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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.


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About Nozyspy

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  1. Quote:Original post by Spoonbender What's elitist about wanting to hire those who have relevant experience? Is it elitist that no one will let you run a major bank? Direct the next big Hollywood movie? It's no different than any other industry. Intel isn't going to listen to you if you say you have a good idea for a new CPU. Ford isn't going to listen to you if you have an idea for better cars. Spielberg isn't going to listen to you if you tell him you've got an idea for a movie. That's not elitism, it's simply protecting their investment. They've got a lot of money at stake, and face it, it's risky to gamble it all on an unknown. If you want to become more than an unknown, then it's up to you. Don't blame anyone else for not falling at your feet at the mere mention that you have an idea. If no one are sufficiently impressed to hire you, you haven't sold your idea well enough. Or, possibly, the idea isn't good enough to be worth the trouble. Nono, that’s not what I mean by elitism, what I mean is the kind of thing I see a lot when modders get a bit too good at what they do, and they view the work or ideas of less experienced people as ‘worthless’ without paying much attention to what those people are actually doing. What I feel is that the industry simply ignores people like that and rather hires people who share their philosophy of ‘money money money’ rather than ‘lets make a game people will really enjoy and keep playing for the next 10 years!’ Of course if you train and have proven yourself at something you have a better chance at getting the job, I have no problem with that. I just wish the gods of the games studios would come down from their clouds once in a while just to see what other people are doing. Afterall, how often do you actually see a developer posting a personal message on the forums for their own game?! The only person I know of personally who know does this is John Smedley of SOE, and I respect him for doing that. He actually answered my email personally, something I doubt most execs do! Anyway, this thread has reached its limit of usefulness for me, I appreciate the replies guys, especially the ones that were helpful. However I cant help but feel somewhat worried about the future of game design, afterall in our modding community ideas, whoever comes up with them, are treated with a certain amount of respect, far from being ‘worthless’. Maybe I will stick to writing a book instead. . Or if I feel lazy and suddenly become rich, get a ghost writer to do it for me… But anyway, I’m sure you have heard quite enough of me, obviously this is world where I have not done enough to be welcome, therefore I thank you all for your time, and say goodbye! Noz
  2. Quote:Original post by Kaze I really think you should just start writing novels instead of trying to make games. You clearly have a lot more ideas for story than gameplay and I doubt a game would make a better medium without turning gameplay into boring grind with story doled out one bit at a time as a reward. The story is intricately wound in with the gameplay. ;) The gameplay ideas I gave you were just a few examples of possibilities. Quote:Original post by Tom Sloper Noz wrote: >I am seriously considering trying to make a mod about this idea, but that still requires much searching and enquiry to ascertain its practicality and feasibility. Why is the word "but" in that sentence? Is this your way of saying "but it's too hard"? Another interpretation of "but it's too hard" is "but I'm too lazy." You should just do that feasibility study if you're so passionate about your game, and if it's not feasible scale it down. You obviously aren’t familiar with the difficulties of creating a decent singleplayer mod in our community. Quote:Original post by Tom Sloper And why are you telling us all this? Just because some have said "all you've got is story, what's the game?" If you have a game in your head, you should put it on paper. We don't need those details to answer your question. I got the impression people wanted a bit more detail, and really that I was just a hair brained madman who has no idea what gameplay is! The game in my head is on paper, and by the time I have finished will at least have filled the blank book I bought for the purpose. Quote:Original post by r691175002 Way too long of a thread, not going to read it all. Put simply, there are thousands of people like you who all think they have got the greatest idea since sliced bread. You cannot properly understand my thoughts unless you make the effort to read as much of the thread as possible. I never said my idea was the ‘greatest since sliced bread’, just that it was good (I think) and that it resides in a part of the gaming market that seems rather underdeveloped. Quote:Original post by r691175002 So to begin with, you just blend in with the noise. Why would anyone choose your idea as opposed to the thousands of other people who would probably even be willing to pay to have someone make their own idea. Believe me, if I had that much money I would have already completely funded and made he game by now. :P Quote:Original post by r691175002 Finally, game design isn't really about the idea or story. Game design is about realizing how to make things fun. You can talk all you want about your incredible plot and setting but plot doesn't make a game. The truth is most "great" ideas are actually so full of holes they wouldn't even be useful as a sieve. Just take a look at any games "suggestion" thread. Personally I disagree with that, I believe story is an extremely important aspect of the gameplay as a whole. The gameplay could be absolutely rubbish, but