Android or iPhone/Pad development?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by elias4444, May 27, 2010.

  1. Julio Gorge

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wiiware minimum sales threshold discussion on Gamasutra:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=22974

    As I said it might actually only affect Wiiware and not DSi, and I could be wrong about what the actual threshold is set to at the moment, but it's still a handicap to consider for indie games that might not appeal to a wide audience.

    These slides from GDC 09 referenced by the Gamasutra article:
    http://www.slideshare.net/simoniker/independent-games-sales-stats-101

    "There is a minimum amount that you need to sell in order to receive _any_ money from Nintendo. This is set in the mid four figures of units (North America) and low four figures for other territories"

    So my figure was way off.

    "[…]multiple games […] have not passed the threshold and therefore will recoup nothing"

    This is from 2009 so it could also be possible that Nintendo might have changed its policies regarding this since then.
     
    #61 Julio Gorge, Jun 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  2. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Useful link. Here's the takeaway:

    Seems reasonable enough. They probably do it to stop people releasing minority crap with no appeal. Apple take note, this sounds like a good thing to me tbh.

    In all honesty, if 4Kusd sounds like a high figure to breech, then you probably should stay away. Our piss pot little firm needs double that per fortnight to pay us all, and we've not struggled to do so for five years. If I say something's worth doing, I mean it's /worth/ doing. But you still have to do your bit and get it right. I keep stating over and over that I consider myself to be addressing game dev professionals on this board as it's meant for indies and not hobbiests.

    I know that sounds like a hubris overdose, but come on guys. There's real money to be made - stop trying to find excuses for sitting in your "I have all I need to make no cash right here already" comfort zones.
     
    #62 Applewood, Jun 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  3. PoV

    PoV
    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it 4K USD, or 4K units? I thought it was units. *shrugs*

    And yeah, making money isn't free. ;)
     
  4. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Like I said, we've not got this far with Nintendo yet so I can't comment. However, I don't really care which it is. If I thought we couldn't piss past either figure then I wouldn't be bothering with it. And who knows, in six months I might have egg all over my face.

    As I said earlier, we are doing a quick churn out game purely to answer questions like this, but the big thing for me is DS2. That's going to be a whole different ball game and the earlier people get on, the bigger market share they'll get. Even a retail deal should be fairly easy right at the outset of a new machine, as all the pubs want to swell their portfolios as fast as possible.

    Here is an extract from one of our failed proposals from a while ago (I'm not allowed to show the ones we succeeded on).

    This was for a combined Wii and DS retail game also to go digital download. This project was expected to take two guys twelve months to produce. In other words not even remotely AAA. The projections are slightly out of ass based on averages and experience of the agent I work with. Whilst we didn't get this deal, nobody said it was due to our figurework or that it was out enough to comment on.

    This is also based on projections for a non-AAA game injected into a stale market. 3DS will be a different ballgame entirely.

    Downloads
    Unit income Projected units Sales Profit
    WiiWare £8 100,000 £800,000 £528,000
    DSiWare £6 150,000 £900,000 £594,000
    250,000 £1,700,000 £1,122,000
    Retail boxed product
    Early Adopter Peak Budget
    DS gross unit income £10.50 £6.93 £5.25
    Projected Units 65,000 75,000 30,000 170,000
    Gross revenue £682,500 £519,750 £157,500 £1,359,750

    Wii gross unit income £14.00 £9.24 £7.00
    Projected Units 40,000 60,000 20,000 120,000
    Gross revenue £560,000 £554,400 £140,000 £1,254,400

    TOTAL Revenue £3,736,150

    DS Cost of Goods £408,906 £471,814 £188,726 £1,069,446
    Wii Cost of Goods £203,911 £305,866 £101,955 £611,732

    TOTAL Costs of Goods £1,681,178
    Minimum Guarantee Licence Fee £42,225
    Advance Development Costs £281,500
    Marketing (10% of sales) £373,615
    TOTAL advances and marketing costs £697,340 TOTAL Costs £2,378,518

    Breakeven (based on avg. Unit price) 322,467 PROFIT £1,357,632
     
    #64 Applewood, Jun 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  5. tolik

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    wtf??? Lol!!!!
     
