Development on current/next gen game consoles

Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #1
This landed in my mailbox but I'm too busy to answer the user. Can you all provide comments?

Quote:I'm very much into game designing but I want to push my bounds and do more than that. I would appreciate your advice and suggestions on what software would be good for making games for the xbox, xbox 360, ps2, and the upcoming ps3? I have this desire to express my ideas that I believe will bring more reality to gameplay when it comes to sports titles and 3rd person shooters. My disappointment in Madden 06 and NBA Live 06 for the xbox 360 really fueled my drive in creating games that focus more on gameplay than looks. Hell, Madden 06 and NBA Live 06 were much better on the weaker consoles ( xbox, ps2 ). Why is that? Anyway, my motivation is only to express my ideas and not an attempt to replace the leading titles. Although I do believe that with the right software and opportunities I would easily be able to contend or even beat the top sports titles. Don't get me wrong, I'm no genius, but I do believe I have great ideas that would bring more reality to the gameplay in sports titles. I'm just tired of hearing people say " that wouldn't happen in real life ". I just need a few suggestions on good software that is not too expensive anywhere from enviorment design ( football fields, basketball arenas and boxing rings ) to character design ( texturing, animation ). Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you may have some useful information.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Member
Posts: 86
Joined: 2005.01
Post: #2
I think I've seen his post in these forums already.

That said, he needs to hang it up for the foreseeable future. Console developers have stringent quality requirements just to have the opportunity to buy a devkit (which is usually very expensive). After that, they have a whole approvals process which a solo developer or even a small team isn't going to be able to hit in terms of sound and visual quality (Microsoft in particular has an enormous checklist about graphical glitches, localization, bugs, and surround sound).

It's possible that they might be able to attract a publisher and hook up a deal for Xbox Live Arcade, but that is becoming competitive fast as big game companies are using licenses and human-wave teams to push indies out of the micropayment games sector on XBLA. Microsoft's quality requirements are just as horrid there.

My overall advice would just be to buy a newer Mac and write videogames on that, because the casual/indie sector is very hot right now on the OS X side. If they're not interested in writing Mac games, why are they asking us?

Of course, before you do any of this you either need a team or the ability to produce the game on your own. And a decent team won't follow until you have a demo.

Newest game: Glow, a sci-fi RPG with lots of zombie bashing. Get it: OS X
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DaWizard
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Post: #3
Thanks for your replies. Now, are you saying that good games can't be made in Windows? I have Poser 6 and MotionBuilder 2 for Windows and they seem to do pretty damn good for character modeling and animation. I also have Carrara Studio 5 and 3D Game Studio which seems so far to make good enviorments. I do want better though. All I need now is a good game engine, a few more plug-ins and whatever else that would be helpful and it can be done. I understand that the marketing part will be a challenge but simply MAKING a game playable for the xboxs or playstations shouldn't be as far fetched as you're making it. If my ideas are good enough, they will get noticed and sponsered so the marketing part is all about MY promotion. I'm only asking for good suggestions and advice on gamemaking software that will enable me to MAKE games that will be playable for today's consoles. I'm not asking how to jump right into the industry and take over. Although, I believe with just average or above average equipment and a team that'll work hard anything is possible. Hell, there are new titles coming out of nowhere and competing with the top titles all the time ( ex. First GTA now Saints Row ). Not saying Saints Row will be better but the fact that it's good enough to compete and generate profit. I'm more interested in sports titles anyway because for one, it's not like EA sports which is supposed to be the best in sports titles can't be beat. They fell behind 2K6 simply because of horrible gameplay. They got away from good gameplay ( NBA Live 06 and Madden 06 for the regular xbox and ps2 play ALOT better than nexgen ) and paid too much attention to graphics. It looks good but who cares if it don't play good. Two, because of things like this the sports titles aren't fun enough to play which in turn cause them to not be as popular as FPS's or RPG's. I do believe FPS's and RPG's will always be more popular because that seems to be what people are into more and have more fun playing but the sports area of gaming to me is weak in popularity only because the games are not as fun. The rankings are wide open for competition and STILL waiting for it's phenom sort of speak. I figure, jump into an area that has light competition and the chances of being successful will be greater. Anyway, thanks for you time and I still hope to hear some good suggestions soon.

DaWizard
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Oldtimer
Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #4
Quote:but simply MAKING a game playable for the xboxs or playstations shouldn't be as far fetched as you're making it.
Well, that's where people go wrong, I'm afraid. Barring all the techical difficulties, you're not going to get a development kit without forking out five figures, if that. That said, look into the homebrew scene for either console. Haven't seen much of homebrew on either console, but hey, I haven't been looking.
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #5
In order to develop for any of the major consoles, you need to have an established company with secure office facilities, a fair amount of money to shell out for dev kits (ball-park, $10K each), and a publisher. In order to build a game that has a hope of "competing", as you say, you can expect to drive a team of 20+ people full-time for 2-3 years. Good luck finding people to do that for free. In order to get a publisher, you can expect to need to have relevant experience -- for example, having delivered a game or two successfully for a platform with a lower barrier to entry.

Game development is not easy, or quick. It's not just a matter of having the right tools (though that's certainly necessary too); it's a matter of a *lot* of hard work on the part of a *lot* of people.

