6 people full time + 12 months = 1 game (3D "point and click" adventure game like "Life is Strange") - possible?

Is it possible to develop a 3D “point and click adventure game” (think of Life is Strange, Syberia (the last two ones who are in 3D), Detroit Become human (with way less of production value of course), the newer Sherlock Holmes games… Etc. I think you get the picture.

Game Characteristics:

    • 3D “point and click adventure”(like Life is Strange, Syberia, Detroit Become Human, Sherlock Holmes games…) etc.
    • Unreal Engine
    • “Deduction mechanism” (like in all new “detective” adventure games (agatha christie poirot games, Sherlock Holmes etc.), otherwise pretty much standard adventure games mechanisms, nothing special, no “extra hard to develop” game mechanisms planned…
    • PC platform (steam)
    • 8 hours of gameplay (approximately)
    • Really no real “story or choice” branching at all (NO “Detroit become human”, NO “Dark pictures Anthalogy”), rather a linear experience.
    • Heavy useage of various bought “pre-made” assets (3D, “code” etc.) to speed up and “cheapen” development
    • Fully english voice acted (of course)

6 people payed full time (experienced people (at least one title shipped)) + externists (sound, music, voice acting, translation etc.) , 12 months of development

    • One programmer (not just blueprints) experienced in Unreal Engine
    • One Level Designer in Unreal engine. - Im not sure about this, but he might partially be also doing “3D Generalists stuff” because im not sure he needs 12 months for the work, i think he should be able to finish all the “maps” (locations) sooner than 12 months… But im not sure about this point…(any map makers out there…?)
    • One 3D Animator ( we will use Mocap and probably Facial capture as well, so he will have way less work because of this) i assume that he should finish the work in half the time (6 months instead of 12, so the remaining 6 months im planning to use him as a 3D generalist (or hire dedicated 3D generalist instead of him for the remaining 2nd 6 months of development).
    • 1st 3D Graphic Designer - Character Artist specialization - We will use “easier” solutions for characters -Metahuman, Character Creator etc. Im not planning to sculpt a lot of characters from “nothing”/beggining. The same goes for clothing. We will try to use “easier” “pre-made” solutions, but some brand new work in Marvelous Designer will be probably still needed. Still again, im somewhat “confident” he can finish all the characters because of this sooner than in 12 months, so in the “free time”, im planning to use him also as a “3D generalist”…
    • 2nd 3D Graphic Designer - “Generalist” (Props, Enviroments etc.)
    • 3rd 3D Graphic Designer - “Generalist” - myself. Although because i will be doing all the other stuff around the project , im planning I might be able to allocate only like 50% of my time (at most, probably even less) to 3D graphics itself…

So 6 “experienced” (at least one title shipped i would like from them to have) people, full time, 12 months…

Its HARD to predict of course but according to me, it COULD and SHOULD be possible/doable to make this game…?

2 things im a bit worried:

1st) Is only one programmer sufficient…? But again, we are talking about basically a “point and click adventure” (in 3D) … I just cannot see why one (experienced) programmer that can buy/use all the “code” from unreal engine marketplace he wants, should have a problem with that… Im not building the next AI (ChatGPT), im building a “frickin” “point and click adventure” game (basically) in 3D…
2nd) Im not sure if I have enough of 3D graphic designers… I have one dedicated Generalist, then me (0,5x time generalist), thats “1 and a half” (1,5) 3D generalist… Than i have a dedicated 3D character artists… I really assume that he should be able to finish with all the character stuff way sooner than in 12 months and thus should help with 3D generalist stuff. The same goes for the 3D animator… Im not sure about the Unreal Engine Level/map editor guy though… He might need all those 12 months…?

So… whats your experience, tips, predictions, oppinions… Do you think its a reasonable number of people (6 full time guys) and development time (12 months) for such game…?

(Also if anybody has any links, articles etc. about how much time each game genre takes to develop, or simply some writtings/info in this direction i would be glad to read it, i wasnt able to find much (nothing really) in this specific issue of gamedev)…?


It completely depends on the people and how you scope it.

A single relative noob could do it in one year while five pros might fuss and fight and never make any decisions. Of course it can go the other way as well. There is no hard measurement anybody can say, what works for one team may not for another because there are too many variables.

The biggest thing is leadership and having a solid methodology for decision making and time management - less so technical skills. Lack of tech skills can be worked around to some degree, but if there isn’t leadership skills it won’t be finished, no matter how much persistence and passion.

I’d say, yes of course it is possible. But if you want to be a serious contender, focus on building the team first, and do that by making a game you can finish in 1-3 months. Do that several times until you can read each others minds and making games is easy, then start planning out a real game and getting money involved.

(also “throw away” games that can be made in a month can earn real money too, even if you aren’t meaning to)

edit: also, no offense, but if you don’t have a clue about making games, you won’t be a good leader for it, and I’d bet a lot of money on it failing. You definitely need a manager who knows whats involved in making games.

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