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When Someone Has An Idea For A Game...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Traverity, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Traverity

    Traverity

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    What should they do? Is there a certain course of action that they should take? Prerequisites to consider? Any advice?


    I'm on a few dev teams already, so this isn't for me. I'm just interested in what you guys have to say on the subject.
     
  2. JRavey

    JRavey

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    The first thing would be to document it, not for some imaginary legal reasons, but to flesh it out further.
     
  3. nullstar

    nullstar

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    Have fun making it, push yourself to improve, learn something new
     
  4. sybixsus2

    sybixsus2

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    Make it.
     
  5. WedgeBob

    WedgeBob

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    Have a solid pipeline and deadline in place to make the game successful... That should always be key.

    Here's what my pipeline would be like:

    Planning and blueprinting my levels/storyline through Sketchbook Pro and 123D
    Low poly modeling through Blender or XSI Mod Tool, depending on whether I'm doing commercial or non-commercial work
    High poly sculpting through Zbrush 4R2b
    UV Mapping through headus UVLayout Pro
    Texturing and image maps through Photoshop CS5 Extended w/ nDo2 plugin
    Exporting and rendering through Blender and/or DAZ Studio 4 Pro
    Converting the exports to newest .FBX flavor using FBX Converter 2012.2
    Import and set up everything inside of Unity
    Open up Visual Studio 2010 to script out all the AI and all the action for the scene
    Test play everything, see if I like the result
    Compile and have it out as a playable beta for the community at large

    I know this list seems complicated, but...hey, it's what a game studio has to go through in order to have things from digital concepts to a real piece of work that can be played, and have a theme that will build the personality of the game.
     
  6. rik338

    rik338

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    I would say "get working". Pretty easy right?
     
  7. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    +1
     
  8. Morning

    Morning

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    Making it is not enough. Make it good.
     
  9. Traverity

    Traverity

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    Any specific suggestions on how one would "make it good"?
     
  10. Morning

    Morning

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    Good as in opposite of bad. :D
     
  11. Traverity

    Traverity

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    Haha, alright then.
     
  12. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    When someone not in our company has a great idea for a game, we politely nod and and say thats a great idea!

    (this is common, the moment they find out we can indeed do games, the inevitable response is: ooh I have a great idea...)

    Ideas are utterly worthless in my opinion, because like it or not, I've probably thought of it already. What is not worthless, is an idea that suits your goals of business and the resources you have.

    It's pretty tricky developing an idea which will tick all the boxes when you have limited resources.
     
  13. profanicus

    profanicus

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    Iterate on the idea until it is a design, and then iterate until it is good design.
    Once it is good, start prototyping. Get something up and running and playable as quick as you can using placeholder assets. Now you can work on making it fun.
     
  14. Traverity

    Traverity

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    @Hippocoder

    So in essence, work with an idea that you can actually work with?
     
  15. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    I steal the idea and make millions ;)(that is hippos real thoughts)
     
  16. Morning

    Morning

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    Idea is worth everything as long as you can implement it. No really some people have great ideas and simply brushing them off is kinda foolish imo. But whatever floats your business.
     
  17. profanicus

    profanicus

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    Ideas are generally considered worthless because it costs very little to come up with a hundred of them, and doing so requires no skills ie. anybody can do it.

    Most developers have plenty of ideas and they usually want to make one of their own, not one of yours. :)
     
  18. Traverity

    Traverity

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    @profanicus

    The point of the thread was to provide thoughts on how one can turn a game idea into a functioning product. ^^
     
  19. profanicus

    profanicus

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    Which I did earlier in the thread; now I am merely responding to comments made by some other contributors.

    edit: My post was directed at Hippo Morning's comments, not OP. Sorry if there was any confusion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  20. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    My steps:
    1. have the idea
    2. tell my brother about it
    3. post the idea on forums and ask people thoughts
    4. draw a load of pictures of stuff
    5. begin development
     
  21. Endgame

    Endgame

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    Keep a notebook with your ideas, so you can draw out the different parts that make it unique, this way you can check back later to see if it sounds lame, or think of improvements. Discuss your ideas (don't worry about them being 'stolen'). All games nowadays are basically clones of each other anyways. Your idea is only profitable AFTER you've developed it into a working game.
     
  22. Traverity

    Traverity

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    Ah, you're correct. Yours was probably one of the better ones really. Well by all means, comment away :)
     
  23. profanicus

    profanicus

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    I don't think anyone will be able to provide definitive information on this in a forum post, as design is a complex multifaceted undertaking just like any other discipline. I find reading the available literature quite helpful, though there are a lot of differing ideas and opinions.

