Wow, quite the shitstorm in here.
Question for those that actually know:
How many developers, coders, writers, everything elsers work on a decent budget game? I saw someone say 10 full time developers higher up. How many part time people working? Maybe someone can give a run down of how it ACTUALLY works so people like me, and I'm assuming a few others here, can have a grasp on the reality of what it takes to produce a game. I'm not trying to get in the way of the argument here but I'm a little ignorant on the subject.
Excellent question, Ranger. The answer is, annoyingly, 'it depends'.
Are we talking about the development of a complete game, from the engine up? Valve is an excellent company, imo, and they make great games. You can see their 'team listing' here
At the very least, you need a small team of high-quality programers. Say ... half-a-dozen to a dozen hard-core system-level programmers. These are the guys who will design and write the really hard stuff: AI, physics, graphics engine, etc..
On top of that, you'll need another team of UI guys: they'll develop the interface used by the gamer. Ranging from designing the HUD, buttons and KB control, menus when not in-game for settings and network config, etc..
You'll need a team of graphic designers. Not to be confused with the graphics engine mentioned earlier, these guys will create the actual graphics for characters, items and the game world.
A small team of writers to create and shape the game. Ranging from scripting the game, character interactions and the storyline to actually mapping out the story arcs, you'll need 2 - 4 people here depending on the size of the game.
A team of network gurus, maybe 3 or 4, if the game will have a multiplayer or online component. Triple this figure if you're creating a MMORG-style game.
For every dev, you'll want at least one dedicated QA/QC person. These are not play testers but skilled and trained devs working on testing and performance analysis. A 2:1 ratio is better.
Some sound guys, both for the physics aspect of sound propagation and to create in-game music and sound-effects. These are two disparate skill sets, of course.
Have I missed anything, Crash? This is just the 'creation of the game' list and ignores marketing, legal, etc..