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JVEA01

Cost of a freelance games programmer?

7 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

 

I would like to know the general cost of hiring a freelance programmer to work on an indie game, and what factors affect the cost. Thanks :D

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Depending on how desperate said person is, (perceived) skill level, and other things, it varies from 0 to full software engineer figures for your area. You can assemble teams very cheap on the Internet these days, managing them on the other hand... Also, the better you pay, the less problems you will get, generally. Paying people below what they need to sustain themselves is not recommended.

 

Don't think this is the best subforum by the way, and you will get more accurate figures if you can specify more closely what the game programming task is, as well.

Edited by Petter Hansson
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The most important factors are in my opinion skill factor and place of living. A programmer from the Philippines will generally be cheaper than hiring someone from Germany, just because the cost of living is a lot higher.  One warning in advance: hiring someone just because he is cheap can cost you a lot of money in the long run.

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About 100$/hour for skilled professional I would assume. Big companies that need extra help for a short time period I would guess 200$/hr.

Anything below 50$/hr would be a good deal if he/she can deliver the goods.

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When I used to do it I charged a day rate not hourly but the figure was fiarly close to the estimate that Tispe gave (a little bit less but not much).  I wasn't working remotly though I was actually on site in the clients studio.  It worked out that I was on about 5 times the salary of the full time developers at the studio.  There were freelancers who worked only remotly but their day rate was a little less.

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About 100$/hour for skilled professional I would assume. Big companies that need extra help for a short time period I would guess 200$/hr.

Anything below 50$/hr would be a good deal if he/she can deliver the goods.

 

I assume you're thinking of the US? You can probably find some guy in Asia that does the same thing for 10% of that, with more than a couple of potential issues though. (Not skill-wise, but communication/culture-wise particularly.)

 

That said, until the OP specifically states what platform he needs his game to run on and how much initiative is required by the programmer, it's kind of impossible to give an accurate answer. If you can give a programmer small verifiable atomic tasks it will require much less on the programmer's behalf than a large complex task, particularly if it is to be carried out independently.

Edited by Petter Hansson
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Here's my 2 cents. If you really have the finances to fund a game, your best bet would be to post information about the game such as the genre, platform required tech (2D or 3D), what has been done so far, concept art, real art, estimated timeline, current team members, and your own resume. Then let programmers bid for the work. Detail your situation and see if anyone will be willing to work with you. The less experience you have, the more money you'll probably have to pay unless you work with an inexperienced programmer who just wants to learn. Also, if you give more information, you may be able to get cheaper rates as the extra information will take out some of the risk from the project.

If you're just doing research, I think the post above give good numbers. Even in America, a programmer looking to get experience may program on the cheap, but you'll have a hard time finding someone unless you give details about the game.
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