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# How do I estimate a budget for a MMO?

## 20 posts in this topic

I have almost 0 programming experience and exactly 0 art and networking experience and don't plan on learning anything other then the overall general basics I need to know to design a game within a budget I can spend.  I know I know everyone has a idea and you will never beable to do this blah blah blah.  I don't care.  I believe strong enough in my ideas on game mechanics and revenue generation to spend the next year or two trying.  So the main questions for right now before I even begin making a game design document are...

What do I need to learn before it even makes sense to make a game design document and where can I learn it?  Keep in mind the budget for the game is not going to be known until after the document is done as I plan on using that to put the people and resources together to try to make this happen.  I'm hoping based on nothing really that 250k is a bare minimium to make something close to what I want in terms of gameplay.  If I just wanted to make a nintendo nes graphics level game with more advanced gameplay and mechanics and beable to handle 500 concurrent users in a persistant world do you think that would be enough money?  Assuming I'm paying a normal wage for all or most work (could probably get some cheap or free art at this level of graphics)?  If not how much would be needed and how much of that is paid labor for programming, art, networking vs licensing and hardware etc costs?  How much do costs go up as the graphics improve?  Think the exact same game but NES level to GTA 2 level graphics?  What would the extra cost be in $or multiples of the original art budget? What is the cost breakdown of making a MMO? The massive multiplayer aspect is the most important part of this idea (other then my original ideas i'm not going to share). How much of the cost does this aspect account for in terms of both extra programming and servers and bandwidth needed? If I have a game that can handle 1000 concurrent users is that going to be significantly more costly then the same game that could handle only 100 users? Does the size of the ingame world drastically effect the amount of servers or size of servers needed? Does the maximum number of players that can be in a certain area at the same time or in the same "instance" of the game affect cost alot? Would having gameplay that "instances" off small teams of players in certain areas be more cost effective? Are there any patents that I'm going to have to be careful of violating or that basically every MMO has to pay a fee for using? If so what is going to be the cost of licensing the basic patents to make a MMO? I realize some of these questions are mostly unanswerable without knowing exactly what the game design is but I'm just looking for very rough estimates atm to determine what to plan for in the game design and business plan. Any examples of other sub$10 million MMO's and their production costs and features would be useful.  Any questions you can answer or new questions you think I should ask myself or helpful links you can provide would be appreciated.  I have no illusions of making a AAA graphic game and realize that getting any game done with little to no money out of pocket and 0 experience in the industry is completely unheard of so no need to make a negative post telling me that.  Thanks

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Forgot a very important question.  What would be a fair assumption for the cost per player per hour to host a MMO?  What factors effect this number?  Is this even a valid concern or is most of this cost going to depend on the cost of servers needed to support the max number of concurrent users?

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@Orymus3: I am being a bit optimistic, yeah.

It really all depends on the nature of the game. I was part of a small orpg hobbyist project, programmed by a single programmer (the program lead), and though we never finished the project, it was fully playable and almost feature-complete. We worked on it, as hobbyists, in our free time. We worked on and off over several years - from 2006 to 2010, with large gaps of inactivity sprinkled throughout.

The lead developer did 100% of the programming, but often didn't have time to work on the project because of real-life.
I was the lead artist (and a mighty poor one, back at that point in time), lead map-maker and world designer, and one of the two scripters.
We had a third developer who also helped with scripting and map making inbetween his college classes.
This was our team of three.

From time to time we had others do a spot of art here or there, and someone made the GUI artwork, but it was mostly us three.

Mostly, we all just messed around, but we had a decent-sized game world, functional combat, guilds, guild halls, PvP areas, non-PvP areas, hundreds of items, fully-scripted mini-event-games inside the game (player races, treasure hunts, and others), quests, skills (ranged, DoTs, AoEs, buffs, de-buffs), equipment with special effects, an auction hall, and a few other things as well.

We never promoted the game (since it wasn't finished), but we had a tiny active community of a dozen players, sometimes reaching as high as twenty. Without even announcing the game anywhere.

With a focused team of four (two programmers - who both also script, two artists - at least one of who can make music), working full-time, and getting paid to do so, I think it's within the realm of possibility.

