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Collaboration On An Idea

12-19-2011, 09:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 18
Collaboration On An Idea

Hi there,

At the moment I have been going back and forth, trying to see if there are any interests in an idea that I have, and have been making changes to it to make it seem more 'sellable/marketable'.

I have gone ahead and taken advice from other forums, and progressed from just a simple idea, to actually creating a decent concept out of my 'heads' progressions of thoughts, which now includes characters and a flow chart to break things down even further into a concept.

I also have the idea of an 'visual image' for you to be able to picture of it's world mapped out in words...but you guessed it, I am not an artist.

It has the start and the end, weapons and the enemies mapped out, foes and the friends, and most of all the characters abilities and what he possesses, and can possess.

Anyway, enough talk. The concept is a First Person/Future and past related theme, and can be sent via email in Word format. So far it is called 'Dreamscape'.

You can email me here: timlaw347@hotmail.com

Would love to be able to have it added to this thread as a zipped attachment, but the guru is asleep meditating and telling me it's an error....
12-19-2011, 10:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 18
Looks like the attachments finally work...

So here attached is the idea
Attached Files
File Type: zip POSSIBLE GAME STORYLINE (DREAMSCAPE) (2).zip (56.4 KB, 12 views)

12-20-2011, 12:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 18
Picture 'TRON', mixed with 'Far Cry' and 'Fallout 3', even a mix of 'Prey' as a setting format.

Picture 'Far Cry 2' and the ability to appear in the dark, and become available to discover the world in the light.

That should give you an idea of whats in the attachment, along with characters & villains etc.
12-20-2011, 06:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 162
Are you an programmer or just an "idea guy"?

2D game artist for hire: www.Shadow-Embryo.com
12-21-2011, 02:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 18
Unfortunately not a programmer, just an ideas guy you could say.

But if you have read my 'idea' via the zip folder, then you will safely assume that I am not trying to waste peoples time by them reading it. It is actually a good concept, and I have actually done my homework on how to pitch it to people.

The zipfolder is a safe one, so in general unzip it and have a read.

12-22-2011, 06:08 PM
Not that I'm an expert at game design myself, but after reading through this, you may want to refine the actual game mechanics some more. I'm not saying a compelling storyline isn't important, but without considering what the players will actually be doing when they sit down to play this, it's just a bunch of cutscenes as it stands.

You mention early in your pitch document that players will have to "find certain things in the world" to progress, but it's never really expanded upon. It would seem to indicate that this would be a first person mystery/exploration/adventure game, but then the rest of the gameplay notes go on about combat. It might be best to focus on a core mechanic at first. Then figure out how players would experience this mechanic. Are they running around a mostly flat 3D overworld, or is it more of a 2D platforming experience? Do they progress by finding clues and reaching checkpoints in the world, or by gunning down enemies and fighting bosses? It could play out quite a few different ways.

If it's a combat based game, then perhaps focus more on the enemies and offensive abilities of the player. If it's exploration based with combat elements on the side then that's something different altogether. I'm afraid that if you want the game to do both equally then you might need a bit more careful planning, maybe. The story seems confusing in certain parts as well, some elements seem unexplained or out of left field.

No disrespect intended by any of this, as I said I'm no expert. Just thought it might help you consider some more things about solidifying the 'game' aspect, and visualizing how the player specifically interacts with what's happening on the screen.

12-22-2011, 06:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 18
That was a good read as a response. Mechanics are definitely one of the needed elements left to focus on pitching for this idea.
12-22-2011, 09:07 PM
From my understanding of mod work I've done and right now trying to get a project started you generally have to be able to program or do something other than pitch ideas. Generally you need a proof of concept to show that what you're asking is possible. No artist is going to take you up on your idea if there isn't already work put in. Also from hearing professional interviews and other videos, such as the staff at blizzard during a blizzcon they do the programming work first then artwork/sound and finally story.

They have to see if the game mechanics will actually work. Once they get it working they flesh out the design and characters. Finally story is thrown in. I know story is important part of the game but it doesn't need to be set in stone before the game is even started. You have to think up a general plot then you fine tune it when you get there. Game mechanics should be the first thing on the priority list. I even remember seeing an alpha video of God of War from their making of videos where it was some skeleton soldier or something with a shield and not kratos.
12-22-2011, 11:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
interesting, because (somewhat surprisingly) I have never really seen someone put their pitch out there into the open like this. Everyone's always afraid "someone will steal my idea!" Notice how that never winds up happening anyway..

