• Announcements

    • khawk

      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.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
DevDave

Game Design: Check. Everything Else: ?.

8 posts in this topic

Hey y'all.

 

So about a year ago I had a really, really good idea for a game that, from a marketing perspective, could really take off on the market due to the fact that it fits current gaming trends. Not only that, but it was also on a genre/topic that I am extremely passionate about and would fill my little young heart with immeasurable joy and satisfaction. In addition, it would contain some doable game play elements which are pretty damn original and gamers, such as myself, would love.

 

It only took about 5 minutes of browsing online until I found that one can not simple jump into game development with an idea and a couple thousand $$$. I was heartbroken :(

 

Nevertheless, I started researching game design and over the past few months I've been writing, writing, writing and writing some more in my free time. Looking at that document-filled folder today, which I poetically and originally named "Project X" (working title, obviously), I found that I've basically got the game down to a science.

 

Not only do I have a specific descriptions of all gameplay elements, such as characters, enemies, items, backgrounds, plot, goals, challenges, etc... But I've also calculated and designed the technical stuff, such as the damage rates of different weapons, character progression, amount of experience points earned per kill and more. I've made sure that all the 'technical numbers' were pretty balanced out, so that game progression is not too easy but not too hard. This aspect probably gets perfected as the game development proceeds, but for now it is at a more-than-acceptable level.

 

Heck, not only have I calculated how much artwork would be needed and the number and type of animations, but I've even hand-drawn and scanned the playable map including all the details. I've found an awesome, epic song to be used in the trailer and contacted the person who sang it to request rights to use that song. I've even composed some music myself for the game, using Ableton Live 8.

 

So with all of this drawn out the next logical step would obviously be getting a team together and starting to work on it. The problem is that if this game is to be done properly, I've estimated that the development will cost between $500.000 and $3.000.000 USD. THAT is a BIG problem.

 

You guys got any ideas on what steps I should take next?

 

It just seems like such a waste of time and creativity to give up on something I've worked on for months, something that if marketed correctly (and yes, I'm in marketing) could become a potential blockbuster (and yes, 99% of people think their idea is a potential blockbuster but I have the good fortune of being very familiar with all types of video games from firsthand experience, as well as knowing quite a bit about the industry).

 

Cheers!

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


You guys got any ideas on what steps I should take next?

 

That depends. What is your business idea for when the game is done?  You assume we know, but we don't.  We can't.

Some possible business ideas:

- Self-publish, making this game your source of income

- Self-publish as a sideline while continuing your current career

- Self-publish as the first game of your new business (your own game company, a developer-publisher)

- Pitch the game to established publishers, with a view towards becoming a developer (your own game company, a developer)

- Pitch the game to established publishers, then take the money and retire on a South Pacific island while you're still young

 

What steps you should take next depend on what your business idea is.  Most likely, you should start by writing a business plan.

As such, I don't think this is a Production And Management question.  I think it's a Business question, so I'm moving this to the Business forum.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


You guys got any ideas on what steps I should take next?

 

That depends. What is your business idea for when the game is done?  You assume we know, but we don't.  We can't.

Some possible business ideas:

- Self-publish, making this game your source of income

- Self-publish as a sideline while continuing your current career

- Self-publish as the first game of your new business (your own game company, a developer-publisher)

- Pitch the game to established publishers, with a view towards becoming a developer (your own game company, a developer)

- Pitch the game to established publishers, then take the money and retire on a South Pacific island while you're still young

 

What steps you should take next depend on what your business idea is.  Most likely, you should start by writing a business plan.

As such, I don't think this is a Production And Management question.  I think it's a Business question, so I'm moving this to the Business forum.

 

 

Thank you, Tom. Your insight has been very helpful.

 

Please let me elaborate further on these possible scenarios so you can gain a better understanding on what I'm actually asking.

 

Firstly, if I had the resources to complete the game myself I would definitely launch my own game development company. I'd market the sh*t out of the game, starting with a full-blown trailer on YouTube, followed by handing out early/closed beta's of the game to video game review websites/magazines. I'm fortunate enough to have some connections in that department, so it shouldn't be a problem. My plan would be to generate lots of buzz for the game before its release (the details of how to do this I will not share publicly).

 

It would be nice if the game went on to generate a gazillion dollars so I could buy my private island in the Caribbean and sit on the beach smoking grass all day. But that's not going to happen. I might be relatively young, but I'm not a fool. 

 

I guess that with these hundreds of pages of data that I have compiled, I'm already making these assumptions:

A) I will not, in the foreseeable future, be able to afford developing this game independently.

B) It will be close to impossible to find a team willing to put in months of hard work for a 'possible' future paycheck. 

C) If economical shortcuts are taken during the production of this game, the whole thing will fall apart and will not generate enough revenue to cover all the costs.

 

So, I guess my real question is: If I want to see this game get developed, what should I do? Who should I contact? 

I'm pretty sure you can't just show up at a game development company and give them the game design and say "Make this for me!"

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


1. I would definitely launch my own game development company.

2. I'd market the sh*t out of the game,
3. what should I do?

4. Who should I contact?
5. I'm pretty sure you can't just show up at a game development company and give them the game design and say "Make this for me!"

