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Need help on how to write out a TDD to make a budget


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#1 Jsmith72680   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

So I am trying to learn how to estimate the cost and scheduling of game development. I know once you have a GDD completed you can than do this by using TDD or tech design Document. The only thing is I dont know anything about programming, art or audio to know how long it would take so it is becoming hard to figure in the cost and time needed. Does anyone know or can point me to a site or book where I can learn it. Also trying to get this done so I can finish my business plan.  



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9883

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

So I am trying to learn how to estimate the cost and scheduling of game development. I know once you have a GDD completed you can than do this by using TDD or tech design Document. The only thing is I dont know anything about programming, art or audio to know how long it would take so it is becoming hard to figure in the cost and time needed. Does anyone know or can point me to a site or book where I can learn it. Also trying to get this done so I can finish my business plan.  

 

Your Technical Director can write the TDD and estimate the programming.

Your Art Director can estimate the art.

Your Audio Director can estimate the audio. 

 

Tell us in vague terms how large a game you are making, with a vague description of the extent of the graphics and audio.

Then we can give you a vague estimate of the cost.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 25 January 2013 - 04:21 PM.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Dan Mayor   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:04 PM

I normally take the nay sayer side of discussions as I try to get people to keep their head on without getting lost in the clouds thinking that this field is easy but I think I'm actually going to be the nicer guy this time (for once).  In short there's two ways to determine time estimates on coding and audio projects.  The first is to get someone you trust and can rely on that does these things and ask them "How long do you think this will take?".  The other way is to do extensive research on similar projects, time frames and number of people involved on the project.  However I would say that this second method is riskier ground.  Using this method where you set the deadlines you lose interest of many people who fear not making the deadlines.  At this point to keep people interested in meeting their deadlines you're going to have to pay them regularly.

 

I say this because I personally am a freelancer programmer and this is one of my picky points when I consider which projects to accept and which ones to decline.  I'm very lucky in that I have gotten to a point where I get multiple offers and I can be in this position, however it has molded me to just not be interested in something that I think the project coordinator has underestimated the time frames.  That is to say if I think it's going to take 400 hours and the deadline is 2 months, I'm probably not interested.  The only way that I would commit myself to something like this is if the payment is well worth it (double what I would charge if I had 4 months to do the same project).  Simply put the more demanding you are the more of a professional you need.  A true professional treats his deadline like his life, he will never lose it!  Now what if I was wrong and it's going to take 450 hours?  I have to cram that into 8 weeks?  That's a little over 55 hours a week that I have to dedicate to you'r project.  What if I have other clients with emergencies that I have to attend to?

 

So a little secret I would suggest is to go to a freelance hiring website, register a free account and post your project.  Get quotes, find the average and throw out all of the bids under that average.  Take whats left and average those out again.  Use that as an idea for a realistic time frame / budget that you'll need.  I say to do this double average method because you will undoubtedly get untalented / incapable individuals bidding and just cutting prices to try and get work that they probably can't handle in the first place.  The higher bids are more realistic 9/10 times.  Example, you have 10 bids.  7 of them are $200 or less and the other 3 are $600 - $1000.  Those 3 people are most likely the ones that know what it's really going to take and that's why they are bidding more.  It's safer to assume that you'r looking at somewhere around $800 than it would be to assume you can squeak by around $300 - $400.

 

Following that bad example on the same note if your budget simply can't afford the "realistic" cost, not all is lost.  You may still succeed with the lower bidding individual with less experience but you now have to extend deadlines and understand that he will inevitably end up having to learn as he goes.  Granted you're the one paying but when your not paying well you HAVE to accept these delays.  (Or scrap it all and find someone else).  I'm sure people will have some contradictory tales but it's always better to be safer than sorry.  Either accept the higher cost quotes or the longer time frames, never try to get a happy medium between the two.


Digivance Game Studios Founder:

Dan Mayor - Dan@Digivance.com
 www.Digivance.com


#4 Jsmith72680   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

I am right now just doing the research. So I don't want to go out and give people the assumption that there is possibly something there for them when there is not. I mean if you putted a bid on a project that someone claim to have only to find out they had not intension of using anyone it would be upsetting. I just can't do that to someone.  I want to take the time to make sure the business model and the projects that takes place in the company can be done in a professional manner.  I don't want it to be a failure do to mistake that could have been avoided. I want it so what ever project it may be it has the resources needed for it to be an enjoyable experience for everyone who is apart it. 



#5 Dan Mayor   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

90% of jobs on freelancer sites never go through.  That is common practice, never feel bad for doing it.  That is why you will receive such poor responses from bidders on these sites.  They don't expect you to actually accept the bid.  I don't want to advertise another site on here but a quick google search of "freelancers" or "freelancing" should get you to some big ones real quick.  Research is research and evaluating real world bids and potential costs comes from asking people what they would charge you.  Every project and every team is different, what someone else paid is almost certainly never what you will pay even if your project is exactly the same.  Point is, ask people how long it would take them and how much they would charge, base your findings on the higher ends of these responses to be on the safe side.  I will warn you though without releasing a complete design document to potential workers you can't trust their quote at all.  By some means you will need experienced people to know exactly what you are doing to get the answers you are looking for.


Digivance Game Studios Founder:

Dan Mayor - Dan@Digivance.com
 www.Digivance.com


#6 Jsmith72680   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Thanks for the advice I will kept that in mind.



#7 proanim   Members   -  Reputation: 440

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:47 PM

I just want to point out that bidding sites with freelancers are very often a scam. You might be better of scouting forums with job offers than going to the freelance sites.



#8 Jsmith72680   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

Now a days there are scam artist in everything I just look at it if they ask for money up front than walk away.






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