The challenges are:
Reasonable featureset - not too extravagant in scope.
Having the game design mostly locked in place - so things aren't changed halfway through development.
Finding people who have skill and are willing to do the work full-time at around that price.
Managing the team, leading them, coordinating them, coordinating and organizing what still needs to be done, keeping the team focused and motivated. (This is much harder than it sounds if you don't know what you're doing - 'managing'/'leading' is not the same thing as "telling people what to do". It's not the "idea guy" position, it's an entirely different skillset)

None of those are insurmountable. For half a million ($250k as your employee wages and additional contracting work as needed, plus another$250k for when the project goes longer than expected), I think it's possible. You just have to know what you are doing, which the OP already said he does not.

Optimistic? Yes, definitely. But still possible. I just wouldn't risk my imaginary $500k on it. The key element of note here is lack of experience. a Project relying upon a man with no experience in management (or making games at all), lack of understanding of what everyone on the team really needs to be doing, and more importantly, lack of experience designing games (resulting in poor quality documentation and lack of foresight) could be catastrophic. Agreed - that pretty much sums the entire situation. Edited by Servant of the Lord 1 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Assuming you get people willing to work for royalties, that are somehow skilled and reliable (motivated and loyal), you could even technically do it for much less. However, this is quite unlikely. @Servant: Sad story. Any somewhat completed game deserves to be put out there. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites The key element of note here is lack of experience. a Project relying upon a man with no experience in management (or making games at all), lack of understanding of what everyone on the team really needs to be doing, and more importantly, lack of experience designing games (resulting in poor quality documentation and lack of foresight) could be catastrophic. This is a wildcard here that could increase the cost by magnitudes here. I'm going to assume OP is more than meets the eye here (anyone able to raise 250K$ like that probably has a hidden talent).

That says it all. Without working in the industry, or creating multiple indie games yourself, you can't even imagine the leadership challenges you're going to face doing this. You'd need to hire a project manager/producer to handle the project for you.

