Cost of making a game page 2

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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

It is hardly a well organized market. There are a dozen ways to talk to someone. When they might end up shelling out a few thousand dollars for your product instead of a few dozen dollars, certainly their expectations are much different and certainly the way to approach them is much different. I would say having experience in marketing in general is great, but it won’t necessarily lead to the instant success in a different field.

There is no such thing as instant success. It just looks like it after years of hard work.
Anyways … any particularly good game designer portfolios to share?

 
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It’s really not well organised. And there are a load of different ways of going about things. Nerdook makes lots of smaller games and essentially sells each sponsorship to the highest bidder, Peter Har…whatever hungarian surname I forget…tai seems to be sticking with one sponsor who supports him well in spending years just trying to make GC as good (and therefore hopefully revenuey) as possible…Ninjakiwi run their own portal, trying to cut out the sponsor-middleman, some games try to make money from in game ads via mochiads or similar, some people think having ads or an intro logo will put people off microtransactions. There’s only really one sponsor marketplace I know of (FGL), and in game ad providers generally don’t want you to sponsor a game you’re putting them in, and vice versa, there’s no industry standard for licensing, either in compatibility with sponsorships or ads, or length, or exclusivity, or price. Most Portals don’t share ad revenue, merely paying up front (or not), but Kong’s been very successful doing so. There’s certainly no set budget or wages because the distinction between professionals and hobbyists is unclear at best, and ultimately irrelevant IMO.

 
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Originally posted by Amibtious:

It’s really not well organised. And there are a load of different ways of going about things. Nerdook makes lots of smaller games and essentially sells each sponsorship to the highest bidder, Peter Har…whatever hungarian surname I forget…tai seems to be sticking with one sponsor who supports him well in spending years just trying to make GC as good (and therefore hopefully revenuey) as possible…Ninjakiwi run their own portal, trying to cut out the sponsor-middleman, some games try to make money from in game ads via mochiads or similar, some people think having ads or an intro logo will put people off microtransactions. There’s only really one sponsor marketplace I know of (FGL), and in game ad providers generally don’t want you to sponsor a game you’re putting them in, and vice versa, there’s no industry standard for licensing, either in compatibility with sponsorships or ads, or length, or exclusivity, or price. Most Portals don’t share ad revenue, merely paying up front (or not), but Kong’s been very successful doing so. There’s certainly no set budget or wages because the distinction between professionals and hobbyists is unclear at best, and ultimately irrelevant IMO.

Now I see whats wrong here. Were talking about different things, but what you said still is valuble. Game market and in paricular free flash game market is a very well organized one, with clear supply and demand. I’ve sold to markets where people didn’t even knew about the product, much else were aware they need it – games market is a total opposition to that. There are a lot of market organizing sites like Kongregate or Armor Games, a bidding site for games? Seriously thats pretty close to stockmarket! What could be more organized than that?

From what I see so far the only trick seems to be to jojn the 3% who make money. It shouldnt be too hard and dont think it will take more than 2-3 years.

 
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Originally posted by Bronsoner:

From what I see so far the only trick seems to be to jojn the 3% who make money. It shouldnt be too hard and dont think it will take more than 2-3 years.

And there we have it folks. Our first possibly dedicated guy who wants to join the game making field. :D I was waiting for the admission of time to happen. A lot of people want to jump in immediately and make money and that just doesn’t happen realistically. But now that you know it will take a year or two and you are fine with that, everything is great. Because it will take that long. ;) Few months for making the game, a month for polishing it, a few months for sponsorship (if you get one), a month for adding sponsorship terms (if you get one), then release, rinse and repeat. And it is crazy hard to get in that group. ;)


For portfolios, I’d just check a lot of the major game studios. Portfolios should just be a list of games for most people. Artists and musicians of course will have specific portfolios, maybe deviantart or soundcloud accounts.

http://www.juicybeast.com/
http://gameinabottle.com/
http://protectorworld.com/
http://sky9games.com/
http://www.iriysoft.ru/
http://togeproductions.com/ (offline for the past few days)
http://northwaygames.com/
http://www.highupstudio.com/ (Sanchex <3)
http://profusiongames.com/blog/ (mine)

 
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Ah, I see your point. I would note though, that most of that made-up-but-lets-go-with-it 3% are making varying amounts along the lines of being able to feed themselves/pay the rent, and doing this because they enjoy it….they’re almost certainly not earning minimum wage.
@ Portfolio….ya mean something a developer would show?
http://www.kongregate.com/accounts/nerdook

Something you’d show? How do you normally demonstrate your art? I’m thinking you don’t, and therein lays the problem…

 
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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

For portfolios, I’d just check a lot of the major game studios. Portfolios should just be a list of games for most people. Artists and musicians of course will have specific portfolios, maybe deviantart or soundcloud accounts.

http://www.juicybeast.com/
http://gameinabottle.com/
http://protectorworld.com/
http://sky9games.com/
http://www.iriysoft.ru/
http://togeproductions.com/ (offline for the past few days)
http://northwaygames.com/
http://www.highupstudio.com/ (Sanchex <3)
http://profusiongames.com/blog/ (mine)

Do you happen to know how those studios/companies/groups look like from the inside?

 
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For portfolios, I’d just check a lot of the major game studios. Portfolios should just be a list of games for most people. Artists and musicians of course will have specific portfolios, maybe deviantart or soundcloud accounts.