if it has a good story people will still play it, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness is an example I believe. Many older games also have excellent stories, which is part of the reason why a lot have become legendary. It appears that these newfangled ‘next-gen’ titles prefer to concentrate more on ‘pretty colours and flashing lights’ than a good old ripping yarn. As someone who appreciates a bit of effort being put into a games story line, I find this attitude most disappointing. Take the entire Tomb Raider series for example. The gameplay is nothing new, its mostly the same across the games, with tweaks and upgrades along the way, but in general the same formula. It’s the story that makes them special to a lot of people. You know what all the buzz on the forums for TR: Underworld is about at the moment? Story. Only a few posts actually seem to have talked about gameplay (like the new ‘sonar ping’ device). It is the story that everyone wants to know, the theories and spoilers are flying around all over the place. More games that create that kind of a buzz, and less games that are mindless shoot-em-ups would be a good thing. Quote:Original post by r691175002Game studios are not going to throw millions of dollars away on some kids crappy dream game idea. Yeah, games studios throw millions of dollars away on some executives crappy dream game idea instead. Look, I know I came here in a bit of a ranting mood, but I believe I explained my feelings and state of mind clearly enough. Although there have indeed been some very helpful and informative posts by helpful and informative people, I was rather hoping that people like you who had most likely been in my position and felt the same way at one time would at least be a little more encouraging. Most people however have done little to dispel my impression that the games industry is very elitist, and once you get into the ‘club’ you rise above the crowd of ordinary gamers from whence you came. Believe it or not, just because you haven’t worked for years at a games studio or haven’t made an uber-mod doesn’t mean that some ordinary folk do actually have the talent to be a game director. I know personally many people who are better at what they do than the people who made the actual game.
  3. Hmm thanks for the insightful comments chaps. Quote:Original post by Telastyn And really, it sounds like a Indy/Tomb Raider/Mummy rip off... (and I fear perhaps a dollop of Myst *shudder*) It is absolutely nothing like any of them! Quote:Original post by gxaxhx Being that you often mention books, movies in reference to your game, it seems to me that you have an idea for a story but arn't entirely sure what medium to use. One thing to think about is what are you trying to achieve in turning it into a game vs writing a short story or novel? Is it just for the coolness factor of having made your own game? is it to make money? or is it truely the best way for someone to experience your idea? The story could be adapted for any medium. However there are problems with each. The story requires some globetrotting, going to many disparate locations in a film is not an easy thing to pull off. Games don’t always allow the set-piece scenes that you might want. And as for books…well generally there are no pictures in novels (though you can add them on the odd page, as I have seen in some Sherlock Holmes novels), the thing is that one of the underlying themes of the story requires subtle hints dropped in here and there. For instance, near the start, a bunch of coal miners dig out a lump of coal with an odd gold object encased within it, The patterns on the object crop here and there throughout the game and are meant to refer to the ‘grand scheme’ of the overall story arc. The thing is that these patterns aren’t meant to be obvious – a carving on a wall, a symbol in a scroll. The player is meant to just ‘notice’ these things appearing now and again without the story requiring that they be explained, at least in the first ‘part’. The idea is that each story is self contained and yet this common thread runs through them all, becoming more obvious untill it becomes the main objective of the final ‘story’. Like I said, the story arc idea I had in mind is meant to be split over three ‘episodes’. Quote:Original post by Captain P You've mentioned your modding experience a few times. I'm curious - how much experience do you have with releasing mods/levels? One of the things I learned from modding and level-design was that, unless you happen to have the same taste as your target audience, going by what you like can be rather dangerous. It's always important to let other people test your levels, to see how they work out with the public. I've been able to build some fine levels because I had playtesters. The main reason why some of my levels are flawed is the lack of playtesting. Sometimes, playtesters pointed out things they found fun, where I didn't expect them. At other times, they asked me to change or remove things that I thought would work well. Modding experience… Jedi Academy is one of my favourite games of all time (ridicule that all you want!) and the engine used is really very modifiable if you know what you are doing. I make multiplayer maps for this game, nine released maps, 2 in production and one on the drawing board. I released my first level in 2004, however I modded for my own enjoyment for almost a couple of years before that. I have my own site and I work as a file reviewer at JK2files. I have studied the singleplayer and multiplayer level design in this and quite a few other games to get a sense of the linearity or the ‘openworldiness’ of them. I am seriously considering trying to make a mod about this idea, but that still requires much searching and enquiry to ascertain its practicality and feasibility. Wavinator, your suggestions are excellent, a lot of