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How long will this take and how much will it cost?

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Hi all,

 

I am new to the forums so please excuse me if I have posted this in the wrong board!

 

Basically, I am NOT a GameDev (even though I would love to learn how to do it all eventually) but I do have an Idea for an online game.

 

Obviously there are places like Odesk, Freelancer etc where I could get help with my project but in all honesty, and due to my (lack of) experience, I have no idea on timescales etc etc.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where I could find such information if I gave more detail.....?

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Hi all,

 

I am new to the forums so please excuse me if I have posted this in the wrong board!

 

Basically, I am NOT a filmmaker (even though I would love to learn how to do it all eventually) but I do have an Idea for an film.

 

Obviously there are places like IndieTalk, Freelancer etc where I could get help with my project but in all honesty, and due to my (lack of) experience, I have no idea on timescales etc etc.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where I could find such information if I gave more detail.....?

 

That's about right, FLeBlanc: A film takes 17 months to make and costs $450,000.

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Hi all,

 

I am new to the forums so please excuse me if I have posted this in the wrong board!

 

Basically, I am NOT a GameDev (even though I would love to learn how to do it all eventually) but I do have an Idea for an online game.

 

Obviously there are places like Odesk, Freelancer etc where I could get help with my project but in all honesty, and due to my (lack of) experience, I have no idea on timescales etc etc.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where I could find such information if I gave more detail.....?

This is one of those subjects that more or less comes down to experience in building games, time estimates are exactly what they say they are estimates and nearly none of them are accurate. They are all based on similar stuff we have seen in the past and as such are highly inaccurate, as the smallest spanner in the works can cost you a lot of time.

 

For you to be able to even get an estimate you need a pretty worked out game design to begin with and an engine or library set, additional software artists/programmers and sound guys are going to use, you are going to use to create the project with. From the experience with these packages people are able to estimate how much work the project will be.

 

Without that information my estimate would be never and would cost you infinity USD.

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Fleblanc and Alavaro, Great comments should have seen that coming, However, I did put in my original post "If I gave more detail".

 

I am basically just looking for someone who can give me an idea, once I have given the information, of how long and how much it would cost. Obviously I don't expect any guesses if I don't give the information.!

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So, it sounds like you're serious about this.  The problem is that game software is typically so complex that no single person would be able to accurately estimate the costs of the project.

 

Ideally what you want to do is contact a game development studio and pitch your idea.  Unfortunately, every game development studio I've worked at does not contract work out to individuals; we only contract out to companies larger than ourselves, and usually only for porting an existing game to a different platform (i.e. make Wii ports from 360 games, etc).

 

If such a company exists somewhere that I don't know about, the usual flow works like this:

 

- Contact a company and find out if they do contracting/outsourcing work.

- Get a lawyer.

- Both you and the company sign NDAs.

- You pitch the general idea to the company to see if they're interested at all.

- If they're not interested, find a new company and start over.

- If they're interested, they will ask you for much more detailed information about what you want in the game, and they will attempt to estimate costs.

- Form a legal contract with the company with the help of your lawyer.  This includes things like: when/how much you will pay them (i.e. pay them set amounts on certain milestones), who owns the IP, who owns the technology, what happens if the contract needs to be changed, and what happens if the contract is terminated by you or them.

- ???

- Either the game is completed or not.

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Ideally what you want to do is contact a game development studio and pitch your idea. Unfortunately, every game development studio I've worked at does not contract work out to individuals; we only contract out to companies larger than ourselves, and usually only for porting an existing game to a different platform (i.e. make Wii ports from 360 games, etc).



If such a company exists [...]

 

You can stop there. No company will do this. Think about it from their perspective. What might happen as a consequence of learning about this idea for a game? On the plus side, maybe the idea is so wonderful that they can make good money with it. But the prior is not good, because the idea is coming from someone that knows nothing about the industry. On the down side, if they ever want to publish a game that has any similarities to the idea, they can get sued. I cannot imagine any development studio would be stupid enough to be interested in learning about this idea.

Edited by Álvaro

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Wouldn't someone want the money though? What if they got paid whether the game was completed or not in a given time frame? That's how a lot of government contracts work.

 

Ideally what you want to do is contact a game development studio and pitch your idea. Unfortunately, every game development studio I've worked at does not contract work out to individuals; we only contract out to companies larger than ourselves, and usually only for porting an existing game to a different platform (i.e. make Wii ports from 360 games, etc).



If such a company exists [...]

 

You can stop there. No company will do this. Think about it from their perspective. What might happen as a consequence of learning about this idea for a game? On the plus side, maybe the idea is so wonderful that they can make good money with it. But the prior is not good, because the idea is coming from someone that knows nothing about the industry. On the down side, if they ever want to publish a game that has any similarities to the idea, they can get sued. I cannot imagine any development studio would be stupid enough to be interested in learning about this idea.

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Wouldn't someone want the money though? What if they got paid whether the game was completed or not in a given time frame? That's how a lot of government contracts work.


Ideally what you want to do is contact a game development studio and pitch your idea. Unfortunately, every game development studio I've worked at does not contract work out to individuals; we only contract out to companies larger than ourselves, and usually only for porting an existing game to a different platform (i.e. make Wii ports from 360 games, etc).



If such a company exists [...]

 
You can stop there. No company will do this. Think about it from their perspective. What might happen as a consequence of learning about this idea for a game? On the plus side, maybe the idea is so wonderful that they can make good money with it. But the prior is not good, because the idea is coming from someone that knows nothing about the industry. On the down side, if they ever want to publish a game that has any similarities to the idea, they can get sued. I cannot imagine any development studio would be stupid enough to be interested in learning about this idea.



That's not how the game industry works, you can't really compare this to government contract work to be honest. And it is usually the game development studio that pitches their game idea with prototype to a publisher to get the cash not the other way round.

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First of all, with online game, I assume you mean some graphical MMO game. I will also mention that these numbers are taken from the top of my head, not based on any project I know of. 

 

There are a couple of existing engines which you can use more or less for free and/or where you pay based on income. I doubt an engine is going to cover 100% of your needs, but let's say 95% (since you didn't specify much details).

 

In that case, you could get away with maybe one programmer. Then you will probably need at least one game designer. Then you will at the very least one mapper and say two graphical artists. You will obviously also need sounds and music.

 

At this time, we're at some minimum with 7 people (we'll assume you work for free, handling all business stuff and perhaps some high level design). Let's also assume each will cost somewhere between $4000-$8000 monthly and will need to work for at least one year. Then there's rent, software licenses, furniture, computers, ... Then you need testers.

 

This setup could land you some playable game/demo, but it won't have much (at least not varied) content. To create more content, you will need more people and/or time. You may also note that I did not include any costs for running it or marketing it.

 

Perhaps you should start with some form of budget and try to figure out what is reasonably possible with it instead. You could create some scenarios, I have.. A) $100K, B) $250K, C) $500K, D) $1M. Unless your idea is really small and simple, you'll probably want to start with C as a minimum.

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