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r1ft Gaming Blog

A mirror of my gaming blog at The jaded game designer turned corporate lackey. Feedback is always welcome.

Author: Daedren

I Blog! Hire me to make a MMO!

Posted by Daedren Friday March 28 2008 at 8:50AM
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With the recent influx of writers and bloggers (are those the same thing?) talking about upcoming games such as Warhammer Online and Age of Conan, I've seen quite a few comments regarding people having "good ideas" and wanting to work in the gaming business.

stickman.gifI'm going to try to take a constructive and productive approach here instead of pointing out that most people that do this sound like little whiny bitches. I read stuff all the time like "They should give ME X $USD to develop an MMO! I'd do it right!" and "I have all these great ideas - if only I could develop them..." -- here's a tip: if you haven't done the legwork to even research on how getting these ideas developed, you fail. Wait - I just pointed out that they sound like whiny bitches, when I said I wouldn't. Damn!

Attention to readers and other writers: if you think that you can copy and paste news from another site, put some witty comments on it along with pick apart some game mechanics and expect someone to stumble across this and exclaim "Wow, this guy has some good thoughts. Perhaps we should hire him!" -- you are wrong. Not only is it extremely difficult to get hired as a Dev from the outside, there is fierce inside competition for them. My experiences working for Blizzard were complicated because I was working for their EU branch in Paris: but even there, even mentioning you were potentially going to look at going into game development was enough to get snickers from people that had worked there for a while.

On to the constructive part. Here is the deal: if you want to get into the gaming development business, you have to work your ass off. If you really are interested, take a look at Sloperama's excellent advice to doing this. It's a serious reality check, so be warned. Highlights include:

How do you go about getting it made? First step: write the game design yourself. Then you can either make the game yourself (DIY) or use the design to get a job as a game designer (DIFTI).

apartingshot.jpgWriting a game design is a huge task. It's all like... business-like and stuff. You need models and graphs and projections and tabbed sections and concept art. Even then, when you pour your life into it for months or years: chances are, no one will buy it. The most you can hope for is using it in your portfolio to get some sort of position in a design company. Or you can do it all yourself - and venturing to make a game yourself, much less an MMO - the beast of them all - is no small task.

Anyway, there is a nearly epic amount of steps and things you need to do to really get in the market. A basic outline is:

- Transfer your idea from your beaner to paper - make a real game design document.

- Apply for jobs in the game industry, even lowly ones like QA testing and level designing.

- Learn the process of making a video game. Really, really learn it. All the steps. Not just the idea step.

- If you don't want to work for a game design company, prepare to go indy. You should either be rich or have some sort of useful skill in making a game - coding, modelling, AI / level design, etc. Oh, and if you're heading this project up, make sure you at least know about all these things from a project management level.

- Be prepared for long hours, not being appreciated for your work, and bad job security. Such is life in the gaming industry.

If you read through the above site, you might be thinking to yourself that MMO design and development isn't like this old-school type stuff, console games and the likes. That's correct - it's not like it - and it's considerably harder to make, plan, design or get hired to be a part of a MMO. The problem with MMO's is that they are very expensive to develop - practical behemoths - that have many layers in development that a normal game won't have. MMO might be the "buzz" on the gaming street, persay, but with recent failures such as Vanguard and Tabula Rasa, investors and companies are becoming even more skeptical in developing them.

On a more positive note - the purpose of this article isn't to try and say you can't do it. Hell, I don't know you. Maybe you can. The purpose was to hopefully educate you - and the above link will most certainly do that. Once you're educated on how the process works, you can move on and start doing stuff. It's a long, difficult process. The good news is, though - if you're a hardcore MMO player, you already have the time to do such a thing like creating a game design document and/or learning valuable game design skills like coding or graphic design. You might have to jump off the level / item / raid treadmill of whatever MMO you're playing. If you don't have the metal to do that, then you're not cut out for the game design industry.

For the love of God, though - stop with the whiny altruistic attitude of hidden game design gurus stuck in a normal day job, blogging by night and just waiting to be found so they can revolutionize the world of gaming. The MMO world needs more creativity and original ideas - it's getting the idea down and convincing the corporate idiots that it's good that's the hard part.

This article originally appeared on and is posted at with permission from the author(s).

daanrack writes:

Hi, i have an MMORPG Maker Engine. I am good at Coding, scripting, making 3D Models and making music.

I am very interested and yes, i can afford all the things that we need to buy.

I have a german server which holds up to 5,000 players.

Fri Mar 28 2008 12:37PM Report
Arioc writes:

A-friggin-men! Thank you for saying it! On the flipside, it's prolly cynical and mean of us to crush the dreams of every 9 year old who posts on a blog, heck when I was 9 I wanted to make my own game too.

Fri Mar 28 2008 5:01PM Report
zergwatch writes:

So what you're saying is.. The MMO industry has gone stale and needs new creative talent.  So anybody who says they have new ideas should STFU because the industry already has what it needs.

Interesting logic seeing as none of us have seen anything creative in this genre in quite some time.    Bloggin is web 2.0.  Perhaps you've heard of it.  It is a medium that gives everyone a voice.. even those who perhaps should not be using their voice.   I don't see what the problem is with a free exchange of ideas.     Your article would have been ok if you lost all the "My blog idea is better than your blog idea" nonsense.

