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kasigawa
01-29-2008, 07:45 PM
I'm almost at the midpoint in my college, and i'm thinking to start a gaming company? How do i do this, and how do i get started?

If any ideas please let me know.

:lwicon:

Dodgy
01-29-2008, 09:43 PM
That's really a huge question..... I would start doing mods for established games like Unreal (which provide you with a working engine), with your friends and see how that goes.

Steamthrower
01-30-2008, 07:18 AM
A while back I did some 3D modeling for a small startup game company. They were using their own game engine, and had modded the Irrlicht engine for graphics. All I did was model some capital starships for them. However it was just comprised of three or four guys who hadn't been out of college for long.

I haven't done it myself though. All I can attest to is the fact that it can be done.

RollerJesus
01-30-2008, 08:03 AM
The gaming industry is pretty expansive and unless you're a some demi-god super coder, I suggest starting with one of the existing game engines.

Torque from garagegames.com or Unity from unity3d.com, or others... Each has it's own set of upsides and downs. I use Torque, but that really means nothing. I hear Unity has great Lightwave support, but when I looked at it, it was only for Mac.

Checkout the communities and see if it's what you have in mind. Working on video games is much different than what I thought it was going to be like, but I enjoy it as a hobby.

Best of luck!

Tzan
01-30-2008, 09:56 AM
Try to get into an existing company. Make notes about the work flow, the tools they use. Then after 2 -3 years there, go for it.

There is one good point about starting early. Living with your mom. If you can graduate and still live at home then you'll have the time to learn how to make a game, then make one, because you wont need a job. Once you get a job your free time drops and what might have been a 1 year project is now 2 or more.

As mentioned already Mods are a good place to start. Or super small stuff like tictactoe or asteroids.

If you have visions of millions of dollars dancing in your head forget it. Just try to make a very very small thing, just to say you finished it and get that satisfied feeling of a completed project. Which would probably be so unimportant you cant sell it. Then try something bigger.

http://www.gamedev.net/

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/start_here/

Tzan
01-30-2008, 10:20 AM
Another link about starting a company.

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/business/features/virtual/

GandB
01-30-2008, 12:06 PM
Going with everyone else's advice; I'd say to get with a Mod team, once you have a solid grasp of the basics of game modeling (low-poly). You can also look into doing 2D renders of 3D resources, for 2D games. The casual market is booming. Do you have any scripting or coding knowledge? Once you get a few things accomplished, try for a small company to learn not only the flow of things, but the business end as well.

-Keith

kasigawa
01-30-2008, 03:11 PM
In college we're using the Torque 3D engine so i think that's a good start.
I'll just see what i can do from there.

kasigawa
01-30-2008, 03:14 PM
I already know how to model both highpoly or lowpoly, and i can also do 3D animation, so i guess i can start out slow from there.

Matt
01-30-2008, 04:45 PM
It's a pretty cut throat business too, you won't be able to compete resource-wise with the likes of EA etc. So _really_ think about the genre of games you'd like to do. First Person Shooters are ten a penny, try and do something genuinely different. Spore and Portal come to mind, really clever ideas.

Gameplay seems to be the least important aspect, it's too much about graphics these days.

These guys have a good thing going, theirs games aren't too complex (compared to most mainstream stuff) but they are very well executed and presented. Defcon is beautifully looking for such a 'simple' game.

http://www.introversion.co.uk/

Etch
01-30-2008, 09:50 PM
It's a pretty cut throat business too, you won't be able to compete resource-wise with the likes of EA etc. So _really_ think about the genre of games you'd like to do. First Person Shooters are ten a penny, try and do something genuinely different. Spore and Portal come to mind, really clever ideas.

Gameplay seems to be the least important aspect, it's too much about graphics these days.

These guys have a good thing going, theirs games aren't too complex (compared to most mainstream stuff) but they are very well executed and presented. Defcon is beautifully looking for such a 'simple' game.

http://www.introversion.co.uk/

ooh uplink is made by that company. That game r0xx0rz

erikals
01-31-2008, 08:56 AM
I'd say go with an already made gameengine, you also often have the option to -pay for the gameengines source code to implement your own, -pay the company to make code for you so you can implement the features you would like. I have looked into BeyondVirtual/ GameCore, and it does the job. Lots of ppl complain about the lacks, but all gameengines have lacks as far as I can see.

