Welcome to How to Video Game and Make Money 5!
So I've gotten a few comments asking me to post another of these with some extra info, and here I am!
My group's devblog is here:[link]
From our various users:
---The planning stages are extremely important, especially from a programmer's perspective. Having unclear portions makes the game harder to program in your vision and will involve mountains of unnecessary editing! Write a clear doc!
---After you've figured out how the game is played, how does the game look? What screens are there? How do they work? What happens when you open the game? What happens when you press 'quit'? Are there sounds? Are there animations? What goes where?
---COMMUNICATION IS KEY. The moment you stop talking, or anyone on your game stops talking, that's the point where games start to die. Save ALL logs of IM conversations relevant to the game! (All of them. They will all have something you likely will not remember to include until later.)
---Try to parse out what sorts of files you will need to be programmed. Video? Music? Flash work? Work with your programmer to figure out what he needs and how flexible he can be based on the language you've chosen.
---This piece of advice was my favorite. "Get true believers, not clock watchers." Now, I believe that clock-watching is a good way to keep a game on some sort of schedule, as there are a million games that fail because of the mentality that 'it'll get done when it gets done'. However, you do not want that guy who ONLY works on one type of game in one genre and reluctantly decided to help you cause you begged him. He will never, ever do anything outside of what he feels like, some of which may be useful and most of which will likely not be. In general, avoid the hell out of people who are clearly lackluster, who don't bother to ask questions or look up information or anything. You want the person who is INSTANTLY excited and already thinking up ideas.
In addition, avoid people who are obviously talking about things they don't know much about. The amount of people who can create and program a professional looking game all by themselves are practically non-existent, and anyone who is too lazy to ask specific questions on things they don't know will be just as lazy when it's time to work. You WILL know when someone is interested...they make themselves immediately available and will have ideas right off the bat.
If there's a guy who needs to "think" about it or tells you to "come back at X time" and never asked a question, they're never going to do anything. Ever. Move swiftly along.
---It's never, ever worth it to listen to that one potential buyer on what they want. What they want does not necessarily equal what the general group wants. Listening to them can kill your game.
Next up: MUSIC!