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MMORPG Game Concepts  » Original MMORPG Concept from Fulltime Gamer

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  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

5/26/13 11:42:33 AM#21
Originally posted by RollieJoe
Originally posted by Quizzical

And what reason is there to believe that someone who doesn't have any of the skills involved in creating a game and doesn't care to get such skills would be any good at designing games?

Is there anyone in the world at all who is capable of filling in all of the details of how complex game mechanics ought to work, but not capable of writing the code or learning how to write it pretty quickly?  If you can write down explicit formulas for how something ought to work, then you've often (but not always) done most of the work to code it right there.  The hard part is typically going from vague, high level ideas to detailing exactly how it ought to work.

Reflect on this for just a few moments and the answers should be readily apparent.  First, let's be clear, we are talking about the skills needed to design a game (the gameplay mechanics, rules, etc.) VS those needed to code it (including art/sound assets, networking code, etc.)

Now let's pick one example (out of dozens or even hundreds) that addresses all the questions you ask.  Take the card game "Magic: The Gathering" created by Richard Garfield.   By his own admission, Mr. Garfield is neither a competent programmer, nor artist (despite having now been a part of several actual video game projects).  So here we have someone who does not have the skills and doesn't care to get the skills needed to actually code/create a game, yet is clearly fantastic at designing games by any measure.  Furthermore he is fully capable of filling in all the complex game mechanics including explicit formulas for a daunting set of rules.

Now in this case the game in question was well-suited to a non-digital format and so he was able to successfully create a game with Zero actual programming, and then use this success to hire programmers to create the also very successful Magic Online.  But imagine if it had been an amazing, revolutionary idea for an MMO, rather than an amazing, revolutionary idea for a card game.  Now being one of the world's greatest game designers means nothing, because he isn't a programmer his idea gets ignored.

As I said in my original post, due to the far higher volume of *bad* ideas from non-programmers, there is no easy solution to this problem.  But that doesn't change the fact that it is both incorrect and completely irrational to think that a good programmer makes a good game designer, or that a good game designer *has* to be a competent programmer. 

Your post is a great example of what Quizzical is talking about. You see no difference between designing a physical card game, where play surface, player communication, player technical limitations and other factors do not have to be accounted for and a client/server-based persistent state virtual environment such as the one the OP presents.

Take something as simple as sound. Not just the creation of great sounds for the game, but which sounds have priority, how many sounds to play at once, and managing the performance hit all while balancing audible cues with atmosphere. Sound is one of the many problems that do not exist in a tabletop game because you have the direct interaction of the players and, well, a player is usually aware of what he touched and if he acted on the object in the manner he wished to.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone can create a crappy MMO. Anyone. However to create a stable, engaging, visually pleasing and enjoyable MMO takes a wide range of talents. Each aspect that the game designer is unfamiliar with is an aspect that will be out of his control. That invariable means it will be incomplete, not to spec or simply absent. This is not to say he needs to be more knowledgeable about user interfaces than the UI guy or more knowledgeable about the graphics pipeline than the technical artist, but lack of familiarity with each of these things means he won't know to figure them into development and won't be able to identify if they - or any other systems - are failing, absent or negatively impacting work.

To suggest that someone who has only driven cars, but knows nothing of engineering or automotive mechanics, can build a car would be silly, no? One could suggest hiring all the right talent to make the car a reality, but with an inexperienced lead, that really doesn't work out well.

 

Without at least a basic understanding of the various aspects of creating something as massive as an MMO there's no way to tell if a game idea is decent or crap. You can bank on crap, though. The issue here is that he wants to 'give' his game idea to a developer but wants control over how to develop it.

That's simply ridiculous.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13595

5/26/13 6:38:53 PM#22
Originally posted by RollieJoe
Originally posted by Quizzical

And what reason is there to believe that someone who doesn't have any of the skills involved in creating a game and doesn't care to get such skills would be any good at designing games?

Is there anyone in the world at all who is capable of filling in all of the details of how complex game mechanics ought to work, but not capable of writing the code or learning how to write it pretty quickly?  If you can write down explicit formulas for how something ought to work, then you've often (but not always) done most of the work to code it right there.  The hard part is typically going from vague, high level ideas to detailing exactly how it ought to work.

Reflect on this for just a few moments and the answers should be readily apparent.  First, let's be clear, we are talking about the skills needed to design a game (the gameplay mechanics, rules, etc.) VS those needed to code it (including art/sound assets, networking code, etc.)

