Want to make 100k USD by the end of 2010, need advice!

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Uhfgood, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Uhfgood

    Original Member

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    First things first, I don't really expect to make 100k by the end of next year. It is, none-the-less, the goal.

    There's a specific reason for this particular goal, however, unless people really want to know, I won't relay it here.

    I plan to make money by small downloadable games (about 1 month development time), ad-based flash games (2-month dev time, which I will explain below), my main game Hypno-Joe, and Indie Flux (my game review site).

    I would really like some information, stats, any advice you could give about making money with games, marketing, and so forth.

    Reason the downloadables are smaller is because I'm going to be using a tool that will help me make games quicker. And because after discussing with someone, the flash games are more likely to make money, so I'm spending a bit longer on the flash games. I've also heard about sponsored flash games, but from what I understood they're one time payments and they don't make very much, or at least don't have as much potential as something like using mochi-ads or whatever.

    I'm planning to theme the games to my main game Hypno-Joe (in some way) to sort of generate some buzz ahead of time, make people more familiar with the character.

    So basically any advice even if it's contrary to what I'm planning to do here already (or contrary to others advice), would be greatly appreciated.

    Also any more tips on the Indie Flux site that would help drive more traffic and thereby increasing ad revenue would be cool.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I want to know, otherwise I'm left thinking - why set yourself a goal that you don't think you can achieve?
     
  3. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    I'm not a flash expert but this information seems quite unaccurate (ie, the opposite of what you say).
     
  4. justkevin

    justkevin New Member

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    To get $100,000 from flash game ads, you'll probably need your games to be played around 200 million times. It's not impossible, DTD may have gotten over 100 million plays in its first year.

    But there are dozens of games released every day. You need a combination of a very addictive game and a lot of luck to make a game that gets anywhere near that popular.

    In terms of sponsorship vs. ads, sponsorship generally pays better for games of medium popularity-- games that can't get sponsorship at all may make a few dollars from ads, whereas games that generate tens of millions of plays may get more revenue from ads than the one time payment from a primary sponsor.
     
  5. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    You're not going to make $100k off free Flash games, regardless of whether it's via ads or sponsorship. The bottom's completely fallen out of that market.
     
  6. Sue

    Sue New Member

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    Hi Alex. I've also been planning to make money from free online Flash games this year. I'll explain my reasoning why and please feel free to pick holes in my theory...

    1. I saw that Reflexive pay $2 for every 1,000 plays of their online games and assumed other sites such as Big Fish would offer similar rates (I couldn't find relevant info on BFG)

    2. Some of the most successful games (always in the top ten) seem to get played at least 100,000 times a day - I'm judging this on the figures for Bubblez! (BFG) for example - at this moment there are 14,087 player playing it - this fluctuates throughout the day - I've seen this as high as 30,000 and as low as 9,000 players; over the course of a day this must be played way more than 100,000 times - and that is just one portal.

    3. 100,000 plays a day = $200 a day

    4. If you have several successful games and have them hosted on several portals it should be easy to make $274 per day ($100,000 per year).

    I was intending to create about 5 online games of different types, then make another 5, reusing a lot of the code, just different storylines and graphics - I reckon I could do this over a year and then offer them to Big Fish, Reflexive and Facebook (haven't looked into getting them on Facebook yet). Assuming I make them good enough - I can't see why this wouldn't work.


    Fire away...
     
  7. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    I know nothing about Flash games on BFG, Reflexive, etc.

    I was talking about the more traditional Flash portals - Newgrounds, Kongregate, etc. There's no money to be made there anymore.

    It's possible that one can still make decent cash from BFG, etc., I have no idea. I didn't know that they even had browser games there that weren't just demos for downloadable titles.
     
  8. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    yes, I've heard pavlina saying this lots of times!
    EASY and $100,000 per year don't go well together, sorry :D
     
  9. wazoo

    Original Member

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    Don't forget taxes.

    So you may have to actually earn $125,000 in order to come away with $100,000...

    I don't have the "answer" since I'm working on the same exact problem (go figure), but it's not very promising to start your intentions by stating you'll fail them.

    good luck dude!
     
  10. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Unless you get extremely lucky you won't make $100k with Flash games. The very best games only seem to make a max of $10k from sponsorship, so you'd need a top notch game almost every month. Generally speaking those top-notch games usually take the author 4-12 months.
     
  11. JGOware

    Indie Author

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    BigFish plays a flat rate for online games. While I can't state it due to my forum name is on the contract, perhaps someone else can. ;)

    Yah, the sponsorship money has really dried up for low end flash games, but there is still some decent money to be made in the high end flash market. To make 100,000 a year doing flash games, you're probably looking at creating 10 of the best flash games on the market, each hoping to earn 10k per game. It's doable, but it's alot of work alot of haggling with sponsors for bids, performance deals, etc, etc.

    I've been shocked the past few months seeing games that I thought would be sponsored for 500.00 end up making 6-7k, and then seeing games that I thought would make 10k+ only get bids of a few hundred dollars. Seems like sponsor budgets (even from the biggest sponsors) fluctuate greatly month to month.

