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How much money should I ask for a game development from a publisher?

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Hi all!

I'm a software developer from Russia. I've developed a demo-version of a 2D point'n'click adventure game in my spare time. Now I want to offer it to the game publishers hoping they'll fund the further development of the game. I understand, that each case is considered separately, but maybe there is something like a more or less standard indie adventure funding range?

It would be a shame to ask for a completely minimal sum (in my case it's $2000) which will cover only the most necessary expenses and will lead to reducing the amount of levels/animations/etc just in order to not scare off the publishers, while those publishers may consider both $2k and $20k as not such a big deal in both cases (I think that $20k is a maximum amount of money that I'll need).

Also what do you think about my $2-20k range? Maybe $2k is too small in any case, and $20k is too much for an indie-adventure?

Thanks beforehand for your answers!

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>> How much money should I ask for a game development from a publisher?

 

find one first - if you can. if you do, see what they offer. if they ask you how much you need, say 4K, then drop back to 2K if they balk at 4K. but at those dollar levels, self funded is the typical approach.

 

the big question is how much can the game make? how many units per month at what price point for how many months? that's what a publisher will weigh against any figure you ask for upfront.

 

and the big questions for how much it can make for small games are: how unique is it? how high quality is it? how much fun is it? how mass appeal is it? how addictive is it?

 

you don't want to be "yet another whatever game". you don't want to be second rate quality vs your direct competitors. you want lots of people to find it fun and addictive. not all game types are fun and addictive to lots of people.

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Thanks for the feedback, it's really helpful!

 

I might add that I have a playable demo, so I think that some of my tasks are partly solved, like 2D renderer, script parsing, etc (but I may be certainly wrong about that, software development is surely full of surprises :) ).

 

If I don't put any salary for me in the budget (so I stay on my current day job and will be developing the game in my free time), reduce the amount of content and stick to the most necessary expenses only, then I can make it with $2000, I guess. But maybe all that sacrifices are needless and maybe I can be so bold to ask for a bigger sum not fearing to scare off the publishers. I understand that I should go into the details with my budget and so on, but now I'm just trying to know some kind of funding levels to get a picture of publishing budgets.

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Thanks for the feedback, it's really helpful!

 

I might add that I have a playable demo, so I think that some of my tasks are partly solved, like 2D renderer, script parsing, etc (but I may be certainly wrong about that, software development is surely full of surprises :) ).

 

If I don't put any salary for me in the budget (so I stay on my current day job and will be developing the game in my free time), reduce the amount of content and stick to the most necessary expenses only, then I can make it with $2000, I guess. But maybe all that sacrifices are needless and maybe I can be so bold to ask for a bigger sum not fearing to scare off the publishers. I understand that I should go into the details with my budget and so on, but now I'm just trying to know some kind of funding levels to get a picture of publishing budgets.

 

If you have a day job, and that pays more than the bare minimum to pay your bills (don't know what the wages are in russia in software development, especially now), why even go looking for a publisher at all?

 

2k$ is a tiny sum. Not saying its nothing, certainly chucking 2k$ out of the window is a bad idea, but: you will need to put in quite some of your own time to find, approach, and eventually win over a publisher. You know, actually finding one that DOES listen to small Indies is hard work already. Might take you days of searching, unless somebody can recommend one. Then you will need to prepare a pitch. You got a Demo, great. You still will need to put in many hours to make your pitch sound professional, else the publisher will most probably not trust you with even 2000$.

And then, as other have said, you will have to accept a deal that favours the publisher, not you. Maybe put in extra work because the publisher want alterations to your concept, maybe present at Milestones (if that even makes sense for such a small project).

That extra work put in by you could easely cost MORE than 2k$ in your own time.

(Again, don't know what your hourly rate is, but even if its only 5$ per hour, that is 400 hours, which translates to 10 work weeks around here. How many days will you spend looking for publishers, preparing and improving your pitch, negotiating a contract and discussing the specifics, communicating back and forth with the publisher? That could translate to many work weeks quickly)

 

 

Why not see if you can pay the 2000$ out of your own pocket? With savings or Stuff like that? Its a risk, and you have to burden the full risk. But at least you will profit IF you are successfull.

Why not run a Kickstarter (or IndieGogo or whatever is the equivalent available to users from russia) if you cannot pay the money out of your pocket? Again, there is some work involved to run a successfull Kickstarter campaign (usually people say 3+ months of preparation would be good)... but you get something in addition to the money if you succeed, a community already invested in your game, and a first successfull test if there is enough interest in your game concept to justify the work you still have to put in.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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