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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ephemeral-life, Oct 10, 2015.
And do you mind showing me some examples of what you have created?
I do. I am pretty new in the industry so don't have too many titles on my CV yet. But you can check my signature.
Also got another two releases around the corner that ive been involved in. But i am working full time as a game dev with Unity as my tool.
Not me. I work in ag chem producing the chemicals that go into the food you eat. You are welcome.
I do make a small amount of money off of my games and my YouTube channel. But it's minimal.
Off topic..but if it has chemicals in it I won't eat it.
On topic.. I have a couple dozen games I have done for clients and a half dozen of my own as well as other Unity apps that are not games like the VJ toolkit for The Marquee in Vegas. My site is in my sig.
Done loads of client games. And a couple of our own. Doing another one right now. To make a living, you can't really rely on luck or a one hit wonder, it really doesn't make sense as a career from an indie POV. People making a living are probably those guys on asset store more often than not
Honestly, I think professional game testers make more money from games than most game developers around here.
Where can I sign up?
Someone game dev bully who is just getting started can just go to some rich kid next block and get him to test his game for free.
This is what surprises me about all of the people focused on money (by that I mean the number of people talking about money in one way or another) from making games.
I guess it has to just be the big media focusing only on that aspect. In reality, people make money with games in various ways and there are most likely way less people trying to do the other ways which means those sectors may actually have a demand for more people. Certainly it is likely they probably need people more than we need more games. As you said game testing is one of them.
Six Ways To Make Money Playing Video Games
10 Sites Where You Get Paid To Play Games
Professional Gamers Make Six Figures Per Year Playing Video Games
Of course, like anything else, a person needs to do their own due diligence. Check out the sites and be sure they seem legit. But for actually making money with things regarding games it just seems to me like there are other ways way more sensible than creating games.
Like whenever you see a game that is a big hit wouldn't common sense say if you made a strategy guide for that game you'd likely make some decent money? Instead of trying to create Flappy Bird clones it would have made far more sense for someone to have played the hell out of flappy bird and tested everything they could think of to get a few more points. Then wrote a tiny app Flappy Bird Boot Camp or Flappy Bird Training Instructor. Add a tagline "show your friends up" or "Amaze your friends with your new score!". If people want to make money they need to use their brains.
No but maybe you could start a service to sell to other indies
That sounds pretty unhealthy tbh
@GarBenjamin - Pft, I makes nxt mmo draw sprite sword slash n hax my enemies n loot they gold cause my game is gon be leet bruh. ahahahaahahaahaha LOL.
But naw really, I make my games for the passion, but we've talked about this more than once, I ain't gonna blatantly give my game away for free I worked for literally over 3000 hours on (just example). I'll charge something for it, but I ain't gonna charge 59.99 or anything, more like 5/10 dollars for (PC and Xbox One).
And the little bit I make will go into my next game, if it becomes a hit then awesome, if not, hopefully it at least hopefully pay off one bill lol.
It does when I phrase it that way. It's amazing how many different chemical processes go into supermarket shelves. Even something like fresh fruit and vegetables.
The business I'm in makes the herbicides and pesticides that are used in modern agriculture. We also have divisions that produce GMO seeds for increasing yield or crop quality.
Regardless of what you think of the technologies, the fact remains that without modern agriculture we would not be able to feed the world's current population.
Also rest assured the industry has learned a lot over the last few decades. We spend a lot of time and effort ensuring the food you buy in the supermarket is safe to eat. But I still wouldn't suggest putting a residential area right up against a high hazard chemical manufacturer. We are good at what we do, but not that good.
Yeah man you should sell it. I'm talking about the people who seem to focus on the money. I get they are reading about things like Flappy Bird and Minecraft and all excited dreaming of doing the same thing. See to me when people are dreaming like that they are after the money. Now if they said I want to make a game that is as popular as Flappy Bird was, I want to make a game that makes the same kind of impact as Minecraft or I want to make a game that I've been thinking about for a long time and always wanted to play but nobody has ever made it... well then I'd say the focus is on the actual game. They want to MAKE something great for others to enjoy (or even just themselves). In those cases they need to do it to make that game and get it out of their mind. At least try to create the experience they envision. For the others they could get what they are after from anything as long as it is making them the money they want because what they want is the money. So for them go where the money is. Right?