I agree with the statement bout making something unique, that's were you can earn money, or making kicka** graphics with ok gameplay.

As far as programming from scratch, well, one can, but I surely wouldn't recommend it. What's the point really, when you can pay for an already made gameengine that you can tweak..(!)

Also, be awere that making a game takes lots and lots of time. I'm currently just looking into it for fun, maybe for one day to make something, something cool. (maybe) :)

Traveler
01-31-2008, 10:25 AM
[A] create a game or advanced demo;
[B] find a publisher who is interested;
[C] find out if your game is selling okay (in case its a game and not a demo)
[D] if it does think about setting up a company. If it doesn't, do [A] again.

This (http://forums.indiegamer.com/) might also be a good place to start.

Tom Wood
01-31-2008, 05:08 PM
I'm not a gamer but the research I've done into mobile formats for my project makes me wish I could code. A game that can be played on a mobile device would be a really good start. All the big syndicates are looking for them. Just because the format is small doesn't mean it can't go big. :D

manproof
02-01-2008, 08:05 AM
Coding a game yourself is a good idea. Even building a “simple” game like asteroids will start to give you an appreciation of asset management, collision detection, etc. I recommend using Flash if you want to do 2D or pre-rendered 3D, and <gulp> Director if you want to start in with real-time 3D right away. You can export models and animations as a .w3d right from Layout and import into Director. If you’re feeling really brave, look into Ogre. However I strongly recommend you start with 2D and Flash. Flash has better support and documentation, and a much stronger user community.

Build some Flash games and put them on a website. Port them to a PSP or some other handheld. Network and make friends. If you don’t want to be responsible for coding, find others who will. Play lots of games. Play video games, card games, board games, read books on games, learn about math used in games…

Look at games like Katamari Damacy and Loco Roco. Though they’re the exception to the rule, if you can think of innovative gameplay and execute it well, you can get noticed.

-EsHrA-
02-01-2008, 08:30 AM
make a kickass addon for an excisting game.
this way you will get reckognised.

mlon

kasigawa
02-04-2008, 01:00 PM
i already know most of the resources for making a 3D game, but how the heck do i get started with employees and ect.

I'm guessing i'll have to take a buisiness class in college.

Tzan
02-04-2008, 07:42 PM
If you need employees. Thats means that you have the money to pay them.
So hire a manager with 5+ years experience.

If you need volunteers, thats where links to dev sites come in handy

erikals
02-04-2008, 11:13 PM
i already know most of the resources for making a 3D game, but how the heck do i get started with employees and ect.

I'm guessing i'll have to take a buisiness class in college.

Very hard to make work,
the cost of having an employed is massive, be 102% sure you can handle the expenses, I know a guy that didn't, now he is stuck, having to pay a huge loan. Not cool.

I find what the guys at project offset did was an interesting thing,
find a group of volunteers, work on the game for a couple of years, for then to sell it. www.projectoffset.com

Tzan
02-05-2008, 11:23 AM
I know a guy that didn't, now he is stuck, having to pay a huge loan. Not cool.


I looked into getting a small business loan to start a game company. But luckily I came to my senses and didnt do it. I would still like to start one, but I would do it with an investor.

erikals
02-05-2008, 11:59 AM
How 'bout doing it in the sparetime for a couple of years, for then to sell it later on?
No money lost..

Tzan
02-05-2008, 12:17 PM
Well I've done that a few times already, no money gained either. :)
Working in my spare time is hard for me. I really prefer to go all in and do something full time.

Although its one of those things that gnaws at you. So maybe I'll take a whack at it again. Its been a while since the last time.

The first time was 1991-92 I did a 2d tile graphic strategy game on the AtariST. But that machine was was fading from the scene. I did everything, design/art/ C programming.

I learned Java and did the simple stuff, for practice.

The second time I was working on something seriously, was a volunteer MMO project, Magicosm. I hated that name :) The two main programmers were awsome. I did game design and art direction, but we never really attracted quality artists.

We needed maybe 10 more people on that project to really finish it. After a few years I dropped out, the maybe a year later the lead client programmer dropped out and the project stopped. He created the Xith engine in Java. He had been on it for 4 years at least. They had around a million lines of code. He open sourced the Xith engine and people are still adding to it.

