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CocoaColetto

Do game demos usually cost a lot to build?

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To the OP: can we see a screenshot of what you have? 

It seems you have a 3D world created but that's not a game. Can you demonstrate at all what happens in the game? What the gameplay is like? You can create videos in tools like 3DS so in theory you could demo what the game might be like?

Do you have a document for your game's design?

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7 hours ago, d000hg said:

Do you have a document for your game's design?

He mentioned having a 10 page design document.  Which, unless it is a very short game is just a brain storming document in my eyes.  I've seen design docs be 300 pages for a 30 minute game, everyone is different though.

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44 minutes ago, CrazyCdn said:

He mentioned having a 10 page design document.  Which, unless it is a very short game is just a brain storming document in my eyes.  I've seen design docs be 300 pages for a 30 minute game, everyone is different though.

10 pages discussing the mechanics would be ok. Better than 300 pages of story and self congratulatory ego massage ;)

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1 hour ago, d000hg said:

10 pages discussing the mechanics would be ok. Better than 300 pages of story and self congratulatory ego massage ;)

 

1 hour ago, CrazyCdn said:

He mentioned having a 10 page design document.  Which, unless it is a very short game is just a brain storming document in my eyes.  I've seen design docs be 300 pages for a 30 minute game, everyone is different though.

Gentlemen, keep in mind that on the competition side, this game would compete with second life, the now defunct playstation home, and atoms universe, not GTA and Saints Row. Plus for the document I followed the principle that getting to the (detailed) point without extra unnecessary gibberish is the best way to go. There's nothing on any of the pages that isn't needed honestly.  

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13 minutes ago, CocoaColetto said:

Gentlemen, keep in mind that on the competition side, this game would compete with second life, the now defunct playstation home, and atoms universe, not GTA and Saints Row. Plus for the document I followed the principle that getting to the (detailed) point without extra unnecessary gibberish is the best way to go. There's nothing on any of the pages that isn't needed honestly.

That's fine.  But when working with a team, if you have a specific vision it needs to be clearly and almost explicitly laid out, otherwise the amount of time wasted re-doing work because the person took creative liberty will be amazingly and costly.  Or you won't get the game you envisioned.  You don't need fluff or filler.  But the more detailed it is for each item, the more likely it will be correct, or need only a few later passes to finalize.  The DD can also contain all the dialog and dialog options for the game if they're simple enough.

1 hour ago, d000hg said:

10 pages discussing the mechanics would be ok. Better than 300 pages of story and self congratulatory ego massage ;)

I've not read a ton of design docs honestly, but none had this to be honest.  Just when working with a team, as I said above, you want to be very explicit when the designers vision is solid.  If they're not sure how they want something done, you can leave it open to artistic interruption.  But when you have an exact idea in your head, reference images (sketches), links, detailed descriptions are all very beneficial.  If it's a story driven game, you want it laid out someplace, and the design document is a fairly good place to do that.  You can break the design document into multiple documents say chapters, or areas, but that is just for convenience.

The goal should be to minimize having people re-do work, because it is demoralizing, which when not paid can easily break a team apart.  If they're paid, it's not as horrible as people want the income, but if it happens enough they will seek another job or just slow down on their production.  This of course is a generalization, everyone is different.

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14 minutes ago, CrazyCdn said:

That's fine.  But when working with a team, if you have a specific vision it needs to be clearly and almost explicitly laid out, otherwise the amount of time wasted re-doing work because the person took creative liberty will be amazingly and costly.  Or you won't get the game you envisioned.  You don't need fluff or filler.  But the more detailed it is for each item, the more likely it will be correct, or need only a few later passes to finalize.  The DD can also contain all the dialog and dialog options for the game if they're simple enough.

I've not read a ton of design docs honestly, but none had this to be honest.  Just when working with a team, as I said above, you want to be very explicit when the designers vision is solid.  If they're not sure how they want something done, you can leave it open to artistic interruption.  But when you have an exact idea in your head, reference images (sketches), links, detailed descriptions are all very beneficial.  If it's a story driven game, you want it laid out someplace, and the design document is a fairly good place to do that.  You can break the design document into multiple documents say chapters, or areas, but that is just for convenience.

