Search Unity

How Much Should I Pay For This Project?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JVGameDev, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. JVGameDev

    JVGameDev

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Posts:
    137
    Hi! I am making the art for a 2D RPG. It will be Zelda Styled. I don't want to pay someone an hourly rate to program, I just want an upfront payment. How much is reasonable for this type game. It is not huge.
     
  2. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    5,819
    "it is not huge" and "Zelda styled" are kinda at odds with one another.
     
    The-Britain, aer0ace, Amon and 9 others like this.
  3. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Posts:
    32,135
    You would need far more detail than you posted before anyone could even start to make some kind of estimate.

    --Eric
     
    Amon, angrypenguin, Ony and 2 others like this.
  4. JVGameDev

    JVGameDev

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Posts:
    137
    Okay. Basically you have one main quest line which takes roughly 3-4 hours to complete and a few hours of side quests. The world is small, and roughly 6-9 dungeons. There are not too many items in the game and the items do not have any advanced mechanics. The combat is simple 8-bit Zelda style.
     
  5. JVGameDev

    JVGameDev

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Posts:
    137
    Lol, it is has Zelda style combat, and puzzle solving, but smaller world, quests, and not as many items and enemies.
     
  6. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    5,819
    That's still a substantial amount of project to code for. This is by no means a small project.
     
  7. JVGameDev

    JVGameDev

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Posts:
    137
    How much are you thinking?
     
  8. Ostwind

    Ostwind

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Posts:
    2,772
    What about the graphics, is a green pixel enough for the main character? how about the sounds or the music? how many animations? do you need a map, monster and item editor. What type enemies and items are there? how many tile sets for worlds etc. etc. No one can give any kind of estimate when you are just talking hours of gameplay and saying things like "small world and not too many items".

    If you want a Zelda replica then make a prototype with 2D rpg maker or a detailed design document with everything explained.
     
  9. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Posts:
    4,790
    It took the guys who made ittel dew 2, 2 years to make there game and they had 6 guys.So I think your underestimating how long its going to make.
     
    wccrawford likes this.
  10. JVGameDev

    JVGameDev

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Posts:
    137
    If I you what I have so far of the GDD do you think you could tell me how much I'd be looking at for someone to program it?
     
  11. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Posts:
    32,135
    Unfortunately that doesn't really help. You'd need to provide actual detail as to what exactly you want to have happen. However this is probably better posted as a topic in the commercial forum.

    --Eric
     
    theANMATOR2b, Martin_H and Ryiah like this.
  12. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    6,434
    At least a year to complete, and with more than one person. Multiply that by hourly rate.

    Your best bet is to stick with hourly rate and weekly/milestone payments. This way your programmer will be able to take your feedback and modify stuff. You don't need to develop the game continuously, you can stop, pause for a week, and then resume development.

    Estimating the time with information you provided is going to be very hard and might not even be possible. Basically with "pay for the whole thing" approach you may either end up overpaying by large margin, or ending up with half-finished product.

    Core engine of the game may be quite simple, though under two months, but then someone else will have to make all the maps and all the sprites and all the music.

    And yeah, prototyping in rpg maker may be a good idea.
     
  13. Rombie

    Rombie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Posts:
    283
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    Ryiah likes this.
  14. SnowInChina

    SnowInChina

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Posts:
    205
    i think you are severly underestimating the time it takes to complete such an "easy" project
    3-4 hours content only for the main questline is a lot, especially since this should be a main questline, so i guess you want every quest to be kind of unique and have some impact on the story ?
     
  15. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,463
    This. You are looking at anywhere between six months to two years to complete, depending on your exact scope. Do the math for labour rates from there.

    You can get prototypes results much fast, but they won't meet your spec.
     
    Ony and Ryiah like this.
  16. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,379
    Or Game Maker. There are Zelda tutorial series out there. The OP might find it easy enough they can make their own code.
     
  17. frosted

    frosted

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Posts:
    3,556
    You could get a pile of crap up and running in a week or two.

    Something good, that people will like playing - as mentioned above, 6mo absolute minimum, years is more likely.

