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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/11/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Game development is a really nice job, at least when you’re an indie, not a cog in an AAA crunching machine. You can sit in the comfort of your home and have no expenses for commuting, office rental and eating out, at least that’s how i imagine it to be. But the real question is – can you earn a living wage by doing it? You can read a lot on indie game developer hardships these days. Things are looking quite grim – Steam is not showing too much love for indies, some are afraid the subscription models will start to be a to-go model in selling video games, accessible game engines are making games easier to produce and that makes for a stiffer competition – it’s really hard for your game to be discovered. I’ve seen too many good games with lousy sales numbers because nobody know that they actually existed. A lot of devs are wondering is it really worth it anymore? Is it possible to live by making good games with niche market or do you need to strike gold with new Nuclear Throne or Minecraft? We’ll leave aside the marketing part of the story – you all know it, start as early as possible and build a community, preferably with your own brand if you released games before. And now, let’s delve into the cold, dark world of numbers. For this analysis, i will be using some Numbeo statistics. According to them, cost of living for a single person in capital of Serbia is around $500 (without rent, which is around $200 for a small flat). It may be a bit hard too look at those numbers objectively, but i don’t know how i would survive with a salary of $500. Realistically, you need $100 for bills regardless of the flat size (if you want flat cable internet, cable TV and a cell phone subscription. Heating, electricity, water and garbage disposal have to be paid) so you’re left with $400, which is enough for you to eat (strictly at home) and maybe spend $50 on leisure. Forget about savings, driving a car and going out. When i take my family in consideration, the math is following, to live relatively comfortably and maybe spare a few dimes on the side, you need about $2,000 for a three member family (for easier calculation, let’s presume that your SO has no income). That amounts to $24,000 a year. If you are selling your game for $10, Steam takes 30% and you are left with $7. Now, you probably think “Wow, only 2 grand to live comfortably with a family? What is this dreamland you’re living in?” and yes, Serbia IS a cheap country compared to most of the European countries and that is all fine, but my country has no tax treaty with US and it makes a lot of impact compared to other more expensive-to-live-in countries that have tax treaty with US. So, i have to give another 30% in taxes to the US. So, i’m left with meager $4.90 if i’m lucky to sell the game at full price. But that’s not the end of taxation, i have to pay some taxes in my country too. If i earn up to $23,000, i don’t pay any income taxes, but from $23,000 to $45,000 i pay 10%, and over that i pay 15%. Let’s say i managed to earn more than those $23,000 a year and i have to pay 10% of income tax. That means i need to have a net profit of $27,000 to earn a nice living wage for me and my family. To make a net profit of $27,000 i need to sell around 5,500 copies of the game at full price. That’s quite a number. Now, according to this article, the average game on Steam will sell about 2.000 copies and make $12.500 in revenue in its first month. The average game will make $30.000 in its first year. I’m not quite sure what do they mean by “make”, but i guess it’s the revenue. So if you’re from around here and make an average game, you’ll be left with around $15.000, which is around $1250. A fine salary that most of the people living here dream of (average is around $350-$400) and it’s ok if you’re living alone and have no family to support. But, lest we forget the cost of making the game itself. Unless you are a multitalented person that knows how to program, draw in 2D, model in 3D, rig and animate, design sound and make music, you need to spend some money to pay someone who does any of those better than you and has the time to do it. Until now, i spent around $4,000 on Rick Henderson. Sure, there’s some stuff like assets which are one in a lifetime expenditure and some of the art made will be left unused, but i need even more to finish the game (reason why i’m making an IndieGoGo campaign), so if all went perfect from the start, i think i would need minimum $5,000 to make a game of this caliber. So let’s readjust the figures. I no longer need $27,000 but $32,000 net profit so i have some money to invest in the next game, and that translates into 6,500 copies of the game at full price. How did the others do? How some of the similar games fared on Steam? I will use the data from the big Steam leak from last July in this one, so some data may be a bit off, but not too much i presume. Taken into account will only be some games of a newer date, since older once basically guaranteed sales once they were on Steam. Super Hydorah – This fantastic game sold only 2,073 copies. It was already selling for a year when data leaked, so i presume it didn’t sell many more after that. But the price was a bit high i must say, €20. If it did sell 2k copies at that price, that’s cool, especially considering it’s a one man game. Starr Mazer DSP – Still in early acces, but sold a nifty 5,500 copies for 10 bucks a pop. Nice, but their press kit says three of them are making the game, and paid artist is doing graphics. Drifting Lands – Not really your usual shmup, but fits the genre. 