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Developer needed advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ed_Muel, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Ed_Muel

    Ed_Muel

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    Hi,

    First time on these forums but I've been using unity for a few years now. Hoping this is the place to give some good advice.

    What would you do if you had a genuine game idea... I don't mean a storyline for a game, or a clone of an existing game or even a million pound 'if I owned my own studio this is what i'd do' game. A simple indie game that could be made in unity, but was a new idea that really worked.

    I've made proof of concept, set out my maps, written some A*, loaded a level, added a decent menu, and It does really work. First glance it doesn't set the world alight but it's got some serious depth to it, looks good and above all, it's new.

    Unfortunately life does get in the way and I barely had time to write this post, let alone do the last 1000 finishing touches it needs...

    So what would you do? I can't tell anyone what it is, it's not like I can own an idea in this day and age especially when I can't develop it myself. I could give it up, but if I'm right and it is good, i'd be gutted having it and then missing out.

    Are there any options here? I read a post a while back that said no one will ever make your game for you, but there must be capable people out there looking for a project... and if there was, how would that work, can it be monetized? Do you have gentleman agreements? Am I completely wasting my time, my ideas probably terrible and I should forget about it... any advise would be great

    Thanks
     
  2. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Pro developer advice: Develop.
     
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  3. BIG-BUG

    BIG-BUG

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    Unfortunately, this.

    An idea itself is worthless until it is brought to life. If you can't bring it to life by yourself it will either never see the light of day or you have to share your idea with others one way or another.
     
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  4. Ed_Muel

    Ed_Muel

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    Hhmm... bit of a theme here.

    Thanks for your answers. I did keep that mindset for a fair few years and it got me pretty far through it, but nigh on impossible nowadays, times too much of an expense.

    Guess it's just going to have to sit in the back of my mind annoying me. Maybe one day...
     
  5. Ed_Muel

    Ed_Muel

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    I do stand by it though... it really did work well :)
     
  6. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    You can always pay to pick up freelancers to do the work for you.
     
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  7. cdarklock

    cdarklock

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    I have projects on back burners that have been there for over a decade.

    It's okay if it takes a long time.
     
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  8. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    If you're genuinely confident in the idea and honestly don't have time to do anything with it despite that, then this is a very valid approach.

    You could go the standard fee-for-service approach. Alternatively you could find a local developer who you get along with, share your work so far, and do a profit share on the result. (You'll probably get a small share because they're taking on the lions share of both effort and risk.) There's other approaches, too, but they're probably the main two if you want something to actually get done.

    In any case, though, it's still going to require some time input from you. Got a clear and well documented game design? You'll need one. You'll also need either a business structure, or the time to do contracting for it to be sold via your chosen developers' structure. You'll also probably want to be able to put time into helping guide development even if you're not doing it yourself, with flexibility and requirements there obviously varying significantly depending on the relationship you have with the people doing the development. Someone has to market the game and get it onto storefronts, too, and that could be you.

    There's a heck of a lot more to making games than just the bit where you make the game.
     
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  9. Ed_Muel

    Ed_Muel

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    Thanks for the responses

    I think this one has been about a decade already, but thats actually been really helpful. I only really cracked it after 4 years, and spent the last 6 refining it in my head until I spotted unity.


    Yeah, that was basically what I was after, but I don't know any developers or where I would even start looking, I'd assumed they would be on here somewhere. Are we saying there's no definite process for this, all just done on a trust basis?

    Thanks again for your help, I'll maybe start writing a guide to the project that I could use if I did find someone to help. If nothing else it'll keep me content because I'm working on it, but I can do it in 2 minute chunks if I have to.

    Thanks
     
  10. cdarklock

    cdarklock

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    Statistically, every year that goes by takes you closer to having the skills you need to do whatever you can't do, unless of course you're doing nothing at all with your life. Everything's connected. You can quit doing something for years, then come back and find you've gotten better at it for no clear reason - because you were doing something, and it was related, even though it didn't seem that way at the time.

    Yep. Just like everything else. I mean, if you want a sign for the front of your store... you go out and find someone you trust to do it, and arrange for them to trade you a custom sign in exchange for money or other considerations. But there is no central clearing house for sign makers, and comparing quotes isn't simple.

    Whatever you want in life, someone else already has it, and the best way to get it from them is to offer them something they want more.
     
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  11. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    It's highly unlikely the idea is unique/genuine. All creative content is derived from something they have seen before, except possibly the very first dirt scratches and cave paintings, and those were representations of real life.
    There are only 2 options - get the work done by a team of people you have gathered together somehow. The best incentive for them to consider helping is monthly payments.
    Or option two, drop everything you have going on, and create the opportunity to develop the idea yourself.

    I also have a concept design (an awesome derivative that would enhance the fighting genre) I've been holding inside since 2003. I've prototyped a lot of the mechanics, written a complete design document for it including a short concept, pitch proposal and functional treatment. The game is complete - on paper. LOL :) But will have to wait to be played by all until I find the time and team to develop it with me or the money to pay a team to develop it for me.

