Looking to Hire a Team

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I currently have the funding available to produce my own video game. Now I have never done anything like this but I have the vision and all the ideas. I dont have any exoerience in building games from any real perspective except that I have been playing them since I was 9 and I am now 40. I know what I want and I am an experienced business man. I have around $250,000 available and I want to use the Unreal Engine. WHats my first step to finding talented programmers, artists, sound engineers, etc...? I want to make an episodic adventure game based on the Hebrew Scriptures. But I want them to look and feel like Assassins Creed or Bioshock Infinite but I want strong world ineraction and heavily driven story. 1. Is it reasonable to try and develop this kind of game in 6 months with this kind of investment? Even if its a Beta that we release? 2. How many programmers, artist would I need? (Rough guesstimate at best?) 3. Would I also need to hire a game designer?? 3. How should I ago about posting for this so that it appears legit. I really intend to do this even though I dont have experience in making a game. 4. Do you think my inexperience will be a hindrance even though I have the money and office space and equipment? Anything else you cna pass my way to me get started would be great!! Share this post Link to post Share on other sites Advertisement From the very very little I know about all of this, I'll give my opinion. 1. A 6 month dev time for those kind of assets seems crazy to me, but I've only worked on my own tiny projects. 2. A bare bones team might be this. --You, the manager/producer --A game design, level design, script writer --FX oriented artist --Modeling oriented artist --AI oriented programmer --Perhaps another general programmer --Sound engineer 3. I feel that an experienced game designer can really help a game. Sort of how a ship's crew can sail but a proper captain can give direction. 4. (3?) There are forums for everything. If you learn a little about each craft you can find all the forums you need to approach these people. Also check into local game jams. 5ish. Experience is always a good thing. You could make an epic game with 25k. Maybe do a smaller project to get your feet wet. Take all that with a grain of salt since I'm a noob with a few soul projects of my own. Share this post Link to post Share on other sites 1) I want to say HELL NO! But it really depends on what you actually mean by episodic. I will still say HELL NO though since games like the ones you listed have upwards of 300+ people working on the game. I went to an animation talk by one of the leads on Assassin's Creed 3 a year ago and he stated that the development team size was over 300 people. Assuming you want to make a game 1/10th the size of assassin's creed, you would need 30 people for a year (this is really a rough estimate since 30 good people would be more than 1/10th of the productivity of that team). Assuming the average salary is$50,000 yearly (which is low for experienced people, but a lot of the 300 are low wage QA), that is already 1.5 million dollars and you haven't spent a dollar on marketing.

Another thing to consider is that while Assassin's Creed comes out every year now, the original definitely would have had a lot of pre-production time. Definitely more than 6 months.

Unreal allows for free use in lieu of royalties paid (I've never used unreal so I'm only going by anecdotes). The royalties are quite a bit for a big company, but for a small budget they are very reasonable and remove a lot of financial risk.

You really need to better define the scope of your project to get a real estimate of the work involved. If you know the size of the world, or the number of levels, and the number of characters, and the level of quality of the artwork (among countless other things including audio), THEN you can start to break down the game into hours of work, which can then be converted to salary. There are of course other costs, such as servers for version control repositories, and equipment.

Lastly, even if you did work out the cost and it fits your budget (which seems impossible to do if you have no experience), who is going to hire the employees? You? How would you know who can do the job?

2) It really depends on the scope of the game. A game with one character and one enemy type in one environment takes much less to build than a game with several main characters fighting dozens of enemy types across 30 environments. You need to define your scope. You can easily develop something interesting with one programmer, and one artist, but it's definitely not going to be on the level or scope of a AAA title. Going by your description, I would guess you'd need at least 5 programmers, 5 animators

, 10 artists, 10 QA members, plus whatever designers you feel your need (probably 1 for a team that small), all relatively experienced (and therefore pricey).

3) Because you've never worked on a game before, I would suggest it, and I would learn as much as possible from them. Or find a programmer who shares some of your passion and can help you clarify your designs into something the rest of your team can work with.

Other 3) If you don't have a track record, money talks. It's also best to have working prototypes, concept art and high quality design documents to show you're serious. I would strongly recommend hiring a small experienced team (i.e. an experienced artist, animator and programmer) and working on a very small (very high quality) vertical slice of your game. I would then use this to entice other people to invest (either through investors or some crowd funding campaign). Only then would I commit to hiring more people to build the final vision of the game.

4) I think your inexperience is mainly a hinderance in terms of hiring the right people. Getting a small competent (experienced) prototyping team who you grow to trust would be my suggestion as they could then help out in the hiring process when your team is ready to jump into making the actual game.

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This does NOT belong in the Job Advice board (all the stickies at the top of the Job Advice board should have made that abundantly clear). Moving it to Production/Management.
Also, the title "Looking to Hire a Team" is a red flag (smacks of a recruiting post). A better title would be "Questions about hiring a team."

1. Is it reasonable to try and develop this kind of game in 6 months with this kind of investment? Even if its a Beta that we release?
2. How many programmers, artist would I need? (Rough guesstimate at best?)
3. Would I also need to hire a game designer??
3. How should I ago about posting for this so that it appears legit. I really intend to do this even though I dont have experience in making a game.
4. Do you think my inexperience will be a hindrance even though I have the money and office space and equipment?

1. To get it to look and feel like a triple-A game, with someone at the helm who has never worked in games before, will take at minimum two years. Beta in a year and a half.
2. Look at the credits of a game of similar scope to yours.
3. Yes. More than one.
4. Yes. It absolutely will. Edited by Tom Sloper

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Do you have a game design document?
Do you have the main team? ex a programmer, designer, writter and if you can, a sound guy?

