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September 16, 2014, 07:30:00 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreative (Moderator: John Sandoval)I just posted this on r/gaming, they told me to come here
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Nasturtium
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« on: April 09, 2013, 12:21:24 AM »

 Hey, so I submitted this infographic I made to reddit, and it ended up with around 3057 net and 6,981 net upvotes.
 
http://i.imgur.com/EkSEhb2.gif?1?2427

 Update:  Anyways a quick update.

  I teamed up with a an awesome experienced game dev, Gavin http://www.gmtdev.com/blog/
He has taught me a ton about organization in game development, and given me some confidence going forward.

 I have been working on and finishing various animations though spine, tiles and sprites, as well as some larger assets for websites and such. After a few weeks working with Gavin we have come to the conclusion that for the game to be as good as it can we need to bring in a few more people, so now I am compiling a list of people with experience who have expressed interest to include in this team.

 If you are interested e-mail me at [email protected] I appreciate all the positive advice and feedback displayed in this thread so far. Cheers! -Kyle
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 04:48:13 PM by Nasturtium » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 05:37:38 AM »

In a lot of ways, being indie is like being a novelist. First rule of thumb is - don't quit your day job.

The best way to make the game you want to make is to do it yourself. Grab GameMaker or Unity, and let fly.

Good luck!
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 07:49:10 AM »

As the previous poster mentioned. Don't quit your day job until you are sure that the project will work out.

First things that I would suggest you do:

Since you are looking to earn money with this - think of how you are going to monetize it. Be specific. Online or desktop game? Which platform? How would you earn money? (one-time price, subscriptions, advertisements, in-game items etc.)

Try to think, who your customers are, i.e. who your target group is. Estimate the size of the target group. Talk to some people that you expect fit this criteria. (Maybe with a prototype in hand.) Ask them if they would pay money for it. Put a specific price on it. Maybe let them put their name down on paper. (not as a contract, but a lot of people will say "sure, I would pay for it" just to be polite and you will notice the change in reaction when you record it on paper. If you can find a big number of people putting their name down -> you're good.

Create a small/rough prototype on paper and PLAY IT. It sounds all very nice, but also very vague. E.g. I don't completely understand how you intend to translate the formations to game rules or mechanics, i.e. what makes the large wedge powerful for breaking shields IN THE GAME. Do attack stats add up on one field or sth. similar? Can I decide on which field it will add up? Can I change it every turn? What happens when I create "combinations of combinations" - e.g. a large wedge with four groups on the left side, meaning it would also work as a shield wall. Play it and write down the rules as if you were creating a board game.

Other points that you should be specific about:
- When does a game end?
- Where do the units come from?
- Where do the gold/ressources for units/etc. come from?
- Exactly how will a battle between confronting armies be decided? (elimination 1vs.1, risk-rules, how much randomness, etc.)
- What do the different terrains mean? How do they influence units (movement, battle, ...)?
-- What will happen to grouped formations if you try to move them into different terrain (e.g. you move a shield wall by one field, which results in three groups being on grass and one group being on some swamp which might not be passable)
- How/when do the three layers interact with each other?
- What buildings do you need, what will they do and where do they come from?
-- What ressources are needed to build them?
-- Is there a time factor or do they appear instantly?
-- Am I allowed to build everywhere or at all?
-- Can buildings be destroyed? (I did not quite get, what the wall is going to do in terms of game mechanics. Is it just a defense-boost or are the armies behind it considered out of reach unless you approach with a ladder or sth.?)
- What menu-options do you need? (You mentioned sth. about trading standards - where would I do that?

You also might want to check out Battle for Wesnoth (http://www.wesnoth.org/) (Open Source) for some inspiration. It is not as complex as your idea, but I think there is some overlap, which could be useful food for thought.
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Nasturtium
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 09:57:24 AM »

Awesome feedback! Thanks a ton for your reply, you have given me a great deal to think about and I really appreciate it. I went to bed last night, and woke up with my post on reddit up to 5500 total upvotes and nearly a hundred private messages. So far most people are either college kids, or out of work lone wolf type developers. I did not really expect this kind of reaction so I am completely unprepared to deal with all this attention.

 
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 10:22:31 AM »

Can you drop the link to the Reddit post? It could help estimate the popularity and what exactly those potential players want.

