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I need help to understand app design and development

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Hello,

I am new to this forum and new to apps. I have absolutey no idea what is involved in producing an app but i have what I believe is a good idea for a Board-game type app (like scrabble roughly) and would like to get it developed if possible. Could you please advise what  are all the different elements required (coders, graphics etc. etc.etc)

Thanks in anticipation

 

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  1. you have to know the rules of the game.
  2. you have to be familiar with programming. (ex: arrays, functions, data structures)
  3. you have to be familiar with the API you're using (ex: creating a window, reading input)

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graphics are the least of your problems if you haven't got those 3 issues dealt with.

 

It seems from your post that you need to work on the 1st 2 points before moving on to anything else.

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Since you say you have no idea in what is involved in producing an app i would start the answer like this....

 

The way to get the best from this kind of forum is when you start developing something and you have an issue that you want to solve

First Google "developing apps tutorials"  ; to make life easy for now, choose only one from below 

                         http://developer.android.com/training/basics/firstapp/index.html                                                      (android platform)

                         https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/referencelibrary/GettingStarted/DevelopiOSAppsSwift/       (iOS platform)

                         https://developer.chrome.com/apps/first_app

                         https://dev.windows.com/en-us/getstarted                                                                                        (windows platform)

                         https://developer.xamarin.com/guides/cross-platform/application_fundamentals/building_cross_platform_applications/  (cross Platform)

Learn the basics from these sites

Develop your own "hello world" app from here

Next do something slightly more complex than hello world app

Next decide what kind of application category you want and what platform  (games, media video, business/finance, AR...., Android, iOS, windows, cross platform) 

                        since you decided on a board game then Half of this bit is done

Next Google for a simple example of your chosen application and code another "hello world"  following tutorial instructions

                         Make some few modifications and see how things change

                         code some few extensions 

                         when you have exhausted that tutorial site, check another beginner's tutorial site with different "hello world" example and repeat

 When you are confident enough, get more creative and decide on a more complex project .... start coding and when you have issues/problems /bugs/theoretical questions ..... you can post here 

 

BTW you gave no clues as to whether you know any programming language yet. If can't code yet then your first step should be learning a language such as Java or C#

 

This way you would get the best of both worlds  (Googled online tutorial resource and forums like gamedev or stackoverflow)

 

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Hello All,

Thanks very much for your replies but, my apologies, I didn't make myself clear. While I would love to be able to do all the things you advise, I have absolutely no aptidude or understanding of all the technology involved and not a hope in hell of being able to do it myself.

 

I know of/have heard of programmers, coders, graphic artists etc but have no idea what they do but presumably are required along with many others.

 

I guess what I am asking is, If I needed to get a development team together to produce a board game type app, in the style of say Scrabble, Monopoly or Battleship, what would be all the different disciplines and support needed.

 

Best regards. 

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I guess what I am asking is, If I needed to get a development team together to produce a board game type app, in the style of say Scrabble, Monopoly or Battleship, what would be all the different disciplines and support needed.


For a game that small, a single decent programmer, a single decent artist, a single decent composer/sound-designer, and 6-10 months time.
The programmer you'll hire at about $50,000 for eight months full-time work, and then you'll subcontract out to the artist and sound-dude at whatever rates they decide. Let's say $5000 each, so $60,000 total.

You can do it cheaper than that, but you run the risk of wasting money in a poor programmer, or hiring good artists and composers to make stuff you don't actually need or have to get remade. If you gain knowledge, you know what you can cheap out on, but if you don't have knowledge, trying to cheap out on things may actually cost you money in the long run, if you spend money on things that actually get wasted because they aren't usable in the final product.

 

If I was making your product myself, I'd do the programming myself, taking me six months of full-time work, and I'd do the art myself, and I'd use a mix of contracted-out music and stock sounds, probably spending $500 on the audio.

 

You could probably hire a programmer for $10,000 or less, but you'd have zero clue whether he's competent or not, and he may *think* he's skilled, get six months into the project, and then quit because everything is a buggy glitchy mess of poor code.