Did you know that the vast majority of games make a loss? Yes, the proportionally tiny number of success stories sell vast numbers of units and make a vast profit, but on average you can expect a game to lose a few million dollars.

Sports games are in an even worse situation than your average game style, too, because the public seems to demand the brands, names and faces of their favorite teams and players, and those don't come cheap -- nor do they come to unknown software development houses.

Good luck with your ambitions, but seriously, take the advice -- start with a small, 2D game for your Mac, sell it as shareware, and move up from there. Either that, or get yourself a job in an existing game development house, and work your way up the ranks from there.
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Member
Posts: 86
Joined: 2005.01
Post: #6
DaWizard Wrote:Thanks for your replies. Now, are you saying that good games can't be made in Windows?

If the only operating system you want to work on is Windows or consoles, I fail to see why you're posting to a Mac game development board.

Newest game: Glow, a sci-fi RPG with lots of zombie bashing. Get it: OS X
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Member
Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #7
Here's a suggestion, follow the example of that crazy flash game, Alien-Hominid, ie, create a game that makes a name for itself by being unique and becomes an internet sensation, then shop around to publishers for porting funds, when you have the funding, then move the game to a console, and you're on your way to a career.

If you can't make an amazingly unique game within the limits of flash, you probably will not make an amazingly unique game with a super duper engine.

Here's another option, get Torque game Builder or Engine, use it to create an amazingly unique and fantastic game, then through Garage Games you might just get it put on a console.
They have Marble Blast on a Xbox 360's "indie" thing whatever its called, and that is not even an amazingly unique game.

The ultimate advice, start small, do a 90 day game, and if you are not totally burned out of the whole idea by then, just keep going. Many of us here have gone that route, and many that were once here went that route and left game dev forever.
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Member
Posts: 68
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Post: #8
DaWizard Wrote:All I need now is a good game engine, a few more plug-ins and whatever else that would be helpful and it can be done. I understand that the marketing part will be a challenge but simply MAKING a game playable for the xboxs or playstations shouldn't be as far fetched as you're making it. ... I figure, jump into an area that has light competition and the chances of being successful will be greater.

If you're serious about higher level game development, and you haven't done much with it before (And it sounds like that might be the case, but many apologies if it isn't.) here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Do you have a particularly strong background in at least one of these things?
-Programming (C, C++, C#, java, Objective-C.... etc.)
-Graphics (2d, 3d, video, sprite creation, photography)
-Sound (music composition, sound fx...)

Teams tend to have people that specialize in a particular skillset, rather than spreading themselves thin on a project. If you don't have a background in these areas, you're going to need other people who do, or else the overall game will suffer from poor dynamics, visual aesthetics, and auditory connection. Playability is much more than just a great idea. It takes a lot of work, even with a full fledged engine behind you. It takes a lot of time.

If you're looking for a good place to start to develop on a console, learn openGL. Do it on a Mac, or a PC; either way, if you do, you'll be ready to work on playstation 3's OpenGL 2.0-like API. There's dev tools being put out by sony to help people design their own materials, or so I've heard. I haven't gotten my hands on these personally, but I've heard encouraging things. Even if you don't stick with PS3, understanding the architecture of a platform, the graphics pipeline, hardware flow, and what's possible will help you shape your plan for carrying out your idea on which ever console you eventually end up on.

Moreover, most games on major platforms use custom engines developed 'in house' to do exactly what they want. You might find your idea is too restricted using someone else's work, and end up deciding to do it up from scratch right. its a long process, but you sound motivated, so go get an OpenGL super bible, a primer on your preferred language, read tutorials, and just code.

As for 3d-- this is what I'm more familiar with. I personally like lightwave because I do a lot of animation. However, 3d studio max tends to be a crowd favorite for game modeling. If you can learn a higher scale package like maya, more power to you. I'd look into modo- reasonable price for a great software package. It's cross platform for mac and PC, and will save to light wave objects as well as maya obj's. In the end, nothing really beats a good modeling program you're comfortable with and Photoshop.

Best of luck, and if you do end up developing on the mac to get your feet wet, feel welcome to read through this forum and post questions- there's a lot of good stuff & people around!
( =
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mrbannon
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Post: #9
Hi,

From the way you're talking, it sounds like you're more interested in design than anything else. Have you written down your design ideas (proposals and stuff like that)? What you might be interested in doing is formalizing a design proposal and show it to some freeware developers or groups of people that just program games in their spare time. I'm pretty sure there are groups out there that do this (my favorite group was Tierra/AGDI). Of course, these groups would be focusing on PC/Mac.

Hope that helps,

Ryan

ps - Does anybody know if there are developers out there that create for old consoles, like NES/SNES/Sega/GB/etc? Not for money, obviously. And not on actual systems...just emulators.
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Moderator
Posts: 700
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #10
mrbannon Wrote:Does anybody know if there are developers out there that create for old consoles, like NES/SNES/Sega/GB/etc?

Yes, there seemingly are developers out there who develop for obsolete hardware (for the original hardware as well as for emulators); if I remember correctly, there was an article a few pages long on the topic/on the status of the scene in Edge 164...

Mark Bishop
--
Student and freelance OS X & iOS developer
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