 

Now let's pick one example (out of dozens or even hundreds) that addresses all the questions you ask.  Take the card game "Magic: The Gathering" created by Richard Garfield.   By his own admission, Mr. Garfield is neither a competent programmer, nor artist (despite having now been a part of several actual video game projects).  So here we have someone who does not have the skills and doesn't care to get the skills needed to actually code/create a game, yet is clearly fantastic at designing games by any measure.  Furthermore he is fully capable of filling in all the complex game mechanics including explicit formulas for a daunting set of rules.

 

Now in this case the game in question was well-suited to a non-digital format and so he was able to successfully create a game with Zero actual programming, and then use this success to hire programmers to create the also very successful Magic Online.  But imagine if it had been an amazing, revolutionary idea for an MMO, rather than an amazing, revolutionary idea for a card game.  Now being one of the world's greatest game designers means nothing, because he isn't a programmer his idea gets ignored.

 

As I said in my original post, due to the far higher volume of *bad* ideas from non-programmers, there is no easy solution to this problem.  But that doesn't change the fact that it is both incorrect and completely irrational to think that a good programmer makes a good game designer, or that a good game designer *has* to be a competent programmer. 

Suppose that someone has the talent to be a phenomenally good game designer.  But he's unwilling to learn any of the skills needed to actually make a game.  Now suppose that you run a game company.  Do you hire him?  (Don't hold your breath waiting for an application, as he doesn't much want to work for you.)

Let's take an analogy.  Let's suppose that a player has all of the football talent of Peyton Manning.  But he doesn't much like football and isn't willing to work out or practice very much.  You run an NFL team.  Do you hire him?

Let's suppose that Richard Garfield has the talent to be an incredibly good MMORPG designer.  But let's suppose that he doesn't have any of the skills needed to actually make an MMORPG and isn't interested in learning them.  Would you go chase him and try to hire him anyway?

God-given talent isn't the only thing that matters.  The key to my first sentence that you quoted is not merely "doesn't have the skills", but also "doesn't care to get such skills".  If Richard Garfield decided that he really wanted to get into the MMORPG industry and was willing to learn whatever skills game companies wanted him to learn, he probably could get a job in the industry--and could have some role in designing the games.  (I'm not saying that he should; he's done pretty well for himself without making MMORPGs.)

  anemo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/24/10
Posts: 700

5/26/13 6:43:40 PM#23

The legend of zelda games are really good examples of design and production skill if you take even one small part pushing a boulder(a core-ish mechanic).  

You see link exerting himself with different animations(sheathing sword, the pushing itself), you get new sounds(link huffing and puffing, the sound of the boulder, the sound of unlocking a door, background noises becoming quieter), you see the boulder itself moving, you're going to see some particles of dust/grass getting disrupted and that's before you take the puzzle itself into play.  

There's a lot going on there with just one or two button presses, even then I'm missing a lot.  Which is kinda silly since I'm working on a zelda-alike.

____________

Design work is just as tedious as anything else you're not willing to learn.

Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

"There are still vast swaths of our planet's surface in which it's surprisingly easy to lose things. Even a ship the size of a large building." Richard Fisher

  xaritscin

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/25/11
Posts: 310

"Antherea Online will see the light, eventually"

5/27/13 11:40:36 AM#24
Originally posted by anemo

The legend of zelda games are really good examples of design and production skill if you take even one small part pushing a boulder(a core-ish mechanic).  

You see link exerting himself with different animations(sheathing sword, the pushing itself), you get new sounds(link huffing and puffing, the sound of the boulder, the sound of unlocking a door, background noises becoming quieter), you see the boulder itself moving, you're going to see some particles of dust/grass getting disrupted and that's before you take the puzzle itself into play.  

There's a lot going on there with just one or two button presses, even then I'm missing a lot.  Which is kinda silly since I'm working on a zelda-alike.

____________

Design work is just as tedious as anything else you're not willing to learn.

QFT

  RollieJoe

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/31/05
Posts: 412

6/01/13 10:15:54 AM#25

There still seems to be a lack of distinction drawn between "designing" and "creating" perhaps due to vague word choice.  For any major MMO, hundreds of people with completely different skillsets are involved in the final product.   Voice actors, graphic artists, writers, network coders, sound design, etc. etc.

 

The point is that there is absolutely no reason to think that the person (or persons) contributing in the role of "game designer," in other words, the person(s) who are coming up with the core game principles, mechanics, features, rules, etc. need to be competent in a programming language.  It makes no more sense than requiring all your voice actors to be fluent in Javascript.  Furthermore, there's no reason to think that someone who is a very good programmer, efficient and knowledgeable when it comes to coding, would be a good game designer (we see the proof this is not the case on a weekly basis).

