Solo or company?

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Marcelo_Orlando
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Solo or company?

#1 Post by Marcelo_Orlando » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:54 pm

I've been viewing the "recruit" section and I'm just curious, about something. This site is about renpy and VN making and we have a forum section just for people who would like help with their projects yet we have very few groups or companies here. I have noticed that some with friends on this forum get together and help each other with their project but most I've spoken to are making their games by themselves. Just wondering about that, I mean the recruit section stays busy so I'm just wondering why there aren't more groups here that stay together and make games. (More than one title)
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Re: Solo or company?

#2 Post by LVUER » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:13 am

There are, though all people in those groups is not all LSF people.
- Sake-bento have her Sake-visual. They made Jisei, Kansei, Re: Alistair, Cafe Cosplay. Jinsei and Kansei are commercial.
- Jack_Norton have his WinterWolves. Planet Stronghold, Remember Me, Vera Blanc series, Bionic Heart series are just a few of his game. All of them are commercial.
- Papillon have her Hanako Games. Cute Knight, Fatal Hearts, Date Warp, Magical Diary are just a few to name her game. Again, all of them are commercial.

I believe there are still lot of other groups here, it just I can't name them all ^_^
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Re: Solo or company?

#3 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:16 am

Because people are lucky to stay together for one title let alone stay together for more -.-'

VNs take a long time to make and so getting a group together for that long, handling different personalities and scheldules, reach compromises and avoiding arguments, all that is a massive feat. If any group stays together for longer than that, all I can say is they must like each other and have a good group dynamic. Everyone has to on the same page or it doesn't last very long.

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Re: Solo or company?

#4 Post by papillon » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:22 am

LVUER wrote:There are, though all people in those groups is not all LSF people.
- Sake-bento have her Sake-visual. They made Jisei, Kansei, Re: Alistair, Cafe Cosplay. Jinsei and Kansei are commercial.
- Jack_Norton have his WinterWolves. Planet Stronghold, Remember Me, Vera Blanc series, Bionic Heart series are just a few of his game. All of them are commercial.
- Papillon have her Hanako Games. Cute Knight, Fatal Hearts, Date Warp, Magical Diary are just a few to name her game. Again, all of them are commercial.

I believe there are still lot of other groups here, it just I can't name them all ^_^
.... Those aren't groups though. Hanako Games is effectively just *me*. I hire other people for individual projects - have I ever actually worked with the same artist from game to game? (Maybe I have, I lose track, but generally no.)

Jack and Sake have done some games together, Spiky and I have done some games together, Jack and Spiky and I have done a game together, but all of these were released under one or the other of our names and not under a consistent "this name means these collaborators" thing.

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Re: Solo or company?

#5 Post by DrakeNavarone » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:39 am

I've been a part of a group that's been going for four years now, and we've produced a number of titles together, as well as increased our ranks. I think there are a number of factors involved in why there doesn't *seem* to be as many groups as you imagine.

The most obvious is the time frame of the average vn. It's an art that takes time to craft, and I think a lot of the groups that have formed more recently are still working on their debut titles. Some of them haven't made a second vn yet simply because they're not done their first one. The gaps between works also affects the visibility of these groups. A group that finished something two or so years ago might not be so fresh in the mind when they just release their second title. It might not click immediately that "Oh yeah, they made one some time ago, too."

Visibility is a big factor in this as well. I think that a lot of more permanent groups might not feel the need to post in the forums as often. I know that's the case for us at Team BG. A lot of solo developers often look for feedback, and thus ask for it from the forums and the public. But when you're working with a tight-knit group of friends, especially those who you can speak openly and honestly with, you can bounce back ideas and opinions with each other on a much deeper level. It can only help further that you are all working on the same project. You don't have to hide anything and everybody is on the same page, so you don't have to talk around plot twists or explain how the scenario made it to a certain point. It goes without saying that the input from friends is gonna be the most important, and I imagine in many cases like my own, it becomes the only necessary input to keep going and make decisions.

There's also the one-man army approach. Many people do wanna see how much they can get done on their own. There's a pride and accomplishment in it that you might not get from working with a team. But it might also not be just a matter of pride or accomplishment. Back in early LSF days, a developer would try to undertake as much as they could up front in case a project didn't pan out, so as not to waste the efforts of another or a whole team. Maybe developers are still trying to shoulder as much of the burden as possible before recruiting help out of consideration.

Some might just have a single-minded focus on their own task at hand, too. Before I was part of a group, I would just write and write, trying to get something done. I didn't have a particular artist or sometimes art style in mind when I put the words down. I just needed to finish something first. I would push the other requirements out of mind until I had a finished script, or else the burden of the whole project just might crush me. There's just so much a mere mortal can handle.

Of course, I can only truly speak for myself. I might even be a little blind, having comfortably been a part of a circle for quite some time now. Perhaps I can no longer see doing it any other way. I know at first I definitely wanted to undertake as much as I could, especially writing-wise. Now, I even have a co-writer to help share the work. Although even now, I find myself every now and again wanting to solo-write a project. It depends on the idea and my current mood, mostly. As for Enerccio, though, it seems he's always willing to share. I haven't known him to not wanna co-write something as long as I've known him. It all just depends on the person, I guess...
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Re: Solo or company?

