Creating Games like Mass Effect 3, KOTOR, etc...?

So I’m primarily a creative producer, writer, fiction enthusiasts, and film maker. I’ve had some pretty epic stories and characters that I’ve developed over the years and I want to start portraying them. Tried a few film-making KickStarters but without marketing and an audience they fell apart. BUT… I played Mass Effect (binged all three) and love the story telling with response to customer actions and felt OK about killing everything.

I want to create an RPG style game like Mass Effect 3 but I don’t want to spend hours on perfecting game mechanics with physic’s calculations that are currently out of my scope or hours in the model lab creating 3ds or obj files and pretending I know how to sculpt art. I don’t. BUT I can tell a story and I know what it takes to create an aesthetically pleasing and engaging cinematic experience.

So, I want to focus on the story. I want to focus on the elements that tell it - use models that are ready-to-go and stuff to build it. I’m ok tweaking code to make something work but I don’t want to start from scratch even in Unreal - which isn’t starting from scratch but it’s still daunting to create in.

Any ideas on what I should do? Tutorials, scripts, pre-built projects, etc that I can use to build the game and focus on the story more than the elements.

You’re going to be disappointed with the result if you try to build an entire game off pre-made assets. The gameplay is a big enough problem itself, but you’re not going to find character models that fit your story.

You are doomed to fail

So I just need to be a genius than… and build it all from scratch.

@JaanDoe Doomed. Doooomed. Doooooomed.

So your saying I should just build it from scratch… That may take a while but I suppose it’s the best way to ensure a great experience.

Wish me luck… this could take a year.

Never liked ME but I know its revered. It was just too much ‘on a rail’ gameplay with fake / pretend space-travel.
But anyway, back to the point. ME3 has lots of characters and lots of tiny levels iirc, so that’s a tricky ask…
Whereas if your film idea was more like The Martian, then maybe you could call on more community / marketplace assets…
Some game makers like novels / illustrated ebooks (previz). If you were to try that you might get some volunteers to help!

If you want the best results, then yeah, you need to create your own custom content. And without much training in development you’d struggle to be able to use pre-made content. Ultimately, making that type of game by yourself is a huge amount of work, it took them years with a group of experienced developers so consider how long it would take a single person or a small team of novices.

If you think that is all it will take to make such a game you are seriously underestimating how hard game design is. It took a team of dozens several years to make mass effect.

You can do it, but you have to be realistic in what it is going to require to take your ideas to completion. And you are going to have to find extreme amounts of fortitude to keep going over the years.

Prototype your game using premade stuff. Get the gameplay down and pull in help here and there as you need it. When the game is basically feature complete, build a team to finish the areas you couldn’t handle.

You will need an entire studio of professional game developers in order to create and put together all assets required for AAA project like Mass Effect.

Pre-made assets off the marketplace definitely won’t cut it. Not only will people recognise the assets since they appear in other games as well, but there will be no consistency in your art direction, in terms of style and quality of the assets.

You’d end up with the captain of the ship looking like a space marine, the first officer looking like a near-future police officer, and the crew looking like low-poly characters from The Sims.

Technically it is possible to create it all with a small team, but you would run into the problem that development would take years (think 10+ years), and unless you’re paying your team, it’s unlikely anyone would stick around that long. Unpaid projects tend to have a very high turnover of team members, so expect to be replacing team members every few months, further slowing progress.

As I said, it can and has been done before, but expect to scale down your expectations (and the size of your game). I would also anticipate doing a lot of the work yourself as you won’t be able to rely on others to do it a lot of the time.

Good luck!