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About Shadow_hunter

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  1. Trying to start a studio is painful

    Hey guys, thanks for all the great replies!   My biggest mistake was indeed to start this venture without any money or a back-up plan.   To be entirely honest, 2 years ago i had basically no experience in game development. A year ago i completed a one year course, which included the basics of pretty much everything from animation, 3d modelling, cryengine, game design...etc.   While with my broad knowledge i feel i can bring a project from design to release, its just not going to cut it for a real industry job. Perhaps that makes me a less then ideal project leader....but i do regret not having worked a year on only 3d modelling to really get good at that. Its not that i lack in talent, i was best of my class by far. This last year just has been alot of everything, mostly project management, learning UDK and doing level design. I do feel i have grown in skill, but im still a jack of all trades....and a master of none...   My (younger) brother who started a year earlier then me (but he focused only on 3d modelling), now got a job with the guys behind the first 3d game elite. But his portfolio is insane compared to mine. Its pretty odd, when i was 14 years old i already had the dream of getting into game development, i actually started a project back then, but it never got completed because of to ambitious and lacking in knowledge, but i would always be the one pushing my brother to help me out with it, but back then he had no interest in game development. Now my 3 years younger brother is working with the studio behind elite, while im still sitting at home, its darn ironic!   Anyway, mobile game almost ready to release now, and if we dont get government funding i will just release galactic gladiators (the pc game) with less features, hopefully still this year. If all that doesnt lead to anything, ill probably spent some time doing freelance working and improving my portfolio.   I also considered doing some entry level job like QA tester, but i think my odds at getting a job like that are even less then getting a job as game artist..since it is contested by so many people.
  2. Im not sure if this belongs here. But this is basically a rant about how hard it is to get a studio off the ground. When i first started at the beginning of the year, and i saw movies like "indie game: the movie" or "pixels and polygons: an indie developer story" i felt it was an overdramatisation. And i know that nobody said it was going to be easy the entire ride, i do have come to the conclusion that it i way harder then i ever dared to imagine. First i want to start of with our newest screenshot! Our main project is called Galactic Gladiators, this is supposed to be our flagship. We also made two mobile games (one was just an exercise that i made in one week) And another one that is a bit more advanced: The game above, is now in beta and sheduled for release in 10 days. I started with these projects with the hope that we could eventually start a studio, but reality teaches us something else. The first problem (Finding people!) People who work for free are crazy. Yet i found a few crazy people to help out, reality is still that in this world you need to make a living, besides me the rest of the team is stuck with jobs, sometimes even family and kids, and the weekly amount of hours they can put in is somewhere around 1-5 hours. Im surpised we got this far! But for me things are coming to an end. I was given one year to make this work, the year is almost over now. I have no job and i am still living with my parents. The second problem (Finding money!) Finding investors for the creative industry is very hard. You need to have a solid reputation before they even consider you! Also crowdfunding is nothing but an illusion for the delusional! You may hear about crowdfunding succes regulary, but they are just the happy few. Alot comes down to community building and marketing...sadly im a game dev, and being a socially ackward cave dwelling nerd, im not very good at community building! (although that should probably not count as an excuse!) The third problem (Finding happyness!) Keeping yourself happy. I feel the last past year has been one year of depression. As the year progressed it became more difficult to get up in the morning. I would often live at night and sleep at day. I went from 15 hours of sport each week to less then 3. Not only me, also the team is losing moral, we started out very ambitious...but things keep getting delayed and we are still not seeing any money. As a last thing, while our project in general has gotten some positive replies. It has also gotten negative ones...and from all the shit last year that i got to endure, that was for me the hardest. To have your game called, and i quote "A worthless piece of shit", it keeps you up at night. Game dev is not easy, its one of the most technical things i have done in my life, and there are so many different areas in developing a game like animation, 2d art, 3d art, programming, level design...each requiring a very different skillset, and either you spent alot of time doing tutorials or you find the people to do it..but really, few are crazy enough to work on a game over a long period of time without seeing any money. You cannot expect a small indie studio to deliver triple A quality (with some exceptions!), which is what most people seem to expect, and without any budget at all, it is even harder. Im proud about what we achieved with our team...i will try one more thing, which is to ask for government funding, if my case gets denied, i do not know what i will do..this is my dream and i cant settle with less, but at one point you need to earn money or it stops. When your still young and doing school, you might find it funny to see this loser living with his parents while he is 24. But real life is a bitch. For me life is just not worth it if i need to spend it doing some dead end job.   Thanks for reading, i hope this does not discourage anyone from getting into the game dev field, at the same time its one of the most satisfying experiences, just make sure you have a back-up plan.
  3. Galactic Gladiators

