote name='HappyHeathen' timestamp='1335507856' post='4935308']
Over the past couple weeks I've been kicking around in my head an idea that I personally think can make a great game. I don't have any programming skills, nor do I have the time to learn them, but I'm stubborn and I want to make this thing a reality. Without going into too much detail it would be a shooter, 1st or 3rd hasn't been decided yet. It wouldn't really be open world, but would be open ended. Think along the lines of the original X-Com. It would be class based and it would center around co-op play. And finally, I know they're getting used a bit too much in pop culture right now, but it would be a zombie game. Let me know if anyone is able and interested in helping, and we can go over more of the details.
[/quote]

If you are stubborn then learning how to use an engine like Unity3D should be perfectly possible. (It doesn't take that long so not having time is no excuse (Learning how to use Unity takes far less time than making the actual game).
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[quote name='HappyHeathen' timestamp='1335507856' post='4935308']
Let me know if anyone is able and interested in helping, and we can go over more of the details.
[/quote]

Recruiting is not permitted outside the Classifieds. Don't do that anymore. Use the Classifieds.
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Is there a format to follow with a GDD? Or at least an example of one I could use as a template? I've got a lot of features figured out in my head already, I know there are probably aspects I haven't considered yet though.

Disregard that, I'm already about 5 pages into the GDD. Is there a way to show this to people to get opinions without the risk of it being stolen?
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[quote name='HappyHeathen' timestamp='1335534829' post='4935384']
Is there a way to show this to people to get opinions without the risk of it being stolen?
[/quote]

look i know you feel pretty unique and all that. but if you spend just a little fraction of your day using the search function on this website you will discover that, actually, no, you are not unique at all.
You're following the very same pattern most people like you follow when they show up with a great idea.. the sooner you'll realize that your idea is worth nothing until somebody (hint.. and that would be YOU ;) ) turns that into a computer software, the better.

Just reading around should clarify you a couple of very important bullet points:

1) Nobody will work for you on your idea
2) If you want somebody to work for you on your idea, get the cash ready
3) No cash? Read point 1
4) If you really want to get your idea going.. learn some basics coding or tool. Get a prototype up, show that you can do stuff.
5) GDD. If you're doing it because you think it's fun then by all means go on and do it. But it won't bring you anything, nobody will read it, let alone steal it.
6) The art of computer gaming is in the execution <- THIS ONE! Doing stuff is the real deal, thinking about stuff is.. nothing really

Failing to understand these things will just make you the Nth new user with a "great idea" that will end up leaving frustrated... seriously, use the search button and save yourself the agony.
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Okay, wasn't sure if theft was a major risk or not. I've looked around online and other than the game that gave me the rough idea, there's nothing else like it that I've found. I'm seriously wanting to make this happen, but I know I'll need to hire people to do the actual programming. I haven't completely figured out how I'm going to finance it yet though. Heck, while I've done a lot of the concept work already (now 7 pages into the GDD) I haven't even decided on a name for it yet.
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At the moment you seem really passionate about this idea. That's great! But if you don't have money, [b]you must do everything yourself[/b]. That's just how it is.
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I have considered kickstarter as an option as well, but I'm not sure if that's really an option if I don't have anything but ideas on paper.
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As far as founding is concernd, I've noticed that a lot of people use kickstarter.

However, I reccon you'd need some sort of demo of your product as well as a short video that shows why people should give you their money!
(I've browsed kickstarter quite a lot trying to figure out why some projects get almost nothing while other gets huge amount of money and im actually tempted to say that a lot has to do with that video [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img] )

Good luck.

*EDIT: Meh you beat me to it ;)
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[quote name='HappyHeathen' timestamp='1335544943' post='4935424']
I have considered kickstarter as an option as well, but I'm not sure if that's really an option if I don't have anything but ideas on paper.
[/quote]

Its not, no sane person will give you money unless you're reasonably well known or can show significant progress (There are quite a few fools out there but they're not common enough to actually fund a game)


[quote name='smr' timestamp='1335543613' post='4935419']
At the moment you seem really passionate about this idea. That's great! But if you don't have money, [b]you must do everything yourself[/b]. That's just how it is.
[/quote]

