Double standard for reviews of indie games?

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

  1. HairyTroll

    Original Member

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    You spend time making a game. Time is spent. There was a bunch of time; a small pile, perhaps. Now there is less time. Why? Because it was used to create a game. How can a person spend nothing in order to create something?

    You have won. The other folks will come to realize this in time.
     
  2. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Yes well really I don't understand the problem.
    I make gameA in 3 months (yes is quite possible to make games in 3 months). After one year I make $9k. A misery, a failure, bla bla. But then, it made me $3k/month.
    After another year I make only $6k. Another failure? sure but since I didn't move a finger, the total has increased to $15k, making my 3 months that I spent 2 years ago to develop gameA "worth" $5k each. The next year will increase again.
    What's so hard to understand in this reasoning ??
     
  3. princec

    Indie Author

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    Revenge of the Titans didn't cost a bean to make. Our next game will cost $300k. Bizarre eh!

    Cas :)
     
  4. Pallav Nawani

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    You mean you made the game part time, so you consider it zero cost. Next game you will be two people full time, so $300K for two people. Not so bizarre eh. ;)
     
  5. princec

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    Exactly, not so bizarre at all ;) We made Revenge for shits and giggles instead of watching TV. We could do it again if I could be bothered to get another contract but... I'm rather liking the independent lifesttyle suddenly. Even if it is rather a lot more modest than the contracting lifestyle.

    Cas :)
     
  6. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    So, you spent many years of your free time creating a game and you said this effort wasn't worth a bean. You should have a better view of yourself :)

    JC
     
  7. princec

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    No, I said it didn't cost a bean :) It was worth over $300k in the end. And counting.

    Cas :)
     
  8. Henri Karapuu

    Henri Karapuu New Member

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    Argh... please read what i wrote about different meanings of the word "cost", about 45 centimeters above.

    Cas is talking about "accounting cost", as seen in his company's accounts, and this is totally valid use for the word "cost".

    Others talk about other meanings of the word "cost", often considering the value of lost free time in addition, and they are perfectly valid uses too.

    I think this thread is now officially stuck in infinite loop, repeating that same misunderstanding caused by different meanings of "cost".
     
    #148 Henri Karapuu, Apr 18, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  9. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    When people talk about cost and budget, they should include ALL the cost. Ok, they don't want to put a budget on their time, fine, but at least they should say: 500h worth of coder, 200h worth of designer, 30h worth of testing.... Whatever... So, they tell the true story about their cost.


    JC
     
  10. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    It sure is hard for HairyTroll.... but one day, he'll come to realize. :p

    I do like this, although it's hard to keep a track of those hours.
    But yeah that would definitely be worthy information about a game's development.
     
  11. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Wow, this thread really went the distance on the cost vs. value of time invested debate.

    To think it started with a harmless note about attention to detail...

    Being, it doesn't matter how expensive or advanced your production values are if you haven't paid attention to the details.

    I like how Noel puts it "All it needs is love"
     
  12. Adrian Lopez

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    Cost of living more expensive in the US? Too bad, but that's no use to Bad Sector.

    See how it works now?
     
  13. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Adrian, you truly are a fuckwit.
     
  14. Artinum

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    Gordon Bennett! I'd better throw in my tuppence as Bytten reviewer before the thread gets locked.

    I'd start by first mentioning that one of the most well known and popular games is the humble Tetris - graphics simple, gameplay simple, sound effects minimal. You don't need to spend a fortune to make a good selling game. Look at the film industry - Hollywood routinely churns out movies with a cost to rival the GDP of some eastern european countries, and makes an enormous profit - but there are smaller producers that make movies for a few million, and they even win awards sometimes. The Hollywood ones will always do well, because they have the marketing power to push them through however good/bad they are. The independents are always good, because the crap ones don't make it (nor, sadly, do all of the good ones).

    At Bytten we try to review games with thought given to the genre, the style, the innovation... a game will score higher for being fun to play and well crafted, not for flashy graphics and sound. Indeed, I've reviewed a few games in the past that looked good but played terribly, and they score quite low. Likewise, a game that plays well but has clearly had no effort made on the graphics will lose points. The key is to do the best you can with all aspects, to think about the results and ask "can we improve on this?". Those games that get gold awards are usually the ones where the developers have put the effort in to get as much right as possible.

    Doesn't matter how much money you throw at it. If you don't do the beta testing and get the customer feedback right, it won't work. And there are plenty of AAA titles to demonstrate that.
     
  15. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Oh no they don't even do well all the time in fact.... plenty of failures from the big ones there.
     
  16. HairyTroll

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    I don't wish to beat a horse that died some time ago. However.

    "Remember that Time is Money." - Ben Franklin

    Here is the equation to work it out.
     
  17. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Sure, but beta testing, responding to customer feedback, adding all the little bits of polish, ensuring the game plays well, making sure the audio fits and enhances the game, not allowing graphics to let the game down, all these things cost time and money. To do all those things well will cost.

    Tetris is more the exception than the rule though. This is the thing, nobody here believes that the only way to make a successful game is to spend at least $100k. We're talking in general terms - we all know how we can get a price down, wipe out costs here and there, or there's a Tetris just around the corner. In general, if you want a high quality game you have to be prepared to spend a decent amount of money.
     
  18. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Surely with your accounting system they're all doing well? As the total cost of the game, because you're only counting time, is zero, then anything they bring in above that is considered profit?
     
  19. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    @HairyTroll:
    You missed the point though. The real problem (or debate) was never lying there to begin with. I said from the start that even including the salaries in the budget figure, the $100K thing is *still* wrong. Don't wish to beat a dead horse either but at least please do stick to what was being said if you're going to post this kind of quote.

    well nobody except at least the blogger.
    "You need $100K, period" is quite clear.

    Are you confusing me with Mr Adrian? Surely because I never said that...

    Let's try again:

    Game Profit (ie the net money it makes -> what goes in your pocket) - Game Cost (ie the money you spent for it, salary not counted)

    then you divide this by the number of months it took to create it

    then you share between the dev staff (but this phase is skipped if you're alone), and you have your salary modulo the taxes.

    This is a formula I use for myself as someone working independently.


    soooo using this formula, a 100M budget movie that makes 50M worldwide is not totally profitable. :p

    50 - 100 = ?

    An example of big budget that failed:
    http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=speedracer.htm
     
    #159 Indinera, Apr 18, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  20. HairyTroll

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    There was some crossover with a previous thread. You are correct in that I should have posted this to that discussion instead.
     

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