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Daimos

Minecraft Pixel Art Cost

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I'm making a game similar to Minecraft. I would like to have 32x32 textures made using pixel art methods. How much does it cost assuming that the volume of work is comparable with Minecraft? Target quality should be similar to the best texture packs for MC.

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Which Minecraft?

 

The 2009 "pre-release" version made primarily by Notch and his friends?  Not much, perhaps a few hundred hours of work.

 

The 2011 official launch, made after the company had been funded with about $30M from the pre-release?  They had about 5-10 artists for over a year. Compute the salary of that many full-time professional artists, likely in the range from a half million to million dollars in salary.

 

The game you know today, which has been near-continuously updated by Mojang and then Microsoft, with nearly a decade of development by many large teams?  Likely in the range of $20M to $50M in salaries.

 

Many of "the best texture packs" use the already existing beautiful art as the starting point and re-invest another work-year or so on top of it.  Since those have seen many generations of artwork, generally consider that "the best" may have an additional quarter million dollars worth of time, if you were actually paying for the time of the mod community.

 

 

 

The Minecraft you know today is worlds apart from the Minecraft that people were talking about as a public alpha and then public beta back in 2009, when it was mostly a one-man show.

Edited by frob
Didn't notice the texture packs comment on my first reply.

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When it is that much work usually they are hired straight out at a salary, which is less money total but has hidden costs of employer's taxes and insurance and more. If you want them as contractors the cost is slightly more with less effort on your part. Either way, yes, professional work is expensive but you generally get what you pay for. There are 2000 work hours per year, so 1000 hours is six month's salary.

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Contract-based professional costs is a different pay structure than regular employment pay.

 

Contractors end up making about half of what you see, because the costs go to the things usually hidden:  

  • the taxes employers normally pay but most people don't think about
  • self employment tax
  • costs for insurance
  • costs for advertising
  • costs for doing business, like the power bill, equipment costs, time meeting with clients, government fees for licensing, lawyers, etc.
  • time off
  • vacation

A self-employed contracting artist charging $50/hour is making roughly the same as a normal job getting $25/hour, maybe even $20/hr.

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