You need $100,000?!

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

  1. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Applewood said your own (estimated) salary is included in the budget.
    As for me, I always said everything that is needed to pay for counts in the game's budget.

    Yet, you don't pay yourself (unless you are mad).
    "Oh, it's the end of the month, I shall take out 3K off my bank account and put it back 1 day after, done, I paid myself and my game just costed 3K more"
    Total nonsense. The game's cost has, in fact, not increased a penny.

    In reality, as an indie, you work "for free" with the (legitimate) hope the game will earn you money afterwards, and THAT will constitute your salary.
    This is how it works for real (non contracted) indies making a living off their games.
    It's not at all what Applewood said. I disagreed with two things: counting the estimation of your salary in the budget of a game you're producing, and $100K min needed to make a profitable game (proven wrong already anyway by Grey Alien's example).
     
    #101 Indinera, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  2. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    I aim to prove it wrong again when my current game goes on sale. I've used almost the same model. It's true that I'm not paying any other coders, just artists/musician. Also I'll be paying them some royalties, so those will come out of the gross as costs therefore reducing the net. As an Indie, I can look at my salary per game, or at the end of the year. I prefer to just look at the end of the year because all the time money is coming in from old games anyway and I have gaps between games where I'm not logging my time for any game, plus vacations etc.
     
  3. Indinera

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    I can relate.
    I usually see how much (net) income I made in a given year, then divide by 12 and BAM, magic!
    My salary appears! :D
     
  4. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    *sigh*

    There's a key difference here, you're talking about "the amount of cash you spent getting the game finished". Others are talking "estimating the total cost of a future project". They are two different things.

    What kind of budget do you think is needed for making something like COD4?
     
  5. Indinera

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    I don't try to pretend to know more than I do.
    I just know the claim that $100K is the bare minimum for a profitable game is very, very wrong.

    And I'm talking about the amount of cash spent to make a game - pretty much defines the "budget" in my book. ^^
     
  6. Adrian Lopez

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    I agree with this and have made a similar point myself (to the effect that the money your company pays you represents a cost to that company for making your game).

    If the article were making a statistical argument on how much money it takes to run an indie game company, looking at the huge amount of cases where people get paid would be reasonable. For the argument that you need at least $100,000 to make a successful game, however, a single counterexample suffices to disprove the claim.
     
    #106 Adrian Lopez, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  7. HairyTroll

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    Obviously, the cost of game development varies by region. So can we express costs in terms of the number of Big Macs ?
     
  8. jwthomp

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    At Volition we measure development costs in pop tarts. :)
     
  9. lennard

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    I'm seeing numbers like $750 for an art budget on here... that's going to get you a logo, 2 screens and a handful of sprites according to artist prices that I've been quoted lately. Which takes me back to my original point. To make a salable game these days - not a game that looks like you spent 2K on it that nobody is going to buy but a salable game in a world where you are vying with WOW for consumer attention - the number is closer to 100K even for a niche title.

    And, btw, that 20K house can't be built in North America. When I was in a govt. office in Santa Cruz 8 years ago (battling to keep a beautiful 6' cedar fence on a street filled with 6' fences - I eventually lost) the permitting cost of an average new home was 46K.
     
  10. Indinera

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    That depends what you call "sellable" to be fair (100 copies? 1,000 copies?... or 100,000?). I like the term "profitable" more because it's easy to know if a game made a profit or not.
     
  11. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Yeah, profitable would be more fair as long as we include a living wage in the description of profitable. That said, in a day when games are priced like snacks you need to sell 10k+ units to recoup anything.
     
  12. Indinera

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    Only on portals...
    1,000 sales at $30 makes $30K...
     
  13. vjvj

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    Exactly. This whole argument is just two sides arguing different contexts.
     
  14. Indinera

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    Yup. But whatever side you've picked in your mind, the initial statement is still wrong lol
     
  15. Jack Norton

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    Like snacks? ah I see, you talk about iOS, portals! I have no troubles at all selling my games at $20+ directly, and as Indinera says, 1000 sales are already $20k-30k (depending on your game price).
    If you decide to go fighting for the bottom in that cheap games market is your choice ;)
     
  16. HL706

    HL706 New Member

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    That's more or less what it got me! :D

    But then, my game is a small Android app that didn't need much more that - judge for yourself;

    Screenshot 1

    Screenshot 2

    I don't expect to retire from the success of this game but I do believe I'll make back my $750 - which I'll be more than happy with as this project was undertaken as a learning exercise.
     

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