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CaptainVG

Advice on forming my own company...

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My main dream was to make games for Nintendo consoles and this was a long dream that I have. But of course I have obstacles in the way that make it impossible to form my own company and start making games for Nintendo systems.

First of all, let me just say that I have atleast 3 years of work experience as a game designer/tester. I am not an artist, can't do any coding whatsoever and don't know much of business operations. 

I have used game maker to make simple games but the problem is just that. I can only do simple games. The game Ideas that I have are too complicated to execute and even then, I need an artist to reflect on the effort spent on programming those games on game maker since my art is bad and I can't draw very well.

I want to try to make board games but then they are also difficult to make because of them requiring drawing art and thick boards which are costly in my place for some reason.

After having long thoughts after recently going to therapy, I'm quite sad that I'm not able to achieve or attempt those dream steps and while its still too early to even think of it now, I don't have many friends who are into what I'm into.

So I'd like some advice on how something like this is possible for me to achieve even if it takes time and dedication. Also of note is that I'm currently staying with my parents because financial wise, I'm not doing that great as of now.

 

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As I see it you have 2 paths you can take:

1. Make it in the industry:

To make it in the industry, you will need to acquire the skills you need in order become a manager. You should probably become an artist/writer/programmer in order to advance and become a lead game-designer in an existing company. You might also be able to do this from your position as a tester, but I think you stand a better chance of advancement if you convert to a creative role such as the ones mentioned above/

2. Make it by yourself.

Start small by forming/joining a hobby team on the internet. Gain experience by creating hobby projects. As small hobby projects don't tend to need testers, you will probably also need to take a creative role. When you are done with your hobby project, you can try to publish a self made game, or use that experience to advance yourself to game designer in an existing company. The downside here is that you will need to do this alongside your job. And if you want to make an impressive hobby project you will need to dedicate alot (unpaid) time to it aside from your normal job.

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To be brutally honest, my own view is that you are probably wasting your time. The fact you have spent 3 years as a tester (we used to called them 'testes', in reference to male genitalia) and got nowhere should be telling you something. You obviously didn't get the secret memo, but it's pretty much a given that testers tend to just be naive youngsters who are cannon fodder until they burn out. I mean do the maths, look at how many testers there are in a room with you, how many of them do you reckon go on to have stellar careers in game dev after testing?

You don't seem interested in programming, art, or game business, so why are you intent on 'getting into' the game industry? It's incredibly difficult / pot luck for people who ARE interested and talented and spend decades honing their craft.

Maybe try and find something you are good at and enjoy, and apply yourself to that instead of some pipe dream. You could be qualified in something useful in the time you've wasted, and been earning shedloads more money. Life is short, don't waste it! :)

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10 hours ago, lawnjelly said:

To be brutally honest, my own view is that you are probably wasting your time. The fact you have spent 3 years as a tester (we used to called them 'testes', in reference to male genitalia) and got nowhere should be telling you something. You obviously didn't get the secret memo, but it's pretty much a given that testers tend to just be naive youngsters who are cannon fodder until they burn out. I mean do the maths, look at how many testers there are in a room with you, how many of them do you reckon go on to have stellar careers in game dev after testing?

You don't seem interested in programming, art, or game business, so why are you intent on 'getting into' the game industry? It's incredibly difficult / pot luck for people who ARE interested and talented and spend decades honing their craft.

Maybe try and find something you are good at and enjoy, and apply yourself to that instead of some pipe dream. You could be qualified in something useful in the time you've wasted, and been earning shedloads more money. Life is short, don't waste it! :)

I'm the only tester the company has and I haven't done testing whole of three years but just spent one year instead for testing. And I have designed games but only occasionally.

But other than that, I got your point. Maybe I should try doing something else although I don't know what that is.

 

 

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Your question was about "forming my own company" but the simple fact is that you can't form your own company with employees without resources. So you need to get a different job and save up enough money to be able to pay yourself and others for a few years to make the game. There's no other route - nobody is going to lend you the money or invest in your company - you don't have the background to make that worthwhile for them.

You say you have "time and dedication" so the main thing you need to do is improve your skills. Get good enough at either coding or art that you will be able to contribute meaningfully to a project. Then you can form or join a project of your own, or apply for jobs in the industry.

Just be aware there are no entry-level jobs for idea guys (or girls). Wanting to make games is not enough. You have to participate in the actual construction of them. Work on your skills and the opportunities will follow.

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People have been making board games from their garages and spare bedrooms for over 50 years, this is indescribably cheaper and easy thing to accomplish then making computer games.  The hard part about doing that is designing the game to begin with.  It is a lot harder to arrive at Chess than it is to arrive at Civilization.  Chess is a far more difficult game to design, because the fewer game elements are present the harder it is to make a game that is good enough to attract attention and therefore succeed.  So, if you really are good enough at this to do that, you could make a board game and get it out there yourself.  People have been doing that for a lot longer than computer games have existed.

