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Just a little help with some general game developing questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by noxLP, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. noxLP

    noxLP

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    Hi! First post here ;)

    First I'm not an english native speaker and I didn't study something to be a developer, neither as a coder or as an artist or whatever (I studied economics at college), therefore I beg you a bit of patience if I'm being naive or if I say something weird :p

    So, thing is, after certain circumstances I learned C# by myself and made a little game in unity. I've been surrounded by computers since I was a child and had little contacts with basic and C++ years ago so nothing special... but while I can code it I have NO idea of 2D or 3D.
    Right now the "code part" of the game is almost finished, but in the "art department" I only have placeholders. The game is a sort of a puzzle for mobiles, I've been using just colored squares for the tokens, making the animations by code with dotween, using the standard unity interface, etc. All is really cheap, I need a 2D artist and I'm really lost at this point. As I said I have not worked in game development ever, so I don't know how this things work.

    Therefore the questions are:
    I expect that to find an artist that would want to work in the game just by sharing the game's profit will be too naive. Isn't it?
    And in that case, how much could cost to hire a 2D artist to make all that things that I have no idea how to do? Yeah, I suppose every artist would ask for a different amount of money, but maybe someone can give me an approximation? A standard? An example? :p
    I think it could all be summarized by: can I realistically expect to finish and publish the game without getting my bank account to 0?

    I know there is little information about the game itself or about me, so answers will be general in the best case, but in fact, that's what I need, general information about how things are usually made in this sector, so I can decide what to do now.
    I'd like to see the game published, in fact I'd like to publish more games, but I have to plan this all carefully, you know, I'm not 20 years old any more...

    Tks ;)
     
  2. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Depends on what kinda graphics you expect, where you are located, but I would estimate an hourly rate (that rate depending on your location), it could snowball (FYI)
     
  3. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Since the vast majority of indie games result in a loss, never seeing any profits, the artist would be naïve for agreeing to such a deal. You might find someone sufficiently naïve I suppose. Don't expect them to be as motivated as you are to build a good game when they haven't been paid though.

    It really depends on how much work is involved, the skill level of the artist, and the typical income an artist in their area would make. Expect to pay at least hundreds of dollars for relatively simple work, and into the thousands for work that would be measured in full time weeks. If cost is a big concern, consider using some art assets from the Asset Store to reduce cost. A full UI template, with prefab windows and buttons, usually will be $60 or less, while that much work made custom could easily exceed $500.

    Depends on your bank balance. The game I'm making I had custom 3D models made, use some purchased assets and licensed music, and I'm in for around $10k so far. It is not a small chunk of change, but it was within my budget. If your budget is almost 0, then you'll find it a lot harder to get others to do work for you.
     
  4. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Jesus 10k, and here was me thinking I was splashing out by considering purchasing the bolt scripting plugin lol. But seriously, I get that, you could potentially consider teaching yourself all those skillsets but that is about a decade's work to get remotely close to decent. Luckily I started fooling around with blender and coding and was forced to take piano lessons when I was about 11-12.
     
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  5. noxLP

    noxLP

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    I see. Well, 10k is far beyond the budget for this particular game, it's a 2D puzzle: no 3D models, no fancy animations, just the board, the tokens and the UI.
    I suppose I could realistically expect something between 500 and 2k€ (I'm from Spain), depending on quality, quantity and if I do the UI myself with assets... because the board and the tokens... not possible I do that and I've searched in the assets store and inet but found nothing I like/I could use.

    And yes, iamthwee, as you said I could try to teach myself but it would take me literally years to learn it, I'm not the visual artist type. I already said it, it was relatively easy to learn c# because I have a background (and c# is sooo much easy to learn than c++ f.i., that was a headache when I tried it years ago), but I have no background at all in the art department.
    Music and sound is different, I plaid violin when I was a child, I play guitar since 14 years old circa and I make electronic music myself (https://www.hispasonic.com/usuarios/noxlp/musica). But even with that, I've always do my music only thinking on my personal tastes, not other ones tastes... so most probably I could make the sounds with my synths, and I'd make a music that I'd love, but that wouldn't be adequate for a game at all.

    In any case, I think the conclusion is that it's the same as always: ask for prices to several persons and pick one :p
     
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  6. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    In regards to music, you buy reasonably cheap licenses from audio jungle (google it) and with garage band and something like project sam it is getting easier to create good sounding music with a midi keyboard.