These portfolio are all very nice. But well, when I was talking about portfolio, it’s not that much of a developer site. You don’t need to have complete games either, but at least some assets to show. As UG mentionned, Deviant art, by example, can be a good option.

Here are a few artist portfolio, which can be a bit different from the game dev / teams UG’s linked :
http://ramclotario.carbonmade.com/projects/2257487#20
http://flashgameartist4hire.deviantart.com/gallery/
http://tuskgames.com/tomtusk_portfolio.png
http://gilbertdevera.carbonmade.com/

As you can see, it can be very simple, as long as you can show assets. Because if you want to find a programmer to collaborate with, the first thing you would normally ask the programmer is, do you have any example of your work? So I can see that you are good. But that is also the first thing he will want to know about you. ;)

 
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Do you happen to know how those studios/companies/groups look like from the inside?

Yes. By example, to start with me (www.highupstudio.com), I’m a programmer (and a student). I’m alone in my team, I don’t have any official partner, but I always collaborate with artists for all my games. And usually, when I like an artist and that we do good work together, I end up doing many games with him. I usually work for percentage share, which mean that I usually offer around 40% of the profits to the artist, sometimes more, sometimes a bit less.

http://berzerkstudio.com/ started as a team of 3 friends, artist and developer. They got a lot of success and now have a studio of 9 person.

http://sky9games.com/ is principally about Juice-tin, the programmer. He code all his games alone, and collaborate most of the time with 2 regular artists.

http://www.turbonuke.com is a team of 2 guy, not so young (in the late 30s). An artist and a programmer. They produce an enormous amount of great quality games. They are really efficient and most of the time, they take kongregate performance deal instead of finding a new sponsor for each game.

http://www.dampgnat.com/ works alone. He does both art and programming. He don’t produce a lot of games, but the one he does are amazing. His last one was wonderputt, and was a huge success. He did everything alone, and it took him almsot a year.

http://aethosgames.com/ is a student, and a programmer who is alone in his team. Like me, he collaborate with different artists, based on the game he is doing. Sometimes for percentage, sometimes for flat fee.

http://profusiongames.com/blog/ and of course there is also UnknownGuardian, who is also a student and a programmer, and work with a regular artist. But I’ll let him tell more about himself. :P

Anyway, these are just a few. I could name a lot more, but I guess you have way enough to understand and see the dynamic of how things work. ;) In the free flash market, there are a lot of teams, but probably more programmers / artist who are alone, but who either makes their game alone or collaborate with others. Collaboration is VERY common in this market. ;)

At the end, what is essential, is to be good at either programming or graphic design (or both). The rest, like audio, game design, writing, marketing, business is all very secondary.

 
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Northwaygames is a husband&wife team, both I think coders&artists. Gameinabottle is I think just one coder who outsources/collabs for art* and sometimes sound. Protectorworld is one person who both codes and does their own art. Apologies if I’m mistaken about any of that.

*And GC2 looks goood

 
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Originally posted by Sanchex:

As you can see, it can be very simple, as long as you can show assets. Because if you want to find a programmer to collaborate with, the first thing you would normally ask the programmer is, do you have any example of your work? So I can see that you are good. But that is also the first thing he will want to know about you. ;)

Thank you! Thats exacly what I needed! Got any more examples of good game artist portfolios?

 
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Originally posted by Sanchex:

At the end, what is essential, is to be good at either programming or graphic design (or both). The rest, like audio, game design, writing, marketing, business is all very secondary.

Please do not shy from describing more studios/groups – it is very valuable and the more the better.

Nevertheless I disagree with what you said about audio, game design, writing, marketing and business being ‘very secondary’. While it might be true in case you just want to make games you enjoy making and playing it’s not a good way to make games players will truly enjoy and you making profit.

 
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Flash games are not made by the same people, nor with the same methods, nor on the same budget as AAA titles for XBox and Playstation. To make a Flash game you need a coder and a graphic artist and that’s it. (Sounds and music can be bought from musicians when the project is >90% complete, there is no need to involve a sound tech in the game design unless it’s a music-based game you’re making.) Depending on the complexity of the project artist and coder can be the same person. Certainly when you are completely unknown and have no track record trying to assemble as large a team as possible is a recipe for failure.

A coder looking for an artist should have a playable prototype to show potential partners.

An artist looking for a coder should have a portfolio and some samples of the art for the project.

In both cases, this process helps prove their worth to their partner, and give them an idea about the feel of the project. Additionally, any collaboration would do well to have a game design document that both parties can read and understand. This is another reason for keeping the team as small as possible: Design by committee takes longer and is less effective than design by one (at most two) highly motivated individuals.

 
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Nevertheless I disagree with what you said about audio, game design, writing, marketing and business being ‘very secondary’. While it might be true in case you just want to make games you enjoy making and playing it’s not a good way to make games players will truly enjoy and you making profit.

What I mean by very secondary is not that you need to negligeate it, or anything like that. By example, I think i personally have good game design and marketing skills, as well as programming. And I also hire sound designers for most of my games, to get great quality audio. It’s only secondary because what is essential is to be either able to draw or to program. You won’t make a game being only good at marketing, writing, game-design or audio. You need one of those 2 essential skills. ;)

Anyway, it’s surely good to try to understand how other successful teams work, and how the market work, but at the end, the best for you is to get started, making games for fun at first, while you learn. When you’ll become good, you can start to worry about all the other aspects of the market.