    There's been a few posts on this forum recently saying they didn't make much money until they spent alot of time on 1 high quality game. Maybe that's the best way to go now days. ?
     
  12. Uhfgood

    Original Member

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    Let me review what I wrote just a moment...

    There we go.

    Secondly, I don't intend to fail, I just said I don't expect I'll make that, meaning I have no illusions about the task I've set for myself. If I had just went on arrogantly saying "I'm just going to make 100k USD" then you would have told me I was biting off more than I could chew. All this means is I'm not going to be crying because I didn't hit my goal. I still would like advice on how to achieve the goal though.

    I just didn't want anyone thinking I was arrogant by saying "I'm going to make $$$". Also the "I don't expect to make 100k" is a little ambiguous, I could make more, I could make less.

    I'm hoping to make my goal through several different revenue streams. For instance, ads on my review site, as well as a page for affiliate game sales.

    Ideas for prep, getting up to speed as fast as possible, how i should market them etc. The goal is 12 1-month games (downloadable, i'm planning on making these in Novashell which is essentially a game-prototyping system), 6 2-month flash games... and then my main game which will take over the year (I will get it out sometime during the year, but I don't exactly have a time-frame other than that).

    Thanks for the advice so far :)
     
  13. JGOware

    Indie Author

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    Keep in mind it will take a rather large number of affiliate downloads to make any real money from affililiate sales since typical indie games generate about 1 sale for every 2-300 downloads. (Sometimes alot more!) But you could do alot better if you have a very focused niche download site where the visitors are heavily skewed to the content you're offering.
     
  14. tolik

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    microtransactions
     
  15. ChrisP

    Indie Author

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    Couple of observations:

    - If anyone here really knew how to make 100k USD in one year, starting from scratch (with no existing large customer base built up over many years), don't you think they'd be doing it themselves instead of sharing the secret? :)

    - Making business plans based on the revenues pulled in by the top 10 games in any market is a really bad idea. Even leaving aside the issue of being able to make a top-10-worthy game, what happens if you have 10 competitors who all happen to release games that are slightly better than yours, all at the same time? Remember that on sites/platforms with a visible top 10 list, spot #10 gets a lot more publicity (thus plays, thus money) than spot #11 does.
     
    #15 ChrisP, Dec 5, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  16. JeBuS

    JeBuS New Member

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    Please correct my math if I'm wrong here, but it sounds like you want to invest 3 man-years when you've only got 1 man-year to spend. How's that going to work?
     
  17. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Well that depends. Maybe that person is already making $1m/year and for them it wouldn't be worth the effort to go for that puny $100k.
     
  18. dewitters

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    My advice to you: First finish your first downloadable game and sell it. See how long it actually takes you for the development, and how much revenue it gets. Then finish your first flash game, see how long it took you and how much revenue it gets. After this you will probably be able to make a more realistic goal for the end of 2010.
     
  19. PoV

    PoV
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    Wow, you've summarized 3 distinct business models that people usually tackle only 1 of. Mini games (a-la iPhone), Ad supported games (a-la Flash-Game-License and iPhone), and the full super-game model. In all of them, only a small percentage ever see a decent return... few even approach that $100k figure of yours.

    Those that are earning good money, you have to realize it's not their first game. I know it's not your first either, but your understanding of the market changes and improves for every new product you release.

    Creating original work is high risk. To make money from it requires a good understanding of markets and marketing. If you want anything close to financial security, you need to do contract work. And unfortunately, it IS hard to do your own stuff between contracts.

    If you want money, you can seek work. There's no shame in that, despite how high and mighty some of like to act/talk.

    Indie Game Reviews might be the worst moneymaking niche out there. The majority of people in the indie games sub community are people that want to make them. Developers and hobbyists. That's great for getting freebies, but not so great for getting people to actually spend money. And for you to make money, the people you're promoting need to be making it.
     
  20. jrjellybeans

    jrjellybeans New Member

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    When I first read the first post, this was my main concern.

    It sounds to me that you're going to be making 2 good to great independent games every 3 months while managing an indie review site.

    If you don't have other workers for you, I'd say you're being delusional. We use Game Maker and it will take us about 2 months to finish a DECENT gauntlet clone.

    With that said, if I were you I'd focus on one type of market and try to exploit that one well. Don't try to make a crap ton of games when you don't have any voice in any market.

    When we released our first game, nobody really played it. Granted, it was a bad game, but very few people played. Our second game is going to be out soon, and, even though it's tons better and more casually,we're worried about marketing as well. Specifically reaching the people that are going to buy our games.

    Looking at the traffic from our website right now, pretty much all of our visitors come from:
    1. here
    2. tigsource
    3. a different video game site

    It's really worrying because we have no idea how to reach other people who don't go to those sites.

    My point is that if you're first product isn't a hit, you have to plan on building slowly. Part of building slowly means that you have to focus on one market.

    (All opinions stated should be taken with a grain of salt as we currently aren't making any money with games :)
     

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