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selim

Do you make real money with games?

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Hi all, I am just wondering how many of all the people around here do make money with programming games. I''d like to distinguished between people who program/design/.. in their spare time and have another real job, those who program their own games full time and earn enough with that to support their life style (i.e. have their own company) and those who work for a games company. If it comes to me: I have anotehr "real" job in the IT-Business, but I design/program/.. a lot during my spare time. Up to now I either didn''t release my stuff or gave it away for free. As I recognized, that I spend a lot of (spare-)time with computers and can get things working well and fast, I asked myself "why not earn money with that". The first question then is of course: Is this possible at all?!? Thanks in advance! Cheerio, Selim

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I used to do it full time, then I took a job with a big games company, but you can make money in your spare time from your own games, not very easy (at all) to make enough to live off.
Making a few hundred dollars a month is possible, if you have a very good game and you market it well.

http://www.positech.co.uk

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Or you can sign a deal with a publishing company and make a couple thousand $$$ a month

[edited by - Mman on June 2, 2002 5:58:26 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Mman
Or you can sign a deal with a publishing company and make a couple thousand $$$ a month

[edited by - Mman on June 2, 2002 5:58:26 PM]


yepp, I was following that thread about dexterity too and had hard times to keep my slobber from flowing,..

But for my feeling the stated 1000-10000$ per month was a singularity and that was the reason for this "poll". I was hoping, that everybody on the forum here would reply to me "oh, yes, I earn many 1000$''s each month with my games and thus I''ve quit my 9-5 job". But it seems not to be the case (as expected).

I wonder, if I ever will get the money of VC++ back *grin*

Cheers,
Selim

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I make $-200 or so a month

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quote:
Original post by selim
But for my feeling the stated 1000-10000$ per month was a singularity and that was the reason for this "poll". I was hoping, that everybody on the forum here would reply to me "oh, yes, I earn many 1000$''s each month with my games and thus I''ve quit my 9-5 job". But it seems not to be the case (as expected).



Actually this level of income is pretty common in the ASP members-only newsgroups. I notice that very few of the highly successful indie developers ever post on this site. I think the reason is that this site is about game development, yet successful indies know that what gets you making $1000+ per month isn''t development skills -- it''s marketing and sales skills. Successful indies often identify themselves more as direct marketers than as game developers. My guess is that most of the people who post on this board are employees. It might be helpful to poll to see how many people here are full-time business owners.

If you do adequate marketing and still only see a trickle of sales (i.e. just a few hundred dollars a month), in my experience the likely cause is that you created a game that no one wants to own. Most of the time in such situations, I find that the developer never took the time to conduct even the most basic market research before developing the game to see if there was actually any strong demand from customers wanting to buy this type of game. In such a case, it''s usually best to cut your losses, abandon the product, and create something new that customers will want to own.

Since I''ve personally evaluated hundreds of indie game submissions this year from developers, it''s very clear to me that there are lots of developers making games that no one wants to own.

You don''t need to spend a dime to do some basic market research. The way I do this is to scour the major download sites and see what kinds of games are getting the most downloads. I talk to a lot of developers, so I also have a good view of what''s selling and what isn''t. Then I look for gaps -- those genres where customers are downloading lots of games, but the quality of the competition''s products is weak, so I know I can make a game that will get into the top 10%. You have to make your game better than the competition in some way, or your game will never stand out from the crowd.

Because most indie developers don''t do even this much research, they end up making games that are no better (usually worse) than what''s already on the market, often in a genre that''s extremely overcrowded. So it''s no wonder they can''t get their games to stand out.

I like to use the expression "no entitlement" -- this means that if you make a game that no one wants to own, you''re not entitled to reach a decent level of sales. I know that''s a bit harsh, but in my experience, targeting the right market is about 80% of the success of a product.

So basically, if you want to make a game that earns $1000+ per month, it''s important to find the hungry customers who aren''t being satisfied by the competition, and make a game for them.

Steve Pavlina
Dexterity Software
www.dexterity.com

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Hey steve, me and a friend recently started a new project. We're fairly certain it would sell well, but it's pretty much a niche market, would you suggest making a game that is in a known market or go out on a limb and try a new genre? Like to here your opinions.

[edited by - caffeineaddict on June 14, 2002 1:51:16 PM]

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quote:
Original post by caffeineaddict
Hey steve, me and a friend recently started a new project. We''re fairly certain it would sell well, but it''s pretty much a niche market, would you suggest making a game that is in a known market or go out on a limb and try a new genre? Like to here your opinions.



I''m afraid I don''t have an answer to such a general question. The answer would depend on how good the implementation is.


Steve Pavlina
Dexterity Software
www.dexterity.com

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Just another question. If it''s pretty much a new genre, how do you judge how the implementation is if there''s nothing to benchmark off of. Do you just look at how good it is to play, how easy it is to play, graphics etc. ? Thanks for you''re feedback, and I do appreciate your involvement here as a publisher giving advice to indie developers.

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