You need $100,000?!

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by sindisil, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Indinera

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    Thanks for sharing, and providing a concrete example of what I was trying to explain.

    "Only money matters... experts, truth etc is just a vision of the mind."

    You never needed $100k and you still made a profit. Point proven.
     
  2. Grey Alien

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    Yes I knew that in my case, and plenty of others, you don't need 100K. But that game was a reskin, I've added more detail to the original post.
     
  3. Indinera

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    Yup
    You are *far* from needing $100K to make a profit, that much I can say (well 2K is hardly 100K lol). ;)
     
  4. Bad Sector

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    Where i live and the way i live (which is quite comfortable, though no sport cars or stuff like that :p) with $100k i would work fulltime for about six years. Actually maybe a bit more since now i don't have to pay rent anymore :).

    Now if only i could make a profiting game in less than six years... :p
     
  5. princec

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    Ah, but, who are you to talk?
    <clarification>Cliffski's per-person profits are considerably higher than Valves...

    Cas :)
     
  6. PoV

    PoV
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    Are you familiar with the concept of "overhead cost"?
     
  7. Nexic

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    Even counting your time as $50k/year, I wouldn't say you need $100k worth of investment to make a profitable game. I've done it for more like $20k in the past (and that includes my own time).

    Having said that, I do think your odds of success are higher if you're prepared to push into the $100k+ realm.


    Some people value their sanity over money. I'd rather make a profit of $1m/year solo than $10m/year with 50 employees.
     
    #67 Nexic, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  8. Adrian Lopez

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    "How much a game costs" is a meaningless figure without reference to an actual game and its actual costs. You're free to wax philosophical about how much you think it costs to make games in general, but what actually concerns me is how much it would cost an LLC of my own to make an indie game. Such costs vary from company to company and depend very much on individual business decisions such as partner and employee salaries. In the end, however much less I'm willing and able to accept as guaranteed income in my business is exactly how much less it costs the business to make a game.
     
  9. Grey Alien

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    This is currently the way I feel, although of course that may change.
     
  10. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Please put in a quote for great little war game 2. And it better not be over 25 grand.

    See, it just doesn't wash does it. You/some have found a way to bypass capital expenditure one time. Good for you - that's how I started also so I'm not gonna slag you off for it. But I'll say it again, how much you'd do your own game for is not an indicator of the cost of developing that game.

    I can only reiterate my non gaming example. It costs 100 grand to build a house. With my friends I could get it done for materials only and lots of beers. But it still costs a hundred grand to build a house. If you disagree, go try get a mortgage and see what you can afford for the 10 grand my house would cost me.

    In a capitalist world, things have a cost. That cost is best approximated by how much you can get quotes in for people to supply it. Whatever special cases you can get, like mates rates, working from home etc., are simply not part of that appraisal. If you can use them, then great, but its not the way to look at capital expense. It just isn't.

    YOU can make YOUR game cheaply. Most cannot. Those "most" have to deal in real figures, not some made up crap. Why certain people here insist on deriding the costs of doing business I just don't know. I'm sure you think it makes you look smug and clever, but really it just makes you look immature and not somebody that most would want a biz relationship with anyway.

    And cliffskis the biggest shit-stirrer here because he even has a degree in this stuff! :)
     
  11. GolfHacker

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    My time is too valuable to waste reading this whole thread. I've got a game to make.

    But I find it amusing that the people who are arguing about how time is money are wasting a lot of it here with this lengthy thread. Get back to work!
     
  12. Indinera

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    Well to be fair a "rule" works only if there are no exception... it's like Maths, a statement is proven wrong as long as there is at least one counter-example.
    So no you don't need $100k to make a profitable game, sorry but you just don't...
    what's so bad in accepting the fact that some people are exception to this statement? it's the *indie world* (not the AAA world), people make up their own destinies, being cunning/smart/whatever can work and it's cool that some are outside of the norm (allegedly).
    I don't see any immaturity in revendicating this.
     
    #72 Indinera, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  13. Adrian Lopez

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    You've already tried this particular rhetorical trick, with just as much success.

    One time or a million, it all depends on how much money you need to support your particular lifestyle and how much money you have available from other sources. You may not need $1,000,000 a year to live on, but adding that much to your salary would make developing your games that much more expensive.

