Starting Indie

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Blue Falkon, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. electronicStar

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    You are still young and unexperienced. You'll learn a lot of things before you can think about starting a business.
    Gather experience in actually creating the game, or marketing, or management if that's what you really want to do. But you needa couple years of experience at least in any of these domains.

    Your initial posts remind me of the kickass CS mod, or the Super-Uber cool mod that were so common at the height of the modmaking era. I figure must people now must have moved to making MORPGs ?

    The learning process is a silent and difficult path.
     
    #21 electronicStar, Apr 20, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2006
  2. DangerCode

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    Hey Blue Falkon,

    You'll have no trouble finding scores of people who are quick to share their "realistic" (read: negative) opinions with you regarding your current plan. Try not to let it get you down.

    Get started now (on something preferrably small in scope) and don't be afraid to pick up any skills that will help you on your way. You may have to stub your toes around a programming language.

    I think the most common mistake for people starting off on this path (and trust me, we all do it) is biting off far more than we chew with plans to develop the type of game that is usually developed by several dozen professionals. Try to resist that (it's tough).

    Good luck.
     
  3. DangerCode

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    That's amazing. Any chance you can give us a sneak peak at the quality of art you're making now?

    I would love to see what can be accomplished in a couple of weeks by someone (like myself) who doesn't have a strong art background should they apply themselves.
     
  4. Blue Falkon

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    Thank you for your comments.

    electronicStar, it is not an MMORPG I am making, it is a stand-alone game (single player). I'd love to give more information on it but I keep these things confidential.

    I've already spent years trying smaller game projects and studying the game industry. Actually, I started when I was 14. You can take a guess that none turned out great and really, you're quite right. I've built up enough junior experience with that kind of stuff and now I believe I'm ready to start the business aspect. Where I live, many people around my age start businesses, just some aren't as big as mine. The CEO of HB Studios is a soccer player yet has had over 10 years of programming experience I think.

    I'd like to see how far this project will go and by how it's going so far it should actually become complete. I just have to wrap my head around it and recruit enough people from college who would be willing to work on it. I live in a small-town area, no big cities around where I live except Halifax. Although, a great thing about where I'll be moving and where I'll be starting the company for real is the fact that it's a channel to the United States and is an extremely popular-visited spot. Many videogame fans too.
     
  5. DangerCode

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    I used to live in Canada. I've been to NS a couple of times (Yarmouth and Cape Brenton Island). It's the nicest, friendliest place I've ever been to my whole life. I mean that.

    FWIW, I think it may be hard to rely on other people to get this done, which is even more the reason to keep the scope of the game under control. Your in a vunerable position if your programmer cuts out for instance. Personally, I find it hard to imagine a small "successful" indie business that isn't headed by a programmer. YMMV.

    But you may have an advantage being in a part of the world that is relatively easy-going and secluded.
     
  6. HairyTroll

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    That is just too freaking hilarious. :))
     
  7. Sysiphus

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    certainly :D :D


    ...loved the graphic artists requirements.... :D


    Where I work, an averagely succesfull small game company, my boss does every little task you could imagine, AND game design. Same way, I do loads of tasks besides all kind and sort of graphics. Is the only way wit small companies. And besides, is really much more profitable so. The pitty is not easy to find people like me :p

    Been at like 3 other small game companies, and the ones not having any kind of success were which counted with certain type of game designers-only...
     
  8. vjvj

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    LOL, it's hard to find *industry professionals* that get any work done, let alone a bunch of volunteers :)
     
  9. Blue Falkon

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    Who needs professionals? It's a very fluid concept. The experts I've met studied tourism and drama in school and never once took a design course or programming, yet they're working with (mentioned again) HB Studios. A lot of people I know who are in college or university and not even approaching a game development course are already experts at certain aspects and they could most certainly outbeat some projects that even AAA developers have.

    And if the volunteer statement is towards what I mentioned, I did not at all mention anything about volunteers. I intend to pay each and every one of them with salaries above the standard minimum wage of Nova Scotia. If I cannot get that done via income, I can - without much challenge - obtain various types of loans (or even grants) offered by the government of Nova Scotia. Even again I'll mention HB Studios. They received a non-returnable $500,000 grant from the government of Nova Scotia just for showing good entrepreneurship, and he didn't even ask. I take it other places aren't accustomed to that kind of government generosity.

    DangerCode: Yes, Yarmouth is where I'm moving to. It's a very nice place (though the people who live there hate it haha). I can tell that I'll have a lot of success there, it's my hometown actually.
     
