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Serious Question needs serious logical feedback

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Should I build a game for a bigger company that is already successful, with many sources that can help produce the game? Or should I kick start the game and get funds to make the game and hope I can be successful on my own?

 

First option. Saves a lot of time with game development, advertising will be funded by the company, risk of rejection but if accepted, I will gain a small portion of the revenue.

 

Second option. Takes a lot of hard work to organize a good team, hope kickstarter provides the funds or its a lot of free time until published, a huge portion of revenue goes to myself.

 

Now, the way I see it, maybe both are good options and it comes down to less time for less money and getting over the fear of rejection or a lot more time and a lot more money with fear of advertising not being enough to get the game going.

 

What would you do? Build a game for a successful company already that will add to their business? Or make the game on your own, using your own art and your own sources?

 

Does anyone have experience with option 1 or option 2? I think I will try option 1 and if it fails go to option 2 cause option 1, if accepted is a lot less money but if it does really well, a lot less money can still be $100k or more for the game.

 

Please don't ask for specifics for my game. I'm not interested in sending my idea off because I can't win the race if I compete against someone with an already organized team and I have already put in a good amount of time into the project myself. I can manipulate the project to be for another company if I want to and hope they like it so I can work for them and be successful.  

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For #1, are you talking about going to an existing game developer with an idea, and asking them to buy the idea from you (with payment as royalties on the project revenue)?

In my experience, that isn't likely to happen, unless the deal is that you pay them upfront to build the game.

There's a few reasons for this:

* Accepting ideas from the public is a risk. People who have sent them ideas might try to sue them for "stealing" those ideas. e.g. what if they're already working on a tower defense game and I show them my idea for a tower defense game? When theirs comes out, I'm going to say that they stole from me... So many companies immediately delete any game ideas that are sent to them.

* Most game developers do not have very much money. Most exist as "work for hire", where they need to be paid up-front in order to be able to build anything. If they are lucky enough to be in a financial position to be able to work from their own savings, they'll probably want to be working on their own amazing ideas.

* Everyone has their own game ideas -- so when you do end up in a position where you can afford to run your own games team, most people are excited to finally get to build their own ideas that they've been holding onto for decades.

 

The alternative is that you can go to a games publisher (not developer) and ask them for money. The problem with this plan is that while publishers do have money to fund projects, they do not have a development team. If you're going to go to a publisher with a pitch, asking for funding, they will want to see the resumes of the core staff members who will be building the product. They will want proof of your capability.

 

Option #2 is much the same as going to a publisher and asking for money, but the general public is the publisher. You still need to demonstrate that you have the capability to actually build the game (usually via a nice video of a prototype).

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Ok, good response. I'm actually not offended from the response like I usually get from this site.

 

Well, my information isn't specific enough... maybe Ill have to give a good example.

 

Ok, here is an example. Blizzard is a huge successful company. They already have popular games. So I build a game using their popular game they already have, lets say diablo. I want to call my game diablo 4. I want to through at them a huge pitch on all the ideas i have for diablo 4, i want to help build the diablo 4 version.

 

Is this example good enough? Or do I need to go more in depth?

 

You said that they are looking to use "my team". thats the biggest reason i go to them is to get a team. maybe thats not how they work, but if the idea is presented very well, not just the ideas, but the art work is accomplished, with a full out playable design in front of them, all that needs to be done is to transfer it to be a program, is this logically reasonable? Or is it just better off to go do my own thing? Does this help? 

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I want to through at them a huge pitch on all the ideas i have for diablo 4, i want to help build the diablo 4 version.
That sounds a lot like a job application. Keep in mind that game designer is one of the hardest positions to land. What are you experiences with programming, graphics or audio?

 

There are a few examples of people picking up/licensing abandoned franchises, and running a kickstarter to reboot the franchise. There is certainly also a wide selection of franchises, that is not tied to a certain developer, where established game companies can bid on the project (a lot of non-game franchises works like that).

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Ok, here is an example. Blizzard is a huge successful company. They already have popular games. So I build a game using their popular game they already have, lets say diablo. I want to call my game diablo 4. I want to through at them a huge pitch on all the ideas i have for diablo 4, i want to help build the diablo 4 version.

