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Thinking of Starting Video Game Development Company!

Discussion in 'General Business' started by olddocks, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. #1
    I have been so much passionate gamer myself and its been a long long dream to start a small video game development company to produce a GREAT video game. At present i am only one person and I have about $25k to start and dont know where to start. I come from Asian country not related to US/UK.

    It has taken 6yrs to come up with this much money and i have been dreaming almost daily about this video game company. Every time i gain small confidence, i am back into denial mode that i am NEVER going to accomplish this and i dont have the necessary skills in me.

    Anybody have ventured into video games? i know the market is saturated and the chances of getting success in this field is infinitely small. Making money is not my aim but this is just out of passion.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
    olddocks, Sep 1, 2010 IP
  2. UnBooked

    UnBooked Peon

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    #2
    If you're really doing this becuase you have a true passion in the field, then I would say go for it. Shoot for your dreams. However, it can be a really challenging road so you will need to stay focused, especially since you will be doing this on your own.

    Can I ask, do you have any experience in game design? Shoot me a PM, I would love to hear what your goals are, attack plans for the business, etc. Maybe we can collaborate. It sounds like a wonderful thing you will be doing.
    UnBooked, Sep 1, 2010 IP
    olddocks likes this.
  3. olddocks

    olddocks Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Thanks for reply. I dont have any experience in the design but i am from computer background. What makes me really worried is i could waste a lot of money and from what i hear is there is a big failure rate in this field. Sometimes, i think that let the dream will remain as a dream itself!
    olddocks, Sep 1, 2010 IP
  4. Laceygirl

    Laceygirl Banned

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    #4
    Ok, Let's talk about this. I've been heavily researching into created a MOORPG game myself(but I'm not sure how far I will get).

    In order to move forward, docks. you need to create a story. The reason why you are getting cold feet is because there is so much unknown and you don't know how to start. Basically open MSword and start writing. Talk about the following:
    -how the character should look, move, his/her motivation, etc.
    -The setting of the regions and how they look, use your imagination.
    etc.

    Basically you need to create a business plan for the site. Don't worry about if it can be done, just put your imagination to writing, then you can work on the HOW's later.

    The MMO I'm working on is HUGE. It's probably somewhat like Ragnarok in size, but a lot different with interaction. Can mine be done? I don't know. 1000 characters to make! That's insane. It can't be done..........wait a second, it can because some characters move just like the others so really you make 1 and you've got 40 already(see, this is an example of why you do not need to worry about HOW yet.)

    Work on the full plan. Baby steps. Don't throw your money anywhere until its all planned out.
    Laceygirl, Sep 1, 2010 IP
    irule272 and olddocks like this.
  5. olddocks

    olddocks Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Very well said and i cant agree more.. +rep
    What i want to know, is can you program a game without hiring people for the start?

    Laceygirl :D Good luck to your MMORG game. Wishing you great success!
    olddocks, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  6. Laceygirl

    Laceygirl Banned

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    #6
    Of course you can. I does help to have some graphics skills though. The start is not the hard part, its when you puzzle it all together that can be tough. I'm not sure what kind of game you want to start but here's a few things you can do.
    -Draw a map by hand of the game
    -do rough sketches of the characters
    once you establish if you want 3d or 3d then you can go from there.
    A) you need a video game creation engine. Be careful and choose the right on, here's a simple list:
    http://www.ambrosine.com/resource.html
    B) you need something to create the atmosphere of the game, characters, etc.

    I'll send you a pm for links for 3d software that I know about.