A good example of a MMO that I could make alone, in under a year, is "Realm of the Mad God". The original class sprites were from a roguelike contest, and the game generates worlds algorithmically. I'd say that's a decent end goal for your $250k to take you, if everything went perfectly. Another problem not mentioned, is you have no idea who to hire and how to hire them. You wouldn't know what quality of employee you'd be hiring. Sloper has some FAQ entry on how worthless game ideas are, so there is no use using the same obscure "I have this amazing idea but I'm not going to share it". Just describe what you are trying to make and I'm sure someone here can give you a realistic budget. 1 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites A good example of a MMO that I could make alone, in under a year, is "Realm of the Mad God". MMO has a meaning. That isn't it. The term MMO was coined to describe online games with more than 100k active users. Online games? Sure, those are easy enough. The Multiplayer and Networking Forum FAQ has an example making a simple online RPG in just a few hours. Massively Multiplayer Online game? Those are difficult and expensive. You might be able to pull together a game with a hundred or even a thousand concurrent users without too much difficulty. To enter the realm of 100k+ active players you need some significant architecture to back it up. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Or you could license the Big World technology if it's still around or another competing product, and avoid reinventing the wheel. That in theory should lower you budget requirements, assuming you have people skilled enough to use it. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites The physical architecture you are going to need to support so many users is a big part of the problem. Load balancers, login servers, gameplay servers.... those costs are high and they're not strongly related to whether you license the core tech or roll your own (optimization questions aside). The architecture of your own program to run in such an environment is a big issue also, of course. frob, that's a really interesting approach to estimating costs. I never considered going by the credits. There's some error built into it since on bigger titles you will have many people in the credits who did not nearly contribute for the whole duration of the project (testers, outsourced work, people who were hired part way through or who left), but this is counterbalanced by software projects always being over schedule and over budget. Edited by stanirya 2 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Assuming you get people willing to work for royalties, that are somehow skilled and reliable (motivated and loyal), you could even technically do it for much less. However, this is quite unlikely. I spend a lot of time on the Unity forums and it is very unlikely any project (unless extremely small) will be completed through royalties or collaboration. One look at the Collaboration forum highlights this. All these new game developers come along wanting to build the next big MMO or FPS, enthusiasm is high, and after purchasing a few models and a starter kit, a few screenshots are posted of the game. You then get a few people replying or joining the team, all is looking good.... Then a few more weeks into the development, it starts to hit home that game development, and more so trying to build an MMO or high quality FPS is indeed a daunting challenge and the team members drop off one by one. 95% of projects in the collaboration forum that are more than 2-3 months old have no more updates posted. Projects that are 6 months old will have the last update posted 2-3 months ago. These projects all die. Long story short, offering royalties or trying to develop a commercially successful viable project is practically impossible. 1 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Assuming you get people willing to work for royalties, that are somehow skilled and reliable (motivated and loyal), you could even technically do it for much less. However, this is quite unlikely. I spend a lot of time on the Unity forums and it is very unlikely any project (unless extremely small) will be completed through royalties or collaboration. One look at the Collaboration forum highlights this. All these new game developers come along wanting to build the next big MMO or FPS, enthusiasm is high, and after purchasing a few models and a starter kit, a few screenshots are posted of the game. You then get a few people replying or joining the team, all is looking good.... Then a few more weeks into the development, it starts to hit home that game development, and more so trying to build an MMO or high quality FPS is indeed a daunting challenge and the team members drop off one by one. 95% of projects in the collaboration forum that are more than 2-3 months old have no more updates posted. Projects that are 6 months old will have the last update posted 2-3 months ago. These projects all die. Long story short, offering royalties or trying to develop a commercially successful viable project is practically impossible. Until some people actually do it, which brings amazing success stories. I think its really a matter of how you look at the 1% and how people react to this. Coming here for feedback is met with criticism, because the odds of a random individual to be within that 1% are so low, that the advice we are to give is that it's almost impossible. On the other hand, some dedicated individuals (the 1%) have proven that this *is* in fact possible. The problem here is that everyone wants to believe they are part of the 1% because they feel motivated, etc. But there are various other factors at work, including quite a fair deal of luck (what partners you'll find, etc.) I wouldn't leave it up to chance myself. For example, I would have the budget ready, but still try to go royalties first, and then kick in budget if this model fails to deliver. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Smaller-scale "MMORPGs" are commonly known by the alternative names Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games, Online Role-Playing Games (and their initialisms), or Villiage games. Those terms might help you find more focused information. If you've got 500 concurrent users on a single server, then while you may not be truly "massive", you're still going to face many of the same technical challenges that a proper MMO does -- typical shard sized in a large-scale MMORPG are not much larger than 500 players. The primary technical differences for you will be that you won't have to deal with anywhere near as large a database, and that load-balancing across servers will be not-so-important, unless your concurrent users outgrow what's a typical shard size. There's a big difference between developing a 32-player online game that persists stats (Say something like recent COD or Halo games), and a 500-player online game that persists and queries pretty much everything in real-time -- but there's actually not a ton of difference between a 500 player MMORPG and a 10,000 player RPG from a development standpoint. Resourcing and administration, yes, but dev-wise, no. Reducing the complexity of gameplay and art assets as you suggest can keep the initial budget low, but be careful to focuss too much cost-cutting here. Development, including art, is essentially a fixed cost -- they may be on-going, but you pay what you pay, and the assets support as many people as needed for as long as needed. If your game is successful, those costs will be dwarfed by the running costs over time. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Assuming you get people willing to work for royalties, that are somehow skilled and reliable (motivated and loyal), you could even technically do it for much less. However, this is quite unlikely. I spend a lot of time on the Unity forums and it is very unlikely any project (unless extremely small) will be completed through royalties or collaboration. One look at the Collaboration forum highlights this. All these new game developers come along wanting to build the next big MMO or FPS, enthusiasm is high, and after purchasing a few models and a starter kit, a few screenshots are posted of the game. You then get a few people replying or joining the team, all is looking good.... Then a few more weeks into the development, it starts to hit home that game development, and more so trying to build an MMO or high quality FPS is indeed a daunting challenge and the team members drop off one by one. 95% of projects in the collaboration forum that are more than 2-3 months old have no more updates posted. Projects that are 6 months old will have the last update posted 2-3 months ago. These projects all die. Long story short, offering royalties or trying to develop a commercially successful viable project is practically impossible. Until some people actually do it, which brings amazing success stories. I think its really a matter of how you look at the 1% and how people react to this. Coming here for feedback is met with criticism, because the odds of a random individual to be within that 1% are so low, that the advice we are to give is that it's almost impossible. On the other hand, some dedicated individuals (the 1%) have proven that this *is* in fact possible. The problem here is that everyone wants to believe they are part of the 1% because they feel motivated, etc. But there are various other factors at work, including quite a fair deal of luck (what partners you'll find, etc.) I wouldn't leave it up to chance myself. For example, I would have the budget ready, but still try to go royalties first, and then kick in budget if this model fails to deliver. I think the main issue is that most who do start a mmorpg project are people who are very inexperienced in the field of game development. I have been there...at the age of 15...we worked on it for more then a year...and yea, people get demotivated after a while. Its easy at the start...but when the real grind begins...making the many models you need and implenting the insane amount of features...you cant do that with a small team and no budget. Still, for me personally it was a great learning experience, and it made me chose to study game dev. Im now working on a sci-fi shooter, and i have to admit, its still a big project, but when you use an engine like udk it is very realistic (especially when working with modular models and textures). But its best for starting game devs with no budget to start with really small projects that can generate revenue in a short timeframe..which can potentially fund larger and future projects. But yea, as said before, start with a GDD and asset listing, then you can get an estimate of the costs, it is also something that you NEED to know when approaching investors...which is a MUST for a big scale project like an mmorpg...unless your using a minimalist art style or something....or if you put a team of devs in a cage and only feed them if they make their deadlines..but that will probably get you in jail :). Edited by Shadow_hunter 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I'm just going to tell it straight: 1) Don't 'hide' your ideas. They aren't original, no one is going to 'steal' them. 2) Be realistic. The only way you could possibly pull something like that off is to hand all creative and personnel control over to someone else, at which point - why wouldn't he be doing it for himself? 3) Make a game - a simple, single player game. FINISH IT. Then you'll have some idea of what's involved: artwork, music, writing, level design, engine code, game code. That's all before you even get into network architecture and infrastructure. You're like a kid with a guitar saying I've never played this thing before but I want to get with a few good buddies and we'll have a stadium tour across the continent. It doesn't work that way 4) I'm not trying to piss in your Cheerios, but if making an MMO is your goal, you've got to get there in steps - just like anything in else in life, before you can run a marathon you have to run a mile. When guys like Brad Mcquaid, who's as experienced and talented as they come (at least on the game design side), can't get his new game off the ground you've got to realize how fierce the competition for dollars out there is. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites people get demotivated after a while. Its easy at the start...but when the real grind begins... Isn't this the case with all game development though? MMOs are larger in scale, but not in scope. It's perfectly possible to build an MMO around very few concentrated features too. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites people get demotivated after a while. Its easy at the start...but when the real grind begins... Isn't this the case with all game development though? MMOs are larger in scale, but not in scope. It's perfectly possible to build an MMO around very few concentrated features too. Yea it is the case wtih all game development, but it is 10 times worse with a huge project like an MMO. But like you said, if you keep your MMO very simple and dont expect to make skyrim online or something, yea sure, perhaps it is possible. Its just that from experience, the kind of people that start an MMO in the first place are the kind of people that do it because an MMO equals unlimited possibilities, but that can be dangerous if you dont keep your concept realistic and achievable within a timeframe that is not half a decade. I mean, everything is possible in this world....as long as you tackle every goal in small achievable tasks.. but i would not recommend people trying to make the next WoW killer and instead go with something unique that can be achieved within a decent timeframe by a small team. Also...odds that private investors will invest in yet another MMO project are kinda small unless you have something really unique and exciting...simply the costs to just run a game like that are huge (servers etc)....so to get that return on invest is alot harder. I mean... i wouldnt recommend it to beginning game devs, like said before...there will always be the 0.01% that succeeds...but your odds at releasing a mobile game for example are alot higher, and as a beginning game dev your first priority should be to build up a portfolio and gain experience...so im not sure if an mmo is the perfect candidate for that. Anyway, im speaking here about beginning game devs...if you are an experienced game dev with already shipped games on your portfolio and connections in the business world...then just forget about everything i said because it is a entire different story. Edited by Shadow_hunter 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Assuming you get people willing to work for royalties, that are somehow skilled and reliable (motivated and loyal), you could even technically do it for much less. However, this is quite unlikely. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites This thread was dormant for 4 months. I think I'll close it. 0 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites This topic is now closed to further replies. Followers 0 • ### Similar Content • By peterfc So I recently started a Hobbyist Project on Game dev, to turn a project I've already created into a video game. I've recently hired a programmer I think looks promising and we are getting to work on the project. I don't expect profits and my main goal is to complete the project, but just in case I figured I should start a contract between us. I know it's a good idea to just get a lawyer, but for a project that I have no *expectations* of making money, I'd like to keep the costs down. Someone suggest I just make a contract in plain english, so I did, I'm wondering if anyone here can critique it or offer advice. One possible complication is that I am in Canada and my programmer is in Saudi Arabia. The basic thing I'm trying to get across is: 1) I still own the rights, including whatever he makes 2) We both get paid if the game makes money 3) It lasts for 5 years. Anyways, here it is: -------------------------------------------------- This Profit Sharing Agreement is entered into as of (Date) by (My Name) located at (Address) and (Second Party), both of whom agree to be bound by this Agreement. Whereas, (My name) has developed Wars of Keridor (“the game”) and holds ownership of all current intellectual property rights in this product, in addition to those developed by (Second Party) for the creation of the game. (Second party) may not use works created for the game unless for a function that does not compete or hinder the sales of the game, or use its likeness in anyway. The contract will be binding if the game is sold with coding created by efforts by (Second party). If the game is sold with no work created by (second party) the contract will be void. The contract does not apply to any derivative works, including but not limited to expansions or sequels where (second party) does not contribute additional work. (My name) and (second party) will share profits realized from the sale of the game as follows: % of net income will be kept by (My name) % of net income will be kept by (Second party) (Second party) will be paid any profits realized at these times: At the end of each month following the release and sale of the game, if the game makes$250 Canadian or more within that time period.