As for "I need to change careers, quickly", it's generally a bad approach since making games usually is not a road for quick bucks. Of course there are always some very rare exceptions Smiley

As for finances, since you got some popularity, maybe you should try to kickstart this? But before I would sit down with your wife and discuss how much money you need (for next year or two or whatever the estimated completion of the game is). Then I would say tripple it (since it sounds that you can't do this game alone) and that would be the minimum you need from the kickstarter to start this venture.
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Europe1300 - Realistic Historical Medieval Sim
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 10:25:11 AM »

Here is the reddit link http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/1byqsp/hello_reddit_i_am_an_unemployed_carpenter_with_no/

I am certainly going to keep working my 'day job', I am just excited to find out people like my art and ideas.
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 10:41:50 AM »

If you really have no money to pay a programmer, you might want to look into setting up a Kickstarter. I'm sure this was mentioned on Reddit already, but it seems to be your best bet.

What you'd want to do is to create a good video of you explaining the game and showing off as much artwork as possible. Your kickstarter should really sell the game and even possibly show what the gameplay would be like.

It's worth a shot at least. Worst case scenario is that your funding isn't met and you have to figure out another solution. Best case scenario is your funding is met (or exceeded) and you can then hire the programmer to create the game while you do the graphics.

Again, this is not going to be easy, because you really need to show some amazing artwork/concepts/design to sell people enough to want to back the project without any sort of working gameplay created yet.
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 10:51:39 AM »

You can also try to look for a programmer partner in Collaborations or Unpaid Work.

Artists tend to have the highest success rate of people joining with them, but the thing to remember about partnerships is that they are just that, partnerships, and if one tries to enforce an employer/employee relationship when money isn't exchanging hands it tends to go sour fast.  Also, and this is no offense to you, but ideas are easy, execution is hard, and it is much easier to imagine a fun game than to make one.
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 11:00:55 AM »

with about 3000 people upvoting that there i'm surprised you haven't had any offers of a programmer developing it for you yet over there. i didn't read the comments though so maybe you did. if that's all you are looking for with tigsource that's probably not the best reason to come here. tigsource is a community of people who give each other feedback on their games and suggestions for improvement, but you can't really give suggestions to improve something that doesn't exist

most people on tigs have their own ideas and are working on their own games and it's rare to find anyone who will be like 'okay i'll make your game for you, you do the art and design it, i'll just be the code monkey' (at least without pay). if it's more of a partnership -- that is, if you give the coder equal creative responsibility and don't boss him around or treat it as superior/inferior, then you'd find takers

i'd suggest finding a programmer partner (preferably one who has finished a game before; don't go with someone who is like 'oh yeah i can code your game it'll be easy, i've never made a game before but i know i can do it' -- chances are that person will not be able to do it), making a prototype, and then posting that in the feedback section here. it's only *then* that you'll really benefit from tigsource, since the best use of this forum is to post your partially completed game and get suggestions for making it more fun or more polished
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 11:13:24 AM by Paul Eres » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 11:09:01 AM »

"I am certainly aware that it would most likely take 500k or more of investment to hire pros to make this game" - Well, that's exaggeration, indies do not earn that much (at least I don't :D). I would consider a project like that for 50k and for 100k I would most likely put on hold my current games and go for it.

Your biggest asset is audience, if you can propve there are people that want to buy that game badly you should have no trouble finding a good coder.
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Europe1300 - Realistic Historical Medieval Sim
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 12:26:30 PM »

There are some great replies on this thread, I am really bogged down right now with a crazy amount of spam from reddit, I will try and answer more of them later tonight. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and replies.
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Belimoth
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 12:31:28 PM »

I like your ideas!
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Nasturtium
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 10:49:19 PM »

I finally have time to breathe a bit after losing my mind in a sea of reddit messages. I will respond to some of your posts now.
As the previous poster mentioned. Don't quit your day job until you are sure that the project will work out.

First things that I would suggest you do:

Since you are looking to earn money with this - think of how you are going to monetize it. Be specific. Online or desktop game? Which platform? How would you earn money? (one-time price, subscriptions, advertisements, in-game items etc.)

Try to think, who your customers are, i.e. who your target group is. Estimate the size of the target group. Talk to some people that you expect fit this criteria. (Maybe with a prototype in hand.) Ask them if they would pay money for it. Put a specific price on it. Maybe let them put their name down on paper. (not as a contract, but a lot of people will say "sure, I would pay for it" just to be polite and you will notice the change in reaction when you record it on paper. If you can find a big number of people putting their name down -> you're good.

Create a small/rough prototype on paper and PLAY IT. It sounds all very nice, but also very vague. E.g. I don't completely understand how you intend to translate the formations to game rules or mechanics, i.e. what makes the large wedge powerful for breaking shields IN THE GAME. Do attack stats add up on one field or sth. similar? Can I decide on which field it will add up? Can I change it every turn? What happens when I create "combinations of combinations" - e.g. a large wedge with four groups on the left side, meaning it would also work as a shield wall. Play it and write down the rules as if you were creating a board game.

