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Cost of development

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Just wondering...how much does it cost for a company, from the early concept to the finished game, to develop it ? Since it greatly depends of the game, what about.. EverQuest, Quake III, or Ultima IX ? Y.

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I am far from being an expert in that area but I am sure it runs up in the millions for a game such as QIII and years of development time

OME

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If you look at the post-mortems in www.gamasutra.com, you''ll sometimes see the development budget given. You might want to check that out.

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I have an aggressive timeline on my game at 18 - 20 months. I also have it setup where proper staffing will be there and funding won''t be an issue so this is going to help. Many of the post mortems on Gamasutra talk about underfunding or underestimating the needs of the game resulting in cost overruns. For the most part I have seen this number to be at 2.0 - 3.0 million and this is rising as games become more detailed, complex, longer, more immersive, et., etc. As the competition increases, the industry will be more expensive to enter as this is typical for any growing industry. While this is a bad thing for small time developers overall quality should increase. Ask yourself if a Titanic could have ever happened in a B-Rating movie shop? Same effect.

Kressilac

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I have a spec for a 3D multi-player game, requiring about 10 people to develop over a 12-18 month period. I estimate the budget would be about $750K to cover the cost of personnel and getting the game online and running. A bit more than that if I have to lease office space for them to work in.

It really depends on the game. And most of these questions cannot be answered until you have the game design at least "mostly" complete.

1. How much work is there to do? What is new development? What can be purchased from someone else? How many levels are you planning?

2. How many people do you need? Programmers? Artists? Sound technicians?

3. How long do you need them? Estimated timelines on all the major pieces of the game will help you here. Maybe if you double up on personnel, you can reduce the overall time required, but it''s still going to be a certain number of weeks or hours.

4. How much are you going to pay them? Go with weekly or monthly payment numbers.

It''s all simple arithmetic, really. You just have to know what you need, then you can figure out how much it should cost.


DavidRM
Samu Games

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Remember, members of your team have a distressing tendency to quit / fall ill / get fired / marry and move elsewhere / die / etc, leaving you not only to have to find someone else, but to integrate them into the project. Even if you could guarantee all your issues and bugs could be fixed on time, you can''t guarantee all your staff are always going to be there and working at 100% capacity.
Also bear in mind that ''12-18 months'' has a 50% margin for error Whoever funds you will likely seize upon the ''12'' part of ''12-18'' initially, and get very upset if you start insisting on the ''18'' part

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I would say it''s really hard to compare games like Everquest and UO to Quake III.

Quake III is developed to a certain point, then it''s more or less terminated (except for smaller updates and such).

Online games like UO is costing money until they close the game servers, there is alot of money involved for administration of network (equipment and staff).

============================
Daniel Netz, Sentinel Design

"I'm not stupid, I'm from Sweden" - Unknown

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