To me making money comes down to basically two ways either you are adding value to people's lives in some way or you are a crook. That's it. We've seen examples of the people taking the low road. Scammers and such. That is one way to make money. The other is to figure out how you can add some value to other peoples lives. That could be through entertainment such as games. Possibly offering a new experience they've not had before. Or it could be to add value by looking at games that are already popular, figuring out what problems the people are having in those games and then try to make a solution for them or try to do something that simply adds more enjoyment to their existing game experience. It could be figuring out what issues game devs are having with Unity, GMS and other game dev tools and creating a solution for those. Heck it could be go get a job or start a small business doing basically anything. lol
I'm actually looking forward to your game if it is still the one about the abduction. It is a very cool theme and an experience I've never really seen delivered in a game. I might be able to help out a tiny bit with your launch because I happen to have an asset closely related to your subject matter.
@GarBenjamin - I agree totally! I'm definitely on the same terms as you.
I don't know dudes name but he also said
And actually I'm working on that game, and another game.
I like to switch up between both, I'll work on one for like a month, then go back to the other. That way I don't get to burnt out on one thing.
So I'm still making the abduction one (Mainly taking a break so I can envision the way I want the levels to me). I want them more horrifyingly scary than futuristic, just as the movie Fire In the Sky portrays .
But my second game, it's sort of like the game Uplink Hacker Elite. Except I have made these unique mechanics.
You literally run a desktop on your desktop (Change Wallpaper, got a start menu, got folders, got terminal, got e-mail (fake). You can move the icons around the screen, and so on.) So it will bring the expierience of feeling like you're really on a real computer not some fake black screen with a bunch of fancy blue graphics like Uplink does lol. Now I will have the nice little fake tools Uplink has, because well it was FUN. Not trying to make this a realistic simulation of hacking, but moreso just trying to get the Desktop mechanics done, I think that's really unique as well.
Oh and by the way (sorry forgot to ask).
What's this asset about that you have? If you'd rather PM me about it that's fine bud.
I make games for a living, currently using unity. My last game : http://www.starwars.com/games-apps/star-wars-commander
My next game is set to soft-launch in 12 (very short) weeks. Also in Unity.
In my case, making games for a living means that I get to do what I love the most as a job, it has nothing to do with getting rich. Hopefully I will get there someday.
I would disagree.
Well, some are making a fortune. But most aren't. My "Dragon Pack PBR", which is my most popular model, is the #8 top grossing package in the "Characters" section. Granted, that's 2 levels removed from the entire store, but it's a category with about 10% of the total assets in the store in it.
I won't give the exact number, but it's not nearly high enough to be a full time living. I'd likely need 10-20 packages doing the same amount in order to make it "Full time" (depending on where I live, I suppose).
In the end, I'm making some money from my game "The Barbarian" and some money from assets. But I spend more to get the assets made than I make, by far, and the game makes maybe $200-$300 over a 30 day period right now. That should go up once I get an android version and I release on Steam (already greenlit, just waiting for an updated main character model and also updated audio that's -- lucky for me -- being done by a professional team that really liked my game, from Universal Music [they want to break into the game audio industry, and want to use my game as a showcase ])
It does seem that like most "Art" fields -- and this really is an art field -- it's mostly winner take all. There's some people making gobs of money on the asset store, but most make practically nothing (I'd guess like 40% of the packages aren't even sold once in a month), and a decent amount make only a bit.
Games...well, the one hit wonders don't count. Everyone else is likely only making a little bit.
If you could pump out a ton of games really fast, really cheaply, then maybe you could cobble together a salary.
It does seem that a lot of devs here take outside work on to fill the gap.
I think it's more of a question based on a couple of thousand a month though - ie enough to live on. In your case you do not earn enough from either, which is what I meant by "it doesn't make sense as a career".
Not intended to be a criticism, just I felt you missed the point... you can't be surviving well on $300 a month, so probably have other ways in addition.
Savings Slowly dwindling. I did meet an asset store producer who is doing it "full time", but pointed out that they couldn't do it while living in a city.
I wish there was some study to show more accurate stats, but my guess is that most people who make games don't make much money from it -- same with asset store stuff.