8,275 copies for €18,99. Also, at least two guys work there, but probably more, so it’s not much of a success. Steel Rain – We’re getting into five figure sale numbers. A whopping 10,440 sold games, full price €9,99, but there’s almost two digit number of people in their studio, so i’m not sure how successfull this was. Monolith – 10,880 copies sold by three guys. Price – €7,99. Great success if you ask me. I suppose they sold a decent number of copies since then too. Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo – 25,940 at €8,19. I suppose a lot of those copies sold at a discount, and as far as i can see they happen pretty often. Now it’s on sale at €2,99 so i guess that’s closer to median sales price. There’s a lot of them there, so i can’t even presume how many of them took part into making the game actually (and reaping the profits). Sky Mercenaries – Made by PolarityFlow, team that also made Steel Rain. 30k+ copies, regular sales price €9,99, pretty good. Steredenn – These guys kicked ass. 50k+ copies made by only two of them plus musicians and a pixel artist which probably had their fixed cut. At €12,99, hell, even at half the price, this game made a small fortune for them. One game it’s like to point out to is Star Saviors, game that sells for €0,99 and has sold 300k+ copies. I haven’t played it but it’s not my cup of tea regarding rendered graphics, though i must say it looks like it feels good to play and makes me wonder of the pricing policy and what is right to do. I didn’t take into account games like Ikaruga, Mushihimesama and Crimzon Clover, they’re quite specific and have their own audience. Bear in mind all these developers live in countries which are more expensive to live in than in my country, but also have tax treaties with the US to some extent. Summa summarum When i take all things into account, i didn’t move my point of view too far. I still believe that you need to have a top notch product (compared to few years ago, where you could be cool if you have a contagious game with maybe not so good graphics) to even scratch the surface. You need to start marketing your product as soon as possible, build a community and be involved if you want to have a crack at selling your game in a decent number of copies that will enable you to live nice until you launch your next game. View the full article
  2. 3 points
    is a helper / utility function (not part of D3D itself) that loads images that have been saved in the DDS image format. Are your images in that format? If not, then you don't want to be using that function. You can, however, look at the source code to CreateDDSTextureFromMemory to see which actual D3D functions it's using to create a texture resource, copy compressed image data into that resource, and then make an SRV for the resource so it can be bound to shaders.
  3. 3 points
    Assuming 60fps, then that's around 20GBps of PCIe traffic. That's near the limit for a lot of PC's! I'd probably aim for below 100MB per frame... The minimum cbuffer size is 256B, so yeah, one per object, times a million objects, times 3 frames = 0.72GB... But... If you're drawing a million objects, you probably really want to be using instancing or indirect drawing or some kind of batching system where you don't need to make a million draw calls each using its own cbuffer. Possibly also using a system where most of the per-object data is stored and calculated on GPU, so that you don't need to triple buffer it.
  4. 2 points
    One of the major problems with indie developers is the lack of marketing dollars. Out of the several businesses I run, if I didn't spend a dime marketing I wouldn't have any sales... period! Overtime you'll build a following and word of mouth will help, but either way you still have to put money towards a marketing budget months prior to release and during release. You can have the best product, or service but if nobody knows about it then it means nothing. When you're trying to sell your game on steam you have to deal with the overflowing submissions on there on a global scale, and the exposure isn't going to happen without putting money towards it. It's a hard truth for many because a lot of indies don't have financial backing to push their marketing in order to generate exposure, but unless you have good connections for endorsements and a lot of "luck", your game will flop majority of the time if you just release it on steam and hope for the best. If anyone is looking at doing this as a business and make games commercially, then you 'must' treat it like any other business. You have incurred costs to produce your product, and you have even more costs you need to up-front for the marketing to generate exposure in order to bring the product to your target audience.
  5. 2 points
    Thank you, guys! It's was a risky challenge to find something nice while being different from Epistory. Took us ages and a lot of iteration before finding the good art style.
