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How can I save money when creating my own game?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by goodmikewilliam228, Aug 4, 2022.

  1. goodmikewilliam228

    goodmikewilliam228

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    I wanted to hire local programmers, but they are quite expensive, are there any options to save money?
     
  2. spiney199

    spiney199

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    Do it all yourself.
     
    Kreshi, derkoi, hippocoder and 5 others like this.
  3. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    Search for game templates / game kits. You can often just re-skin them, meaning you only need graphics, and artists are faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar cheaper than programmers. :eek::D

    You can also check the various "for hire" sites where you'll find cheap options but results vary. Fiverr is just one of those.
     
  4. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    just playing devils advocate a bit here, but this doesn't necessarily save money if you factor time cost.

    In fact it might end up being more expensive. You can only measure on a case by case basis of course but for example, if it takes me one year to learn some skills needed to accomplish something in my game, whereas I can pay somebody for a couple days of work to get same result, time cost favors hiring the contractor.

    The original question is too vague to give any useful answers I think though. Maybe if @goodmikewilliam228 provided more detail about what they aim to accomplish then somebody can point to specific time saved tools, workflows, etc.
     
    CodeSmile likes this.
  5. spiney199

    spiney199

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    Reverse devil's advocate: Have you considered the value there is in learning these skills? In the long run the money they might make you could potentially outweigh the time you spend learning them.

    Hell, a lot of skills I've learnt learning Unity have been transplantable to other parts of my life, including my boring day job. In particular I've become a much better problem solver than I was a year a bit a ago. Can't put a price on that!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
    stain2319 and CodeSmile like this.
  6. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    I hate it when two people have different opinions, and they're both correct. :D

    But case in point: recently somewhere on the forum it was mentioned that people don't buy the assets that they could as well do themselves, even if they could save time. The learning part is one reason for that. Companies however look at this differently, they're going to pay for a convenient integration to <insert random webservice here> if it saves them half a day's work.

    Employee expenses per hour: ~$150
    Asset price: < $150
    Estimated hours saved: 1

    Asset bought!

    Unless the company has some weird policies where you have to jump through hoops to make purchases as well as requiring the international corporation's Head of Tax Evation to sign off on it ...
     
  7. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    yes thats part of the calculation. If its a skill i see reuse in, maybe i consider it part of education cost. if its not something i see reuse in or its just not right time to dive into another complicated skill, then leverage expertise of others.

    presumably the OP has already made that calculation, and just seeks some sort of time-saver tools or some knowledge about where to find more affordable helper or something.
     
  8. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    not two different opinions, it's just a discussion.

    internet is a great place when people just discuss things, and don't see so much difference of opinions :) everybody here has basically same goal after all
     
  9. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Get a desk job instead.

    If you want to make games you need to work from the understanding that you will almost always lose money, especially if it's your first game, which it's pretty clear this is. In fact, there's a few things that we can infer from your post.
    1. You haven't made a game before. This is mostly clear from the specific wording you used ("creating my own game")
    2. The game you want to make is very likely dramatically beyond the scope of something you should be working on (you want to hire people instead of learning the skills yourself, which pretty heavily implies you see this project as something that requires more people)
    3. You're viewing this as a business decision without knowing the basics of games as a business (you have not factored in the extremely low financial success rate of games)
    4. You haven't managed a project before, especially a creative one. Are you planning on making the art assets yourself? The sound effects? The music? All these things cost money as well unless you're using free royalty-free resources, which will dramatically undercut your game far more than bad programming
    What, specifically, is the game you want to make that requires you to hire outside resources? Why are you incapable of doing those things yourself?
     
    neoshaman, Ryiah and stain2319 like this.
  10. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Yes, work yourself, for free.

    Make sure you have enough money saved for bills and food for the duration of the development.

    Time is not money. While you can use time to generate money, that does not mean the time you spent doing unpaid work equals some specific sum.
     
  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    well you can choose not to value your time if you want but for most people that is a luxury beyond imagination.
     
  12. kburkhart84

    kburkhart84

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    I certainly put value on my time...but I'm realistic enough to know it isn't exactly a 1:1 conversion in any case. I still put enough value on it to look for alternatives for things. I'm certainly open to(and have) buying assets that save my time. It's just the next logical step in a general sense. We use a game engine to save time over raw C++, why not take the next step if the funds are available and it makes sense? I'm not using any pre-made full game templates, but certainly components of such can be useful. If UFPS does the job and can easily be made to work, I'm not going to waste time coding my own first person controller code. The same can be said for all the other useful assets out there.

    Now, I know not everybody has the funds to do that, and I certainly can't afford to just go buy anything and everything, but each of us has a budget, ranging from $0 to $XXX, and there is no good reason IMO to not put it to good use if it is non-zero.
     
  13. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    *sighs*

    The value of your time is zero dollars by default. For it to be worth anything, you'd need to find a buyer. If there's no buyer, it is worthless.

    The OP wants to save money, the way to do that is to put their own time into it.
     
  14. koirat

    koirat

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    Well, don't spend it ?

    Btw. why are we answering such an obvious bait.
     
    Antypodish likes this.
  15. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    there can never be a buyer if they dont make a game. I am sure they know their own situation better than you do, and maybe hiring some people to help make their game is going to be the best option.

    There is more than one way to make games and I don' thinkt most games are made by soloist who did everything themselves. In fact I'm certain of that.

    You might have plenty of time but no money, but the OP might be opposite. Plenty of money but little time. Hence they can make an evaluation about what their time is worth (or in other words, what they need to stay alive) and compare that to expected return.

