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Author   Topic : "Question for those in the game designing business"

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Joined: 22 Sep 2000
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 11:26 am     Reply with quote
Allo there,
Basically the question is: If a friend and I write out a story, gameplay information, and characters including concept art and everything needed to get a feel for a game's structure, does it have a chance of being read by a place like Nintendo, or Sony, or other game companies?

I'm wondering what the sequence of events goes into the pre-production stages of a game.

For example, do game companies take ideas from just anybody? I ask because it's always fun to create worlds and basic story structure behind a picture, characters, and scenes and so forth. So, should I take the effort, if I'm willing to, to spend time on such a project...or do ideas usually come from within the company(s) (I don't know how it works )

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Joined: 05 Jul 2000
Posts: 762
Location: Milwaukee, WI US

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 11:34 am     Reply with quote
You probably wouldn't be able to sell your story+gameplay information if you're coming out of nowhere. Generally, when someone comes up with a good idea for a video game, they write up their ideas, get a few friends together, and make a tech demo showing off the basic core gameplay and art, write up a business plan and technical design document, THEN submit the game to publishing companies. There are a few big, well-known game designers who could probably get away with just having their ideas down on paper, but they're few and far between.
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Joined: 20 Jun 2000
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 3:00 pm     Reply with quote
You have to have a tech demo like was stated above. Breaking into the game industry is difficult and without coming from a strong backgrond it can be damn near immpossible.

It's hard to sell your ideas in the industry because everyone has them and everyone thinks there ideas are the most unique and best ones out there.

Shit I'd write more but I'm heading home from work

w o o t k o o s
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Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 415
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 4:06 pm     Reply with quote
I am in the industry and I'll tell you from what I know so far that you'll have one hell of a time getting any company to even glance at your game idea. The problem is if they look at it and then they happen to be coming out with a game that sports similar ideas or concepts then they're open for a lawsuit. So in general companies won't even open the envelope.

I did have a roommate back in school that managed to sell a design document. I never saw the actual document but I was told that it was fairly large and well thought out with concept art and everything. The key though was that this guy had contacts in the industry, people he'd met at arcades and the sorts so he was able to get a special audience with this particular company (no, he wouldn't tell me the company either...probably because they don't want it getting out that they bought a document like this) Even though this happened I'd say that this was that 1% case that someone mentioned above where an idea was bought from someone outside the company.

Right now, the best way to get your ideas on the table of a company is to start working there in any way you can. If you're an artist, work on getting a job as one. If you're a programmer try getting a job as a programmer/scripter. If you don't do any of these then try becoming a tester/QA guy. Once you're in a company you're in a much better position to get your ideas heard. From there on in it's all up to you and how that particular company works. Personally, I'm working on a couple design proposals right now

The only other way to get your game made is like the other people have said...get the necessary people together and make a tech demo that illustrates basic game play ideas and shows a publisher that you can actually make this game that you're proposing.

There's no stopping you from writing up your design now and holding on to it until the time is right, in fact it might look better to go in with a complete design already thought out so if you've got the time and the drive then go ahead and write it up.

So, I hope this helped in any way. Good luck!

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junior member

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Joined: 15 Dec 2000
Posts: 18
Location: San Rafael, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 5:18 pm     Reply with quote
I'm in the industry, too, and concur with the above posts. All the unsolicited submissions we get (and we get a LOT) are returned unopened with a legal label. It's the only way to avoid a lawsuit should there be similarities between a project currently under development and that submitted idea.

We do, however, have a process thru which current employees can pitch ideas. In the end, there are two routes to getting your game made:

1.) Get a job at a game company, then use their established channels. The drawback is that the company will own your idea as soon as it's pitched, and the potential rewards for getting it made are fewer.

2.) Make a fantastic demo and thorough design doc, and pitch it sucessfully to a publisher. The money may be greater, but this is a much more risky way to do things, as you'll probably have to start a company at the same time. One note, your target will most like be publishers like Interplay, Activision, etc. rather than the first party companies like Sony/Sega.

Hope this helps!

~ Ian
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Joined: 29 Feb 2000
Posts: 602
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 12:07 am     Reply with quote
well im not in the gaming industry.. yet! im in a game design program though and no. game companies will not take outside ideas. unless it is really really good, but if you formed your own company and had a bunch of ppl you could go ahead and make the game. you would still need to get a publisher and thats where you take your concept document and try to get them interested in it and then they will give you money that will help get you on your way, but they you got to sell enough copies to pay all that back, so its a bit of a risky business.

hope that made things a little clearer
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Joined: 11 Dec 2000
Posts: 69
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 12:13 am     Reply with quote
I am not in the gaming business. I would assume that it would have to be one heck of a game plot. You would have to make a very good presentation, that is if they were even going to give you a chance to present it. Even if they were to take your idea, you would have to sign all the information over and that you didn't think of it. Then all the information would be theirs. If you are looking to get paid for this idea you have, chances are you won't. There is maybe a 1% chance, but I doubt it is even that.
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Joined: 30 Oct 1999
Posts: 2895
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 7:57 am     Reply with quote
I think you'll find it *very* difficult to sell any ideas like this, for these reasons;

. The hardest bit about making a game is actually making it. Designing a game is probably the easiest stage of development, even for a complex game.

. Designing the game is the fun bit, so people who actually make games are going to want to do that themselves.

. People who work for game companies are generally creative people. They don't need to hire outside talent to design the games.

(Side thought; I believe this is the reason Ion Storm had trouble keeping talent to work on Daikatana and why 3D Realms are having the same problem with the new Duke - creative people aren't so keen being hired just to make someone elses game)

Just some thoughts.

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Joined: 31 Jul 2000
Posts: 333
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 1:12 pm     Reply with quote
I am in the industry too, and I can tell you I still haven't been able to do a game with my ideas! And I have a lot of ideas and years of experience. You have NO chance of selling a design to a company. What you can do is start your own company but don't be fooled in thinking the game industry is looking for ideas Just give up there.
It's totally different from the movie industry; we are all inbred in the game industry and we don't like strangers Strangers, bad juju!
Leave me alone

If you want to have a chance of doing a game according to your design, first get a job in a company, or create your own.

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