    Hell no. Getting someone to develop a game for you (me) would involve a contract EA would envy, with NDAs on top of NDAs and non-competes for the entire team, especially if this was a remote contract development process, and a concept you felt was unique/original.
     
  12. Ed_Muel

    Ed_Muel

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    Right, none of these were the answers I was looking for... but maybe the answers I needed. I've got no time, no money and no resources, but apparently this is how it's done so I'll give it a go, I've got 3 hours next Saturday to get back on the ball, then maybe a half day in May :( I've been designing this for a decade already, can wait a few more years...

    Fortunately I gleamed inspiration watching Japanese honey bees fend off hornets (it's not a long story but a weird one so I won't bother) which already led me to remove everything that didn't relate to or enhance the one decent aspect of my game, it'll probably only be about an hours game play by the end, but by that point it'll be finished so I won't care.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    If you got an idea that grabbed you by the throat, then you'll have no choice but to free up some time.

    An alternative would be to hire developers to make stuff for you and pay them.

    Another alternative is to attempt to collaborate and possibly waste a lot of time dealing with people who may be trying to hijack the project.

    Then there's an option to give up. But then again... if it is the "grabbed you by the throat" kind of idea, give up may not be an option.

    People capable of finishing your project usually are looking for money. Might not be a lot of money, but definitely some payment. Those who are looking for a project, but not money are less capable (IMO).

    While "gentelmen agreements" are possible and there are infamous profit share projects, usually those kind of projects (profit share) will fail.
     
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  14. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    This would be much easier if you told us what the idea actually is, so that one of us can give you an example where it has already been done. The chances for your idea to be truly unique are ridiculously low. I know that feeling though. A while ago I thought I had an amazing idea: 2D side scrolling turn based squad combat a la Jagged Alliance / X-Com! And it is a good idea, it exists already: Steamworld Heist, really great game. Made it onto one of Totalbiscuit's toplists iirc.
     
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  15. EvalDaemon

    EvalDaemon

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    The day you don't have something needing to be coded is the day your done or dead.

    Use the iron triangle.

    Each side of the triangle represents how you can develop something and can help guide your strategy.

    Side 1, time. The longer this side the more time you have to devote towards development.
    Side 2, features and depth, how many features and size of the program.
    Side 3, usully represents the cost or final price. But I use it also to represent financial investment.

    Each side effects each other side. The two primary sides you should be concerned with is 1 and 2. The more you add feature wise expect the more time it will take. The more money you throw at in staff or assets the less time and more features you can cram in less time.

    It's up to every developer to balance their own iron triangle. Goo luck.
     
  16. thelebaron

    thelebaron

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    How old are you? Did you ever consider an NDA with potential freelancers?
    Registered yesterday and posting about some amazing game idea thats so amazing it cant even be described in the simplest terms.. kinda ringing my bullshit alarm.
    I mean you could try to round up hobbyists for free labour, but if you cant even work on this yourself why should they help you? What do you even bring to the table?
    You say you wrote some A*, that kinda implies you would have the ability to do this would it not? And why does it have to be done now? If you dont have the ability(as you also say cant develop it yourself), why not take a step back and work on either a smaller project or learning how to tackle a smaller project?
     
  17. frosted

    frosted

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    This inspired me to write a poem, don't take it too personally. I just thought it was kinda funny and rolled with it.
    _______________________
    A secretive post.
    An idea too good to tell.
    Scribbles on parchment.

    Do not share it!
    Do not tell others!
    Nay, there must be an NDA!
    Collateral laid out not on mere paper
    ...but signed in blood!

    There are hordes
    waiting in the bushes,
    bands of artists and coders,
    Bandits all!
    prowling, hunting,
    with vultures eyes

    ever seeking
    the most elusive of prize
    a game idea of the purest virtue,
    unsullied by the filth of material progress
    unburdened from the weight of proper financing
    _______________

    If its a really a great idea, find the time to make it happen.

    Nobody will steal your idea. You'll be lucky if anyone even bothers to read your pitch!
     
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  18. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Haikus are easy
    But sometimes they don't make sense
    Refrigerator


    ...I'm getting impression that this forum has been getting a bit too negative lately.
     
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  19. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    And regarding "secretive" part...

    Usually, ideas aren't new and when the ideas ARE new, you are not the only person who get them. Basically, when a brand new idea arrives in your mind, there will be at least few thousands (if not millions) of people that will have the same idea. This is demonstrated in science, when the same discovery is sometimes made by multiple different people at once.

    To the date there are at least 5 games that closely resemble ideas I used to have. However, the devil is in the details, as they say. While the core idea can be incredibly similar to mine, the game usually will have specific art choices, settings, etc, which will be very different from what I would do, if I implemented it.

    So, it is unlikely that your idea is unique. However, you can make a game with unique feel based on it.

