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. electronicStar

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    well the meaning of "very fast" is entirely subjective :D
    But I know that some of the most talented artist do work fast, at least faster than I would have imagined.
     
  2. Spore Man

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  3. Qitsune

    Qitsune New Member

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    Then there is the "Sleeping beauty solution": Make everyone everywhere fall alseep, then work on a game for 100 years and wham, when they wake up, the technology hasn't changed except for you (if you did work on technology)so you look super advanced. Except when you hit that black mile, there is noone on forums to cheer you up (and noone to grow food for you, or supply electricity.)
     
  4. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    Start a game development co-op. If you start with a few people making smaller games, and they do well, others will join the co-op and you'll be able to start making bigger titles. Eventually, your co-op will have enough members to take on a AAA project.

    Actually, that's not a half bad idea, now that I think about it. Better than a normal profit-sharing partnership in the long term, if you can get the ball rolling.
     
  5. Uhfgood

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    Andrej Vojtas seemed to make the most apt answers. Yeah I was asking about the steps one would take... not so much the time it would take, or if it would be possible, or how would you market it. But rather how would you get it done. You don't have any money but you have a really cool idea that could take a huge budget it and a team of hundreds (but doesn't have to) so how do you make it happen?

    I mean you guys are smart guys, way smarter than me. I thought it would be an interesting exercise. What would it take you to build a high quality game able to compete with the major retail game companies? That is not marketing-wise but what work had to be done? I suppose AAA is not really a good term, but it's the only thing I could think of when talking about high quality games that compete with most retail games.
     
  6. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    So you did. I somewhat missed that in your original post.

    I love thinking about games people would classify as impossible for a lone developer, so here's what I personally think are some of the keys to getting large (3D) games done. (listing the exact steps is pretty difficult... and it would take me all day) Keep in mind, for this you'd need some art skills.

    - Cut as many corners as possible. Anywhere you can get away with it, cut a corner. If you can produce a quick 'fake' version of something that'd normally take a long time to make, do it. Don't scale back your vision (unless you're culling needless features). If you don't have the time to pull something off, look at faking it somehow to keep things looking grand.

    - Try and stretch out the gameplay time and retain some depth to it, but keep things simple and uncomplicated. Make a game that's quick and easy to balance, to reduce testing.

    - Skip a lot of the design stages of art assets, or anything else you'd normally spend time planning and thinking about. Make up as much as you can on the fly.

    - Adjust your game idea to include as many static models as possible.

    - Build a library of assets and code, and reuse them often (possibly with slight changes).

    - Develop a visual look to the game the average person will love, but will also save you a lot of time. An example might be a cartoon look that lacks textures. Or, it might just be your lighting that makes a simple model look amazing.

    - Skip any game prototypes. Just work on the final game.

    - Understand your tools if you're an artist (and that includes your art pipeline- it needs to be invincibly solid). Buy or use the tools that save you time.

    - Buy a middleware package. Don't fuss over whether things look completely perfect, or how optimised things are, or how much you think the coding language is or isn't as good as it can be. Use the thing to save yourself as much time as possible. Rejoice if something has already been done for you.

    - Buy a sound library. I know the thought is how to do things on a budget of zero, but this is an important one. In most cases it means you never need to worry about sounds again. Buy a cheap sound editor (Goldwave or similar) and learn the basics.

    - Buy cheap music collections when you find them, or design a game that doesn't have much/any music.

    Anyway, that's a few things. I'm not sure how many would agree with those points, but that's certainly how I'd approach a large AAAish game.
     
  7. hippocoder

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    Depends on your definition of AAA. I can make a triple - A pixel if I want. It would be a really fantastic pixel.
     
  8. PoV

    PoV
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  9. hippocoder

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    Oh Pov... you've ruined my day. My belly is growling...
     
  10. Uhfgood

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    Hippocoder - I sort of explained what I thought of as an AAA... Basically I meant a full 3d game (probably shooter but could be any genre) of high quality that could compete with most retail games. For instance something that could be on a store shelf along with all the other huge games, and not in the bargain section. Something that could fetch a $30-$50 price tag and be well worth it. (Think of the best game you've played made by the major companies, EA, Ubisoft, or whomever, and then something to compete with that)...

    Reactor - I would agree with you on most points. Although I might not necessarily cut out prototypes. But rather maybe make prototypes with an eye for including it in the final game. So you're not just making throw-away prototypes. Which I don't know if they could be properly called prototypes then but maybe you develop a game mechanic and work from there. Actually back in the day usually devs would exploit certain aspects of the hardware (i'm talking like 70's or 80's) and build a game mechanic around it. It might start out as a graphic effect and they would build a whole game around it.

    It would work to your advantage to lower your graphic requirements by building it into the story. Maybe you're viewing the game through some technology and thus is lower res, or poly counts, or whatever. (Sort of like when movies put on computer displays, they intentionally make the graphics monochrome with scan lines to mimic an inexpensive video display or whatever).

    Also I believe you could build the game with the bare minimum looking to the future to have someone do a graphical and/or auditory makeover. In other words I make the complete game with full menus, fully playable levels, and everything that's going to be in the game, but dealing with limited art and so forth, with hopes to get someone on board who could make it look good.

    Anyways good suggestions so far. Thanks for replying!
     

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