  6. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    I did hover on redacting that bit. This proposal was put in before those digital channels opened up and they do like kinda over anticipated. But as usual I went for my usual honest, no bollocks approach.

    I should clarify that I posted that to illustrate the value of a retail DS game that most of the pro's living on this board could easily develop by themselves or in a tiny team. Which is what Rubicon are, oddly enough :)

    It will be fairly easy to get a retail deal for 3DS if you have something ready within a year, and if you think 2 million quid isn't a perfectly achievable income level for a publisher (of which you will see a large percentage after taking no advances) then you need to reposition your trolling. I deal with these kinda projects/budgets all the time in our non-self-funded mode. Why do you think I'm prepared to give up the safety of this in return for making no dollar.

    If you epic fail with a brilliant game and no publisher deal, you won't be making two million dollars from DSi2ware, but I'm staking my mortgage that as a backup plan, it will make enough to cover the costs we're incurring.

    Please try to remember that I'm a 43 year old studio owner/lead engineer when treating what I say like I'm some sort of fucking five year old. It's getting really, really boring now.
     
  7. HairyTroll

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have purchased probably 20 Virtual Console/WiiWare titles. All of the C= offerings in the US, for example, of which there are only 9. World of Goo, Cave Story etc.

    The hoops that Nintendo forces their customers to jump though leaves me convinced that this must negatively impact sales of these titles.

    You can't just buy a $12 game but are forced to purchase points in increments of $5.

    The Wii does not store your credit card information. Instead you are forced to enter full name, credit card number, security code, expiration date and full billing address each time you want to purchase points. I'm sorry, but I don't want to have points sitting on my Wii on the off chance that I want to buy a game.

    And if you make a mistake you have to enter everything AGAIN!

    And they only take Mastercard/Visa.

    And your purchases are locked to the Wii hardware. If the hardware dies you have to send both the old and new Wii to a repair center and then wait two weeks for Nintendo to transfer the games for you.
     
  8. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yeah, that's really painful. And you still bought all those games. :)

    You are not the first to raise this concern. You have to remember that digital is a pure frig that wasn't handled at all well. Sony fell even deeper into the same trap ime.

    I think after E3 you might find a bit more light at the end of the tunnel. For once I almost wish I was going.
     
  9. PoV

    PoV
    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm glad I'm not going. I can never keep up on all the news when I'm away from my desk and web browser. :cool:

    Though seeing a 3DS in person would have been nice. I managed some snaps back in 2004 when the original DS was announced. Totally different then the DS Phat that eventually came out.

    I dunno about you guys, but I'm expecting the next few weeks to be nuts.
     
  10. gormlai

    gormlai New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hope you don't count me among those people treating you like a five year old. I can tell you that I am in the midst of starting my second studio (after the first one went bankrupt during the first part of the crisis), so I have learned some hard lessons and so if I seem critical it is only for my own sake (that sounded more selfish than it was meant).

    Anyway, going back to the DsiWare numbers; I should have stated that was units and not $ sorry, though I still believe the numbers are relatively low.

    So, I just checked the DsiWare shop, and a typical game seems to cost betweens €5 and €8. At 10K-20K units, that gives a potential income of
    €50K - €160K. After Nintendo takes its cut (I assume it is 30%) that leaves €35 - €112K.

    No lets say you are a small company with 3 employees. Since we are indie, people do not get paid that much so maybe they get around €3K each a month. Adding some miscellaneous expenses of say 50% extra pr. employee, that gives us a monthly expense of approx €14K. Mind you, this expense includes the marketing that the article mentions is needed to sell in the order of 10K-20K units.

    Comparing those two numbers that gives 2,5 - 8 months of running time for the company on the back of those sells. The only remaining question, is how long does it take to develop an above average DsiWare game, given that you have 2 + 1/2 person for developing (the last half is for marketing and being CEO :) )

    Again, those numbers are for digital distribution and the units cited at indievision.org (though just because it is on the internet, doesn't mean it is true :) ).
     