But don't make a board game thinking that will help you in finding a way to make computer games, they don't count at all for that.  Only spend any effort to make a board game to make a board game.  If you want to make computer games you really need to become a programmer or artist to join the committee and have a say among the group, a method board game designers call "the worst possible way to design a game".  If you want to make your game, with your story, then you have to found your own company.  This is what I have determined through 40 years of "research" since the dawn of the computer game industry.

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On 1/22/2018 at 10:11 AM, Paarth said:

My main dream was to make games for Nintendo consoles and this was a long dream that I have.

Then work toward getting that job.

Forming your own company will get you the job of managing a business, not the job of making games for the console.

People who form successful game studios are rarely involved in making the games, but instead spend their time finding investors, finding contracts, and otherwise doing business development rather than game development.

On 1/22/2018 at 10:11 AM, Paarth said:

let me just say that I have atleast 3 years of work experience as a game designer/tester. I am not an artist, can't do any coding whatsoever and don't know much of business operations. 

Great! You've already started the process.  While I'm not entirely sure about the job of "designer/tester", experienced QA folk have enormous influence on a game. I've known several people who worked in QA that demonstrated aptitudes in design, and were quickly moved into suitable design roles.

Are you interest in creating art all day, or in programming all day, or in making business decisions all day? Do you have any natural aptitude for it?  If so, take the steps you need to gain the skills you need.  

On 1/22/2018 at 11:28 PM, Paarth said:

Maybe I should try doing something else although I don't know what that is.

Maybe.   But do you know what that something is?  Maybe it is game development. Maybe it is something else. 

If that's something you don't know, I suggest getting a copy of the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?".  It has been a best-seller for 45 years, so you can find a recent year edition in your local library.  I'd recommend the whole book, but if nothing else find the part of the book about the "Flower Diagram".  Work through the exercises carefully. 

I've seen people transform their lives as they work through it and discover new transitions in their lives.  Many people change careers (not jobs, but entire fields) several times during their lifetime. You don't need to stick with the same choice your entire life. I've remained friends and kept online connections with many people who've moved different directions with their life; one transitioned to become a music teacher, another to working with gardening at a nursery, another to military service, another into professional photography, another into property management, another became a nightclub DJ, and even one who during their school years participated in competitive ballroom dancing and is now a professional choreographer at a dance company in London.

But it doesn't have to be something else.  Maybe after completing the exercise you will discover you really do have aptitudes, skills, knowledge, and interests in game development and want to refine those skills to get another job in the industry.

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4 hours ago, frob said:

Are you interest in creating art all day, or in programming all day, or in making business decisions all day? Do you have any natural aptitude for it?  If so, take the steps you need to gain the skills you need.  

The thing that I liked about the idea of game designing is to act as a director. Brainstorming ideas and documenting them and the other staff members would like the idea or something like that kinda like the role of a film director. Learning the flaws of one game and improving those flaws in the next game is what I like because designing games is like solving a puzzle to me. You won't find the ultimate solution to fix the issues that the game has but you always keep thinking of what works in this scenario, does my game need so much of story depth, why have this game element for the game? All of this is in the thinking process and I guess I wanted to do this because seeing as how I love playing games, I thought to myself, wouldn't this be cool if I could make a game that everyone else would love?

But yeah eventually, I realised that the role of a game designer kinda depends in the end. So I guess I kinda screwed up myself for that.

I'll try the book like you suggested. I'm only worried if I'll be able to understand what the book is trying to say because well...i'm not so smart in general.

 

 

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Oh, that's okay then.  That isn't what game designers do.  Good thing you dodged that job.

Game designers don't look for ultimate solutions to fix issues, don't write the story, don't direct the staff, and have very little authority over the process.  Some of the things you describe are one of the least of the things game designers do, occupying only the tiniest sliver of time.

Designers have other tasks, and they are mostly tedious, frustrating, and often both mentally and emotionally difficult. Lots of meetings, lots of business navigation, lots of communication with people who sometimes are frustrated and angry, trying to help balance resources that are always spread too thin, with deadlines that are always too short, trying to figure out which of the absolutely critical features must be cut, then which of the remaining ones must be cut, repeated endlessly. Designers hear all the time about how things are broken and are often at a loss to how to actually fix them, trusting others to find those details. You won't get to build your own game ideas. If you start your own company you won't get to do that either, since startups spend their times doing whatever scraps of contract work they can find.

(How you missed that with "3 years of work experience as a game designer/tester" seems odd to me.)

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17 minutes ago, frob said:

(How you missed that with "3 years of work experience as a game designer/tester" seems odd to me.)

Well, the first time I joined, I was hired as a junior game designer. My job at the time was to pitch concepts to my boss and once its approved, it starts to be worked on. This went on while I was also doing testing and some small games that I also made on Game Maker, where both for my level were extremely hard to program as well as to develop it for android until after the second year where that point on, I was now being called as a game tester instead. 

But thanks for the advice. It didn't strike me that if I form my own company, I can't make games but instead make paychecks!

 

 

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