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ObjectivityGuy

I'm dreaming too high?

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Making a game is similar to making a movie. You are probably more aware of how many people and how much money it takes to make a movie, so you probably don't come out of a movie thinking "I am going to make a better version of this movie by myself, with no budget".

A game like Dark Souls probably costs tens of millions of dollars to make. Now re-read this thread with that in mind, and see how silly what you are asking sounds.

 

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2 hours ago, ObjectivityGuy said:

what is the difference?

One is actually making the game, the other is just designing how all the in game things work.  Look up 'game design document', it might give you a clearer picture of what it means to design a game.  Not all games were made using a game design document, and my guess would be most games change their design during the process of being made.  If you were to try to try to do it yourself using a premade engine like Unity or Unreal I'd say it would take you at least a decade or two.  There's alot of in game art to be made and doing it all by yourself would take a long time even if you go at it non-stop.  You'd still need to learn how to use an engine and the the basics that you'd need to learn irregardless of what engine you use.

edit - you could always form a team.

Edited by Infinisearch

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I've never heard of an instance where a lone designer's game was submitted to a game company who then made that game.  It just doesn't work that way.

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1 hour ago, Kavik Kang said:

I've never heard of an instance where a lone designer's game was submitted to a game company who then made that game.  It just doesn't work that way.

I didn't mention a probability, but I wouldn't rule out a possibility. If you can be inventive, creative and very concrete while still ensuring a high chance of commercial success compensating production costs (which are lots of ifs). Why not? What would make this different from an in-house idea. Though, I am general. I do not think that an epsilon improvement for rebooting an existing game based on the mechanics of its direct competitors applies to these criteria.

Edited by matt77hias

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18 minutes ago, matt77hias said:

I didn't mention a probability, but I wouldn't rule out a possibility. If you can be inventive, creative and very concrete while still ensuring a high chance of commercial success compensating production costs (which are lots of ifs). Why not? What would make this different from an in-house idea. Though, I am general. I do not think that an epsilon improvement for rebooting an existing game based on the mechanics of its direct competitors applies to these criteria.

I don't know of any companies that would even entertain letting them pitch you an idea, unless you're willing to fund it. If they rejected it, but happened to develop something similar, they'd be opening themselves for a lawsuit.

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The first thing I was taught in the board game industry is that we returned all unsolicited game proposals unopened.  If you don't, there could be big problems in the future if you happen to make a similar game later.

Can you name a single computer game that came into existence through a lone designer submitting a proposal to a game company?  Has it ever happened before?

I was told this for many years, it took many years for me to realize that it was a lie.  It is wrong to lure late-teen to early 20's people into a false idea that they can design a game, and that is an avenue into making games.  It is not.  It will never happen.  You are potentially wasting the most important years of these kids lives, as you did mine, by essentially lying too them and telling them that the computer game industry works like the book industry.  It doesn't, and nobody should be giving young people the idea that it does.

If it didn't happen for me in 30 years of trying, who has a level of experience that goes back before your industry even existed, it isn't going to happen for some 20 year old just out of school with almost no game design knowledge or experience at all.  It really is wrong to be giving young people the idea that this is a possibility, it is not.  I prove that beyond all doubt.

Again, can you name a single instance of this ever happening?

 

 

Edited by Kavik Kang

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The closest scenario I can imagine is a small team of students who made a low, low budget student game, that were then all hired on to make a big budget version of the same game for a company.

That was Valve, the student project was Narbacular Drop, and the big budget version was Portal.

But that was a fully working game (though really fully working student games tend to be barely more than prototypes and held together with glue and adhesive tape).  

 

And yes, a Souls game, by yourself, without narrowing down the game considerably, would be hard to do.  Some fairly small teams have made souls-like 2d games, however.

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There was one closer than that, but still it was not a lone designer being hired into a computer game company.  I am not saying this out of malice, as it is always taken on this site, but the computer game industry does not hire game designers.  They generally "promote" a programmer or artist who has had good ideas over the years to "game designer".  But it's not their field, is it?  Giving someone the title does not make them a game designer, it just puts them into that position.  They spent their lives learning programming, or art, not designing games.

In the earliest days of computer games New World Computing made "King's Bounty".  You know "King's Bounty II" as "Heroes of Might & Magic".  King's Bounty was a board game by Task Force Games, this happened while I was working there.  I met the designer of King's Bounty back then.  But NWC never hired him as a designer, we made the board game and NWC simultaneously made the computer game version.  This was the first ever combined effort to simultaneously release a board game and computer game.

But the situation was very unique.  NWC had been founded by SFB Staff and Rated Aces.  Ron Spitzer is a legend among the SFB Staff, Jon Van Cannaghem was the 1986 National Champion, and all of the other NWC founders were either SFB Staff or Rated Aces from the tournament system.  NWC had bought TFG, and owned TFG at the time the King's Bounty project had started.  The designer of King's Bounty was a friend of theirs, and of John Olsen who NWC sold TFG too once they discovered that Paramount would not authorize an SFB computer game (the whole reason they had bought TFG.

That is the closest situation I know of anything like that ever happening.  I really think it is wrong to create the impression that you can design a game and anyone is going to hire you into the industry to make it.  It has never happened yet, and isn't ever likely too.  The computer game industry does not hire game designers, they designate programmers and artists as game designers.  The only way for a game designer to get into the industry is to found their own company from scratch.

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One can only admire your dream to create a DS inspired game - I guess we are all here because of one game or another that inspired us to take up games development...

As soon as games began to add full motion video,  3D graphics and and enhanced sound and music, the days of a single person making a game were pretty much over.  The time that happened was back when the first Playstation arrived during the mid-90s.

That said, could not you scale your dream down to something more managable?  If you truly want to go it alone, then perhaps you could aim for something in the "16-bit era".   Dark Souls is obviously a 3D world hack-n-slash game, but I could easily see the possibility of an overhead 2D game.  Granted, it would be simplified in comparision, and you would have to put in some serious hard graft...but it could be done. 

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Re @Kavik Kang

While I concur with your main point, no company takes an unsolicited game design doc and then hires the author and goes and makes it. 

You are wrong about designers not being hired as designers out of the gate.  I know plenty of folks who didn't come up from QA or programming or art, but went straight to design.  Nowadays, games are big, and there is room on the payroll for junior designers.  They need to be able demonstrate decent design skills, and may have to pass some sort of arbitrary design test or whatever, but it happens quite often now.  Having a polished game design doc to show will help in getting that position.  (Having actual prototypes or working games is always better.)

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