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CGalyon

Game funding

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I recently read an interesting thread on here that got me thinking. I''ve been trying to fund my own game development group for about a year now and quite frankly it is very difficult to do. To achieve real efficiency with game development (that is get something done in a reasonable amount of time) you need to have a place for your whole group to get together and just work. Generally, this would be the office. An office is more than just something you pay monthly rent for and that has desks, an office is useful because it sets a mentality for work and set hours condition the mind to work within that time frame. Those are very important things in management. So anyway, I''ve run the gammut with some of the larger names now trying to get my material published and I received polite, but clear rejection. The reason is simple enough: Having enough to show when they wanted it. We failed in this because we did not meet our deadlines when we needed to. It sounds simple in theory, but when a group is as spread out as mine then it becomes very very hard to coordinate. And without an office place and set work hours procrastination occurs. What does it take to succeed then? I''d recommend investing in getting an office. Ensure that your employees or co-workers (depending on how you want to look at it) are fully aware that the job is NOT a paying job at first. Typically start-ups will NOT have funding to begin with. Finding people willing to work a long time without pay and yet who are of a professional attitude is very difficult. In other words, not everyone will understand that they REALLY won''t get paid until the game sales. My recommendation, therefore, is that you find a way to project the cost of an office and the equipment therein, the cost of living for yourself and that your employees/co-workers do the same and make sure that everyone can live for one year without pay and that the office can remain open for that long with a little breathing room. Then you can all sit down in the office area and develop the game into a presentable demo. Furthermore assign positions/responsibilities. Identify what jobs will need to be done. You will need one person seeking and maintaining publisher relations. This person should probably also serve as a Project Manager (the person who ensures that everyone stays on task). You will need at least one programmer. Having more than one helps, but they will need to be coordinated with each other. You will need an artist (visual) to fill your game with visual content. And you will need to have a designer. Naturally many of these positions can combine, but if any one person takes on too many tasks they will neglect some in favor of others and the tasks will not be completed: the game will fail. Anyway, just some knowledge from my own experiences. Good luck to everyone. Its been a long time since I''ve been on here! Take care, Charles Galyon

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My company, Blade Edge is just starting up so I''m prob going to run into just as many problems as you''ve had. I''m working on ideas for a "virtual office" team members can use to meet in weekly or twice a week or something to collaborate for a required set amount of time. I''ll prob post more on it when I have everything roughed out.

Drew Sikora
A.K.A. Gaiiden

ICQ #: 70449988
AOLIM: DarkPylat

Blade Edge Software
Public Relations, Game Institute
Staff Member, GDNet

Online column - Design Corner at Pixelate
3-time Contributing author, Game Design Methods , Charles River Media (coming GDC 2002)

IGDC - the International Game Developers Chat! [irc.safemalloc.com #igdc]

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Good luck! Thus far I''ve found this to be a very difficult obstacle to overcome. Let me know how it goes and, if you don''t mind, in the future how you achieved it.

Charles Galyon

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Hey Charles!


How''s it going? Drop me a mail and fill me in, I promise to reply within a decent timeframe :-). Sorry I lost contact for a while there, but you know what this Industry can be like with the workloads!


Cheers,









Marc Lambert

marc@darkhex.com

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Hey, I''m working for a game development company that has a programmer in sweden, one in canada (me) and 3 artists in texas. We''ve already completed a commercial game (earthworm jim for the gba) and are starting another, but it''s a hell of a lot of work.

Right now we meet for at least 4 hours online per day, and use teleconferencing to communicate, everyone has a webcam and mic so we can talk with each other easily while we are working. We haven''t had any real motivation problems because everyone knows that if we don''t get the milestones finished on time we don''t get paid. And getting paid means eating, so that''s plenty of motivation .

One thing to do when looking to hire people is make sure they are dedicated and this is their only job. Game development is extremely demanding and if you have another job or go to school it will be very tough for you to find the time to meet your deadlines. Also for hiring people in remote locations, good communications skills are a *must*.

Of course when it comes to crunch time, sometimes working remotely is just not good enough and you spend a few weeks at the real office, but in general having some people working from abroad usually is fine. Another key thing is to make sure that people know progress is happening, regular updates are key and at the end of every week we have a meeting discussing what went right/wrong and where we need to set goals for next week.

Anyhow, these are just my experiences, I''m sure others have had different ones.

Later,
Gary

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Premandrake''s comments are disenhearting me and my comapany.
We here at Protein Monkey Games pride ourselves on our hectic scheldule, and are going to have our first game done in around a month at our current rate (which might i add is 2 weeks ahead of schedule!)

because of legal resons all i can say is that its an rpg

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We (Samu Games) developed the initial release of Artifact with a remote team of 2 programmers, 1 artist and 1 sound guy. The programmers and the sound guy lived within an hour of each other in Oklahoma (USA), but the artist lived in Canada.

As the project leader, I was the only team member who kept in contact with all of the others. We never had a full staff meeting. At no time was there a meeting of more than 2 team members.

On top of that, we all worked on the project part-time. Myself and the other programmer had full-time jobs, the sound guy had a variety of jobs and taught guitar lessons, and the artist was a college student. Design began in late 1996, but it was late 1997 before any real work was done. Artifact went into public beta in March, 1999, and was finally released in October, 1999.

Artifact 2, a major upgrade, was another remote team effort. 3 of the same team members but a new artist. The effort took 6 months in 2000. Again, the only member of the team that ever talked to any other member of the team was me, as project leader. We''ve still never had a meeting with more than 2 of the team members at a time.

Communication among team members is important, but only if it affects what you need to do. We were able to get the game done because we had divided the work into distinct tasks and we each worked to fulfill our particular task.

Best of luck.


DavidRM
Samu Games

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When I was gonna strat up thisisnurgle, I was doing it on a budget of a few thousand pounds, everyone working remotely and payment was a small fee for work produced + a good royalty rate.

People seemed happy working with that (except the german guy who wanted to do my marketing... that was odd).


Nurgle

After careful deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that Nazrix is not cool. I am sorry for any inconvienience my previous mistake may have caused. We now return you to the original programming

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quote:
Original post by DavidRM
We (Samu Games) developed the initial release of Artifact with a remote team of 2 programmers, 1 artist and 1 sound guy. The programmers and the sound guy lived within an hour of each other in Oklahoma (USA), but the artist lived in Canada.

As the project leader, I was the only team member who kept in contact with all of the others. We never had a full staff meeting. At no time was there a meeting of more than 2 team members.

On top of that, we all worked on the project part-time. Myself and the other programmer had full-time jobs, the sound guy had a variety of jobs and taught guitar lessons, and the artist was a college student. Design began in late 1996, but it was late 1997 before any real work was done. Artifact went into public beta in March, 1999, and was finally released in October, 1999.

Artifact 2, a major upgrade, was another remote team effort. 3 of the same team members but a new artist. The effort took 6 months in 2000. Again, the only member of the team that ever talked to any other member of the team was me, as project leader. We''ve still never had a meeting with more than 2 of the team members at a time.

Communication among team members is important, but only if it affects what you need to do. We were able to get the game done because we had divided the work into distinct tasks and we each worked to fulfill our particular task.

Best of luck.


DavidRM
Samu Games



I just can''t imagine how this could have worked out but I guess it did..
No motivation problems at all at any time ? If yes what did you do about it.
I know 2 Gfx guys. We live in the same town a few minutes from each other. I have a hard time trying to motivate them.


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