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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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TexasJack

What talent should a small indie dev team have realistically?

4 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I am looking to scout for a few like-minds that I can bat around ideas for games with (generally simple 2D side scrollers ect - not Call of Duty or anything like that).


I myself am an artist, comfortable with handling the spriting, graphic design etc...


What other talent is needed to create a game like, for example; a Super Mario clone?

 

I know that there are several instances of individuals building highly popular games on their own out there - but I lack the technical knowledge, and so would be looking to form a small team (3-4 people? Admitedly, an arbitrary estimation).

 

The focus would be to build (probably free) games casually - not expensive super hi-def 3D MMOs with the intention of making a world dominating profit.

What kind of skills do I need on top of my own art input to make this happen?

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for DEVELOPMENT: designer, coder, artist, soundguy. those are the 4 basic skill sets (hats to wear).

 

the designer designs the game, often delegating some amount of design details to the implementor (coder, artist or soundguy).

 

the coder, artist and soundguy just build the design. 

 

to SELL:

marketing, and order fulfillment. marketing may require a web presence which may require a coder and an artist.

 

your typical small team consists of a coder, an artist, and one other person (a level designer, 2nd coder, 2nd artist, etc). all contribute to the design, with one member being the game concept originator, and therefore design lead, and team lead. Often times it seems this person is the coder. I suspect this is due to the fact that for most games, there's more man-hours of code work than there is man-hours of artwork or sound work. so the coder has more work to do. if the coder isn't the creator, its hard to keep them slaving away at someone else's vision. between the three of them they have soundguy skills or have a soundguy buddy.

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Honestly, I would include marketing tasks right from the beginning.  Someone with marketing sense should be looking at your Game Design Doc, to help make sure your focusing on salable features, instead of white noise.  Naturally, anyone can take on that kind of task, but the more experience the better.

 

I have another post, I opened 20 minutes ago on Roles and tasks/responsibilities associated with those roles.  At this moment, it has no submissions, but I'll start posting some of my knowledge to it shortly.  http://www.gamedev.net/topic/638677-roles-and-tasks-needed-in-video-game-development/  I think its good to consider the value of all the responsibilities you don't have someone to cover, and at least keep those in mind to begin with.

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Honestly, I would include marketing tasks right from the beginning.  Someone with marketing sense should be looking at your Game Design Doc, to help make sure your focusing on salable features, instead of white noise.  Naturally, anyone can take on that kind of task, but the more experience the better.

 

yes, if a project is going to be for-profit, then that affects everything: what to build, platform choice, tool choice, available graphics engines, libraries, etc, and skills in the use of those. Also, a for-profit project should continually strive to achieve "buzz" about the product, starting from the first day of conception of the game idea.

 

As for marketing influences on the design doc, i take that with a grain of salt.  Yes, it is good to evaluate the feature set based on selling point potential.  However, while an experienced marketer can say what sells well, there is often a tendency to attempt to modify designs to increase profitability at the expense of the design itself. IE make it more of a "this, that, or the other" type of game cause that sells well. If the original game type and the "sells well" game type are too dissimilar, the result is a compromise that appeals to fans of neither type. Its also possible that market driven design will overlook profitable but "less than best return" titles, or pass on the next new killer game app cause its not the current "sells best" game type. In the end games must be approached from a gamer point of view, not a marketing, coding tour-de-force, artwork, or storyline point of view. Bottom line: cool games are what sells. And a gamer is more likely to know whats cool than anyone else - including marketers and publishers. After all, gamers are in this for the "love of the game", marketers and publishers are just in it for the money.

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