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After a little running around the internet I found an interesting article that shows a good example of how pirating can affect a game directly and shutdown a project. iOS Game, Battle Dungeon, Forced To Shut Down Due To Piracy In this article, Hunted Cow, the developers behind the iOS game Battle Dungeon ended up shutting down their servers. The reason ...


87

Because voice acting is more expensive than just the payment for the actors. It's not just the voice actors you need to hire. First, you need to find voice actors which are suitable for your roles. That means you will have to do a casting with many actors, which takes you a lot of time. Then when you have picked the actors and made contracts with them, you ...


86

It's not unusual for workers to be less than 100% engaged in task work for the entire duration of the work day. Humans have a hard time focusing on one task for longer than 20 minutes without some form of interruption. Research suggests that, out of an 8-hour day, on average, workers are productive for less than half. In fact, reducing the total hours ...


69

Most software development teams (not just in game development) solve this issue using version control software. Examples are Subversion Git Mercurial Microsoft Team Foundation Server Perforce All these tools have some differences, but the basic workflow is usually like this: There is one central repository for the project with the complete codebase. When a ...


59

I would use: 1. Code management GIT (and the awesome reference), a distributed source code manager, for managing my code, and host it on GitHub as a private project if I want to keep it off limits. (There are A LOT of options here, just google for source code management, you don't even NEED to use GitHub or any other website, Git will work just fine on ...


45

Your first test should be to pitch individual ideas to a few random people from your offline or online social circle or to a few interested online communities. See how they react to it. This can provide a first sanity check which doesn't cost you a lot of time and effort. However, it is difficult to really judge how a game feels just from a description of ...


43

The first step is to create a minimum viable product. A MVP is the absolute minimum which can be considered a playable game. It doesn't need any graphics yet except for some placeholders. It should just accept basic input and implement the most core game mechanics. Then iterate from there. The reason is that you need a test-bed for testing out if your ...


39

This happens in almost every game -- as the artists become comfortable working with the tools, and as improved tools become available during production, the later levels to be constructed are almost always built to a higher level of quality in a shorter amount of time. To cope, you want to do all of the following three things: Assume that you'll have to ...


39

You need an art lead and proper art style documentation. There are things like palettes to determine, plus various bits of example concepts, a lot of art terminology that clearly defines things to artists in ways that tech terminology clears things up for developers. A good art lead can define all these and make your consistent art style, and properly ...


39

I've never heard of this happening as a loss of sales. There are situations where a company has had a direct loss of money that can be attributed to piracy. Project Zomboid faced issues with this a few years ago when their updater was cracked. The updater was hacked to allow pirates to download the latest release of the game from Project Zomboid. Since ...


28

Everyone is different so take this advice with a grain of salt. If you care about each of the projects equally, I would recommend going with whichever project has the smallest scope. That way, you'll have a greater chance of completing the project and you'll minimize the amount of time thinking about the other projects you want to do instead. You can start ...


25

A case where it didn't take down the studio, but it must likely hurt sales and cost money: Demigod by Stardock was pirated before launch and had a massive server load - 18,000 validated users and 140,000 concurrent users. This prevented everyone from playing: "Our stress tests had counted on having maybe 50,000 people playing at once at peak and that ...


20

Good grief, reading this question stressed me out. You don't think your employees should be allowed to send personal messages and attend to their life during work hours? The top answer says it better than I will, but that's completely unrealistic. If you expect your employees to be focusing on their tasks 100% of the time, you're going to lose them. Most ...


19

It's actually saved companies before! Leisure Suit Larry was not a very popular game before it was passed around on pirated floppy disks. I remember Al Lowe saying that they sold more strategy guides than copies of the game. There were no plans on a second game until the piracy eruption(pun intended).


18

I think that strict working hours is generally not a good idea. For example I belong to these 20% of people who are much more productive at late hours. I worked in startups and big companies as well. I always had that talk with my managers about the late hours. After all I always told them, yes I can come to the office at 8am and be completely shut down ...


16

I think you pretty much answered your own question there yeah. Depending on how important the story is to the game and especially the gameplay, you write the entire thing first, then cut out the things that are least relevant until you have something you CAN do. Or if you know what you're doing, you drop stuff before you even write it. If you're making a ...


16

I think apart from the above mentioned views, I guess one has to take the region/country where the company is located. The culture has a major impact on these kind of stuffs too. For example. I have worked in India, US and Currently in Germany. In India, People tend to come late everyday, I observed them to be less productive on first few hours after ...


14

I would strongly suggest using a version control system, even if you work alone. It can save you a lot of time, once you accidentally delete something or make a bigger change, only to realize later it was a bad idea and you have to undo al the changes. Edit: There are many free source control solutions. I have used the VisualSVN Server, which is easy ...


14

The question "How can I work with an arbitrary amount of artists, yet maintain artistic consistency across the entire game?" cannot be solved with a one-size-fits-all answer - it is dependant on your specific project. If you edit your question and provide more details on your specific problem, then perhaps we can help with your problem of scale and ...


14

One element the other answers have not touched on is size. Sound files are substantially larger than text files. Every single spoken line is that much more data that must be downloaded to the player's system, written to their HDD, or usually both. In turn, spoken dialogue takes up more memory when the game is executed. Memory that could be used for ...


13

I would be quite wary of such reports, if there are any. Unless you have been or have worked for such an unfortunate developer and know the reason first hand, there is always the possibility that piracy is being used as a scapegoat, or a convenient quarter- to half-truth. After all, "Our game is SO awesome that it was crushed by its own success and because ...


12

If you were to compare a list of all the systems that could be affected by the addition of multiplayer with a list of all the systems that need to be in the game, the lists are likely to be the same. For example, adding multiplayer to a single player game can/will affect: Enemy AI (now the enemies have multiple enemies!) Rendering/animation (if you had a ...


11

This is one of those "it depends" questions. Does your game have a lot of physics objects that would be hard to replicate? How much would high latency bother your game? What kind of libraries are you using? And on top of that, does the design of your game allow for multiplayer? Shoving co-op into a single player corridor shooter where you have your ...


10

By no means I am experienced with big game development, but I like the game team roles description as given by Jason Gregory in the Game Engine Architecture, because it is broad enough to hold true most of the time: Engineers (from runtime to tools) Artists (from concept, throught 3D and writing all the way to sound) Designers (gameplay, interface/...


10

Ok I am taking a stab at the issue, because I am in exactly the same situation. Engine vs. Libraries This is one thing I often come across. Sure when you build a game you need an "engine". And many novice developer will look at the Quakes and Unreals and think that a engine is a monolithic piece of software that is multiple of millions lines of code. But ...


10

There are some red flags, but probably not the ones you expect This I set down a project roadmap with a lot of good documentation on what needs to be done and deadlines. Both were asked to produce a timeline as to how these deadlines would be met. For the artist, I mentioned that if the workload was too much, it might be possible to hire an ...


9

In addition to the points raised in the other answers about version control and handling conflicts with merges, there are at least two other ways that team members can avoid overwriting each other's work: Some version control systems (e.g. SVN) allow locking of files. This means that one team member can take exclusive ownership of a file for some length of ...


9

Time, is the problem. When you try to localize the voices for every language you publish, you would need to spend so much time on voice-over. Synchronizing animations are another problem. When you are voice-overing a character, it would be so much unrealistic to watch that character making noises without moving it's mouth, or etc. So, less voice = less ...


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