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How big of a team do I need?

I know this questions is somewhat subjective, so I’m just looking for a general range of answers to get an idea. We currently have 2 programmers and one artist/modeler. We are working on a game on the scale of something similar to Final Fantasy 7-9, in UE4 obviously. We currently work full time and do this in our free time and we fully understand that this is a pretty ambitious project, we expect it to take a few years at least. But it’s a game we really believe in and want to see through to completion, and we don’t feel like it can be scaled back much due to the story and mechanics. That being said, we also know our team needs to grow. We definitely need a lot more help. But we don’t know exactly how much help we will need. From those of you with experience in larger projects, can you give me any direction here? Thanks for any feedback!

You’re talking about recreating AAA games - it only stands to reason that if you want to complete an AAA project in the same kind of timeframe as the original, you need a similar number of people.

Final Fantasy 8 as an example has 169 people listed in it’s credits - that should help put how ridiculous the proposition to remake the game is into perspective.

There are lots of large games made with small crews. Just need to find the right people who have lots of talent and desire. You could save some time and cash by using MP assets as placeholders. Also, check out the MP for plugins like Dungeon Architect… Get something in a semi working state and go for a kickstarter to help fill the void asset wise. Contractors if you have the cash will help… Get a lead that will keep the team on track and within scope.

Good luck!

teak

If you’re going for the same visual quality then it won’t be so bad, but take for instance the remake which is a much larger amount of work.

@ambershee while I see your point, that was also 18 years ago. The software available to do a lot of what they did is readily available and works much faster and easier. There are many new short cuts. While I do think we will need a larger team, I don’t believe we will need anywhere near that amount of people. And as @teak421 said, there are a lot of premade assets or plugins to quickly create locations that should speed it up as well. The more research I do I think we’re probably looking at a team between 15-20 people.

The people who built this game were also professionals, working full time, for a period of approximately two years - yes, tools have improved, but the requirements for basic art assets have also become more complex. I suspect you are grossly underestimating just how much work is required to build a game of that scale. Just in terms of character art, we’re talking 20 or so named characters, a large number of different animals and monsters (many of whom will need not only meshes but also unique rigs and animations), and a hefty number of NPCs. It’s no small amount of work, especially part time and with limited experience.

Just creation of creatures and npc characters can easily take over 6 years for today’s quality standards if the team is small.
You can only achieve such project scale in short time if you already have a library of assets that you can reuse, like Squareenix does for the non flagship mobile titles. For new console release it’s at least 4 years of work on 3d assets and they have hundreds of artists.
In FF15 there’s 13 years of work on ‘new’ 3D assets that could fit the game style. If made by one single artist that would translate to over 1300 years of work.

@ambershee you may be right, I may be underestimating some of the 3d stuff. I am a programmer and have limited experience with 3d modeling and art work. I think we can reuse a lot of stuff though. I mean, again I’m not an expert, but can’t we just create say 3 different frameworks for all different humanoid creatures (small, medium, large) and then just change the character/monster by changing the texture mapping? And I think it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of what they did back then was basically a 2D background and they just used tricks to make it look 3D. Which is what we want to do because 1. its way easier, and 2. that is the style we’re aiming for. 90’s RPG like. I’m not disputing in anyway the monumental task at hand that you guys have pointed out, but I do think that it’s doable. And if not, well I don’t really have anything to lose on it. lol.

Honestly, with the wealth of free/paid assets out there for art, music, sfx, and with Unreal Engine 4, you will need around 10 people.

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It would be a good idea to look into 3rd party solutions for some of your issues. Sites like freesound.com, free3d.com and mixamo.com can alleviate some of your asset needs.
I would wait until you’ve exhausted those before looking for a guy, so you can have an idea on what is needed for your game.
If you need guys, I suggest have one for every aspect of design, like audio, assets, sfx, environmental(I don’t know if that kind of job exists)

I have to disagree. Large companies have lots of money to throw at a problem but don’t try to work out the problem out properly. With UE4, you do NOT need 169 developers. I have seen better with 10 guys, and there is a game made by one guy.

I agree with you KinDaKreator. Not to mention, there is a massive time disconnect there. I mean, FF8 came out what, nearly 20 years ago? With the power of UE4, I don’t feel games of that scale should require nearly as many people. I’ve decided to stick with approximately 10-15 people. Thanks for the assistance everyone!