    #70 gormlai, Jun 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  11. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Of course not, that was aimed four-square at Tolik and he knows it.

    Your back of envelope numbers match the ones we've been punting around here, which is good at least. I think that's more than reasonable for a small studio tbh, but it's absolutely golden for all the starving iPhone developers out there, which is where I originally came in.

    Although I'm expecting the 3DSware to be far better still. Time will tell if I got that one right.

    I think I've basically run out of things to say on this now. To me it's a reasonable target for a "proper" studio to aim at (we're hardly the first) and is head and shoulders above the more obvious indie routes.
     
  12. PoV

    PoV
    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
  13. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yeah, the 3DS looks pretty wank. Gonna have to scale my game back a bit to fit on the piece of shite.

    Given it's Nintendo, I wasn't really expecting much in terms of technology. But they even managed to shoot below my expected low bar. Nice one big-N.

    I'm wondering if Sony were keeping their powder dry, expecting their rival to actually come up with something. Or maybe the PSP2 just doesn't have enough cameras. Most would expect zero to be a good figure, but now they must have at least four.... zzzz
     
  14. PoV

    PoV
    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, cameras are the new "Moore's law of blades on a shaving razor".

    Since the 3DS touts full backwards compatibility, I imagine it's the same guts again, but only slightly better (again again). I.e. Double clock rate, double the vertex memory (maybe more given the 2nd surface), but still no FPU. But hey, at least it has all the sensors now (accelerometer, gyro) and an analog stick... er, nub. Now it's truly the ultimate N64 generation 3D powerhouse. ;)

    And geez, Apple out-ed a 960x640 res phone with a gyro just last week. Maybe Sony felt inadequate.

    I suppose Sony still has the Tokyo Game Show in September to come out with something. I guess the PSP matters more in that market, given the whole lifestyle/cultural/commuting differences. *shrugs*


    Well, at least I don't have to change any of my plans. It seems every time Apple opens their mouth, I need to re-evaluate what I'm doing.
     
  15. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have the GPU specs for the 3DS been released, yet? I was expecting quite an upgrade, based on... Well, based on hardware that I know exists and has been squatted on by Nintendo for a couple years :p So it may be a little premature to write that off.

    Not surprised at all by the lack of a PSP2, though. Sony needs to get their 3rd party and marketing in gear (IMHO) before a new handheld will do anything for them. Nintendo's announcement of a 3DS Metal Gear just a week after Peace Walker's release has GOT to hurt in that regard.
     
  16. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Not to the public. Oddly not to registered devs for the other platforms either.

    I've heard rumour it will have the tegra chip, but I reckon we might still have something like the current pos where bilinear filtering is a dream too far.

    I hope it has something, because right now it's not as powerful as my phone and that is something they should be ashamed about if that's the case.
     
  17. PoV

    PoV
    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I heard the Tegra rumor as well, but you'd think if they had one of those under the hood, they'd have at least gone-to-town with at least one super-shiny-shaderful demo. The Tegra is just too different than the DS line hardware. I imagine they simply said to their internal engineers that designed the DS GPU "make something compatible but better than the DS, you can have this many more transistors". So hey, maybe the dream of bilinear filtering and mipmaps will come true this time (I haven't looked at the shots close enough, but it didn't jump out as being as bad).
     
  18. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Shit, they've solved the filtering issue. The screen res is so tiny that each triangle will be sub-pixel so you can get away without it! :)
     
  19. PoV

    PoV
    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's the thought that counts. ;)
     
  20. Escapee

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    0
    A little late to this discussion but I would urge every smartphone developers to first consider Android or WM or other alternatives before the autocratic Kim-Jong-IL Iphone for one simple reason ..... FREEEEDOOOOMM !!!

    "For the love of "Mac" money is the root of all kinds of evil and oppression" :p

    "Autocratic" Apple Killing the Tech Sector
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Apple...PcGluaW9uRHluYW1pYwRzbGsDYXBwbGVpc2tpbGxp?x=0

    Don't take me too seriously, I'm just ranting and BSing. I'm actually very tempted to buy a Iphone 4 ... :p
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer