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Re: uh.......huh....

Postby jelco » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:50 pm

KingAl wrote:Or, start out as an EA grunt and work upwards.

Chris started at EA, and I think Byron did too. Of course, it was the motivation for both not to become part of such megalomaniacal companies (if I remember correctly) but it doesn't mean it makes you an all-bad person if you start over there. :)

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Re: uh.......huh....

Postby KingAl » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:18 pm

jelco wrote:
KingAl wrote:Or, start out as an EA grunt and work upwards.

Chris started at EA, and I think Byron did too. Of course, it was the motivation for both not to become part of such megalomaniacal companies (if I remember correctly) but it doesn't mean it makes you an all-bad person if you start over there. :)

Jelco


I did genuinely mean 'whatever you like' -- it's a start in the industry, of sorts, and it's a more viable approach than sending in design docs and hoping to be declared a genius, which was my overarching point: there's no better way to get started in the industry than to get started in the industry. Not sure how much more viable :P, 'working your way up' probably makes it sound much easier that it really is, but... EA appear to have recovered a little from their 'shit factory' status recently, anyway. Not sure why you think I'd ever declare someone an 'all-bad person' for working them, though.
Last edited by KingAl on Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jelco » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:31 pm

Sorry, I didn't make it all that clear but I didn't actually intend that as a direct reply to your post. What I meant to say is that many people seem to have this general hate towards EA these days, but that doesn't mean that it's a bad thing to start your career in the business over there. ;)

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Postby KingAl » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:32 pm

Well elucidated, then. ;) :P
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Re: uh.......huh....

Postby Spectre » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:00 am

KingAl wrote:
Spectre wrote:I find it extremely hard to believe that all games everywhere are the result of internal deals with only a handful of independents. With this scenario its only a matter of time before five people on the planet choose what gets made. Although it would explain why the market is seemingly over-run with First person shooters and MMORPGs.

The reason it sounds implausible is because in your model the games industry can't develop without people sending in their great game ideas, which is itself implausible. In reality, people get hired, companies emerge, etc.: having ideas submitted to existing companies by random people is not the only way for new people and ideas to contribute. A lot of companies do have a central creative figure who leads design: consider Maxis, Lionhead, Firaxis, Doublefine. And, uh, Introversion.
In (wanky and suspiciously Randian) essence, "take, don't ask". Prove yourself, work up a portfolio, actually make something. Or, start out as an EA grunt and work upwards. Whatever you like.



Actually, my point was that without new people through hiring, or listening to feedback a market is doomed to stagnation. For instance, you have a company. You make one good game with five guys you know. Someone comes up and says, "hey check out this idea. Heres a demo". You say "Thats ok we know what we're doing."

You put out another game that does ok, but has no real innovation over the last game. The guy you turned down makes his game and does better than you. You put out another game that is so similar to the last two that hardly any copies are sold, yet there is a tremendous buzz from your rivals company because they continue to take in fresh ideas, people and perspectives. continuous evolution and adaptation proves to be better than a closed mind.

Also, circular logic was what I was trying to find my way out of. "Begin your career by beginning your career", is not only poor advice but is really a useless statement. If you wanted to know how to build a house, youve made a foundation but dont know how to put up a frame, would the statement "put up a frame" help you?

And besides, Im not sure I explained properly, Im just the face for a group of people. The team leader I guess you could say. I dont declare myself a genius or think that for some reason people need to take every nugget that slips from my brain as pure gold. In truth Id say I came up with about five of the 53 games we're trying to get into demo format. And to be honest the market research we've done has said that the games would do well, though I defer to those who have more experience.

The problem we've run into is that we wrote the novel now we need someone to print the books. See?

On that note, Thanx to Tomcat, EA sounds like a great start and I appreciate the advice on who would be receptive to our presentation.
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Re: uh.......huh....

Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:41 am

Spectre wrote:Actually, my point was that without new people through hiring, or listening to feedback a market is doomed to stagnation. For instance, you have a company. You make one good game with five guys you know. Someone comes up and says, "hey check out this idea. Heres a demo". You say "Thats ok we know what we're doing."


Well game companies are always hiring. The issue is that the role of game designer is the top of the food chain. You don't start as a game designer (unless you found your own company), you work as a grunt for years while you prove yourself.

Spectre wrote:You put out another game that does ok, but has no real innovation over the last game. The guy you turned down makes his game and does better than you. You put out another game that is so similar to the last two that hardly any copies are sold, yet there is a tremendous buzz from your rivals company because they continue to take in fresh ideas, people and perspectives. continuous evolution and adaptation proves to be better than a closed mind.


Yes, innovation tends to be better than stagnation, but that's nothing terribly insightful. However, a company can be very sucessful and innovative without constantly reinventing itself. Look at Blizzard, consistently developing some of the worlds best received games all based around a fairly small core interest.