 

If I am a company looking to make an MMO, requiring my lead game designer to be able to program, or be a good voice actor, or be a talented 3D artist would be a ridiculous qualification.  The problem, as I stated, is that aside from past success, there is no way for a company to separate good potential game designers from bad ones.  And so in some cases they simply hire people with unrelated skills (such as coding) because they lack a better filter.

 

Again, the notion that in order to be a good game designer you need to be a good programmer is absurd.  However, if you actually want to be involved in making an MMO with no prior experience creating a successful game, then yes, in practice you likely need to learn how to program.  This won't make you a good game designer, but it will help your chances of getting hired to work on a game where, if you actually *are* a good game designer, that might be noticed. 

  Antiquated

Novice Member

Joined: 3/08/13
Posts: 479

6/01/13 10:18:43 AM#26
Originally posted by psysention

I prefer spending my time with gaming, its a major part of my life..

If there are any decent Publisher or Designer out there who are looking for fresh and unique ideas.. please contact me via e-mail: aakgur@gmail.com

Sure you can spare the time from your busy gaming schedule to write it up?

Oh, up to the publlishers to contact you. That'll work :nod nod:

Is there a company that will pay me for my ideas?
The good news is that your great ideas are a fabulous start and you may be able to turn your creative ideas into cold, hard cash!!!  The bad news (if you want to call it that) is that it is nearly impossible to sell ideas. I wish we could tell you that such companies (those that would buy unprotected ideas) exist, but we know of no one who buys ideas. The problem is that there are many people with lots of good ideas.

What should I do after I get a great idea?
Follow through!

Sounds like you need to...

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13595

6/01/13 12:27:52 PM#27
Originally posted by RollieJoe

There still seems to be a lack of distinction drawn between "designing" and "creating" perhaps due to vague word choice.  For any major MMO, hundreds of people with completely different skillsets are involved in the final product.   Voice actors, graphic artists, writers, network coders, sound design, etc. etc.

 

The point is that there is absolutely no reason to think that the person (or persons) contributing in the role of "game designer," in other words, the person(s) who are coming up with the core game principles, mechanics, features, rules, etc. need to be competent in a programming language.  It makes no more sense than requiring all your voice actors to be fluent in Javascript.  Furthermore, there's no reason to think that someone who is a very good programmer, efficient and knowledgeable when it comes to coding, would be a good game designer (we see the proof this is not the case on a weekly basis).

 

If I am a company looking to make an MMO, requiring my lead game designer to be able to program, or be a good voice actor, or be a talented 3D artist would be a ridiculous qualification.  The problem, as I stated, is that aside from past success, there is no way for a company to separate good potential game designers from bad ones.  And so in some cases they simply hire people with unrelated skills (such as coding) because they lack a better filter.

 

Again, the notion that in order to be a good game designer you need to be a good programmer is absurd.  However, if you actually want to be involved in making an MMO with no prior experience creating a successful game, then yes, in practice you likely need to learn how to program.  This won't make you a good game designer, but it will help your chances of getting hired to work on a game where, if you actually *are* a good game designer, that might be noticed. 

Let's suppose that Bob has the talent to be the best MMORPG designer who ever lived.  But Bob doesn't bother to learn any of the skills involved in actually making a game.  Nevertheless, an MMORPG company recognizes Bob's talent and hires him to be the lead game designer without asking him to learn any new skills.  What is likely to happen?

Bob will probably come up with some cool ideas that would be really great if implemented properly in an MMORPG.  Then the programmers or whoever he gives those ideas to will hand them back and say, "Computers cannot do this, this, this, this, or this."  Or perhaps not "cannot do" but merely "are really inefficient at".  Because Bob's ideas were so interlinked, learning that one is infeasible forces Bob to redo much of his game design.

Furthermore, Bob will struggle to communicate his ideas to the rest of the team.  In many cases, the easiest way to communicate exactly how you want game mechanics to work is to write source code or at least pseudocode.  One of the advantages of writing code yourself is that it forces you to fill in all of the details.  It's highly probable that, in trying to write source code, you'll realize that there are a lot of important factors that you simply hadn't considered.  You glossed over them in your head and can do so just as easily in a document written in English, but you can't skip details when writing source code.

If programmers are constantly handing things back to Bob asking for more details, Bob will probably get annoyed and frustrated with it.  If programmers just fill in the details themselves, they'll probably end up implementing a lot of things that aren't terribly close to what Bob had in mind.  Furthermore, English or any other natural language is often vague or ambiguous, so programmers will often interpret and implement things differently from what Bob meant, even where he did think he filled in the details.  Source code, on the other hand, is not ambiguous.

