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I think the complexity of the game has a lot to do with how many
‘details’ need to be figured out before development.  A large, 3D
game with 20 hours of gameplay is going to be a lot more involved than
a Flash-based game with 15-20 minutes of gameplay.

Is it possible for someone to tell us the history of the first two
projects, basically, what the end product was supposed to be (a 3d FPS,
3d RPG, 2d RPG, 2d adventure, etc), so we have a little input into what
happened with it?

I think one of the things that needs to be established right away is
what revenue model is going to be followed.  Are we going to give
away the game free, completely free?  Would be have it
ad-supported on a web site (perhaps a Flash game)?  Would we try
to sell it, either digital download or burned CDs (CafePress is a good
place for CD distribution).

If you have 200mb game and have it up for download, you’re probably
going to pay $1.00 in bandwidth for every 5 people who download it,
unless you get a megaplan like something at 1&1 that has, say, 50gb
included.  Then you can get 250 downloads included, and then $1
for every 5 extra…. (I think their rate is still 99 cents a gig).

Then you need to evaluate, how many do we plan to have available? 
A 200mb game, downloaded by a whopping 1,000 a month, would cost
probably over $100 a month in hosting fees.  How are we re-couping
that cost if it’s a ‘free’ game?

How many people are interested in our game, but hit the home page and
realize its a 15 minute download and go away?  Are we losing our
audience?  Think back to the original sierra games, 700kb, 2mb,
etc.  Can we do that today?  Yes, by using vector graphics
instead of 3d models.  Can we have it so it can be near
instantaneously downloaded and played by any site visitor?  Yes,
by using a widely available plug-in like Flash.  Can we make money
doing it?  Yes, there are thousands of web sites making money
giving away ‘free’ stuff, many of them with content similar to
something we could come up.

So really, what I’m asking is, should the first venture of an
independent team be a complex, wish-we-had-it at CompUSA boxed game
with dozens of hours of gameplay, or something more simple to get our
feet wet?

Criticize any or all, please.  These are just a flow of my opinions.