  6. 2 points
    I interpreted it as sampling the 8 neighbors around the pixel in a 3x3 pattern. I'm not sure if they were doing anything else that would weight the samples, but the describe the pixels as containing values pre-weighted by CoC size which means that the more in-focus pixels will naturally contribute less. So when I initially read this, I assumed that they were basically using the same concept that was introduced in Morgan McGuire's motion blur paper: you want to compute the maximum "scattering distance" within a tile, that way each pixel in that tile knows how far out they need to gather to make sure that they sample the scattered pixels. For motion blur the scattering is along a line, while in DOF it's in 2D. But it's the same concept, really. For DOF you'll want to make sure that the tile size is big enough to account for your maximum scattering distance, which is effectively going to be equal to your maximum sample radius in your bokeh-shaped gather kernel. The CryEngine presentation even uses the same exact language on slide 49 when talking about McGuire's motion blur (downscale velocity buffer k times), so it seems to be referring to the same concept. In this case is basically preserving the edges of the in-focus pixels by ensuring that they don't bleed into the out-of-focus background pixels (basically they want to prevent the issue shown in the image on slide 42). If you weight the in-focus pixels with a value of 0 during the downscale, the in-focus pixels won't contribute at all when they're sampled by the bokeh gathering kernel, which prevents the bleeding. I don't blame you, this stuff is confusing and complicated and those slides leave a lot of room for interpretation. If you really want to find out what they would meant, perhaps you should try emailing Tiago or messaging him on Twitter. I would imagine his most recent email at id is in one of his more recent presentations from SIGGRAPH. But if you do find out any info, please come back and share it here! You should also check out this presentation from Activision, which references the CryEngine presentation and suggests several improvements. While I appreciate the vote of confidence, I'm just a human who's wrong about things all of the time! I was just sharing my interpretation of what was shared in that presentation, and it's very possible that I missed something or missed understood things. So I think the OP is totally warranted in questioning my explanations, and digging deeper to make sure that they understand things correctly. 🙂
  7. 1 point
    Great post. I think there are many of us who linger here on GameDev who are interested in being in the know. @evanofsky made a parkour game back in 2014/2015 and released it on steam. I remember thinking at the time that it was a professional looking game. He put a lot of work into it. Then he posted his first day sales, that or first week. I think if I remember correctly he had managed to sell 4 copies. One of the things that I think is worth while mentioning in the article you sourced, it also said that 82% of games sold on steam the creators won't make a meaningful return on their investment ( investment being both time and money ). He also states that the 1,200 copies figure applies only once you've removed all the rubbish being sold. So if you were to include rubbish then that figure drops even further. That and I'd be more interested in knowing the median as opposed to the average. I'd bet the median for all games sold on steam is around 50. And I'd love that figure to be much much higher. But yeah, I certainly don't think someone can just make a game and then throw it up on steam and make decent coin regardless of how good it is unless its epic and catches fire, or dumb luck. Here in lies the necessity of learning your target audience and connecting with and enticing before the big release. And even then you may only marginally increase your odds if its a good game. Which is why I kinda am always griping about game-play and a game being fun, because if it's not and nobody else get's what you were going for while creating it it'll become history within days. Mind you I'm just starting to really think about this because I'm one of those candidates who's wondering if there is a target audience for what I'm making and whether I can connect with them.
  8. 1 point
    We use 90 degree horizontal fov when aspect ratio is 16:9. When ratio is wider we scale horizontal fov. When ratio is taller we scale vertical fov. This way horizontal fov is at least 90 degree and vertical fov is at least 59 degree no matter the aspect ratio.
  9. 1 point
    For a quick game, I'm happy with the results, it could be much better in a number of ways but in such a short time frame it's OK. I would love to implement smoother scrolling, more monsters, more wall variety, more levels. Overall I didn't have many problems, it was pretty straight forward. Having the limitations I put in place helped me to finish the game in time. I didn't really have any bugs or issues which caused a lot of time to fix, which is what I was worried about. The main bug I found was that I could see the skulls through walls. No problem, it was just the draw order which was incorrect. Any questions, let me know below! Thanks!
  10. 1 point
    FSM usually stands for "Finite-state machine".
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