Anyway I looked at it, it's fine for what it is - but it's a bit far out from being a proper game pitch. As has been mentioned, something as fundamental as game mechanics should never be considered as an after-thought, and you really oughtn't bother even trying to talk to people about a game premise until you've really ironed out what your game could be, and why - how it relates to what already exists, what it can do differently, and how all of that can ultimately be technically feasible (as well, fun!) You should never let people tell you "don't do this," but try to take the criticism constructively.

The very first thing I'd recommend is to get your hands on some honest-to-goodness existing game pitches and see what makes them tick. Once you've got a better understanding of the anatomy of such a thing, you'll understand how story/premise can be boiled down to a simple 2 or 3 sentences while the main thrust of the thing will properly explain the more tech end of things as mentioned above.

Being "an idea guy" is good, and it's a very important element in any team, but you also need to steer yourself toward being a very technically proficient person as well. Maybe you can't draw, you can't code, etc, don't let that stand in your way. There's plenty of tools to help you get around with what you do know. After all, especially if you are constructing a pitch, you don't need an actual playable vertical slice to show off, but you do need some sort of technical illustration - even if it's just a rough sketch of a screenshot - to convey your ideas and illustrate what your thing is intended to be. This doesn't mean "oh we'll just slap down a health meter, here's where the score will be, presto all done!" Especially if you've never done such a thing in earnest before, you need to get yourself a little educated on how logically to go about such things (my HD is filled up with thousands of screengrabs of all manner of games, which I'll refer to whenever I am designing anything!) Chances are many of the problems you'll run across have been solved hundreds of times already, and it's up to you to decipher the how & why of simple layout & design when trying to express a game.

Beyond that, it's going to be a mobile game? Learn about all the pros and cons of working within the boundaries of such a device. How much memory will you have available determines how much content you might have, that will ultimately affect the larger scope and scheduling of such a thing. Then there is the novel interface (touchscreen, accelerometer, etc) what are sensible ways that they can be used (and how much understanding have you got of their implementation and technical restrictions?)

So you might say "well I don't really have too much interest in the technical side of things, I just want to tell a good story.. we can probably find someone else who is better at all of that stuff than I am." True, but odds are not good that this will happen (read: it never happens!) The point of a game is that it's not necessarily a deep involving story, it's an enthralling experience, and it's very technically bound. Unless you can simply "pay people up front to do what you want," then most competent art/design/code people are generally not going to find your contributions particularly useful if you can't function in a deeper, more meaningful capacity on such a team.

There's obviously a lot to say, and if you intend to attract the attention of the sort of people who might legitimately be able to help you to realize your project, you've got to accomplish a lot of backend before approaching anyone. It's not a huge hurdle, but it takes a lot of time and patience and a deeper understanding of what to expect.

Lastly, I'll offer up that if one is really new to such things, your best bet is to start with a much smaller scope of a project and leave the more ambitious things on the shelf until later. Shoot very low, with the reason being that even making a very tiny project can quickly become extremely complicated. In so doing, you will gain valuable experience for what it takes to bring something from initial inception to final execution; dealing with collaborators; and ultimately, the aftermath of promoting and marketing which is really at least as important as designing and building the damned thing :P

It suddenly sounds like a daunting task but it's not really that difficult, it just takes a little dedicated time and energy but you can ultimately have a thing which you yourself made, and the realistic knowledge ad appreciation of how to build something even bigger with the possibility that it might actually turn out as expected and be pretty cool Good luck!

NOTE: I apologize for the long-winded post - you obviously spent a lot of time trying to put together this pitch, so I figured it was at least worth spending a bit of time to explain things a bit from the other end of it..
12-23-2011, 05:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 127
^Wow, this is a very well explained post! Good job!

You have to begin at the bottom to reach the top...not always fun to hear but it is the reality.

I find that you are very courageous to build a pitch and to show it to people. I am sure you won't have any difficulties to take the next challenges that await you in a near future. That said, you may have to lower your aim a little bit before attacking this goal...unless you have the money to pay like said before.

On that note, I wish you good luck and keep it up!