The main problem new devs (as in people with no industry experience) suffer is that they all contracted Grand Theft Auto Syndrome (doubtless caught by visiting some infected game web site). They all want their first game to be GTA or WOW of DOOM 8. They ignore the fact that the developers of those games all started out making much simpler games and worked their way up over the years. Now obviously if you have just won the lottery you can do what you like (that is how Valve started out – Microsoft millionaires) but if you don’t have millions you need to find a way to start small and work your way up.
1. Be a millionaire
2. Have a proven industry track record (plus great industry contracts and a great demo)
3. Start off small like Introversion
4. Go the Splash Damage route… do a great mod (start to finish self funded in spare time) and off the back of that success get a deal with a publisher.
Got to say that even with experience it is really tough. I have just spent over a year and a half working with clients who founded a start up. All of them had multiple high profile products to their name and it still took over a year to secure a publishing deal.