Then I worked at Turbine for a while back in 2003-2004. I did content creation on LOTRO. I did terraforming in The OldForest and BarrowDowns,The Cardolan wall in Breeland was set up by me and a few dungeons and lots of stuff that probably got changed before shipping.

So I've done a few things. Maybe I will again :)

erikals
02-05-2008, 01:08 PM
I see it like this,

-Wake the audience interest
-Good marketing is vital
-Time versus Cost, make sure it is worth it

If one put these things together sucessfully you are bound to make it.
But that is way easier said than done, all parts must be a success, or else...


The question I'm begining to ask myself is, is it worth it.
Only the best games, OR... the best markeded games (a secret) is the ones that
make it to the top.


I just don't want to work my a** of for something that won't work.


You have a lot of experience though, that's good, big advantage :)
Concider doing stuff on the sparetime, find a cool idea for a game, then start it, mayeb make other ppl join, (though that can be hard to make work at times, as it is non-payed)

adamredwoods
02-06-2008, 11:28 AM
This is an interesting thread.

My idea was to approach it from more of a "prototype" creation using an existing engine, then use that as your calling card to attract investors. I hear VCs don't do video games, but rather "casual games" websites. Would I cater to the big production houses, EA, Sega, LucasArts?

I don't want to make a game myself, unless its in Flash. I'd rather do the creative decisions, game design, and management.

And what makes people work on games for free (for someone else)? What is the draw?

RollerJesus
02-06-2008, 12:18 PM
@adam
I'm doing some modeling for a game for free right now. The game idea sounded fun, the lead designer has a game or two under his belt and I know I have the skills to create some of the 3d assets but I don't have the chops/experience to get hired at with established game developer.

I guess that draw was just to get some experience in both low poly modeling, game development in general and to help build a portfolio for myself.

I attached a couple images. The source and an in-game shot. The lead developer has MS and wanted to do a wheelchair racing game, a la Burnout.

erikals
02-06-2008, 01:05 PM
Sounds cool, is there humour involved in the game?
could be an idea.

RollerJesus
02-06-2008, 02:06 PM
The game is absolutley light hearted. Big motors, wheel mods, carnage type of racing... Still in it's infancy though. Busy busy prototyping.

MentalFish
02-07-2008, 05:30 AM
Last August I started doing game development fulltime, instead of being an employee at a company and trying to do game-development in my spare time. To get food on the table I make Flash games and campaigns for other companies, while I also set aside daytime hours for my own game project. It works quite nicely this way.

In terms of tools to make games, I would definately recommend Flash for game-play prototyping and most types of 2D games, as well as Director / ShockWave3D for realtime 3D games. But if you need great realtime 3D performance, I would recommend Unity. All these technologies run on both Mac and PC, and you can easily make your own game in any of them. Other game engines have a tendency to suggest that you mod one of their example scenes to make your own game, which in the end isnt very innovative. I prefer to start with a blank slate, and have a very high-level language to create the gameplay I am thinking of.

RollerJesus
02-07-2008, 07:01 AM
But if you need great realtime 3D performance, I would recommend Unity.

I'm really starting to think that's good advice. The Torque engine starts you off with pre-fab games that are good if you're starting off making a first person shooter.

It did take me a few hours, just to create a blank slate... :thumbsdow

However, the community is huge and most times quite helpful, and the resources that are freely available are more than adequate to get a good prototype together. (or even a full game) :thumbsup:

Tzan
02-12-2008, 10:32 AM
I've used C, Java, JavaScript, Director (2d) in the past and I would really like to try PIM.

I mention that here because I suspect one of the PIM beta guys is watching here and maybe he can tell Enki that the web page is down :)
Yeah I'm that guy who checks the page every other day.

Oh yeah and then get me into beta :)

kasigawa
02-27-2008, 04:57 PM
How would i pay the employees?

Tzan
02-27-2008, 06:55 PM
I generally try not to be rude, so hopefully this doesnt sound too harsh.

Dude, seriously? If you need advice on how to give someone money, I'm guessing you are not ready to start a company.

kasigawa
03-27-2008, 02:31 PM
I guess i should take a business class in college.