It's one of those things, for me, that I think a lot of people think (As I once did) "Oh, I'll make a game, make some money, make a 2nd and I'll be set to keep doing it full time..." But that doesn't actually work, I think.
idk, of course
Until it does.
It's just like every other artistic profession. You can be a huge success overnight. You can be a slow-boil success, where you grind out a living over a decade and eventually settle into it. You can be an absolute failure. And you can be anything in between those things.
I don't think there's any (documentable) science to it personally. It happens for some people. It doesn't happen for others. And there are a lot of factors which determine which category people end up belonging to.
Which makes sense. If someone was employed full time as a character artist or modeler, they would would be continually making new works. I don't know anyone who develops for the asset store, but I do know several artists to who work independently (on a contract basis), and they make good livings primarily because they constantly have work. I would guess that to make a living off selling 3D assets you would have to either have to far above the curve in efficiently, speed and quality or simply be constantly cranking out the assets and after time build a deep enough catalog to even out the hits and misses and make a consistent revenue.
For example your dragon is pretty high quality, and as a rough guess would be somewhere between 2-4 weeks to develop? $60 is clearly a bargain for an asset like that. But you would have to move 40-80 (just ball-parking based on salaries in this area) to break even, or rather make the same as you would doing contract or employed work. Certainly the upside is that once you break the mark where you have made more than your time is worth, everything beyond that is gravy. But it would also mean that for that this type of thing to work, you would have to constantly be adding to your catalog to account for the longer return times, and assets that didn't sell for whatever reasons. If I am working full time as a modeler, I'm going to get paid for my units of work right away. Independent selling through the asset store means it make take months or years to recoup your investment on that same unit of work. But it would work out if you have several assets for sale. If you are recouping your time investment at 10% of the time, having 10 assets working on that same scale means you could be making a livable salary. Obviously more than 10 to account ongoing changes/growth/market. Like any job, you want to keep doing it to get keep getting paid.
It seems like with the right skills and market insights it could be very doable, and lucrative, just might take a bit of time to get rolling. For me, I prefer contract/employed work, that way I always get paid and others take the risks.
I prefer the risk, I guess! Also, I don't have the skills to do the modeling and animating myself. I can do the textures & texture modifications myself, but I have to hire out for the rest. The dragon likely took 3 weeks or so for modeling, more time for texturing, and a few weeks for animating. I think it'll take 80+ sales to break even, after the 30% cut, on the cash spent to make it. To b e paid for my time, it'd have to make more.
I'm sure over the next couple years it'll get there, eventually. EVENTUALLY. Some of the other models...who knows!
On an off topic note, I'd like to say that this:
Is extremely, extremely untrue (well, the fact that GMOs are required to feed the world's population. They actually yield either the same or worse than non-GMO. Monsanto and others pay for these beliefs to exist. And I buy organic only, as should everyone.
Either way, not the place to argue about that. So on the topic:
I've just entered the industry. Originally, I planned to make money solely off making games. But I've come to realize that it's likely not plausible.
I can't go with the 'pump a ton of small, crap games out in a small period of time' idea. I make big things. I've been working on my game for over a year now and it's really coming along well. But after I invest all these years of effort, what if I barely make anything from it?
Well, I'll keep trying. I'll keep working on that marketing. I don't see why it's over just because it fails at first - why can't I keep marketing and keep trying, keep getting feedback and making changes, and keep trying until it catches on?
But of course I'll have to support myself. Can't be making no money while waiting for it to hopefully catch on (or taking another long period of time to make another).
So my main purpose for developing my game is to get programming experience and to have a large scale project I can show to potential employers. While I plan to work for others, I'll always be making my games and hoping one of them catches on. Then I won't have to work for others anymore
You are of course entitled to your belief. On the other hand this industry is cut throat. The relations between major players make unreal and unity look like the best of pals. If Monsanto tried to pull a move like that, you can bet Dow and Bayer and Nufarm would be all over them, as would hundreds of other small players. We have race to the bottom just as much as any other industry.
Monsanto has no more control over the industry at large then EA has over what game you make tonight.
