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aboeing

splitting up the pay

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Hi, I am just wondering if anyone can give me some sort of budget-brakedown for how much money goes to different people/divisions for a product. I know this is highly dependent on what type of product you make, so maybe if you could just mention the product and provide a break-down of the budget. Basically I am trying to determine, before really starting the product, how the money should be split. eg: 20% marketing/advertising 20% programmers/development 20% artists/content 20% "producer"/president/person who runs business 10% system&web admin 10% user support The product we are planning on developing is probably closest to game development, but any break down, for any product, would be interesting. Thanks.

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Marketing/advertisement:
Will you be releasing/publish/advertising for the product your self, or will you use an external publisher? if you plan on finding an external publisher, maybe this money is used to advertise/contact and show your product to different pulishers. If you do all publishing yourself: The cost will undoubly be higher (in this perticular area), but later the payof might be higher if your product sell well.

programmers + artists
Consider how many people will be working in each area. if there is 10 programmers (including game content programmers/scripters) and only 3 artists (say 2 graphic and one music sound) the 20-20 is unreasonable. Also you might need to buy external licenses for software/libraries the programmers use. Same goes for the artists, of cause. Maybe you should combine the programmers and artist and have a larger area called Developement.

At the last game company I worked at there where 2-3 ppl in the manager division, 30-40 ppl in the developement division (with about 15 ppl in the artist sub division, 8-10 in game content, about 10 in engine programming), 2 in marketing, 2 web content, 1-2 user support, 2 in system admin. Obviously in this case your budget wouldn''t work, since the developement would use so much more money than any other area, just counting the saleries. I should also mention that this perticular company didn''t make it. But that was more because of management than anything else.

Hope anything of this helps!

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You really need to plan it first, so the percentages you seek are reliable, not speculation or estimation. This is the first mistake many entrepreneurs make, ballparking estimates, and can lead to disaster.

Without a solid researched plan, why would you want to go into production for the markets anyway? Have you solid data on you target market and what share you expect to control? What kinds of creatives in advertizing and marketing have you devised and tested to see if your target demographic in your target market has response rates that will support your market share estimates? Have you devised a unique selling proposition?

Cutting up the pie comes after you figure out what ingredients go into a tasty pie others will pay to eat, how much those ingredients cost, where to get them, how long it will take to make the pie, what kind of kitchen you need to have in case one pie tasting shows tommorrow you have orders for thirty pies, and the next day a thousand, and how many people are coming to dinner.

HTH,
Addy

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Thanks for the replies, I just wanted to get a general idea of how various companies split up the budget so I could get a round about idea of how things are done. The percentages I listed were completely fabricated. Just wanted to give people an idea of what I wanted to know. I was specifically refering to just the salaries by the way.

The product we are developing does not have a lot of customers, so it needs to be targeted to a specific customer - and usually customized for them too. Our company is very small, only 5 people, and we all just work on this "on-the-side". In a previous attempt at this, a product was developed but was only succesfully sold to a few customers, and I think it was because nobody knew how much money they would get from doing something, and so were reluctant to put in serious effort. I was hoping by collecting enough data from other companies I would be able to generalize a sort of payment-breakdown for each task.

Ninebit: Thanks for that information - very usefull - I guess I can combine that with the "industry average" payments to figure out a breakdown. Cheers!

adventuredesign: I like the extensive pie-cooking analogy! My problem is that I cant plan it well, because I''m a programmer, so my ideal budget looks like this:
99% Development, 1% Other
We do have one (large) gauranteed customer, but would like to expand to try and make a well rounded product which could be sold to other companies. I know nothing about the whole marketing side of things - this is why I hope to have a breakdown so that I can say to someone "Sell this product. You will recieve X dollars / Y percentage".

Thanks.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Here''s the breakdown for the last game I published:

Artist: $1000
Sound guy: $1000
Level Designer: $500
Programmer (me): $1000
All the rest of the profits (also me): everything else

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