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Found 52 results

  1. Jean Simonet is an indie developer who moved away from the AAA space in 2013 after delivering Skyrim and realizing that Fallout 4 just had him doing more of the same. Jean challenged himself and succeeded. In this talk, Jean runs a counterstrike on every piece of indie gaming advice you've ever been told.
  2. Jean Simonet is an indie developer who moved away from the AAA space in 2013 after delivering Skyrim and realizing that Fallout 4 just had him doing more of the same. Jean challenged himself and succeeded. In this talk, Jean runs a counterstrike on every piece of indie gaming advice you've ever been told. View full story
  3. Hi, I would like to invite you to submit your games to the IX F&S Play Indie Awards. The deadline is October 31th. It´s free to submit your games. F&S Play has established 1 award of 7,000 euros for the best Indie Game Category. The 10 finalists will also receive a free Booth for showing their games in the F&S Indie Zone. Check out the rules here: F&S Play is the new name for the previously called AzPlay (Bilbao, Spain). It has become consolidated as one international reference for the promotion of new projects, awarding prizes every year to the most original, creative and innovative independent videogames of the moment. Over 1.100 projects from the 5 continents have been received during these 8 years and over 250,000 euros in prize money distributed. The integration of AzPlay in a festival as renowned as the Fun&Serious reinforces both events and consolidates the Fun&Serious in the international scene. More info about past Fun&Serious editions here: http://www.funandseriousgamefestival.com/ More info about past AzPlay editions here: http://www.azplaybilbao.com/en/ediciones-anteriores/
  4. I´ve been searching in the web since last year and couldn´t find an answer. All I find are "recommendation" posts that are based on preferences or trivial and ambiguous matters such as difficulty. If It takes me 1 year to master SFML and it takes me 2 years mastering Opengl and the other libraries needed; I would choose Opengl; because I would be wasting 1 year in something that has only hobby uses. If I invest a year in learning something I would like to make a profit from It. Also If an Engine would be moer job-wise, I would choose that instead. I am in second year (finishing) in Software Engineering (in Argentina) and have advanced knowledge in C, C++, C#, Net, Web languages; and a little of Assembly. So I don't need the basics of language. I found SFML and It comes with a bunch of services (net, audio, graphics) and used it a bit, and found it quite information-less; I heard about DirectX and Opengl, but all I find is "It is verry difficult, use SFML". If you ask me about hobby, I would like somethinc close to code and efitient; for 2d graphics that I could draw myself. If you ask me about work, I would choose something that could help me get a Job. What would be awesome is, if there is something that could be a mixture of that. Thanks in advance, Santiago.
  5. Hi All, Just found a interesting site with SDK that provide ability to monetize games with monero mining on user pc, they said that: "It completely safe for user, because it spend only ~3% of CPU time.". I download standalone demo and unity package, seems all work as they describe (spend 3-5% of my CPU), when plugin start his work it tell about that with windows notification, now i plan to create some small game and try this service. What did you think about that?
  6. Starting From today everyone can sign up to Monetizr beta test for cloud computing SDK: HERE The key objective of Monetizr is to monetize games and drive revenue for game developers. Games use only a fraction of device processing power. Unused processing power on those devices has a huge potential for decentralized cloud computing and decentralized cloud storage. Monetizr’s cloud computing SDK enables gamers to opt-in and mine cryptocurrencies while playing the game without any changes to game or device performance. Gamers recieve profits from mining in form of cryptocurrencies and merchandise. For game developers this opens a new revenue stream, increases gamer engagement and time spent gaming. Monetizr is already working with 30 game studios to reward gamers with real unlockable game products, such as, t-shirts, hats and stickers with game designs, brand items (like Nike shoes or Amazon gift cards) and even cryptocurrencies. This Drives gamer engagement and revenue metrics while improving the gaming experience. The best thing for game studios - Monetizr is not asking money for product integration. Cooperation model is profit-sharing from transactions. Check out our case studies: CASE STUDIES
  7. Starting From today everyone can sign up to Monetizr beta test for cloud computing SDK: HERE The key objective of Monetizr is to monetize games and drive revenue for game developers. Games use only a fraction of device processing power. Unused processing power on those devices has a huge potential for decentralized cloud computing and decentralized cloud storage. Monetizr’s cloud computing SDK enables gamers to opt-in and mine cryptocurrencies while playing the game without any changes to game or device performance. Gamers recieve profits from mining in form of cryptocurrencies and merchandise. For game developers this opens a new revenue stream, increases gamer engagement and time spent gaming. Monetizr is already working with 30 game studios to reward gamers with real unlockable game products, such as, t-shirts, hats and stickers with game designs, brand items (like Nike shoes or Amazon gift cards) and even cryptocurrencies. This Drives gamer engagement and revenue metrics while improving the gaming experience. The best thing for game studios - Monetizr is not asking money for product integration. Cooperation model is profit-sharing from transactions. Check out our case studies: CASE STUDIES View full story