 

Taking this in isolation. As Diablo is an existing franchise that is continuously being worked on internally, they won't even read or listen to your pitch to protect themselves legally for claims against them. As VildNinja mentioned, this sounds more like you want to work for X company as a designer.

 

Some developers do outsource some of the smaller projects or ports to other teams/companies (EA used to this a lot with handheld and mobile titles) as a contract so that could be a possibility. 

Edited by yaustar

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Should I build a game for a bigger company that is already successful, with many sources that can
help produce the game? Or should I kick start the game and get funds to make the game and hope I can
be successful on my own?

This is not a job advice question. Working on one's own like this is more of a business paradigm,
so I'm moving this thread to Business.

For #1, are you talking about going to an existing game developer with an idea, and asking them to
buy the idea from you (with payment as royalties on the project revenue)?

He didn't mention developers. As you noted, Hodgman, only publishers have money to buy games and
pay royalties.

So I build a game using their popular game they already have, lets say diablo. I want to call my
game diablo 4. I want to through at them a huge pitch on all the ideas i have for diablo 4, i want
to help build the diablo 4 version.

You mustn't start work on an existing game without the prior cooperation of the owner of the in-
tellectual property. It's a bad idea for a huge number of reasons. You think they'll welcome your
coming to them with a finished product? Wrong. Best case, they'll critique it to death, and say
no because of a number of things they find contrary to their canon or their vision, and not pay
(you spent all that money for naught).

but if the idea is presented very well, not just the ideas, but the art work is accomplished, with
a full out playable design in front of them, all that needs to be done is to transfer it to be a
program, is this logically reasonable?

A full GDD is not worth that much. When you say "the art work is accomplished," does that mean you
have fully articulated 3D models with fully detailed skins? Or does that mean concept art? And when
you say "all that needs to be done is to transfer it to a program," you're saying "all that needs
to be done is the vast majority of the work, effort, and cost." Edited by Tom Sloper

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Should I build a game for a bigger company that is already successful...

 

This translates to "should I get a job?"

 

If you have no experience in a game studio, starting your own studio is statistically destined to fail. There are a handful of exception, but you're looking at the scale of one-in-a-million odds. It's a lottery that you're (almost certainly) going to lose. Your odds really are better at government-run lotteries.  If your intention is to run a game development studio you should work in the industry first.

 

First option. ... {publisher funds idea and pays percent of revenue}
 
Second option. ... {kickstarter}

 

The first option only works if you have some startup money and a team of experienced developers. Among the first questions asked when businesses explore those deals is the list of key people on the project and their work history. If there aren't enough people with enough industry experience the bigger companies will move on to the next group.

The second option falls back in the lottery category.

You have more options, such as:

* get a job at a game studio and after several years pitching the game with the hope of making the game from the inside
* get a job at a game studio and after a few years leave with some like-minded co-workers to follow one of those options
* get rich some other way and hire experienced game developers

You might find this video enlightening, along with many others they have created as they are focused on game design. That specific video talks on the role of game designer, which isn't what many people think of.  

Finishing it up, Game Designer is not a beginner role. Usually it is a fairly senior role needing a decade or so of industry experience. There are design jobs that are early-career and mid-career like level designer and character designer, but the job title of Game Designer is a senior level role. The person with the Game Designer business card is in charge of millions of dollars or tens of millions of dollars of work. 

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Wasn't there a plan once to stop answering these sorts of questions in the hope that people would stop asking them...

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Generally I don't see why questions like this are an issue or why we'd want to downplay them? It seems to me that the crux of the question fits well into the domain of the business forum.

I'd be interested in hearing why you think these sorts of questions shouldn't be acceptable, although perhaps as us own topic so as not to derail this topic further.

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Wasn't there a plan once to stop answering these sorts of questions in the hope that people would
stop asking them...

Generally I don't see why questions like this are an issue or why we'd want to downplay them? It
seems to me that the crux of the question fits well into the domain of the business forum.
I'd be interested in hearing why you think these sorts of questions shouldn't be acceptable,
although perhaps as us own topic so as not to derail this topic further.

 
Which part of the original question are we talking about, Katie? 

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