Reply To: Proposing New Game Ideas


(re: re: re: re: Ken Williams Q&A) Ken, thanks for responding to this one!
this little tidbit is worth my asking…
Ultimately, to get a publishers attention, you need a working demo of the game. It doesn’t need to be more than the first level. It’s nearly impossible to know if a game is any good looking at a paragraph of text. You need to see something on screen.
i figured this was the case and the fact that you stated a single level as being good enough was exactly the detail i was looking for. this definitely shed’s some light on the subject for me. what i’ve done up to this point is purely story development. i am working under the assumption that anything beyond this stage is moot if nobody buys into the story and characters. would you agree?
i’ve drawn out the first 6 scenes (down to the dialog) … i was going to produce a demo from this … then on to the publisher sale’s pitch! i was going to do much of the programming (with help from a few others) for the demo. i was also hoping to recruit some artists from the local university for graphics. at this point i have no clue what i would do about music …thought about bits and pieces of sierra game music, but i would assume there are legal issues with that.
who says game development isn’t fun?! 🙂

You are thinking the right kind of thoughts. The actual plot isn’t as important, as the niche it fits into, and the size of the niche. And, even this is secondary to “how it looks/feels when you see it on screen”. My brother John, who ran marketing for many years at Sierra, used to say that ‘it’s all about WOW value’ – if someone says WOW when they see the screen from 10 feet away, you have them sold. This is not completely true, but it’s close. You need to have three components: a story that intriques the user (characters/plot), WOW value (snazzy graphics, cool/new technology) and an underlying game mechanic that is fun (not sure how to describe this – but, there needs to be a game – it can’t just be pretty pictures).
Check out — it’s Jeff Tunnel’s website (one of the founders of Dynamix, a Sierra family company). Jeff’s company is devoted to empowering game developers. He has (or, had the last time I looked) a bulletin board just for people trying to put together a team to do a game. There were coders, designers, musicians, etc all looking for a chance to build a game.
Good luck!
-Ken W