Can an idea have value without programming? [MMORPG]

As I ask in the title, can an idea have value without programming?
For be more clear , I meant if someone write point by point how the game should be (Lore,game modes,economy,pvp etc) but he does not know how to program what should he do to accomplish his project? I know this question can sound so stupid I’m just curious about that.

That’s the issue with the Idea Guy thing, ideas aren’t usually worth much since people all have ideas. If all you have is an idea and can’t work on the actual game alongside the programmers/artists that you’re looking to recruit then the project won’t happen. Even then, unless you have funding it’s very difficult to make a game happen, there’s literally hundreds of projects like that in the recruitment section that have gone nowhere.
Wanting to make an MMO is also a big issue.

And then what if you pay a devs team to program your idea? (thank you for the fast response)

It’s a very good question Nico, one of the best answers I’ve seen is from a guy called derek severs: Ideas are just a multiplier of execution | Derek Sivers

The fact that you’re even asking it instead of insisting that ideas are more valuable than execution is very healthy.

Like a winning lottery ticket it does happen but its rare, see Brendan “Playerunknown” Greene:

Writing point by point when you can’t create anything, rarely holds any value to those who know lots…
The reason is execution is everything! Lots of people with ideas think their ideas hold value though!

Ninja’d on that link by Simon…

Hey Simon, speaking of ideas, when are we going to see Eden realized? :stuck_out_tongue:

As someone who once asked this question myself, I will tell you the truth. No, just having an idea has no value whatsoever. The only thing that has value in game development are skills that can be used to finish a game. Don’t get your hopes up listening to anyone who tells you otherwise, and especially don’t lie to yourself.

I’ll give you some advice that I hope you take, but you probably won’t for years. Don’t do what I did and waste your time believing you can be the idea guy. Learn valuable skills, release games, do something, anything but waste your time writing a 100 page MMORPG design document that will sit in your Google Docs for the rest of your life. I know coming up with game ideas is fun, and I too still frequently brainstorm awesome WoW-killer game ideas and bust out 20 page docs in a day because I love doing it. However, just know that will get you nowhere. You will end up like me, looking back on the past 10 years since you started dreaming about making games and having absolutely nothing to show for it.

Keep coming up with game ideas because it’s fun, and who knows, maybe someday you will bring it to life! But always ALWAYS focus most of your time on learning skills and making things. If you do you’ll wake up one day as an artist, or programmer, or whatever you want to be, and you’ll be able to look back on this post and smile.

You sound young, but so far you’re asking the right questions. Good luck!

Simple answer? No.

Developing games is 90% execution.

If you can afford to hire a complete team, including an experienced producer to manage the project, then you can call yourself the ideas guy and probably learn the hard (expensive) way that ideas are cheap. The closest actual role to an ideas guy is probably Creative Director but that is much more about molding the organic mass of creativity and ideas coming out of the whole team into a coherent whole, and is only something you learn through a lot of experience.

If you have the money to pay a development team then that’s a different matter–you could still fail but you have a much better chance of success. But by having the money I mean that you can pay the required amount of people a reasonable salary, not royalties and not a few hundred dollars.

Problem with ideas is that a lot of them are seemingly very easy to implement (code in game) and later turn out to be almost impossible to code. If you do not have previous experience with coding similar game, most of your ideas are probably wrong (or rather quite noobish).

First example i thought of(from many mmos i played):
Lets make coins have weight in inventory. Sounds cool. But in Everquest it was fun (or not so fun) way to troll new players. People gave them 1 gold in copper coins. That was 10000 coins, weight of those exceeded carry limit for new characters. Also to drop that coins one neede to do a lot of clicking.

My point is that even great idea may be ruined by some unforseen side effects. And without real experience you will just not know.

Yeah, that’s called a lead designer. lol. Seriously, though. You don’t need to program to make a game. You do need to have an understanding of the craft to at least know who and how to ask for help. Also, you need to be able to motivate others to your vision. That’s how leadership works.

“The Ideas Guy” is generally also known as “The Money Guy” because they bring nothing to a team. I would say that most ideas are just slight spins of whats already been done. I would love to see an “Innovation Guy”, that guy would be worth his weight in gold. Ideas, worth nothing. As the CEO of my company, i hire people. I am the financial guy. I pay others to complete the work for me. I can have a million ideas, and, honestly, my lead programmer shoots most of them down lol.