Other points that you should be specific about:
- When does a game end?
- Where do the units come from?
- Where do the gold/ressources for units/etc. come from?
- Exactly how will a battle between confronting armies be decided? (elimination 1vs.1, risk-rules, how much randomness, etc.)
- What do the different terrains mean? How do they influence units (movement, battle, ...)?
-- What will happen to grouped formations if you try to move them into different terrain (e.g. you move a shield wall by one field, which results in three groups being on grass and one group being on some swamp which might not be passable)
- How/when do the three layers interact with each other?
- What buildings do you need, what will they do and where do they come from?
-- What ressources are needed to build them?
-- Is there a time factor or do they appear instantly?
-- Am I allowed to build everywhere or at all?
-- Can buildings be destroyed? (I did not quite get, what the wall is going to do in terms of game mechanics. Is it just a defense-boost or are the armies behind it considered out of reach unless you approach with a ladder or sth.?)
- What menu-options do you need? (You mentioned sth. about trading standards - where would I do that?

You also might want to check out Battle for Wesnoth (http://www.wesnoth.org/) (Open Source) for some inspiration. It is not as complex as your idea, but I think there is some overlap, which could be useful food for thought.
 

Awesome feedback, thank you.  First off I was blown away with the amount of attention this got, it was completely unexpected, I thought I would get 30-40 upvotes, a pat on the back and go to bed, I drew this as an exercise to get better with photoshop and illustrator, and if I was very lucky, have someone like the visual style and hire me for a bit of artwork for their game.

  It quickly became apparent that I hit some sort of nerve with gamers on r/gaming, they said they loved the artwork, and I got a ton of messages from old school hex gamers who thought the simple gameplay mechanics I outlined in my infographic were awesome.

  Now I wish I had hung onto it all, I didn't realize how good my ideas were.

 All that being said, I am now feel somewhat responsible for this, and would like to see it through in one way or another, be it a board game, or having someone take a similar concept and have me do the art for it.

 As for all the specific things you listed, I have some pretty good ideas, and some bad ones, but I am becoming a little more hesitant to share my specific ideas. Thank you for your great breakdown of elements in the infographic, this is just the kind of feedback i am looking for.

  I have played and admire the battle for wesnoth, it is a wonderful open source game, there are certain aspects of it i like, the rpg system and some aspects of the terrain system, but there is also a large part of the game i dislike, such as the strange scale of units compared with terrain, and the I hit you you hit me attack device.

You can also try to look for a programmer partner in Collaborations or Unpaid Work.

Artists tend to have the highest success rate of people joining with them, but the thing to remember about partnerships is that they are just that, partnerships, and if one tries to enforce an employer/employee relationship when money isn't exchanging hands it tends to go sour fast.  Also, and this is no offense to you, but ideas are easy, execution is hard, and it is much easier to imagine a fun game than to make one.
 
  Thanks for your advice and the link, I may go check it out. People keep telling me that ideas are a dime a dozen in game development or some variation. I have artistic talent and ideas so maybe I have a small leg up there.

 I am not married to anything, my main goal is still to find work on any project that appreciates the visual style I displayed in the infographic I posted.

with about 3000 people upvoting that there i'm surprised you haven't had any offers of a programmer developing it for you yet over there. i didn't read the comments though so maybe you did. if that's all you are looking for with tigsource that's probably not the best reason to come here. tigsource is a community of people who give each other feedback on their games and suggestions for improvement, but you can't really give suggestions to improve something that doesn't exist

most people on tigs have their own ideas and are working on their own games and it's rare to find anyone who will be like 'okay i'll make your game for you, you do the art and design it, i'll just be the code monkey' (at least without pay). if it's more of a partnership -- that is, if you give the coder equal creative responsibility and don't boss him around or treat it as superior/inferior, then you'd find takers

i'd suggest finding a programmer partner (preferably one who has finished a game before; don't go with someone who is like 'oh yeah i can code your game it'll be easy, i've never made a game before but i know i can do it' -- chances are that person will not be able to do it), making a prototype, and then posting that in the feedback section here. it's only *then* that you'll really benefit from tigsource, since the best use of this forum is to post your partially completed game and get suggestions for making it more fun or more polished

 Again I have a few ideas that I threw into an infographic with the hope of interesting people in my skills at game design and game art, I would absolutely love to find a programmer partner to make this game or something similar, I don't expect to just have my way with game design and boss folks around. Thank you for your words of caution. I think unless I get any offers that pull me in unforseen directions my next step will be to hash out more details and make a simple bard game to test things out.