    Admittedly project sam isn't cheap though but a worth while investment if you're serious about music. Personally, for me garage band and some ambient sounds is enough for my personal projects.
     
  7. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    How can you hope to make a game if you are not willing to shell out 10k in development costs? To me its absurd.

    For us the biggest post for our game is time, time we could have gotten around 250k USD if we had worked on the dayjob instead. Bought assets, costs for IP trademark etc are similar to Joe, around 10k USD
     
  8. noxLP

    noxLP

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    @iamthwee no worries about music, I've been using trackers, synths, and DAWs for many years ;)

    @AndersMalmgren well, the reason I don't want to spend 10k in a game which I don't have any security will give me any money, is precisely in your post: you speak about "us", and I only speak about "ME". Alone.
    I'm not rich, you know, I don't have 250k and I seriously doubt I'll ever have that amount of money in my bank account in my whole life :rolleyes:

    Seriously man, I wish I had that amount of money to spent it in a game, believe me, I'd ABSOLUTELY LOVE it... although I can not assure that I would spent it in a game... :cool:
     
  9. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    250k USD is not actual money, its money never earned, the single biggest investment is time, time isnt free
     
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  10. noxLP

    noxLP

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    I think you are not listening to me.
    If 250k is not actual money for you, then I only can suppose that you work in a company large enough or you are rich. For the vast majority of people (not companies) in this world, 250k is a HUGE amount of money. If I request a loan of 250k€, most probably bank workers would simply see my bank account and laugh loudly in my face.

    I worked with that amount of money in my old job, summarizing to repair buildings. Not that my company could afford it, people who lived at the buildings (from 30 to 200 families each building) paid relatively small fees during YEARS to reach the budget before began the construction, and in the meanwhile we had to make the accountant, search for architects and/or engineers, dennounce debtors (lots of them, believe me) and so on.
    Sometimes years of work ONLY to reach that quantity, not speaking about the actual repairing works.

    Please, stop it, I'll repeat it: I'm alone and I'm not rich.
    10k is too much money for THIS game, 250k is as simple as impossible.
     
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  11. frosted

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    You can design the game to keep costs down. For example:

    Use simple clean geometry: cubes and spheres. Instead of rich texture UI, do minimal style UI with just text and clean rectangular shapes.

    For many 2d puzzle games, you can get away with using no artist with minimal graphical skill.

    There are also good icon libraries available like "the noun project" that can help with high quality icons without being too expensive.

    How much it ends up costing can be anything from zero to millions, it really depends on the game. If you have examples of similar games or visual design, we can narrow down the cost range.
     
  12. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Sorry my native language is not English. 250k USD is the cost in lost time, time you could have spent on a dayjob and thus make those 250k USD. I hope my message is now clear
     
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  13. noxLP

    noxLP

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    @AndersMalmgren Then I think there's a misunderstanding: as far as I know "k" = kilo = 1000, so 250k USD = 250000 USD and 10k USD = 10000.

    I don't make neither 10000 USD nor 250000 USD in a dayjob, I'm not Trump related xD

    @frosted Yes, I thought about the simple geometry too, but I don't have the "visual talent" to make it appealable (does this world exist in english? I think you understood me :), so I'm looking the asset store right now ;)
     
  14. chelnok

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    Any example what kind of art you need? Similar game, some images, anything? If you can't explain it here at the forum, you are going to have same problem, when trying to hire any artist to create the art you are looking for.
     
  15. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Just to clear something up, AndersMalmgren was talking about himself. He's saying that in the time he spent working on his game, he could have been working his day job and making 250k.

    That aside, assuming any and every game should be "worth" $10000 in expense is silly too; that's dependent on the game. A small little 2D match-3 or something can surely be made for less quite easily.
     
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  16. verybinary

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    noxLP, do you have screenshots of a game with a similar style that you are trying for?

    AndersMalmgren, how much are you assuming this dayjob would be making? How long is the time frame on this project, and is that number reflecting gross or net...
     
  17. AndersMalmgren

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    We are two people working half time for 2 years, we charge roughly 125 USD per our (corporate business consultants). a normal year with vacation etc that means 134k so yeah a little more than 250 actually
     
  18. verybinary

    verybinary

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    So, assumed worth of development is measured by the value of activity unrelated to development.
    If I worked at mcdonalds, my game dev would only be worth $7.50 an hour?
     