excellent points there, so thanks for that mate. I only offered a few small snippets of my idea before, so I will elucidate a bit further. The story is set in the late 20’s early 30’s when the Nazi’s first started poking their noses around. As everyone knows they were obsessed with many ancient mysteries which they hoped would further their quest for world domination. They also make excellent bad guys, because frankly everyone hates their guts, they’re evil and sinister. The protagonist is a middle class Englishman, who fought and was a Major / Lt. Colonel during WW1. Not rich, but not poor either, so no super rich Lara Croft-alikes here. Said character worked for British intelligence, which automatically bestows upon him all the necessary prerequisites of brains and toughness etc. that you expect from an adventure hero. Possibly related to a famous archaeologist, hence the interest and training, or protégé of a famous university professor. The idea is that there is a hierarchy of bad guys, and that the initial one you encounter is just one of the lower bad guys. The mastermind being someone who you for the most part only hear in voice, similar to how Professor Moriarty is in some of the Sherlock Holmes stories. The artefact(s) – here there are some problems, which I am still trying to resolve. My grand scheme is that the lump of coal with the gold object embedded in it is what starts off the main thread of the series leading to a hunt for pieces of a device. The device can bestow upon the user great power, but only if they are strong enough to contain its power. Here is where the burned to a crisp mummy comes in. the device destroyed his body but his mind was strong enough to contain its power. Ehem, back to the original McGuffin for the first story, this is where the problem lies. Really I would like it to be unrelated to the main story arc. The idea is that the first story is self contained, similar to how the original Star Wars movie is, in that it is a story in its own right but can be infinitely expanded upon should it be successful. My original thought is the Ark of the Covenant. Now, this is not a cheep Indy rip-off. As far as I understand the Ark actually ‘disappeared’ after the Babylonian’s besieged Jerusalem, hence logically it should be in Babylon, not Tanis in Egypt… This story route allows some interesting globe trotting, since the idea is that the Ark is sealed in a hidden vault under the ruins of Babylon. Once the Babylonian’s captured it they became terrified of it and the Hebrew God, and sealed it underground so no-one could ever find it, and it wouldn’t bother them. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. The door to the said vault can only be unlocked with 4 / 5 keys, each of which was given to an important Babylonian official. Through time Babylon was conquered by many nations. So one piece of the key is in the Tomb of Nebuchadnezzar, another in the lost tomb of Alexander the Great, and after the British gained control of Iraq one piece is in the basement of the British museum, etc. The problem with the story is that its been done before in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and it also presents interesting religious issues since the Ark is a sacred object to a few different religions. Alternatives could be a ‘sun stone’ that illuminates the surroundings without fire, some kind of ancient sword or other device. Enough of the story, onto the gameplay. The gameplay is more action oriented than Tomb Raider, however set piece puzzles would still play an important role in reaching the main objectives of each level. The environment should play a major role in the game, with the player having to find an appropriate path down a mountain pass for example, avoiding sheer drops and falling boulders. There being multiple paths down to the bottom. All the while enemies occasionally pop out from behind boulders and take pot shots at you. One idea I had was for a British museum basement level. Basically you have a 30 minute time limit before a bunch of things turn up to find the ‘thing’ that is being searched for. You have to make your way around several large rooms and crowbar crates open until you find what you are looking for. The object could be magnetic ala Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, hence you would have a compass on the HUD to help you find your way to it. To avoid frustration the level might not end when the countdown timer expires, but rather, along with finding the object, you now have a bunch of armed goons to deal with. No blood or sex and very minimal swearing, I envision this being suitable for most ages, these things aren’t necessary for a good game anyways. Weapons include army issue rifle and pistol, along with a shotgun, grenades and possibly some form of sword. A sidekick (probably a young American with a penchant for fast cars) who will join you occasionally perhaps offering hints as to which direction to take and help in combat. This character ends the game with two Bentleys. How?! See below. During the course of the story your discoveries will earn you a nice paycheque (including one from the Greek government). Your house serves the same purpose as Croft Manor in the TR games. Part for fun, and part training area. As you earn money from your discoveries you can add extra ‘bits’ onto your house like an extension, or a firing range etc. This could be nearer the end of the game, at the start of game ‘#2’ or at strategic points throughout the game so you can go back to your house and practice new moves, aim, awareness etc. Right, those are again just a few of my ideas, I cant write any more as my fingers are tired, and I don’t want to tell you everything! I am sure I can trust you guys, but, ehhmm, who knows who else reads these forums?! o.O Noz
