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Ber Zerk

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About Ber Zerk

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  1. BTW, would you know good candidates for "established companies" that produce virtual worlds? Thanks!
  2. Dear all, The more I listen to you and the more I dig on the Web, the more your latest advices make sense. Thank you all for your feedback. PS: Tom, as you can see, I have progressed in my reflexion thanks to the help of you experts! This was very valuable! ;-)
  3. Dear Stormynature, I agree that these issues are important (we operate a medium-size online store so I know it is important!), but I'm looking for issues that are more specific to gaming. Indeed hiring someone to research these issues would be a solution. But which kind of expert? ;-) Thanks !
  4. OK, I need to admit I've also signed a couple of NDAs... but talking with someone who wants to sell you something, and chatting with men of the art is really complementary in my mind. Moreover, I think that other people may be interested by your answers if they are generic enough. ;-)
  5. Dear Tom, I'm sorry if you consider that my method is not good professional practice. I respect your opinion. However, I prefer to spend time understanding issues and getting advices from experts in the field than relying on management consultants that would just want to look smart (and take the money). Sorry, it's my engineering background coming back! ;-) Nevertheless, I just take your advice from what it's worth: a game expert (yup, read your CV, I did my homework!) answering a vague question on a fuzzy concept. But I'm more interested in "how" you get to these numbers, and "what to do" to simplify the idea and start small, while being able to grow. Now let's take your points: 1. Maybe quickly is too vague: my idea is to get something within a few month of project start 2. Your input is really valuable here. Foundations need to be sound. This is why I think we should not reinvent the wheel and we should start with a powerful engine that would be able to scale with our project. Do you know which engines would fit that description? Unity3D? HeroEngine? OpenSpace Engine? Dubit? ... Am I going in the wrong direction? Maybe people with experience of building on top of these engines can give me ideas of what they have achieved and the time/resources it took them: this would help me to understand the relationships. Best regards,
  6. Thanks. I understand that isometric can save us a lot of time/effort. Indeed graphics design will be extremely important, and we will work with the best possible artists. For now, I have to first answer my other questions (see above) to build my business plan... ;-) Anyone with a producer experience that could answer me? Best regards,
  7. Dear Aerin, These tools seem to produce gorgeous results! Much more than what we need (our idea is to get something like fixed isometric view, not full 3D), but definitely worth knowing. Anyway, they address only one part of the solution (landscape design). I would like to have enough understanding of the development process to know the relative amount of work/time that goes into: - graphics charter - scenario (in our case it will be very light, since it's not a game) - landscape/elements design - game engine -> especially what we can gain by using existing engines - server -> idem - testing - management tools After hours of reading/searching on the Web, the amount/kind of work to perform when building on top of an engine is still not clear to me. I don't understand either the tradeoffs that would allow us to go faster to a first release (simplified graphics? less movement? isometric view: 2D engine vs 3D engine?... etc...). Thanks for your feedback. Best regards,
  8. Dear Tom, Thank you very much for your answer. Indeed I had million(s) in mind for the cost (and our company never thought to develop it alone!), but time is more critical for us: we need to deliver quickly. Our business model is very specific (I can't disclose it for confidentiality reasons), and my message was a bit misleading: visiting the world will not be the initial motivation for people so if the world is very small at the beginning that is not a problem. Knowing that it would take 2 years and 30 people to complete a full-featured world, what would be a reasonable cost, minimal team size and timing for the first version for a "playable" world, i.e. : - a very small village - chat & info - payment implemented - users not yet able to expand the world BTW, it's not a game, so no killing/monsters/... no complex interactions between users of the game (except chat). I'd like to get an understanding of the timeline, and evolution of the roles of people in the team: e.g. if I need someone to do something only once, then it's better to take a freelance than hire. Thank you very much for your valuable inputs. Best regards,
  9. Hello, For a specific application (not really a game, but looking like one), we would like to create a multiplayer online virtual world. We would like our users to be able to: - visit the world - see, meet and chat with other users - get information (coming from external sources) - pay for things purchased in the world We think about 2.5D graphic, and we will work with a studio or freelance graphic designers. We want the system to be modular and scalable, to add more features (including user-generated content) and accept more users in the future. I'm writing the business plan and I would like expert advice on the big questions: - how long would it take to develop? - can we reuse existing stuff? (I've browsed through dozens of game engines trying to understand what they do, and if they can match our needs, but it's very hard for a noob like me!) - how many people to do the job? - which kind of people (skills, experience) do we need to hire? - alternately, would it be a good idea to work with a game design company? What would then be the best candidates? Thank you very much for your help! Best regards,
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