Everything is an exaggeration i think, If he can get started he'll have a much better chance at attracting people who can help him out.
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And just as a hint: a really detailed game design document (especially one done by someone who has never created a game before) amounts to almost nil when it comes to progress. That design [i]will[/i] change, there will be horrendous problems that were not accounted for, etc... Unless there is concrete prototype work completed, functional and playable, a GDD has roughly the same value as toilet paper, IMO; less value, maybe, depending on the scratchiness and the suitability for septic systems.
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Well, it's not even printed out, so it'd be kind of hard to wipe with it in its current state. I'm thinking about learning enough unity3d to create a bare bones version of it, and going from there.I've never used unity3d, so no telling how that will go.
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Unity is an excellent choice, you can get something up and playable relatively quickly. Good luck, and keep us posted.
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So far, as the idea has become more fleshed out, It's taken on more of a life, and it's drawing inspirations from more and more other sources. It's now a hybrid of X-Com, Rainbow Six, Metal Gear Solid, Peacewalker, and of course, its original inspiration, Atom Smasher Zombies.
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Your last post is exactly why I advocate prototyping early and iterating often. It sounds like you're just pouring a bunch of games into a bucket and swirling it around, and that can be tricky. I'd say, before you start saying "it'll be like this, and like this, and like this" you should identify the core features of the gameplay and build a prototype, identify what works and what doesn't, and iterate. Rapid prototyping is essential, that way you don't waste a whole lot of time fleshing out a design for something that, when you get it built, just isn't fun. Because, sure, all those games might have some cool and fun features, but you won't know if they work together without a prototype.
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I didn't intend it to be a mix like that from the start actually, I just started writing down what I wanted it to be like, and when I got to an aspect that I needed to figure out how to do, I'd think of a solution, then it would occur to me that "Hey, that's kind of like this other game". For instance, the MGS Peacewalker similarity, part of my idea is centered around rescuing survivors, which made me think, how should they benefit from rescuing people. For that I decided okay, rescued people can be put to work behind the scenes to help the overall war effort. Then it would occur to me that it was similar to an existing game. So I'm not intentionally mixing existing concepts, it's just that the ideas I come up with were previously used in other games.
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HappyHeathen, sorry but this is going to be a hard dose of reality for you.

A friend of mine and I have been working on an idea for about three years now, we are just about ready to get it out the door and start making some money. We are both developers and we have done all of the code ourselves. Even with that, we have spent close to 300k getting this thing ready to ship.

If you want your game developed and you can't do the dev side, you best be ready to dish out at least that much.
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While I certainly wouldn't say no to making money off of it, that's actually secondary. I just would like to see it become reality.
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[quote name='HappyHeathen' timestamp='1335594703' post='4935527']
While I certainly wouldn't say no to making money off of it, that's actually secondary. I just would like to see it become reality.
[/quote]
I think he meant you are going to have to shell out some before raking in any. The basic idea is that a developer's time isn't free, and however awesome your idea may be, it won't become a reality in and of itself. You will need [u]resources[/u] to achieve your goal, resources which you may not be ready (or able) to acquire or even apprehend. While I certainly understand your position on wanting to push forward and finish your project, it may be unrealistic and even outright impossible to do so if appropriate measures are not taken.

It is certainly worthwile to plan ahead but I believe you have your priorities wrong. You should first take a look at the bigger picture and carefully consider your next immediate move, which should probably be, "do I really want do to this".
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Does this sound like a valid course of action?
I'm thinking first, I try to get a team that doesn't require payment up front (This is probably the hardest part)
Second, get that team to produce a demo.
third, Put said demo on Kickstart.
(I'm resisting a south park "profit" joke here)
fourth, if kickstart is successful, use that money to pay the devs for the demo, and the production of the game. Edited by HappyHeathen
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What I meant by my comment before last is, While I'd prefer to have a hand in making it, I'd also be willing to give it to a team looking for an idea, just so I could see it become a reality. Edited by HappyHeathen
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[quote name='HappyHeathen' timestamp='1335596399' post='4935532']
Does this sound like a valid course of action?
I'm thinking first, I try to get a team that doesn't require payment up front (This is probably the hardest part)
Second, get that team to produce a demo.
third, Put said demo on Kickstart.
(I'm resisting a south park "profit" joke here)
fourth, if kickstart is successful, use that money to pay the devs for the demo, and the production of the game.
[/quote]

That pretty much won't work, If you pick a developer at random he is likely to have 10-20 ideas of his own that he wants to work on (a team will usually have hundreds of ideas, noone is actually looking for more ideas for games to make), You need to give people a reason to work on your idea instead of their own ideas.

Try to answer these questions:

What do you bring to the table that makes it a better idea for a skilled developer to invest their time in your project rather than investing it in their own favourite project ? (time=money, asking a developer to spend a month working for you without guaranteed payment is no different than asking him to invest a months salary in your company)

If your idea is unique, why do you think noone has made something similar yet ? How big is the target audience ? How much does the game cost to develop ? (If you plan on using free labor you should still convert the time into money for this purpose), how likely are you to actually sell enough copies to cover the development costs ? (These are questions that has to be answered, you're asking people to invest in you).

And most importantly, if you yourself are unwilling to invest in your own project (By pushing in money or your own labor) what signals does that send to potential investors ? (as i said a few times now, a developer working without upfront payment is an investor). Edited by SimonForsman
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