    It is quite literally the cost of developing that game.

    In a capitalist world things cost as much or as little as capitalists can get away with. If a cutthroat company can get away with employing foreign workers for wages that other countries would consider criminal, then that is what the company will do.

    I care about actual costs, not estimated ones. Also, don't my quotes to myself count at all?

    Of course they are. They represent the savings you'll see by relying on such things as your friends' goodwill and your own ability to work without pay for some period of time.

    I'm not asking anyone to deal in made up figures. In fact, I'm only asking people to recognize the difference between personal and business expenses. Paying myself a salary is a business expense. Spending enough money to support my chosen lifestyle, however, is not.

    Different needs means different salaries means different costs. Why is that so hard to understand?
     
  14. HairyTroll

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    Say I have $10k in the bank, decide to quit my job and go indie.

    Art costs $2k
    Sound costs $2k

    I now have $6k in the bank. If I can live on $50 a day then I know this game has to be out the door in under 4 months.

    At the end of 4 months I have $0 in the bank.

    Now I could say that the game dev cost was $4k (art + sound). After all, I could have spent those months laying at the beach so there is no reason to count time towards game dev costs.

    Or I could say that it cost $10k to create the game.

    If the game generates revenue of $5k, and it 'cost' $4k then I made $1K profit. If it 'cost' $10k then I made $5K loss.

    Now I have $5k in the bank. Next game; $2k art + $2k sound, except now I have less than a month to get it out the door.

    If I count my hours towards game costs I know immediately I'm in trouble.

    If I don't count my hours then all my games generate a profit and everything is fine........ not.
     
  15. Adrian Lopez

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    What if it took $200 a day for you to live the way you are accustomed? Would the cost of developing the exact same game in four months be $24,000 instead of $6,000? What if you were living on $1000 a day? Is it now $120,000 to make the same game in four months? At which point do you start blaming yourself for spending too much money instead of pinning the blame on the cost of development?

    Living on $18,000 a year is living on $18,000 a year whether you're working for free, working for an $18,000 salary, or not working at all. Going without a salary isn't adding a new expense, but removing a source of income. The personal cost to you is having that much less income, but the cost of developing the game (to your company) is also that much less.
     
  16. vjvj

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    I don't think it is a meaningless figure. If you are trying to build a business model or product development plan, isn't it generally more realistic to assume labor doesn't come free?

    If you're one-man-shopping it sure, you can assume your time is free, but I don't think that was the focus of the original blog post.
     
  17. Adrian Lopez

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    Yes, it is. That's why my first post to this thread lists an Indie developer's salary as part of the cost of development. It's just that the number is flexible and therefore needs to be explicitly accounted for prior to claiming that it costs an indie X amount of money to develop a game.
     
  18. Applewood

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    Erm. Yes?

    When the cost of development stops making what I sell viably profitable. Same with every business known to man. What, are you trying to catch me out? With this? :)

    I've said already that if you have some special case that allows you to NEGATE the costs, then great. But that means you avoided them, not that they are not there. It's just not right to blame someone elses perfectly reasonable numbers just because he's not doing what you are - valuing his time at little/nothing.
     
  19. Adrian Lopez

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    I should make a bunch of games for a million dollars each. They would cost me so much to make that I could live like a millionaire.

    All kidding aside, I do understand that you can turn the money you spend each year into part of the cost of making a game (such as by making it your salary, as I've already suggested), but the point is that you don't really have to unless you literally can't afford to make your games without paying yourself that much.

    In other words, you're saying that the cost of making games is equal to no less than the maximum amount you can pay yourself while still turning a profit in the end? Do you not distinguish at all between spending money on yourself and spending money on your game?

    Those costs exist whether or not you are making any games. They are your costs rather than the costs of running your game business.

    It's not right to call somebody else's numbers "perfectly reasonable" without accounting for how these numbers correspond to real expenses. It's also not right to say you need at least $100,000 without explaining exactly why smaller budgets would not be viable.
     
  20. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm sure you're just trying to wind me up and it's starting to work, so I'm bowing out. Happy to accept defeat.
     

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