  4. Quote:Original post by Majorlag I'm going to go ahead and say it, because the others seem too polite. I apologize in advance for being so blunt about it, but: Quit acting like an arrogant p***k. You seem to think that you know everything there is to know about game design and as such believe that it is your right to have your vision made. You don't even know how much you don't know. You have no experience, no way of knowing the pitfalls of the real development process, no way to know how to deal with unforeseen problems, no way to know how to deal with outright failure. Thats why you have to work your way up, its a learning process as well as a way to prove yourself. Riggghhttt thanks for that…Seriously, thanks. It is now completely obvious that despite what I tried to explain about the way I felt, I have come across as an arrogant, bumbling fool. I clearly have given you all completely the wrong impression and have accomplished quite the opposite of what I had hoped. I am not a complete dunce you know, I have worked in a team before and observed the development process of a large mod. I’ve been on the receiving end of someone that had a ‘grand vision’ and wanted others to do the work because he couldn’t himself, and indeed I tried to help him accomplish that. In my own little realm of modding I make or modify all my own textures, shaders and sort of makeshift ‘models’ if you could call them that… I plan out all the level flow, weapon placements and level design etc, and arrange all the beta testing. My experience may only be limited to the game that I mod for, but its not like I don’t know anything at all. Obviously however those experiences cannot be extrapolated into the larger world of game design, and it is now clear that it is probably 95% impossible that I or anyone else would ever get their own ‘grand idea’ realised in real life. Quote:Original post by Kekko Nozyspy: I consider myself a good programmer. Not great, really good or brilliant, but good. I'm probably among the better ones you can get for free. Because you know what? I would totally join you and help you envision your dream *if* I had the time over which I haven't since another guy with a vision snapped me up already. But assuming I had that time, here is what I look for in hobby projects, speaking only from my very own personal experience: - Awesomeness! Sell me a design/idea! This is usually done through a great design document or something similar that contains as much information as possible about the game. I'm a little confused why you come here complaining about why no one will make a game out of your great idea when you don't even tell us your idea. And no, a paragraph or two doesn't count. We want sketches of game screens, gameplay features, character bios and monster details (or whatever your game contains), etc. If you can sell your idea to developers, then you can probably sell it to players (with sell here meaning convincing them to download and try it). Most people here know that coming up with a couple of paragraphs is ridicolously easy while filling in all the details is fricking hard. From what you have said here, I cannot envision a game, there is just not enough information. And if I cannot envision a game, I will not be inspired. And if I'm not inspired, I'll not work for free. - I want to do what I think is funny. If I sign up to program the game, I don't want to do manual writing or playtesting or marketing or art or sound engineering or something else. And the artist will probably only want to make art. You have basically three ways to make people work on your dream. You can sell your dream so well that it becomes their dream too (see above), you can pay them or you can make sure they have fun while working on it. This probably means that YOU will have to do a lot of stuff that nobody else likes to do, like playtesting, documenting, What I'm trying to say is that if you can show us a great idea for a game (Not just telling us you have it, I also have several.) and promise us that you will take care of everything and just let us get on with programming/art making/music composing or whatever we want to do, then I think you will find willing recruits. Which means you'll be both designer, manager and producer. And all these three roles are just as hard and probably harder to be good at than being a good programmer or artist. Thank you! Finally someone who is at least positive! Your comments are appreciated mate. You also touched on the main thing that I left out – completely on purpose – details of the idea. As I do some modding, I am used to keeping details quiet until they have more fully ripened, so that no one else might take the idea and claim it for themselves (which has nearly happened before…). Sorry about that, but that’s just what I have learned to do. The bare bones of my ‘fantasmagorical idea’ are thus: - Period adventure, including references to and appearances of (real life) people and places. - Archaeology, ancient mysteries. And no, not an Indy or Tomb Raider Rip off… - A Mixture of FPS and exploration / puzzle gameplay. Though with more of a focus on the FPS side. - Locations that most people have never heard of, but which do really exist and are ‘real life’ adventurer sort of places, mixed in with some fictitious locations. Including the ruins of Babylon, the Great Sphinx and the lost tomb of Alexander the Great. - Bad guys: Sinister Germans / Russians – people who generally make good bad guys… And a burned to a crisp ‘uber mummy’. Those are just a flimsy few of my ideas, the details are locked away in my brain. Since most of you said that ideas alone are worthless, I thought I should write a few down. Perhaps they are worth 0.001p now? Clearly though I should just stick to writing a book…or maybe making some kind of mod, since it is clear now that getting your idea noticed is not as simple as I desperately hoped it would be. I should probably just get lost soon I think.