    If you don't know how to program, do art or make games, triple all those figures and add 95% of giving up after you start to really understand whats involved. Or just hire someone to do the game design, and manage the production.
     
  18. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,463
    Or just buy a copy of Zelda. That's 30 or 40 bucks. Much cheaper. :p
     
    Not_Sure, Ryiah and frosted like this.
  19. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Posts:
    4,790
    Whats going to take the majority of the time is designing the bosses, puzzles, and enemies, making the gameplay flow is fun (not too easy/hard) make sure all your systems and combat mechanics work. Arrowx made a zelda game in 3 days but it didnt have any combat or anything.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  20. Ony

    Ony

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Posts:
    1,832
    If you have $150k+ ready to spend, send me a PM with your idea and we can go from there.
     
    hippocoder, Amon, tswalk and 10 others like this.
  21. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    6,434
    I think I could probably hire a small/tiny team for this amount for two years. As long as there's no office fees, they have their own hardware, etc.

    Either way, I think, the best idea for the OP would be to give it a whirl in commercial section, and NOT as a "fixed price project". (I most likely will be looking for projects in february too, so there's that).

    Basically, a prototype for this game wouldn't take too long, and could allow to test the idea out fairly quickly. Past that phase it'll be fairly easy to see if it is worth polishing further or not.
     
  22. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,463
    Business must be rough if you are dropping your prices that much.

    :p
     
  23. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Posts:
    4,630
    High-level estimates for coding a game very similar to 8-bit zelda (coding only, no content, art, SFX, etc):

    A POC Engine which implements core 8-bit zelda movement, combat, items: 3 days

    Core engine ready for shipping (low polish but functional and mostly bug free): +20 days

    UI, supporting systems: +20 days

    Polish: +20 to infinite days ... how polished do you want it?!?

    Feature requests, game mechanic changes, etc: +0 to infinite days (how many changes will you request?!?)

    Take with a grain of salt as it depends heavily on what features you actually want.

    Actual cost per day can vary widely with location, skill level, experience (and whatever else). Anywhere from $100 to $1000 is within normal price ranges.
     
    chelnok, Aiursrage2k, Ryiah and 2 others like this.
  24. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Posts:
    7,779
    Dang @Ony - 150k / 6 months. That is an exec rate I strive to be worth one day. :p
     
  25. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,379
    That's only a little over $800 per day. It's actually within the range @JohnnyA mentioned. :p
     
    wccrawford and theANMATOR2b like this.
  26. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,463
    It doesn't seem excessively high. Not for a team with an established track record of making successful games. In fact from memory its lower then the revenue from her previous games. And remember its unlikely to be all going to a single person.

    I've managed projects with a much higher budget over similar periods. Just because I can spend half a million in six months doesn't mean I get to take home half a million in six months.
     
    Ryiah and Aiursrage2k like this.
  27. the_motionblur

    the_motionblur

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Posts:
    1,736
    Start the project. Renegotiations after it has already reached a vital point is going to happen next. ;) :D
    Or it really is not that big and 150k is enough. Who knows. A proposal less than half a page can be anything really.
     
  28. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,608
    If you're wondering why it's so hard to get a straight answer it's because it varies so wildly that it's impossible to give a concrete answer.

    Artists and programmers going to cost you ~$20 to $40 an hour for their efforts. BUT, keep in mind that hourly pay is a very inaccurate metric since people vary wildly in how long they'll take AND it's impossible to know if they're being honest about the hours.

    The only REAL solution is to present EVERYTHING you want to a potential hire and agree on a price and a time line.

    And always do a percent up front and a percent when complete, with payments as milestones are reached.

    And always make sure that they understand that since you are paying for their services that what is produced is in fact your intellectual property and can not be re-sold and they can not make additional content without your express permission.

    And always make sure to have a formal agreement with everything explicitly stated. You don't need a lawyer, just something that if things go sour you can keep what is yours.

    And I would highly recommend making sure that they are passionate about the project and not just cashing a check. It would also be wise to agree to give a percent of sales as a bonus so they are invested in the game's success.

    Lastly, do not hire people with the sole intention of telling them exactly how to do everything. Artists and programmers know what they are doing and you need to give them some artistic freedoms if you want the best possible results.

