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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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  1. Hello all, It is not possible to selfpublish a game on the XLBA, you need to go first party with Microsoft or Third Party with a publisher. You can self publish with peer review in the Xbox Live Indie (XBLIG), but the revenues from that platform are lower because, the amount of games is huge, quality is usually regular to low, and most of the xbox players don´t visit it. With Sony PSN, you can do self publishing but in order to do that, you need firt to become an official Sony developer, submit and approved the concept, develop it and finally do the Quality and Assurance part of it before submiting it to Sony. If in Sony cases, it is apparently possible to do it, in reality it is very hard, because Sony quality criterias are very high and you need to have some resources as to go through the process with Success. Which means that you will need either a Publisher or a financial partner backing you up. In the case of the publisher you will be negotiating the IP and in the case of financial partner the ownership of your company/project, which in the end seems similar. My personal opinion, is that IPs are only important if you are a proven game developer, if not, the IP is something that doesn´t have value because the value of the IP is bring not by the developer but by the publisher's financing and marketing. If you have the luck to have a publisher interested in your project, don´t loose time in discussing the IP, take the money and develop the best game you can, you will have time later on to create other IPs. regards, D.
  2. Hello All, although I do agree with the majority of the comments made in the thread, I do think that there is room to start making money so young. Now it is very easy to have forgotten that the industry has been created by people with 16 years olds that started to develop games in their rooms and sold it to small publishers that were willing to sell it. During the last years this spirit has disappeared from the industry as the publishers became those huge incorporated companies listed publicly in the stock exchanges everywhere, and that only bet in games and game developers with no risk, abandonning all the small developers and all the fresh ideas. This spirit kept existing in the internet with opensource, freeware and shareware games, and in the last years, started a comeback into the XBLIG, Iphone, Android and other platforms. So my advice would be, go ahead, there are very good opportunities in the XBLIG, in the iphone and the Sony MINIs are becoming also a very good starting point. Keep quality high and the scope of the game controlled to the nature of the platform and into something achievable by your resources (probably your time and your talent). Most of the games started by amateurs are never finished, so keep focused and go for it. regards, D.
  3. If you are goind to operate in the states from the states, the answer would be yes, but if you are based in the UK and will be operating in the UK, the answer then is no. Because you should have the company set in the country where you can legally operate. Usually when you register comapany names, you can give several variations of the same name, so you maybe perfectly be using a similar name and changing something in it to make it different. It is just like domain names, to find you direct name free is very hard todays, as if it has not be taken by another company, it will belong to speculators that have bought all the combinations just to try make some bucks with it. But you can go around with variations on the name. Regards, D.
  4. I think that it is perfectly normal to demand quality in the work requested to providers, even if working for free, the person with whom you are working is simply telling that she doesn´t like the new versions and that you should be improving it. It happens all the time in the industry, with co-workers, with publishers, with customers. Team working in one of the hardest things in any kind of work. Regards, D.
