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Girsanov

[web] Paying people to make a webgame: Estimated costs?

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The story so far: My friends and I saw this fun game concept featured in an episode of a japanese animation. Unfortunately, the game is fictional. However, we think it will be a lot of fun we could somehow replicate the game and play it among our friends. We considered easier forms like making it into a board game or play-by-email but ultimately decided that due to our working lives I was wondering if it is common to pay freelancers or professionals to make webgames and also the cost involved. I am NOT looking for anything state of the art nor trying to make an MMO like World of Warcraft. I am thinking along the lines of Utopia, Earth2025 or Archmage...but for only 20-50 players (my group of friends). I think the costs will be divided among these major elements: 1) Web design and hosting. 2) Programming of the game. 3) Artwork. (no animation, 3D or anything fancy. probably just a few static images scattered around the screens to make it look pretty) Because I have no expertise in game development, I need advice on whether such a project is realistically viable within a starting budget of say a couple hundred of dollars. Furthermore, I would have to be the "project manager" that dictates everything and puts everything together in the end, hence, I would need advice on how much programming I have to know in order to do so OR if it is relatively hands-free. Thanks! :)

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My fees for web development are currently at €40 per hour, which given your budget and the dollar-euro ratio would have me work three or four hours tops and thus barely get anything done if your game is of reasonable size.

You could certainly look for freelancers from cheaper countries, though (you lose 33% of your money with european freelancers because of the dollar's weakness). Or you could try Rent a Coder.

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Original post by ToohrVyk
My fees for web development are currently at €40 per hour, which given your budget and the dollar-euro ratio would have me work three or four hours tops and thus barely get anything done if your game is of reasonable size.

You could certainly look for freelancers from cheaper countries, though (you lose 33% of your money with european freelancers because of the dollar's weakness). Or you could try Rent a Coder.


Wow, is that the market rate that you are charging? Or are you some superstar coder?

Thanks for the info btw. :)

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Original post by Girsanov
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Original post by ToohrVyk
My fees for web development are currently at €40 per hour, which given your budget and the dollar-euro ratio would have me work three or four hours tops and thus barely get anything done if your game is of reasonable size.

You could certainly look for freelancers from cheaper countries, though (you lose 33% of your money with european freelancers because of the dollar's weakness). Or you could try Rent a Coder.


Wow, is that the market rate that you are charging? Or are you some superstar coder?

Thanks for the info btw. :)


Firstly, the 'market rate' is of little significance as the quality and skills of programmers vary big time. With that said, ToohrVyk is one of the more talented programmers on the board.

Secondly, 40 euro (~80 USD) is a bit on the highend, but it's not out of the range of the general 'market rate'

Thirdly, you haven't made it clear what type of a browser based game. Text with static images? Flash/java-based animated game?

-GL

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For a freelance who knows what he is doing (which surely is the case with ToohrVyk), 40 Euros per hour not expensive at all in an european country.
Even if you settle with people who barely have an idea of what they are doing, you will have to expect 20 Euros per hour as a minimum.

If you go to a "professional" company, you can expect being charged at least 2-3 times as much.
If you break down a specialist employee's annual salary to "Euros per hour", you typically get a figure between 25 and 40 Euros per hour (depending on qualification and age). That doesn't include the extra costs that the employer has to bear, such as for example social insurance, which alltogether almost double that number. Lastly, a "professional company" wants to pay its managers and shareholders too, which adds to the total cost, too.

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Original post by Girsanov
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Original post by ToohrVyk
My fees for web development are currently at €40 per hour, which given your budget and the dollar-euro ratio would have me work three or four hours tops and thus barely get anything done if your game is of reasonable size.

You could certainly look for freelancers from cheaper countries, though (you lose 33% of your money with european freelancers because of the dollar's weakness). Or you could try Rent a Coder.


Wow, is that the market rate that you are charging? Or are you some superstar coder?

Thanks for the info btw. :)


I wouldn't do paid work for less than $50 per hour. I'm a professional programmer (as a job), and make about that in salary.

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Original post by Girsanov
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Original post by ToohrVyk
My fees for web development are currently at €40 per hour


Wow, is that the market rate that you are charging? Or are you some superstar coder?


Wow, you guys must have some pretty crappy market over there. €40 is cheap by my standards (I'm in The Netherlands). I charge between €40 and €50 per hour, depending on the job, and I am by far one of the cheapest out there. Usual rate I see here at big webdev companies is around €75.

And that's all in Euro's. In dollars it's even more with the current exchange rate. Also mind that these are contract work rates. I get a lot less (sadly) at my 9-5 programming job.

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Thanks for giving me an idea of the costs in Europe! :)

I live in Asia...over here, we can pay US$100 to get someone to write an online payment system like PayPal so I thought it would be pretty cheap to come up with a browser based multiplayer text game.

Perhaps I should go ask an Asian programming forum instead. :P

But thanks anyway guys.

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Original post by Sander
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Original post by Girsanov
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Original post by ToohrVyk
My fees for web development are currently at €40 per hour


Wow, is that the market rate that you are charging? Or are you some superstar coder?


Wow, you guys must have some pretty crappy market over there. €40 is cheap by my standards (I'm in The Netherlands). I charge between €40 and €50 per hour, depending on the job, and I am by far one of the cheapest out there. Usual rate I see here at big webdev companies is around €75.

And that's all in Euro's. In dollars it's even more with the current exchange rate. Also mind that these are contract work rates. I get a lot less (sadly) at my 9-5 programming job.
With contract rates, you have to know the cost of living in an area to compare. In Los Angeles, you'd probably have to charge $100 per hour just to survive. Where I live, in Oregon, the cost of living is such that $50 per hour would let me work for six months of the year, and live really well. Actually, that sounds pretty good instead of my 9-to-5 job...

That's also why Indian programmers can work so cheaply. They can live like royalty on a fraction of what it takes to live in, say, the Netherlands. Though I'm sure you have much better beer than the Indians. ;)

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Original post by Girsanov
<snip>
Because I have no expertise in game development, I need advice on whether such a project is realistically viable within a starting budget of say a couple hundred of dollars. Furthermore, I would have to be the "project manager" that dictates everything and puts everything together in the end, hence, I would need advice on how much programming I have to know in order to do so OR if it is relatively hands-free.

Thanks! :)
You might be well advised to find a partner who has programming experience. I would guess that building even a "simple" text-based game like those you describe could take hundreds of hours of programming time. And if you insist on being the "dictator", expect to pay for every hour of programming time.

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