Hypothetical question: What would it take someone with no $$$ to make a AAA game?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Uhfgood, May 3, 2010.

  1. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    My plan is to keep it a side project. It won't work, but don't tell me that i said that :)
     
  2. HairyTroll

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    Good (Game Quality), Fast (Time to market), Cheap (Development Cost).

    Pick any two.
     
  3. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    Incidentally, it IS possible to do a high quality AAA style game on an indie budget, if you check out the natural selection guys for instance. But theyre experienced professionals who are all probably working from savings. So its never going to be done without enough money to have a meagre living at least.
     
  4. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    Well, if we add "indies with savings" in the mix, we also get Zeno Clash developers (who i think also worked on a games company before).
     
  5. Stropp

    Stropp New Member

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    Get a job!

    The upshot is that you'll need some money to support you if you're trying to develop a game, AAA or not. That will have to come from somewhere, either someone supporting you, or savings.

    If you don't have either of these, why not do some other work on the side?

    If you're smart enough to create a game, then you're smart enough to leverage your skills to do some work on the side that can pay for your game development. If you're an artist, do some graphic design, paint and sell your art. If you're a programmer do some contracting. Then use that income to eat and fund your game.
     
  6. Bad Sector

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    From my experience, it isn't the work that gets done on the side :).

    Easier said than done.
     
  7. ecruz

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    no money yet want to hire people to build AAA game ?
    with what ? profit sharing + in-game credits :rolleyes: ?
     
  8. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    You know, these kind of posts are a bit insulting to those who ask questions (not to mention insulting to those who actually *do* work for profit sharing). He asked a valid question and he expected valid answers (even if he may not like them).
     
  9. Stropp

    Stropp New Member

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    Well, yeah, that may be the case. The question is, what are you (as in OP) prepared to do to make your game?

    It may be you have to work 40 hours and spend all your evenings and weekends working on the game. If someone has no money as the OP suggests, then wouldn't that be the case if the game was AAA or ZZZ?

    As are most things in life. :)
     
  10. ecruz

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    This is AAA game we're talking about, i'm merely stating the fact,
    you don't like it than don't listen to it, end of story.
    no need to make it a big deal eh :rolleyes: ?
     
  11. Bad Sector

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    What kind of fact you stated? Your post was pure troll irony.
     
  12. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    The only way I could see this working is if you form some kind of game development cultist commune where each member donates their life savings and agrees to work for free.

    Hmm, maybe you should give Steve Pavlina a call? :D
     
  13. dewitters

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    LOL, I was thinking the exact same thing! Only difficulty is how to bring the news: "God will save all of us if we build a AAA game with lots of violence and hot babes."
     
  14. PoV

    PoV
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    The secret is you need to change your name to Aaalex, or add some $'s to one of your names. $cott $tephen$son.
     
  15. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    impossible :D
     
  16. KNau

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    As The Pavver would say "If someone tells you it's impossible it's only because they don't know how to do it."

    Before you go any further you'd better evaluate if AAA is what you really want because the so-called AAA industry is no different than the download portals. Most of the studios out there are operating on razor thin margins, one canceled project away from going out of business. They are as beholden to the publishers as any indie was to Big Fish, and that includes the "big name" guys. Development studios go broke all the time it's a terrible business model.

    If you're serious about the goal then you need to define the target better and have a good reason why you've chosen that target. If it's money you're after then you're still on the wrong track.
     
  17. andrew

    andrew New Member

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    I want to live on the moon, by next year, and I have 10 dollars to spend. How can I make this a reality? Can I convince rocket scientists to work for profit-sharing? What language should I write my mission control program in? Oh, and once I get to the moon, how can I bring back rocks to sell? Is BMT or Plimus a better site to sell moon rocks from?

    - andrew
     
  18. KNau

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    You can do it, Andrew. You just need to apply yourself, go vegan / raw-foodist and live consciously!
     
  19. Andrej Vojtas

    Andrej Vojtas New Member

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    An altogether different aspect of such an enterprise is that getting the budget means nothing. It's a necessity, but guarantees nothing: neither quality of the game, nor success. It's not a coincidence that AAA games often end up feeling shallow and fail. It's not because the people working on them are less creative, less smart or less willing to take risks. Creating a AAA game that is actually fun is even more difficult then creating a 'dated' looking game that is fun. It's not just the question of getting the money to outsource art. Some ideas why it is so:
    - one part of it is that managing such a big budget, team and project is art by itself and often totally underestimated
    - another part of it may be that looking top tier often means pushing the technology limits, witch often means developing a new engine, prototyping in the art area, lots of reworks and most of all a release under pressure to make sure it's not dated yet = less time to tweak the gameplay, innovate, add depth and polish the user experience
    - once the focus is on top tier production values, naturally the result is different as if the focus would be on top tier gameplay
    In fact that's one of the top reasons why people leave AAA production studios and go indie. And they do great as indies. Same people, same skills, different focus, easier to manage project scales, different results.

    If you go into the AAA dream heads on, with a limited budget and team you are even more likely your dream AAA game, after all the sweat, tears and blood, will suffer from all this and fail.

    The conclusion from this would be: it makes total sense to finish your game idea without the AAA coat. You can't lose anything. What you get:
    - a fan base (opens up the 'open development pre-order financing' route)
    - a revenue stream (to finance that fancy prototype to pitch to publishers, investors and potential team members)
    - a solid gameplay model to wrap in the nice AAA coat once you get the shot at it
    - skills, experience, contacts

    Just a side note: someone mentioned Mount&Blade above as an example of a game that would take impossible time to make without money: agreed, still that's not the point. I remember reading the game was started by two guys with no money, who used their skill set to get the budget and the vision done. Just another example on how to make it happen.

    P.S.: just to make sure the post is read in the correct context: examples of AAA games I had in mind: Final Fantasy XIII, Dragon Age Origins, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Assassins Creed 2, God of War 3, Fable 2 etc.

    P.S.S: and we didn't even tap into the waters of marketing of an AAA game. I'm not pretending I have experience in the area, just saying it's another step in "what would it take to... AAA glory"
     
  20. Qitsune

    Qitsune New Member

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    Quoted for truth (the whole post)

    I'm wondering what makes you think that. In my experience, producing quality art is always more time consuming than people think.
     

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