Otherwise, at the end of each 3 months following the release and sale of the game, if the game makes \$250 Canadian or more within that time period.

Otherwise, at the end of each year following the release and sale of the game.

This profit sharing contract will become null and void at the end of 5 years of the release and sale of the game.

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• As the old saying goes, we have good news and bad news. The good news is that we're already half way through summer. The bad news is that the revenue of a mobile application, game or any other product often drops during the hot months, which has a perfectly reasonable explanation.
In this article, we'll talk about such a phenomenon as seasonality in the values of key project indicators, discuss how to find it and use it for your own good.
WHAT IS SEASONALITY?
Any recurrent fluctuation of the time series is usually called seasonality. Supposedly, you have data on product sales for each day for three years. Our experience in application analytics shows that seasonality is likely to exist in your time series, i.e. you may note some cyclicity in the behavior of the indicators.
Most often, seasonality is the most pronounced by the days of the week and by the months. Let's take a look at each of them separately.
Weekly seasonality consists of growths or falls that correspond to different days of the week. It can be explained quite logically: there are weekdays, and there are weekends. From weekdays, it is possible to allocate Monday (usually with a minus sign) - a day of calmness after a noisy weekend, and Friday (usually with a plus sign) - a day when you can afford a little bit more than usual. On the weekend, unlike weekdays, the online graph behaves differently (because you can play from the very morning instead of going to school or work), as well as the other metrics (for example, ARPDAU - the average revenue per daily active user).
Here are some examples:
in many games, the audience on weekends is more active than on weekdays;
on the other hand, the revenue indicators are averagely higher on weekdays with a peak on Friday (which is why Friday is an excellent day for promotional campaigns);
especially interesting is the fact that the retention of users registered on Friday is slightly higher on average than that of users registered on other days. Probably, this can be explained purely psychologically: by installing application on Friday, you increase your chance to open it the next day as it's a day off.
By the way, the last example shows an important thought. Seasonality applies not only to quantitative product metrics (audience or gross), but also to qualitative indicators (retention, ARPU). That is, users even behave differently on different days.

Monthly seasonality. If you aggregate the indicators by month (from DAU to MAU, and from ARPDAU to ARPU), you may also notice some seasonal changes:
as we said above, in many products hot months are on the contrary the "coldest" in terms of the number of the audience, its interest, and revenue from it;
but cold months, on the contrary, attract more users (when it's cold outside, you may spend time at home playing games);
especially seasonality is expressed in December - this is usually a month of general upswing: both in terms of the audience and the money received from it.
However, seasonality is not limited to weekly or monthly. A little later we will talk about how to find the optimal cycle duration, and for now - a few non-trivial examples:
in one of the games we saw that the optimal cycle duration in ARPDAU performance is not 7 days, but 14; we explained this by the fact that people receive the payroll once a fortnight;
in some products, by the way, peaks are especially noticeable on those dates of the month, which could be divided by five (and these are the payroll days also);
we also found products in which the optimal cycles were 3, 9, 11 days - and in all cases, this was related to the internal events in the product (e.g. tournaments).
There is one more way to classify seasonality. It might be additive (when seasonal coefficients are constant in time) and multiplicative (when seasonal fluctuations grow or fall with time). In this article, we reviewed the additive seasonality, as it's more common basing on devtodev's experience with multiple projects.