    In Jesse Schell's "Art of Game Design" book, he provides a list of 8 "filters" that a design must pass through to be considered "good". If your design fails a filter, you redesign that part and then pass the whole thing through the 8 filters again. These are intended to be applied throughout the development process, not just at the start. They may not all necessarily apply with equal weighting to all projects, and not everyone may agree with them but I think they are a decent place to begin:

    1. Artistic Impulse - your gut feeling about whether the game feels right.
    2. Demographics - will this game appeal to the intended audience?
    3. Experience Design - is the game well-designed? Very complex topic involving aesthetics, balancing, interest curves, resonant themes and more. This is where more study and experience will come into play.
    4. Innovation - is this game novel enough? No point in making a poor copy of something that already exists.
    5. Business and Marketing - will it sell?
    6. Engineering - is it technically possible to build this game? Considerations here will dictate changes in the design.
    7. Social/Community - you may have goals to build a community around the game, provide for modding, that kind of thing. Does the design take this into account?
    8. Playtesting - once the game is playable (you built a quick playable prototype asap, right?), is it actually enjoyable? The design will most likely change when you get to this point. :)

    This is on top of the 4 basic elements of a game, which are, in no particular order:
    • Mechanics
    • Story
    • Aesthetics
    • Technology
    Each of these elements should work towards establishing a unifying theme that ties the whole game together.
     
  24. Traverity

    Traverity

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    @Profanicus' awesome post

    You know, this kind of knowledge is best. Because it's essentially common sense, but when you lay everything out before yourself and consider things from a critical angle, it becomes something else entirely.
     
  25. yomomyha

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    the first thing i do is figure out if it can actually be done before anything so i dont dump my project half way through.
     
  26. Starsman Games

    Starsman Games

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    Write it down in one or two lines. Forget about it.

    Return in a few days. Look at it. Does it still sound interesting? OK detail on it. Write a bullet list of "components" like level set ideas, themes, enemies, boss ideas, etc.

    Forget about it.

    Return in a few days and if things still look interesting sit down and make a very loose prototype (use plain boxes instead of characters, just try to get the feel of the game not the visuals.) Play it a bit. Does it feel fun? Do you think you can polish that into the game you envisioned?

    GET TO WORK! :)
     
  27. keithsoulasa

    keithsoulasa

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    Figure out what I want to do
    Then figure out what I can do , how many people it'll take, realistic expectations .
    Like I'm making my first game now, my realistic expectation
    Get it published on the app store to show off to potential employers in IOS game development , with the job market as competitive as it is , I need to do everything possible to give my self an edge .
     
  28. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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  29. Traverity

    Traverity

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    Very clever. Though if you could provide some advice on how one might turn a game idea into a functioning product, that'd be wonderful :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  30. npsf3000

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    Easy.
     
  31. Traverity

    Traverity

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    It's all one-shots with you isn't it? :)
     
  32. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    1. download unity
    2. make game
    3. publish
    4.get a pile of money
    5. post a picture on the internet
    6 come back to this thread
    7. point it out in the link NSPF3000 gave
    8. stop dreaming
    9. start making
    10. spend lots of time and/or money
    2987.publish
    2988.try to make sure it dosent fail
    2989. have a 1 in a thousend chance it goes well
    2989A. become rich
    2989B. you just waisted all that time :) but dont worry everything is a learning experiance
    2990A. Back to step one but step 2988 And step 2989 are easier
    2990B. Back to step one and its just as hard
     
  33. Traverity

    Traverity

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    That's a lot of steps o_O

    I like how vague 4 is. (Is it a big pile? Little pile?) xP


    But we could we please try to stick with step 2? I think there's some more knowledge to be shared on the subject before we go off on an extended tangent. But if you're persistent on talking about post-development and making money, I can open up a new thread just for you :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  34. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    It as already been told.. "Make it" people surpisingly have to Make the game they want, the stalk isent going to just drop the source code into your lap... you have to script the scripts, model the models if people dont know that then they will not be able to make it.
     
  35. Traverity

    Traverity

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    Haha, I know, you already posted advice, and I thank you for that. I just wanted to make sure the thread remained on course for a while longer so some more users could share their wisdom on the original subject.

    But you're right, it boils down to, "Just make it". Though there're some other tidbits that haven't been explored I'm sure :)
     
  36. Noisecrime

    Noisecrime

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    If practical make the game using pen paper or anything else that comes to hand.

    I don't mean make paper models or anything, but if say its an RPG then develop the battle system and use pen and paper to test it.

    For example I had an idea of a word game a few months back, that sounded like a good idea at the time. Instead of jumping in and coding it, I got out my Scrabble board and letters and used them to 'play' the game. At which point I discovered the fundamental mechanics of the game didn't work, so dropped it. Though its still in my notebook should I ever want to return to the concept.
     
  37. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Got an idea? Awesome! There's many ways to act on it and implement it and make "piles of money" as pointed out, or just get the idea to completion.

    But anybody capable of actually taking a raw idea, and moulding it into something workable and then implementing the steps necessary with any kind of extrinsic motivation**? That person is exceptionally rare. A few (very few) have posted on this thread. The rest is just noise.

