Seriously, back in high school... I was reaaallyy bored
There was a game called Liero.
2 players sat next to each other on one computer and played against each other as little battle worms. The game was fast, tons of blood, lots of weapons, it was extremely fun and addictive. We played this game for the entire duration of high school. Computer programming and making games was also a hobby of mine back then. I wanted to make a game like this.
But why limit yourself to 2 players? Why not have the entire class play against each other. Or why not have the entire WORLD compete against each other over the internet? THOUSANDS of people playing simultaneously.
So this idea became...
Soldat A game that I created by myself in my bedroom... I mean my office. I made it in my free time and I never expected it to become a hit.
Soldat is about multiple people playing as little soldiers fighting against each other.
It's about fast action, shooting, explosions,
Blood, teamplay, competivness,
The game was launched in 2002 without any marketing and quickly grew.
This year the game had at least 0.5 millions players.
My DREAM was to have the whole world playing this. And it happened. The game was featured in ALL gaming website, magazines, cover CDs, it's been on TV in Poland and UK.
The game was featured in all gaming website, magazines, cover CDs, it's been on TV in Poland and UK.
It's been on a UK TV station G4TV and on Polish station 4funTV.
An interesting thing I didn't predict was that on top of the game grew a community of players.
And these players not only play the game but make modifications for the game and tools.
For example an astro-galactic Soldat.
Tools for gathering killing statistics.
A tool for making and modifying maps.
Soldat comics and much much more.
People organize LAN parties, which are not typical parties but a gathering of people that sit in one room and play games. And also world-wide or local tournaments.
I have some pictures. If you look closely there is a girl there playing my game.
2 years ago I was at a fan meeting in Poznan. We got to meet each other in reality, played Soldat,
These are my groupies.
And that old woman too...
But pleasure aside... Lets talk about business. You're probably wondering how much money do I make on this. I made this game available for free download on the internet. So nobody has to pay me for it. Do you think I am making a living out of it?
Soldat to this day earned me about 92000$. I think this is a lot for a free game. You can't find this game on shelf in a shop. The only thing I sell right now is an upgraded version of the game and T-Shirts.
What is the future of making games?
Especially in times of recession. I think games is one of the few industries that provide income in times of depression. People have a tendency to spend money on entertainment to cheer themselves up after a loss on the stock market.
Statistics back this up. October this year the sales for the game industry went up 18%.
And 3 weeks ago a new expansion pack came out for world of warcraft and it broke record for all-time one-day sales.
Whats is the future for me? Soldat gathered some attention, not only from regular player but from players with ambition and talent. And a few of these people said, hey you're cool I want to create games with you. And they e-mailed me and we started working with each. Soon we created a group, which we called...
Transhuman Design. The TD is not a typical game company. We are a team of visionares planning to dominate the world with quality entertainment.
I'll use a metal band analogy to explain what my idea is. A metal band is a gathering of a few talented individuals that want to create something of value. They go into a recording studio make an album, this takes them about a year, and then go on tour which takes them another year.
It's the same with us. But instead we gather to make great games. This is my team. The funny thing is I only met one person from this list in reality. The rest is located around the world and we communicate only through Internet. Sigvatr is from Australia, he's my partner, very famous person btw. Ryan, our server administrator, he's from Chicago. Ruben from UK is getting us money by talking with advertisers and investors.
There are other people connected with us. Mostly people from the Soldat community. EneScE from Australia, he's maintaining the whole Soldat code right now. Sable from Germany fights hackers. Anna, yes she's a girl from Canada, does map tools for Soldat.
Just like a metal band we have fans.
I want all our games to be free. And we'll make money by different means than selling the game itself.
The majority doesn't pay any money. They play the game and make it popular. This is how I do advertising. Players advertise the game itself.
But there is a small group of loyal fans that support us by paying money.
What are we doing?
We are doing 3 new games right now. Link-Dead which is aspiring to be a work of art in game design.
Berserker which is realistic fighting game.
Hunter-Killer which is a top-secret project, an idea that was never done before.
We're making a social community website where all players will gather in one place, exchange ideas on forums, meet for tournaments, see rankings and statistics.
What are the problems with making games?
Well there are only problems.
Maybe I'll tell you what I learned. I started making this game alone 5 years ago and I am not that person today.
I learned how to build teams over the internet. How to build communities. How to gather people around an idea and let them do things for the community. I learned how to meet demands of 1000's of people. Set a goal and then meet it. I learned how to deal with evil people like hackers that try to destroy your project and rob you of your money. All of this I didn't learn from books, I wouldnt know where to find that information! I had to trust my guts. The power is within you. Call it instincts, or your potential..
So you want to make computer games? In the beginning I didn't have anything but an interest in making computer games. I didn't expect to make something popular. I didn't have plans to make money or make a living out of this. It all happened unexpectedly. I had to really think on my feet when it happened. This was one of the most important things. Nothing will prepare you for reality. You must face it every day with a fresh mind.
It's not all fun and games. There will be problems and you'll have to face them. If you want to do anything meaningful in life you WILL encounter obstacles. You must be willing to push through these obstacles, with all of your focus, all your intelligence, all your heart. Making games is one of the most difficult endeavors a man can put himself into. It requires knowledge and skills of engineering, programming, art, painting, music, and you have to combine that, and make it play and be fun. You must have extreme problem solving skills, creativity, emotional intelligence (because you must feel how the game will be played), social intelligence (because you must know what people want). But the reward for doing this is that all other problems in life seem very simple in comparison. Big Problems like the meaning of life are funny at most.
If you want to create something of value, make it a game or any other kind of creative project, maybe a startup, a website or a new company. Maybe you just want to make a 1000000$ dollars. You MUST a have a grand purpose. In my opinion money is not enough of motivation to make you work on your dream for years, constantly, day after day. There are easier ways of getting that money and you'll fall for it. I think you must really LOVE what you are doing. Not only the end result, but the actual work itself, the things you do everyday, minute after minute. Find your purpose, what you would love doing and then pursue it. I want to make the best game ever, ever created. Why? Because it's fun, cause games make people happy. If 1 million people play my game and smile 10 times. That's 10 million smiles. And that energy, they bring it back to me. And that makes ME happy..
Soldat 2D multiplayer game and business
2D Multiplayer Game & its future a presentation by Michał Marcinkowski
Eric Vaughn “Sigvatr” Michał Marcinkowski “MM” James Kojac “Synsynth” Ryan Rawdon “FliesLikeABrick” Ruben Kostucki “Pepito” Engine & game design Graphic & game design Sounds & music Server & website administrator Sales & marketing
Chris Tolliday “Gheft” Nick Cooper “EnEsCe” Bastian Suter “Sable” Lee Bradley “Elephant Hunter” Anna Zajaczkowski “Anna” Tools programmer Soldat programmer Anti-Hacker System Web designer Tools programming
What I learned <ul><li>Building teams over Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Getting people to like you & what you're doing </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating with 1000's of people </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with the forces of evil </li></ul><ul><li>Selling and marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Trusting your guts </li></ul>