Stop looking to form gamedev teams

I frequent the Reddit /r/gamedev board, and it seems like every hour there’s a new post by someone looking to start a team to make some awesome game. The poster goes into great detail about the type of gameplay the game will have, lists games that inspired its design, and explains that he only needs a few people to help him out in order to get started.

He then goes on to list the roles that need to be filled; artist, programmer, audio design…finally wrapping up by describing himself as the “idea guy”.

I hate to sound cruel, but at this point I can state with absolute certainty that the project he wants to lead will never get off the ground.

One such topic was posted recently by a guy who wanted to make a game like Telltale’s The Walking Dead, which has been praised for its emphasis on branching storylines and player choice. I wrote a longish reply to help set him on the right track. Unfortunately, he deleted the post before I finished and I was unable to reply, so I’m copying it here.

My recommendation: stop looking to start a team so early on. It sounds like you have little to no experience with making games, and you’re going to need it. Teams that are founded by people with no experience end up falling apart and going nowhere.

If you want to get your feet wet, try out this tutorial for Twine. It’ll help you realize your goal and get a prototype together that is functionally the same as The Walking Dead in regards to choices and interactive storytelling.

Maybe partway through you’ll realize you aren’t actually interested in finishing it. That’s fine; it’s always better to ditch a prototype than a project you’ve invested tons of work into.

Or, maybe you’ll come up with something awesome and other people will look to team up with you and take it to the next level. That’s great! At that point you’ll be more than just the ideas guy; you’ll have demonstrated you have the talent and perseverance to stick through and see a project to the end.

Either way, it can only help you to start off by yourself. The type of people who would offer to join up with you based on your post are not the kind of people who have any serious experience.

  • Jeflynn

    I’d say to them “Get a Life.” But I guess gamers have many lives…