Lately i've been reaching a point where ive had to sit down and think, is it worth it for me to dedicate X ammount of hours a day to a game just to put in my journal for ten people to download? Theres alot of variables to consider:
Day Job: This takes presidence over ANYTHING I do as a game developer. I do this for a LIVING! My boss pays me to sit in my office and code 8 hours a day, five days a week. I will not allow myself to slack on that if I am working essentially overtime on a game while im at home.
Bills: The salary I make is good for my age and my experience. The problem is that with the situations im involved into in my life bills become pretty outstanding. Living on my own I have rent, cable, electric, phone, internet, gas, and trash removal bills that have to get paid. That and I dont even own a car to get back and forth to work so Ray has to pick me up every morning and bring me to work. Fortuantly I dont live far but its still an inconvience for the both of us.
Time: You have heard me and countless others talking about how the time that they have in a day is limited to what they need/want to do. Its hard to want to take time away from lets say my GF to work on something that chances are nobody will play.
This brings me to a set of crossroads. I can walk the line of making a game which can be fun and entertaining and enjoyed by myself and the people that choose to download it. I can also walk the road more traveled and design, code, and market a small indie game. Lets weight the options here:
- Quality isnt a 100% necessity
- Art isnt so much of an issue
- Making sure im providing a bug free, error free product isnt necessary
- No real benefit besides the name sake of having a completed game
- Quality MUST BE 100% to the best of my ability
- Art must be paid for out of my own pocket
- Making sure im providing a bug free, error free product IS necessary!!
- Gives me the opportunity to possably make some small ammount of additional income
I see myself more or less leaning towards a commercial product on an indie scale. Something small, simple, yet addicting to play. Ive seen countless puzzle-esque games become profitable to some indies that if I had the resourses I could produce in less then a month. On top of that with the engine that I am using my back end code is nicly handled and is great for this type of project. On top of everything I could really use some additional income to help me ease my worries.
If I chose to make a small scale commercial game I would buget out of my own pocket, potentially around $500.00 to buy some music, art, and marketing. Theres also TONS of sites around the net where I could get free exposure. The gameplay would be smooth and efficient, the art would be professional (or as professional as my buget would allow) and the quality I would put around it would be something that people wouldnt fret paying for.
All fees would be small, even compaired to what would be my "competitions" prices. Ive seen games on this scale selling on average $19.99 for a download copy of a game. I would more then likley sell for around $5.00-$10.00 and provide the same quality and content value. Additionally I could also design the game to be expandable, allowing for large content to be added for a small price (20 more maps/puzzles for $2.00, additional character to play as $1.00, etc...)
In my eyes its pretty much a necessity to produce a game that I would intend to sell. I could use the money, I know I am capable of producing a quality product, and I know that I would enjoy trying to market the game. The challenge would be fun and the potential payout is definatly alluring.
If I weight it out. If I provide myself with a $500.00 buget and plan on selling at lets say the minimum of $5.00 per copy, I would have to see a minimum of 100 copys of the game just to break even. Even in my eyes would be worth it. Even would get my name out there, it would allow people to see the quality of my products, and it would provide me a base to produce other products.
The scale of the product would be small in terms of time spent on it. 1-3 months. It would sell for cheap, and I could definatly use the potential benefits from it.
Whats your opinions on this, if there are any?