Are game develepors Poor?

Discuss game development design and post your game ideas

Post » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:15 am

Naji,do games as a hobby for now,and don't expect somebody from a big company to just pick you up.
You should find somebody to help you with your game projects(I see you need graphics)
I already have 2 members in my small team and we are getting togheter great,I make the engine,one make the graphics and the other one the marketing.
So pick somebody up from the forums or if you have a friend that's even better,and work on something.
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Post » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:09 pm

Fimbul wrote:
DUTOIT wrote:Its true for every single industry.

Actually no. That's only true for the creative industry:
  • Musicians
  • Writers
  • Filmmakers/Directors
  • Dancers
  • Actors
  • Graphic Designers (Painters, Illustrators, GFX, VFX)
  • Sound Designers (AKA SFX)
  • Game Designers
  • Game Programmers

If you're a corporate lawyer, database analyst, backend programmer, management consultant or things like that, you're (crisis aside) pretty safe from poverty.

This used to mean you should only get into game design if you're really passionate about it, because there will be months where you won't be able to afford groceries. The risk lies entirely with the developer, who has to create a product from scratch and hope people like it enough to pay for it. Players on the other hand have no risk: they can try a demo, watch a let's play, read a review or even pirate the game. If you go with a publisher (that means you're no longer indie, you're just small), you can transfer some of that risk to the publisher, but lose some creative control (some publishers are great, though, don't let the stories scare you).

Kickstarter recently changed the way the industry works, now ideas can be evaluated upfront and so some of the risk in indie development is transferred from designers to players, who may never get a product (or get a much inferior product) in the end due to complications with development.

In the end, though, these are pretty much your only options:

  • Working with a publisher, you get decent money and don't have to starve, but you'll be making the games THEY want (which probably means bejeweled clones), and that sucks the life out of any indie dev pretty quickly. Go this route if you like games in general (instead of a specific game/genre) and feels confortable working with the current trends in the industry (as of this writing, we're talking about mobile physics-based puzzles with IAP. A few years ago it used to be social games, but that trend has died down).
  • Going full indie, you can make the game you always wanted. This takes a lot of time, and you'll find little to no support. Don't expect people to team up with you, and you'll have to pay out of pocket for people to do things you're not good at (sound, music, art, programming, writing, etc). Your first games will not have commercial success and it's a ton of work, for a very long time, for very little pay. If you manage to hit it big, though, the earnings can set you up for life.
  • Hobbyists have a full time job that they drain funds from to fuel their passion. This means you have a boring 9-to-5 job and during the rest of the day (and weekends) you can work on your game. This allows you to make the game you always wanted, and you don't have to starve. There is also more room for mistakes since you can always restart (you're not against a ticking clock). The problems are that development slows down to a glacial pace, there's nothing and no one pressuring you (which means you need tons of willpower), and feature creep can become a serious problem.
  • Crowdfunding. This changes the whole picture, because it allows you to sell your game "upfront", even before you actually code anything. The problem is that you need to somehow acquire the funds, and your prediction must be pretty spot on, if you run out of funds you're not off the hook. Also, if your game fails (read: you were unable to complete it), your reputation is doomed. Unfortunately, kickstarter is only available in the USA, and it's extremely impractical to work with it if you live anywhere else (with possible exceptions for Canada and the UK).

I've tried all the alternatives above, and from my experience the hobbyist approach is the only one that affords you a worry-free possibility to make the game you want. Everything else is either immensely stressful or leaves you making crappy-bird clones until the cows come home.


Very interesting.
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Post » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:28 pm

Naji wrote:Thanks for this advice, I'm really grateful :D My goal was to work on a large game company and make my own games, but sometimes i feel hesitant. Actually I'm the 1st in my school, always get high grades, thus my dad wants me to be a doctor or an engineer, and earlier when I began making games and told him that I want to make games as a career, he discouraged me and made me feel bad, but I know he wants the best for me and want me to live better than him. That's why I'm asking all this questions about salaries and the industry.

If you're good at school, definitely don't go towards gaming as your primary mean of generating income. In this point, your dad is correct.

On the other hand, I don't think a career as a lawyer or doctor will be good for you. Yes you'll make money, but those jobs leave you too exhausted to do anything else. Since you're young, I would look towards a job that:
  • Requires skills you can reuse to develop games. Programming and design are good bets.
  • Has stable long-term prospects. You don't want to become a bus driver, gasoline-engine mechanic or anything you suspect will cease existing in the next 20 years.
  • Is an office job with low hours and/or low workload. For instance you don't want to become a civil engineer and always be walking around a construction site giving orders. Don't worry too much about high payment, but do look for something that can sustain you comfortably.
  • A high barrier to entry would be nice, especially considering you're a good student. For instance, government jobs usually require a test, and once you're in it's impossible to be fired.

You could also try a more fancy route, such as becoming a Computer Scientist, since you get all the perks above and, if you're lucky, can even integrate your game design directly into your research.
Mostly, it's about finding non-standard routes into the industry.

