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Comment Four ways to turn your concept into a video game: (Score 5, Informative) 351

Four ways to turn your concept into a video game:

4. Create a polished game and approach (or be approached by) an established studio. Also known as the Portal approach. Also the flOw approach. "Sony Computer Entertainment approached some future members of thatgamecompany after seeing Cloud and asked them to form a company and signed them on to make three downloadable games for the PlayStation 3. Cloud ended up being a game that wouldn't be possible for a company as small as thatgamecompany to make, so they made flOw instead. thatgamecompany was created on May 15th, 2006."

3. Work your way up in one or more established studios towards the role of game designer. The American McGee approach. "McGee began his career at id Software. He worked on such games as DOOM, Doom II, Quake, and Quake II in the areas of level design, music production, sound effects development, and program coding. In 1998, he moved to Electronic Arts, where he worked as a consultant on many projects and also created his own game, American McGee's Alice." Mind you, that can be the long route, assuming you're even successful.

2. Work with an independent group of hobbyists and promise to split the profits once you make money. This is difficult to pull off, because contributors lose interest when things become difficult. This is enough of a problem that I'd rather have one paid contractor with modest abilities than a dozen unpaid contributors with spectacular abilities. Blech.

1. Establish your own company and finance development as a third party. Many small developers bootstrap with smaller projects in niche or new markets, eventually working their way up towards larger ones. The iPhone is potentially an awesome way to get your title out there. Start by developing a finished game that's small in scope, and demonstrates the very core concepts of your idea. Rinse. Repeat.

My favorite is, of course, to take #1 and run with it. Tighten your belt, and pay a contractor with good references to help you bring your idea to light on the platform where the competition is still pretty weak, and the barrier to entry is low. That was the Palm Pilot during late '90s, and is probably something like WiiWare or the iPhone now.

Good luck!
Role Playing (Games)

Spore, Mass Effect DRM Phone Home For Single-Player Gaming 900

Tridus writes "The PC version of Mass Effect is going to require Internet access to play (despite being a single-player game), as its DRM system requires that it phone home every 10 days. Sadly, Spore will use the same system. This will do nothing to stop piracy of course, but it will do a heck of a good job of stopping EA's new arch-enemy: people playing their single player games offline." Is this better or worse than requiring a CD in the drive to play? Update: 05/07 17:17 GMT by T : According to a message from Technical Producer Derek French (may require a scroll-down) on the Bioware forums, there is indeed an internet connection required, but only for activation, not for all future play. Update: 05/08 04:10 GMT by T : Mea culpa. As reader David Houk points out, the 10-day window is in fact correct as initially described, so don't count on playing this on any machine without at least some Internet connectivity.

Submission + - NASA, Russia test sex in space (guardian.co.uk) 1

azuredrake writes: According to The Guardian, both NASA and the Russian space agency have tested the feasibility of sex in space with human astronauts as the so-called "guinea pigs". While the purpose behind this research was to ascertain whether families could be sent on colonization missions together in zero-g, it's still amusing to think that two humans were sent up into space with government funding to copulate repeatedly on video. Of course, leave it up to the American government to come up with a mission codename like "STS:XX".

Submission + - Japan to fingerprint all foreign visitors (bbc.co.uk)

azuredrake writes: According to the BBC, Japan's government is planning to fingerprint and photograph all visiting foreigners beginning on November 20th of this year. As support for the controversial programs, the country's justice minister has said "a friend of a friend" was a member of al-Qaeda who had visited the country illegally several times and had been involved in one of the bombings in Bali. While this seems more like political suicide than a convincing argument to violate the privacy of all visiting foreigners, the program itself is interesting. If it succeeds, other countries would surely follow suit, leading to a vast national database of fingerprints and photographs of travelers.

Submission + - Robotics goes open source (zdnet.com)

azuredrake writes: ZDNet reports on a Silicon Valley company named Willow Garage which is attempting to foster an open-source community to advance the field of robotics. Among other projects, the company is working on an autonomous, solar-powered boat for ocean research, and a car capable of driving itself through traffic situations and self-parking. The novel aspect to this company, however, is that it's a privately owned company which seems more interested in advancing its field of study than in turning a quick profit. Whether or not this proves a viable business model remains to be seen, but they seem to have the potential to revolutionize the field of personal robotics.

Submission + - Madonna signs on to new distribution paradeigm (bbc.co.uk)

azuredrake writes: Following Radiohead's recent departure from traditional music distribution, as well as Trent Rezner's escape from his label, Madonna has just signed on to "all-in-one" publishing deal with underdog label Live Nation. Under this novel contract, Madonna will leave the record company which she has been with for the entirety of her 25 year career in the music industry after the publication of her final record for Warner Music in 2008. Says Madonna, "The paradigm in the music business has shifted and...I have to move with that shift.

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