  5. Quote:Original post by Daaark Yeah, the usual oversight role. That's like a lot of projects here where people post for help, and envision themselves as the supervisor, where all these people come and spend their spare time laboring away to make someone else's vision. As far as i am aware, having a person(s) with a vision and then finding people to make that into reality is usually how it works with game design / film directing. Quote:But you keep talking as if no one gave you a viable option to design your game. I gave you several. If you get good with XNA, Mircosoft even holds a design / build / play contest every year that publishes the winning entry. Yes, i appreciate that, but the catch there is get good. Learning a whole new program and then 'getting good' at it before you can even bring to fruition the other 80% of the game (plot, characters, gametype, leveldesign, texture art, player motivation etc.) is the bit that takes a long time. Hence why I (and a good many others!) would like to be able to pitch ideas to game studios, so that the people who have alrady learned and excelled in those fields can be put to use doing what they were trained to do. Anyway, like i said, i have already downloaded a few programs and intend to invesigate them further. Thanks for the advice guys!
  6. Fascinating, most fascinating… I am pleased to see that your reactions are balanced and not simply “get lost punk”. For the most part I have found your replies to be reasonable and also helpful. However there are few points I would like to make further. When I said I had a “good idea”, I didn’t mean the proverbial few scribbles on the back of a napkin, rather a lot of thought has gone into this, and I get the impression that some of you think this is a bit of a whim. A ‘portfolio’ of ideas would be no problem, just time consuming is all. Nevertheless, an excellent point there! Now to answer a few points directly; Working with technical limitations. Personally I don’t see this as such a great problem for ‘my idea’. I do level design for a (nearly) 6 year old engine. Believe me I know all about the infuriating limitations such a thing imposes upon your original vision. I also have experience on how to find loopholes to get around them. Really all I need is a second hand game engine (I have two in mind, which may be suitable), rather than going to the trouble of creating everything from scratch. Game Assets. Yes, of course for a large title an equally large development team is needed, however, the advantage with having your idea already planned out in full is that it should be quicker to progress with the more technical aspects of production. I honestly wasn’t joking when I said I could have a full story done within a week! ;) True, the story is not all of the game. However I very strongly disagree with anyone who says that the story is one of the less important aspects of game design. Fewer games that are merely ‘point, shoot, kill’ and more games that actually involve the player in a deep and rich story line would be a good thing in my opinion. As for working in a team… yes I understand that game development is a team effort, but the thing is that the actual story and design of the game is dictated more by the designer (and unfortunately also by the executives) rather than the rest of the ‘minions’. At least as I understand it anyway. Afterall, if everyone was suggesting things to put in it, nothing would get done would it, there has to be someone up top who keeps on the course that was originally set. It’s like a director, the director doesn’t actually do any of the acting (normally) nor does he set up all the lights and such. He has people that do that for him. He goes to the lighting guy and says “I want the lighting and mood to be like this…and this and feel like this…” maybe showing him an example. Same thing with the actors. They then go off and try to create in reality what the director sees in his mind. The point is I would be useless at actually doing coding, animating, or 3d modelling. Unless of course I spent many years learning such. BUT, I could very easily and simply express my ideas to people who do know how to do those things, giving them examples and describing it in detail, so that they could then try and make that into reality. I will give you an example; I can’t use 3Dmax or such things, but for the particular engine I make levels for I know what I am doing. I could very quickly make a simple mock-up of the general layout of the level, complete with architecture and notations. All that would be needed is to refine and sculpt it using the actual game engine being used. Its just that I get the sense again…that you think what I’m talking about is just standing infront of a bunch of people and telling them what to do. If I had an opportunity do make my ‘idea’ I would be right in there with the concept art, story script, dialogue, motion capture, acting. You name it; I have no problem with that. I can’t think of anything worse for a team’s morale that to have some inexperienced fool barking orders at them! Making your own game. Don’t worry, I have already downloaded a few of those ‘make your own game’ programs, and intend to investigate them. I am happy to make plenty of effort, but what I do feel is that I would be useless as a minion, and might to better in more of an oversight role. But that’s just my opinion. Pitch your idea In reply to the person who asked how exactly such a system of pitching ideas to game studios would work…look no further than ‘Dragons Den’. To make it plain, I loathe that program. The idea of having people embarrassed and made fools of on national television is most distasteful. However, the actual system, used in private, could work quite well. Envision it; three people maybe, an exec, a game designer and someone who is an all rounder. They have one day a week where you can make an appointment, and you get to tell them about your idea, they can then sift through the people they see and find the people they think have really good ideas. Similar to how the ‘X Factor’ works. At least the ‘nobody’s’ get to have a go, even if they don’t get any further! Afterall, it is better to try and fail, than to not try at all! Noz