Spectre wrote:Also, circular logic was what I was trying to find my way out of. "Begin your career by beginning your career", is not only poor advice but is really a useless statement. If you wanted to know how to build a house, youve made a foundation but dont know how to put up a frame, would the statement "put up a frame" help you?


No, when you want to get into construction you start out as a basic laborer and learn by working for more experienced people or you go to university and learn form trained instructors. You don't however go around town trying to get construction companies to build your great idea for a building.

Spectre wrote:And besides, Im not sure I explained properly, Im just the face for a group of people. The team leader I guess you could say. I dont declare myself a genius or think that for some reason people need to take every nugget that slips from my brain as pure gold. In truth Id say I came up with about five of the 53 games we're trying to get into demo format. And to be honest the market research we've done has said that the games would do well, though I defer to those who have more experience.


53? It would seem more sensible to focus on getting one or two into decent shape and either making a go of it yourself or shopping them around. You can't pursue every idea you have or you end up just treading water. A huge part of the creative process is being able to edit your ideas and focusing on only those you can do well.

Spectre wrote:The problem we've run into is that we wrote the novel now we need someone to print the books. See?


But you haven't written the novel. You've written a proposal for a novel or maybe an outline. If you had actually written the novel you'd have an actual product in a more or less finished format. As others have said ideas are a dime a dozen, the real work is in refining, editing and implementing the ideas.
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Re: uh.......huh....

Postby Pox » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:09 am

Spectre wrote:
KingAl wrote:
Spectre wrote:I find it extremely hard to believe that all games everywhere are the result of internal deals with only a handful of independents. With this scenario its only a matter of time before five people on the planet choose what gets made. Although it would explain why the market is seemingly over-run with First person shooters and MMORPGs.

The reason it sounds implausible is because in your model the games industry can't develop without people sending in their great game ideas, which is itself implausible. In reality, people get hired, companies emerge, etc.: having ideas submitted to existing companies by random people is not the only way for new people and ideas to contribute. A lot of companies do have a central creative figure who leads design: consider Maxis, Lionhead, Firaxis, Doublefine. And, uh, Introversion.
In (wanky and suspiciously Randian) essence, "take, don't ask". Prove yourself, work up a portfolio, actually make something. Or, start out as an EA grunt and work upwards. Whatever you like.



Actually, my point was that without new people through hiring, or listening to feedback a market is doomed to stagnation. For instance, you have a company. You make one good game with five guys you know. Someone comes up and says, "hey check out this idea. Heres a demo". You say "Thats ok we know what we're doing."

You put out another game that does ok, but has no real innovation over the last game. The guy you turned down makes his game and does better than you. You put out another game that is so similar to the last two that hardly any copies are sold, yet there is a tremendous buzz from your rivals company because they continue to take in fresh ideas, people and perspectives. continuous evolution and adaptation proves to be better than a closed mind.


What makes you think external sources are the only places to get good ideas? Many ideas that may sound great turn out to not be much fun, or to have technical issues with implementation. Your example 5-man team has at least one person who came up with the first great idea, so why wouldn't he come up with another? For an established studio, it's simply too complicated to work out legal and financial issues unless the idea put forward is ground-breaking, which I very much doubt it is. Developing concepts internally means that there's no royalties to pay and that the people leading the project are truly behind the idea.

As has been said before, once you have finished the novel - not written a prologue and a plot outline - you'd have a lot more luck: if it turns out to play brilliantly and presents itself well, you may very well strike a deal with a publisher.

Personally, I would try to get the word out on the web with a free demo, and publish it independently online - but that would require a truly original idea, as there are a lot of competitors.
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Re: uh.......huh....

Postby KingAl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:07 am

Spectre wrote:Also, circular logic was what I was trying to find my way out of. "Begin your career by beginning your career", is not only poor advice but is really a useless statement. If you wanted to know how to build a house, youve made a foundation but dont know how to put up a frame, would the statement "put up a frame" help you?

It was a rhetorical device; the implied sentiment was to get yourself started, in whatever way, rather than to wait for someone else to 'induct' you, which is the mindset you currently seem to be in.
Other than that, Stews and Pox have said everything I'd want to say.
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Wow.

Postby Spectre » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:27 am

Simply astonishing, you call me judgmental but here you are giving me such grief because of........what? help me understand what I did to deserve to be talked to so harshly. I asked a simple question from people who had already successfully published a few games because I had hit a wall. So, here I am asking questions and all I get is snide contempt with a few people actually answering.

Yes Im inexperienced in the fact that I have not successfully published yet. But how does the fact that I havent completed a project YET, mean I know nothing of the industry? How can you immediately dismiss my ideas without a moments consideration, then complain that Im too harsh in my statements?

