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  Can one man write a good game anymore?  (Read 9652 times)
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Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Posted 2002-12-22 08:56:25 »

What do you think? Is it still possible for one man (or a very very small group) to write a commercial quality game these days? Any examples?
Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #1 - Posted 2002-12-22 09:34:05 »

This widely depends on how you define 'commercial quality'.
I think low-budget titles are possible in any case, a AAA title is not.

http://www.cdvspiel.de/ is commercial quality and done by a small team.

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Online princec

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Medals: 342
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #2 - Posted 2002-12-22 10:36:30 »

http://www.llamasoft.co.uk/
http://www.dexterity.com/
http://www.garagegames.com/

To name but three. And there's links all over their forums from tiny indy companies. There seems to be a big revival in the games industry going on, the likes of which the music and cinema industries are finding much more difficult to do. Retro is in too, which is nice, for people who don't want to spend $50 in a game and then invest half their life playing it.

And then of course there's me, struggling away with sprites elsewhere in the forum...

Cas Smiley

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline Kevdog

Junior Member





« Reply #3 - Posted 2002-12-27 21:05:04 »

An excellent massively multiplayer flight simulator was written by a small group (3 or 4) of programmers.

http://www.hitechcreations.com/


There are only 10 types of people, those who understand binary and those who don't!
Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2002-12-28 09:18:02 »

You are kidding, right? HiTechCreations is a spinoff of a not-so-small company that produced WarBirds for many years (and still does).

3-4 people still is a bit more than a single-person (about 3-4 times!).

Dale "Hitech" Addink
Doug "Pyro" Balmos
JoAnn "Yankee" Colcleasure
John "Superfly" Guytan
Nathan "Natedog" Mathieu
Roy "Skuzzy" Neese
Veronica "Ronni" Newman

3-4? I count 7! They never started from scratch and - AcesHigh isn't a killer game....


HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-01-03 10:30:28 »

http://www.codeproject.com/useritems/StandaloneProgrammer3.asp

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Mamoulian

Senior Newbie





« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-01-21 16:12:40 »

Well, if you outsource graphics and sound and if the idea is nice, a one good one man game should be possible.

Have a look at http://www.snood.com for example: It looks quite simple and could have been a one man job, graphics are not great, but as far as I know tons of people are playing snood like hell!

Maybe it's not that title that hit the cover page of all game magazines, but you can make some money with it.

Slashdot had nearly the same story, look here:
http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/01/18/1452229&mode=thread&tid=127
Offline larry

Junior Member




.. son of jor-el, kneel before zod ...


« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-07-15 10:40:38 »

It all depends what you consider "commercial quality".

If its quake, warcraft biggie type of game, Id say no.
but if its a fun game with great playability and very successful
in terms of amount of people playing it ( and indirectly the amount
of revenue you get from selling it) then yes.

Look at Cas' game for example. Granted he's put in a lot of effort
and time, however he did basically by himself and a graphics artist.

mobile games are also a great market to pursue some small indie
developments. However, looking at the rapid speed of mobile
device enhancements, quake-like standard games will be
flooding the markets very soon.
Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-07-15 12:08:47 »

Can one man write a high quality game anymore? Without question. Can one man write a commercially successful game? I'm not so sure. The amount of time and money that has to go into marketing of a game in today's industry is phenomenal. How one man could be heard above the noise that is EA, Sony and others, I don't know. I think indy projects will continue to produce some amazing orignal games, with a very small (relative) cult following. And that's not a bad thing.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Archimedes
Guest
« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-07-15 13:13:51 »

Quote
http://www.llamasoft.co.uk/
http://www.dexterity.com/
http://www.garagegames.com/

To name but three. And there's links all over their forums from tiny indy companies. There seems to be a big revival in the games industry going on, the likes of which the music and cinema industries are finding much more difficult to do.


Sounds good.

