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Wild West MMO/RPG

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I am current college student with some experience with game design and animation, as well as a huge gamer. I am big fan of the Battlefield and Battlefront games as well as Rockstar games including Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto. I have a been developing a game idea with of mixture of these games and aspects/components. The game idea itself has been broken down into 3 paragraphs explaining the setting and or motive of the game, the game components which includes graphics, game engines, servers, etc. Lastly multiplayer and networking.

 

For the setting, the game takes place in the mid 1800s when both the gold rush and expansion of trade and railroads were becoming prominent in the west. Similar to Red Dead Redemption map where some areas of the west were arid based of location. I pictured the game being based off the Mexican territory and state of Texas which today would be modern day West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and parts of the Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Now the motive for the game would be similar to Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto online. Except the differences of currency, vehicles, resources, etc. For example say you wanted to do a heist similar to robbing a bank or prison on Grand Theft Auto. You would take posse (like a crew but in the wild west) and rob a bank at a saloon or train via horseback or bandwagon. I picture the game to have a wild west vibe to it. Now onto to resources and currency. Back then trading and being a criminal were very taboo but those were not always ways to make money. If anyone is familiar with GTA Online, there are jobs, races, missions that you can partake in online that helps raises level to gain access to weapons, new means of transportation, etc.

 

Now for the interesting part, DICE and Frostbite are known for their popular game engines and graphics. If anyone is familiar with Battlefront, I noticed that the developers really paid attention to environments and maps within the games. The texture qualities and game engines all seem to be fit perfectly together. For example for the Tatooine level, is highly detailed with the rock formations and texturing is just superb. I kind of envisioned DICE and Frostbite crossed with Rockstar to develop the game. I know the game would required a massive amount of data and memory to render a lot of the stuff in the game but game production takes time and that's understandable. Grand Theft Auto V is also known for the decent graphics. So overall at Rockstar base of environment and open world but with the help of DICE and Frostbite adding to the detailing of the game, this includes the FPS and third person view option as well. Lastly, the multiplayer. Pretty much straightforward, just like the servers and online experience in Red Dead Redemption and GTA Online the game would hold the same networking and online gameplay. So, in conclusion, basically a MMO/RPG with the same operatives and objectives as GTA V and Red Dead but with the help and of Frostbite and DICE to pitch in with the mechanics and game engines.

 

Not really familiar with too much of the gaming industry but I am open to positive and negative criticism, so feel free to add on or discuss how this idea can be made even better or actually make it to the screen! Tell me what you guys think!

 

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It's funny, but people usually post just about anything in the Game Design forum, not realizing that
programming and art aren't Game Design. Your post, on the other hand, was in For Beginners, a technical
forum, but your post is about Game Design! So I'm moving it to Game Design.

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basically a MMO/RPG with the same operatives and objectives as GTA V and Red Dead but with the help and of
Frostbite and DICE to pitch in with the mechanics and game engines.


On second thought, I'm not so sure your post is indeed about the game's design. You wrote about the
background and genre and textures, without much about the gameplay: the play mechanics. But the quoted part
here, about getting two well-known companies involved in your concept - not sure what that is, except
maybe unrealistic dreaming. You need to compartmentalize your thinking. The game's design describes the
events and player choices and the player's goal. The art design describes the art style and the art tools
and mentions exemplars. The business plan is entirely separate, and you shouldn't plan to get multiple
different companies to partner up in a grand mishmosh of developers. One company will develop the game,
but you can't plan what company that will be. You need to decide the monetization method, and thus the
first platform, for your concept.

You say your idea is in 3 paragraphs (I assume you did not give us those 3 paragraphs here). 3 paragraphs
is not a standard concept size. You need to create a logline, an elevator pitch, a 2-page concept, and a
treatment of 10-20 pages. No need to commit to a full GDD until someone is interested in investing in the
game based on the treatment.

BTW, you probably misused the word "experience." The industry defines experience as having held a job in
the industry.

And lastly, you misused the word "posse." A posse, in wild west terms, is a group of temporarily deputized men aiding a law
enforcement officer in hunting down some criminals. A group of men involved in criminal enterprise is
usually called a "gang." Edited by Tom Sloper

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basically a MMO/RPG with the same operatives and objectives as GTA V and Red Dead but with the help and of
Frostbite and DICE to pitch in with the mechanics and game engines.