    Oh, and I highly recommend @Djagg for a 2d artist.

    He's really good, fast, hard working, honest, and all around a really nice guy.

    You can see his work here.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  29. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,379
    My first step, at least with a potential hire you've never worked with, would be to test the waters by giving them a simple task then see how long it takes them, what the quality of the work is like, and so on. Then if the results are good present them with the project and use the milestones to continue testing them.

    Last thing you want to do is reach that first milestone only to discover they were a complete waste of time and money.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
    the_motionblur, Amon, TonyLi and 3 others like this.
  30. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Posts:
    7,779
    My jest seemed to have not landed correctly.
    I didnt consider in the jest Ony developing this with her team, solo dev - so she can get that new Mercedes or Beemer or Tesla. :confused:
     
    Ony likes this.
  31. Deleted User

    Deleted User

    Guest

    Aiursrage2k likes this.
  32. steelersfan252

    steelersfan252

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Posts:
    217
    When I opened this I saw one word " Styled" and can immediately say you should not pay to have this done. Create something unique and "fresh" to add to the market. You will not make a dime off a game that is similar to another in the long run. Unless of course you are using this as a project to show someone or something, and then I am not a big help
     
  33. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Posts:
    4,630
    Go check out the top 100 grossing charts on iOS: its mostly casino games, clash-style building/battle games, and match-making puzzles games. They are all clones of each other. Most AAA's just build the same game over and over with slight refinements.

    Successful games that push boundaries are an exception, not a rule. They tend to get a more media coverage because they make for a nice story, but building your own variation of tried and true concept is likely a much more viable business proposition*, the fact that you know the basic game mechanic is fun is already a big head start.

    * Noting that most games aren't viable regardless ;)
     
    TurboNuke, Amon, HemiMG and 2 others like this.
  34. steelersfan252

    steelersfan252

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Posts:
    217
    I said in the long run they will not be profitable. You can make small success building a "casino" type game right now with a lot of work, and marketing help. But it is not profitable in the long run, when you clone a game you are not adding anything to the market, even when you change some things. Changing the market is always better long run, change the way that users game and you will find success that will bring you long term
     
  35. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,463
    For every one successful mine craft there are a thousand successful FPSs. I'n not saying we should avoid innovation in game design. But to say that innovation is essential to success indicates a total lack of understanding of the games market. Successful clones happen all the time. In many cases the clones are more successful then the original games.
     
    Aiursrage2k and Ryiah like this.
  36. steelersfan252

    steelersfan252

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Posts:
    217
    I guess you should really define "success"
     
  37. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Posts:
    4,630
    But changing the market is also extremely hard. Sillicon Valley style unicorn-dreaming is great if you have an idea that you truly believe in, something that you are willing to put your heart and soul in to, to risk-it all for, then go for it. But to suggest that its sound business advice is crazy: most start-ups fail, most FUNDED start-ups fail.

    In the context of games I'd go further, as the competition is particularly fierce. Building a game that Changes the Market is extremely unlikely.
     
    Ryiah and HemiMG like this.
  38. steelersfan252

    steelersfan252

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Posts:
    217
    So my advice of changing the market was accurate. Yes you are right, most businesses in general fail. I never said this was easy, if it was easy everyone would be wealthy. It is very hard to do something that no one else is doing because it can be "risky" meaning something that others are afraid to do. Risk taking is business, and developing a game is a business whether you are coding/programming or whatever.
     
    Ony likes this.
  39. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Posts:
    4,630
    The fact that you can't (or at least refuse to) differentiate between the risk of starting a business and the risk of creating a unicorn/market changing business makes me to shudder to think what kind of advice will be in your "business motivation book".
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  40. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Posts:
    32,135
    Tell that to King.com, which makes zillions of dollars with clone games.

    Making money is the usual standard.

    --Eric
     
  41. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,463
    There are a bunch of different ways. Financials are a good one. You could also look at installed user base. Or you could look at more ephemeral measures like cultural influence.

    But which ever way you spin it, Call of Duty 317 and Assassin's Creed 112 are both successful games. Both of these game franchises are bywords for repeating the same basic formula over and over again.