Anyone can have ideas, you don’t get paid to think unless you are the one doing the paying.

I love you for the EverQuest memory of “coins have weight”. Great example of “good idea, bad execution”. I miss EQ …

Ugh, don’t even get me started on that pile of fail. Only reason we see that game, and, i noticed its not mentioned in the article, or, by you, is that titles success lies mainly on the company that holds the keys. The Korean company that makes TERA owns pubg. [TABLE]’s_Battlegrounds_Steam_Logo.jpg/220px-PlayerUnknown’s_Battlegrounds_Steam_Logo.jpg


Brendan Greene

Chang-han Kim

Brendan Greene

Unreal Engine 4

Battle royale


Not a fan of it, but, aggravating when people state its an indi game. I mean, its like saying “an ideas guy is important, otherwise how would WOW exist?!” Sure if you have millions of production dollars being spent, fine, but, its not like Brandon made it himself with the long hours with 2 jobs and countless time solo-programming and hiring others. He had an entire company funding it while he directed it.

On of the issues with pure ideas is that normally they don’t stand ground when execution starts. You can spend years on planning/designing but unless you have significant experience in development/design behind your back, you won’t be able to predict all possible issues with your idea and design to solve them. Meaning that even if you have money to finance whole enterprise and you can find talented people to work on it, your idea just might be not practical or actually fun when it all is assembled together. This is why it takes years to make a good game. Part of that time is making a content, which might be thrown away or rebuild as you have to change mechanics of the game when certain things just don’t work. The other part is watching how your game works and analyzing what is good / not good in its design or execution.
If you want to ever get into industry professionally, don’t start with a MMO, start with something like BomberMan, It might look simple but it’s not. With easier to use engine, like GameMaker you could get a taste for what it takes to make even a simple game fun. I’m not saying this because “making good games is hard” but because before designing an “economy for MMO” you have to learn what “designing” actually means.

My gosh…I can’t imagine spending hours of work and money on your game only to find out that your idea sucked and your game is in-fact not fun. That would be a nightmare. I guess that’s why you should prototype your ideas as early as possible. Take them one at a time, and test them before implementing them completely in detail.

Did anybody ever play that game Jaws? That game I think is an example of what seemed like a good idea, but in execution did not quite work out. It was kind of fun for the first 30 minutes of game play. After that, it was awful. I wanted my money back.

Jaws was a DISASTER hahaha.

Piggybacking on the same idea. What about the enthusiastic guy? I posted a thread on the level design sub forum but I guess its being approved.
But basically my question boiled down to “Is there a tutorial that allows me to make a continent the size of Skyrim through world machine and a software that allows me to procedurally generate the paint (from textures to objects) to areas of my choosing”
I mean all I have is a vision and a drive to do it. Even if all I want to do on this continent is just walk around it is still a difficult task with no clear guideline.

Forget pubg, look beyond that: The thread is about the power (or lack of) ideas. So what made all this happen…

What was it about Greene / his ideas? Was Is it all down to the mod community that got behind him?

The MSM present this as a true rags to riches story (Greene claims he was a black sheep loser dropout etc).
So which is it: Is this all just clever marketing / pretend fairy-tale, or did Greene’s ideas really hit a home run?

Anyone on here, ever play either of the 2 other mods / follow Greene or hear of him before all this?
Sure its annoying that PUBG gets called Indie / Greene gets Indie credit, but he did something right before…
How else would he have gotten those 2 other key opportunities before, long before PUBG got released etc…

I see your point. Looping this back to the OP …
The ideas guy, in this case, pubg, already had a mod of the same game. he just made it in to a stand-alone game. Was he an “ideas” guy tho? Nah, he was a modder. Futher, he was the guy behind the H1Z1 King of the Kill (aka pre-pubg). So i mean, its not that he knows nothing, he just has an entire company to back him now.

TLDR: ideas guys need to be able to pay a team to make the ideas real. key word: pay. pubg is a great example of how an “ideas guy” gets things completed.