    Murgilods assumptions might be right but I think there is too little info - i mean if you wanna assume the OP is a moron you can do whatever you want. Personally I dont care it doesnt seem they like are too invested, so I try to add some alternate thoughts that anybody searching in the future might consider.
     
  16. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Yes, that is basic math.

    Anybody wanting to make game development a business is going to have to think about valuing their time. Do you try to make a case against that?

    And I am sure you can agree that one person doing everything is not the most efficient use of time. Teamwork makes the dreamwork - everybody on the planet knows this.

    Presumably a person looking to hire people is interested in game dev as a business - you guys can make a case that you think the OP knows nothing if you want and speculate all you want.

    Much like many people here I do game dev full time but I dont have to worry about making a living from it - at least not for about ten years. So I can sit back, relax, and tell people "just learn to do everything yourself, I did!" But I don't think that's realistic advice for pretty much most people.

    As far as I can tell, the most prolific indie game devs are extremely keen on carefully tracking budgets and strategically choosing what battles they fight alone and when they hsould get help. I think any young game developers should get a sense that that is normal for successful developers, not living in the basement for ten years being a solo-dev.
     
  17. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    He's saying you have to find someone that will trade their money for your time which goes in line with what you are saying here which is that you have to evaluate the value of your time. If you have programming skill you can directly work on your own game or you could work at an IT company and make enough to live and hire a developer.

    Edit: Boo you caught my previous half thought post before I tossed it in favor of this one. :p
     
    BIGTIMEMASTER likes this.
  18. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Yeah that is what the OP is asking about. Where to find people - what they found was out of their budget, apparently.

    If the OP wanted real help they might ask something more specific like, "my budget is X, I want systems like ____ and my timeframe is ____." In which case something specific might be suggested.

    I don't think we need to explain that if you can do everything yourself, then you don't need to hire people. That's very obvious.

    I'd be interested to know how long the people who do everything themselves took to learn how to do everything themselves. And how do you prove that you know how to do everything yourself? How do you justify the time cost? Is it working out as a viable business plan? Or is it just the philosophy of somebody who is a hobbyist?
     
  19. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Here's a practical example of a way I saved money:

    I wanted my game to have custom key bindings and full suite of graphics/display options. I first look into how much time it may take for me to do this myself. It looked to be at least a month of work.

    That's just time cost - never mind the mental impact of having to switch gears into new territory, especially osmething so mundane and tedious.

    But just consider time cost. Even though I am set financially for next ten years or so, I still want to develop my game dev into a viable business. That means I need to start thinking about how I can get my dev time to work out to at least $30/hour, given my standard of living.

    So I find an asset pack that does these features and cost about $100. It's got everything I need, plus great dev support.

    Now, until I sell my game, I can't say for sure that the cost will be recouped at a rate that ensures me $30/hour. But I log it all so that when reviewing things after publication, I can work it out.

    If I have to bet, I am thinking the time savings is going to net me money, even though this current project isn't even a serious commerical effort - just my "learn to make games" project. I may end up wrong, but a month+ of work for $100 dollars, and this is system I can easily resuse in future projects... that seems like a great way to save money by leveraging expertise of others.

    Other people already mentioned the use of templates, but since you guys want to challenge me and offer sighs like it is so troublesome to explain things to a child, I'll explain things step by step.
     
  20. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    And since I am killing time, here is probably the most powerful way I've saved myself months, perhaps years of effort.

    The current running total is about $1,000, but especially early on I hired people just for consultation. Some people just to help guide me in making a game framework, others to help solve specific technical things like shaders/materials, and so on. Some people help a bit for free to, but anybody offering more than an hour here or there I try to pay at least $50-60 per hour.

    I am not doing that as much these days but that was probably the best use of money I've put into game dev so far, besides building a computer.

    For some things I might have just hired somebody to do the work directly, but I instead budgeted money to upgrade my workstation because I'm not that rich.
     
  21. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    That's not related to the time value, at all.

    People buying your game do not pay for your time. They pay for your game. The amount of time spent does not matter. Hence the time has no inherent value. Another example is.... you've wasted several hours today sleeping. Could you sell that time to someone?

    And regarding $30/hour, the safest assumption would be to mark all the time you've spent as lost. As majority of game developers fail. So if you want steady pay, you'll be better off with a desk job.

    Development in many cases is throwing both money and time into the fire in hopes that something comes out of it. In many cases result does not meet the expectations.
     
    Casper-Chimp likes this.
  22. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    To save money, save time by choosing a project that will generate money so you can hire others, then waste all the money, falling into disrepute and drink. Followed by gambling before finally standing at the precipice of Godot, swigging from a half empty bottle of Unity tears.
     
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  23. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Man, you are just trolling at this point.
     
  24. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    No, I'm being completely serious. If you do not understand or do not agree, that's not my problem.

    And I have far better things to do than trying to provoke emotional response from random strangers.

    Yes. This is a complete understanding right here.
     
  25. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Great. I hope we'll all see the output of that soon.
     
  26. spiney199

    spiney199

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    Why do these threads that stem from the first post of some random new account always end in circular bickering?
     
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  27. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Because zombie gorilla is too AFK to lock them.
     
  28. koirat

    koirat

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    Yes,
    when you were sleeping with someone for money.
     
  29. koirat

    koirat

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    Unfortunately he is totally right.
     
  30. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    who is right about what?
     
  31. koirat

    koirat

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  32. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    therefore.....?
     
  33. koirat

    koirat

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    Therefore it is mostly not worth it.