Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

23 August, 2015

This week: How I would start a game project
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:56 PM

Blaugust, day 23

The theme for this week is how I would make a game. I’m going to do a high level view of what it would take to start a game project. It’ll be a blend of business, design, development, and leadership issues.

Read on for a few more ground rules for what I will be posting this week.

As an aside, a reader actually wrote to suggest a topic like this, specifically about budgets. Funny thing was I had already planned to write on this topic.

Scale matters

Usually I talk about indie development, but this week I’m going to try to blend in more thoughts about how a project might work as part of a larger company. One goal of my blog is to give people more of a glimpse into the world of game development, so a slightly different take than usual might be interesting.

But, even if I talk about starting an indie company to make a game or spinning up a small team to work on a project at a large company in the same way, the context will probably have a big effect on the result.

Devil in the details

Obviously I won’t be able to cover everything in depth in a series of short articles this week. As I said, I’ll be looking at a pretty high level. A lot of the details will need to be filled in to make this a true project.

I’ll focus a lot more on the steps and considerations required to make such decisions, but picking a decision might cut off some useful discussion later. For example, tomorrow I’ll write about what considerations would go into picking a setting genre, gameplay genre, and platform for a game, but I won’t pick specific examples as that would potentially limit discussions down the line.

The “I” in team

Of course, it’s one thing to talk about these issues by myself, but the reality is that game development effort is almost always a team effort. And, a good team works together. In fact, I think a good leader needs a good team, and especially needs someone to call them on their bad ideas. If a leader feels impunity to propose whatever ideas he or she wants, you’re usually not getting the best solution for the problem. I’ve known plenty of studios where people have pointed out that not having someone act as the “bullshit filter” has caused a lot of problems.

I never claim to have all the answers, and some part of the team might have a better solution for a problem than I have. But, the posts this week will be about how I would approach the problems.

If you’re really interested to see how game projects get started up, you’ll probably want to pay close attention this week.


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1 Comment »

  1. Here’s a great article by my good friend Dave Toulouse about his practical experiences with indie development: http://www.over00.com/index.php/archives/2924

    Worth reading to see what happens when things go from theoretical to practical when running your own one-person game development studio.

    Comment by Psychochild — 23 August, 2015 @ 2:12 PM

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