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Found 42 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Crowdsourcer.io is a growing concept, it allows projects/small businesses to bring in collaborators on a revenue share basis to help them grow and expand. Felicity Toad is one of many projects that is successfully developing their game through this platform and we want to share some insights with you. Felicity Toad has started as a labour of love and grown into a team of co-operative people who are willing to work on the final vision of this original game. Its foundations lay with one Neil Badman, who being 43, has decided to go with a dream. He had spent many years in menial jobs, the most recent being in care, but working in the health sector gave him purpose and meaning, which would profoundly alter the way in which he saw his life. Unfortunately, after a time he fell into disarray, which ended with a breakdown, but without this event Neil would never have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a much stigmatized illness, in part thanks to Hollywood and other uneducated outlets, he says. Unperturbed and with a new and hopefully temporary found freedom, he wondered what to do with his time out of work. He began a band, but couldn’t quite find the sound he wanted despite many auditions and help from friends, so he put this project aside for the time being and pondered what was next. A gamer turned developer Before his breakdown he had found himself playing various computer games in his spare time, something he had always loved, and stumbled across a game called Oolite, a cooperatively built game reverse engineered from an old classic called Elite, a 3D space game that ran on 32k and even less for the Vic-20, a remarkable technical achievement. Oolite was a modern take on this classic, and being cooperatively built allowed you to construct your own content that would go up on the game’s site, for other people to download. Being a lifelong drawer and creative he took to looking at what other people weren’t particularly working on, settling with the look of the stars and the nebula’s generated from various images within the file system. He spent a year perfecting the use of the nebula generator, which was extremely popular with the player base. After creating a few different assets for this game he moved on and discovered a game called Battle For Wesnoth, a tongue in cheek strategy game that was simple, but very fun. It too was a labour of love by a very involved community and was not only moddable but had its own programming language. It was around here he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and suddenly found himself with a lot of free time, a very frightening time but free nonetheless. Neil needed to find something to occupy himself with, a distraction therapy from the nightmarish voices that were plaguing him, this was when he started to explore and start the band. He found himself returning to Battle For Wesnoth, as it was a perfect platform to learn something new, whilst creating a story and the characters in it, the start of a therapeutic addiction that instantly rang true for him. This was nearly but not quite all his loves combined, he discovered the joy of creating through programming, despite his extremely messy first attempts. The code was however functional, and a story emerged. Neil wondered what it would be to have total creative freedom other than modding someone else’s build, so he researched and soon found Unity3D, a platform for developing games from scratch that is free up until you make a certain amount of money, if any. The start of something new Now he needed an idea, he went through the motions of beginning to create the basics of a game, but soon found the technology wasn’t quite there yet to do what he wanted, so it was back to the drawing board. This was the birth of Felicity Toad, a tongue in cheek adventure, but dark and gritty in places. This would be a labour of love, a therapy, and a possible path back into work. It seemed perfect. The Beginnings of Felicity Toad Soon the idea was growing, and Neil realized if he was going to build the game it would take years of learning all the different aspects, and as much as he had the drive to get on with it, technology is changing at a rate, and in the supposed time he took to build the game it would be out of date by the time he finished, surrounded by up and coming virtual reality and holographic technology, would a 2D platformer survive in this environment? He needed a team, he didn’t have money and finding people who would fall in love with his game and join up seemed extremely unlikely. After posting on numerous sites, sometimes in the wrong places, he garnered a small amount of interest, but it was through exploring the different sites he could try that he stumbled upon a suggestion posted by someone for someone else. A site called Crowdsourcer.io was up and coming, promising to set people such as himself on the right path with the right help. There was nothing to lose. Progress Made on Felicity Toad After Signing Up On Crowdsourcer.io Crowdsourcer.io has helped the project to get its creative foothold in a world already swimming in games, so what would be different about it? Well, firstly he decided he needed to be doing something doable as a first game, so he settled on a 2D platformer, but there are many 2D indie games out there and being developed, even AAA companies still produce 2D platformers of extremely and unobtainable quality to compete with. There was still hope, a large sector of society has a love of independently made games, simply because they can take risks big AAA companies can’t afford to, and the 2D style is very reminiscent yet appealing to all age ranges. So what could be different? What needs to be familiar? This was a balance that needed to be assessed, and the Felicity Toad team have gone a way to addressing this interesting situation. Neil is still working on the game and making strides to finishing it every day. You can learn more about Neil’s project, Felicity Toad by following the link or finding his project on www.crowdsourcer.io. If you would like to contribute to Neil’s project you can find it here and can apply to contribute! View the full article
