Hi everybody, I waited a long time to start this topic because I spent so long looking at archives and trying to find any references that I could find. Now I'm a little concerned I waited too long..
Anyway, I am writing a paper for a class (due Thursday ._. ). The assignment is to choose a career that requires a DAW and figure out how much you could make in a year, and then "build" a home studio with the budget based on your projected income. I am having a really hard time with this.
I should explain that I am not involved in the game industry (unless spending money and hours playing games counts -- hah) but I would like to be someday. I don't know what I would want to do, besides knowing that I want to be involved in the creation of them (that could be art, audio, QA, or anything really). I would be changing careers; I have my BA in lighting design for theater and I'm just not wanting to do it anymore. That's why I'm back in school (just at a community college) trying to see if I could fit myself anywhere in video games.
Hence this audio class, and this assignment that I am finding so hard. I have no audio experience besides this class (being a lighting person since I was 14, audio has always really intimidated me).
So the whole paper revolves around what we would use the project studio for, and I suppose since I would be owning this DAW I would be doing freelance work. I assume my clientele would be indie game developers. I think I can get through the part of the paper where I talk about marketing myself and the operating costs of doing so and the shopping list to build the studio. But in order to get to those parts I have to estimate my gross monthly income. And we are supposed to acknowledge that this will be the beginning of our career and not the peak of it.
I don't write music but for the purposes of this project let's pretend that I will be offering music as well as sound effects (which I am more comfortable with at this point) in order to make myself more qualified for this sort of work. I will also pretend that I have talent in this area; meaning potential to have a future in this business, even though I would have zero experience. So I figure I could give myself semi competitive pricing and get away with it here. I'm not entirely sure what that would be, so I'll just throw some figures out there and anyone can tell me if I'm crazy wrong.
Let's say I charge $300 for a minute of music (exclusive) and $50 per SFX. I know that this is high for someone who is just starting out and probably way too high for indie game developers too, so is it super unrealistic to put these prices into the project? Remember this is supposed to be the price for the whole year. I could put $150 per minute and $25 per SFX and feel like those might be more realistic for someone at my level (or even too high still, but I'm not a kid anymore so I know how I value my time, and even at this price it seems like almost giving it away), and then I would have to work a LOT more to be able to make a decent amount of money. Any input here?
Ok so that is one question, but the harder part for me that I can't seem to find any information on is how many clients I can expect to get in a month. Obviously this is a lame question because it seems like you can't expect any clients at all if you don't market yourself well (but let's pretend I do -- any advice given here will not be spurned though!).
So not only do I have to estimate the amount of clients I could get, but how many minutes of music and SFX they would need. Any help here? I can't seem to find any specific information anywhere; in order to get more information from developers you have to be looking for the job, and most audio people don't tend to share that sort of information (from my limited experience scouring forums and emailing people).
Other info we can put into the paper are related streams of income from our studio, so I'm thinking voice over work/ recording, film audio, animation.. anything else? Are the prices about the same for stuff like that? I guess voice over is priced totally differently, does anyone know anything about how you would price that or sell it if I were to sell voice overs?
I will keep looking around and emailing people even though it hasn't been too helpful, and I guess I will start trying to make up numbers and just get the paper written for now, and I can adjust figures and what I would be able to buy with it later on. Thanks so much
EDIT: I just wanted to add that you can PM me (I think?) if you don't want to put anything up publicly.