Im NOT saying that ALL good ideas come from outside, I AM trying to convey the level of difficulty i have reached IN THE PAST. You cant tell me that the market or the companies arent like that because its exactly how it happened. All I wanted to do was to avoid some speed bumps in the future but, gee I guess Im a total imbecile for planning ahead.

And yes we do have many projects, we also dismiss hundreds more. out of nearly200 ideas only 75 made it to market research, after that 60 proved viable, seven were cut because they had no story, or the demos we passed out were completely rejected by all demographics. See, we do pass out demos and get feed back as apart of PRIMARY developement. And yes at this point alot of them are basically done, however, maybe I dont feel that graphics from 1993 do them justice. Or that possibly the code could use some tweeking. And hell, burn me at the stake because I think having a name like EA or Capcom might actually improve the sales.

So here we are again, square one. 53 games. Hundreds of pages of research, thousands of man-hours of development, an entire community of debuggers and volunteers that are salivating for this game or that. So, excuse me if I feel Ive put in my fair share of work, Im sorry that my team has wasted your precious time by asking questions. I beg your forgiveness that I dont bow to every insult you attack me with, but perhaps in the future instead of arguing over every semantic, maybe you should GROW UP.

the reason I chose this forum out of god knows how many, is that introversion started very similarly to my own group, from the ground up. I thought I could get some sound advice from developers that were in my shoes at one point. But hey, I guess I had it wrong. When you guys woke up one morning you were magically implanted with the information on starting your own company and never had any doubts about anything.

But for the rest of us, we learn by asking. finally, thank you to everyone that offered advice instead of insults, your help was greatly appreciated.
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Re: Wow.

Postby KingAl » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:51 am

Spectre wrote:Simply astonishing, you call me judgmental...

Who? What? When?

Spectre wrote:...but here you are giving me such grief because of........what? help me understand what I did to deserve to be talked to so harshly. I asked a simple question from people who had already successfully published a few games because I had hit a wall. So, here I am asking questions and all I get is snide contempt with a few people actually answering.

It's not snide contempt; if you perceive this as an attack then you're failing to realise that we are really trying to give advice. I'm being frank, not combative. Look at how Introversion got started: they made a game, they got together some money, and they started selling it. They didn't do market research or accrue hundreds of underdeveloped ideas, they just went ahead and made it. That's not to say it's the best approach, but game development as much as anything falls prey to procrastination.

Spectre wrote:Yes Im inexperienced in the fact that I have not successfully published yet. But how does the fact that I havent completed a project YET, mean I know nothing of the industry? How can you immediately dismiss my ideas without a moments consideration, then complain that Im too harsh in my statements?

Who dismissed your ideas? We don't even know what they are. We're discussing your approach to developing your ideas, which looks lopsided from our perspective. But we've only got what you've said to go on.

Spectre wrote:Im NOT saying that ALL good ideas come from outside, I AM trying to convey the level of difficulty i have reached IN THE PAST. You cant tell me that the market or the companies arent like that because its exactly how it happened. All I wanted to do was to avoid some speed bumps in the future but, gee I guess Im a total imbecile for planning ahead.

You're still viewing it from the 'we submit ideas, then they come to us' angle, which is not going to work, however much market research you do. Good ideas can come from outside -- look at Narbacular Drop -- but not in that fashion.

Spectre wrote:And yes we do have many projects, we also dismiss hundreds more. out of nearly200 ideas only 75 made it to market research, after that 60 proved viable, seven were cut because they had no story, or the demos we passed out were completely rejected by all demographics. See, we do pass out demos and get feed back as apart of PRIMARY developement. And yes at this point alot of them are basically done, however, maybe I dont feel that graphics from 1993 do them justice. Or that possibly the code could use some tweeking. And hell, burn me at the stake because I think having a name like EA or Capcom might actually improve the sales.

Good, great, you've got some things to show for yourself, you want to develop them further, sure. No-one's criticised associating yourself with EA or Capcom here; in fact, the only thing people have done is the opposite. If you want to market your prototypes, a better approach would be to try getting a higher profile for them. Submit them to competitions like the IGF, hope they become finalists or even win a prize. Games which've gained recognition are more likely to be visible and gain interest if you're still intent on getting some other company to support it, and raises public awareness of it if you want to release it yourself, as many other independent developers have done -- Introversion with Darwinia (on Steam), 2DBoy with World of Goo (on WiiWare and Steam), Jon Mak with Everyday Shooter (on Steam and the PlayStation store), Jon Blow with Braid (on Xbox Live Arcade), some DigiPen students with Narbacular Drop (now part of Valve having created the highly successful Portal), Dylan Fitterer with Audiosurf (on Steam), etc.

