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khash

money vs game dev

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Hi I wonder if anyone can help me estimate value of game I'm developping with my wife and one friend. I did few games before as company employee, but I have never cared about how much it is worth. Now we have playable demo* of home project and we are wondering where to go from this point. www.muha.wikidot.com * - avaliable features: a) Audio mechanizm equipped with professional-made music, smoothly moving from one to another in different environments b) MSSQL based database for monsters, skills, players and other data used by server c) Service overseering accounts, connections and any interaction management(It can be split into smaler modules what can be necceesaty for future service extensions into mmo, or boxed with database if moving to advanced crpg) d) Free world roaming and tactical based fight mode with simple AI (Fight, skill and item usage is still under development. There is only some of all features working) Game is designed to be mmo game, but at this stage its more like just multiplayer tactical rpg game. Our tests shows still many problems with more than 20 players Thanks for any info/suggestions, Regards

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Nobody can put a value on your game. This is the "dark matter" of the industry -- you won't know its value until you put it on the marketplace and see how many sales it brings in. It's a problem every publisher faces, not knowing if the game will sell or not.

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I'm not going to publish it by mysef, I wonder how much I can get from publisher.
Did anyone done similar range project?

I'm going to discus details with few potential publishers soon and I don't like to be on position "I have no idea how much it's worth".
It's like with selling car, If I have even range of values of similar cars I can have idea when somebody is trying "take it for free" and when its "good price"

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Nobody can put a value on your game. This is the "dark matter" of the industry -- you won't know its value until you submit it to the publisher and see what they offer you. It's a problem every indie developer faces, not knowing if the game will sell or not.

Edit: If a publisher does make you an offer, it would likely be for a percentage of sales -- like up to 25%. Because of the dark matter problem, nobody can tell you what that would come to. Since it's a game made by 3 amateurs, it's not likely to be very much.

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lol thanx, I hoped that if you replyed another time you have something more info :P

Anyway thanx for answer, but maybe there is simebody who have sold similar level project and he is willing to share his "experience"?

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I'm not an industry expert and I've never personally been in your situation, khash, so don't take my word as law, but... what Tom tried to say, I think, is that the publisher simply will be offering you a percentage of the sales - or the profits, not quite sure which. In case your game flops, they don't want to have wasted whatever amount they paid you for "buying" the game software (including its rights - and the license to sell it) in addition to all the publishing costs.

Again, I may be wrong, but I'd wager on them proposing they get a (larger) percentage of all profits. I don't think they would pay you a set sum of money up front.

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http://www.offworld.com/2009/03/indie-games-summit-ron-carmel.html

Should give you an idea on the upper end. Though they won several game development competitions and were fairly well known.

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If your game is not completed and only at demo stage, then I don't think you will find many publishers wiling to "buy" it because it has no commercial value (i.e. it can't be sold to consumers for a price). Publishers may be willing to continue funding development on a work for hire basis or with a license to the right to distribute the game upon completion, but giving you any kind of expected advance/royalty splits is just picking numbers out of the air. It would be more productive to develop a budget for completing the game including your labor costs, the costs associated with distribution (COGS)and post-launch backend maintenance or updates. This will allow publishers and partners to evaluate the risk in moving forward with an investment relative to the sales potential.

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You are going to find it very hard to get somebody to buy a "MMO" that has a problem with over 20 players. Nobody is going to waste their time with a buggy mess and a promise of "it will work if you give us a bunch of money". You need to get your scaling issues fixed before anybody would seriously consisder your game I think. MMO ideas are all over the place, just look at the help wanted forum. I have a mostly feature complete casual game with several levels that I'm having a hard time trying to get somebody to fund so I can get the other 67 levels and other little programming stuff done.

As for cost, you need to figure up a cost analysis sheet. An estimate of how much programming, art, sound is going to cost for each month of development. Also an estimate of server costs per month. Probably also handy to know things like server load so a publisher knows if they need dedicated servers or not. Be pretty doubtful a publisher is going to let you run the server without some kind of previous track record. So this is an additional cost they have to make up from somewhere. Submit the analysis with the rest of your design stuff and it will give a publisher a ballpark figure of what you want for the game and they can figure out if they can get a decent ROI. The ROI will dictate if they give you an offer and how much it would be. As for a hard number, nobody can tell you that as every case is different.

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