  5. Hello, the number of people and their roles in a team depends a lot of the type of work to be done, the quality, complexity and other factos that needs to be taken in account when sizing. There are no magic numbers where you have 1 dev for 2 graphists, that doesn´t work like this. You need to sit done, think in the tasks that have to be done in order to develop your game, think of the roles that are needed, and then how much people per role. based on that you will have your resource plan for your project. You will probably find more information about the subject if you search for project management resource estimation, project management processes in google. The most wellknown project management methodology is the PMI (project management institute) which has created the PMP certifications and the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge). Regards, GD
  6. I have been reading the answers, and I have to say, that to invest 300K in producing a game for a platform for which you seem to have almost no idea, is very dangerous, for you and for your investors. I am sure that you can learn on your way, but the problem with running a company, is that by themselves they always give your more problems and more work than you were estimating, which means that there is not time to learn. You need to already know your way aroung as to be only concentrated on production problems. My advice, would be to start with the XBLIG where you can basically reduce your costs down, while producing good concent. With XNA Studio + XNA creators subscription (99$). For Devkit you will only need a regular XBOX, and you will be able to learn and test with a smaller game and a smaller investment. If it works, you will be able to leverage the experience to the full XBOXLIVE and the other platforms. The % for the developer is very good, and it is why more and more developers are jumping in this platform. Regards,
  7. hello Ergod, I will be probably repeating a lot of the things that other people have told you, but I will try to summarize, from the point of view, of someone that is actually doing the same thing than you, but the opposite way, and view from a marketing point of view? 1)What is your target Market? Games? Training? Simulation? Game Tools? 2) Have you actually tried to quantify how big is your target market? 0$, 500 00$, 10 000 000$ ? 3) Who are your potential customers? and what is the buying decision process behind it? So, do you know who might be interested in buying your games? Do you know where you can find them? What information they research, what sites their access, what magazines they read? What is their demography and their buying power? 4) Do you know the key strenghs of your product? what is the main value for a customer? And what is the Willinngess to Pay from the customer (how much he would be willing to pay for the value you are communicating). Where are they? 5) Who is your competition? Maybe it is not only a university, but maybe all the online poker sites, that included software demos that help the players learn an try the online poker. Based on the answers to these questions, you should be able to first, make a viability analysis of your product, maybe there is no interest at all to buy it. If you come to the decision that there is a market that can be profitable, and you know the competitors, you will be able to come to a pricing decision, that should be higher than your costs. At this moment, it is when you can start to ask questions about which advertising campaign to implement, because we will know who you are targeting and where. Before that you are just loosing your money, because you are probably trying to sell "Pork Meat" to a Vegetarian. From what I have seen: i) you are missing market information. ii) your site is unprofessional,and as commented in a earlier post, it reminds a scam site, or a how to make 10 000 $ a months websites. iii)you don´t have the technical and commercial information to show the value that your software brings to potential customers. iv) I have downloaded your demo, and I am sorry to be direct and sincere, it is very poor from any point of view you could think of: Poor Graphics, Poor Usability; Poor Information; etc... The kind of demo, that the customer runs never to comeback again. I wouldn´t pay even 1$ for it. So as action plan. I) Get professional people to work on the presentation of your game/demo II) Gather the marketing information you are missing, and put in place a marketing plan ( the 4P, Price, Promotion, Placement & Product). More information at http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/plan/ I am not able to evaluate if the idea is good or not, because I am no expert, but there is already a very good thing that you have done, to put in motion. You may have pieces missing or incomplete, but you have done already something very important, that 90% of people do not do: You have given the first step. You have actually stepped out of the idea and come into the implementation, investing your time and you money into it. You are in the good path, you must need to be perseverant and fixed the mistakes done that you lack of experience in business. Good Work and Good Luck. regards, GD.
  8. Hello, As told in the previous reply, ideas have no value at all, unless you implement them. So no one will invest in your idea, unless you are able to show a prototype of the idea as to show that it is feasible and you actually know how to implement it. Then you will need to show that you actually know what you are doing, and put a business plan that will show investors how you are able to put in practice in a profitable way, the business needed to implement your idea. At this point, most of the venture capital will most probably reject it, because it will be too risky, but you have to try it, as maybe there is one "hungry" for investment and willing to put money on extra risky businesses. So, how to assure that you will have a positive answer? Well, you will have to make a proof of your faith in your idea, and a part from your own initial work and capital, raise extra capital for the 3F's (Friends, Family and Fools) and start working on the idea, according to the business plan you have put in place earlier on. Go back to the same venture capitals and run again the pitch information, now with your action plan already put in place and working on it. If you don´t think you can risk your own time and your money, don´t loose your time trying to find others to invest, because they will only do so, if you are taking the same or superior risk. In the end, it is your idea. regards, GD
  9. Hello, schools are only important to set the basis to learn about how to learn, and that you can learn with just about higher education. If you really want to be game designer, go to the university, graduate in whatever you think you could like. In the between, more than reading books, which are sometimes very hard to understand, I would start by reading blogs about game design. There are huge set of them over the internet with their personal experiences about game design. By reading blogs you can have a direct contact with that experience and you can communicate with the blog author increasing the learning potential. Once you feel you have more or less some overview about the discipline, start to create your own game concepts, game designs, and share them with friends, or even send them to game designers with whom you have create contacts, receivign feedback is the best way to increase the speed of learning. After that, even if you were in the north pole, you would still be connected to the internet, find projects needing game designers, and try to participate in it. There are hundreds of opensource projects with remoter collaborators seeking for good game designers, and the only thing that you need to join in, is a connection and the wish/will to participate. If you want to know about game designs blogs, go to http://www.game-designers.net , they are keeping a good reference to game design information. Regards, D.
