Commercial Game ideas

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Commercial Game ideas

Postby Rachael » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:18 pm

So - a lot of us in this community are very talented, and what better use of that talent than to make money with it?

I was watching Jimquisition today and at the end of today's episode he suggested that budding game developers come together and try to make a video game.

And that got me thinking - what better way to do that, than a community like this?

So I'm pitching that out there. First I want to see *who* is interested, and then I want to brainstorm ideas that people might be passionate about and try and choose something that enough people would be interested in. The idea is to make a game that can be sold on Steam and GOG.com, and have fun doing it.

At minimum we would need a programmer, spriter/modeler (either/or), mapper, texture artist, sound creator, and music creator. Any single person can take probably 2 or 3 of these roles if they are talented enough, but it would be better to have at least a dedicated person for each role. There are a few roles here I could take, myself, if someone else doesn't do so. I am not against using premade assets as long as they're affordable and they don't encompass the entire project.

Some legalese up front: Unfortunately, I do not have any base capital to start paying people right away. Every single one of us would be earning a slice of the game's profits when it gets published - unless someone is interested in investing. Until then, we just have to all go in together to try and make it the best game it can be.

Also - there will be hard deadlines that have to be met. This is a team project, so we do need everyone making some effort to actually push this towards the finish line. I hate deadlines as much as the next person - but they are sometimes necessary. Don't sign up for something like this if that's an issue for you. (However, I'll try and make them as fair as possible)

(BTW: For my team, our Discord server is at: https://discord.gg/2dkW4ng)
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Sgt. Shivers » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:35 am

It might be good to start with a sort of arcadey practice game first and get people used to working as a team to deadlines before moving into a commercial thing. You don't want to find out two people don't like working together 3 months into a commercial project.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Arctangent » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:23 am

I can definitely say the practice project is a good idea. Maybe not necessarily an entirely different game, but doing a freeware proof-of-concept as a proof-as-team could probably weed out the team of people with not enough motivation or cause interpersonal issues.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Nash » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:40 am

I am able to contribute in any of the positions stated in the OP - and even share some code or assets from my own WIP commercial game I'm developing - but I need assurance that this project will be completed, will be ran/organized competently and with excellent teamwork and communication, and that no premature asset stealing will happen (see my code or assets used outside of this project and mine, before either one is completed).

Rachael is a great person and I'm sure she's capable of running the show, and I'd be more than happy to work with her. However, the situation can change completely depending on who else is on the team...

As for idea, I'd suggest something that's realistic to complete. Maybe a 90's style first person shooter with the usual episodic format.

I'm open to other ideas too but it seems that every other person on this forum is working on some large scale, ambitious project...
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Kinsie » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:44 am

As well-intentioned as this is, I'm not convinced that just going "Hey, you guys wanna make a game together? I'll make the wiki!" really works in our less-innocent age.

You really need a pre-established concept and prototype (since everyone has ideas) to get prospective team members interested (since programmers get constantly badgered by terrible ideas-men wanting them to do unrealistic things under unreasonable conditions), and ideally the money to pay people and/or (preferably both) legal contracts to determine who owns contributed work, who gets paid out of what money and how (since artists are constantly badgered by exploitative jerks trying to get them work "for exposure"). While sometimes you can get by with only a few pieces of this recipe*, not doing so can mean the project either doesn't leave the ground, or crashes and burns in dramatic, Hindenburg-esque fashion**.

I know nobody ITT's an exploitative jerk, but wires can be crossed, creative differences can rise (god knows, hobbyist mod projects have enough drama without money involved!), and it's best to have as much of this on paper as possible to avoid anyone and/or everyone getting fucked.

I believe there are people here that have worked on commercial games of varying types (Cage? Graf? Probably a couple of others?), they could weigh in based on their experiences***.

*: The developers of Gunpoint were working on the promise (contract-enforced?) of being paid a percentage of the game's royalties, but by the time they came on board a fairly hefty chunk of the gameplay mechanics had been hashed out in-engine using placeholder MSPaint artwork.

**: There was a blast of drama last year with some Patreon-funded... I wanna say it was a furry visual novel or something? Where the artist walked away from the project and oops, turns out they owned all the art they contributed to the project, leaving the rest of the developers with some purple prose and not a whole lot else to justify their crowdfunding revenue.

