Profit?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by IndieDev, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. IndieDev

    IndieDev Guest

    So I've heard that indies don't get much profit, especially if they pay for something like audio and graphics. Is that true? I know it depends on how well the game does, so let's say just an average indie game that makes it way to Steam, nothing fancy or known.
     
  2. Bram

    Indie Author Greenlit

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    2
    The average indie game does not make it onto steam.
    Those who do, are likely to do very well.

    Making games is fun, and for some even an addiction :)
    That means that a lot of indies will do it at zero profit.

    Also, making big money is unlikely to happen with your first game.
    But practice makes perfect, and big pay checks are definitely possible, especially at one-man-shops with very little overhead and only 1 person on the pay roll.
     
  3. IndieDev

    IndieDev Guest

    I do like doing the game design. I don't enjoy programming as it's repetitive and I am not proficient at sound/image and am not interested in it. So I think in general, I do enjoy it. :) Unfortunately I'm also poor in real life and am unable to get a job, so I am wondering if it's profitable to try to learn more programming and start creating something. For me the problem is that since I have little interest in coding, I've trouble learning it from nested tutorials.
     
  4. Stropp

    Stropp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have a couple of options as I see it.


    • Learn to program. If you have little art and sound experience, you can get away with coding and use 'programmer art' or source it from low cost or free repositories.


    • Use a tool like Unity 3D which lets you get away with minimal programming. You dont have to develop the game engine but still need to 'script' the game which requires some programming, just not at the level of writing the whole thing yourself. You will still have to source art and sound.


    • Use a tool like RPGMaker which pretty much puts the whole programming thing under the covers. You still have the art/sound problem though.

    Either way you will still need to do the art and sound yourself or buy it.

    The final thing I can suggest is to find a few friends with skills in the various areas, programming, art, and sound, and you take on the role of 'designer' or do the business side, marketing & sales, administration. You can even take on the role of test manager.
     
  5. Nexic

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,437
    Likes Received:
    0
    It really depends on the game. As with any product, mediocre offerings will struggle whilst the best will rake in millions.

    Generally, getting to the point where you're able to make a successful title takes a few years of practice, during which time you'll be making almost no money. It took me 5 long years, but in the end I managed to make being an indie highly profitable.
     
  6. IndieDev

    IndieDev Guest

    I see learning to program as the most viable option here.

    As for friends - I haven't met a single person who's interested in either programming or game design in general. I guess it's not as popular as in some other countries, the main of course being the US.

    Thanks for the suggestions. :)

    Interesting. Was that the idea or coding part that kept you 5 years until you managed to make an indie game that was profitable?
     
  7. rioka

    rioka New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think what he's (Nexic) saying is that with time you get better (programming, time management, etc), get to know the market better and can target it more accurately as well as being able to build a line of products that will still make you money over the years (some call this the "long tail"). This also allows you to build a following of customers assuming you do the foot-work yourself in your website and not bring out all your games through portals that is.
     
  8. Nexic

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,437
    Likes Received:
    0
    It took me 5 years to both get good enough at coding, and know the market well enough. A lot of people already have the coding side down, but very few can understand the market without being in it themselves for an extended period of time.
     
  9. Stropp

    Stropp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a principle known as the 10,000 hour rule that says in order to get good at something you're going to have to practice it for 10,000 hours. For authors, the principle is that it is necessary to write 1,000,000 words before you are good enough to be published.

    There are exceptions of course, some people have an element of natural skill, but that just reduces the investment, it doesn't eliminate the need for practice. The very best in the world not only have 'talent' they spend countless hours practicing it too.

    It sounds discouraging I know, but if you have a passion for something you'll just do it.

    Besides, you don't have to spend 10,000 hours to be competent enough to write a game. Just think of something and start. Your first effort probably won't be great but your second effort will be better and so on. Just make sure you push through and complete what you start. That's the only way to really improve...
     
  10. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    2
    If you're poor, get a job. If you can't get a job, get skills that can get you a job or change job you're applying for.

    Making games won't make you rich overnight. With your current set of skills and your attitude I see a long road ahead of you to become profitable, let alone rich. Designing games is a difficult task and mastering it takes few finished games. After over 10 games released I can't say I am confident at it. Designing games is a bit more than saying "it's a fantasy themed rts" and the most difficult parts of game to design are usually those that we players don't notice (when they're done well).

    Start with simple games. Really really simple. And make them fun. If you can do that you might collaborate with others on making bigger games.
     
  11. SymbiantStudios

    SymbiantStudios New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. dannthr

    dannthr New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    2
    Symbiant, an hour a day ain't that much--that's pretty awesome!

    OP:

    I can appreciate the desire to do this for a living, but if doing it on its own with no more reward than the result of having created something is not enough for you, this industry will be really, really freaking cruel on you.

    You have to love it, you have to have a sick passion, you have to have people wanting to give you an intervention, and you have to be willing to kick those people who care about you in their respective shins and flea from them--run away--always running back to that industry that treats you so bad and yet loves you so good because you are its bitch.

    That's the game industry.
     
  13. IndieDev

    IndieDev Guest

    I see. Well I can definitely relate to the programming part and the "know the market" part. I don't know if what I'm creating will be liked or not, and if I've already tried something, there's one less possibility. Even though I think that my idea is good, and some people who I know wouldn't speak of it until it's done think so, it may not be. There's no way of knowing for sure...

    Wow, that's long!

    Heh, yea, I heard that rule. I think people overuse it. It's too dependent on what one's mental capabilities, unless we're talking about grunt work. I do, however, agree that practice, in most cases, improves what you do.

    The first line implies that I live in a country that can offer that. I don't. I'm sure, judging from the boldness of your belief, that you don't agree with what I've just said though...

    Collaboration, same goes for it - nobody here makes, or wants to make, games.

    Well an hour a day isn't much. If taking this from personal perspective, when I do something, I spend 4-8 hours a day, or something closer to 16-18 hours a day if it's the weekend, doing it. ;)

    As I said, as long as I don't have money to live comfortably, the mental reward isn't enough for me. Otherwise, it would be. :)

    ---

    P.S. I've started jugling around with C++. We'll see if something will come out of it. :)
     
    #13 IndieDev, Sep 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2012
  14. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    2
    Boldness :D That's real life experience from the person that has been in the same situation that you are. My country doesn't offer many well paid jobs and in the times when I left university it was even worse. In my city and it's neighborhood there was no game development company at all, but that didn't stop me. I just created my own company. But if you do that prepare to wait few years to make profit in that industry (3-5 years is good estimate). That's why I said get a job and if your country doesn't offer that, think outside the box and look somewhere else. Before I started my game dev company I was working 80 hours a week (that's right, 2 full shifts) and saving money like crazy. Prepare to do that too. You won't save any reasonable money if you work only 40 hours a week in regular job. Unless you can live on the shoulders of your parents for the time that your company is not profitable.


    cheers
    Roman
     
  15. IndieDev

    IndieDev Guest

    From the jobs that I can get are the jobs that would barely pay the bills, or maybe wouldn't even be enough for that if I was to buy bread and butter on top of that. Two jobs, if buying basic unhealthy food, would save me like $100 a month. $1200 a year - people buy PCs that cost more than that. ;)
     

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