Avoid becoming a professional game developer. You'll notice I didn't even list it as an option in my list, and that's because it's not viable. The AAA industry is on the verge of a crisis, all the jobs are concentrated in the USA/Canada, the pay is horrible, the journey to become an actual designer is super boring and unrewarding (you join through QA, then become a programmer, then a designer), filled with overtime, turnover is extremely high (with professionals in the industry lasting less than 5 years on average) and you'll rarely design the games you want.

That said, for now, you don't have to worry about it. Keep making games!
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Post » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:31 pm

@fimbul @naji

If you want to get into the big gaming companies, you'll need a computer science degree. there are exceptions, but especially with the big games - of whatever type, you are going to need to know a lot more about software frameworks, structures, databases, and a lot of other issues that I am not aware of but that I am sure are important. Fimbul is right. where I live there are a number of gaming companies and they hire CS grads plus a small number of graphics designers. some colleges offer cs+gaming degrees, i'd ignore those.. cs is good enough :)

if you are pre-college, go that route. who knows a few years time you may discover you love working with databases, embedded systems, natural language processing, who knows.. you're not stuck with only gaming as your option.

personally I think most people fall into the hobbyist category, we're the same time of people who do "makers faire" with hardware. if we do something great, wonderful and then perhaps we can launch into it more streamlined.. most creative do it this way too.. get the stress out of our life.. get a job, get a girlfriend/boyfriend, have fun, have your hobby. the balance between all of these is your call but money makes the world go around and puts food on your table and a roof over your head

PS: now if you are unemployed and between jobs.. trying to do something fulltime AND look for a job is a worthy way of demonstrating your programming skills and can-do attitude.
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Post » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:58 pm

If you like math go ingeneer, because you can use all that math for the games.
If you go doctor is going to steal all your time and dont have all that math / data base / etc the ingeneer have :)
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Post » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:36 am

In the gaming industry there is no shortage of talented people or hard working people. In fact, its the norm. Programmers and artists are very hard working, pulling consistent overtimes and weekend work.

Why don't they all succeed and only a few do?

Luck and marketing has a lot to do with it, despite what some of you may wish.

Making a good game is not the only thing you need, because there are plenty of good games that nobody plays on Google Store or iOS, likewise for PC. That and "good" or "bad" is highly subjective. I personally hate the Call of Duty franchise, its a terrible un-creative recycling of the same old every year, or twice a year. But I'm clearly wrong because its always a blockbuster. It's also one of the most marketed game franchises out there.

Talk to people in marketing, they will tell you the masses are mindless, they want to be told what is "good" and not. Given enough money in marketing, they can sell turd.

This obviously does not apply to indie game devs, who are often already poor and cannot afford marketing but rely on word of mouth (forums) or the goodwill of editors. Here, talent and a "good" game helps a lot to get your game out there to be known, but getting the masses to play and like your game? Complete luck.

I mean, who would have thought a few years ago, that an endless running jumping (Temple Run) including a cow (Hay Day) would be an awesome success because its a "good" game? Did anyone think a game such as Flappy Bird is a "good" game and would be an awesome success?

How about these:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ogle&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... nator.game

If someone said to you, hey, lets make a game where I send sperm to attack eggs because its going to be wild and successful, what would u say? Or an endless runner with a Sperm avoiding spermicide?
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Post » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:44 am

So the idea is that if you want to build games for mobile platforms they need to be very very easy to understand, have a mechanic that would keep the player alive and also build a playerbase(like the page for 2000 coins sort of things) and also simple graphics that are good but not an eye candy.
Take jetpack joyride for example,the game I am semi-cloning.It has a nice clean menu,is an infinite-runner,is keeping the player alive by sending notifications to the user and can be played anywhere.
So if you want mobile,think your player isn't playing your game because it is fun,but because he is bored,he is on the toilet,in a bus,because these are the players you want to lure.
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Post » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:24 pm

katzin wrote:If you like math go ingeneer, because you can use all that math for the games.
If you go doctor is going to steal all your time and dont have all that math / data base / etc the ingeneer have :)

So I have decided from an early time that I want to be a computer engineer, so could then it possible to have time for making games as a hobby?
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Post » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:42 pm

Naji wrote:
katzin wrote:If you like math go ingeneer, because you can use all that math for the games.
If you go doctor is going to steal all your time and dont have all that math / data base / etc the ingeneer have :)

So I have decided from an early time that I want to be a computer engineer, so could then it possible to have time for making games as a hobby?

Sounds good. Besides, if the whole games thing doesn't work out for you, you'll still be in a profitable industry.
Now, keep in mind "computer engineer" doesn't really exist. There's front-end programmer, back-end programmer, web developer, project manager, systems architect, business analyst, database analyst, database administrator, hardware engineer, computer scientist, graphics designer, interface designer, end-user support, and many many other careers.
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Post » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:21 am

Search in your country which are your possiblilities...

I do the short career, Technician computer programming (2 years) the is also computer analist i think 4 and engineer 5 years.

The best is engineer because you can win more money, that means more money to your hobby.

Also in my country is a career called videogames programming (this is in spain) http://www.esat.es/estudios/programacio ... deojuegos/

This in Argentina: (http://www.escueladavinci.net/carreras/ ... ideojuegos)

I think the best is go Engineer because if you dont like to programm games anymore you can choose to do other things.
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