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About TeresaS

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  1. Essentially, you recommend getting a portion of the character designs finished (or at least already started with a few completed characters ready to go) before hiring actual lead programmer and a lead artist to start development right?   In this case, perhaps the script of the story can also be completed at least completed to alpha before game development begins. The script will be done in a way that injects gameplay, and appropriate to the scope of the project.   To start a business, it will be best to get the above mentioned 2 things (character designs + story & script) started or at least completed to some reasonable degree before the actual hiring of full time programmers and artists.   Am I correct? Perhaps this is completely different to how established studios do things, but perhaps this is one good way to start up a studio efficiently.
  2. ^   Again, wonderful and insightful advice. Much needed! Digital distribution is indeed very enticing. You mentioned marketing $10M spent on advertising alone for a game?! That is just a theory right? Can you shed some further light on the marketing costs of a handheld RPG game?
  3. How about a situation where the dev studio has the funds to create a game, has created a game, and is looking for a publisher to distribute the game?   So the publisher has paid the dev studio nothing. I would imagine in this game, the publisher will split revenue to the dev right?
  4.   It doesn't really, but if you're truly serious about trying to figure out how likely your game is to sell, you can't afford not to do it. That being said, it's a bit more complex than just looking at similar games. Games, even though they may be similar, have been produces in a different context and you need to identify what this context is before determining how likely these figures are to be similar to yours.   When was the project released? Was it a good / bad time? What kind of hype did the project have? Was it part of a brand that has recognition? (did it get labeled "Castlevania"?) What exposure did it get? How much of it was from actual marketing vs press being interested? (roughly helps you identify the marketing budget). Is it similar to what you intend on spending? How much press attention did it get? Was it at PAX? How are you faring with these interviews pre-release? Is that in-line with what they had? How "original" was their concept when it was released? How original is it now? Who is the developer? Are they known? Do they have something unique that you don't?  How does you target audience differ from theirs? Is is the same game (clone) or did you go in a different direction with art, gameplay, etc.?   Be honest about how your game's quality compares with your reference title. The fact you're impressed with what you've achieved doesn't mean you come even close to beating your reference material. Apply that modifier to your final numbers.   Now, balance your estimated costs with your expected sales. If it's your first, second, third or fourth project, don't expect to be out of the red. Most developers break even by their 5th commercial venture.     This is a very informative post - thank you so much!   One thing that has been bugging me is the inability to find just how much revenue a studio can gain out of the retail price. After publishing costs, production costs (if physical copy) distribution costs, retailer costs, just how much is left to the studio?   A PSVITA game retails for $39.99 USD in the US - unofficial resources seem to suggest only $8-10 go towards the dev studios The same PSVITA game retails for higher in Japan, and again sources seem to suggest $13-16 go towards the dev studios for each copy sold   I guess one must know or be able to estimate just how much revenue one can receive per game sold- both digitally and physically to be able to make a cost estimate and sales expectations. How are studios going about getting such information? I would imagine if a studio has a publisher, that particular publisher can provide all the information.
  5. Studio is composed of the following full time staff: (with the intention of hiring more full time staff as things ramp up) 1 senior programmer 1 senior animation/artist (responsible for creating game assets, environment/setting concept art) 1 writer   Game project has finished preproduction, overall story is set, characters detailed, and the programmer is currently laying the programming foundations - when should a character designer come into this process?   1) When should the character designer come in? Wouldn't game assets, such as enemy models and main character models be required? How can these assets be worked on without a character designer submitting finalized designs?   2) When will the programmer require the art assets? The game is an isometric tactical RPG Dialogue system with textboxes Different responses to dialogue will lead to different character relationships and endings Or can the programmer implement the above listed charactersitics into the engine without any need for art assets in the early stages?
  6. I dont think that this will help a lot. Either you make a 1:1 clone (you will have other issues here) or your game will be different (most likely). The difference could result in flop or top. Did Notch have ever thought that Minecraft would be selling like this ? Or if estimation would work, why did THQ  go bankrupt ?   If you are able to estimate the game sales of an not yet produced game, then you will earn lot of money by doing just this, estimating the games sales of games not yet finished   Is there any way to deal with this problem of estimation? How can dev studios actually start making a game without considering how well or poorly it will sell? Surely, it can't be just a blind investment right?
  7. There might be some formula, even a formula which works to some degree for the 5. game in a well known series. But the truth for most (unknown) studios will be, that you can't pin a number at the expected number of sales. I think, that a common approach is   1. Invest money to create a game. 2. Calculate break even. 3a. Sales>break even => Party 3b. Sales<break even => Dept   Game business is a high financial risk and there seems to be three, at least partly, working approaches: 1. The hobby/indie way: try to keep the investment as low as possible. Most fulltime member do it for a share, external investment is minimal. 2. The known indie studio way: you have a small studio backed up by some known designers or games (torchlight, double fine etc.). 3. The AAA way: you have a publishing contract with a big studio.   A valid way to test your idea is crowd-funding (eg kickstarter), thought is has other disadvantages, it is a good indication if a game idea could sell.     Will examining similar games help with estimates? But keep note to always lower drastically the sales expectations due to the "new" game being:   1) made by a new studio who nobody knows 2) with lesser scope 3) and being a new IP
  8. How does a studio form sales expectations? Managing costs and being efficient is really important in setting the scope of the game and the costs that will be incurred during development.   Does one look at sales data for similar games?   Besides this, are there any other ways to form a reasonable estimate of potential sales?
  9.   Summon Night 5 and Disgaea are also TRPGS, but they seems to be have 3D models and the actual battle itself occurs on the battlefield. FE seems to be 2D all the way (sprites, maps, and battles) until Awakening - where the battles became 3D.   I wonder which approach is more efficient, or more cost effective? In the end, the objective is to deliver a decent battle experience for the players with a solid art direction. I've heard that making good 2D sprites and battles is not necessarily less expensive or time consuming than 3D modelling...
  10. Thank you for replying! I know I've asked a very open question. The way you laid out the costs, mostly salary * time taken to develop is also how I've estimated the costs too. Although the planning/conceptual stages will most likely just involve 1-2 programmers and a writer (along with a game designer who can be the writer or the programmer at the same time) getting a working concept going - then moving on from there.   Unity - ease of porting? PSVita native support? Relatively low license costs? This does seem like the perfect game dev tool for a small studio is it not?
  11. Hi friends , this is the link for the gameplay section of Fire Emblem Awakening: http://fireemblem.nintendo.com/gameplay/index.html The game consists of: moving 2D sprites on a 2D map (level) limited 3D battle animations the story of the game is primarily delivered via cutscenes with 2D portraits and textboxes Is a programmer who is familiar and has successfully delivered game projects using Unity able to create a TRPG with Unity? How technically difficult will this game be develop for a fresh dev studio with around 6-7 full time staff? I also wonder what is a good estimated budget for a developing a TRPG similar to Fire Emblem.
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