  8. Hello Everyone I am interested in the Game Trading and eCommerce theory of how Players interact with each other and the actual game and would like to open up discussions on this subject as I believe at some stage, it will become the next step in gaming. What I am interested in achieving after many 100's of discussions is an Engine that takes into account many aspects of Trade and they are: Tax system on trades and players (essentially replacing Lootboxes) A method to price items, so that it would essentially be the same price from game to game (that adopts the Engine) There is a lot more to discuss, but this post is just to fire out the idea and see if there is any interested discussion on this subject. So for starters, what would some of the issues be, if a Tax System is deployed? The way I see it, Tax would be used as an ongoing income to Game Developers to expand.develop the game further and thereby increasing its shelf life Modders who build Mods can use the system to also do "as above" so if the Mod is good, people will use it and the Modder will continue to develop it Even though there is a Tax system in place, Players can do tasks, quests or other things to have the Tokens to pay Tax
  9. It's been one hectic week. Job searches, contract work researching, phone interviews, resume remakes, documents galore, and listing a whole lot of things that'll cost a whole lot of money over the next year. Current mission status? I'm looking for a publisher to finance the upcoming breakout hit of Yotes Games, LLC. That's right, Yotes Games just became a real-deal company! It's as official as it gets. And it'll make contracts and legal protection a lot less risky for me and a lot more straightforward for anyone I strike a deal with. I made a list of compatible publisher options and I'm pitching the game to them one-by-one. Someone says no, too bad, next in line. I figure out of the 20 of em I narrowed the list down to, one will agree I'm a perfect fit and give Battle Gem Ponies the budget needed to carry on to Launch Day!Get yourself a whole buncha hoopla and gamedev news now!
  10. Hi there! I think this post may get slightly depressing, so, reader discretion is advised. I'm writing this to summarize what I did during my first game development process and hopefully someone will find it helpful. So, in 2016 I tried to make a futuristic racing game in Unity. It was just for fun and learning purpouses but I knew I want to try to put it on sale on Steam. I asked some of my friends if they would want to join me in the adventure. And this is probably the first thing not to do because if you ask anybody if they want to help you with creating and selling a game, they will say "sure, absolutely!" and then when you start to assign duties they never text you back again. And that's demotivating. Couple of months went by, and the game was more or less complete so I decided to put it on the thing that doesn't exist anymore, which is Steam Greenlight. I was extremely excited to see other people comment about my game (seriously it was super cool). My greenlight page wasn't the most popular one, but it was doing pretty good. Eventually the game passed, and was ready to be put in the store. This was truly amazing because it wasn't easy to pass the Greenlight voting. The game was kind of shitty as I look at it right now, but it was the best I could do back in 2016. It looked kind of like a 4/10 mobile game. Nevertheless people were interested in it since it was unique and there wasn't (and isn't) any games simmilar to it. I posted about it on some gaming forums and some Facebook groups, just to see what people would think about it. And every comment was always positive which made me super excited and happy. Eventually, my game went on sale. At the beginning my game was selling ok to me, but when I read other people's stories, I understood that my number of sales was below miserable. Back then Steam had something called 5 "Product Update Visibility Rounds" which means that when you update your game, you can use the "Visibility Round" and your game will somehow be very visible in the store. Essencially you get 500,000 views for one day. This used to dramatically (to me) increase sales, so I used 4 of them in like a week, which is exactly what you're not supposed to do. I left one round for later, because I knew that my game is not the best and I may want to remake it in the future, so the last round may be helpful to get some sales. After about 1,5 month the game was dead and it wasn't selling anymore. I was kind of disappointed but I was waiting to get my revenue. This is when I got my first big disappointment. On the Steam developer page, my revenue was about $1000 and when I got the payment, it turned out that half the people who bought my game had it refunded. So my total revenue (1,5 month) was around $600. So my game was completely dead. I abandoned it and moved on. About half a year later there was a Steam Summer Sale which I forgot I applied for and the game made $100. This was the point when I decided to refresh my game. I spent 6 months remaking it and when I was happy with the result, I uploaded it on Steam. I made a sweet trailer and everything and used the final "Visibility Round", expecting to revive my game and start the real indie dev life. Huge f*ing disappointment #2: As it turned out, Steam changed the "Visibility Round" and now it doesn't do anything because I didn't get 500,000 views in one day... I got 1,276 views in 29 days. I started searching for a PR company. I messaged about 8 different companies and one contacted me back. I explained that my game is out already, but I recently updated it. The PR company was cool, very friendly and professional. Unfortunately a revenue share wasn't an option and they weren't cheap (for me). They understood that and not long after that, we made a deal. I won't get into the details, but everything went cool and my game was supposed to get some attention (press announcement). I even got a chance to put my game on the Windows Store, which again, was super exciting. Microsoft guys were extremely nice to work with so if any of you are planning to put your game on sale I strongly recommend considering Windows Store. For 4 months the PR company was instructing me on how to improve my game. It really was helpful, but come on, 4 months flew by. Although they were professional, suddenly we had a big misunderstanding. Somehow they didn't understand that my game is out already. Anyways, we were getting ready for the announcement and I had to make my website, which cost me some money. Also I had to buy a subscription for a multiplayer service for my game. (It uses Photon Network, I had to buy a subscription so more people could play online at the same time.)