    Candy Crush was successful. And the match-3 design idea has been around for years before Candy Crush was thought of.
     
    theANMATOR2b and Ryiah like this.
  42. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,608
    Sorry to reach so far back but I HAVE to comment on this.

    This right here is the #1 problem that the industry faces.

    Everyone is looking to make ALL the money, not some money.

    Everyone goes straight to the top sellers and looks at ways to out do one another to get on that list and as a result you get a bubble that bursts when the market shifts.

    AAA games are a PRIME example of this.

    Look how AAA studios keep snowballing budgets and teams to make sure that their game will be a billion dollar baby.

    But in effect they're investing WAY more money than what is smart, safe, or sane.

    Red Dead Redemption was most likely the biggest fiasco to ever stubble on success. But you know what? I feel that the game was an extremely foolish venture even if it lucked out. That game put the whole studio on the hook for sequel to an unpopular game in an unpopular genre that needed to sell an obscene amount of copies before it would be profitable.

    And now they're making a 3rd game and repeating the same risks. The studio is like a gambler who just keeps betting everything and will eventually loose.



    I have a point to all this, I swear.

    My point is that game developers, especially indie devs, should not be looking at the top 100 skinner boxes on app stores. They should be looking to find the sweet spot of dev cycles to success to maximize profit and grow a wide portfolio of titles so that their success is synergistic. And they should be mining for audiences that are not represented in the 80%.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  43. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,463
    That's not an app store problem. That's one of the general flaws in the capitalist system.

    Don't get me wrong, the capitalist system has done great things for all of us. I wouldn't be here typing on a PC without it. But it does need a couple of minor tweaks here and there.
     
  44. Ony

    Ony

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Posts:
    1,832
    I was thinking about maybe another BMW but... I'm checking out an Alfa Romeo Spider and Triumph Spitfire tomorrow, so it might end up being one of those. I'm a tall gal, so not sure how that will work out. Something about those classic two seaters, though. mmmmm.
     
    theANMATOR2b and Aiursrage2k like this.
  45. steelersfan252

    steelersfan252

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Posts:
    217
    I never said you couldnt make money making clone games. I think you are making a terrible misunderstanding


    Money = success ? I would have to disagree


    I am able too, I was giving a opinion and in my book I do talk about both sides. Every business has its risks



    Like I have said to past people, you can make familiar products and make a profit. Not disagreeing with you on this
     
  46. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    25,453
    I would suggest using rpgmaker, or even playmaker (unity). It will be cheaper and more fun than hiring a developer and the quality will be higher than hiring a developer.

    Assuming you don't have $150k.
     
    Not_Sure, theANMATOR2b and Ony like this.
  47. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,379
    What about Game Maker?
     
    Not_Sure and Ony like this.
  48. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    25,453
    That too. Anything except having the foolish notion that it makes sense to blindly hire developers to do it for you. That almost never works out unless you have a large budget and experience.

     
    Not_Sure, Ony and GarBenjamin like this.
  49. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Posts:
    7,440
    It's the price of having a business, right? There are huge expenses to pay and profit goals that must be met. So the logical thing to do is to keep churning out sequels until the day comes when one fails big time.

    Hopefully, when that failure comes they have enough resources to focus on one more thing. You're right though about those epic budget productions. I read some place a year or two ago that many of the big companies are spending so much money on each game now they are one failure away from going out of business.

    Not sure how accurate that is but it wouldn't surprise me at all if say the next COD game sold only 1/10th of the last one for that company to do some massive layoffs and restructuring at the least. They just have so much money invested into these games and every new game seems to increase that significantly. Eventually something has to change I think.
     
  50. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Posts:
    7,440
    Basically everyone has lined it out so just a summary...

    You need to be far more detailed in the requirements before you attempt to contract out the work.

    If you go that route you should structure it as milestones. Pieces. Not the entire project at a lump. This is easier to manage for the developer(s) and you as well as minimizing your risk.

    You can use Construct, Gamemaker, RPGmaker, Unity with Playmaker to either fully create the game yourself or at least to do as much as you can (which will also decrease the cost because you'll only need to contract out the work for the parts you are unable to do).
     
    hippocoder likes this.