  7. Quote:Original post by Kest For what it's worth, I believe game development will become easier in the future. Currently, we have game engines that can be purchased for use and recycled from game to game. That sort of reasoning could easily be broken down into something more useful to the industry, like a single free-for-use super game engine, in the spirit of an API like DirectX. This engine would do it all, and programmers would be left with only the extreme specifics for their games. In some cases, non-scripting programmers may not even be needed at all. Two games, such as Half Life 2 and Doom 3, could have been seperated by external variable tweaks, rather than completely seperate engines. When a game comes along that needs more features, the ideas can be introduced into the super engine, and all future games would have access to it. Well, in an ideal world, anyway. Sound effects aren't much of an issue. The quality of sound now is better than it was back whenever, but not in the way visual effects have changed. At some point in the future, I think visuals will level off in the same way. When that happens, games will be able share millions of common resource assets, like furniture, buildings, people, etc, between old and new games without much concern. Considering even a modern engine like Half Life 2 being available for free use, if developers had access to free unlimited resource assets, hundreds of play-worthy games could be dished out by independent developers with minimal effort or technical skills. Sorry for the meaningless euphoric rant. That is an excellent point, and something that i dearly wish would happen sooner rather than later. The big point I am trying to make is that it is unfair that someone who has a pretty 'boring' (or whatever) idea for a game, can get it made because they have the experience or 'years in the biz', and someone who is otherwise unqualified but has a really good idea doesnt have a chance. The system seems unbalanced to me, as an outsider. I wouldnt mind as much if there was at least a way that you could pitch your ideas to game studios. At least then they can accept or reject your idea based on it's merits, rather than your qualifications.
  8. Greetings! Since this is my first post here, I am not sure what to expect. However, never fear as I did take the time to read several of the important posts including rules and FAQ’s! If I have posted this in the wrong forums then I do apologise and respectfully request that it be moved to the appropriate one. First of all I should probably enlighten you to my mental state at the moment, as you will likely understand better the position I am coming from if I do. Currently I am half way between crying tears of joy, having finally found a place like this where people with experience in the games industry actually visit, and crying tears of psychopathic frustration. Read the following paragraph and you will understand why. WHY is game design so difficult and complicated to get into?! I ask myself this question constantly, as it is probably the thing that annoys me most about the games industry. The thing is, everywhere I read says the same thing; go to a university, do loads of courses, become a lowly minion at an unheard-of games studio and then somehow work your way up into a decent position at one of the well known studios. All this must be accomplished before you die of old age, if you ever want a crack at designing your own game. It is this thing that infuriates me the most, because if you look at many other forms of artistic expression; writing books, painting, sculpture, film directing, they are relatively simple to get into and quickly become rich and famous. Obviously of course there is a great deal of chance involved in the ‘getting rich and famous bit’ as very few people get that far. However, nonetheless these subjects are easy to get into and do not require years of university study to become good at (though a lot of people do that, it isn’t a requirement). I wont name any names, but just take a look at the people who put a red circle on a blank canvas, or put a stuffed shark in a tank and them become fabulously rich from such things. Infact it is often people who have little to no experience in their chosen field who end up making some of the most successful things. A prime example of this is ‘Diablo Cody’ the ex-stripper, who, on her first attempt at writing a screenplay and within a matter of months at that, wrote the screenplay for Juno. You will most likely have heard of this since it has become a popular film and did very well both at the box office and in terms of awards. This goes back to my original question; WHY is game design so difficult and complicated to get into?! You see, the thing is that there could be hundreds of fantastic game ideas thought up by