[games_access] A simpler tack

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Sat Nov 17 17:21:50 EST 2007

Yes, starting a company for the AAA market is a tough thing, I'm
convinced although I have not done it myself; I've setup an
independent company though (Pin)

Making games as an indie is another thing. You do it "just for fun"
as Linus Torvalds explained why he created Linux. You don't have a
publisher to please, and no paycheck either by the way.

Now, he was a teenager when creating Linux so he had plenty of time.
It's a different thing when you have to pay for your living yourself

It took a lot of time and effort to create Terraformers, and I would
recommend anyone trying to break in to game dev to make sure you have
plenty of time. I have no idea how much time we spent, but we began
development in 2001 and released the game in 2003, most of the work
was done on late nights and weekends. It took a couple of months just
to learn the 3d engine and pipeline between tools, then another
couple of months to get a proper alpha running. Then we remade the
entire game since we realized too many issues. Then we went into
optimization of code and graphics. Then we spent weeks on testing,
and months on getting user feedback, bug fixing etc. Finally, we had
to solve a way to sell the game, implement license keys etc. Even
after release we spent a lot of time with support (unpaid) and
looking for a very annoying bug that finally got nailed down after 6

So yes, anyone looking at going pro with game dev is definitely in
for a roller-coaster ride. Roller-coasters are fun unless you get
sick. So go for it but keep a close watch on your health, too many
late nights gets to you sooner or later.


7 nov 2007 kl. 00.27 skrev Reid Kimball:

> If you want to create your own game, I recommend you read many of the

> articles here:


> http://www.sloperama.com/advice/idea.htm


> Tom Sloper has over 60 articles about getting into the game industry

> and what it takes to get your own game developed.


> Publishers will not buy a game from us. The most we can ever hope for

> by creating an accessible game of our own is the following. I'm merely

> offering the below to illustrate what it takes to create and get a

> game published.


> - We start a game development company with a unique mission statement

> to make Games for All, everyone, no matter their age, experience or

> ability.

> - We develop several game concepts that will satisfy our mission

> statement

> - We work for several months forming the company, seeking funding from

> VC, maybe government grants, angel investors, because of our unique

> mission statement. Maybe we make it a non-profit and can accept

> donations from other organizations to help with the funding?

> - Once we can hire a large enough team, we begin creating a prototype

> demo of the game concept we decided on earlier. Again, this can take

> months depending on the complexity and scope of the design.

> - After working on a prototype using funds we collected from outside

> investors and more likely, our own money, we approach publishers to

> show them what we have. IF they like it, they'll agree to fund the

> rest of the development. This is not free money. This is money used to

> ensure that we can pay our bills and have the resources needed to

> finish creating the full version of the game.

> - Once the game is done months or even years later, the publisher will

> release it, hopefully with lots of advertising/marketing support so

> that lots of people are aware of the game and want to buy it. If it's

> successful, we can make a profit on the royalities. If not, we need to

> have another game already in development so we can get another

> publishing deal which funds its development.


> That's a simplified version of what it takes for a new startup game

> developer.


> I think if we all unlimited resources and time, we'd start a

> consulting company and offer our services for hire to game development

> studios. We'd work with them closely, evaluating the accessibility of

> their games and help them implement solutions to make their game more

> accessible. I've thought about doing this, but it's a scary thing to

> quit your day job without knowing where your next pay check will come

> from. Also, if I start a consulting biz while still doing my current

> employment, because I already work in the game industry, it could

> create "conflicts of interest". If my employer ever found out I was

> helping competing companies, I could lose my job. Whoops!


> -Reid


> On 11/6/07, Robert Florio <arthit73 at cablespeed.com> wrote:

>> Okay thanks Reid and it's good to know about how hard it is. It's

>> going to

>> be hard to get started I guess I was hoping some others would be

>> interested

>> but that's cool. Talking about a game.


>> However the talking to Eric from strange attractors they actually

>> had a cell

>> phone company that wanted to buy their game so I think they had

>> more success

>> than you might be suggesting if that's what you mean Reid? I

>> think they

>> turned it down I'm not sure why.


>> Things like that I guess that means the company would take over

>> the rights

>> but if it's notoriously difficult anyway is not a good thing to

>> get a game

>> picked up by someone like that? Is that something worth shooting

>> for to do

>> a game and then shop it around to see which publisher game company

>> wants to

>> buy it and take on with it?


>> Maybe not if their agenda is not the same. Okay so now I'm further

>> frustrated so what's the secret how do we get how does anyone get

>> a game

>> into mainstream media with the biggest influence to influence other

>> designers for accessibility?? I think we need to start thinking

>> way out of

>> the box and doing something like a large project.


>> We could do a few things.


>> 1.We can do picketing outside conferences.

>> 2. create a booth and invite all the games we know to display.

>> 3. actually get a federal government representative to introduce a

>> bill

>> mandatory to make all games accessible... That one seems really

>> cool. You

>> know how Hillary Clinton when on the whole rampage of violence in

>> video

>> games and the government started mandatory needs for rating.

>> 4. or create a game. But some are saying there are many are games

>> out there

>> but the more the better I think games are on loudest voice.

>> Sooner or later

>> one of them might reach really big and make that huge wave.


>> Robert



>> -----Original Message-----

>> From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-

>> bounces at igda.org]

>> On Behalf Of Reid Kimball

>> Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 3:11 PM

>> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

>> Subject: Re: [games_access] A simpler tack


>> I have to agree with Barrie's suggestions and we're some of them

>> already.


>> Robert, I read your ideas about making a game. Good idea at heart,

>> but

>> making a commercial game that will be picked up by the publisher is

>> extremely difficult. Just ask Eitan or the creators of Strange

>> Attractors. As pointed out by others, we do have many examples of

>> games that already feature accessibility options.


>> It doesn't look like we have the finances to get a booth at GDC but

>> there's no reason to panic or even be frustrated. Michelle tried and

>> it just happens to be really expensive! Then we move on to the next

>> thing. Which is the FuturePlay conference and then waiting for the

>> final selection of sessions for GDC 2008.


>> In the meantime, each of us can do our part in educating and helping

>> others to make their games more accessible for all. Several of us are

>> creating guidelines to give to developers. Others are attending

>> conferences to talk about what we do and network. Others are

>> conducting interviews with software and hardware developers in the

>> game industry. We're all contributing in valuable ways and we need to

>> be persistent and patient because change does not happen over night.


>> I also recommend that when people have ideas for doing something, by

>> all means go ahead and try to get it started. Robert, if you can find

>> people who want to make an accessible game, go for it. Barrie, can

>> you

>> start by creating a top 3 accessibility feature list for each

>> genre of

>> game you are interested in?


>> -Reid


>> On 11/6/07, Barrie Ellis <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:



>>> Why don't we try this...?


>>> 1. Discuss a few game genres that can easily be made more

>>> accessible. I

>>> suggest racing games, golf games and pinball. All easy to

>>> comprehend.

>>> 2. Make a top 3 accessibilty features wish list for each type.

>>> 3. Draw up our own Accessibility logos for those features.

>>> 4. Contact specific developers. Not Sony - Not Microsoft - but

>>> actual game

>>> development PR and management.

>>> 5. Offer our support via the IGDA GASIG.

>>> 6. Keep a log of our progress.


>>> Barrie

>>> www.OneSwitch.org.uk


>>> _______________________________________________

>>> games_access mailing list

>>> games_access at igda.org

>>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access



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