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Where to even start?


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I've always had this desire to make my own pet site, but it's hit me especially hard with the decline of my go-to. I'd like to think I'm in a financially stable position and have the time to spare to create and run my own site, but I'm not even sure where to start on making my project a reality. I have most of my concept written out when it comes to the pets and world (events and features, etc.), and I have a list of things I know I'll need:

Planned layout of the site
Code of the site itself
A place to host the site
A team (Coder/Artist especially)

So I have a few things that have me stumped. Do I work on getting some art done first or should I look for a coder first? What are some places that can host a virtual pet site (as I can look into costs, but really have no clue when it comes to where to host)? And while I know it varies, is there an approximate estimate as to how much it costs to start up your own site?

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Look for a programmer first, because that's the backbone of your game. You can fill in the art as you go, but there's no game with no programming.

I'm very happy with Liquid Web and I have been with them for several years. I would seriously recommend them to anybody. They are a bit pricey though if you don't have an established site that's generating money yet. Most hosting companies can accommodate pet sites, but you'll probably want to get some input from other people on the companies they recommend as well. For whatever it's worth, I host my blog on DreamHost and I have also been happy with them.

As far as start up costs, it really does vary. Honestly I can't even begin to give you an accurate estimate without knowing anything about your planned site. Will it be very complex, or more basic? Will it be art-heavy? Will the art and characters be "set", or will you have dynamic images? Will you be starting with some features and building on later, or are you hoping to start with a more full game? I would say - and this is a VERY, very rough estimate because I'm going into this blind - assuming that you will be hiring out for all coding and art, and that you are looking for a pretty "standard" pet site, that you are probably looking at around $5,000 USD in start up expenses, at least. I would shop around for programmers and send them your plans and see what they quote you, and look around at what people are pricing their commissions at in the marketplace for art.

I hope that helps!

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Thank you guys for replying!

Someone I actually knew from one of the sites I visit contacted me about coding, so this will finally be a step forward. We worked out the hours and development should be starting soon. In the meantime I have to start looking for an artist to get some concepts hashed out.

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