Probably the following URL is also worth a look-at: http://www.realonearcade.com . I've to add however that I don't like Realnetworks because their Realplayer's been hidden spyware some time agao, also the strange installer of Realonearcade forces you as customer to install a closed DRM software which does what it wants to (I can't be bothered to use it).
Anways, it's said that their absolute top seller (a breakout game if I remember correctly) has been very successful.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Raven

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-07-31 07:06:29 »

I would say two persons can write a good game. The advantage is, that you can discuss your problems and this can be very effective. (Like extreme programming).

Then you need a third person for marketing, sales etc... (or much more ?) Because if you can make a good game you dont sell it because nobody knows it. But if you invest to much in marketing then you cannot write good games in time..

Raven
Offline bmyers

Junior Member





« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-08-01 16:47:05 »

Maybe a better question would be:

"Can 30 people make a good game"?

At some point, the more people you have, the less innovation you will get.  Today's game development teams are getting bigger and bigger, and this may be related to how the games are getting more and more the same.

Perhaps with the increase in outsourcing, the core game teams will start to shrink again, and we'll see some more innovation going on.

Personally, I think a good game needs at least two people, because it's too easy for one person by themself to get tunnel vision.  Two people keeps it more sane.  Plus, it's easy for one person to get discouraged.

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-08-01 17:20:28 »

A great game only requires one person.
A great production requires more.

Cas Smiley

Offline nickdotjava

Junior Member




I have fallen to the dark side.  I'm using DX9


« Reply #13 - Posted 2003-08-01 17:41:21 »

Quote
A great game only requires one person.
A great production requires more.

Cas Smiley


Along with a marketing and legal division.  Wow, gaming's about to turn into the music industry.   Shocked

-Nick

"Oh ya, that's trivial.  I should have it done in an hour."
Offline NeonStormy

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #14 - Posted 2003-09-04 01:33:10 »

http://runescape.com ( http://jagex.com )

A small team made that in Java - and it's BIG. There are hundreds of thousands of players...I would LOVE to see a better Java-applet-based game.
Online kevglass

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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #15 - Posted 2003-09-04 07:19:38 »

Isn't runescape another one of the cases like NeoPets. Lots of people go on and have ago, but don't carry on playing. So the stats for the number of players reported is false simply because no body bothers cancelling their account.

From what I remember from playing it was a cool game but didn't catch the imagination because you were too busy trying to grasp the controls.

Kev

Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 14
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #16 - Posted 2003-09-04 10:28:44 »

There are indeed heaps of players playing that game.

After I made it past the looooong tutorial, I noticed that the entire world was cramped full with high-level powergamers. In fact, it felt a bit like Ultima Online in that sense.

I think what makes Runescape so popular is that playing an applet isn't considered REALLY playing a game.
'cause it sure ain't the graphics. Wink

[edit: And not playing a game is good because you can do it when you're supposed to be doing other things.. like homework or printing the silly documents your boss wanted an hour ago]

Play Minecraft!
Offline NeonStormy

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2003-09-04 11:23:46 »

Quote
Isn't runescape another one of the cases like NeoPets. Lots of people go on and have ago, but don't carry on playing. So the stats for the number of players reported is false simply because no body bothers cancelling their account.

From what I remember from playing it was a cool game but didn't catch the imagination because you were too busy trying to grasp the controls.
Kev


No. They have 18 worlds, each with usually 500-1200 people in each.

From JAGeX:
Jagex has a large audience of over 240,000 individuals who play the game every month. Our audience is made up of a wide age range from 8 to 50 years olds.

Online kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #18 - Posted 2003-09-04 12:03:36 »

I stand (sit) corrected.

Kev

Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #19 - Posted 2003-09-17 17:05:49 »

Sure. There is no reason why a commercial quality game couldn't be written by one person provided that one person had all of the skills necessary (art, sound, progamming, etc). There is nothing stopping one person from putting together a design document and writing some code and licensing some art/music for a game. It would take a long time for most people and a single person is likely to get distracted and go off and do other things - but there is no 'clear' reason why one person couldn't do it alone.