    Also this is probably your first best step. Go to http://www.nethercode.com and create an account there. Nethercode is a free online game development school. Basically it teaches you from BEGINNING to END how to make a video game. It goes into great detail on almost every aspect of creating a game.
    Laceygirl, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  7. d0m1n1c

    d0m1n1c Peon

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    #7
    If you have a good idea which you can clearly convey and sell, combined with passion and a bit of startup cash, there's no reason it wouldn't be possible:)
    d0m1n1c, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  8. millerkil

    millerkil Peon

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    #8
    The most viral market right now is facebook, I would recommend you target facebook with flash games because look at it this way, one person on facebook plays your game, the game automatically posts a message on their wall, for example "John has join speedracer, why don't you try too?". The average facebook user has hundreds of friends, A few of them might be interested and they start to play, their friends see it and the wheel keeps turning making your game viral, there are also many other physiological tricks that keep people hooked . I am interested in starting such a company although I don't have the capital or people interested(I am a programmer, and it is hard to find artists working for free).
    millerkil, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  9. Laceygirl

    Laceygirl Banned

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    #9
    So you are saying that every webmaster in the world should shut down their sites and make dumb little applications of facebook? There's plenty of games which bring a lot of revenue to the table
    Laceygirl, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  10. millerkil

    millerkil Peon

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    #10
    No I am not saying every webmaster should shut down their website, that is completely irrelevant, the OP is talking about the gaming industry not IM in general. If you have websites bringing you in thousands or tens of thousands or w/e the case maybe, then good for you, keep at it.

    All I am saying is facebook games work. I have a passion for games and a passion for money, that's why I like to meet half way. Tell me why someone would spend tens of thousands of dollars on development of a fully functional mmorpg if you can make a facebook game for next to nothing and have it bringing in more money then a mmorpg. do you know why? Because casual gamers greatly out number hard-core gamers. A game like WOW charges $15 a month to play, facebook apps make money of micro-transactions meaning some players spend 20 or more dollars a month on games like farmville, which has about 6 times more players than WOW. When it comes to servers I think you can use common sense to compare the expenses. I also think it would be great to make a flash mmo on facebook that is enjoyable for both hardcore and casual gamers.
    millerkil, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  11. Bladedomainandhosting.com

    Bladedomainandhosting.com Peon

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    #11
    How about blender for 3d, great free app ;)
  12. Laceygirl

    Laceygirl Banned

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    #12
    More competitors.
    Laceygirl, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  13. millerkil

    millerkil Peon

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    #13
    Not as much as in the traditional mmo industry, because when you play an mmo you usually stick to one because it's time consuming enough and usually has a monthly fee, but when it comes to casual facebook games, you can play 4 or 5 at once because there is usually some kind of waiting period(like growing crops in farmville) and also, like I said before, it is easier to advertise your game on facebook and it is free(unless you choose paid advertising)
    millerkil, Sep 2, 2010 IP
  14. Candybox

    Candybox Peon

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    #14
    A lot of indie game companies are making big $$ thanks to the help of Steam, even if you aim to make a simple $10 game it will sell very well via steam. Research how Steam treats indie games developers it's very good.
    Candybox, Sep 3, 2010 IP
  15. splok

    splok Peon

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    #15
    I think the important thing is to keep your expectations realistic (something that's VERY hard for game designers, aspiring or not). You've invested quite a lot of time in saving what you have, and depending on where you live, that should be able to allow you to sustain yourself for quite a while if you work on minimizing your living costs, especially if you can manage to make additional revenue from other sources (and if you're here, you likely are quite familiar with the idea of mostly passive income at least). So basically, my advice (which is valid for pretty much any aspiring indie in any situation) would be to use your savings along with whatever other income you can sustain, to essentially be your salary while you begin making games (or teaching yourself to make them).

    Start as small as you can, minimize your potential losses, learn the business, and work your way up. Imo, the easiest place to start is with Flash games. With some googling and tutorials, you should be able to learn enough to make simple games quite quickly, and if you choose your game type appropriately, you should be able to create your own art as well. Then when you're games get decent, start getting them sponsored, or putting them up on Facebook. This way, you risk very little money and get lots of experience completing and releasing products.

    This might not sound quite as exciting as jumping in and making your "GREAT" game initially, but it is FAR, FAR more likely to result in a favorable outcome imo.

