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edhalsim

Hello. Have idea, what's next?

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I'm new to gamedev. I'm a tech team lead in the business world but don't have any real experience in game dev.

I have an idea for a first person game that I'd like to explore getting developed by an indie team. I think the idea is somewhat unique; it has elements of FPS, but largely it involves interaction with NPCs. I have several scenes mapped out.

The initial goal would be to come up wth a playable prototype that I could show. I would think any 3D engine like Source would suffice.

I'm self funded. I'm looking for some idea what the steps are to bring this to fruition. I'm thinking indie rather than trying to hire a firm but other than a level designer I don't know what I'll need. For the prototype I only need basic people models.

Thank you for your time
Ed

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If I were you I'd look into unity or unreal... namely their asset stores to see if you could afford / like some models to get you up and running.  Will you be programming or just doing design?  You'd need AI and game logic programmers if you're not gonna code that... you'll need more but you'll need that to get you up and running with a prototype.

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I'm thinking indie rather than trying to hire a firm but other than a level designer I don't know what I'll need. For the prototype I only need basic people models.

FWIW indie developers are still businesses... just small ones smile.png
 
If your skills don't include programming, you'll need one of those, and an artist/animator for your basic models.
If you are a programmer, then get started by yourself and start fleshing it out before looking for helpers.
 
You can advertise on sites like this (this site's section is here), or if there's gamedevs in your local area, you might have better luck speaking to some in person. If there's an IGDA chapter in your area, their meetups might be a good place to meet other developers -- my local one is mostly attended by indies and students.
I'm not sure what country you're in, but for example, here in Aus we have a kind of lobby group, who is often approached by idea/money people looking to be connected with development people. Any local organisations like that might be able to help you find local small businesses who can meet with you to see if you're on the same wavelength.
Alternatively, you can outsource it to China/India/Vietnam/Philippines/etc... but that's not the best plan if your product needs any kind of iteration, communication, guidance, direction, etc...

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Thanks for the input. I should have mentioned I'm in Dallas TX. I've done games in 2d before but nothing in 3D so I'll need help there unless there are good tutorials on how to do 3D level design. I'll see if I can find an IGDA chapter or other group locally.

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if i'm not mistaken, unity supposedly is a bit more user friendly, and unreal has better support for large levels/worlds.

 

so it sounds like unity plus some asset store models ( preferably rigged and animated ) would be the way to go. or team up with an artist if assets are too expensive, or download blender and some public domain assets and watch some youtube tutorials and do it yourself, its not that hard - especially for prototype quality graphics. level design is akin to a 3D paint program, so you can slap together something yourself easily enough. then you can get on with coding NPC behaviors via unity scripts, which is the crux of your game.

 

 

or if you want to prototype the NPC behavior without worrying about skinned meshes, just make everything a cube. if a game is cool when everything is just a cube, it'll be even cooler with real graphics. i'd definitely consider this before dropping big bucks on assets if i didn't have deep pockets. obviously skinned meshes work in unity, no need to prototype that. and you don't really need pretty skinned meshes to test NPC interactions, other than for stuff like tackling and blocking animations in sports titles. so you may want to prototype your NPC interactions first, then worry about skinned meshes if and only if the NPC interactions prototype looks viable.

 

the trick in game development is to worry about what you don't know, not what you do know. you know a game engine can do skinned meshes. you know asset store stuff can be used (at least as a staring point). you know a 3d artist can do models and animations. you also now know its possible to do it yourself with blender etc (if you didn't know this before).  what you don't know is the NPC interaction stuff that calls for a prototype. so just worry about that, and pick an appropriate skinned mesh solution if and when the time comes. IE after you prototype the NPC gameplay stuff with as little graphics as possible - and the gameplay in the prototype looks promising enough to continue further work.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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