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How hard would it be to translate Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG rules into videogame logic?

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I might be hiring a game developer to make me a Call of Cthulhu sorcerer sim soon. A simple 2D, mostly text-based (with pictures) game where the player guides his aspiring sorcerer character in gaining as much Cthulhu mythos knowledge as possible without going insane. It's going to have the following features: 


- Character creation system following the Call of Cthulhu RPG

- Ability to choose which era the aspiring sorcerer lives in (Hyperborean age to far future)

- All spells featured in all Call of Cthulhu, Trail of Cthulhu and Age of Cthulhu books and the ability to mod your own using the game's editor

- All mythos tomes in all Call of Cthulhu, Trail of Cthulhu and Age of Cthulhu books plus some randomized ones

- A map showing the world at its current state in the era the player chooses to live in and the ability to live anywhere in that world

- A house/wizard's tower owning and building system (They can also wish to live in other specific/randomized dimensions)

- Everything mostly being text and pictures (Making a 3D game would greatly limit this game due to the 3D work involved)

- The ability to play as other races besides human but with certain limitations (Example: If you want to play as an elder thing then you can only live in one of their cities in the Antarctic or if you want to play as a Mi-Go then you can only start on Yuggoth or at a specific place on a mission)

- The ability to get favored/dread cursed by Great Old One, Outer God or Elder God

- The ability to worship a chosen Great Old One, Outer God or Elder God

- You help investigators solve mind-shattering cases for money 

- You can summon & bind/create/hire bodyguards to aid you in expeditions to find mythos/occult tomes

- You can explore other randomized/specific dimensions/"other worlds"

- Time travel

- Interplanetary travel through gates and shapeshifting (To survive on other planets)

- You can do normal people stuff to conceal your identity in certain eras

- You can join an organization/cult/order or create your own

- You can train most of your skills to be the best that you can be (Takes a lot of time and you'll be dead by the time most of your skills are at high levels unless  you  cast an immortality spell/ritual or something)

- Specific events triggering at certain dates where the player may get embroiled in an ongoing Masks of Nyarlathotep or Horror on the Orient Express campaign (With randomly generated investigators for each) (This will probably be some sort of DLC if the game somehow gets well received)

- Community modding support for things I failed to include (Crowdsourcing?)


How much do you guys think a game like this costs to get developed? I plan on releasing it for free since I'd try to get for free too if it was somebody else.


.... I'm probably going to need a writer for all the text too.

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If it's using Call of Cthulhu in any way (i.e. Chaosium's intellectual property) you'd probably want to contact them first before any undertaking (if you haven't already) - even if it's being released for free - it could save some potential headaches down the line!

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I'll make sure to contact Chaosium, Pelgrane Press, Goodman Games, or any other publisher/author I might be stealing stuff from before actually starting the game development process. I'm still at the collecting money and finding the right developer stage and might be stuck at this stage for a while. The game will probably need to be purchased to support the content creators 100%. Thanks for the warning PoC!

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I'd suggest finding one of those pdf's publishers put out that explain to you all the pitfalls in game publishing and that tell you about typical costs. There are quite a few about but Kevin Crawford does one that I could recommend. The file tells you what a writer costs, an editor and what art costs are so that you have a sensible idea of how much you need. 


A couple of pieces of advice: 1) If you do not have a track record of game design and development you should not even consider raising funds via Kickstarter as you'll likely be eaten alive.


2) You might want to check a recent thread here at YSDC where Chaosium list their requirements for gaining a full commercial licence - from what I remember it's quite a high bar to reach.

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You are right that you could be stuck where you are for a while. It's unlikely that you're going to raise funds from outside sources until you have answers about the legal issues. I suggest understanding the licensing arrangements first to see if your idea remains viable or to help you get a clearer idea of the best approach to tackling your game given the licensing restrictions.

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