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mekk_pilot

Embarking on the big one.

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So I'm just a lowly wanna-be designer/writer, and I'm looking for advice on viable ways to actually get a game made.

My first instinct is to write some kind of 200+ page design doc covering the main elements of the design and the story(s), then use parts of that (or just email the whole thing to whoever is interested) to attract programmers and artists.

I know this probably comes up here a lot, but what IS the best way for a person with little technical skill to get into a design position on a game?

I'm not saying this is going to be triple A, but I would like it to turn a profit.

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My first instinct is to write some kind of 200+ page design doc covering the main elements of the design and the story(s), then use parts of that (or just email the whole thing to whoever is interested) to attract programmers and artists.

In short: epic fail

Noone, really no one, will read a 200+ design doc without being paid for doing it. Yes, this topic has been discussed very often. The consent which I remembered so far is:
1. Either pay someone who develop your game...
2. ...or learn a skill which contribute to the implementation of your idea (artist,coder etc.).

Else you will have a very hard time to find someone who want to help you out, sorry, but game designer in the hobby/indie community (aka idea guy) is more of a team role than a individual role.

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Make a phone app? Try GameMaker?

Depends on the game. If you wanna make a 3D RTS or RPG, if you have no technical skills its gonna make the opposite of a profit.

The commonly suggested route might be to get technical skills. Learn Python or something and then make a game.

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Make a phone app?


I have designed a card game and have a friend who might make it for me. We haven't talked about it much lately.


Depends on the game. If you wanna make a 3D RTS or RPG, if you have no technical skills its gonna make the opposite of a profit.
[/quote]

I was thinking a TRPG, with 3d terrain (tough to do height in 2d) and sprite-based characters. Edited by mekk_pilot

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I know this probably comes up here a lot, but what IS the best way for a person with little technical skill to get into a design position on a game?


Create a board game or a card game.

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The other problem is - without having some kind of contract / NDA, if your idea is 'great' someone else may run off with your millions. :)

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My first instinct is to write some kind of 200+ page design doc covering the main elements of the design and the story(s), then use parts of that (or just email the whole thing to whoever is interested) to attract programmers and artists.


Just curious, why do you think this will work? Have you come across people who did this and succeeded in attracting programmers/artists or getting people to read 200+ pages?


what IS the best way for a person with little technical skill to get into a design position on a game?


I think you answered your own question: you understood that having little technical skill is a major stumbling block. So, the best way is to improve that situation.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I am not one of those people who keep saying that you need 10+ years of programming skills or have a degree in computer programming to make a game. In fact, I believe that programming games is very easy nowadays, even without any prior experience. Tools like Adobe Flash, Game Maker etc makes it very easy for one man to produce a decent game from scratch in days or weeks.

A lot of beginners don't want to start on simpler projects for fear of "wasting time". They want to only spend time working on their big project. And so, they never get started and never pick up the technical skills to proceed. Its like someone who only wants to work on painting Mona Lisa quality painting, and refuse to learn how to use a pencil to draw simple shapes first. Programming skills are very transferable across languages and you will probably go through a few so don't worry about "wasting time".

And don't expect to get others to do all the tough stuff for you either. Its quite similar to painting: you can't produce a 200 pages design document for a painting and try to attract painters to work on it for you. You actually need work on the painting yourself. Painters do hire help to help them work on their masterpiece but its not possible to get others to do everything for you.


I'm not saying this is going to be triple A, but I would like it to turn a profit.


I am too moving towards the "turn a profit" goal. Perhaps it might be informative to look at what/how other independent game developers do it and pick an approach you're comfortable with. From my own survey, modest independent games made by one developer, if well made, might turn a small profit after 1+ year of constant improvement. Edited by Legendre

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Okay then, if I'm going to have to do it myself, where should this total noob at art and programming start, if he wants to design a TRPG with randomly generated 3d terrain and sprites on top of that as characters?

BTW, like I said, I designed a card game(a way to simulate american footbal using a standard deck, A-9, and Kings to represent defensive plays), and if you check my first posts here, I've designed a table-top RPG. And I ran some rudimentary stats on those games for the sake of balancing. So I'm not just a guy who is coming in here with some half-baked idea and wants everyone to do all the hard work. I mean, design is work, I know because I've done it.

Edit: After walking around a bit, I think one possible answer to my question presents itself: I should take the card game I've designed and make it into a phone app. My friend was supposedly going to work on it, but we haven't talked about it in a long time, and I think he'd rather take a mentor role than get his hands dirty.

OK, so, given that I want to turn an already designed and tested card game into a phone app, where should I start?

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Okay then, if I'm going to have to do it myself, where should this total noob at art and programming start


Please hear me out, and don't take this the wrong way. There is a difference between A) saying you're a total noob, and B) knowing that you're a total noob.

Many before you have come to this forum saying the exact same things as you. The problem is, they don't KNOW they are a total noob. They say they are noobs but they reject advice from others because they think they know better ways.

If you are ready to listen to good advice, I suggest reading this: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/idea.htm. Tom Sloper has more than 30 years of industry experience. You might not agree with everything he says, but you should at least consider his advice.


So I'm not just a guy who is coming in here with some half-baked idea and wants everyone to do all the hard work. I mean, design is work, I know because I've done it.


Design is actually the easy part of game development. And I think deep down you know that. If the programming and art were easier than design, you would already be doing it.


My friend was supposedly going to work on it, but we haven't talked about it in a long time, and I think he'd rather take a mentor role than get his hands dirty.


Question: Are YOU ready to get your hands dirty? Remember this is YOUR project. No one is going to get their hands dirty for you.



OK, so, given that I want to turn an already designed and tested card game into a phone app, where should I start?


There are many possibilities. My suggestion would be to pick out some of the simplest elements and make a Flash game out of it. (Adobe Flex is free) Then, upload it to a Flash portal. After this process, I am confident that you will know where to go next.

A lot of beginners refuse to start small and gain experience. Think about this: if you go to college to do a degree, you are not going to be able to study PhD level courses and do actual research. You start with the basic undergraduate level courses, and you work on toy homework problems set by your teachers. Why would it be any difference in game development??

This is a hard and long process. You will feel like giving up multiple times. I am going through it myself**. If you need to talk to someone who is in a similar situation, please feel free to message me. ^__^

** As a hobby. Although I will put up a paypal donate button in my game, I have a day job and have no interest in getting into the game industry.

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