This. I'm way to risk adverse to put my future in a product of my own making that might fail entirely. As an employee my wages are guaranteed. It's the share holders that bear most of the financial risk. Assuming I do my job properly and don't blow up.
He is entitled to his facts. Corn rootworm is devastating fields that have been GMO here in the corn belt, Indian farmers are committing suicide in droves due to crop loss from GMO's and the pest's resistance. Organic farmers fields are being contaminated and these so-called beneficial corps are suing them. They are being banned in country after country. I can throw GMO corn products outside and the animals won't touch them. This is all easily found with a google search. I hope they all race to the bottom and through the floor. I hope you find a lucrative career in another industry as I like you, you are a moral individual and know you have a family to raise.. Ever considered game dev?
I make minimum 5 grand a week, and I hate it! I feel I'm not successful because I need to be making 40 grand a week!
Maybe one day lol.
I design oil rigs at the day job. Sometimes I make simulators and demos in Unity for events like OTC or project presentations/proofing.
I piddle around with programming and developing game stuff for fun.
Here's what I've come to learn, and only very recently after a huge volume of struggle and failure. This turned out a little lengthy, bear with me...
Like so many, my idea of being indie always entailed a kind of independent passion. The stereotype of the bedroom programmer, the loner, man vs machine, a rebellion against society, a rebellion against the norm, a rebellion against business and money and commercial interests. It was this ideal of going solo, doing everything myself, pursuing only what I felt passionate about or interested in, being kind of the 'hero' in the center of all this brave effort, orchestrating everything myself and doing all the work and imagining myself as the savior of all those poor game players who were suffering from bad games.
Like so many I rejected the idea of thinking about money or business or 'trying to make money' (because those are NOT indie - remember, indie means `independent` which is really an egocentric standpoint, which makes us AGAINST success or being like the crowd in any way, which includes not having anything to do with evil money)... while at the same time having this hipocritical longing for some kind of success. It's almost as if I believed I would just happen to be super successful without having even given attention to 'how', and that this would reflect upon myself as some kind of superhero with false humility. I did not want to create anything like any of the mainstream games. I even had an active despising of and avoidance of all such games, seeing them as inferior and so on.
Did I ever come up with any kind of miraculous passive heroic success? No. Total absolute heart-wrenching failure every time, tears included. It was all an ego bullshit lie. How could I expect to see any kind of success without actually acting in a manner that would confidently bring that success? Just playing around with ideas and things that seem cool and `so indie` did absolutely nothing but make me fail. And yet I did not want to do that evil thing - compete - with all the empty lifeless copycat games that were so easy to judge. But it isn't so much that I had to focus on competing, but simply on making a really good game, with realistic goals and reasons for its design that takes other people into account. The indie heroic drive is self-centered and narcissistic and ineffective.
For me, that entire approach to development pretty much died a miserable death just recently. And with it, I kind of broke down over the total frustration and failure of the 'dead dream' of breaking away from the rat-race and being 'full time indie'. Particularly in light of this stupid 'indiepocalypse' idea which really just means that the indie attitude is being proven not to work, and it should die. But this also made me take a good hard look at my options and what I'd really been doing.
This is maybe a generalization and there are obvious exceptions, but the fact is, in this world, you need money to survive. You're going to more or less be dead without it. Trying to be the indie hero without considering that is suicide. Expecting that people are going to just accidentally, passive love your creations is indirect and egocentric self-sabotage.
If you really do genuinely want your game to do well in this world, you pretty much are going to have to adopt an attitude of really getting smart and treating it as a business. This doesn't have to mean you are sacrificing all artistic integrity or foregoing natural passions. It simply means that you're stepping outside of the hero shoes and you're starting to work ON the business instead of IN the business. You're getting a detached viewpoint which lets you make smart decisions for the good of the project, including setting and achieving goals, managing time, knowing your audience, placing limits on wayward dreaming, keeping things on track etc, having a goal and purpose that's actually REALISTIC and not fairytale. That way you actually might accomplish something and actually might make some good sound decisions based on having an actual audience. Otherwise you're not only a bedroom programmer but you're also doing it with the lights out, and nobody can see in the dark.