On second thought, I'm not so sure your post is indeed about the game's design. You wrote about the
background and genre and textures, without much about the gameplay: the play mechanics. But the quoted part
here, about getting two well-known companies involved in your concept - not sure what that is, except
maybe unrealistic dreaming. You need to compartmentalize your thinking. The game's design describes the
events and player choices and the player's goal. The art design describes the art style and the art tools
and mentions exemplars. The business plan is entirely separate, and you shouldn't plan to get multiple
different companies to partner up in a grand mishmosh of developers. One company will develop the game,
but you can't plan what company that will be. You need to decide the monetization method, and thus the
first platform, for your concept.

You say your idea is in 3 paragraphs (I assume you did not give us those 3 paragraphs here). 3 paragraphs
is not a standard concept size. You need to create a logline, an elevator pitch, a 2-page concept, and a
treatment of 10-20 pages. No need to commit to a full GDD until someone is interested in investing in the
game based on the treatment.

BTW, you probably misused the word "experience." The industry defines experience as having held a job in
the industry.

And lastly, you misused the word "posse." A posse, in wild west terms, is a group of temporarily deputized men aiding a law
enforcement officer in hunting down some criminals. A group of men involved in criminal enterprise is
usually called a "gang."

 

 

All this is understandable. I agree with most of your criticism. On the other hand I should compartmentalize my wording into more specifics. My experience is based off of modeling and animation (separate from the game idea itself) but have just imagined different ideas within my experience on other topics. But, again thank you for your criticism and please feel free to give any more information or criticism. I welcome it especially since I am new to all of this.  

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I don't think even if Rockstar, Dice and Frostbite teamed up with a $500 million usd budget they wouldn't be able to make this game.

 

You are ambitious, that's good but have you even attempted a small online game?

 

Two months ago I launched a small demo of a online game, huge step for me.

First, there are nice affordable servers, it's a good thing because when you host a demo for over 10 bots and 8 people(at max playing at the same time) it's nice to know it's only costing $40 usd.

 

Note, it was a trail and not many people was told about the game, I didn't want to flood the server; still only 8 people and one of them was me!

By the time word got around, our time with the server expired.

 

In hindsight I should have just hosted using a free hosting site for the demo, I was too ambitious. It did end up costing $252 to run the game for the month,as we discovered many bugs.

It turns out that programming a game to run online, using only a extra PC to run as a dedicated server while programming, didn't reveal all the things that we would have to deal with.

 

 

My advise is make a small tech demo first, that way you can get a good idea of the art style you want and lunch it online just to feel how it feels to run a online game.

A tech demo will also help gain funding for this project.

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Start small, slowly increase the scale and see how far you get.

 

And hone your skills while doing that... probably at SOME point in some years, you might be in a BETTER position to work on SOMETHING that gets NEARER to what you described above, than if you keep dreaming about that.

 

 

There are some fundamental flaws in your OP that shows you lack a ton of expierience essential for game development:

 

1) Most important: MMOs usually are big projects for 100+ man sized teams. They need huge expensive server farms to run. And the amount of sales / subscribers needed to pay off that huge investment is huge.

So neither is it something suited as entry level project, nor do you have a big chance ever working on ANY MMO project unless you start building your portfolio, get a relevant degree, work your ass off to get one of the few open positions in a big studio, work your ass off to climb the ladder there somewhat and then be at the right place at the right time when a studio somewhere is foolish enough / hits the right timing to be working on a big AAA MMO again.

 

2) The engine you mentioned are inhouse engines. Chances that you could get access to those is slim.

And really, there is no point in even trying to do so. There are more than enough really good 3D engines available for free you can build your game in, without making much compromise on visual quality or performance.

Unity 3D is a powerhouse for beginners, if you are more dedicated or more expierienced Unreal Engine is just as good if not better in some aspects, and if you really want to be challenged, you could give CryEngine a spin, though my personal opinion is that this engine is an overhyped engine not nearly as comfortable to develop for as players give it credit for the awesome visuals it produces (which is mostly down to good art assets).

 

3) Forget AAA. Really. Scratch everything the big names in the industry did off your radar. You will never achieve that, not on your own, especially not with your current amount of expierience.

IF you have some more years of expierience AND can either assemble a small team, OR can dedicate 5+ years of your life working on your game, you could pick ONE thing AAA games do, make it the centerpoint of your game design, and cut the rest.

 

You think shooting in RDR is great? Make a western shooter! Polish it so the shooting is fun like hell. Now cut exploration, cut Saloon shenigans, cut most of the story and other stuff that would use up valuable dev time and concentrate on doing one thing right.

