Budgets?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Executrix, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Executrix

    Executrix New Member

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    What was the budget of your last game? I remember reading that budgets for casual games go from $100,000 to $300,000? Bejewled Twist cost $1,000,000 to make! :eek: I find it hard to believe that a budget like that can be made back.
     
  2. Polychrome

    Polychrome New Member

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    Between 0$ and 2500$ (no money spent apart from living expenses).
     
  3. ragdollsoft

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    Assuming an alternative salary of say... 700k per year, about 1.2 million dollars.

    Other than that $600.
     
    #3 ragdollsoft, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  4. ChrisP

    Indie Author

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    Heh - if you think $1 million is bad, take a look at some recent "AAA" budgets... Many of them do actually break even, surprisingly enough.

    For Mayhem Intergalactic: In terms of actual expenditure, and treating time as free (i.e. no "wages"/"salary"), probably around $800 USD. Can't be bothered looking up exact amounts. That's including cut-price custom audio and a few minor bits of visual art (the rest of the art is programmer art, or donated - thanks DayDream! - or a mixture). Pretty shoe-string.

    My next game will undoubtedly cost more, simply because I now realise what a disservice I was doing myself by skimping on quality.

    Edit: No revenue share deals with a team, here; everyone except for me was paid up-front and received no royalties. I can't say what the cost would be if I did factor my time in, because I didn't keep a record of how many hours I worked on it, and my work periods were shoved into nooks and crannies around full-time study.
     
    #4 ChrisP, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  5. Musenik

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    About $40,000 for DHSGiT, and a large percentage was lawyer fees. The major expense was artwork.

    Of course that doesn't include my time on the project (3 years). In final, I've made back my expenses, plus a nice amount, but it hasn't fully recouped the business.

    Next game, for sure!
     
  6. MFS

    MFS New Member

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    I'll throw in some console numbers. This is just based on my experience so I probably don't cover the whole range (although I doubt there is a much lower bottom.)

    DS: 100k - 750k (avg ~ 220k)
    Wii: 275k - 2.0m
    XBLA: 350k (only 1 title, so I don't have any clue as to the range)

    As for the PC side of things, I only have commercial experience in the casual sector. I'd say it's pretty hard to make a competetive title for the portals for under 30k.
     
  7. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    My latest game reached open beta for about $32k ($30k my time, $2k assets). Since then I've spent another $105k on development ($70k my time, $35k assets/other people's time). So total would be about $137k. That doesn't include things like advertising, promotion and operating costs.
     
    #7 Nexic, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  8. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    That's cool Neil. Hope you've made it back + plenty more.

    My first couple of games had tiny budgets but that was years back, my 4th game had a budget of about $2500 (art+music) but made it back 10x over. My 3rd game was higher than $2500 but I can't say due to NDA. My 5th and 6th were made for BFG and had *much* bigger budgets (programmer+artists+music) and my current game has the biggest budget yet. Sorry can't say though. Hope this helps a little bit.

    I've learnt that you have to speculate to accumulate. So spend more money (when you know what you are doing) to make better quality and you'll make more money, it's pretty simple.
     
  9. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Yup :)

    This is something I've learned myself in the last 3 or 4 months. Once you get to a certain level you do have to start spending some money if you want to reach the next milestone.
     
  10. manunderground

    manunderground New Member

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    I think that's great advice. Too often I see people who have great ideas or technically impressive games who flat out refuse to invest in their projects in terms of art/sound simply because it would cost some money -- and not much money!
     
  11. Jack Norton

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    Yes definitely. If you always do everything for cheap (ads, gfx, etc) you won't get great revenues :)
     
  12. JGOware

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    I would have thought BFG would be using in house talent for all of their assets now?

    @Nexic - Refreshing to see a developer count his time as an expense. So many don't.
     
  13. ChrisP

    Indie Author

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    Absolutely agreed, and true in my experience as well.
     
  14. Colm

    Colm New Member

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    That's without counting your time? How come you needed so much lawyer time - for steam?
     
  15. soslo

    soslo New Member

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    Domain of Heroes (ongoing web MMO, daily updates, 1.5 years): approx 150k
    Domain of Heroes: Hobo Defense (iPhone): approx 40k
    BumbleTales (PC/Mac casual): approx 90k
    BumbleTales (iPhone): approx 45k

    Edit: Numbers are all-inclusive, and include things like salaries/contracts for everyone. Marketing and business expenses. Servers and hosting fees.
     
    #15 soslo, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  16. James C. Smith

    Moderator Original Member

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    When talking about budgets on indie projects I think it would be helpful to clarify if you pay yourself or not and how many other people on the project are working for free with the promise of a share of the revenue.
     
  17. James C. Smith

    Moderator Original Member

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    It's funny to me that you would post those two points in the same message and not recognize their relationship. Don't you think BFG is doing exactly what Nexic is doing and counting their own people's time as an expense? When I talk about the budgets of the games I work on they include a lot more than the out of pocket expenses we pay contractors. They also include the salary and benefits for all the in house talent who worked on the game and even a portion of the "overhead" expenses of running a business such the rent, liability insurance, management saleries and so on.
     
  18. Tobias

    Indie Author

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    Mad Skills Motocross: $120k

    I do pay myself. No revenue share deals.
     
  19. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    For the game I'm writing now the programming and art is in-house but sound is outsourced. We even include QA in the budget, and when working out if it's profitable we have to include marketing, customer support, management etc basically everything else that has to be in place to make the game happen as James C. Smith says.
     
  20. DigitalDuffman

    DigitalDuffman New Member

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    My game Nasty (XBLIG), which I just released a week ago, cost $1,500 in art and music assets (the rest I did myself). Spent about 8 months of my spare time working on it... if I actually billed my the time spent, I'm sure it would be near $20,000 for the entire game.
     

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