(Photon Network is great, strongly recommend it.) Disappointment #3: I bought a page promotion on Facebook. Estimated: 310,000 people interested, 40,000 clicks to my page. Reality: 0 people interested, 20 clicks to my page. The announcement happened. And nothing more. 80 Steam keys for my game went out for the press, 41 were used, 24 websites wrote about my game, 6 hateful comments, 2 positive, 17 more visits on my Steam page, 2 copies sold which doesn't matter because it's to little for Steam to send the payment. Estimated views of the press coverage: 694,000. Reality: probably less than 300. I don't give a f*ck at this point about my game which I have worked on for 10 months. I don't care about all the money I spent either. I don't blame anyone. I'm just not sure what not to do in the future. I guess the main lesson here is don't try to revive a game, just move on and computers suck at estimating things. Now I'm working on another game and I'm planning on making it free to play. I really enjoy making games, but it would be nice to have some feedback from the players. If any of you want to know something specific about my game or anything, feel free to ask. I expect nobody to see this post, so I'm probably going to paste it on some other forums. Cya. (sorry for the title being slightly clickbaiting)
  11. Lightness1024

    Opinions on cryptocurrencies

    It's not really related to gaming, but many games nowadays include an economy a la second life, with their own token/coin and downloadable contents. There even exists a token that has been designed just for games: enjin coin I personally don't believe in this, I think we should have a unified currency that has so much volume that the value becomes stable. fragmenting currencies into 3000 coins like today creates volatility. I thought there were so many problems in general with cryptocurrencies I had to write a long rant, I made a full fledged article about issues here: https://motsd1inge.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/cryptocurrencies-not-there-yet/ So, 'd love to hear your thoughts about its content and if there are points you disagree and stuff.
  12. Hello Guys! Please share your experience, where is it better to find sales manager specialists for indie team of 6 + people(remotely)? Maybe someone has a good experience of cooperation with finding projects through sale managers(USA and Canada)? Thank you Best Regards Alex Vovk Co-Founder of Sixteen Squares Alexander_Vovk@outlook.com
  13. BewitchingGames

    Financial Stability

    I wanna thank everyone who helped me out with my last question, but now I got something possibly bigger than the last one. I just wanna know, how do you guys earn money while making your games to? Do you work a full time job and work on the game at the same time? Cause I gotta say, my full time job is awful, leaving me pretty much drained to the point I really can't do much of anything. So, I've been trying to figure out ways to earn money and work on a game at the same time. Cause I have a school debt to pay off, and now a car payment, so I can't not be working. I can't work at my current job any more for personal reasons. So I'm hoping I can get the help I'm looking for.
  14. Japheth Dillman, co-founder and CEO of YetiZen, discusses funding for indie startups. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/japhethdillman
  15. Rule 1: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you’re new to the industry and want to get your foot in the door with your own ambitious project, it might worth taking a step back and considering your scope. While the games industry is full of lots of wonderful projects and games successfully making their way to steam and many other platforms, it took skilled and experienced individuals to get them there, many of them can tell you about their portfolio projects or their failed team projects of the past, but almost every one of them will tell you how worthwhile the experience was and how it helped mould the skills they have today. Show you know where the project’s going. If you want to succeed and get awesome people to come help you with your project, you need to show them it’s worth the time and worth the effort, demonstrate you know your project in and out and let them know that their opinions are also valued. When you first put pen to paper, make sure you know what you are making, a good way to start is to pick a fundamental mechanic that you enjoyed in another game, or even something you have come up with yourself, use that mechanic as the basis for your game idea, and try to mould the game world around it. Try to gather as much information as you can to showcase your game. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to get new members or contributors to your project, at the end of the day, the best functioning projects are when everyone is on the same page and understands the project to work towards the same goal. Put yourself in the shoes of your teammates. Remember that in a team project, they need to trust you, and you need to trust them, you need to demonstrate that you are willing to spend the time on the project as much as they are. To coincide with this it is also important to demonstrate an understanding of artistic integrity, everyone has their thoughts and opinions and it is only right to be willing to hear out your team members to help build that trust and teamwork! View the full article
  16. Revenue share models (often shortened to rev-share and synonymous with profit sharing models) are a way for businesses and startups to pay the members of their teams. In this article we’ll explore what exactly is a rev-share model and how one might be used with collaborative game development on a small budget. What is a revenue and profit sharing model? Imagine you have a business or a startup with no product. You decide that you and a team are going to build it together. Rather than make them your employees you decide to treat them as investors. The benefit of this is that you no longer have to take out a loan or find finance to pay employees, and better yet, you can get in as many team members as you need. Because they’re considered investors, however, their remuneration comes once the business starts making a profit and for their investment (for instance, of time) they get a proportional share of the profit, normally operating profit. This is essentially a rev-share or profit sharing agreement. There are many takes on such models, but the crux of it is that you treat the people who contribute to your product as investors and thus give them a representative share of the profits. Contributors receive a share of the profits proportionate to, and in return for their time investment How to create a collaborative game development environment With this in mind, you might be wondering how it’s possible to turn a rev-share model into a viable model for developing a game. Well, wonder no more! Here are some points to get you going. 