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abstractimmersion

about contracting for art/sound

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(note: cross-posted in business and art threads) I'm early in the design process, but I want to determine how feasible my business plan is. Basically, I want some ballpark estimates for how much it would take to get A-quality (not whiz-bang high-end AAA, but broadly marketable) graphics, music, and SFX for a isometric tactical RPG. I'm currently thinking of something like Final Fantasy Tactics, 2d sprites on a 3d landscape. If you haven't played that, think of an updated X-Com or Fallout done in that manner, 2d on 3d. (3d to allow for rotation, viewing from the 4 corners) The plan currently is to try and get all design (including level design) and programming done by (a small # of) people willing to work for a % of royalties. I'm guessing that quality artists, sound engineers, and composers probably won't do the work for a percentage, so simple placeholders would be present for Graphics, SFX, and music. This would allow for playtesting while the art and sound was being contracted and created. Say the number of character sprites would be around 100. The maps, say 250 of them, would range from 20x20 to 200x200 (square tiles), with all plot advancement occurring within the maps or in menu-based dialog (ie, no CGI movies). Plus items, character portraits, and menu/font design. So, any ballpark estimates for: Graphics? Music? SFX? (I realize I probably would have to break up 2d and 3d graphics, and may be able to combine sound and music)

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Chuddox    122
In order to give you an accurate quote on either the sound effects or the music There's some stuff I need to know:

What sound file formats are you going to be using.
How many pieces of music are you looking for (est. run time)
How many sound events do you want? 50, 100, 1000? Minimal sound effects are a lot cheaper than hours of sampled work.

Here are some #s for you to get an idea where my services run (I can't speak for others)

Music is usually $15-25 per minute of Run time total for regular 128 kbps mp3 or equivalent format(i.e a soundtrack like Bethesda's Morrowind would run you around 600-1000 USD since its about 40 minutes). The price varies based on formatting, how complex you want the pieces, and if you want them licensed to you exclusively or not (Meaning I can relicense thier use to another company).

Sound effects are usually 1-3 USD per sound event for a 16 bit stereo event thats around 1-2 seconds in 128 kbps mp3 or equivilent format. Variance again depends on how the pieces are licensed. (I have to custom record exclusively licensed effects rather than pull them from my DB of already recorded events).

Now, 8bit and mono effects aren't really any cheaper because even though they take up less storage space, they actually require work to convert into a poorer quality format.

Hopefully this helps you get an idea of some costs.

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