***: This is the first time I've done a forum post with footnotes. I hope it's the last.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Reactor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:51 am

I would gladly contribute my knowledge and resources, Eruanna. Zsole says he'd do that too. The modelist is also possible to hire, though he doesn't work for free, not even for us. Anyways, we would be more than happy to assist.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby insightguy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:43 am

@Kinsie

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who can see the pitfall to this. As good as collaboration can be, there are also many horror stories that can be found.

and I think the game you're thinking about is "Breeding season". Not going to link it here for very obvious reasons. But a lesson from that project is to make sure that the head of the project actually owns the assets.

Basically what happened was that the artist decided to quit and took half of all the art asset rights along with him to make his own game, according to the developer. So basically they can't use the assets for legal reasons because the "generous contract" they gave him allowed him to keep the rights to the art he made.

TL;DR: Get shit sorted out BEFORE even starting development of end with possible infighting. or go freeware first, like "Nocturne in Yellow"

For actual suggestions, why not start with what the community know best? An "GZDooM-Esque"* FPS with neat weapons and fun levels. Plot? Serviceable at best. Intrigue? For another time. Character? Maybe the next game. A good game that can be the basis for other projects (This kinda assumes that this is in the GZDoom engine, otherwise, forget my idea)

And out of curiosity, what's the base investment a project like this would require?

*Imagine if one of the many neat gameplay mods like kreigsland, High-noon drifter, or Netronian Chaos got their own dedicated map-set or played with a theme fitting one, that kind of experience. (I can do it too Kinsie :P )
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Rachael » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:46 am

I definitely was not going to start with a big, ambitious project. I did want to start with something small that would take between a week and 2 months to complete, and throw it onto the Steam store for $1/$2 or so. Just to get a feel for the team, and to get used to starting to work commercially.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Caligari87 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:17 pm

Wouldn't mind throwing my lot in. In terms of raw skill I'm pretty-well rounded, and as long as I have a direction and a framework I can contribute consistently. I have a reasonable amount of code experience (ZScript mostly, some C/C++). I'm no artist or composer, but I'm rather good with editing of graphics/audio/music as long as I have decent material to work with (this includes detail-work / prettification of rough maps).

8-)
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:28 pm

If I had some more time on my hands I'd definitely be interested but I fear it'd turn out the same as GZDoom right now: I spend all my energy at work and want to relax when back home. On the other hand: Maybe with some concrete goals to fulfill it may be more motivating.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Rachael » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:44 pm

Caligari87 wrote:Wouldn't mind throwing my lot in. In terms of raw skill I'm pretty-well rounded, and as long as I have a direction and a framework I can contribute consistently. I have a reasonable amount of code experience (ZScript mostly, some C/C++). I'm no artist or composer, but I'm rather good with editing of graphics/audio/music as long as I have decent material to work with (this includes detail-work / prettification of rough maps).

8-)


This could work as a texture artist - as it's a lot simpler to take a photograph of a texture and stylize it in Photoshop than it is to create said texture from scratch.

Graf Zahl wrote:If I had some more time on my hands I'd definitely be interested but I fear it'd turn out the same as GZDoom right now: I spend all my energy at work and want to relax when back home. On the other hand: Maybe with some concrete goals to fulfill it may be more motivating.


Right now I am trying to gauge interest in this, and I am trying to decide who seems to work better with who if I was to construct a theoretical team. Every interaction I've had with people is coming to bear at this point of pure evaluation, although it's starting to look like I may have a solid enough team to move forward with it.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby YukiHerz » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:45 pm

I'd be interested if it came to be, I can do maps and provide gameplay input/ideas, and I also agree with the statement of doing a small project to test team integrity.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Reactor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:00 pm

insightguy's idea is a pretty innovative one. Make the first game/episode shareware, make sure it ends in a cliffhanger, and THEN start selling the sequels for monies. This is how ID did with Wolfenstein, or Doom, and it worked pretty well.
You shall also need a good storyteller for a project, epic ambitious one or not. Games with stories "go there and kill thingz" never do well IMHO.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Arctangent » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:08 pm

Might as well throw my hat into the rink as a programmer as well, though I get the feeling that around here you'll end up with far more programmers than necessary.
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Re: Commercial Game ideas

Postby Shadelight » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:15 pm

Reactor wrote:You shall also need a good storyteller for a project, epic ambitious one or not. Games with stories "go there and kill thingz" never do well IMHO.

Um....
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