As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on discovering what it takes to launch a social game on the scale of FarmVille or Tap Zoo. I’m completely unfamiliar with the games and their mechanics, but I have an idea for a social game similar to these based on both my current work environment, and one of my favourite games from when I was younger.
I found a few interesting links about the history of development of FarmVille, including one at Graphics.com saying the development team was 10 people, but a budget of $40 million dollars. Using this as a reference, I could never afford it, but there’s an escapist article describing the process as a much quicker and leaner development. Given the history of FarmVille, I guess it is possible this was the first iteration, instead of the full launch.
Setting my sights on FarmVille may be a tad too high, and there are some similar games that may be a better case study.
For example, Zombie Farm was developed in 5 months by one guy, doing everything. I’ll never do that because I have neither the technical nor artistic abilities. Plus, I’d like to develop a team of either developers or contractors I can go to in the future. Finding the appropriate funding will take some time.
Until I find out more about everything, it’ll be hard to estimate what I need to have in place. Until then, I’ll just work on the design doc, i guess.
Update: Found the GDC chat by Zynga at Slideshare that mentions 6 developers, 2 artists, and 3 producers/designers. Hm.