Spectre wrote:the reason I chose this forum out of god knows how many, is that introversion started very similarly to my own group, from the ground up. I thought I could get some sound advice from developers that were in my shoes at one point. But hey, I guess I had it wrong. When you guys woke up one morning you were magically implanted with the information on starting your own company and never had any doubts about anything.

There's no magic solution, no-one knows the 'right approach', but some approaches are just much more viable than others. You say you learn by asking, but it seems like whenever someone gives you advice which you don't like, you reject it.
Well, whatever. Good luck!
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FINALLY

Postby Spectre » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:20 pm

King, I wasnt really talking to you specifically in the last post, more a blanket statement of how many times I log on and have to say "not my point" or "not the question"

And yes, people on the forum have rejected the fact that I have ideas, "Ideas are a dime a dozen""Having an idea is useless without making it" etc. Im not going to sit here and post every game we are developing just to convince people that Im worthy of advice. Further, Im asking about finding a publisher for the book, and people are telling me to work for the guy that runs the printing press. Which would be a great idea if I was an individual, not a group. y'know please dont misunderstand me on that.

Really the only piece of advice Ive flat out rejected was the rhetorical device. Sorry it didnt give me any info. Also,you may not think your being combative, but your statements are really aggressive, sorry for mistaking aggressiveness for aggression.

Other than that, build some demos and pass them out? We did that, and I forgot to include it in my original statement. My fault sorry for that. Publish it on our own, not bad advice and if I find a way to raise enough cash to do it guess what Im gonna do. But since I dont have the cash, Im going to continue to explore other paths. And yes before anyone says it: bank loans; on it. EA games? havent tried them yet and they have a reputation for being receptive? PERFECT ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

And thank the good lord, you have actually let a piece of advice enter one of your statements to me. Its a miracle! but seriously thanks for the advice about the competitions I'll be looking into that today. Thanks again for the advice everybody and if you have any more Ill still keep checking back.
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Re: FINALLY

Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:39 pm

Spectre wrote:And yes, people on the forum have rejected the fact that I have ideas, "Ideas are a dime a dozen""Having an idea is useless without making it" etc. Im not going to sit here and post every game we are developing just to convince people that Im worthy of advice. Further, Im asking about finding a publisher for the book, and people are telling me to work for the guy that runs the printing press. Which would be a great idea if I was an individual, not a group. y'know please dont misunderstand me on that.


That's not rejecting the fact that you have ideas, that's saying everyone has ideas… As for working for the publisher, why can't a group of people work for a publisher (or a number of publishers)? Last time I checked game companies employed more than one person.
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Postby Spectre » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:52 pm

Sorry, my fault wasnt clear. I was trying to say I was being dismissed immediately for using the phrase "I have and idea" or similar.

Second, That's my point entirely in order to get my group hired we have to have something to offer. Ever try to get 35-40 people hired at the same time just by filing out an app and hoping they have enough room? As opposed to having a predesigned project to get hired for specifically.

As foe everyone getting jobs where they may, alot of companies have nondisclosure agreements or creative idea control policies, that basically after everyone gets hired we'd have to convince EVERY boss to bring in EVERY company.

Thanks for the question/feedback.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:00 pm

Well, as an obvious addition to the "get some demos out" strategy, how about this?
- get yourselves a name and a website
- publish a couple of your ideas into flash games or free downloadables there

Then, the next time you're asked who you're with, say InsertYourNameHere, they'll of course say they never heard of it, then you can point to the website.

Edit: Wait, 35 people? You're trying to get financing for 35 people? Without having to show prior project management experience? No sane person would lend you money for that, sorry. Nobody would be taking that risk. You would need a half finished product, and even then you'd need to be lucky.

Oh, and stop asking for advice on GAMING forums. None of us here really has much of a clue of the business side of things :)
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:38 pm

Spectre wrote:Second, That's my point entirely in order to get my group hired we have to have something to offer.


Yes, you'd have to demonstrate skill or competency in some area. However, that doesn't mean you'd have to have a game published already. If you had a decent demo or even a reasonable education you should be relatively hire-able.

Spectre wrote:Ever try to get 35-40 people hired at the same time just by filing out an app and hoping they have enough room? As opposed to having a predesigned project to get hired for specifically.


So you've got 50+ projects and 35-40 people? With that many people the only really viable solution is to develop the game yourself and then if it is a success you may get bought out by a bigger company. There just isn't much incentive for a company to bother with that large a group without you being successful first.

The game industry is highly competitive and you won't get 35-40 people hired by a game company solely based on an idea or generally even a good demo. With that many people you'd really need a good game to even get noticed. It'd be much easier for people to get jobs individually and then work on the project part-time. It's useful to know that even massive games with complex multiplayer systems like Diablo III only have development teams of fifty or so, so you're really working with a huge team relative to the industry (and hence would need to produce work to justify the team size).

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