#6 Post by KomiTsuku » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:50 am

Except for the some freelancers who have worked with me on multiple projects and my two worthless assistants, I always work... 8) solo. IDHAS Studios hasn't broken up in the four years of existence, but it also only has a small core and a lot of external help. I really just don't have many good group experiences and prefer maintain a fair amount of autonomous control over the creation process. Unlike Drake, I've never had a single good circle that I've been a member of, so I will always keep a distance from additional permanent additions or working in collaborations.

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Re: Solo or company?

#7 Post by sake-bento » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:35 am

I like working with lots of different people, which is why it may not seem like I "stay" with anyone. Truthfully, though, I do stick with others who I get along with. I swear, Deji owns my heart by now.

Also, I think that groups that do exist just don't haunt LSF as much. 4LS and Dischan are both definitely groups, but they have their own sites and communities.

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Re: Solo or company?

#8 Post by jack_norton » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:45 am

I did most of my games "solo", hiring artists/writers. I really think if you have people you trust/know well, doing a game with a group can yield much better results than solo. At the same time though, if not all people are determined, it can slow you down or even lead to cancel the project (I have already 2 big 3d game project canceled because the coder quit :( )
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Re: Solo or company?

#9 Post by Deji » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:34 am

I'm Sake-bento's resident artist <3
I've also been part of a circle as assistant artist for the past 4-5 years now? We're just very reserved and don't hang around anywhere, really ^^;
Other than that, I get hired by Jack from time to time, and more recently I've started working for other people as well, but I'm not a part of their teams or companies.

Working in groups is more fun then working solo, imo. Also, you get peer pressure, while working solo you can just drop everything if you feel like it and never get anything done ^^; (happens to me all the time with my own projects xD; )
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Re: Solo or company?

#10 Post by Marcelo_Orlando » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:42 pm

Well that makes sense, I can see why a group or company would prefer to do things from their own site especially if they are looking to make money. Now I'm wondering have there been any groups to originate here in the forum? I personally think doing things in a group of like-minded people would be a lot more productive than going solo but I can understand why some may want to try and take on a project all by themselves.
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Re: Solo or company?

#11 Post by jack_norton » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:26 pm

I knew Hanako before even joining lemmasoft. Instead I've met sake and deji here in forums, and made flower shop (and flower shop: winter in fairbrook that will be out sometime before Christmas). I can say was very nice to work with both of them 8)
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Re: Solo or company?

#12 Post by Aleema » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:12 pm

Marcelo_Orlando wrote:Well that makes sense, I can see why a group or company would prefer to do things from their own site especially if they are looking to make money. Now I'm wondering have there been any groups to originate here in the forum? I personally think doing things in a group of like-minded people would be a lot more productive than going solo but I can understand why some may want to try and take on a project all by themselves.
Well, Happy Backwards is a group of peeps from the forum here. We were all working on RockRobin in some fashion and then we were all making deals to help each other with their projects and finally I was just like waitwaitwait, are we a VN group? And it turns out, yeah.

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Re: Solo or company?

#13 Post by DaFool » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:09 am

Never been part of a circle. Always worked solo or as a co-producer or contributor. Even with ongoing projects it's more on a 'need to have on board' basis. Of course the downside is that I can't book panels in anime conventions just to talk about my game -- then again, I'm glad that my focus has always been on the games themselves and getting the darn things produced with reliable people. Not in being the coolest or most popular.

I think if you form a doujin circle you tend to work on 'Type B' material that has easily merchandisable characters so you can sell artbooks. If you're like me and prefer 'Type A' materials, you tend to wanna make sure the work gets done with the best efforts regardless of the low budget.

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Re: Solo or company?

#14 Post by Marcelo_Orlando » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:51 pm

I see, I figured that there had to be at least two groups that were forums here and that's awesome. So mostly what is happening is these groups are laying in wait to produce their next big game, I can see how that would work. I was curious about that because I have noticed a group or two promoting their game here but I haven't heard a lot from groups in any other forum here if that makes sense. Now for those who are/have been in a group, is there a sort of chain of command? Of course I'm sure that there are people to do certain jobs but I'm also wondering is there a person who always comes up with the game to be made or is that something that involves everyone?

For those who said that work alone, what is your reason for this? Do you work better alone, or do you or have had creative differences that keep the project from being finished? I know that KomiTsuku had bad experiences working with groups anyone else? Any other reasons?
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Re: Solo or company?

#15 Post by jack_norton » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:19 pm

My main reason is that I found out most people lack motivation to finish anything, and in general you can count only on yourself. The videos below were 3d games that I was doing with some very good coders, and were very ambitious projects (luckily I didn't invest much money/time in them). The RPG is completely abandoned right now, while the boxing game... haven't heard from the coder since June.

And they were people with released games (including many top10 in portals) or pro freelancers with excellent reputation, and YET, they left the project. So basically the lesson is that if you want to be sure to finish something, is better if you learn to do it yourself :roll:
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