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Posted: 3/5/2006 4:57:20 PM EDT
I have some questions about the video game industry, in particular the steps a game concept goes through in order to actually become a released retail game. Hoping someone on ARFCOM is in this line of work and can clear up these questions. Maybe you know someone who can help! Post here, or send me an IM. Thanks!

Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:01:32 PM EDT
i went to school with a guy who was getting into that. he said it was incredibly competitive. He did tons of work for free just to get into the business.

that was his experience, may not be true for everyone.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:03:35 PM EDT
I have a couple of friends that work for Ensemble studios, and were on the Age of Empires III project.

One of them quit and is now an animator for south park studios.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:03:56 PM EDT
ilikelegs makes games IIRC
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:06:30 PM EDT
Step 1: see popular movie comming out
Step 2: Make game loosely based on movie script featuring contractually obligated voice talent from movie stars

Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:07:36 PM EDT
Definitely very competetive. Lots of people go into computer science expecting to do this. The few who make it in often find themselves overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. Some people do well though. Of course if you're a prodigy of your time like John Carmack you can make some big coin.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:08:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2006 5:09:38 PM EDT by Zack3g]
To clarify my intentions here..


I have come up with a game concept that I'm pretty sure would sell. I envision mainly a first person game, with third person views and utilities in some parts of the game. This would be an action game, but also somewhat a role playing game, as you would basically assume the life of character X.


I'm trying to think of a game to compare it to..hm

Take the role playing / third person perspective of the game "the sims" and combine that with a first person action based role playing game like thief or hitman. That gets you in the ballpark.


What do I need to do to present this concept to game making people and get them to make my idea a reality?
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:11:57 PM EDT
was a cool thing to do. now its like working for pixar. still cool.. but you have to have incredible talent, specialize in some pretty high end tools.

the old days of the id-software guys where a few very talented individuals were like rock stars is over. making a video game is like making a movie in a lot of ways. storyboarding, use of graphics tools, cost and time. costs multi-millions to put out a game, takes several years and you can get the plug pulled and be out of a job if a competitor brings out a similar game ahead or yours.

the power of the platforms today make it very difficult to break in.. if you're interested, i would start looking at the producers of several popular games, then start investingating the companies and see if they are hirinng. also try to get an idea of their developement platforms and software. perhaps try to get into one of the west coast college film schools. or if you have graphic skills perhaps try to get a job storyboarding or doing comics or graphic novels.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:13:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By st0newall:
was a cool thing to do. now its like working for pixar. still cool.. but you have to have incredible talent, specialize in some pretty high end tools.

the old days of the id-software guys where a few very talented individuals were like rock stars is over. making a video game is like making a movie in a lot of ways. storyboarding, use of graphics tools, cost and time. costs multi-millions to put out a game, takes several years and you can get the plug pulled and be out of a job if a competitor brings out a similar game ahead or yours.

the power of the platforms today make it very difficult to break in.. if you're interested, i would start looking at the producers of several popular games, then start investingating the companies and see if they are hirinng. also try to get an idea of their developement platforms and software. perhaps try to get into one of the west coast college film schools. or if you have graphic skills perhaps try to get a job storyboarding or doing comics or graphic novels.



good advice, but not really in line with what i'm wanting to do. thanks, though
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:17:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zack3g:
To clarify my intentions here..


I have come up with a game concept that I'm pretty sure would sell. I envision mainly a first person game, with third person views and utilities in some parts of the game. This would be an action game, but also somewhat a role playing game, as you would basically assume the life of character X.


I'm trying to think of a game to compare it to..hm

Take the role playing / third person perspective of the game "the sims" and combine that with a first person action based role playing game like thief or hitman. That gets you in the ballpark.


What do I need to do to present this concept to game making people and get them to make my idea a reality?



ah.. read that after my comment. gonna be very very difficult to take an idea and produce it into a game without someone stealing the general idea along the way. what you want to do is copyright your 'game'. perhaps write a novel?. sell it as a screenplay? or a comic book or graphic novel? then come back with the game...
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:17:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2006 5:20:10 PM EDT by clement]
Yes nearly impossible to break into. Every single job listing in that category requires past experiance. About the only way to get such experiance is to make a popular mod for a popular game.

I'm pretty sure there has been at least one game based on your concept by the way it sounds (dunno the game because it bombed, but the concept sounds familiar)
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:17:23 PM EDT
articles that answer all of your questions can be found here...

http://www.gamasutra.com/
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:19:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By st0newall:

Originally Posted By Zack3g:
To clarify my intentions here..


I have come up with a game concept that I'm pretty sure would sell. I envision mainly a first person game, with third person views and utilities in some parts of the game. This would be an action game, but also somewhat a role playing game, as you would basically assume the life of character X.


I'm trying to think of a game to compare it to..hm

Take the role playing / third person perspective of the game "the sims" and combine that with a first person action based role playing game like thief or hitman. That gets you in the ballpark.


What do I need to do to present this concept to game making people and get them to make my idea a reality?



ah.. read that after my comment. gonna be very very difficult to take an idea and produce it into a game without someone stealing the general idea along the way. what you want to do is copyright your 'game'. perhaps write a novel?. sell it as a screenplay? or a comic book or graphic novel? then come back with the game...



now that is an interesting idea. i've got a basic storyline already thought out, who our character is, what he does for a living, why the game is made about him, etc etc.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 11:07:36 PM EDT
Game companies won't pay for "concepts", there's a million and one already thought up. And the producer/investment group of the title is who gets to make the final decision on what the game includes or doesn't include. And E.A. owns most everything now, and only wants to keep making shitty sequels that sell every year, like (the eagerly-awaited) "NFL 2007", "NBA 2007" and "MLB 2007" (NEW TEAMS!!! DIFFERENT JERSIES!!!! A FEW MORE DIFFERENT PLAYS!!!!! :O ).

Over the last few years a lot of the US game industry principal personalities got hired after producing very popular mods of existing games. If you want to get hired, basically you make cool stuff and let everybody play it. You do not need a "portfolio" in the traditional sense anymore.

Also--most of the people who work at game companies don't get paid very much; it's college kids who do it for a few months because they think it'll be cool. There tends to be a LOT of turnover from when a game is started until 1-2 years later, when it's finished. A lot of times nobody who began working on it is there when it's finished, and most games that are started get scrapped and aren't ever completed.
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