1) Find the right platform for you The first thing to do is figure out how you’re going to organise the structure of what is essentially a business. This can become a little tricky if you’re going to rev-share. Many rev-share agreements are informal and tough to enforce, so you’re best going to a specific platform such as Crowdsourcer.io to formalise the profit sharing model. If you want to go down the route of splitting equity with contributors, legally, then perhaps look into registering a partnership agreement with your country’s company register. If you decide to do this make sure you’re doing thorough background checks on anyone who you haven’t met and interviewed in person. Want to form a rev-share team and build your game for free? Check out Crowdsourcer.io 2) Get contributors and game devs Next up is to get the right people into your project. Not everyone is going to be up for investing their time for a share of the profits, life can often be too busy for that. Therefore, it can take some time to find people who are both willing to invest their time and believe in your project, but being a part of the right communities can make a massive difference in speeding up this process. For starters, have a look at GameDev.net and TigSource.com, get involved with their communities and see if you can’t get a bite or two. If you want more info on what type of developers you’ll need, see this article. 3) Paying collaborators equitably with a profit share model At last, we come to the crux of it. As with all employees or investors, eventually, they’re required to be paid. If you’re doing an informal rev-share model or are working with people spread out all over the world this can not only be a nuisance but introduce some trust issues. That’s why it’s so important to find the right platform and method for formalising your rev-share agreement. Crowdsourcer.io, for instance, makes life easy by automatically routing sales proportionately to all contributors in a project without anyone having to chase people up or request bank account information. However, if you’ve not gone down this route, it may be necessary to request bank information from all the collaborators and distribute their share of the profit manually. Lastly, if you’ve not formalised the model, i.e. you’re not using a platform that does all the work for you, one of the most important things to do is make all earnings completely transparent to your contributors, so come payday they can tot up the numbers themselves, helping to avoid any disputes. A good way of doing this is to invite contributors into your merchant accounts with any retailers (e.g. Steam), and if possible invite them in as accountants – granting them access only to sales figures whilst preventing them from editing/removing the uploaded binary or store pages. And with that, I hope we’ve made the concepts of rev-share models more digestible and given you an idea of how you might practically implement them to develop a game. Until next time, folks! View the full article
  17. slayemin

    Contract Work

    I need to make money to fund the further development of my game. So, I've been doing paid contract work in VR. Most of the work is pretty easy for me and consists of producing VR applications which run 360 videos with some interactive GUI elements embedded into it. I also have been helping other game developers produce their games. Initially, I charged $50/hour for my early VR programming work. I believed that I needed to figure out the development process and it would take a bit longer because it was new to me, so I felt bad charging a higher rate. I got it figured out now, so I raised my rates to $75/hour. I... think I made a mistake. The way I came up with $75/hour is pretty straight forward. I took my previous annual salary and divided it by the number of hours in a full working year, and that gave me a rough ballpark on my hourly rate. The flaw in this approach is that I was assuming that the amount of work I have would be constant, that I would be working a full 40 hours a week with billable hours. The reality is that I have huge gaps between projects, so that means I have huge gaps between billable hours. So, the general intuition would be to increase my hourly rate, right? I think that's also a mistake. The problem is that I've gotten too fast. It used to take me something like 10 hours to produce a 360 VR video app. That's because I built it from scratch. Now, I have a code base and template I reuse. It takes me about 2 hours to produce a simple video app. With an hourly fee structure, it's more profitable for me to work slow so I can charge higher bills. But I can't do that, I'm an honest man and my integrity is priceless to me. I'm also a lazy engineer which causes me to strive for efficiency so I don't have to do tedious, wasteful work. Spending 10 hours on a 2 hour project would feel like a waste of time and an antithesis to common sense. So, I'm tentatively thinking that the correct fee structure is to charge a per project cost. If I quote someone for $5000 to complete a project, that's what I'll charge regardless of how long it takes. If I can finish the project in 5 hours, congrats, I just made $1000/hour. If it takes me 50 hours, then I made $100/hour. Now, I'm properly incentivized to work fast and efficiently. The faster I work, the more rewarding it is. This comes with some risks as well. What if I estimate that a project will take 15 hours, bid accordingly, but it really takes me 30 hours to complete? I'm making another mistake here... I'm not taking profit into account. If I step outside of myself for a moment and pretend that I'm an employee to myself, and employees are paid an hourly rate (let's say $75/hour) and I'm bidding on the cost of a project based off of just my raw production costs, then I make $0 in profit. All of the income goes directly into paying for the employee salaries, leaving nothing for the company, meaning growth is impossible and I lose money over time due to overhead costs. Instead, I should be taking