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Aurelien Folie - Odin

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  1. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Should I take game-development-related classes?

    My experience as a Game Designer is that if you want to get into indie, there is a good chance you will need to start your own company, as (at least from what I've seen so far), indie companies are usually created by game designers, and therefore are rarely looking to hire other game designers. If that's the case, some game design classes are indeed useful, but classes on how to run a business are crucial. So if you are up for the challenge of creating your own games as an indie, I'd suggest focusing on mastering the business side of things, and with the spare time, improving the game design side, either through some additional classes as you mention, or by reading game design books, or by designing games.
  2. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Decision-Making for Game Programming Career

    It does also depend what type of job you want to do. If your aim is to get hired by a big company, then the competition is indeed high. But if your aim is to program games, regardless of the size of the company, and you know enough about programming to do so right now, then it will probably be easier to find indie companies looking to expand, or people looking to start indie compagnies. It is not at all the same type of job or work environment, but both are programming games. It also depends on where you are. Here in Montreal, or down in Austin TX, for example, there are a plethora of indies looking for programmers, but that's not the case everywhere.
  3. Agreed with the rest of the posts. Already goog content from the ones I read. They would be good as they are, and even better if voice acted. Additionally, I don't think they all have to be funny, as it provides variance overall. If you always know the one liners are going to make you laugh, you don't get to be surprised when one is really hilarious. I myself really like when I hear a one liner for the first time, and then think: That one was really good! I have to hear it again!, and I sometimes end up repeating boring tasks in the game just to hear it again.
  4. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Opinions and suggestions wanted :)

    I would really like to give you feedback, however, I do not have the time to go through all that document. I would suggest presenting smaller parts of the game, and starting with summarizing the concept of the game, as this mind map is really big to read, and it would take a really long time to properly get through it to provide you with adapted feedback. Additionally, for the presentation, I would suggest writing a word document, that is easier to read and more structured, so that you can introduce the game, and then each system and mechanic one by one. Finally, I would start by summarizing the concept of the game, and what makes it unique, into a 1 minute pitch, and once the people are hooked on it, then delve deeper into the details of the gameplay.
  5. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Worth Going Back to School in Mid-30s?

    @cyberpnk Have you asked the schools if they are open to doing accelerated courses, since you already know and have a lot of experience in programming? I know of some cases where friends of mine with a lot of experience managed to just take a few courses, like a month or 2 of intense class, and then the final exam, and they had an official diploma that was the same as if they didn't have any experience and had studied for 4 years. Additionally, applying to an online course and just taking the exams and the few courses your experience doesn't cover could also be a good in between solution?
  6. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Ran out of funds for my video game

    Regarding crowdfunding campaigns, I agree with everyone who mentions that Kickstarter is indeed a lot of work, needs careful planning and a strong community. There is a new platform, Brightlocker (https://www.brightlocker.com/?aid=231ddf) which has a different take on the crowdfunding aspect, since it is not limited to a 1 month campaign. It still requires quite a bit of work, but you can tweak everything a lot more during the campaign, and slowly build the community as the campaign goes. Additionnally, it brings in monthly revenues from people subscribing. Regarding the rewards for crowdfunding campaigns, usually, developping a game provides quite a lot of opportunities, with the artwork, the soundtrack, and adding exclusive content, or offering to work with you to design some content to people. Additionally, with BrightLocker for example, you can also offer people to have short one-on-one chat sessions with you and the rest of the team (if there is a team), to ask you anything. If I was in your shoes, and assuming I needed money quickly to pay rent and food, I would find a basica job to pay the bills, and in the meantime prepare and start a BrightLocker campaign to get more funds for the game. Additionally, as VildNinja said, depending on where you are, there are quite a few options to get government funding. If you are based in Canada, I can give you more info on that. And Finally, you have aquired skills by developping a game, and taking on this specific adventure, that others will be interested to learn from you. This can also be an interesting revenue stream, in a mid to long term strategy. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss all those aspects in more details!
  7. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Please guide me?

    Along with making games, and making more games, I'd suggest reading books like: The art of game design, a book of lenses, that gives a great insight into what it means exactly to create games (from a game designer point of view), and how to consider the perspectives of as many people as possible while making games. And once you've managed making a few games on your own, I'd encourage you to find a team with whom you can do Game Jams (short, often 48h, events where you create a game form start to finish on a given subject). It helped me a lot figure out more precisely how creating a game with a team works, and how to work with a team and be creative. Good luck!
  8. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    I Have No Idea what I'm Doing

    One of the things that taught me a lot about game design is to do game jams with other people. They are often small, 48h events (on the week-end), where you can find a small team, get a random set of words, and then you have to create a game around that. Doing game jams is a great way to see what it takes to develop a game, to start working with others, as a team, to develop something, and to learn more about the process of programming, graphic design etc... And the great thing is that you just need to find people that are happy to do it with you, without having to learn the skills to do everything yourself. Overall, to develop games, I wouldn't recommend doing it on your own, as there are so many different things to consider, and as working as a team can be so much more motivating, and inspiring (when you find the right team).  Maybe you have some friends that would want to work on that with you? Or maybe, some people are looking for additional members for their game jam teams? There are a lot of organised events around the world for game jams, or for networking, where you can find people to team up with!.
  9. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Cost of Game Making

