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gambit924
01-23-2010, 03:28 AM
I have an idea for a game working off a concept that was presented to me by a friend. A game about daily life in the Middle Ages. It would be a game kind of like "The Sims" but it would be a massive community, basically an MMO. There would be thousands of things in the game world to interact with and thousands of people to interact with as well. The only thing that would be truly challenging in the game is the fact that the played would actually have to work to survive. There would be motives like hunger and cleanliness and energy that the player would have to be aware of and players would have to find some way to attain gold.
It's a good concept I think, but I need ideas on how to get it funded/developed. Who knows of any websites where I might find information about funding a game? I'm asking you all ecause you're gamers and you might know about these things. Please let me know if you can help me, I want to see this happen.

LOG
01-23-2010, 03:49 AM
We seriously need a sticky for this. I'm a hop, a skip, and a jump from doing it myself.

gambit924
01-23-2010, 05:21 AM
Should I not have posted this here?

LOG
01-23-2010, 07:06 AM
It's the appropriate area. Just wish there was a sticky.

Short answer:
Writers pitching ideas to the gaming companies doesn't really happen.

Long Answer:There's no real way to get into the gaming business unless they seek you out or you're in it as something else.
Most gaming ideas are made by a group of designers who get stuffed in a room and told to brainstorm. When they have something, they get out, present it to the head honchos and see if it'll fly. But after that they also have other tasks. So only someone who's actually working on the core parts of the game will generally have an influence on what goes into the game. Some companies, like Bioware and Blizzard will hire writers to help with lore or to write novels for their series. But otherwise, you'll probably never be invovled with a gaming company.
Make yourself known, and hope they come to you is pretty much the best chance you have.

DoomBunny
01-23-2010, 07:12 AM
I've worked on games, including MMOs, so let me be blunt. Ideas are worthless without the wherewithal to do something with them. You yourself will no doubt have dozens of great ideas in any given day, and you're not unique. As an aspiring writer I would have thought you'd already be aware of this. I've got half a dozen well fleshed-out game design docs on my hard drive, a lot more in various stages, and they're not worth the hard drive space they take up. I write them for fun and practice and I've got no illusions I could convince anyone to so much as look at them.

A lot of gamers seem to be under the impression that having an idea is the hard part, and that someone, somewhere in the industry is waiting to hear it. It just doesn't work like that. Even if it was an amazing idea, don't you think an experienced designer with a thorough knowledge of the industry, of SKUs and publishers and markets and economic trends, is going to have something better?

If you're interested in getting into the industry I'd recommend you start with a site like Gamasutra. Google is your friend, search for game design and you'll find plenty of good stuff. Just be aware that no one gets into the industry as a designer or writer without experience. At the very least you need to have a solid product, like a prototype or mod, that you can show off. As for MMOs, forget it. You have to be serious, established, rock star talent to get that kind of funding.

You should also be aware that virtually noone gets to make the games they really want to. Even if you're a huge success chances are you will never get to do your dream game. This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but there it is I'm afraid.

As for your idea, you may want to keep in mind that The Sims Online crashed and burned. Game design isn't about what you really want to play. It's about finding the sweet spot between market forces and inspiration. Even the most successful designers struggle to find a balance between what they want to make and what they can sell.

benbradley
01-23-2010, 08:46 AM
What you describe sounds roughly like Second Life, or at least what I've heard about it, except SL is in modern times and you're talking Middle Ages. There's surely a Middle Ages/SCA subset of people in Second Life.

I suppose the time when one or two guys can write a "colossal cave adventure" game program and it become wildly popular (relative to the number of people who played computer games and other computer game programs at the time) is long gone. You can research it online, you can even download the original source (800 lines of FORTRAN - that's nothing thesedays) as well as many versions for many computers.

Did I hear correctly that the computer game industry now grosses more than Hollywood?

LOG
01-23-2010, 10:34 AM
Perhaps if you added them all together...

DoomBunny
01-23-2010, 01:38 PM
I suppose the time when one or two guys can write a "colossal cave adventure" game program and it become wildly popular (relative to the number of people who played computer games and other computer game programs at the time) is long gone. You can research it online, you can even download the original source (800 lines of FORTRAN - that's nothing thesedays) as well as many versions for many computers.

Actually it's still possible, there's a lot of room for this sort of thing in casual games. But you generally need crazy ninja skills and a laser fine focus on your concept.



Did I hear correctly that the computer game industry now grosses more than Hollywood?

Not exactly. An article I read years ago said that Goldeneye for the N64 made more than the movie it was based on. This was net, not gross. Costs in game development are pretty low compared to movies, the pay is shocking. But at this point the paradigms are too different to really compare with any meaning. World of Warcraft brings in a ridiculous amount of money, far more than any one movie could hope to achieve. However, actual profit I'm not sure about.

Lhun
01-23-2010, 10:04 PM
Most gaming ideas are made by a group of designers who get stuffed in a room and told to brainstorm. When they have something, they get out, present it to the head honchos and see if it'll fly.This is also the only real way to get into the gaming industry. Find some people, start making a game. Without getting paid for it. When you've got at least half a game up and running you can try and sell it to the big publishers, who just might be interested enough to pay you for completing it. Not much.
If you're unlucky and no publisher is interested, you can just give up, or continue working and hope you'll have more luck when you've got more to show. Publishers are obviously more interested in a game the less risky up-front capital they have to pour in until the release date.

Or you can always go with an indy publisher. Many great games are produced even today by two or three man teams, who are happy to work in their free time on a game project they love, and don't mind that a realistic estimate of the money they'll make with it is: enough to pay for the beer we drank while working on the game.

gambit924
01-25-2010, 07:22 AM
Thanks for giving it to me straight, I like that. It was just an idea, one I wasn't all that attached to but I still think it would have been cool. I've been to Gamasutra.com and Gamejobs.com and Gamedev.net and all their jobs overshadow my experience. I just thought you all might have some ideas and you did. Thank you for all your helpful hints!