HOW TO FIND SEASONALITY?
Below you can find a detailed description of the algorithm for calculating seasonality (by the example of finding seasonality by the days of the week).
To make it easier for you to understand the process of calculating seasonality, we have prepared a file, in which all the following actions have already been performed. However, if you use this file to substitute your data into it, calculate seasonality and make forecasts, we also won't mind.
CLEARING DATA FROM OUTLIERS
Preliminary the source data must be cleared from outliers - atypically high or low values of the indicator that are outside the expected range. Often on the graph, such data looks like significant peaks or, conversely, drops almost to zero, which exceed the usual values by several times.
The cause for such outliers might be peak sales on a holiday, the failure in the tracking system, or any of the other one-time factors that somehow influenced the metric.
Why do we need to clear data from these outliers? Such values distort the results of calculations and can lead to errors in the forecast. Some statistical indicators, such as standard deviation and arithmetic mean, are dependent on the outliers and, by including them into the calculation, you may draw the incorrect conclusions.
So, to clean up the data, there are a number of approaches that allow you to assess which suspiciously high or low value can be considered an outlier, and which cannot.
We will not go into more detail on clearing data from outliers, because our main task now is to calculate the seasonality, but nevertheless, we must always remember it when analyzing the data.
CALCULATION OF AUTOCORRELATION
So, the second stage of calculations, which is applied to the already cleared data, is the calculation of the autocorrelation lag.
Autocorrelation is a relationship between the values of a time series taken with a shift. It is used to identify trends and cyclical fluctuations of data in a time series.
For its calculation, Excel uses a standard function CORREL, which calculates the coefficient of autocorrelation between two ranges of data. These ranges are arguments of the function and are shifted relative to each other: if we are looking for the first-order autocorrelation coefficient, the first range includes the time series values from the first to the last but one, the second range contains all values starting with the second one. We get two ranges offset from each other for one day.
To search for the coefficient of the second order, the ranges should be shifted by 2 days - the first does not include the last two values of the time series, the second does not include the first two.
This way, we calculate the autocorrelation coefficients for 7 orders and find the maximum among them. It will be an indicator of the day with the highest autocorrelation.
If the maximum coefficient is obtained for autocorrelation of the first order, then this series does not contain any trends and dependencies.
And if this coefficient is maximal for the 7th order, it means that series contains cyclic fluctuations with a periodicity of 7 days.
CALCULATION OF LINEAR TREND COEFFICIENTS
Next, we will build a trend for our series to subsequently make a forecast on it and determine how the chosen indicator will behave further.
There are several types of trends, which can describe the metric (linear, exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, etc.). We will use a linear method as it's most simple to build and perceive, and at the same time it shows well the dynamics of the metric.
The linear trend is built from an equation of the form y = ax + b, where a and b are coefficients, and x is the ordinal of the day (column D in the given example). So to calculate the equation, we need to calculate two coefficients.
This can also be done with the standard Excel function LINEST, the arguments of which are two data sets - the metric that's being examined and the ordinal numbers of the days.
Using this formula as an array function (Ctrl + Shift + Enter), we get two coefficients, which we then substitute into the equation.
BUILDING A TREND LINE
To build a trend line, use the previously calculated coefficients - a and b. The only variable parameter of the equation is x - the ordinal number of the day. Due to this, the trend line can be extended for several days ahead, in our example it's 7 days (column I). Thus, we obtain a further dynamics of the change in the metric.
CALCULATION OF SEASONALITY COEFFICIENTS
The next step for building a linear trend forecast is to calculate the seasonality coefficients.
To do this, determine the deviation of the metric values from the trend line (column K), and then find the average value of these deviations, depending on the day of the cycle. These average values are the desired coefficients.
IMPOSITION OF SEASONALITY ON THE TREND LINE AND BUILDING A FORECAST
To complete the forecast, you need to "overlap" the trend with the seasonality.
To do this, multiply each value of the trend line by the coefficient of seasonality of the corresponding day (column L).
This will lead the trend line chart to the familiar form - with regular fluctuations depending on the day of the week.
And since before we extended the trend for 7 days beyond the available data, the seasonality will spread to the forecasted part of the trend line, thus providing a forecast for the metric for the next 7 days.
WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW THE SEASONALITY
First of all, to predict your revenue more accurately and to make correct decisions based on these forecasts. For instance, do not plan a massive traffic purchase in August, but wait till September to do it. The question of revenue planning in general is very important, and every company is probably working on it. Seasonality is one of the ways to make your forecasts much more accurate.
Secondly, seasonality can be used for your own benefit. If you know that in December you will have many users and the average revenue per user will be high, then it's worth to increase it even more by offering these "hot" users of the cold month more favorable discounts.
There is an interesting question: is it possible to fight seasonality? Let's say you know that in July ARPDAU will be the lowest for you in a year. Should you try to increase it and bomb users with tempting July discounts?
Our experience tells us that it's useless to fight seasonality: if your users left for a summer vacation, then they would remain on their vacation, no matter what you do. It is better to focus on multiplying seasonality of the high months and increasing your revenue even more, rather than trying to resurrect the revenue of the low months.
A FEW IMPORTANT THESES
And again, let’s mention outliers. Before calculating seasonality, make sure that your data is cleaned from them. Any leap in the source data (and leaps are often caused by a simple technical error) can significantly distort your data.
Let's say that on one of the days in July the revenue was a hundred times better than the usual average. If you do not clear the series from outliers, then you can get that July is the most profitable month, and incorrectly plan a general discount based on this data. And only later you may find out that the table probably lost the bit capacity on that day, and in fact the number is quite average.
By the way, in our file, outliers purification, of course, is envisaged.
Seasonality depends on many factors:
application genre (imagine how surprised the representatives of tourist services would be when reading about the summer revenue decrease);
country, language, religion (for example, in Iceland almost everyone goes on vacation in summer, and it's even almost impossible to schedule a doctor's appointment);
weather (the hot May might be better than the cold June);
any other factors.
That is why the conclusions mentioned by us (about the good Friday, or unsuccessful summer) cannot be applied to all the products at once - this is only our experience that's based on the games' analysis.
It is better to calculate the seasonality of your project by yourself and draw conclusions based only on your calculations. So download the file, calculate seasonality and make more effective decisions!
This article was first published on devtodev's Education Center: SEASONALITY OF THE PROJECT: DO NOT BE AFRAID OF SUMMER RECESSION
• By Muser
Hi there devs!
Is there any website or service where developers can upload their HTML5 games and then charge using a subscription?