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  19. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Yeah in that case assuming same hours it would mean 26k
     
  20. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Btw I calculated wrong it's 430k worth of revenue missed

    A standard year with vacation is 1720 hours times 125 that's full-time for one so equals half time for two
     
  21. verybinary

    verybinary

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    I think I will quit my job and go full time game dev so my work will be worthless
     
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  22. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Doesn't matter, you still need to weight in what you would have made by not spending time on your game.


    edit: please quote the one you are talking to btw
     
  23. verybinary

    verybinary

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    I would not be making anything. Id be unemployed.

    I just don't see the logic in saying "my game dev is worth this much because I can get paid [arbitrary amount] for something else"
    or walking into mcdonalds and saying "I want a job and you will pay me [arbitrary amount] because that's what my time is worth while I'm [doing else]
    or saying Michael Jordan was a fantastic baseball player because he was a basketball legend.

    Im not even saying your dev work isn't worth 430k. It might be, but I would be judging based on your dev work. not on corporate business consulting
     
  24. angrypenguin

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    Since when do consultants get the 100% time utilisation you're assuming, there?

    He's not talking about what his game dev time is worth, he's talking about "opportunity cost".

    Every hour spent making games is an hour not spent doing something else. Since we're talking about income, most people's point of comparison will be their day job.

    However, that isn't as simple as "(hourly rate) X (hours worked on game)". I could spend 100 hours per week working on my game, but I don't usually have 100 hours of other income generating work to do, so I'm not really giving up 100 hours of income. Though in that case the real opportunity cost would have more to do with my sanity and health...
     
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  25. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    The point is, OP, game dev has it's cost and hobbyist/indies have to weigh the sacrifice carefully. It's basic adulting, that's all. Lot's of nerds are full of brilliant idea's about making games, kind of like a lot of wanna-be Alaska tough guys come up here to Alaska and think they are going to head into the wilderness and build a cabin with nothing but an axe and sweat before winter. They usually last two weeks and then disappear. Is it because they weren't tough enough? No, it's because they didn't research and plan, and then when the going gets tough, they have no way to deal with it. Hobbyist/indie game dev begins with design theory, and it seems to me that is as far as most people make it. When they get into the actual work, they face too many problems and quit. Is the work too hard? Only if you fail to plan and organize properly.

    Like it or not, it's really not feasible to make a marketable game for next to nothing, especially if you're not an industry vet with tested and proven skills. I'm sure a lot of people will say otherwise, but unless they can prove so (i.e. show a game they made for a few grand or less and made back enough profit to justify the time spent developing, marketing, etc.), I wouldn't take anybodies word for it. Anything is possible, of course, so don't sell yourself short. Just be sure to know what you are really getting into so you don't have to walk out of the woods with your tail between your legs.
     
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  26. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    If it's a hobby then there's no sacrifice, because then making games is a leisure activity.
     
  27. noxLP

    noxLP

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    Ok, ok, guys, I'm only asking here, don't get too upset or too emotional, please.

    I have the money I have, and that's all. In my "real life" job (I studied economics, right now I'm a freelance accountant, before that I was accountant and administrative and more things in a little company) I don't get paid 60$/hour, it's more like 6$/hour, ten times less. And I'm not trying to say something strange, nothing like "hey look how poor I am" or something like that, it's as simply as this:
    If I can't publish the game within my budget, I won't publish the game.

    That is. No more. That's why I'm asking and planning BEFORE I begin to spent my money.

    Also, take into account that I'm not making a stunning hyper fancy last generation game, it's just a first thingy I made during the last 4 or 5 months to test unity and myself, and most important, doing something I really like.

    I get that there are some full time developers here that can feel I'm talking S*** speaking about ridiculous budgets, as well as people who have other jobs and spent lots of their money on their games.
    But that's the way it is! You do what you can do, no more and no less.
    Again, I have the money I have, the same as any of you but in different quantity. I CAN NOT spent more money than the money I have, and it will be great to publish this thing and to publish more games, because I like it and it would be great to earn money with it, but if I can't because it's too much expensive... well, there's nothing I or any of you can do about it.