Steamthrower
03-31-2008, 10:28 AM
I guess i should take a business class in college.

Not to be rude, but seriously, a business class in college won't help you here.

If you don't have the money, you don't need to hire people.

Do you realise how much money that is? Say just for starters that you pay them a bare minimum: $30,000/yr. Most anybody in the 3D industry, including me, makes much more than that though. Say you hire five people (a number I think you mentioned)...well there you have $150,000...which is serious money for someone in college.

Unless you have some sort of trust fund left to you by a railroad tycoon, I'm guessing you don't have that (being in college and all). Very few of my college friends have that kind of dough.

And if you don't have that money, and take out a loan to pay them, and things don't go as planned: you are screwed. Screwed bad.

kasigawa
03-31-2008, 03:17 PM
i can get a job and get some $$, but the problem is getting started. It's not like a regular business. If i take business class in college it could get me a sence of direction on how to get started.

Steamthrower
03-31-2008, 03:46 PM
The last thing I want to do is come across as pessimistic or rude, but I'm afraid you're deluding yourself.

Coming out of college and expecting to make enough money to immediately employ several people is probably not within your reach. Getting a job and having the means to pay several employees would require you to make about five times as much as they do...

I'm afraid that the advice offered by others in this thread is pretty solid. Get with some friends and mod a game, or create a demo. Then get funding and go from there.

marc
04-02-2008, 04:40 PM
A friend of mine runs a game company. Guess what: he's got an MBA and no clue about 3D graphics. Also, he cross-financed the development of their first game with money from his other business.

So basically you want to team up with someone who covers the business and finance side - and has experience doing this. I believe even working at a games company won't help you much unless you work in management.

Also, you will most likely get no funding just for ideas or even demos. You might get a job in production, but I doubt that a publisher will give you money on spec.

Marc

othornton
04-03-2008, 09:17 AM
I'm almost at the midpoint in my college, and i'm thinking to start a gaming company? How do i do this, and how do i get started?

First of all, graduate. That's what you've been spending money on so far, so it should be your primary goal. Use the opportunity to load up on academically discounted books, hardware and software, and squeeze every bit of knowledge you can out of your instructors. Join a game modding community in your spare time and begin to familiarize yourself with the needs of game design workflow.

How would i pay the employees?

Money. There is no motivation or urgency in free work. But this is a moot point until you've graduated and are ready to commit the time to managing anyone.

Having answered those, I want to advise you to make your goal more specific. People like investors have little or no interest in vague dreams, and banks will give loans to anyone even if their idea is crap.

Invest in the power of networking and attend any trade show that is within your means to travel to. Siggraph and GDC are both huge events that attract hundreds of animators, modelers and programmers. Talk to developers at these events about how they started. At the last Siggraph I got the chance to talk to a ton of people in the gaming and film communities and met hundreds of people who were there looking for jobs. I can only assume GDC is the same but to the nth degree since it is focussed specifically on game design and development.

I hope this answers some questions. Your dream is not unrealistic, just ambitious enough to merit some planning and research. This forum may not be the place to do that research though. A game development site would be a much better place to start asking questions (this forum is too LW specific to get good answers) and raise your odds of getting answers from people who run game companies. Try www.gamasutra.com as a place to start.

Don't let the negativity get you down. For all we know about you, you could be a trust fund child just wondering how to invest and thus not even need loans. Or you could be at a community college working minimum wage or less, in which case you may indeed be getting way ahead of yourself.

As a last note I will say that if you're at the midpoint in college, it's not too late to transfer to a school (perhaps larger/better equipped/more reputable) that has a game design program and a job placement dept with contacts in the industry. I stayed at a school that was crapola for years when transferring would have expanded my options infintely.

Good luck,

-Oliver

Volunteer
04-15-2008, 09:23 PM
I'm not much on animation, but I do know business, having two business degrees and having started and sold a successful business. I'm a school volunteer now because I can afford to be.

90% of all businesses are gone within five years. 95% are gone within ten years. More might survive but they lacked either the capital or ownership that looked on their work as a business and not a nice hobby.

Business is brutal. The tax man expects to be paid first and be paid even if you don't make money. Politicians look on businesses as an unlimited source of money for their pet projects, so it will get worse. There were years when the only folks making money from my labor were the employees and the tax collector. I was financially sound enough that I survived that when others couldn't.