people who really have little to no knowledge of game design, and the infuriating thing is that 99.9% of these people will never even get to pitch their ideas to a games studio. Simply because they haven’t got lots of letters after their name and university degrees to wave around. Why cant there just be a system where people can just pitch their game ideas to a studio, similar things exist in terms of films, art and such. Why not games too? Why am I in such a stew? Well, I not only believe that many good ideas from all kinds of people are left in the dark, but I think I’m going to be in that 99.9% too. Considering the odds in getting your game idea published, this isn’t so unusual. But what really annoys me about this aspect is that I honestly think I have a good, original idea and most likely nobody will ever pay any attention because I haven’t been to university and don’t have lots of stuff I can pile on a CV to wave infront of the boss of a games studio. That is depressing… The bottom line is; I have a reasonably good idea (I think…) of an archaeologist / adventurer type game that is nothing like Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider. Something unique, blending actual history, real people and locations together with mystery and fiction in a deep story designed to cover an arc of three games / books / movies whatever. I play games obsessively, and often study the most tiny details like a misaligned texture on a tiny rock buried under a load of other rubble which most people wont be aware even existed. I have read multiple books, on ancient archaeological locations, people, and mysteries and I am pretty confident can give you more McGuffins and plot devices than you can shake multiple sticks at. Infact I am bemused as to why George Lucas and Steven Spielberg took almost 20 years to agree on a McGuffin for Indy 4. I really don’t want to sound arrogant or anything, because believe me that is not my intention at all, but I honestly think I have some knowledge that could be used to make an excellent story. I also do level design for Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy as a hobby. Now that’s obviously an ancient game engine by now, but it is still very flexible and mods come thick and fast. Listening to Eric Lindstrom talking about the difficulties in pinning down locations and connecting mythologies for Tomb Raider: Underworld nearly drove to eat my own hair. As much as I greatly respect that franchise and the people behind it, and the games industry as a whole, when I hear things like that I go bananas! :P Oh if only I had five minutes with one of those developers… They have all those people thinking up characters and locations, and even flying them out to Mexico to view some Mayan ruins, whilst I and my fellow modders on our Jedi Academy community site research our own locations, make our own textures, invent our own back stories and make our on levels often single-handedly. And mostly just for fun! Why don’t some of these studios go and have a look around these gaming community sites for talent instead of just looking for people with university degrees?! (No disrespect to those people who have worked hard for their position in the games industry, of course.) How do you get five minuets with the boss of a games studio? Please don’t think that what I am about to say I say out of arrogance or ignorance, I am not that type of person. What I say, I honestly mean… How do you get five minutes with the boss of a games studio, without resorting to kidnapping, bribery or becoming a multimillionaire? If anyone knows a way, please tell me! XD It usually takes a fair few people to come up with location ideas, characters, plot lines and plot devices, I honestly think I could do most of the brain work for that single-handedly. I think up stories whilst waiting at the doctors, before going to bed and whilst sitting on the toilet etc. and I am pretty sure for my chosen adventurer / archaeology genre I could give you; Characters – What they wear, what they sound like, where they come from, who their parents are. Locations – Rough concept sketches (I like to draw, but I am no-where near the kind of level of a proper concept artist!), location names, location architecture, texture ideas and examples, weather, lighting and mood. Plot Device / McGuffin – What it is, where it came from, what it looks like, what it does, history etc. Story – Overall story arc, covering multiple ‘episodes’ if necessary whilst still having each game as a story in its own right, a rough script with dialogue, rough storyboards, humour / wit etc. And probably some other stuff too…all within a week, or maybe two…And I mean a 90% finalised story by that! The only problems I have are; getting someone to take notice and having people who can make ideas into reality, since I lack the complicated programming skills to do that myself. Phew… I do apologise of that seemed a bit of a rant, but I have been holding that in for so long, and have only just found a place that may offer some answers to my many questions! To be quite honest, the frustration has reached such a point now, that I just feel like writing a few books. And that is something I really do have NO experience in, so I’m not sure that would go too well! Your candid thoughts, whether they be ones of encouragement, or if you simply want me to get lost, are all welcome! Right, my brain, eyes, and fingers need a bit of a rest now, I look forward with somewhat fearful anticipation to what you guys will say! Nozyspy