the employee salary ($75/hour) and multiplying it by a factor of at least 2.5x. If I replace myself with a hired employee and keep the same fee structure in place, then the company is equally profitable because I am interchangeable with other workers. If I add more workers to the team, then of course my bid estimates will change. So, the total bid = sum of all wages * 2.5x; For clients, this could be a pretty good system as well. Instead of having runaway costs inflate a project budget, there is a fixed cost of production. My biggest challenge will be to accurately estimate the scope of work and bid accordingly. If I underestimate the scope, then I eat the cost difference. If I overestimate the scope, more profit, more reward! But then, I also come full circle to the original problem I had: If I originally took 10 hours to finish a project and bid accordingly based off of that time estimate, but through experience, innovation and increases in efficiency I now reduce that same work to 2 hours and bid accordingly, I would still be losing the hourly difference. So, do I bid as if I'm starting everything from scratch because my competitors would be in the same position? Or do I look at the requirements of a project and use that as an input parameter into a piece-wise defined function to assess estimated cost? Or, do I just pick high numbers in a random ballpark and hope to get lucky? Obviously, if requirements change, then the cost should change proportionately as well. If I charged a flat $10,000 for a project given its requirements / feature spec, and then a few weeks later the client decides to add/subtract a requirement, how would I figure out how to proportionately adjust the pricing to reflect the change in scope? I... don't... know... One other thing I'm finding annoyance at is that some clients aren't good clients to take on. Indies and startups are bad because they often don't have money, no matter their good intentions and promises. If it's going to break the bank for them to have me work for them, it's likely they'll be unable to pay me or that it will take 6+ months for me to get paid. I owe people money, I can't keep them waiting because I'm waiting to get paid. If they're sweating over my up front fee of $150, I shouldn't take them on as clients. My policy should be, "If I think they can't afford me, they can't afford me.". It may be better to risk leaving money on the table than taking on bad clients. Maybe I should increase my fee to weed them out? Another factor I hadn't considered are the non-billable hours I put into project efforts: Responding to emails and answering phone calls. On some projects, I've put more hours into phone calls, conversations and emails than actual, billable hours. Now, I want to be a nice person and to be easily accessible to my clients, but every hour I spend on email or phone calls is an hour I'm not spending making money. Every hour I'm not making money is also an hour I'm not working on Spellbound. I'm tempted to charge for my time here, but I don't want to start a stopwatch every time my phone rings or I get an email requiring a response. Maybe I should just pad my estimated hours to account for time spent communicating? Or maybe I should measure the average amount of time I spend doing administrative stuff on behalf of a project, and adjust my multiplier accordingly? Instead of a 2.5x hourly rate, maybe 3.5x? The last few factors I also hadn't been considering is that I'm a freelancer, with talent and experience, ready to hit the ground running, today. I'm not an employee, so I don't get "company benefits". No medical. No dental. No vision. No retirement fund matching. No overhead costs (HR, managers, office space, parking, cafeterias, admin staff, etc). When the project is complete, I am done and go away -- an employee would still incur costs afterwards. No employee liability. Don't like me or my work? Fire me, no mess, no HR hassle, no legal wrangling. That means I have to pay for all of that stuff out of my own pocket, so I need to charge more as a contractor. My girlfriend has taken ample opportunities to remind me that I'm not charging enough. She told me that based on my skill set, I would be equivalent to a "technical editor" in the Hollywood film industry, and they charge something like $175/hour. Based on my background and experience, and how niche my industry is, she believes I should be charging at least $300/hour. That... makes me a bit pale to consider as an hourly rate. I have a hard time believing I'm worth it. But hey, if I can complete a project in hours which would take other people 5-10x longer, if not more, than maybe I am worth it. I recently went and visited a motion capture studio near my office to figure out how I can use them and what their rates are. They charge $3750 for 4 hours, or $8000 for 8 hours. That's a lot of money for a poor indie like me, but... really, it's not a lot of money at all when you think about it. I should be charging roughly in that ball park, right? Deep down inside, I think I feel afraid to charge a lot of money for what I do. But I think I need to reframe the way I think about this. People aren't hiring *me*, they're hiring *my production company*, and for now, I just happen to be the sole employee. If I staff up in the future, I wouldn't feel bad charging high rates to cover my costs. But staffing up would also mean I have to dedicate a significant chunk of time towards staff training, and I'm capable of training staff, so... that means I'm pretty good, right? I guess I just see the work that I do as "easy" and "enjoyable" and I shouldn't be getting paid for this. But, the work is only easy for me because I've got 18 years of experience and the projects I take on are 10x easier than writing my own game engine from scratch, or building enterprise systems for the military. Truly, the biggest risk for me is that the work is such a cakewalk for me that I am bored by it. I was realizing this afternoon that I'm most incentivized to work on other peoples' projects when I'm getting paid really well for them. $75 per hour is not enough money to motivate me to overcome my boredom, but $150/hour is. My girlfriend also tells me that I'm terrible at business, that I don't really have the head for it. I half believe her because she's a lot more experienced than I am, and she's bringing in a lot more money than I am. I've been thinking carefully about what I'm currently doing, how