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Funding the development of an iphone game

08-10-2011, 07:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Funding the development of an iphone game

Hello everybody.

I have an idea for an iOS game that i believe has great potential for success. All my life I've been an avid video-gamer, and have always had a desire to create my own game. With the relatively low barriers to entry for the cellphone game market, i finally have my chance! I have constructed a blueprint for what i think will be a very addicting, user friendly iphone game.

I currently plan to outsource the actual development of the game, since i lack the programming knowledge to create my idea. I am aware that i will need to pay someone to design the levels and sprites, as well as a sound engineer for the music and FX, and most importantly, someone to program the game mechanics. The game is a simulation game with RPG elements (Stat building, level requirements.) (if im missing something big here let me know!)

I'd like to consult with someone to get some cost projections for such a project. The game is fairly small in scale, however I know that development costs may not necessarily correspond directly to the size or complexity of the game. The game i have outlined would have;

-2 dimensional, pixel graphics.
-Is decision based. You do not assume control of the characters movements, but rather choose to have your character engage in certain activities which yield stat increases in different skill categories. As the character's skills level up more activities become available.
-10 to 15 different levels.
-A couple of NPC's who will have scripts and set routines. No AI necessary.

For instance I need to know if the game mechanics i've described sound difficult to program. As i was mapping my idea out, i did what intuitively to me seemed like things that would be easier to program, however i do not know if these things actually are. Is such an idea possible to produce for under 20k? What sort of rates should i expect?

Also, i realize that i need an effective way to convey my ideas to a programmer. is simply describing them in a text document sufficient? or should i use some sort of program that lays out the steps and processes in a more visual way? Any programmers in here who might be able to offer me tips on how to best communicate with coders that i staff, any hints would be awesome!

I dont know if ive given you guys enough to go on here, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

08-10-2011, 07:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 5,242
While I am not a developer, I have hired people to turn my ideas into a game. I have also purchased full projects that were never released into the Apple Store.

I recommend setting up an Apple Developer account, which will run you $99 per year. You are going to want the person developing the game to upload it to your account as part of the deal.

I do not know how complex your idea is but i Would start off with a simple idea that you can get made for under a thousand. This will get a game in the store and you will get a better feel for how things work. I can tell you that it is very hard to make money in the App Store so I would highly suggest that you look at a lower priced project.

I would be happy to answer more questions here or via PM.
08-10-2011, 09:12 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 114
Nothing you've described sounds particularly difficult to program. I would suggest getting PowerPoint or Keynote (I would highly recommend Keynote over PowerPoint for these purposes, and it's cheaper) to help you convey ideas. It's easy to do simple animations and layout things that will add a visual element that should help conveying your ideas.

Developer: The Epic of Roderick by InstantLazer Studio
TEoR blog Now including the Economics of the App Store series.
Twitter: twitter.com/instantlazer
08-10-2011, 10:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
As a designer, I usually build out my entire plan for an app in a simple google doc that I can share with other team members easily. This, of course, lets you attach images and etc so it's a little robust.

find a template for a decent design doc (there's quite a few online) and strip your idea down and present it that way. It's a little harsh but that way you can break your idea down into all of it's components and look at a big picture, and that way a programmer can get a sense of precisely how complex the project will be. If you are not technically minded in the slightest, this might prove quite difficult and you'd perhaps want to do some research on your end to get up to speed with some of what that side of the world is like. Things like:

- what engines might suit your project
- how much memory you will be taking up
- how many characters, animations, frame-counts if 2D, etc
- music, sound FX, their cost
- what online (if any) component

designing a flow of the game (plot out all the screens, all the buttons, what the player experiences every step of the way). Even if it's an ugly-as-sin mockup, going over in photoshop and building out what each "page" or screen of the game should have will make it much easier to get a sense of what the nuts and bolts of your game will require, and how it will all work together. In those terms as well think of nitty-gritty like transitional elements and styles for everything. You can go as light or heavy as you like, and people might chastise me a bit for getting into it at this stage, but presentation is hugely important.

As noted above a HUGE help will be to try and do a much, much smaller-scope project at 1st and just learn the entire process that way. You might make no $ from such a project, but the experience will absolutely smooth the way for your next efforts and teach you how to do things more sensibly as you scale up. Be patient, work hard, and best of luck!
08-11-2011, 06:21 AM
An idea is great but it can only take you so far - you have to really understand what would go into making your game. Read a lot of the posts in the developer forum and you'll really get an appreciation for the amount of time/effort you'll need.