    Galactic Gladiators Galactic Gladiators is an extremely fast paced competitive arena shooter.   Our core features: Gametypes that are finetuned for competition. Weapons with a high skill-ceiling that require timing and reflexes, with a feel of lethality unlike most arena shooters. Being hit once or twice WILL kill you, better start dodging those bullets! Competitive features: Matchmaking, ladders, regular cash tournaments (Single-elimination style) A gritty sci-fi universe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8G0LtpX0ro   How can you support us? While we have a working prototype, there is still a lot to do. And we absolutely cannot do this without community support. Even if it’s just guys posting on our forums or commenting on our articles! We believe that the community is the beating heart of any game. We want to involve you in our development process. In the near future we will also be recruiting pre-alpha testers from our community.   How can you help in building our community? Website and forums: http://goldenoakstudios.net/phpbb/ facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Galactic-Gladiators/542484402453600?fref=ts indiedb page: http://www.indiedb.com/games/galactic-gladiators newsletter: http://www.goldenoakstudios.net/content/subscribe e-mail: contact@goldenoakstudios.net Blog: http://goldenoakstudios.tumblr.com   We hope that together, we can create the best arena shooter and competitive experience ever made!
  4. Working on my GDD

    I dont know, is this a joke? Or did you copy paste the wrong thing haha?   anyway, interesting article!
  5. How much it will cost to dev a game...

    Well...you can even do it for free like we are doing: http://www.indiedb.com/games/galactic-gladiators   We're also trying to get into the arena shooter market. I still think the best way is to get a prototype with volunteers first, and get that funded. Unless you are someone with way to much money.. :D   anyway, i hope it works out for you...not that i am particulary excited to see another up and coming arena shooter.   But yea...with a team working for free..its not easy,  you cant be acting like a triple A art director because people will just melt away if you have them redo the same model 100 times over again to reach that triple A quality.   If your serious about putting money on the table, perhaps finding an accountant to help you figure out the exact development costs...thats what we are doing right now.
  6. I actually found 3 marketing experts who were willing to work for free with one indiedb post. They all had very impressive degrees in the marketing field.
  7. How to get to AAA company ?

    Another thing that might be worth mentioning is that crytek often recruits future employees through its (modding) community, they are pretty well-known for this. I am pretty sure other major companies like epic do the same.   edit: sorry i just saw the poster above me mentioned this already! But anyway, besides applying directly for a job this is also a valid method.
  8. How do I estimate a budget for a MMO?

      Isn't this the case with all game development though? MMOs are larger in scale, but not in scope. It's perfectly possible to build an MMO around very few concentrated features too.     Yea it is the case wtih all game development, but it is 10 times worse with a huge project like an MMO. But like you said, if you keep your MMO very simple and dont expect to make skyrim online or something, yea sure, perhaps it is possible. Its just that from experience, the kind of people that start an MMO in the first place are the kind of people that do it because an MMO equals unlimited possibilities, but that can be dangerous if you dont keep your concept realistic and achievable within a timeframe that is not half a decade. I mean, everything is possible in this world....as long as you tackle every goal in small achievable tasks.. but i would not recommend people trying to make the next WoW killer and instead go with something unique that can be achieved within a decent timeframe by a small team. Also...odds that private investors will invest in yet another MMO project are kinda small unless you have something really unique and exciting...simply the costs to just run a game like that are huge (servers etc)....so to get that return on invest is alot harder. I mean... i wouldnt recommend it to beginning game devs, like said before...there will always be the 0.01% that succeeds...but your odds at releasing a mobile game for example are alot higher, and as a beginning game dev your first priority should be to build up a portfolio and gain experience...so im not sure if an mmo is the perfect candidate for that. Anyway, im speaking here about beginning game devs...if you are an experienced game dev with already shipped games on your portfolio and connections in the business world...then just forget about everything i said because it is a entire different story.
  9. How do I estimate a budget for a MMO?