 

1. Okay, so you would develop games. Not only this one, but other games after this one.

2. And you would also publish them, you're saying. 

3. You should write a business plan, including not only all development costs but also publishing costs, marketing costs, and post-publish costs (running the business) for five years.

4. People with money.  Read about startups and ways to obtain money. Start networking now.

5. Of course you can -- of course, you need to have the money beforehand. But I'm confused. You want to be a developer yourself, so why would you be talking about hiring a developer?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, congrats on having done more work than 99.5% of everyone who "has a great game idea that will really take off."

 

Since you're in marketing, it's now time to start marketing.. but not to the public, to people who are in a position to provide resources.

 

You don't say where you are located, but in many cities/states there are 'incubator' programs that assist small companies looking for business assistance.  (here in Seattle, we even have one specifically for gaming startups).  See what kind of resources are available where you are and what kind of networking events they have.

 

Think of it this way... you have a movie script and you want someone to make a good, but not block-buster budget movie from it.  In your favor is the fact that you have a full script, while most people only have a 2-page plot synopsis (to use the movie analogy)

 

Also, and I presume you're familiar with this-- Going from a written description of a game to a game is more than just implementing what's in the document.  Going from "paper" to "fun" is often a long road with many twists and turns. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, congrats on having done more work than 99.5% of everyone who "has a great game idea that will really take off."

 

Since you're in marketing, it's now time to start marketing.. but not to the public, to people who are in a position to provide resources.

 

You don't say where you are located, but in many cities/states there are 'incubator' programs that assist small companies looking for business assistance.  (here in Seattle, we even have one specifically for gaming startups).  See what kind of resources are available where you are and what kind of networking events they have.

 

Think of it this way... you have a movie script and you want someone to make a good, but not block-buster budget movie from it.  In your favor is the fact that you have a full script, while most people only have a 2-page plot synopsis (to use the movie analogy)

 

Also, and I presume you're familiar with this-- Going from a written description of a game to a game is more than just implementing what's in the document.  Going from "paper" to "fun" is often a long road with many twists and turns. 

 

Thank you!

 

This is what I was looking for. I love the movie script analogy because I think that it most accurately describes my situation. Of course, while 'filming' some of the script will be changed, but the script 1.0 is done. 

 

So, seeing as I have no actual development experience, I should find a team of (possibly independent) developers and then find an individual or company to sponsor the resources for the development? I am aware that if someone invests the money for the production, it is likely that they'll be asking for something around 99% return on all future profits, but I don't care; the important thing is that my name/logo appears on the finished game. I've come to realize that good ideas for games are actually extremely easy to come by, it's the implementation and good management of opportunity cost that makes the difference.

 

Best,

DevDave

Edited by DevDave
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DevDave. Good that you're taking their advice. Everything they're saying is golden, which is why I won't bother to quote... 

 

I've been at the indie dev business for two years now. I started Broken Limits Media August 27, 2011. I linked so you could see our progress in two years. We've only finished one (sorta) beta game and we're like 10% of the way through a nice 3D game. These guys aren't leading you to anything unattainable, however, it's not easy to build a game. For me, I'm just the business guy with a slight amount of experience in every field, but more in management. The primary reason I'd like to become a producer, eventually.

 

Coming up with a game and writing it all down is easy. As you mentioned, "good ideas for games are actually extremely easy to come by." I've got a dozen of my own. If you read into Tom Sloper's lessons/faqs http://sloperama.com/advice.html, for selling your game or game idea he mentions writing down all your game ideas and putting them away. Then, go to school, get a job in the industry, tweak your game(s), rank up in the industry, and then pitch your game (after more tweaking). (I paraphrased btw)

 

The best way for guys like us is to combine education, career opportunities within reach, and actual indie development. I'm constantly looking for some kind of management job to prep myself for the Producer position I want with the AAA studio, here in Maryland. I run my own small asphalt construction business now, but that specific industry sucks. Go to school, learn how to make games on your own, get a team together, make a few games, and live happily ever after on your island! Good luck!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


seeing as I have no actual development experience, I should find a team of (possibly independent) developers and then find an individual or company to sponsor the resources for the development?

 

It depends on what you mean by "should."  What I think you should do is write a business plan and start networking, and learn about what it takes to start a business and build a network.  In the process, you'll figure out what you can do and what you should do.

 


I am aware that if someone invests the money for the production, it is likely that they'll be asking for something around 99% return on all future profits

 

That number sounds high to me.  Start networking, go to business mixers, meet people who've gone through it and find out how much profit investors typically look for.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


I am aware that if someone invests the money for the production, it is likely that they'll be asking for something around 99% return on all future profits

 

That number sounds high to me.  Start networking, go to business mixers, meet people who've gone through it and find out how much profit investors typically look for.

 

 

It would probably based on revenue rather than profits, and probably would be a lower number. While I'm not much of an investor, I probably wouldn't put money into a company whose leader was willing to throw away 99% as it shows the person probably isn't thinking much about how to sustain the company. If there is no plan to sustain the company after the game is released, how big of a risk would it be that the game would never be finished due to running out of money?

 

Treat it like business. "I'm gong to market the shit out of it" isn't really a business plan. How does the money break down? Where does it come from, how will you recoup it? What are you sales projections? What market research do you have that validates these numbers? etc. etc. The other information provided in this thread is a good start.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0