The bottom line is the industry doesn't need talented programmers and artists, it seems to have enough and those are the entry level positions in the field.  The industry needs more creative thinkers and unfortunately those positions are held for higher up the food chain and you can't get a job just because you have an idea.

If you have an idea and the money, then of course you can start your own company.  If you just have an idea, the only outlet is the internet, blogs and forums and hope somebody at least hears.. but we know there is nobody listening.

Fri Mar 28 2008 5:38PM Report
Jimmy_Scythe writes:

I gotta agree with zergwatch.

Not only did you come off as needlessly antagonistic, but you totally ignored the fact that there's nothing stopping five guys with a compiler and a copy of blender from making a small game and aiming at a niche market.

Think of it like a garage band. There are plenty of guys that have day jobs but play for cash at bars on the weekend. They do it because they like to do it and have enough money to cover expenses. Same thing with indie gaming.

Although, I will agree that you should, at the very least, make a game by yourself before you start looking for others to join you. Even something as trivial as Tetris can be a challenge to complete beginner.

Fri Mar 28 2008 8:34PM Report
vajuras writes:

"For the love of God, though - stop with the whiny altruistic attitude of hidden game design gurus stuck in a normal day job, blogging by night and just waiting to be found so they can revolutionize the world of gaming. The MMO world needs more creativity and original ideas - it's getting the idea down and convincing the corporate idiots that it's good that's the hard part."

Ever wonder just maybe some of the bloggers you speak of are probably already employed by a game development studio? There's a lot of industry vets around that like to keep a low profile for instance.

There are also a lot of bloggers that choose to just go annonymous because they dont want people thinking their personal blogs are "hints" about the features the titles they are working on will have.

Fri Mar 28 2008 9:41PM Report
grimfall writes:

Hasn't Bioware had an open application up for designers for the last 12 months, no experience required?

Sat Mar 29 2008 2:19PM Report
Daedren writes:

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I don't write an article like this and expect everyone to come in and give a big group hug. Here are my thoughts on some of your responses:

@zergwatch: I never said people should STFU. I said people should STFU when they have some sort of idealistic attitude of "my ideas are the best!" and yet have no idea or motivation to actually do something about it.

"Bloggin is Web 2.0" - thanks for the update.

Your mentality of Blogging / Forums / Internet being "the medium" to actually put game ideas into play is absolutely wrong. While I agree that the "Internets" are a good social medium, and you can communicate anything, it's just not possible to actually use your ideas and start making a game unless you actually do stuff. This fictional scenario where HR departments read forums / blogs / whatever and hire because of that is bullshit. Even if a person did contact you, they'd want to see your portfolio probably - or at least ask you questions about what you know about game development. Writing crap on forums doesn't help your knowledge there - actually doing stuff does.

Lastly: "The industry needs more creative thinkers..." -- No, it doesn't. This statement here really proves your ignorance of the gaming and MMO industry. Everyone has an idea and they all think it's the greatest. The statement would be better as "The industry needs more dedicated people with creative ideas that can market them properly and lead a game design team".  If you can't even get off your ass to make Tetris by yourself (Indy Garage Game Dev) or some other small project, you can't cut it in the real gaming industry.

@Jimmy_Scythe: Absolutely true about the small game and indy development. Even this, though, requires people to not just talk the talk but actually do something about it.

@vajuras: Perhaps some, but I'd say that over 95% of the bloggers here at and elsewhere don't work in the gaming industry. For the real blogs, I often look at about / contact info to see who the people are that are writing.


Sun Mar 30 2008 3:53AM Report
chillsan writes:

Great blog post! It should be said, and thanks to you I've spent the last 2 days following link after link from that Sloperama site mostly for my own emuducation lol. I went to lesson #24 and saw alot of truths, the whole thing is great including the study and other areas. Critical self analysis is sometimes very important before thinking we know everything. I sure know I don't, so I think this was very informative.

Sun Mar 30 2008 5:14AM Report
Daedren writes:

Glad you enjoyed it, chillsan. It can be a bit overwhelming - it doesn't help the author is a bit of a cynic - but all in all, an excellent resource.



Mon Mar 31 2008 5:26AM Report
vajuras writes:

"Perhaps some, but I'd say that over 95% of the bloggers here at and elsewhere don't work in the gaming industry. For the real blogs, I often look at about / contact info to see who the people are that are writing."

Did you ask them do they work in the industry? Did you conduct a poll? There is no way to know for sure unless you ask. And which blogger was this aimed at specifically?

Not to mention I really dont think game devs ideas carry more weight then the works I see around here usually. Theres a few blogs by well known authors and all their ideas are pretty much 95% cloned from World of Warcraft almost verbatim

Sat Apr 05 2008 12:58AM Report
vajuras writes:

btw, was some very good points here I forgot to add it was a good read that kept my attention...

Sat Apr 05 2008 1:11AM Report
araczynski writes:

but what if i really DO have a great idea and I DON'T do/read blogs? am i screwed twice over? ;)

Tue Apr 08 2008 8:23AM Report writes:
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