      I spend a lot of time on the Unity forums and it is very unlikely any project (unless extremely small) will be completed through royalties or collaboration. One look at the Collaboration forum highlights this.    All these new game developers come along wanting to build the next big MMO or FPS, enthusiasm is high, and after purchasing a few models and a starter kit, a few screenshots are posted of the game. You then get a few people replying or joining the team, all is looking good....   Then a few more weeks into the development, it starts to hit home that game development, and more so trying to build an MMO or high quality FPS is indeed a daunting challenge and the team members drop off one by one. 95% of projects in the collaboration forum that are more than 2-3 months old have no more updates posted. Projects that are 6 months old will have the last update posted 2-3 months ago. These projects all die.   Long story short, offering royalties or trying to develop a commercially successful viable project is practically impossible.    Until some people actually do it, which brings amazing success stories. I think its really a matter of how you look at the 1% and how people react to this. Coming here for feedback is met with criticism, because the odds of a random individual to be within that 1% are so low, that the advice we are to give is that it's almost impossible. On the other hand, some dedicated individuals (the 1%) have proven that this *is* in fact possible. The problem here is that everyone wants to believe they are part of the 1% because they feel motivated, etc. But there are various other factors at work, including quite a fair deal of luck (what partners you'll find, etc.) I wouldn't leave it up to chance myself. For example, I would have the budget ready, but still try to go royalties first, and then kick in budget if this model fails to deliver.     I think the main issue is that most who do start a mmorpg project are people who are very inexperienced in the field of game development. I have been there...at the age of 15...we worked on it for more then a year...and yea, people get demotivated after a while. Its easy at the start...but when the real grind begins...making the many models you need and implenting the insane amount of features...you cant do that with a small team and no budget. Still, for me personally it was a great learning experience, and it made me chose to study game dev. Im now working on a sci-fi shooter, and i have to admit, its still a big project, but when you use an engine like udk it is very realistic (especially when working with modular models and textures). But its best for starting game devs with no budget to start with really small projects that can generate revenue in a short timeframe..which can potentially fund larger and future projects.   But yea, as said before, start with a GDD and asset listing, then you can get an estimate of the costs, it is also something that you NEED to know when approaching investors...which is a MUST for a big scale project like an mmorpg...unless your using a minimalist art style or something....or if you put a team of devs in a cage and only feed them if they make their deadlines..but that will probably get you in jail :).
  10. Are you a gamer?

    Yea...at times....but its more of an outlet to keep my sanity from developing games.    Before that i was one of the better starcraft players in the benelux, at times it sucks that i cant pursue that ambition anymore because of lack of time...but ah well, pro gaming wont make you rich....once you get to hear the stories of players who actually live in pro houses...im glad i went into game dev :).
  11. Estimating the revenue of a mobile game?

    That's not exactly what your teachers said. Go ahead and show it to them -- they already know how hard it really is, and tried to find ways to give you the lowest-risk path, knowing the students might not hear all the fine points and exceptions and caveats along with it. Your teachers know nothing is easy.     Yea your right. I guess for students mobile games are still the best thing to do, they are more achievable then long term pc game projects and also help building up a portfolio if not revenue. But yea, since i have been doing this i have gained alot more respect to succesful start-ups in this sector...it hasnt been easy up until now and i am very confident that i have not even grasped the biggest challenges yet.
  12. Estimating the revenue of a mobile game?

    Thanks for the links guys.   Its really a shame when you hear of games that took months to develop but only get around 200 dollars.   I should share this with my teachers who all said: right now the money is in the mobile gaming market!   edit: but i guess, the good thing is that its basically a passive income, there is no manufacturing costs once the game is done, and it can keep generating revenue of the course of months. I guess if you can make alot of games....that is pretty nice!
  13. Estimating the revenue of a mobile game?

      Damn, those are some very steep numbers.   That will barely cover the costs of setting up a company in the first place.   Anyway, here is some more information about our mobile game:   https://www.dropbox.com/s/zn1yv6y3m4vpcro/screenshot1.png https://www.dropbox.com/s/y5k6szf0ei0yauk/screenshot2.png https://www.dropbox.com/s/t31gh99u8hfeiqw/screenshot3.png https://www.dropbox.com/s/sl7wonnub1nxaz2/screenshot4.png   It basically uses motion control (tilting your phone) and touchscreen to control it. It is a puzzle game that grows more difficult after each level, and also new elements get added. But at the same time you also need quick thinking and control.   But yea...looking at those numbers we would need to pump out games regularly...and even then i doubt we can make a profitable business from it.   Anyway, thanks for your reply!
  14. What should my priority be for my game now?

    well.   I have been working on two games with a team this last year, we are to release our first mobile game soon.   Our biggest problem was that the government has funding projects..but we missed the first deadline for this because we needed to have a real company.   Now we are also in conversation with an investment company, and guess what the first thing was they did? They redirected us to an accountant to start a real company!   So if you want to try things like that, yes, make work of it. 
  15.   you don't need to have a company to publish games on google play (There are quite a few games on there that are made by individuals but companies like zynga and king tend to dominate the top-lists)   If you are selling a product it might be beneficial or even required(depending on what jurisdiction you're in) to register a business for tax purposes.     Yes, this. The difference between taxes when having a company or not is pretty significant here in belgium...but on the other hand, the start-up costs for a company are pretty high to, although i hear that in the UK for example this is way cheaper. So yea, if you can get away cheap with registering one in your country and you think you will get alot of sales...just do it. ;P
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