 

And the app market is so crowded, it's very easy to get buried by the hundreds of other apps out there, so you might not get any sales. Word-of-mouth alone doesn't get you enough attention, even for an amazing game.

 

This is the more pessimistic view. The more knowledge you gain about the development process and skills involved, the more optimistic the picture gets.

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Hello all, thank you so much for your info, much appreciated.

Obviously the costs you mention are very prohibitive and I wonder do any developers work on a profit sharing basis? 

If so I would be happy to confidentially explain/discuss the game to see if it would be worth doing.

Regards

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Obviously the costs you mention are very prohibitive and I wonder do any developers work on a profit sharing basis? 

 

In general:

Large studios hire their employees, and subcontract out work to professional contractors. No profit sharing (except between the studio company and the publisher company).

Experienced professionals who personally know other proven experienced professionals occasionally team up and share profits. Experienced professionals don't do profit sharing with inexperienced professionals. They also subcontract out work to professionals.

Small indies do the work themselves, and subcontract out work when they can. They subcontract out to professionals and non-professionals (much cheaper, but much lower quality).

Amateurs don't know what they are doing, and try to share profits, and rarely even manage to finish a project.

 

Very few profit-sharing projects between non-professionals have actually been successful. None immediately come to mind, but there may be some here or there.

 

You can still try anyway. The more knowledge you have, and the more work you're capable of doing, the more likely you'll be able to release something.

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You can still try anyway. The more knowledge you have, and the more work you're capable of doing, the more likely you'll be able to release something.

 

Quoted for truth. If you want anything done without having the money to pay someone to do it, you gotta do it yourself.

 

If you have money, but not enough to throw out of the window, try to do it yourself first before paying anyone to do the job... that way you know exactly what you need when the time comes and you want to hire someone, and the money spent will be much more effective as you will have less duds produced you still need to pay for.

 

 

This means, yes, you need to learn to program, and you need to learn to produce art. But luckily for you, a) your target projects requirements are rather modest both on the programming and arts side (at least if you keep the art on common mobile 2D standarts and don't plan to do anything fancy on the technical side), and b) you can always try to find free and stock art to supplement what you cannot produce yourself, and use third party / open source, and copy-pasta code to cover your coding weaknesses.

 

Why would you still need to learn programming and art basics when you can get stuff of the internet for low prices or free (as long as you don't expect top quality)? Well, because somebody has to hack that mishmash of styles and code into a coherent whole. Guess who that person is unless you can pay someone else to do it.

 

 

so TL; DR: learn programming basics, and look into art. You do not need to be John Carmack or Michelangelo to produce simple code or art for a simple game. And given that you want to continue working in game development, be it as a hobbyist, Indie or in a bigger Studio, all skills you can bring to the table will help you develop games and landing a job.

 

If you want to work in a team, then

1. Make sure everyone is in the team for the same reason, and the right reason. At your stage, that is to learn, not to create games. Games created at this stage are just tools to help you learning.

2. Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to "benefits"... if you must do shady profit-sharing schemes, do it. But upfront. Better yet, make it clear that the project will not make a penny (chances are very good it will not), and make it a free / open source project from the start. You will get many more people ready to help for free this way.

3. Copyrights... make sure that rights to everyones work is cleared up at the start. Else somebody vanishes from the project, and with him you might lose the right to use his work.

4. Don't expect too much. You will most probably fail or run into problems with your first project, and chances are good your team will not survive the first failure... when people are not paid, they don't take such things too well.

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Don't be the idea guy! Bring some skills into the team that actually matter. Yes, doing the game design can be superimportant, and writing 200 pages of story is also cool... but when the team struggles with technical hurdles and getting the art assets done, you might want to be helpful to team, especially if you are a small team, especially when nobody has much time to work on the project, and especially when you are kind of the team lead. I am not saying that working full steam on the game design so everyone else can concentrate on other topics is not helping... but is it visible enough for the rest of the team that you are actually doing a very important job when we are talking about newbies?

 

This is where programming or art skills become important, because in a small hobbyist team, these skills will be highly sought after. Everyone thinks he or she is a game designer even though he or she might suck at it... most people that suck at art or programming have little trouble of knowing and acknowledging that.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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