  10. vjvj

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    I wasn't talking to you, Blue. I was joking around with Dangercode.

    Since you are talking to me now though, I would say you should start by spending less time talking and more time listening to people like Ricardo C. He and electronicStar are right. They (like most of us) have already made and sold SEVERAL games and are trying to save you time, sweat, and tears.

    Don't be like the 57 billion other high school/college kids who overrate their own abilities (not just programming/design/art, but their EXTREME SERIOUSNESS AND MOTIVATION!), spend all their time talking about what they're "gonna" do and how they are "different", and never finish anything.
     
  11. spellcaster

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    First off all, you're facing a difficult challenge.

    Let's take a look at at a game liek diablo I. What will you you need to get started?
    a) Basic Game idea. Ok, your're using diablo's idea here with some new elements, so let's mark this as checked.
    b) Concept artist - you need a good artist who can create mood graphics and character designs. Based on these designs you can start doing the
    c) character design - 2 or 3 modellers and 1 or 2 texture artists should do the trick. You'll need models for the player chars, the npcs and all the monsters
    d) Models for environment and items - you'll need areas, weapons, UI elements - you might be able to use some stock models here
    e) Sound effects - again, depending on your setting, you might be alble to use sound libs.
    f) music. Diablo had around 70 minutes orchestral soundtrack. I think I recall an article in the game developer magazine that you can get something like that for 10-15k if you outsource it to poland (the recording and the musicians). You'll still have to hire a capable composer. Using synth sounds or royalty free music might again be an option here.
    g) game engine - if you hire a couple of good coders, you should be able to get a good result with some existing engines. I'd say, take a look at torque, since it seems to be well suited for the job
    h) level design and creation

    If your coders know the engine, you should be able to pull it off in 8-12 months if the gameplay works as intended.

    It is not easy, but if you plan the whole thing carefully (and if you have the funding) it's definatly a possibility.

    I'd like to hear how your project is coming along - esp. if and how you manage to get the funding (because that the part I know almost nothing about ;))
     
  12. wazoo

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    Just a word of advice dude....as with any other community, it's a wise move to not try to burn your bridges before you come to them. ;)

    The people here are usually very friendly and do try to help other Indies out in terms of comments or advice on helping you succeed. And they *are* usually good comments and advice.

    IMHO don't say anything now that can come back to haunt you in the future, especially on a public forum like this which will now exist forever on the internet.

    RC's got a lot of XP under his belt and is taking the time out to try to respond and give you a bit of a shake to help you out. I would maybe look at it that way instead of taking it personally.

    just me 2 cents..
     
  13. Ricardo C

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    I'm very flattered by the vote of confidence, guys, but my main experience is in productivity software and advertising, not games per se. That part, I'm learning as I go.

    BlueFalkon, several people here have said exactly what I was trying to get at, except that they do it much more politely ;) If my lack of game-specific experience makes you disregard my advice, at least listen to theirs, because they do know their stuff.
     
  14. spellcaster

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    While I would generally agree with most things being said here, I think there are some differences to the normal "let's assamble a team to create teh uber project" request.

    One thing is that the OP seems to realize that he needs a good staff and that this staff might costs something. Quite frankly, if he has a game idea and the money to pay the required man power to realize it, it might work.
    He seems to come from the business side. So I think he will be able to estimate costs, judge the risks, etc.

    I think he's the kind of person that would actually like the last half of "Game architecture and design" ;)

    He also seems to realize that it will take some time. If you look at his time frame, he plans to start his company in a couple of years and just wants some advice helping him to get closer to this goal.
     
  15. vjvj

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    Still, that's impressive and it's obviously been enough to teach you to not underestimate the immense amount of work involved! :)

    That's exactly what we are doing. By taking on a smaller project and listening to people's advice, he will get closer to his goal.
     
  16. Blue Falkon

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    I feel like a test subject here ahahaha.

    I did have a friend work for some concept artwork. She created a bunch of styles and character concepts and even sprite examples. Also, my promotional event at my school (which is now stretching into Osaka, Japan since I have a brother who lives there) calls for people to send in their ideas. I kind of got that idea from Capcom Co. Ltd. in their promotion for Mega Man 2 a long time ago, if I didn't mention that already.

    Ricardo C, I do know that you were trying to contribute and I know what you were talking about. The way you did it, however, did not appeal to me at all. That's why I lashed at you and I'm sure you know that.

    Both related and unrelated I'm doing an entrepreneurship assignment in school about the "Top 20 Under 25". That means, entrepreneurs who are under 25 years of age that have broke many milestones. An example is a person who is probably around 18 years old that started with nothing, he makes around $140,000 a month with 21 employees. That's not game development, but it's bigger corporation work.