  10. Hello, you have also a very interesting list in the wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_publishers Regards, GD
  11. Hello, my experience tells me that you should never work with anyone without some kind of : - Non Disclosure Agreement, because you don't want employees, partners, customers or providers to go around and talk about your secrets. - Agreement, toward partners, Providers or customers, because as in any love story there will be good times, bad times, and awfull times, and we will not want to be caught into bad times without anykind of agreement. - Exclusivity or Non-competion agreement and rights transfer agreements, with employees as to guarantee that they will not work at the same time for you and for your major competitor, or that they will not become your competitor knowing everything there is to know about you. And finally, that rights do not belong to companies but rather to people that transfer the explotation rights to the companies (while the company is alive). Even in open source projects, you have somekind of agreements to protect the rights of the main author of the idea and all the collaborators that have helped moving the project forward. It is true as well, that agreements are only as good as the people behind them, but it is better to have one than none. Regards, GD.
  12. Hello All, I think that before looking at all the procedures of creating a company, the people behind should know something very fundamental to any kind of company, operating in any kind of market. Do you know the business of developing games? Have you already worked in the industry and know the main parameters affecting videogame studios? If you don´t know the business or technical part of it very well before you put your money ( family, friends or fools) you are doomed to failure, as once you have started to operate you will no have time to think about how to do things, you will just have the time to actually do them. In any entrepreneurship training, the first thing that people wanting to create their business, is to actually know very well the market where they will operate, and to know very well, the operations and processes of the company to be created. The majority of new companies died before the first year, and most of them due to the fact that the people behind the companies didn´t have sufficient level of knowledge about the industry. Once you are cleared about that, every thing is a pure lawyer/accountant labor to give a legal birth to the company. After that, you need to be very clear also about a very important law of business creation ;) a company without clients/Customers is a dead company. Which means that a lot of people usually doesn´t start legally the company until they are sure about having acquired the first customers. Usually they will keep doing their usual job while working afterhours in the process of setting up all the main processes about their personal venture ( preparing technology, Marketing information, business plans, prototypes, prospecting potential customers, etc...) and once they have been able to guarantee that they have already someone that will buy their product, is when they are actually opening /Activating the business. I don´t want to bring pessimism into you, but rather to inspire caution and common sense. If you are sure about it, then jump forward, because even if the first company goes wrong, it will be a very valuable experience for your future. Regards, Game Developers
  13. hello, my experience about this process tells me that you can find smaller studios that would be willing to work on a prototype for free with the condition that once the game is sold they get to develop it and to share on royalties. It is not very different to develop inhouse prototypes and to pitch them to publishers, so for a small developer without probably good game designers, it could represent a good opportunity for them in participating in good projects that can open doors as well for them. So if I was you, I would try to get a list of small studios from your home country, analyze them to see if they have the right set of skills to develop a good prototype ( a developer with the wrong skills and quality can kill your idea forever). Contact a couple of them, and sell them the idea and the potential of the game. Sell aswell your credentials/track record ( if you don´t have a track record forget about it, as in game developers, publisers looks not only at the company track record but as well into individuals members of the team), close an agreement and define a schedule to be fullfilled. Start to pitch publishers about the idea as to identify the ones that will want to see the prototype and use the information to motivate the developer who is helping you with the prototype as to keep him incentivated to work for the project. Keep a good communication line open between you and the developer and you should have not problems with the prototype. I have myself done this twice and the results were very interesting. Regards, http://www.game-developers.org