Double standard for reviews of indie games?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Musenik, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Dogma

    Dogma New Member

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    Yes, I see your point. But I think you can at least agree with me on this. When the production value of a game rises, so when it gets more complex graphics and sound, the cost of production rise fast. I can understand that a simple point and click game, or a sprite/tile-based engine with midi sounds does not take as much to produce. But as soon as we move to games with more complex graphics and sound fx and music, the costs of production rise very fast. For me it is not hard to imagine that a game like a great little war game, or Gratuitous Space Battles cost a $100k+ to produce. And maybe we can also agree that increasing the production value of a game gives the game a better chance to be regarded as a high quality product and thus increases the chances of it becoming a commercial success.
     
  2. Indinera

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    Yes that is right. Low budgets work well with niches though, and big budgets are more risky and if they can open the door to bigger commercial success, the same goes with commercial flops and money losses.
    It's a strategy. If you are a good strategist (?) and know what you are doing, then it can pay off regardless of the budget. The budget is just one key of a problem that is much more complex. At the end of the day, it vastly depends on what you want to do, how your market (and target) your stuff etc. There is no rule for everybody, that's the beauty of being indie.
     
  3. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I neither know nor care what you are making tbh, but I see you dodged my question - it was you that pulled the quote out after all. What I value is irrelevant to all but me, but again it's you that pulled that quote out so I assumed there was a point to doing so.

    However, if you're intimating you're making more than I am, then I'll listen to your financial opinion with pleasure. So, development time costs nothing, you can live on a few hundred quid, what else do I need to address...?

    I can't wait to revisit this conversation in a years time - we all have our silly little secrets. :)
     
  4. Dogma

    Dogma New Member

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    This is very interesting though. I can understand that niches have very different requirements than your average hardcore gamer. So the production value of graphics and sound becomes less important than, for example, the story or gameplay elements. I am still wondering how people discover these niches though. It is one of those things I worry about. I might be targeting me too much, and me is a very demanding gamer when it comes to production value. So my worry is my target audience is the same and is generally only interested in AAA games, putting my in a nasty position with the game I am currently producing.
     
  5. Indinera

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    It's just a personal decision not to disclose numbers. But you assuming it's equal to not selling anything is kinda fast and decidedly wrong. Adrian does have a point when he said you should just judge the words, not the person.
     
  6. Indinera

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    Well there are very different people with very different tastes, that much is sure.... but when the problem is down to being "profitable", low budgets games targetting a niche, or having a decent following, can definitely do well enough to allow a normal life.
     
  7. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Well, right up to the point where I never said you sold nothing, at any rate. Pot and Kettle anyone?

    I did intimate your time is worth nothing, but I got that straight from you.
     
  8. Indinera

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    Well it's not a competition is it? IF you are richer than me, what's so wrong in listening to me anyway? It's a discussion, everyone's input can be interesting.

    My time is worth creating games. If my games do well then my salary is good. If I work three months on a game and it makes a good profit then my salary is good. It makes perfect sense to me. My formula to calculate my yearly salary makes perfect sense to me and does not include a virtual value of my salary in the budget. The salary is calculated FROM the game's profit.
    And I wouldn't work for you (your recurring example) because I don't care to make you rich lol My time is for me, not you.
     
    #88 Indinera, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  9. Adrian Lopez

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    Not at all. I was addressing the double negative in "don't you DARE tell me you wouldn't put some "ficticious" price on your own development time." I wasn't mocking you but making clear that indeed I wouldn't put some fictitious price on my own development time.

    No. The scenario was that a publisher wanted to purchase my game, which I wouldn't sell for less than a fair percentage of its potential earnings.
     
  10. Indinera

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    This "scenario" is completely O/T with the 100k topic anyway.
     
  11. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I actually agree. Once again I've been tarred with the black and white brush, but I do see that was a little self inflicted this time. I will listen to anyone who has something useful to say, but saying stuff like dev costs are zero and you can live a good life on no money anyway... Not really what I'm here for tbh, and I doubt many others are either.
     
    #91 Applewood, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  12. Indinera

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    To be fair, the blog post was trying to be smart in a know-it-all kind of way when it wasn't. You don't just put everyone in the same bag like this, it does not work this way and is stupid.
    Now what Dogma said just above was interesting and probably closer to reality. It does not negate that low budget games can work and make good money on their own scale.
     
  13. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Oh well, you just binned a wad of money that, provided you gave a sane figure, you would've gotten before even starting any negotiation about percentages. Sorry, really can't help you get this after all.
     
  14. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Agreement there too, I think we're on a roll.

    However, "You can do game development for free" is even more bogus than that. Because whilst some people can apparently do game development cheaper than the given figure, nobody can actually develop for free. You need a computer, food, shelter, electricity and internet for starters. Saying it's "free" is a dodge to mean "I don't count my time" and its only use is to also make a smug reply - it has no value to financial planning whatsoever.
     
  15. Adrian Lopez

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    That's fair enough, but it's important to recognize there's no single cost to making any kind of game and that the actual cost may vary significantly according to each developer's circumstances.

    What if by making the game you ended up with $4,000 more than you'd otherwise have made and spent no more than $1,000 over whatever you'd otherwise have spent on making a living? Wouldn't you call that a success?

    Breaking even is not failure. Also, you didn't really spend that much money in making the game or you'd have $0 in the bank (having initially spent the $10,000,000 you ultimately earned back).
     
    #95 Adrian Lopez, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  16. Indinera

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    Yeah well I for one never said it was FREE. But far from 100k, definitely. Hope we can agree on this too. :p

    Nah, not always, definitely not if you took two years to make it.

    My formula yet again, cuz it's simple and I find it accurate:
    (game profit - game cost) / months spent

    5000-1000/24 = less than $200/month
    Not quite successful in that case
    remember we are talking about making a living out of it, not doing it in your free time
     
  17. Adrian Lopez

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    In your scenario they weren't hiring me to make the game but buying my game outright. They're obviously not going to pay more than the game is worth, and I'm not going to sell it for less than it's worth to me. Hence my saying that I wouldn't sell it for less than a fair % of its earning potential.
     
  18. Adrian Lopez

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    But if I own an LLC, that LLC can indeed develop games without paying me a single dime. To the LLC, the cost of hiring me as a developer is exactly $0.
     
  19. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    But if you opened a conversation like that, chances are they'd leave the room. They know a game doesn't get developed for free even if you don't. So claiming it does would ring all sorts of alarm bells.
     
  20. Desktop Gaming

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    Can we leave this for tonight? I've run out of popcorn and I want to go to sleep now.
     

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