There are factors related to a singe person being responsible for everything that may make it impractical but it is certainly possible. When I was in that space,we used  to get submssions from people all the time (1-2) man teams that could be put in the budget title bin. In addition, the economics of the J2ME space almost dictates a single or 1-2 developer team (if that helps). So really - it depends on you. If you have the discipline to do it alone - sure, it can be done.

Its small groups of people who change the world.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline K.I.L.E.R

Senior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-01-21 07:48:35 »

http://www.spidweb.com/

Take a look at those games. Commercial quality and are damn fun. Smiley

Vorax:
Is there a name for a "redneck" programmer?

Jeff:
Unemployed. Wink
Online kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-01-21 08:25:11 »

No offense to the authors but looking at the screenshots of the two games on the front page hardly makes me jump for a "commerical quality". However, a post earlier on this thread makes the point:

Quote

This widely depends on how you define 'commercial quality'.  


Kev

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-01-21 10:51:42 »

I think they look commercial quality. As in, something that would sell. You don't need 3D and pixel shaders to make something of commercial quality; just good design.

Cas Smiley

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-01-21 11:34:01 »

Whoa, spiderweb are still going? Exile 2 was amazingly addictive, yet I didn't have the cash to fork out and buy it at the time, maybe I'll see what they've got to offer now Smiley

They might not have wonderful graphics but theres a consistant style (and if Exile is anything to judge by they'll be very polished and *huge* plot & places to explore Smiley )

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Online kevglass

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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-01-21 12:05:18 »

Quote

I think they look commercial quality. As in, something that would sell. You don't need 3D and pixel shaders to make something of commercial quality; just good design.


Yeah, I totally agree, and I wasn't really having a go at the lack of 3D/pixel shaders. I meant it doesn't actually appear to have that "polish" associated with professional artists.

Not to pick a special case, but if you look at screenshots of the menu/ingame in AF the graphics are obviously very polished, sorta smooth. The games on that page don't appear to have that quality to the GUI or the face and inventory shots.

Kev

Online princec

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Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #25 - Posted 2004-01-21 12:17:01 »

It is amazing what antialiasing and transparency can do for a professional look, isn't it?

So I wonder why after all these years the l&fs in Swing still don't render antialiased :/

Cas Smiley

Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #26 - Posted 2004-01-21 12:53:28 »

Don't forget that Ultima games looked like those two a few years ago!  I wouldn't call them AAA games by 2004 standards, I don't expect the big publishers are dying to get hold of them, but they definitely sell and from what I hear are very good games.

Edit: Oh, and the RPG world is a lot more forgiving than the arcade world!  Most CRPG players really do value story over graphics.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #27 - Posted 2004-01-21 13:16:26 »

Exactly. If I were a proper RPG fan I'd be wetting my pants over that screenshot.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #28 - Posted 2004-01-21 13:27:38 »

Quote
http://www.spidweb.com/

Take a look at those games. Commercial quality and are damn fun. Smiley


Arggh! Number. One. Amateur. Mistake. ... "ignore screen resolution". I literally need a magnifying glass to see the characters...

Runescape made the same damn mistake years ago, and I kept pestering the author to spend the 30 seconds required (an exaggeration, but the 3D engine definitely wasn't hard-coded to that size...the author just didn't think anyone needed it any bigger)  to make a new version of the applet that worked at a different resolution.

Classic, stereotypical, "I'm a developer, making games for myself, I don't need to try hard to understand what players need" mentality. Here's hoping Exile3 on other platforms can change resolution (although I have a sinking feeling about this...).

EDIT: "Geneforge" on that site is excellent (niggle with resolutions aside). Great user-interface, and fun new game ideas...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline shawnkendall

Senior Member





« Reply #29 - Posted 2004-01-21 22:22:55 »

I don't think one man can write a good game anymore...
But perhaps one woman can...

Old habits die hard huh? ;-)

Shawn Kendall
Cosmic Interactive, LLC
http://www.facebook.com/BermudaDash
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