it's not profitable, and what I need to do in order to make my work profitable and worth my time. With my current flow of contract work and my billing rates, I don't make enough money. Honestly, it's just barely enough to pay my cheap office rent. I'm practically treading water, getting nowhere even though I'm working hard. For the last few weeks, I've been thinking that I need to get more proactive about getting money. I need to get out of my chair, put on a nice dress suit, take my VR goggles, and go door to door at every company and show them what I can do for them and how it can help their business. I need to figure out my sales pitch, refine it, and go get myself some big work. I believe in VR, I think its the future, I am bullish on its prospects, and I can sell. I have proven to myself that I have the personality and capability to sell, I can build what I sell, so... I should just get up and go do it. I'm optimistic that I could do well, but I'm sort of holding myself back somehow. The dream is that I do well enough at bootstrapping that I can work myself out of every job and become more of a CEO/producer type, hiring people to replace me. Programmer? Hire that out. Sales guy? Hire that out. Film guy? Hire that out. Hire people for everything -- delegate -- don't get my hands dirty, don't get into the weeds. If I do, I'm still doing it wrong. While I'm fully capable of writing code and producing everything myself, I can't scale. I would be just one guy, taking on projects with a scope of what only one guy can complete. Big projects = big money. I also sort of think that I should split my time 50/50 between providing services to clients and creating my own software applications and releasing them online. The problem with exclusively doing work for clients is that it fixes my scalability to whatever workload my production company can handle. My throughput is fixed, and thus my income is limited by my throughput. It would be a trap which limits my growth potential. However, if I build and release my own apps at the same time, my growth potential is limited only by my marketing and sales capabilities. Once an app is completed, I can make an infinite number of copies in an instant and sell them. If I diversify and make several apps in several different market categories, a few of them are bound to succeed. I have been particularly infected by an idea which could potentially establish a new market category for content in the VR market (I'll share details after I execute). If I can produce it, market it, and sell it, and it thrives, then I could scale it out and go big. I'm planning on creating a working prototype this spring and releasing it to the market to see how it fares. Anyways, the point is that it would be easier to make $1m by scaling out a successful app than by scaling out client services, but a successful app could also be an additional service category offered to clients. However I do it, I will fund the production of Spellbound and I will have a well funded team working on it...eventually. Anyways, I did something cool the other day. I integrated Leap Motion with 360 videos, so you can use your own hands to pan the camera around. I'm also going to add in finger taps for pressing buttons, so people can feel sort of like Tom Cruise in Minority Report. The placeholder video was shot a month ago at a Dell factory in China as a part of their effort to be transparent about their production pipeline. Check it out:
  18. Hello again! Long time no see! (*wink* laughs) I hope everyone is doing well. What did you think of yesterday’s post? Let us know in the comments! Today we are going to talk about something totally different. Today we will be talking about monetization. Monetization We’ve been thinking a lot about monetization, and how it will work in “Project SpaceVille”. On the one hand, we want to make enough money so that we can live (laughs), on the other hand we don’t want to screw up our loyal players. As such, we came up with 3 ideas. Just to be clear, we don't want make the game “impossible” or less enjoyable to play without paying. Most (if not all) of the game’s content should be accessible to non-paying players. Idea #1 Ads. Yes it’s annoying, we know. (laughs) But it’s one of the ways we can make money without giving out players much of a burden. And to make it even less intrusive, we thought about placing ads in loading scenes only, for example. Better to watch an ad than a loading screen with nothing at all, right? (laughs) And that way you'd be helping us survive as well. Idea #2 The player could buy in-game currency whenever he wants. Let’s say €1.00 or $1.00 can get you 150 coins or so of in-game currency, for example. This way, the player can buy new clothes, furniture, etc. whenever it feels like. Idea #3 There would be an an annual subscription that would unlock all content in the game, remove all ads, and give an allowance to the player as well. Let us know what you think! If you have any different ideas, please share them with us! Currency We have no idea what to name it. Maybe we could use your help? Help us by brainstorming names like SpaceBucks ahah. Share your ideas on the comments! If you want to chat with us, we are very responsive on Facebook. See you soon! The FAXIME Team Follow us and keep updated at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaximeGames Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faximegames Twitter: https://twitter.com/FaximeGames Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.pt/faximegames SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/faximegames Thunderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/63892-support-project-spaceville
  19. Im finishing a little game I plan to release for Android and PC, and Im considering how to get some profit from it. I dislike the idea of selling any advantages inside the game, as I think that the game demands to offer the same opportunities to all players so they can compare their results (thats why Im not using procedural levels neither). My first idea was to sell it for a small price (0.99-1.99) if the demo had some success, but my cousin, who lives in UK, says that nobody pays for games anymore, and indeed Google Play is full of free games. Not sure if in-game ads could be the solution, I think I have some margin to place ads in the transitions between levels. I hate disrupting gaming experience, but if players dont want to pay...