The goal should be to minimize having people re-do work, because it is demoralizing, which when not paid can easily break a team apart.  If they're paid, it's not as horrible as people want the income, but if it happens enough they will seek another job or just slow down on their production.  This of course is a generalization, everyone is different.

Do you have any ideas/tips for how I can snag a little team for next to nothing? Or am I on my own here haha. The drive and discipline is there trust me, I'm just stuck on this particular corner right now. Although not complete freedom, the designers will be allowed artistic freedom for a major aspect of the game! 

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31 minutes ago, CocoaColetto said:

Do you have any ideas/tips for how I can snag a little team for next to nothing? Or am I on my own here haha. The drive and discipline is there trust me, I'm just stuck on this particular corner right now. Although not complete freedom, the designers will be allowed artistic freedom for a major aspect of the game! 

You can try posting in the hobbyist section for "rev share" but don't expect people to work for free and be devoted. To be honest, if you're serious about doing this at a commercial level, you either need the skill yourself to pull it off, and/or the money to hire people who have the skills required. Game development is not an easy thing, and people are usually not willing to devote the amount of time and energy required to make a game without proper compensation.

On top of all of this if you have little to no experience in the life cycle of a game you're not going to be of much help to the overall team outside of your design idea and concept of what you've envisioned the game to be. This leaves a question open: "Do I hire a project manager?" which adds more costs. Without someone at the helm you're going to waste time and money because mile-stones wont be set and met, budgets will be all over the place, ect...

1 hour ago, CocoaColetto said:

Gentlemen, keep in mind that on the competition side, this game would compete with second life, the now defunct playstation home, and atoms universe, not GTA and Saints Row.

Here is where your problem starts, in order to even make a game like "second life" (assuming you're upping the graphics) and competing you need to have the ability, and/or team to do it. Apart from making the game itself, you still have more costs added on-top outside of development when all is said and done. This is why you see games that have massive budgets. Smaller teams can be successful as well, but these people are very talented with industry experience and extremely devoted.

I would strongly suggest you take @CrazyCdn's advice about design documents and maintain a clear picture... I worked on a project for a client that continued to change things around regularly, and we had to re-do art assets and code to the point where the projected budget was nothing more than a distant memory... The costs kept going up, and the client wasn't happy but in the real world time is money and the more time you waste, the more money you spend.

You really only have two options here:

1. Find people just as devoted to this game as you and get a team together willing to work under a "rev share" model.

2. Hire professionals that know what they're doing and get an actual team together that can finish the game for you.

(I'm not going to suggest going solo because such a game without any prior experience would take forever to make)

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1 hour ago, CocoaColetto said:

Do you have any ideas/tips for how I can snag a little team for next to nothing? Or am I on my own here haha. The drive and discipline is there trust me, I'm just stuck on this particular corner right now. Although not complete freedom, the designers will be allowed artistic freedom for a major aspect of the game!

There is a section in this forum you can post to try and attract talent.  Though you will need to likely post pictures and a rough outline of the game.  No, no one will steal your idea so quite a bit of information to get the most attention.  1-2 paragraph posts typically get ignored.  And general things like, "much like second life" is not worth the time to write.  Be specific, which parts?

Or as @Rutin said, somehow get funding and hire a team.  And with your lack of experience I would recommend finding an experienced project manager because if you don't hire one, you will spend that money many times over from lack of experience I believe.  A good general rule for time estimation from real life experience is to make your initial assessment, double it and add another 50% and you will still likely be low balling it, but fairly close.

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2 hours ago, CocoaColetto said:

Do you have any ideas/tips for how I can snag a little team for next to nothing? 

Study a useful development skill for 5 years. Work in the industry for 10 years. Move around through lots of companies. Build trust with your colleagues and a wide professional network. Talk to talented colleagues about your indie dev dream. Save up enough money to live off for a while. Burn out in your job. Take a holiday. Don't go back to your job. Convince the colleagues who were excited by your idea to quit their jobs too. 

Bam, now you have a little team for free. 

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On 7/13/2018 at 3:46 PM, CocoaColetto said:

Gentlemen, keep in mind that on the competition side, this game would compete with second life, the now defunct playstation home, and atoms universe, not GTA and Saints Row.

I think your current competition would be VRChat.

How do you envision your game being different to VRChat?

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