    How I see things is that as long as you have the business sense underhand, you've tackled the biggest part of a game company. The second-hardest thing is actually making the game and having the team who can do it. Making a game has so many aspects to it that you need people who are capable of specializing in each aspect. An entrepreneur quote from my assignment is "hire people who are better than you".

    Just so I don't throw you all in the wrong direction of thought: I am not one of those people who go "uber cool idea check it out" or "I want to make this game now help me step by step" or "I HAVE THE BEST ADDICTING GAME IDEA IN THE WORLD". I was like that 4 years ago, now I'm more realistic. I might not seem that way, but I am. I have done far more than all of you may think already, I just don't have the experience in certain aspects.

    Actually, one of my most recent projects was a tribute to Capcom. I personally e-mailed Capcom Co. Ltd. and talked to them about it (the Japanese branch did not e-mail me back, the American one did). They gave me permission to make a Megaman fangame for them. Of course, it's not commercial but it would have the quality of one of the more recent Mega Man games (Mega Man X6 for example). How did it go? Actually, if my personal life didn't get involved, it would have succeeded. I had an experienced programmer, an artist, spriters, a musician from OC ReMix, a lot of supporters, and more. I dropped the project, that was the only thing that really went wrong.

    I like to keep my projects confidential. I know all about how to write a design document and make budgets, schedules, etc. But I am not one to know how to code up a game from C++ or do texturing for graphics. That's not my forte.

    I do appreciate the support I'm getting but I'm starting to feel a bit underestimated. I am young, I am inexperienced in some aspects, but I might know more about some aspects than some of you do. I actually learned to play videogames before I could learn to talk, and ever since then I've been designing games and studying the game industry and aspects of business. I've received a lot of support from many people and I rather enjoy the comments. I cannot prove to you my ability over the internet, I can tell you that I'm capable, but it's your job to make the decision whether you believe me or not. Age is but a number.

    I'd like some suggestions, not realizations. I've received enough of those in the past and they only helped me then, not now. I'm about to go to college. If I haven't "realized" things by now, I'd be a failure. If any of you can give me some more constructive steps to reaching success, I'd be thankful.

    In other news, I'm registering my company tomorrow so that's one other step.
     
  17. electronicStar

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    So you seem to be more an entrepreneur than a technician. The ideal would be to be both.
    If you don't want to learn more programming (you should do the effort while you are young) then you should hire programmers and artists and make them work for you.
    Now the only thing you need for that is money ($$$$) , and a good discipline.

    Also I don't like the aggresive tone of this thread everybody should try to cool down. Let's try to adress the topics.
     
  18. vjvj

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    Great, now I feel like the bad guy :)

    Blue, my whole point is that there's nothing wrong with being underestimated. It's not like we're trying to insult you, we're just trying to prepare you for what's ahead. Pretty much everything in this business is hard, so the best thing you can do is just move forward assuming you know nothing.

    This is not just "a message from an older guy to a kid". I apply the same thinking to myself. Check out the GUI thread I started, which can be summed up as "I'm a newbie, please tell me if my ideas are stupid". And I've been working on console/pc games for 8 years now.

    We're all newbs. Once you start to adopt that thinking, you'll start shaping your ideas into more concrete goals and as a result accomplish more.

    And you can start by saying "Making a Ragnorok-type game would be very hard." :)
     
  19. Andy

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    Well. Back on topic. ( I assume that was only the question in whole his message so... )

    1. Learn to listen to and hear what peoples say.
    2. Learn to respect their opinion at least as much as you respect your own ( based upon nothing experience or knowledge so far btw ).
    3. Turn back to reality: don't choose the opinions you would like to hear - pay attention to all of them.

    Good luck! ;)

    REM: Have I said any single word about game development? :D
     
  20. Pluvious

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    I think the problem people have is that you are saying you want to start a game company but you know almost nothing about making games.

    It makes me think of some of these "game designer" adds on tv where they talk about going to some game design school and learning how to "design", "code", and "TEST" games. Cracks me up...

    But if you can pay people and pay them well then its possible. I just would think it would be so much easier communicating with your employees if you knew something about coding, graphics, sound, etc. Otherwise it seems like all you can do is give them a design doc and say "Make this". I know there are designers that aren't programmers/artists (at least that is what I have heard).

    What do you think about that? Are you going to rely on a single individual that you can trust? A project lead? Or do they all report to you on daily workings or what? Just curious...

    Good luck though. Whatever you do it will be a good learning experience.
     

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