Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
SamLuo

RPG Funding

This topic is 2471 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

What is the kind of cost that a small scale company would face funding a large scale game like RPG or MMO? A lot of small groups doing this that look to bring in artists or auxiliary programmers offer profit share, but say if the company was paying everyone a wage or commission, what would be the average cost? What are other steps that small companies take to secure funding for large scale games?

Of course I realize the high cost is the reason a lot of companies don't do this. But I'm just curious (:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
What is the kind of cost that a small scale company would face funding a large scale game like RPG or MMO?
Small-scale companies usually don't attempts large-scale projects, because it requires them to become a large-scale company wink.png
i.e. either you've got to hire a large amount of staff, or you've got to contract a large amount of staff, either way you're now a large company --- if you don't have to do either of these things, then it's not really a large-scale project.
A lot of small groups doing this that look to bring in artists or auxiliary programmers offer profit share, but say if the company was paying everyone a wage or commission, what would be the average cost?[/quote]The average salary for a US game dev is ~$80,000 p/a. So a team of 24 staff would require ~$2M per year just to cover payroll.
What are other steps that small companies take to secure funding for large scale games?[/quote]Make a pitch to venture capitalists or publishers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The average salary for a US game dev is ~$80,000 p/a. So a team of 24 staff would require ~$2M per year just to cover payroll[/quote]
Cool beans, thanks! What is the average staff size for say a medium to large scale team?

I guess I'm mostly interested in the management side of this since its something that has always eluded me in my observations of games. Cause for a while now, I've been looking for a stable, solid team to join (hobby not "professional") and those seem to be teams on the larger side, but I have no idea what to look for in what makes up a good group and good management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. What is the average staff size for say a medium to large scale team?
2. I have no idea what to look for in what makes up a good group and good management.


1. A small game development company is one that employs fewer than 30. A large game development company is one that employs over 100. (In my opinion.) Medium would be in between. What difference does it make (why do you ask this)?
2. One way is the track record. Look at the games they've made, see how many games they've made, see what metacritic scores they've garnered. Another way is to go drinking with people from that company, see if they grouse a lot or really enjoy their jobs. Not sure what you're trying to figure out here...? And what these questions have to do with funding your own company?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm unable to find the source again, but I recently read an article about an indie team of 4 running on a budget of about 15k per month -- They had office space (so budget for rent, utilities, snacks, etc) and legal/business council, both accounting for around $1200 of the monthly budget each -- a small start-up team . These were folks with a salary, but not an "industry standard" salary -- occupying the space between "doin' in for the love/breaking in" and "broken in but not breaking out". Each programmer was making the equivilent of around $13/hr, give or take.

Not exactly the info you were looking for, but a good point of data for the costs involved in running even a small team like a real business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm unable to find the source again, but I recently read an article about an indie team of 4 running on a budget of about 15k per month -- They had office space (so budget for rent, utilities, snacks, etc) and legal/business council, both accounting for around $1200 of the monthly budget each -- a small start-up team .


Was this it http://www.joystiq.com/2012/02/29/how-one-indie-studio-burns-15k-per-month-or-this-graph-looks/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]

1. A small game development company is one that employs fewer than 30. A large game development company is one that employs over 100. (In my opinion.) Medium would be in between. What difference does it make (why do you ask this)?

[/font]
[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]

2. One way is the track record. Look at the games they've made, see how many games they've made, see what metacritic scores they've garnered. Another way is to go drinking with people from that company, see if they grouse a lot or really enjoy their jobs. Not sure what you're trying to figure out here...? And what these questions have to do with funding your own company?

[/font][/quote]
1. I'm asking because several hobby companies that have asked me to join have said they are large companies (being only 50 or so people) so their ambitions are not unrealistic. I'm always wary when considering joining hobby companies that want to remake skyrim so I was just wondering what would actually qualify as a "large" team.
2. I'm just entirely clueless. I've always wondered how the big companies got started, and I figured the best way to figure out is to examine the companies that work, and ask get opinions from people who have actually worked the industry. It's mostly to satisfy my own thirst for knowledge.

I'm unable to find the source again, but I recently read an article about an indie team of 4 running on a budget of about 15k per month [/quote]
Interesting. I'll have to read more. :D

Thanks for the info guys. I guess I'm mostly curious since I'd like to run a team (certainly not anytime soon but one day), but I have no idea the logistics or the business side of things. Cause right now being a student it seems like funding a team for a medium to large scale game is a huuuuge undertaking and I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I'm asking because several hobby companies that have asked me to join have said they are large companies (being only 50 or so people) so their ambitions are not unrealistic. I'm always wary when considering joining hobby companies that want to remake skyrim so I was just wondering what would actually qualify as a "large" team.


I would be extremely wary of any "hobby" team with more than about two handfuls of people (fewer than a dozen, for sure). In fact, I'd argue that the "optimal" size for an indie team is anywhere between 2 and 6. This does, of course, essentially preclude the possibility of epic undertakings, but that's not a bad thing.

If you look at any of the successful indies -- say Team Meat, The Behemoth, or any of the iOS break-out teams -- they're always small teams. Big teams are just way too disorganized, opinionated, and unruly. The biggest factor in getting an indie game done, when little or no money is on the line as motivation, is that everyone is on-board with the vision -- fewer people means fewer people to convince, fewer people to keep in line, fewer people to monitor. You have 15+ people making an FPS and half of them will want to make Call of Duty, and the other half will want to make Halo. Focus is destroyed.

There are exceptions to the rule, but most of those you'll find have a significant percentage of people with industry experience -- and a telling fact about those types of groups is that they'll almost always be working on a Mod, or working with an engine license (Unity, Unreal, etc).

For just about any appropriately-sized indie project I can imagine, you really only *need* a single good programmer, a single good artist, and someone to contract sound out to. You can scale up a little, but managing any more than 3 people in a particular discipline is where you start needing management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. I'm asking because several hobby companies that have asked me to join have said they are large companies (being only 50 or so people) so their ambitions are not unrealistic.
That sounds really suspect. Are they even "companies" at all, in the legal sense of the word? Use of the word "hobby" makes it sound like they're not really companies...

Either:
* they're a real company (a legally registered entity in some jurisdiction), who either employs staff for wages/salaries or has signed contracts with 'employees' agreeing on compensation to be dispensed under specified conditions (e.g. X shares in the company when Y tasks on product Z are completed).
or
* they're a group of hobbyists working for free.

In the first case, the act of "joining" them will involve either the signing of paperwork, or doing work for them under their direction and receiving a paycheque for it. This means they own your work and have the right to publish it.
In the second case, the act of "joining" them is an unofficial gesture, and any work you do for them is still owned by you, and you can dispute their right to use it at any time.

IMO, a hobbyist group that pretends that they're a real company is one of the most dangerous groups to join, because they've built their foundations on top of this falsehood. Any plans for them to later form a company, or to somehow arrange financial agreements between the "staff" are severely compromised by their beginnings, with ownership of the work legally divided between all 50 "staff".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!