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Advice for the amount of money to charge for a piece?


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#1 CRFaithMusic   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1042

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:08 AM

Hey,

I just recently scored my first project and they've asked me for how much I charge.
How much should I charge?

It is an indie game developer and it is an app. The piece is going to be 2 mins long and it will loop and it is the guys first time he is making an app.

I would really appreciate your help with this Posted Image

Thanks,
Caleb

Sponsor:

#2 Moritz P.G. Katz   Members   -  Reputation: 1053

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:45 AM

Hello,

Congrats on your first job.

Tricky question you've asked there. There's quite a lot of factors you should consider here, let me try to sum them up.
  • How much time did you spend working on the piece? This can give you a first pointer how much one your hours may be worth in your opinion.
  • Was it a rushed job? Or was the music something you had already produced?
  • Did you have any other responsibilities in the team? ​Audio implementation, Q&A, creative input... those are things you should take into account as well.
  • Is there a chance you'll be working with the dev team again? With this first job you set the tone for the next agreement. Charge a really low price and you probably won't be getting a good deal next time either.
  • What kind of budget does the dev team have? If they're established and have a few games released they'll probably have more money to spend than if they're a start-up.
  • Are you selling them exclusive rights to the song? If the whole team works on a shoestring budget, you can offer them non-exclusive rights, maybe with a grace period following the release of the game.
  • How and for which platform is the game released? A free flash game on Newgrounds will probably have less revenue than a boxed next-gen console release.
  • How much are you spending on equipment, education, studio rent? A good rate also considers your wish for expansion - if composing your games is the job you want to do full-time.

Best thing you can do is try and calculate - how many jobs like this could you do in a month?
How much would you have to charge so you have enough for expenses and can save some of the money for equipment purchases etc.?
How much do you think can the dev team afford?

Don't sell your music at less than fair value.

If the dev team can't afford what you've calculated, give them a discount - but give them a friendly hint that you'll have to ask for more on the next project to sustain your business. If they really dig what you did for the first game and if you've been reliable and communicative, they'll come back to you in any case because they know they can count on you.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Moritz

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de


#3 CRFaithMusic   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1042

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:42 PM

Thanks,
This helps a lot :)

Caleb

#4 bschmidt1962   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1879

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:52 AM

Moritz give some good advice, but I'd be careful with this

If the dev team can't afford what you've calculated, give them a discount -

but give them a friendly hint that you'll have to ask for more on the next project to sustain your business


A (IMHO) better way to deal with that is to come back with a discounted fee, but an agreement that if the game reaches certain revenue, you get a bonus that brings you up to (and a bit over) your 'normal' rate.
And literally have your quote look more like this:
FEE: $xxxxxx
Discount: $(yyyy)

What that does is set the value of your services to the "discount + bonus" level, instead of the "discount" level. And there's a TON of research that people associate the value of something strongly that level (look up "anchor price")

You can even make the "revenue" level impossibly high (though I'd recommend making it semi-achievable)

If they really dig what you did for the first game and if you've been reliable and communicative, they'll come back to you in any case because they know they can count on you.

Moritz is spot on there! So make sure that you are very reliable and very communicative!

Brian

www.GameSoundCon.com
GameSoundCon 2012 Dates Announced: October 24/25 San Francisco, CA

Edited by bschmidt1962, 09 May 2012 - 10:51 AM.

Brian Schmidt

Executive Director, GameSoundCon:

GameSoundCon 2014:October 7-8, Los Angeles, CA

 

Founder, EarGames

Founder, Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC

Music Composition & Sound Design

Audio Technology Consultant





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