Thank you!!

• I'm developing an application that has its own currency (users can earn the point). With this point, they have the ability to redeem it as money or buy a google play gift card. For this the best monetization system is an offerwall. Question: Does anyone know, just an estimate, how much an offerwall generates income? Does anyone know of a case study that shows values â€‹â€‹in relation to number of users? Thanks
• By 2cents
Hi guys,
I'm junior engineer and I have one goal in mind: I'd like to beat my current net salary (40-60k)  in the time frame of 24 months, by starting a solo part-time business, which would over time hopefully grow into full-time activity. Let me point out that the business would be primarily profit-oriented, which means that the 1st priority is to generate targeted amount of income, followed by "doing what I like to do".
I have thought about game development being one possible business to achieve my goals. And before you jump on me that I'm trying to do something without any experience,  I'm able to tell you, that I'm not entirely unexperienced in the field of game development. In fact, As a hobbyst I have developed handful number of small flash games, covering the art, programming, game design and sound production by myself, so the whole idea - at least from the standpoint of implementation of a small 2D game - might not be that much of wishful thinking. In addition, during my studies I was also developing C# apps in the scope of enterprise solutions, in order to earn some pocket money.
In regards to game development I have done some googling, which suggested, that game development market is business-wise, almost the same as music production market - overly saturated, high entry barrier, high probability to fail, and for most of the producers, a mediocre payment accordingly to requirements. In business terms, this might be labelled under high-risk/low-reward business. Or in other words,in game development I might have as much chanches to earn 40-60k NET a year as I would have in music production.
What is your consensus about this?

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