  20. Hello! We are a little studio (consisting of just 2 people) and we are planning out our crowdfunding. The basic thing to do is Kickstarter, which has a lot of successful campaigns and a lot of native traffic which helps getting games and other projects funded (besides classic marketing and promotion, that is of course). We are aiming at about 10 000 - 20 000$ goal, and as we are operating from Poland (central Europe), we are outside of Kickstarter range. Our main option now is IndieGoGo, which gives us a lot of thinking. We have heard a lot of bad things about it, mostly about the abyssmall Succcess Rate of IndieGoGo campaigns (I don't remember exact numbers, but it was about 9% maybe).   We wanted to ask if IndieGoGo is the right thing to do on our side? Is there anything else we can do do make better chances to succeed and to be comparably effective to Kickstarter? (considering that we are not just a 10-year old, making another survival zombie game with Asset Store defaults and templates)
  21. Imagine there's a team of 4, consisting of an investor, a coder, a graphics designer, and a sound designer. What percentage of the end profit should each person get? What if there was another guy for 3d modeling? And what if there was multiple guys doing one part of the job, would they collectively get the percentage that that job gets? I mean, imagine there is 1 investor, 1 graphics designer, 1 sound designer but 3 coders. If 1 coder (like in question 1) would get 25%, would this number be divided among all the coders, or will the number rise?
  22. Video game industry is at its best with $108.9 billion in global revenue for 2017, representing a 8% growth compared to 2016. According to Newzoo, there are currently more than 2.2 billion active gamers across the globe. In spite of this massive growth in gaming industry, the video game retailer GameStop has been struggling over the past few years as video game purchases from retail stores continue to decline due to the strong growth in the e-commerce and competition from online giants like Amazon. The Grapvine, Texas-based company, which had a total of 7,535 stores at the end of its fiscal 2016, anticipated to open about 100 new stores as well as close about 130 Video Game Brands stores worldwide and 55 Technology Brands stores in fiscal 2017. The demand for Nintendo Switch drove GameStop's sales up 15% in the recent quarter. https://news.alphastreet.com/gamestop-q4-2017-earnings/ View full story
  23. Hey. I'm new on this forum. I and my friends create our first game. I'm drawing graphics and doing animation for our game. Well, I want to ask how much the artist or animator earns in the gaming industry. I plan to move to the US later this year. I want to try work in the gaming industry. I am from Russia.
  24. Hi Indies, I got approached by someone wanting to bulk purchase keys for my game for a bundle, yay! Except they only offer $0.10 per key for a game released in March at $11.99. Am I right to think this is way too low? I'm not unfamiliar with selling my previous games even this cheap for bundles, but I think it's way under what is reasonable at this time. Thoughts?
  25. I got into a conversation awhile ago with some fellow game artists and the prospect of signing bonuses got brought up. Out of the group, I was the only one who had negotiated any sort of sign on bonus or payment above and beyond base compensation. My goal with this article and possibly others is to inform and motivate other artists to work on this aspect of their “portfolio” and start treating their career as a business. What is a Sign-On Bonus? Quite simply, a sign-on bonus is a sum of money offered to a prospective candidate in order to get them to join. It is quite common in other industries but rarely seen in the games unless it is at the executive level. Unfortunately, conversations centered around artist employment usually stops at base compensation, quite literally leaving money on the table. Why Ask for a Sign-On Bonus? There are many reasons to ask for a sign-on bonus. In my experience, it has been to compensate for some delta between how much I need vs. how much the company is offering. For example, a company has offered a candidate a position paying $50k/year. However, research indicates that the candidate requires $60k/year in order to keep in line with their personal financial requirements and long-term goals. Instead of turning down the offer wholesale, they may ask for a $10k sign on bonus with actionable terms to partially bridge the gap. Whatever the reason may be, the ask needs to be reasonable. Would you like a $100k sign-on bonus? Of course! Should you ask for it? Probably not. A sign-on bonus is a tool to reduce risk, not a tool to help you buy a shiny new sports car. Aspects to Consider Before one goes and asks for a huge sum of money, there are some aspects of sign-on bonus negotiations the candidate needs to keep in mind. - The more experience you have, the more leverage you have to negotiate - You must have confidence in your role as an employee. - You must have done your research. This includes knowing your personal financial goals and how the prospective offer changes, influences or diminishes those goals. To the first point, the more experience one has, the better. If the candidate is a junior employee (roughly defined as less than 3 years of industry experience) or looking for their first job in the industry, it is highly unlikely that a company will entertain a conversation about sign-on bonuses. Getting into the industry is highly competitive and there is likely very little motivation for a company to pay a sign-on bonus for one candidate when there a dozens (or hundreds in some cases) of other candidates that will jump at the first offer. Additionally, the candidate must have confidence in succeeding at the desired role in the company. They have to know that they can handle the day to day responsibilities as well as any extra demands that may come up during production. The company needs to be convinced of their ability to be a team player and, as a result, is willing to put a little extra money down to hire them. In other words, the candidate needs to reduce the company’s risk in hiring them enough that an extra payment or two is negligible. And finally, they must know where they sit financially and where they want to be in the short-, mid-, and