I've found it simply does not work to have ANY intention of success without getting serious about being a proper business and making business-type decisions about your game. You have to view your game as a product and you have to snap out of the fantasy bullshit of being just a hobbyist. If you want to do games purely for enjoyment and not to make money, then at least admit to yourself that this is what you are doing and stop trying to just hope that maybe you're going to get some success somehow. You won't. You will fail. And you will be frustrated and you will give up hope. I did. I had to give up all hope of this indie attitude ever working for me. It is broken.
If you want your games to go far and if you're in any way unclear about whether this is a hobby (which means it has no realistic goals that you can expect to meet), then you're just kidding yourself. The only way your games are going to be successful is if you have the right kind of attitude and viewpoint, which is what we call 'business', like it or not. If your little operation does not look like a proper business, then you're still a hobbyist and you will fail. If being a hobbyist is all you want, that's great.
Maybe you'll accidentally get some success. But I think this has led to this fiction that you can still be just a hobbyist and indie and not think about genuine success at all, and yet still be successful... and because this does not work, it leads to this pervasive idea that "being successful as an indie is just luck". It's not luck. It's only a little bit luck. Success is INTENTIONAL. That means you are confident that you know what you are doing and that it will work. It's not a shot in the dark or some kind of lottery. If you're treating it properly with the respect and organization that it needs for success, then it has a far better chance of success than for that to be just an afterthought.
The indie ideal can be this fantasy idea of magical developers who are just so cool and who are worshipped, with great games just oozing out of them in their sleep with no effort, but unless you are some kind of genius (which you probably think you are) that just isn't going to happen. You have to make it happen. And that means getting serious about what you're doing and acting mature about it, which is what it means to run a business. And yes that does also mean you have your eye on actually, realistically making money, having done your research and knowing who you're doing it for and why. I think the indie fantasy mindset is really an impediment to ACTUALLY being successful in so many ways. Maybe you can retain some sense of independence and `flying the flag` and all this ego bullshit, but it does not work.
Once you give up that fight and get real then now you're really on to something and can make strides forward with clarity, confidence, intention, being realistic and stepping back with an objective viewpoint to manage your project, rather than just being that star performer hero person in the middle of the trenches trying to fight their way out. You have to become able to look at it from the outside in, from a bigger perspective, which largely means coming out of the bedroom and into the light.
Either operate as a proper business or drop the idea of ever seeing success entirely.
Some good stuff in here. Definitely agree if a person is doing it for money then they need to realize it has to be a business. And a big part of that is realizing the development of the game and the game itself is only a small part of the big picture. If people were all starting real (albeit micro) businesses in game dev then I'd have a very different view of them chasing the money. Instead what we see is basically people making game after game and throwing them out on the market (usually mobile) like a lottery ticket. Literally it is very much like just playing the lottery.
There are true hobbyists. I am one. I do projects for fun. However, I also look ahead to a day when I may very well switch from Hobbyist to Business. I do agree that many people seem to confuse and think Indie means hobbyist. They are very different. I see hobbyists as doing it solely for passion. They generally won't even put ads or any other monetization into things they create. What most folks calling themselves Indies seem to do is view themselves as purely hobbyists (no focus on business) except they have a big focus on money. Like I said, it ends up being very much like they are playing the lottery and each game they make and throw out on the market is a ticket.
Ok, I'm going to re-word this because to get the point across..
There is no magic button, the same happens in pretty much every industry. We have anomalies for very, very few. Apart from that it is hard work and when money becomes a factor / liabilities start to come into play then yes it has to be a business initiative.
Also your product has to be in a different league to competition which takes time, money and resources. Without treating it like a business and / or working on a shoe string you can't pay the due attention needed to your product or strategy.
@GarBenjamin I like what you said... generally the problem is when indie's really are having an attitude as though they want to be successful, but are still behaving as though they are hobbyists. Good luck with that.
That hits home really hard. +1
I made the majority of my income last year doing contract jobs on other people´s games. I also own a few other small projects that bring in money. Starting last year, and all of this year, I have been focusing more on producing my own game while still doing enough other stuff to pay the bills.
I think one thing that is going to happen soon is that people are going to realize that things like MineCraft and AngryBirds are very unlikely to happen again for a small indie developer. The lottery ticket system is pretty much impossible right now just because of the absolute slew of indie games being launched on Steam and the app stores and the speed at which games are cloned.