    Also, this article might be interesting:
    http://blog.jpl-consulting.com/2012/04/why-i-wont-sign-your-nda/
     
  20. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I don't know if it's been mentioned but one possibility for why you've never run into it is that the people who had the idea may have found it not enjoyable, not feasible, or too risky. It's not that your idea is necessarily any of those either so much as those who had similar ideas couldn't find ways around them and so they abandoned it.

    Dwarf Fortress tends to come to my mind as a game that is simply not feasible to develop with normal funding methods without sacrificing a great deal of the concept behind it. A crowd funding approach was probably the one way it'd succeed.

    Likewise Minecraft arrived at exactly the right point in time. Any earlier and the average hardware capabilities may not have allowed it to run for the majority of its audience, but eventually someone would have come up with the concept and made it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  21. Ed_Muel

    Ed_Muel

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    Hi,

    Some good points and a lot to think about. I appreciate the cynasism about the originality, guess I'm not the first person to turn up on a developer website with a new idea.

    The point I'm taking away from this is that lacking financial means this game needs to be built by people who believe in it. Which is me.
    So I'm back in the game... as people said earlier, I do have the means to develop it, and it doesn't need to be done today, this year or next year. Working on a game a few hours a month has its benefits, you get a lot of time to think it through and refine it.

    Maybe I'll be back on here with something tangible... it'll be crap and unoriginal :) but executed at least.

    Thanks for your comments
     
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  22. cdarklock

    cdarklock

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    Even Minecraft wasn't original, you know. Look up Infiniminer sometime.

    What made Minecraft original, when you really boil it down, was creepers. They break all the rules. They sneak up on you, don't burn up in daylight, explode fatally by default, can appear anywhere, permanently damage the surroundings, and the consolation prize is that you can still collect some of what they blew up.

    That's horrible design, because they weren't designed. And creepers were a mistake. Not like, they shouldn't have been made (although almost everyone would have said they shouldn't, had Notch asked beforehand), but he wasn't trying to make them. Even the model was a confusion of the X/Y coordinates when he was trying to model a pig.

    Minecraft is distinctly Minecraft because Notch screwed up. At no point did he have an original idea. He just screwed up in a way nobody else ever had, and said "let's keep it."

    Let me tell you from the other side of that: the money doesn't really make a difference. I paid thousands of dollars for the licence to Ultimate Universe, paid a team close to a quarter million dollars to work on it, and we never produced anything worthy of showing to the people who were interested.

    Ultimately I ended up losing the licence because we didn't produce anything of material value. Having to prioritise what paid the bills over my personal passion project, what with having a new baby and all, the same life that got in the way of me making it myself also got in the way of me managing the team that was supposed to make it. That was the problem: I didn't have time. I was busy with other things. Specifically, with money, instead of game development.

    Money won't fix this problem, sadly. I know we're all raised to believe it will, but it honestly won't.

    You know about MVP, right?
     
  23. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    At four hours a month you are looking at two years to build the simplest of prototypes. A decade to get to something worth sharing in a WIP forum. And somewhere in the order of 200 years to complete the game.

    Given those numbers, it's not happening. Which leaves you with several options.
    • Keep going as you are, and resign yourself to never seeing the game released
    • Rearrange your life to allow more time and/or money to complete the game
    • Convince someone else to make the game for you. This is a virtual impossibility.
    • Give up ownership of the idea, and put it out in the public space. With the hope that it's interesting enough that someone else takes the idea and makes the game.
    I personally would go with the last one. It's the only suggestion that I see of having a remote possibility of ending with the release of a game.
     
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  24. cdarklock

    cdarklock

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    I agree with the four options, but I disagree that putting the idea out is the most likely to produce a game.

    Option #2 - rearranging your life - is more likely to produce the game. Once you bite the bullet and say "I am doing this," you will go farther than someone who is just casting around at random looking for a good idea.

    But you know what's EVEN MORE likely to work?

    Do both.

    Here's my current game idea. You buy factories and make stuff, but instead of just immediately getting the money, you store the stuff in a warehouse where you have a marketing and sales team that promotes it to the public based on a few simple variables you can shift around. And then at the end, there's a storefront, where people walk in and buy your stuff - converting inventory to money. To balance out the marketing angle, if you are a big old jerk who is lying to people and overcharging them with your marketing, there's a regulatory agency which will fire up a class action suit against you. So you can either staff up a legal department to fight lawsuits, or you can just be honest and ethical and make less money. But then you don't get sued ever, so you also don't need a legal department and don't have to settle class action suits, so maybe you make more. It's hard to say. If you do the math, it should probably work out that the way to make the most money without micromanaging everything is just to put everything in the middle.

    If you take that idea and go build the game, it won't look like my own implementation. It may be better, it may be worse, there may be twenty different versions... and I don't care. I'm building this game because I want to build it, and if five other people build one like it, I'm pretty sure most players will just want to play them all. So I'm fine with that.

    Also, the idea isn't even remotely original. It should basically surprise nobody when I observe that I had this idea while playing AdVenture Capitalist, Outpost Kaloki, and March of Industry. It's just a sort of smashed-together amalgam of those games.
     
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