long-term. Having this information at hand is essential to the negotiation process. The Role Risk Plays in Employment The interviewing process is a tricky one for all parties involved and it revolves around the idea of risk. Is this candidate low-risk or high-risk? The risk level depends on a number of factors: portfolio quality, experience, soft skills, etc. Were you late for the interview? Your risk to the company just went up. Did you bring additional portfolio materials that were not online? Your risk just went down and you became more hireable. If a candidate has an offer in hand, then the company sees enough potential to get a return on their investment with as little risk as possible. At this point, the company is confident in their ability as an employee (ie. low risk) and they are willing to give them money in return for that ability. Asking for the Sign-On Bonus So what now? The candidate has gone through the interview process, the company has offered them a position and base compensation. Unfortunately, the offer falls below expectations. Here is where the knowledge and research of the position and personal financial goals comes in. The candidate has to know what their thresholds and limits are. If they ask for $60k/year and the company is offering $50k, how do you ask for the bonus? Once again, it comes down to risk. Here is the point to remember: risk is not one-sided. The candidate takes on risk by changing companies as well. The candidate has to leverage the sign-on bonus as a way to reduce risk for both parties. Here is the important part: A sign-on bonus reduces the company’s risk because they are not commiting to an increased salary and bonus payouts can be staggered and have terms attached to them. The sign-on bonus reduces the candidate’s risk because it bridges the gap between the offered compensation and their personal financial requirements. If the sign-on bonus is reasonable and the company has the finances (explained further down below), it is a win-win for both parties and hopefully the beginning a profitable business relationship. A Bit about Finances First off, I am not a business accountant nor have I managed finances for a business. I am sure that it is much more complicated than my example below and there are a lot of considerations to take into account. In my experience, however, I do know that base compensation (ie. salary) will generally fall into a different line item category on the financial books than a bonus payout. When companies determine how many open spots they have, it is usually done by department with inter-departmental salary caps. For a simplified example, an environment department’s total salary cap is $500k/year. They have 9 artists being paid $50k/year, leaving $50k/year remaining for the 10th member of the team. Remember the example I gave earlier asking for $60k/year? The company cannot offer that salary because it breaks the departmental cap. However, since bonuses typically do not affect departmental caps, the company can pull from a different pool of money without increasing their risk by committing to a higher salary. Sweetening the Deal Coming right out of the gate and asking for an upfront payment might be too aggressive of a play (ie. high risk for the company). One way around this is to attach terms to the bonus. What does this mean? Take the situation above. A candidate has an offer for $50k/year but would like a bit more. If through the course of discussing compensation they get the sense that $10k is too high, they can offer to break up the payments based on terms. For example, a counterpoint to the initial base compensation offer could look like this: $50k/year salary $5k bonus payout #1 after 30 days of successful employment $5k bonus payout #2 after 365 days (or any length of time) of successful employment In this example, the candidate is guaranteed $55k/year salary for 2 years. If they factor in a standard 3% cost of living raise, the first 3 years of employment looks like this: Year 0-1 = $55,000 ($50,000 + $5,000 payout #1) Year 1-2 = $56,500 (($50,000 x 1.03%) + $5,000 payout #2) Year 2-3 = $53,045 ($51,500 x 1.03%) Now it might not be the $60k/year they had in mind but it is a great compromise to keep both parties comfortable. If the Company Says Yes Great news! The company said yes! What now? Personally, I always request at least a full 24 hours to crunch the final numbers. In the past, I’ve requested up to a week for full consideration. Even if you know you will say yes, doing due diligence with your finances one last time is always a good practice. Plug the numbers into a spreadsheet, look at your bills and expenses again, and review the whole offer (base compensation, bonus, time off/sick leave, medical/dental/vision, etc.). Discuss the offer with your significant other as well. You will see the offer in a different light when you wake up, so make sure you are not rushing into a situation you will regret. If the Company Say No If the company says no, then you have a difficult decision to make. Request time to review the offer and crunch the numbers. If it is a lateral move (same position, different company) then you have to ask if the switch is worth it. Only due diligence will offer that insight and you have to give yourself enough time to let those insights arrive. You might find yourself accepting the new position due to other non-financial reasons (which could be a whole separate article!). Conclusion/Final Thoughts When it comes to negotiating during the interview process, it is very easy to take what you can get and run. You might fear that in asking for more, you will be disqualifying yourself from the position. Keep in mind that the offer has already been extended to you and a company will not rescind their offer simply because you came back with a counterpoint. Negotiations are expected at this stage and by putting forth a creative compromise, your first impression is that of someone who conducts themselves in a professional manner. Also keep in mind that negotiations do not always go well. There are countless factors that influence whether or not someone gets a sign-on bonus. Sometimes it all comes down to being there at the right time at the right place. Just make sure you do your due diligence and be ready when the opportunity presents itself. Hope this helps!
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