It feels that you don't really know what excaly you want to do, I love that you have a budget and right now it feels that your scope is really huge and for Odin sake, don't stop, start by get your core team together, should be people you know or got good referal from, this is the people who will help you make the game from start to finish. With your core team, make a Game Design Document, wiki has a good outline to start with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_design_document

This is for development and why so few people? becuase it's cheap to do with a few people to get the core game, figure out what you need to make your game, what the game is about? what mechanics and events will be included? whats our Wish, want and need list?

Have you looked into using Unity? This is form me a indy production and Unity has a bigger support for indie and also a bigger support for it as well, both regarding community and addons for the program.

Hope it helps =)

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First off I really want to thank all of you for the amazing insight and support you have given me. Thank you for taking the time to help me and give me direction in this venture.

csliva that is excellent information. I have discovered that this is the direction I need to go. Everything you said is spot on with what I have been discovering.

cardinal, what can I say but WOW!!! Thank you for being so direct and giving me so much information!! In regards to making this game I have heard and read some information in regards to Unity. COuldnt I make a bigger game with all the assets the Unity store can provide me and how efficient that engine seems to be at making games? It looks like something along the lines of a smaller version of Legend of Zelda can be produced with a small team and some financial investment using Unity. Am I correct in that regard? This is what someone else suggested on another forum:

"I've made a couple of small games with little to no budget. Lately I've been lucky to have a little money to spend and I've found, especially for the individual working alone, Unity is a great source if your looking for ease and speed of development on the cheap. The asset store is unbelievably cheap(compared to the cost of hiring someone to produce the content) and often if you contact the artist/designer of a model or rig they will make you something custom ( or at least different enough to not look like the same thing that's in another game) for a fairly reasonable price. Seriously, for under $1000 you an get some major resources that would equate to hundreds of hours of dev time." Once again thank you for all the information you gave it is absolutely awesome and just what I needed to work through. Tom Sloper Sorry I didnt realize how terrible it looked posting that message the way I did. I wasn't trying to do anything else but get information. Thank you for not booting me and for moving this to a different forum!! Also thank you for the information you provided as well!! HeroBiX A game design document....Great Idea!!! Like I said I dont know anything about this but it looks like I need a team already assembled to start working on a design document. What do you think? Or should I just do one anyway? And yes what you said helps and also makes me really curious about what I can actually do with Unity. I think I need to call the people at Unity and see if they have any resources for someone like me. Thank you again everyone for all the help!! Share this post Link to post Share on other sites it looks like I need a team already assembled to start working on a design document. What do you think? Or should I just do one anyway? It doesn't take a team to write a design document. You absolutely need a design document before anyone can start working on the game. Typical process: 1. GDD (you can write this) 2. TDD (you can't write this) 3. Start work. Finding the team can happen after 1 and before 2. Have you got your business plan written yet? (Do you know how you're going to make money once the game is done, and what is to become of the team once the game is done?) Some reading: http://sloperama.com/advice/specs.htm http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson10.htm http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson16.htm http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm http://sloperama.com/advice/finances.htm Edited by Tom Sloper Share this post Link to post Share on other sites Thanks Tom for filling in =) Unity have a free version and on there website you have a lot of information already and I'm sure if you goolge Unity vs Unreal, you will find people ocmparing the two Share this post Link to post Share on other sites I'm an experienced Unreal developer, and frequently work on freelance projects with people in these situations. One of the first problems is expectation -$250k is not a lot of money as far as developing a game is concerned, which means you have to have your project scope small. This means that the answers to all your questions are going to be a reality check.

Think less about Bioshock or Assassin's Creed, those games have budgets that are a hundred times your own. Instead look at projects like these, which all likely had budgets in the same order of magnitude as your own, then come back. If a much smaller game suits you, then you may be in a position to start talking.

1. Is it reasonable to try and develop this kind of game in 6 months with this kind of investment? Even if its a Beta that we release?

No. 6 months is too short a time to develop anything polished unless it is simple and / or lacks a lot of content. Money will also not be an adequate substitute for time, nor do you have enough in the first place. Games like the ones you're dreaming of take around 2-3 years to build, with well established and experienced teams.

2. How many programmers, artist would I need? (Rough guesstimate at best?)

To complete what you're asking for, it's hard to say. Those teams employ a lot of people - usually exceeding a hundred, and often exceeding two-hundred. This number could be increased dramatically if we start considering the third parties and outsourcers involved.

3. Would I also need to hire a game designer??

As a non-game developer with no practical experience, you are almost guaranteed to fail without one. You should instead expect to take a role more akin to a Venture Capitalist, but with some input; you will realistically want a minimal controlling stake in the product. The people you're working with may be on your pay-roll, but it's often likely they'll know best.

3. How should I ago about posting for this so that it appears legit. I really intend to do this even though I dont have experience in making a game.

Start reading and researching now. Your lack of knowledge is very apparent, which puts you in a very weak position to helm any kind of development team, money or not.

4. Do you think my inexperience will be a hindrance even though I have the money and office space and equipment?

Yes. Most freelance developers have their own work space and equipment, and will be working remotely. Inexperience is killer if you're expecting any measure of control over the project - you will genuinely get in the way.

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Like stated above several times, a GDD is not a great idea but it is a must. And considering budget limits, you(r team) have to design game scalable with MVP (minimum viable product).

I know some (closeish) people from France working on a MMO, it took a year and quarter million Euro for them realize they were too ambitious and had to abandon project.

Edited by Unduli

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