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When to get serious

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mmrpg    122
Hi everyone, I have been writting an RPG game that is fully functional on "paper" with a deep story line and options as a player. I belive I have found a way to include Power gamers and Non power gamers alike to find challenges. I also have put in for Player Killing type''s to be part of the norm without disturbing the other aspects of playing. There are alot of things on paper however that I have not been able to decide the best way to program them. My question is this, when do I start to make a serious push to develop the game in the PC World. Im not talking about publishing or making millions, I just want to see the paper game become virtual. Where is the best place to start ? Make an graphics engine ? design the quest systems ? Artifical Intelligence ? 3D Sound engine etc. Anyone who knows from experience the route best taken "BEFORE" looking to publish in developing an idea. Please let me know. Right now I have a 3 person team including a musician a programmer and myself and am talking to someone about art. Its hard to know what ya need for help without nowing how to take the first step. Thanks in advance for any replies.

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kressilac    110
Hmm, couple of answers to this. Without capital to run the development team it takes a significantly more amount of time and effort on the leaders part to keep everyone motivated. You will find that the project breaks down over time and milestones are not met. As these slip so does the enthusiasm for your game and your ability to keep everyone working. This kills games more often then not.

As you can tell I am a big proponent of getting the funding and then doing the real work on the game. If the team doesn't have to worry about funding then things will go more smoothly. It will probably take anywhere from 6 - 18 months to get funding. Be sure to have a business plan to show how your game makes money. Your design documents are wonderful and you will get many miles out of them, but you will never get funding with them. My short answer to your question is that your behind schedule if your thinking about it with completed design docs. Go get funding ASAP.

That being said there are four ways to get this funded.

1: Fund it yourself, through loans and such or cash if it is available.

2: Find an angel investor to invest in the development and/or the production.

3: Find a publisher to invest in the development and/or the production.

4: Find a company with the resources to fund the game and offer the idea as a potential business the company can get into. If they like it, they will make you producer and fund your game.

There is another possibility. Many games have multiple revenue sources(ie advertising, subscriptions, and boxed sales) and if you go with a publisher for everything then they have the right to take everything from you and give a tiny royalty fee for your idea. After all they are taking the risk. If you go with some sort of investor or combination of 1, 2, and 4 before you go to a publisher, all the publish becomes is a boxed set producer and marketer, which can be structured like a contract eliminating them from the larger pie which rightfully shouldn't be theirs. In trying to fund development in one stage and production in another you may be able to maximize the percentage of ownership that you retain. I digress as this is a topic for another article.

Anyway I hope this information helps you out.

Edited by - kressilac on 3/6/00 8:28:10 AM

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DavidRM    270
If your game design isn''t showing you the "first step", then it''s not complete enough for beginning development. It makes no sense to worry about getting started if you''re not entirely sure where you''re going yet.

On a slight tangeant, if you''re planning to develop the game yourself, make your life as easy as possible by *not* developing as much of it as you can. Don''t write a graphics engine if there''s one you can license and use, same for the sound engine. You''re a small team, leverage existing technology as much as possible or you''re never going to get anything done.

Samu Games

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MikeD    158
If you''re willing to put the time in with the possibility of only gaining experience from the venture then what I think would be the best place to start is with a very simple version of the game showing off the game mechanics.
Forget about flashy graphics and start with a 2D top down simplified version of the game that shows how all of your designs will work. If you have a key selling point to the game which sets it apart from others in the genre, however subtley, then this is what will interest the publisher.
Sure they''ll be looking for flashy graphics in the final product but most interested parties will have enough vision to see what your game will look like if you licenced the Unreal Engine.
You say you can include power and non-power gamers, show how that will be done. You say you can incorporate player killers among the differrent player types, show how that will work.
Actually implementing these points will also clarify how they can be done, what their problems are and prove that you have a valid design. It may also make you re-design portions of the game when bugs arise. This is a good thing.
Implement this well and the representation won''t matter, you can still use the code later, whatever number of dimensions the graphical representation will work in.

All of course MHO, from a games coders point of view, not a producer or publisher (i.e. take with a pinch of salt where necessary).


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