 

Everything but the kitchen sink designs are great when you have 100m $ to waste. Even then, they are quite risky. More focused expieriences cost less, and while not having the potential to reach such a wide audience, usually do better with the niche player it does reach.

 

4) Never, ever make a "Game X, but with Y from game Z" design. Comparing to other games MIGHT be good for an elevator pitch to gamers. But you also risk now directly pointing the crowd at what games your game should compare to... and people finding out it compares not very favourably.

Then you fall into the trap many such non-designs fall into. Instead of describing how the game should work, you point me to look up how RDR and GTA work. That is inexact, and does not tell me much about how YOUR game should work.

I get the gut feeling the reason is because you only have a vague idea yourself.

 

How about starting documenting your design, and really noting down how everything should work instead of referencing other games? That might also give you the "mental breathing space" to put this design aside for now and concentrate on more productive things. Like learning the basics. Or working on smaller games for now.

Or looking up on the development scale of the games you were talking about up there just to get a feeling on how grossly you are overscoping things.

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Start small, slowly increase the scale and see how far you get.

 

And hone your skills while doing that... probably at SOME point in some years, you might be in a BETTER position to work on SOMETHING that gets NEARER to what you described above, than if you keep dreaming about that.

 

 

There are some fundamental flaws in your OP that shows you lack a ton of expierience essential for game development:

 

1) Most important: MMOs usually are big projects for 100+ man sized teams. They need huge expensive server farms to run. And the amount of sales / subscribers needed to pay off that huge investment is huge.

So neither is it something suited as entry level project, nor do you have a big chance ever working on ANY MMO project unless you start building your portfolio, get a relevant degree, work your ass off to get one of the few open positions in a big studio, work your ass off to climb the ladder there somewhat and then be at the right place at the right time when a studio somewhere is foolish enough / hits the right timing to be working on a big AAA MMO again.

 

2) The engine you mentioned are inhouse engines. Chances that you could get access to those is slim.

And really, there is no point in even trying to do so. There are more than enough really good 3D engines available for free you can build your game in, without making much compromise on visual quality or performance.

Unity 3D is a powerhouse for beginners, if you are more dedicated or more expierienced Unreal Engine is just as good if not better in some aspects, and if you really want to be challenged, you could give CryEngine a spin, though my personal opinion is that this engine is an overhyped engine not nearly as comfortable to develop for as players give it credit for the awesome visuals it produces (which is mostly down to good art assets).

 

3) Forget AAA. Really. Scratch everything the big names in the industry did off your radar. You will never achieve that, not on your own, especially not with your current amount of expierience.

IF you have some more years of expierience AND can either assemble a small team, OR can dedicate 5+ years of your life working on your game, you could pick ONE thing AAA games do, make it the centerpoint of your game design, and cut the rest.

 

You think shooting in RDR is great? Make a western shooter! Polish it so the shooting is fun like hell. Now cut exploration, cut Saloon shenigans, cut most of the story and other stuff that would use up valuable dev time and concentrate on doing one thing right.

 

Everything but the kitchen sink designs are great when you have 100m $ to waste. Even then, they are quite risky. More focused expieriences cost less, and while not having the potential to reach such a wide audience, usually do better with the niche player it does reach.

 

4) Never, ever make a "Game X, but with Y from game Z" design. Comparing to other games MIGHT be good for an elevator pitch to gamers. But you also risk now directly pointing the crowd at what games your game should compare to... and people finding out it compares not very favourably.

Then you fall into the trap many such non-designs fall into. Instead of describing how the game should work, you point me to look up how RDR and GTA work. That is inexact, and does not tell me much about how YOUR game should work.

I get the gut feeling the reason is because you only have a vague idea yourself.

 

How about starting documenting your design, and really noting down how everything should work instead of referencing other games? That might also give you the "mental breathing space" to put this design aside for now and concentrate on more productive things. Like learning the basics. Or working on smaller games for now.

Or looking up on the development scale of the games you were talking about up there just to get a feeling on how grossly you are overscoping things.

 

Sounds like a good place to start thanks for the criticism! I'm going to start actually looking into development!

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As stated above several times, you need a reality check to see if it is practically possible.

 

And if I were trying to make such game, I'd go 2D. Actually nowadays I am very interested in style of Starbound and Stardew Valley. Assets are far more indie friendly and it has potential imo.

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