There are multiple companies out there that do nothing except clone any game that even has 1 day of good sales. Within a week of launching a game that took you a year to make, these guys will have it cloned with enough alternative names to where you get buried in any type of search results, before your game gets any hype or brand awareness, it will be muddled with 5 clones that undercut your price.
As funny as it seems, the ease of making games now is just going to cause us to circle back to where the only really successful games are from the corps who can spend a lot of money pre-launch on advertising.
Right now i am hired full time by a small company for a few months. But over the last 1½ year ive worked on few different projects. And if i liked the project and got the chance i have accepted a bit lower wages for a few %.
At the moment as a new developer thats where i see my chance to get 'lucky'. First and foremost i need enough money to pay my rent / get food. But after that ive can afford to take a small gamble here and there. If one of them makes enough money it means i can turn full-time on my own projects. If not then i still got food on the table. I like working this way.
Here's a premise. If you are failing, it's because you're making mistakes. That only means you need to be corrected, and then you will find success. The `industry` or market has nothing to do with your success or not. When you get your S*** in order and stop making those mistakes and learn from your failures, you'll be much closer to success.
Or just overthinking it, less thinking more doing.. .. We can talk about all this until the sun expands, doesn't help you get anything out the door.
In other words, to not think of it in terms of whether it can be done or not.
Always assume any goal can be accomplished, to discover the way is up to you. Kind of like solving a maze backwards.
The majority of my work consists of making Unity powered products, but each project is made using tools that make sense for the task at hand.
Chance, "luck" and "lottery" are all in the area of hobbyist's dreams, and not really something that actually happens. While it is possible to have some good fortune in terms of timing and market, that will only happen if the game is good in the first place. There aren't any cases of crappy games "getting lucky" and hitting it big. The inverse is mostly true as well, and more importantly, a missed lesson. You often see developers offering a laundry list of things out of their control as to why their game failed. Which pretty much ensures they will continue to fail. Devs have to take the concept of "luck" out of thier planning.
One common mistake is being in the wrong industry.
Did you make the game yourself as an indie? Or are you part of the company working on the game?
About as far from indie as you can get, we are the first-party studio. A little over 30 people on that team counting product, qa & producers.
Do you do anything on your own as well? I'm guessing you may be burnt out by doing it at work, that getting home and doing it more isn't so appealing.
I do quite a bit. But it is complicated. I have a couple of projects that were excluded from my initial contract, but pretty much anything else falls under my non-compete. So my 'side' projects are mostly for fun or pitches to our studio. The upshot is that I never have to bother with marketing or releasing. . I'm builder, I don't like having to deal with other, less fun parts.
They key is to get a business model that works doing what you love or have a skillset in that doesn't make you wish you did something else for a living. I like Unity because I can do my art schtick and then program it to jump through hoops. I did Flash for the same reason for 9 years. My personal projects brought the paying gigs in the door. Since I like Unity and intend on sticking with it I have recently made a deal with a great businessman who takes my gamification of various industries and establishments core products and I get paid for what i like to do, be creative and get a cut of the final deals made by him. No marketing, no direct interfacing with suits unless I am relaying info, procedures and game plans to them. I will have a lot more free personal time, be making a steady income and have the ability using my brains and talents to turn it into a multi-million dollar venture quickly.
To take an example outside the gaming industry, the artists working for the DAZ and Renderosity marketplace are constantly pushing new products. Some dedicated people like "Ironman13" have build up their own catalog over the years and she keeps working at it. Same with composers making music tracks meant for licensing.
BTW, @sfbaystudios => with some adaptations, I could totally see your type of stuff on the DAZ/Renderosity market, as you have the modeling skills it's a good way to expand your business.
I agree that your success is what you are able to make , how much love you put in it also, and your ability to stop listening to all articles talking about what is good or bad games or what orientations are the best.
Some examples like Shovel Knight , just prooves that making some appealing with solid bases and lot of love in it is one of the ways to do it well.
But sometimes people fail because they just don't listen to players feedback for example.
This happens in the industry also, Bioware failed with Dragon Age 2 because they made their own game decisions without listening to players. So they learned and corrected that with Dragin Age Inquisition.