Thanks again for all your feedback, this community seems really nice and knowledgeable.
 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 11:02:17 PM by Nasturtium » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2013, 11:09:16 PM »

I only put the questions down so you mark them in your head. You don't have to share the answers, you just have to have some answers and discuss them with your (future) partners. And you have to convince potential partners that you have some answers.

When picking a programmer (or business person or game designer or ...), try to pick someone with whom you can meet regularly in person. That makes things a lot easier.

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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 09:57:06 AM »

I can't really help. But let me tell you, this is a Kickstarter I would probably jump into (after you got a team together, of course Big Laff).

Good luck, and hope to see this come to fruition some day!
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 10:19:53 PM »

As a Kickstarter I wouldn't drop one red cent.  Not until you have a prototype of SOMETHING playable.  It's so easy to get a few coloured squares moving around that it's silly to ask for funding without at least that.

So, you're on the right track either learning to do a bit of coding / or finding someone who can right away.  I mean, it's the gameplay that counts so how else can you even tell if the game ideas are even going to be fun without a prototype?

You might also enjoy this: No one Cares About Your Cool Game Idea

Quote
Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute. That awesome game idea you have, the one that’s going to “change everything”, the one that you’re going to sell for a million dollars, the one that no one has come up with yet… frankly, no one gives a shit. Harsh, but then, the truth is not pleasant; it is just that, the truth.

Note that bit about executing.
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2013, 11:09:14 AM »

No one Cares About Your Cool Game Idea
Except when your idea got 3000 up votes in Reddit in less than 24 hours Smiley It changes the traditional rules of development.
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Europe1300 - Realistic Historical Medieval Sim
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2013, 11:33:53 AM »

As a Kickstarter I wouldn't drop one red cent.  Not until you have a prototype of SOMETHING playable.  It's so easy to get a few coloured squares moving around that it's silly to ask for funding without at least that.

So, you're on the right track either learning to do a bit of coding / or finding someone who can right away.  I mean, it's the gameplay that counts so how else can you even tell if the game ideas are even going to be fun without a prototype?

You might also enjoy this: No one Cares About Your Cool Game Idea

Quote
Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute. That awesome game idea you have, the one that’s going to “change everything”, the one that you’re going to sell for a million dollars, the one that no one has come up with yet… frankly, no one gives a shit. Harsh, but then, the truth is not pleasant; it is just that, the truth.

Note that bit about executing.
I wanted to point out that the article you linked was created in 2011, before Kickstarting games was really the "thing to do". (yes Kickstarter existed then, but it wasn't as widely known as it is now)

There are many games on Kickstarter that have been funded without a demo or prototype. Though these typically have people who have been involved in game projects before. It all depends on the presentation and what you can bring to the table.

I'm not saying everyone has great ideas that will get kickstarted for thousands of dollars, but the notion of "your idea is worthless" is becoming less black and white. There was more truth to this back in the day when all you had was an idea and you were trying to pitch that to programmers/artists to help create the idea for nothing. But with kickstarter, you could potentially lure in a big crowd on nothing but an idea and some concept artwork. Then you get the funding, then you hire the team. Yeah it seems a bit backwards and not the best way to go about game development, but for people like the OP who have nice concept art and ideas, the only other option is to fund everything yourself or spend years learning to program or use game makers.

In my opinion, there is absolutely no harm in attempting the Kickstarter route first. If it fails, then move on to another method. (learning game maker or saving up money to pay for a programmer, etc)

At least with Kickstarter he can get a general idea of who is interested... he can get feedback on his concepts. He can possibly even find people interested in working on the project.

There's always a little room for the possibility to be wrong about something. I dislike when people post things as if they have sage advice on a subject, like they cannot possibly be wrong and going against what they say would be a fool's errand. Speaking of opinions as facts never ends well for anyone, and only leads people to confine themselves to another person's opinion, as you have done after reading that article. Now you think that all ideas are worthless, even though that isn't really a fact.
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2013, 09:34:46 AM »

I would not kickstart asap, I would build a site and a community around the idea to let it mature, find contact, build a team THEN kickstart
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2013, 10:00:43 AM »

Quote
But with kickstarter, you could potentially lure in a big crowd on nothing but an idea and some concept artwork. Then you get the funding, then you hire the team.
how often has that actually worked out though?
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