    Also, concerning Steam, it's great if you can get your game listed, but I hear "Just put it on Steam!" a lot, as if it's as simple as uploading a game and setting a price. It's not quite that easy to get a game approved, and it probably isn't the most realistic goal for someone just starting out.
    splok, Sep 5, 2010 IP
    Laceygirl likes this.
  16. Laceygirl

    Laceygirl Banned

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    #16
    Wow, that's one heck of a 1st post. I agree with it for the most part.

    The problem with making a game is that the skills that are required could take YEARS to learn if you take baby steps into starting small. It reminds me of when I first started with being a webmaster.
    -Learned a lot of graphic(got good) = 1 1/2
    -Learned HTML, a little JAVA, php, a little sql = 6months
    -Learned a little flash..... =1 month
    -learning about hosting, domains, adsense, etc= 3months
    and then various other skills SEO, etc.
    And now its like 4yrs later.

    From researching for about 3weeks now I've realized that from knowing everything that I know now making a video game will be pretty much like starting over. Sure, I'm used to coding so when I see it I'm sure the learning process will be easier, but is it possible to learn it. I installed this game engine(once I learned what the heck a game engine is, lol) and it told me I needed Python(lang), I installed python, and it said I needed SSL library, I installed the library once I figured out what the library was then it said I needed apachy intsalled to even use this. The list went on FOREVER. Seriously, there is so much to it then I was at this gaming making forum and this dude says "yo, your doing it wrong. You are actually MAKING a game engine, meaning you will need to make features. Use an engine that is already done and modify it if you need more functions!".
    JEEZ....

    Hopfully this story will help you understand why baby steps would just waste you life, and if its even worth it.
    Laceygirl, Sep 7, 2010 IP
  17. olddocks

    olddocks Well-Known Member

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    #17
    very true! cant agree more. do you know to properly venture into 3d game field it takes atleast 5yrs to learn. I heard somewhere that Ubisoft employed more than 2000 people and worked their asses off for 3yrs to complete assasins creed.
    olddocks, Sep 8, 2010 IP
  18. splok

    splok Peon

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    #18
    That's actually why I think starting small is the best approach. If you look at the mountain of things a beginner might need to learn to launch a game project, it can get overwhelming really fast. Most people don't have the time or the inclination to become an expert at so many things, even if they have the ability. That's why I think it's best to start on small projects that a single person could complete by themselves in a reasonable period of time. Spending some time doing this would teach a beginner a ton about game development and hopefully give them enough of a knowledge base that they could make much better decisions about where to invest additional time and money. Simply trying to hire or contract out the actual game development as your first step in the industry as the OP seemed to imply just sounds like an amazingly fast way to lose your life savings.

    When considering the years that it might take to learn a number of skills, keep in mind that AAA games are often made by hundreds of people, who have each spent years learning and working on their specialty. The fact that a single person can still make a successful and entertaining game in the age of $100M game budgets is amazing really. And one person certainly can, but it's important to pick your battles though imo. In the beginning, actually getting something completed and launched, even if it's something you consider almost appallingly simple, is by far the best method.

    (Of course, if you want to be one of those people working for a big studio instead of making your own games, the best thing to do is pick your specialty and get damned good at it, but that's an entirely different topic.)
    splok, Sep 16, 2010 IP
  19. Laceygirl

    Laceygirl Banned

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    #19
    Well I wouldn't go that far. There's no doubt a huge corporation team of 100 people definatly drag their feet around, take 7 days vacation a month, etc. A the part about $100Million forget it. If someone is paying for that then they are just hiring celebraties. I'm sure a good game could be made for roughly $70,000 without paying royalties to employee's but if you are running a profit share system then it would be a lot less.
    Laceygirl, Sep 16, 2010 IP
  20. splok

    splok Peon

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    #20
    Just consider that that's salary/expenses for two people for a year at best really. Two people can certainly knock out a game in a year, so long as the scope of the project is appropriate. Iirc, Braid's creator said it's dev cost was about $150k with him doing most of the work and hiring out art as a reference, though that's an amazing example of what's possible for a given amount of money.
    splok, Sep 16, 2010 IP