    Regarding royalties, it depends on how much they trust in the project, and the project lead, I think. If they don't give all they can, then they reduce their chances of actually getting money in the end, since the game will probably not end up being top quality. On the other hand, if they do the best work they can, then there are more chances for the game to be a success. But if they don't trust that the person leading the project, and handling the communication side of things, to find customers and build traction, will be able to make the game a success, then chances are they won't be much interested. I think chances are that if they agree to work for royalties only, that means they trust in the project and put in as much effort as they can, at least for people willing to spend more than just a few hours here and there on the project. And if they feel they have an impact on the design, and on making the game a success, they will probably be even more motivated.
  10. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Cost of Game Making

    No problem, glad I could help!
  11. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Cost of Game Making

    As Hodgman said, there are a lot of different ways to offer your services, that change depending on the country you're in. I know about Quebec, since it's where I created my business. Here, you can register as an individual. It costs 35$, takes 10 minutes, and you're good to go. You don't have any fees to pay (other than the usual retirement contribution, revenue taxes and stuff that everyone pays one way or another), or taxes for just being in business.  I'm not fully sure what you mean by "Pay like an individual". If it's about paying people you would work with to make the game, my understanding is that having a business is a good way to reduce the risks of legal issues. However, I believe there are ways to "pay" someone, as in compensate them for their services, without exchanging money. In that case, you may not need to have a business. For example, I was considering the idea of finding some motivated new graduates looking for an opportunity, and offering them to spend 3 weeks in a nice cabin next to a lake (there are tons of them in quebec), that I would completely pay for, to spend the time working as a team, intensively, to create a game, and see how well we work together. This way, I don't actually have to pay them, but they get 3 weeks of "holiday" in a nice place, without having to spend anything, and spending their time doing something they are passionate about. What I would recommend, though, is that whenever you create anything with other people, even if there's no payment, or it's just a short sting, a week-end game jam, or anything similar, to seat down beforehand with all the team, and make sure you are all on the same page regarding what happens if what you do grows afterwards, and then put it in writing and have everyone sign it. Doesn't need to be formal and validated by a loyer, but at least, having that agreement beforehand will save a lot of hassles (I made the mistake of not doing that for a game jam, and the rest of the team ended up kicking me out of the project as soon as it started getting some traction, requiring me to go through negociations with them regarding the ownership and right of use of the text I had written). You never know if something will be successful or have a future of any kind, and it's way easier to prepare for the worst before anyone started doing anything! So yeah... to summarize all that... I think there are a lot of creative ways to go about compensating people for their services that are appropriate and do not require payement. Having a business makes things more real and reassuring for a lot of people you will interact with, and if it's easy and cheap to do where you are, why not go for it (though it's not worth spending all your cash on that!). And finally, aggree and what could happen in the future, and get it signed and in writing, it makes everything soooo  much smoother in case problems arise!
  12. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Cost of Game Making

    I actually have a friend here in Montreal that is working on a platform to connect students looking for opportunities to work on projects to improve their resumes, and companies in need of those skills that are open to work with students. Could be a great way to find some people motivated to work on a project for a low budget. The platform is still under construction, but you can sign up if you're interested at http://studentnucleus.com/ There are also other ways to find funding, like finding skills you have that you can sell, as a consultant or something, or finding products or services you can offer that both help you in creating your personal product, and help you fund it. I'm actually basing my whole company on that unusual business model, aiming for each of the projects I do to end up being multiple products, and means of making money, so that I can generate the funds to create my own games and projects, without having to either sell my soul to an investor, or front in loads of cash. If you want to discuss that in more details, I'd be happy to chat about it, and see how I can help!
  13. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    is this a good idea? MMO Racing game

    I've played quite a bit of the latest Need For Speed, which is open world, and has some MMO content (and is one of the games in Origin Access), and I'm really happy I finally found a racing game like NFS Underground 2! I find your dedication to that project amazing, and kinda inspiring! It's been a while since I started on an adventure like that, that I knew would take ages to complete :P I still have the 3000 pages novel I'm writing, but I kinda of set it aside to start my company. If you're so pationnate about making games, have you ever thought about a career in game developpment? For the project, I'm not really technically savvy, but if you have any gameplay, mechanics, or feedback related questions (or any other I could answer), feel free to ask! 
  14. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Is this idea too offensive ?

    That is a really nice concept! Could be a really interesting new way of passing a message. @HiKids Why do you want to create this violent game? Is it just for the fun, to express something specific?
  15. Aurelien Folie - Odin

    Is this idea too offensive ?

    To add my grain of salt to what Gian-Reto and deltaKshatriya said, IMO, if you have to ask, then it is indeed "too" offensive, which, for me, is exactly the point of why you should make it, especially if it's an experiment. I think video games are an amazing way to make experiments, and see how things turn out. For me, it's a medium that is made to push boundaries, and test the limits. And as a few mentionned, it wouldn't be the first time too offensive games were made, and were successful.  I don't think making a game on a subject is by default endorsing it. IMO, it depends on how you present it. It all depends on why you created it. I don't think RockStar and the others encourage violance in real life. Often, it's  more a way to escape, and to experiment things that you wouldn't experiment in real life. And it's also often a way to point out quircks of today's society by exaggerating them. However, it is indeed a touchy subject, and you should expect a lot of criticism, and heat rising from it. But if you're ready for it, and if you are at peace with why you created this game and why it is appropriate for you to have created it, then go for it!
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