That said, you've gotten some good advice here. Get a job and learn the business from the bottom up. If you see a job that you don't know how to do, volunteer to do it. Always do more than asked. Pick your bosses brain. The faster you advance, the more you will learn and the more valued you will become to yourself and others.

Get financially stable. I had to laugh when I saw "live with mom," but that is actually the most sound advice in this whole thread. Learn to live poor now and you can live rich in your old age. Don't fall in love because wives don't like to take chances.

Without being hurtful, your comments suggest that you know less than nothing about running a business, and you seem to know that. You need to fix that somehow. You can't even partner up with someone unless you get some business smarts. You have to be smart enough and cynical enough to know when your partner tries to cheat you, and that will happen.

I'll end by suggesting three things: 1) Buy a book on writing a business plan and start working through it now. You will find it painful but you will at least learn the questions to ask. 2) If at all possible, take a year of freshman accounting and audit Business Law. Looking back, Business Law was the most valuable course I ever took. 3) Find out what SCORE is and use them all of your life.

For what it is worth, I know as little about animation as you know about business and yet people here are patient with me and my really basic questions. This post may be the best way I can repay the help I have received.

Good luck! My guess is that you will start three businesses before one takes. That is typical. Just be mentally prepared for it.

Tzan
04-16-2008, 08:39 AM
Great advice Volunteer.

I'm in my second business now, it took 8 years before I started saving real money. Last 3 years have been good.

My third business will be a game company as soon as I pile up enough money in the bank.

doimus
04-18-2008, 04:41 AM
Get financially stable. I had to laugh when I saw "live with mom," but that is actually the most sound advice in this whole thread. Learn to live poor now and you can live rich in your old age. Don't fall in love because wives don't like to take chances.


Or he could die a young poor virgin. You never know. Money is cheap, health is not.

erikals
04-18-2008, 05:21 AM
:) very true, reminds me of, www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPflLGEHUAI

_Michael_Kayne_
04-20-2008, 02:45 PM
I would come work for you on the art department. Aside from that I can do a little coding, but you're going to need a super genius if you want to write your own engine. Or someone with a whole lot of time. Or several people with a whole lot of time..... It took 30 programmers 3 years to write MS Word. You've been to college. Do the math. :)

kasigawa
04-21-2008, 04:40 PM
I could start out as an animation company. :lwicon:

tvtom
04-21-2008, 05:00 PM
I'm thinking about starting a restaurant chain because I ate at a restaurant last night and well, I think I got the hang of it.

Steamthrower
04-22-2008, 07:14 AM
I'm thinking about starting a restaurant chain because I ate at a restaurant last night and well, I think I got the hang of it.

The question is, do you need to take a business class so that you can start some franchises and know how to manage your corporate headquarters?

greeb1957
04-25-2008, 07:59 AM
I think you should take some minor roles in the buisness side of things, perhaps work as a manager for a year and get a feel of what it takes to run a restaurant.

greeb1957
04-25-2008, 08:00 AM
it definatly wont happen overnight.

kasigawa
10-02-2008, 11:23 AM
how am i going to find my team, do i have to hire them or ask them if they want to join?

Traveler
10-02-2008, 02:54 PM
Depends on who you want to in your team. You said in your first post you're still in college. Maybe you've got some friends there who wouldn't mind helping out (even for free).
Asking random people (artist, developers) to join your company might be doable on sites like www.gamedev.net (forum -> help wanted). But mind you, it will required a lot of pre-work on your part. They will want to see/know what you are planning on making. Design docs, some concept art, what your role is in the project, etc etc.

3DGFXStudios
10-02-2008, 03:04 PM
Jsut DO IT!!! Thats how I started my company....My advice: Don't wait till your 40....

jasonwestmas
10-02-2008, 07:04 PM
Finding enough coders, good writers, designers and commited 2d concept people may be the most challenging part. 3D people seem to be in more abundance these days interestingly enough. Don't forget good marketing and business managers.

ChrisBasken
10-04-2008, 06:25 PM
Jsut DO IT!!! Thats how I started my company....My advice: Don't wait till your 40....

Great, that only gives me a year... ;)