    So, thanks you ALL guys for the help and the comments :), now I have a clearer idea of what to expect :)
     
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  28. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    160 hours what's considered full time here in Sweden, with 5 weeks vacation that's 1720 hours per year, and yeah not calculating any missed hours, personally I charge 8 hours per day and it's pretty close to that number , but I take more than 5 weeks per year though :)

    Edit: Going off topic here but my point is time is the single biggest cost
     
  29. angrypenguin

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    Don't worry about the above. Asking and planning and researching is definitely the right thing to do, and not everyone in indie games got their start off the back of a high-paid consulting gig. "Bootstrapping" isn't uncommon.

    Unpaid collaboration isn't that uncommon either. There's just a huge risk there in terms of botht he quality you'll get and how much you can rely on the others.

    My suggestion regardless of the approach or resources available is to start with small games and work your way up. And, unless you already have savings put aside specifically for this, don't leave your day job until your games are already generating income.
     
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  30. angrypenguin

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    It is, and it's often overlooked by people. I still understand the confusion though, since that tangent came off a remark about how absurd it is to not be spending money.
     
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  31. AndersMalmgren

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    Haha yeah, but since you do spend that amount of money indirect because of time I do think it's absurd not spending that kind of money, it's pocket change in comparison
     
  32. noxLP

    noxLP

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    I can fully understand that, but you should understand too that since the beginning I said that I'm not a professional. I'm not measuring my own hours of work in this, basically because I don't work for anyone else than myself and I like it and I want to publish my game.
    What I'm measuring is the amount of money that will get out of my bank account, because aaaagain and last time, I love to spent hours of my time with this, but I can NOT afford to spent so much money.

    So, while I understand you... man, you are overthinking this. I'm not a client asking you to work for a ridiculous budget, I'm just a random internet guy who wants to test himself and see what happens, and that are planning it so he don't get to bankruptcy :D
     
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  33. AndersMalmgren

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    I work for myself too, that's why every hour spent on the game is one hour less revenue, so it's even more relevant if you are you are self employed. Oh well, I think I got my point through :)
     
  34. angrypenguin

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    No, that's the thing. I don't think this person considers themselves "self employed", this is just a thing they want to do.
     
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  35. AndersMalmgren

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    I think it's wrong and it's a very common missbelief among people , especially young and inexperienced people. But I think we have dwelled on the subject long enough :)
     
  36. frosted

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    He's actually not overthinking it. This is called "opportunity cost" it's the idea that's pretty simple:

    - The cost of something isn't only the cost, it is also the lost opportunity to do something else.

    If you can get paid a lot to do software development, but choose instead to do game development, that "lost opportunity" can be pretty real... just ask my ex girlfriend ;)
     
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  37. angrypenguin

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    Do you count the cost of watching a movie as the ticket price + (length x consultingRate)?

    Believe it or not, some people make games for reasons completely other than money.
     
  38. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I think the point comes into play when you spend the time you would be making money to instead make games.
     
  39. astracat111

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    @noxLP

    Yes, only if you're serious/making something brilliant, new and worthwhile:

    1) Hire your artist locally if possible, do not work over the internet unless it's in a video conference in where you both make sure each other are contributing the same amout of hours together and have the same amount of motivation.
    2) Profit sharing can work, can't it? It's all motivation based.
    3) Only have a 2 person team. 3 people only after you've worked together for a while with no drama.

    An artist will just not want to work on a bejeweled clone, my thought is that you've gotta be working on something exciting, an epic story based game, an adventure game, 3d dungeon puzzle game or like...I don't know, just something exciting.

    The truth is: If you hire an artist and are NOT taking advantage of third world labor, it's gonna cost you a ton of money. I agree with the post that the guy made on the whole potential money thing. I'm a driver pt at the moment, but I have my license with all endorsements and I have a resume with a solid work history, if I wanted to instead of ft game deving in my families house for 2 years I could have made like $100,000. It's not practical for me though, because I'd just quit the first 6 months in then use the money to do the exact same thing I've been doing.

    Also, what about all the other sh*t that an indie dev could have been doing, not just the money alone, but like vacations and sh*t. Sometimes I wonder what we're all doing with our lives.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  40. AndersMalmgren

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    If i would watch movies for 1720 hours per year, I would definitely.

    When it comes to movies I instead divide the total amount money spent on my Home cinema system with how many movies I have seen on it, so I can get the average price of a movie. I do not include the price of a new projector lamp, its negligible, much like the money spent on assets when doing game dev ;)