    Don't take advice on how to run a marathon from a 300lb couch potato who gets out of breath opening up a new bag of Cheetos.

    The people who can take an idea and make it happen are not the sort of people who will tell you all the details as they do not like company. Just kidding. They won't tell you all the details because they are tired of telling people all of the details and then watching people sit on their thumbs doing nothing. And people will sit on their thumbs all day long, waiting for the next piece of advice, the one magic tip that will miraculously make their idle thought in to a living, breathing product that makes them rich, famous and gives them warm fuzzy hugs wherever they may go. There is no magic tip other than "stop sitting on your thumbs."

    ** Extrinsic motivations being "Do as you're told and I will pay you this monies. Do as you please and I will fire your arse faster than Justin can write out a 5,000 word forum post.."
     
  38. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    I at least have over a week then :D considering that this was posted a week ago.

    (Its sad that i just spent like 5 minutes looking for that :()
     
  39. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    I could be snarky and say "some of us like to think about what we say before we post it" but instead I will just claim that I am holding it back to increase the antici...pation.

    ;)

    Actually, the post is finished, but I got swamped at the office and have been stressing about our next product release more than I care to admit. Also, working on a super secret asset store thingy.
     
  40. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    Good luck with whatever it is your releasing :D
     
  41. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Thanks. Getting there (on both products). Acumen and CharlieSamways did the awesome graphics on one of them. Polygunz did the fantastic artwork for the other. One will sell for $25 the other for $15,000 :)
     
  42. adaman

    adaman

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    I think you are missing a few crucial steps.
     
  43. cannon

    cannon

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    FTFY, at least I think that's what you're looking for?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  44. Traverity

    Traverity

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    I think the original topic has been exhausted. Thanks JustinLloyd for you're ummm, realism? (I really don't know what to call it, but it's helpful nonetheless)


    New questions for you guys...

    Once someone has established their project, what kind of team should they build? How should they lead it? What kind of people should the developer look for? Any prerequisites to consider? Any advice?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  45. Starsman Games

    Starsman Games

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    Around here, JustinLloyd is synonymous with "Tough Love".

    What kind of team should you build depends on the answer to two big questions:

    How much you willing to pay?
    How much control you willing to share/lose?

    If you are not paying, you are yielding control on a partnership, that can make it very hard for anyone to take up any leadership and things can go chaotic fast.

    You actually should answer this question before you even decide what idea you want to pursue and how to pursue it, since it is the size of the team and it's synergy that will make the idea possible in the first place.

    Do remember: it is always possible to do a team of one, and just buy royalty free art and music assets here and there or hire some one just for character art as a one shot thing.

    Also keep in mind: once you start paying people, you start tracking it because you will have to deal with it next tax cycle.
     
  46. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    The Best.
     
  47. runner

    runner

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    I imagine some kind of Team management software should be considered

    That you keep all receipts not only for tax's but proof of ownership, refunds and upgrade support.

    I've been at this 1 1/2 years and already have provided invoice numbers on 3-4 occasions

    So meticulous record keeping is a must even with single developer's

    2 Years from now you may require to furnish records of what a certain artist did so you can make payment from the royalties the company has acquired.
     
  48. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    You should not make a team, if you cannot do it yourself then dont expect others to do it for you.

    May aswell take out step 7 that hasent happend yet :(
     
  49. Harissa

    Harissa

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    My advice on how to advance a game idea would be:

    Try and decide "what is the absolute core of this idea, which simplifies it as much as it will go and still remain intact"

    Build a simple rough prototype which shows off this idea and show it to people. This will give you a much better idea of how good your idea is and how to develop it than just sitting round making a longer list of features. It's also much more useful for inspiring other people to contribute.
    Justin Lloyd's prototype demos are an example of this kind of thing.

    But don't make the mistake of thinking that this prototype is in any way a finished product. Turning a prototype into a finished product is a huge amount more work.
     
  50. FusionGames

    FusionGames

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    I disagree. People who try to be "superman" (Do scripting, modeling, animating, level design, art, music, sound effects, and everything else under the sun themselves) are bound to fail (unless the game is REALLY simple) Why? Because it is simply impossible for one person, no matter how talented, to do that much work without either eventually getting frustrated and quitting or running out of time and money. Myself, I am working on a fairly large project, and I am doing all the level design, scripting, and animating myself. However, I am outsourcing when it comes to music, sound effects, modeling, etc. Why? I "could" do this, I'm not bad at modeling or anything. I am significantly more skilled at scripting though, and I'd like to spend more time working on game mechanics (what sets the game apart from other games) than art (AAA games will always beat you there). So I create a team, I work with the team, I manage the team, we finish the project. Simple as that. I do what I do best, I get other people together to do what I can't do.

    One man armies don't exist in the real world for the same reason that fair-sized games made by one person do not :p