How much a programmer cost? :)

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Hi, we are a group with an idea of a CCG like Tyrant (very high profit), but we need programmers, artists etc…

I was wondering how much a programmer could cost, thinking of a paid position for programming and eventually upgrade sometimes the code for new expansions…

 
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“(very high profit)”

You can’t really choose to make a high profit game, you can try to, but you won’t know whether it’s popular until after you release it :)

Anyways, there isn’t really a set answer, different programmers will want to charge different amounts, and it’s hard to judge how much work a project is going to be. I’d want an hourly rate with a lump sum up front for example, (I don’t recommend hiring me anyways). If you can provide good art, you’re likely to be able to find a programmer willing to work for a split of future revenue (or maybe completely for free (with credit), if you’re very lucky and your game is very simple) rather than a flat fee. Art may be a simpler matter…for something like a card game, an artist will have a rough idea how much work ‘fiftyseven 50*100p cards as good as they can do’ (for example) is, and how long they think it’ll take them.
That’s perhaps what I’d do in your situation, find a good artist, and then use the cool artwork to attract a programmer for %share of revenue.

 
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For very high it was referred to Tyrant, not my game :)

By the way I agree on what you said, but you have to know an artist will take from 20€ to 30€ per card, and with a CGG of about 500 cards it’s something like 10k€. Money I cannot spend if I’m not sure the game will be completed, liked and so on.
Moreover the game should be tested before writing the final “skills” and “traits” in the art design of every card, so it should be programmed first.

 
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That seems pretty steep.

Also, if you can’t/won’t get quality art now, how’s having a half-made game with placeholder graphics going to change that?

I guess you could try to find non-copyright or fair-use images for your cards, skip an artist altogether.

 
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More and more clients are coming to me for iPhone games rather than Flash games lately, but the last Flash game I programmed was a Facebook game, and I was getting $1,500 USD per week for that one. That’s higher than normal, I usually make around $750 per week, or if the client prefers a fixed price I will usually get around $15,000 to $25,000 depending on the scope of the project.

Hope that helps.

 
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Thanks for the answer starfiregold.

So if a person does not have money to invest on a project, it’ll be better looking for a sharing revenues with programmer.
Btw 15000-25000 seems a lot, unless it’s a 10 month of work.

 
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15000 for 10 months of work is little over a single dollar over USA federal minimum wage, if you work 40 hour weeks… I don’t think you will find a developer who is willing to work for that kind of money… Unless you don’t mind his Indian accent of cause ;-)

Revenue share can work, but you will need to be able to sell yourself pretty well (figuratively speaking!), and you will have to be able to show some good pieces of artwork (2d art, music, 3d models, etc) you made yourself, to convince a developer that it would be a good idea to team up with you.
If you only bring an idea for a game, and do not have a practical development related skill (or money!), chances of finding a (good) developer to are prety much nonexistant.

 
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“it’ll be better looking for a sharing revenues with programmer.”

If you’re not paying up front, and the only recompense is revenue share….why would whichever programmer & artist you find let you keep any share of the revenue?

“unless it’s a 10 month of work.”

How long do you think your game will take? It took Synapse Games (which is a 5 person team, with often additional contractors helping) 4 months to make Tyrant.

 
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I couldn’t work for revenue share. I have to pay rent. A long project with no upfront payment looks like a good way to end up on the street. I might consider it if you had a string of successful projects, or the game was already a hit in a different setting.

 
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Chinese programmer FTW :) 100$ per month and an average 16hours work/day ahaha

Joking…

It seem pretty expensive making a new game…I need to find some founds to realize our project because i’m pretty sure it could work.

 
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Originally posted by tuloski
Btw 15000-25000 seems a lot, unless it’s a 10 month of work.

15000-25000 usually covers a 3-4 month project.

 
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Originally posted by tuloski:

Chinese programmer FTW :) 100$ per month and an average 16hours work/day ahaha

Joking…

It seem pretty expensive making a new game…I need to find some founds to realize our project because i’m pretty sure it could work.

Do you want to die? I’ll kill your family and lock you up in the same room with thier bodies and the only way tto survive is if you eat thier flesh.

joking…

I also suggest showing everyone what you have so far (in terms of design, art) and attract someone who is willing to work with no upfront payment.

 
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Originally posted by starfiregold:
Originally posted by tuloski
Btw 15000-25000 seems a lot, unless it’s a 10 month of work.

15000-25000 usually covers a 3-4 month project.

What??? :)
I’m an engeneer and if i find a work for 1500€ per month I’m happy….

And you to program a GAME (something a little enjoyable) earns 5000$ per month? I want to be a game programmer!
I’ll start some AS3 tutorial ahaha :)

 
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I charge $20/hour for web development contract work, and on very rare occasion, I accept Flash (AS3) projects to make applications, but I usually negotiate a total project cost for those applications. The last Flash job I had was about two weeks of work, 3 hours per day, for $200 total, $50 initial start-up fee and $150 at project completion. It was a fun project, though, and I really learned a lot about the differences between CS3 and CS5 from it. (CS3 video doesn’t work properly for example.) The $200 really didn’t cover my $20/hour web rate, but again, the project was fun.

 
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Wow I think I know people who work at McDonalds that make more than $18,000 per year. $1500 a month is about on par with full time minimum wage workers. As far as your argument that game developers make more than you goes. It also depends on the hours, building a game is long hours in front of the computer, and his 3-4 month project could involve an ungodly amount of hours of work in that small time frame. Compared to a regular job where you just clock in for 6 to 8 hours, clock out and go home and call it a day. A lot of freelance developers eat and sleep in front of their computers pushing to get things done and move on to the next project.

 
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if you are looking to save costs it might be worth getting in touch with local colleges / universities. there might be programming students willing to do it for a cut price simply to use as portfolio work

 
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I would take $30/hr for a game programming job simply because games are somewhat enjoyable. I am a college student, too, so it would help my portfolio, as 1337al mentioned.

 
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Originally posted by tuloski:
Originally posted by starfiregold:
Originally posted by tuloski
Btw 15000-25000 seems a lot, unless it’s a 10 month of work.

15000-25000 usually covers a 3-4 month project.

What??? :)


I’m an engeneer and if i find a work for 1500€ per month I’m happy….

And you to program a GAME (something a little enjoyable) earns 5000$ per month? I want to be a game programmer!
I’ll start some AS3 tutorial ahaha :)

That totally depends on WHAT COUNTRY YOU’RE IN.