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GHC_NL

Hi developers! Need feedback on Game idea...

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Hi guys, we have an idea for which we are trying to find a developer..
But we feel we need more technical information and understanding before making a final proposal...
Any help is appreciated!!


1. What are the time / expertise / requirements to develop a 2D web-based game like HABBO? (http://www.habbo.com/)

[indent=1]Assuming,


[indent=1]a. you'd strip it to the bare essentials (no gestures, no currency, just 1 main room + generic private rooms)

[indent=1]b. add instant voice chat functionality

[indent=1]c. access the game via browser, on a website with profiles etc



2. It is my understanding that voice-chat is the major bottleneck; the programming of which would be hell, and the server requirements are to be enormous...Can someone agree or disagree ?


3. Costs.... if we were to hire a game developer to do this, what kind of price tag are we looking at? And what about the time-frame from concept to launch?


4. Is this something we could run and host ourselves, with in-house webdesigners/builders?
Or would we definitely need a long-term relationship with a game studio? What about servers needed etc?


Thanks!!

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MMO's have intense server requirements. Lets take your average home internet connection and a bog standard computer, it might cope fine hosting lets say a TF2 server or minecraft server for around 10 players or so but not much more than that. You have to deal with connections between a few hundred to tens of thousands dependant on how popular the game gets. Even if it is 200 or so players expected online at any 1 time your going to need dedicated hosting for that. A web based MMO has the additional complexity of having to serve the game client itself to the players adding even more server strain (2 seperate server systems would probably be the best solution here, one for the website letting the clients load the game etc, the other for the game server, I say systems as you may or may not need multiple machines for either task).

Voice chat would be an additional bottleneck although you might not need it, things like teamspeak and mumble are getting very popular now.

time/expertise/requirements is a little tricky. Many MMORPG's have years of development before release and then still get continously expanded. A 2d game, probably not even nearly as long but any multiplayer game will need some time on developing the server side of things. 1 year I don't think would be too unrealistic, it could probably be shorter, depends on developer experience I guess, on a super complex game maybe longer. Its certainly not a task for a beginner (although I doubt you would be interested in hiring beginners yourself anyway). Requirements I think I've more than covered above.

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I don't recommend using voice-chat ingame, I found that many MMO's that tried to implement that NO ONE used them. It was always TS or Vent being used. So you could always host a TS, Vent, etc.. Timeframe depends on what you want at launch if it was just a single room it will be less work and require less resources to host it since I highly doubt you will have 200+ people in a single room. You could always test host from your connection and machine but keep in mind you will need a static IP not dynamic. For hosting it depends on how big you want this to get, I wouldn't out the gates pay for dedicated hosting. I hosted a WoW server on my machine before and had 10+ people connect from all over the world to test it out it ran good but it was only a little over 10 people on at once. It was fun for about 3 days then it was too much work to maintain.

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GHC,
1. You need to hire a team that's done this before. As someone said above, a year is not unreasonable, due to the nature of MMOs, and the other hurdles you have to leap. Building the MMO doesn't end it -- once the game is built, it has to be run, maintained, updated, marketed, securitized, monetized. And if you're targeting a children's audience like Habbo Hotel, there is a lot of legal work to be done as well.
2. Disagree.
3. Millions. You can start talking to MMO developers to get an idea of costs at their end. But you also need to build your own team (you don't want to have the constant overhead of an external company actually running your game, do you?).
4. Your developer and your internal staff can educate you on the server aspects while you're putting things together.

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1 -
Time - I'm thinking 6-8 months if you have a team with an engine already in place
Expertise - Frontend/Backend engineers for the most part, obviously artist, and I'd recommend a designer to document everything all along through wireframes, etc so that it's an easy reference for developers.

2 - Disagree as well. The actual frontend/backend communication in general will be hard to manage. Sending over packages of voice streams isn't the largest challenge.

3 - minimum 600k$ (USD) and 6-8 months depending on featurelist.

4 - I'd recommend getting commercial hosting services and connecting through remote as the developer. That would cut the need for a studio. But then again, that's assuming you have the funding. You can probably get decent hosting for low traffic under 5000$, but if you have so little traffic, you're also not making money. You should discuss with some providers and see how they scale with increasing numbers of concurrent users (I know dedicated and cloud computing react differently, and your actual machines are extremely important).

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Hi Guys! Thanks a LOT for the feedback. This is very good info and really puts things into perspective!

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3 - The typical business plan in the US calls for $10,000 per developer month, which covers all the costs of employment. Once you have a firm grasp on the number of months and number of people involved, it is a simple matter of multiplication.

Getting an accurate number for both of the two factors can be difficult,but for a Habbo-like game my gut-check reaction says $5M would be a low price just for development, you'd probably need another $5M for marketing and another $3M for support for the first year.

For a hobbyist game that mostly works okay for the few people who play it, you could probably cobble something together in a few development months.

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Getting an accurate number for both of the two factors can be difficult,but for a Habbo-like game my gut-check reaction says $5M would be a low price just for development, you'd probably need another $5M for marketing and another $3M for support for the first year.


Ok these numbers are pretty hardcore.
What is your base reference?
Specifically, the breakdown for that initial 5M$ of production...

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[quote name='frob' timestamp='1346151860' post='4974059']
Getting an accurate number for both of the two factors can be difficult,but for a Habbo-like game my gut-check reaction says $5M would be a low price just for development, you'd probably need another $5M for marketing and another $3M for support for the first year.

For a hobbyist game that mostly works okay for the few people who play it, you could probably cobble something together in a few development months.


Ok these numbers are pretty hardcore.
What is your base reference?
Specifically, the breakdown for that initial 5M$ of production...
[/quote]
As I said, for a professional game like theirs, it would probably be that much. You've got artist/modelers, animators, audio, tools, app development, back-end development, configuration management, team management, etc., along with an extensive cross-browser QA effort. The $5M minimum is a very rough guess based on nearly two decades of experience.

For a hobby game with the exceptions you listed, the product is whatever you can scrape together. Don't expect the same quality of art, audio, networking, performance, and cross-browser functionality. Instead, expect it to usually mostly work on the few browsers you developed it with.

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As I said, for a professional game like theirs, it would probably be that much. You've got artist/modelers, animators, audio, tools, app development, back-end development, configuration management, team management, etc., along with an extensive cross-browser QA effort. The $5M minimum is a very rough guess based on nearly two decades of experience.


I beg to differ.
I work in that specific line of business and we've published successful titles that cost less than 50% of the aforementionned costs both in production and marketing (I think you nail it with the support though, but there are ways to cut on these expanses as well if you're willing to invest in tools that make it more designer-centric and reduce programmer requirements).

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