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Financial Solo game development as feasible profit-oriented business?

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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?

CLIFFS OF THREAD:

If you are solely profit oriented, avoid the game dev business like the plague. /thread[background=#ffffff] [/background]

Edited by 2cents

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Sure, you stand about as much chance of netting $60k/a as a solo game developer/entrepreneur with little to no applicable experience as you would as a pro musician, pro sports player, or pro actor in the same boat.

I mean, you know, you might have played on your high school football team, tossed a ball around with some friends every day after school, own at least 3 Nikes, and watch Sunday Gridiron Shouty Extravaganza religiously for years making better calls than the coaches down on the sidelines, so the NFL should be offering you a contract as a starting quarterback, yes?

I guess it would be better to invest my time and effort anywhere else, but in game dev. Maybe I should go scam multi billion dollar off-shore oil companies with a black box solution, which can detect and locate a pool of oil just by pressing a red button.  

Edited by 2cents

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My advice is, keep your day job and spend your free time to make a game. This way you can see just how much your skills as a developer is worth, without risking it all.

I'd never quit my job without having a reliable business running first. That would be some seriously risky shit.
 

Games have very low entry barrier, all you need is a engine and you can get great ones for free. Because of this it's even more saturated than the music production. practically anyone can make a game and upload it to a online store these days.

Yes, and this is why there is so many games most of them being plain rubbish. But what I actually meant is, that for a game product, the requirements to meet some kind of industry standard and to be realistically competitive, are high:

1. game has to be working and functional. Apparently 90% of dev already fail here.
2. game has to have quality and polished graphics. No polished art and developer have just increased risk of multiple fold that game won't sell (I can tell you personally, that when I see cheesy graphics, I run for the hills)
3. game has to be fun. Not a fun game is not a game. It's a boring app without purpose. This is probably the most important element of a game product, and as you can guess, it cannot be derived analytically. So even if a developer fullfills points 1 and 2, which is already an achievent, ship will sink if the game is not fun.For instance, when I was developing business application in .net, client didn't give a damn how it looked neither how fun was it. All what he cared was that it solves a problem and therefore is functional. So in case of programming business apps, only point 1 has to be fullfilled.

Edited by 2cents

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Generally I would say that you are unlikely to set up a solo studio and make that kind of money without several years of development, and a couple of game releases - For one, the first game you work on will if you are aiming for a well designed game take like a year or so if you contract out artwork etc, but then youre paying for the art in the game (which can be pretty costly). Of course if youre good you can do the art yourself. Audio - Contract out or do yourself?

I mean I have friends who run an Indie studio, they were a couple when they started it and now about 2 years down the line they are making (between them) around 25 - 30k will a game released on steam and a second game being worked on, though most of their income is from freelance contract work still.

On the other hand, I work making business applications for a company, earn more and have pretty good career growth prospects ahead so likely for a fair while I will continue to earn more, just from a job and whether they hit the same income or not remains to be seen.

Basically, it is possible to earn that from a solo studio, though its fairly unlikely and will most likely take a long time to build up a reputation as a studio for having fun / good quality games unless you happen to strike a goldmine idea that people love.

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If you're an extremely talented game designer (most people are not) and a somewhat talented programmer, know a somewhat talented artist willing to partner up with you, both have enough savings to pay living expenses for a year plus marketing costs, and are able to network with publishers / leverage existing relationships, then you have a shot at making two above-average gamedev salaries.

I know a total of two people in that boat, and a lot of other people making way less than their living expenses, forced to work as contractors or full time to make ends meet.

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so without teaming up, having an actual talent and spending 6months of net time for a product and possibly sell it on a more promising platoform like steam, I can forget about my goals. Case closed. I knew that the odds were bad, but despite I got surprised.

Nevertheless, could you suggest me some fields which may be more prospective and realistic to achive the goals outlined in the OP? Edited by 2cents

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