With no skills in programming, artwork, or anything else, Bob has no intuition about how much it will cost to implement various things.  A decent programmer will have some intuition about whether implementing something will take one man-hour or a thousand man-hours.  That intuition is imprecise, of course, and sometimes something that you thought would take ten man-hours ends up taking three or fifty.  But that sure beats Bob having no clue about how hard things are to implement.  Cost of implementation is a very important factor in game design, so Bob won't be able to prioritize, and his game will end up being very late, far over budget, and/or woefully incomplete at launch.

So what happens when the company hires Bob to be its lead game designer?  Bob mostly makes it harder for everyone else to do their jobs without contributing much value himself.  That's not a way to turn a profit.

-----

I'm not saying that Bob needs to be an elite programmer, or even a good enough programmer to be hireable as a programmer if he had no other skills.  But whoever is designing game mechanics needs some programming background, both to have some idea of what computers can do and how hard it is to get them to do it, and also to be able to communicate with the programmers who will have to implement things.

A game idea that would make for a really fun game if implemented, but is impossible to implement, is not a good game idea.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

6/01/13 12:36:31 PM#28
Originally posted by RollieJoe

If I am a company looking to make an MMO, requiring my lead game designer to be able to program, or be a good voice actor, or be a talented 3D artist would be a ridiculous qualification. 

It's a good thing no developer does that then. When hiring a lead game designer, developers commonly require the applicant have been a lead on a previous title (preferably a successful one) or released a title of their own. Other than that, such lead positions usually come from among the company's existing ranks.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Reklaw

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6168

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

6/01/13 12:43:43 PM#29

There is only one problem with this and that's who to say it is actually original?

OP seems to be an experienced gamer, meaning he also should know that many things are already thought up, made into concept but much of it never get's into a game and this is done by people with experience actually developing games.

In my mind I also believe to have the perfect MMORPG for everyone, but that's the thing in my mind everything works perfect, but in reality I am just a gamer (hobby-wise) my real life skills lay elsewhere. I have limited developing skills(little bit of maya/flash/C++), I do have a masters in sound-enginering. But have found my place in the retail clothing business.

Regardless, if OP really feels he has truly great idea's, and has actually worked out this idea on paper he has a better chance to try to get meetings with game-company's or send them basic concepts then expecting a developer or game company to come to him.

Anyway's ....good luck..

 

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

6/01/13 1:00:13 PM#30
Originally posted by Reklaw

Regardless, if OP really feels he has truly great idea's, and has actually worked out this idea on paper he has a better chance to try to get meetings with game-company's or send them basic concepts then expecting a developer or game company to come to him.

 

That's an important point right there, not just with a game idea, but with any idea. If a person claims to have "a truly unique, original, never been done style MMORPG concept" that they feel is "the key to next-generation MMORPG" and then shows no effort or ambition in pursuing it - no, posting a message on a random forum asking publishers to email you if they want a great idea is not a sign of effort or ambition - then that's a decent sign that either not much effort or ambition was put into creating whatever they have or they really don't have confidence in what they created. 

Which brings me to The Onion.

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  anemo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/24/10
Posts: 700

6/02/13 9:30:29 AM#31

Richard Garriott:

Early programmer, and developed his own programming courses while in school(where he made games).

Shigeru Miyamoto:

Artist, originally planned to do Manga.

John D. Carmack:

Early Programmer.

Will Wright:

Was originally going to be an Architect, and robot designer.  Got in through level design.

_____________

Just lamely googling and wikipedia-ing these people, damn do they do some interesting stuff(even before falling into cash).

Owning an aerospace company essentially from restarting a hobby going on the win the X Prize.   A professional dog breeder.   Eminent collectors, enough to be featured on specialty magazines and news(half those people there have done so).  Multiple cases of being a "wild child" or at least what would count as such now days.

Just gotta say good game designers make awesome stuff because they have real experiences to draw on.   

On a note it also proves that some of the best designers aren't programmers at all, or specialized in such.

Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

"There are still vast swaths of our planet's surface in which it's surprisingly easy to lose things. Even a ship the size of a large building." Richard Fisher

  User Deleted
7/15/13 12:34:10 PM#32
 I have a unique idea and only in my supervision it can be something great..

 

in other words you are looking for a job, i stumbled upon this thread by accident so im not sure if this is even active anymore so whatever here i go....having ideas is not enough you have to read and find out how you are able to build a working game concept around those ideas and since you are trying to get someone to notice this here is a usefull link if you are trying to get someone just interested

http://www.slideshare.net/shenerd/guide-to-creation-of-game-concept-document

 

as for me i have ideas too and believe it or not i started writing and i have 104 pages so far about the game and how it works in other words you are not the only one who wants to send their concept to developers but the chance that some one wants to actualy make a game out of it is even smaller, only way to be sure is to get into the industry and propose it to the producers yourself because thats what the current developers are doing

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