Monday, October 13, 2008

I have this idea for a game....

So I see this question pretty often these days from people outside of the industry:

"I have a video game idea and I am wondering if anyone can provide any
insight where to begin. I know thousands of people say thay(sic) have good(sic)
game idea, but I really feel passionate that it can be successful."

Here's an answer. Its probably not the answer you want to hear, but its an answer:

Do you have money to spend on this?

As an experienced business person I hope your not surprised by this question. Ideas, are indeed, a dime a dozen and worth very little if anything at all on their own.

If you don't have your own money or don't have enough to fund the entire project you will need to get a publisher involved, A game studio with a good track record for delivering product can pitch an idea to a publisher, you will need more. You will need a demo that shows enough of the game to give the publisher confidence that you have the "chops" both technically and artistically to pull this off. You are asking them to make a pretty big money bet in your team's ability. They need confidence that its a good bet to make and they get that from either a track record or clear evidence of your team's talent.

If you really believe in this idea and have money to spend, you have two options. You can start a game company or you can hire a contract shop to do it. There are some *very* good contracting shops in this business but they don't come cheap.

If you decide to build a company the first thing you MUST hire is an experienced game producer. Think of this person like a general contractor. They know what has to happen to make this project successful-- you don't.

If you know friends with coding and art ability you could try to self-exploit and get them to help with the demo in return for a stake in the project. Most good people in this industry however have both too little time and too little money to take such fliers.

So here's your reality check. Ideas are a dime a dozen. If you have money or friends willing to donate their time you might be able to get this to demo level and then shop a publisher. But no one is going to give you money based just on your idea and personal conviction that its a "hit concept".

No comments: