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Starting a business and need advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ASFghost, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. ASFghost


    Nov 21, 2016
    For awhile now I've been wanting to start my own business in video game development, and is the best option I have right now. I have over a decade of experience with making various kinds of game content (i.e. game maps / levels, particle effects, models, procedural terrain generators, an inventory system based on client-server communication, etc.).

    I've also been working with Unity for a couple years now, and have been developing my own game for about a year (Block Party), which I'm really passionate about and already has a decent following. It has been far more challenging than I anticipated to get this business off the ground, and right now I just feel stuck and frustrated. I'm not sure where to go form here and could use some guidance; I really want to see this game and business fully realized, as well as a few other projects I have in mind. Any advice would be greatly appreciated:

    -What is the next step or steps to take?

    -How to recruit other devs, keep them dedicated to the team and the best way to pay them?
    -Where and how can I recruit other team members? I already have about 2 or 3 other people interested to handle modeling and scripting, but really need someone experienced with data structures, networking, etc.

    -What is the best way to market the current project, and further build a community?
  2. moonjump


    Apr 15, 2010
    Many of those questions depend on where you are.

    Setting up a business varies enormously from country to country. Paying a team is another area with massive legal differences. Recruiting also depends on if you live in an area with lots of local developers, or if you are willing to work remotely. And marketing the project depends on if you live in an area where you can find contacts through local events or are more restricted to doing it via the internet.
    theANMATOR2b and ASFghost like this.
  3. TonyLi


    Apr 10, 2012
    Hi @ASFghost! I caught your interview on a podcast (maybe Chris DeLeon's Gamkedo?), so I'm pretty sure you're in the USA. Every state has a small business administration that offers general business advice and help, often for free (well, funded by your tax dollars). Definitely take advantage of that for the business stuff.

    If you can afford to, pay people outright. Take a side job to fund it if you have to. Revenue share can be a major headache, legally as well as getting people to actually complete their tasks. In addition to online sources such as Unity Connect and TIGsource, see if you can recruit some people from in-person meetups, especially near local colleges. Just coming out of school, students and recent grads often have sharp skills and more free time than people burdened by family, mortgages, and jobs. Everyone wants to make their own game, though, so it usually takes upfront financial incentive to agree to work on someone else's game (such as yours).

    Put an early access version of Block Party on or gamejolt If you haven't already already. Don't put it on Steam until it's really solid and you have a lot of positive feedback. Otherwise early negative Steam reviews will haunt you forever.

    Showing your game at expos can be fun and motivating, but other than that they don't offer much bang for the buck. Early access on will get you a much higher volume of feedback, and more honest feedback, too, since they don't have to look you in the eye while delivering their gripes. But if you're feeling frustrated and want a little support, demo it at a local meetup. It doesn't need to be a gamedev meetup. People at regular gaming meetups (both video games and tabletop games) will be happy to play it, too.

    Good luck!
    theANMATOR2b and ASFghost like this.
  4. ShilohGames


    Mar 24, 2014
    If you live in the USA, you will usually want to start by setting up an LLC. In some states, this can be a very low cost thing that you can file yourself. In other states, you may need to work with a lawyer.

    Game wise, I would recommend creating a game design template for three different versions of your game.
    1) An MVP that you can deliver by yourself without any help.
    2) A game that you could build with one or two additional people.
    3) Your dream game with all of the features you envision.

    Build version 1 before bringing anybody else on board. Use this initial version to generate buzz and gather feedback.

    For help with version 2, maybe reach out to your Discord members to see if there are any game devs in there who may be interested in collaborating on your project.

    Version 3 is much tougher, because developing your dream game may mean paying and managing staff for several years. It will probably only be possible if you can sell a bunch of copies with version 2 of your game.

    As for releasing the different versions, you could use early access release for version 2 and full release for version 3. Or you could consider giving version 2 and version 3 different titles, and releasing each of them separately.
    ASFghost likes this.
  5. chelnok


    Jul 2, 2012
    You could make some of those things (maps, particle fxs, models), and sell them via Asset store to get some passive income, and of course those other things too, but they might need too much time for support if you need most of your time to dev your game.
    ASFghost likes this.