  4. 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)
  5. On the 2nd of November 2017 we launched a Kickstarter campaign for our game Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor, which aimed to raise $20,000. By the campaign’s end, 3000 backers had supported us with a total of $74,478. All the PR and marketing was handled by our indie developer team of four people with a very low marketing budget. Our team decided to go for a funding goal we were sure we could reach and extend the game’s content through stretch goals. The main goal of the campaign was to raise awareness for the game and raise funds for the alpha version. Part 1 - Before Launch Is what we believed when we launched our first Kickstarter campaign in 2016. For this first campaign, we had built up a very dedicated group of people before the Kickstarter’s launch. Nimbatus also had a bit of a following before the campaign launched: ~ 300 likes on Facebook ~ 1300 followers on Twitter ~ 1000 newsletter subs ~ 3500 followers on Steam However, there had been little interaction between players and us previous to the campaign's launch. This made us unsure whether or not the Nimbatus Kickstarter would reach its funding goal. A few weeks prior to launch, we started to look for potential ways to promote Nimbatus during the Kickstarter. We found our answer in social news sites. Reddit, Imgur and 9gag all proved to be great places to talk about Nimbatus. More about this in Part 3 - During the campaign. As with our previous campaign, the reward structure and trailer were the most time-consuming aspects of the page setup. We realised early that Nimbatus looks A LOT better in motion and therefore decided that we should show all features in action with animated GIFs. Two examples: In order to support the campaigns storytelling, “we built a ship, now we need a crew!”, we named all reward tiers after open positions on the ship. We were especially interested how the “Navigator” tier would do. This $95 tier would give backers free digital copies of ALL games our company EVER creates. We decided against Early Bird and Kickstarter exclusive rewards in order avoid splitting backers into “winners and losers”, based on the great advice from Stonemaier Game’s book A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide (EDS Publications Ltd. (2015). Their insights also convinced us to add a $1 reward tier because it lets people join the update loop to build up trust in our efforts. Many of our $1 backers later increased their pledge to a higher tier. Two of our reward tiers featured games that are similar to Nimbatus. The keys for these games were provided by fellow developers. We think that this is really awesome and it helped the campaign a lot! A huge thanks to Avorion, Reassembly , Airships and Scrap Galaxy <3 Youtubers and streamers are important allies for game developers. They are in direct contact with potential buyers/backers and can significantly increase a campaign’s reach. We made a list of content creators who’d potentially be interested in our game. They were selected mostly by browsing Youtube for “let’s play” videos of games similar to Nimbatus. We sent out a total of 100 emails, each with a personalized intro sentence, no money involved. Additionally, we used Keymailer . Keymailer is a tool to contact Youtubers and streamers. At a cost of $150/month you can filter all available contacts by games they played and genres they enjoy. We personalized the message for each group. Messages automatically include an individual Steam key. With this tool, we contacted over 2000 Youtubers/Streamers who are interested in similar games. How it turned out - About 10 of the 100 Youtubers we contacted manually ended up creating a video/stream during the Kickstarter. Including some big ones with 1 million+ subscribers. - Over 150 videos resulted from the Keymailer outreach. Absolutely worth the investment! Another very helpful tool to find Youtubers/Streamers is Twitter. Before, but also during the campaign we sent out tweets , stating that we are looking for Youtubers/Streamers who want to feature Nimbatus. We also encouraged people to tag potentially interested content creators in the comments. This brought in a lot of interested people and resulted in a couple dozen videos. We also used Twitter to follow up when people where not responding via email, which proved to be very effective. In terms of campaign length we decided to go with a 34 day Kickstarter. The main reason being that we thought it would take quite a while until the word of the campaign spread enough. In retrospective this was ok, but we think 30 days would have been enough too. We were very unsure whether or not to release a demo of Nimbatus. Mainly because we were unsure if the game offered enough to convince players in this early state and we feared that our alpha access tier would potentially lose value because everyone could play already. Thankfully we decided to offer a demo in the end. More on this topic in Part 3 - During the campaign. Since we are based in Switzerland, we were forced to use CHF as our campaign’s currency. And while the currency is automatically re-calculated into $ for American backers, it was displayed in CHF for all other international backers. Even though CHF and $ are almost 1:1 in value, we believed this to be a hurdle. There is no way to tell for us how many backers were scared away because of this in the end. Part 2: Kickstarter Launch We launched our Kickstarter campaign on a Thursday evening (UTC + 1) which is midday in the US. In order to celebrate the launch, we did a short livestream on Facebook. We had previously opened an event page and invited all our Facebook friends to it. Only a few people were watching and we were a bit stressed out. In order to help us spread the word we challenged our supporters with community goals. We promised that if all these goals were reached, each backer above $14 would receive an extra copy of Nimbatus. With most of the goals reached after the first week, we realized that we should have made the challenge a bit harder. The first few days went better than expected. We announced the Kickstarter on Imgur, Reddit, 9gag, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, in some forums, via our Newsletter and on our Steam page. If you plan to release your game on Steam later on, we’d highly recommend that you set up your Steam page before the Kickstarter launches. Some people might not be interested in backing the game but will go ahead and wishlist it instead. Part 3: During The Campaign We tried to keep the campaign’s momentum going. This worked our mostly thanks to the demo we had released. In order to download the Nimbatus demo, people needed to head over to our website and enter their email address. Within a few minutes, they received an automated email, including a download link for the demo. We used Mailchimp for this process. We also added a big pop up in the demo to inform players about the Kickstarter. At first we were a bit reluctant to use this approach, it felt a bit sneaky. But after adding a line informing players they would be added to the newsletter and adding a huge unsubscribe button in the demo download mail, we felt that we could still sleep at night. For our previous campaign we had also released a demo. But the approach was significantly different. For the Nimbatus Kickstarter, we used the demo as a marketing tool to inform people about the campaign. Our previous Kickstarters’ demo was mainly an asset you could download if you were already checking out the campaign’s page and wanted to try the game before backing. We continued to frequently post on Imgur, Twitter, 9Gag and Facebook. Simultaneously, people streamed Nimbatus on Twitch and released videos on Youtube. This lead to a lot of demo downloads and therefore growth of our newsletter. A few hundred subs came in every day. Only about 10% of the people unsubscribed from the newsletter after downloading the demo. Whenever we updated the demo or reached significant milestones in the campaign, such as being halfway to our goal, we sent out a newsletter. We also opened a Discord channel, which turned out a be a great way to stay in touch with our players. We were quite surprised to see a decent opening and link click rate. Especially if you compare this to our “normal” newsletter, which includes mostly people we personally met at events. Our normal newsletter took over two years to build up and includes about 4000 subs. With the Nimbatus demo, we gathered 50’000 subs within just 4 weeks and without travelling to any conferences. (please note that around 2500 people subscribed to the normal newsletter during the Kickstarter) On the 7th day of the campaign we asked a friend if she would give us a shoutout on Reddit. She agreed and posted it in r/gaming. We will never forget what happened next. The post absolutely took off! In less than an hour, the post had reached the frontpage and continued to climb fast. It soon reached the top spot of all things on Reddit. Our team danced around in the office. Lots of people backed, a total of over $5000 came in from this post and we reached our funding goal 30 minutes after hitting the front page. We couldn’t believe our luck. Then, people started to accuse us of using bots to upvote the post. Our post was reported multiple times until the moderators took the post down. We were shocked and contacted them. They explained that they would need to investigate the post for bot abuse. A few hours later, they put the post back up and stated to have found nothing wrong with it and apologized for the inconvenience. Since the post had not received any upvotes in the past hours while it was taken down it very quickly dropped off the front page and the money flow stopped. While this is a misunderstanding we can understand and accept, people’s reactions hit us pretty hard. After the post was back up, many people on Reddit continued to accuse us and our friend. In the following days, our friend was constantly harassed when she posted on Reddit. Some people jumped over to our companies Twitter and Imgur account and kept on blaming us, asking if we were buying upvotes there too. It’s really not cool to falsely accuse people. Almost two weeks later we decided to start posting in smaller subreddits again. This proved to be no problem. But when we dared to do another post in r/gaming later, people immediately reacted very aggressive. We took the new post down and decided to stop posting in r/gaming (at least during the Kickstarter). After upgrading the demo with a new feature to easily export GIFs, we started to run competitions on Twitter. The coolest drones that were shared with #NimbatusGame would receive a free Alpha key for the game. Lots of players participated and helped to increase Nimbatus’ reach by doing so. We also gave keys to our most dedicated Youtubers/streamers who then came up with all kinds of interesting challenges for their viewers. All these activities came together in a nice loop: People downloaded the Nimbatus demo they heard about on social media/social news sites or from Youtubers/Streamers. By receiving newsletters and playing the demo they learned about the Kickstarter. Many of them backed and participated in community goals/competitions which brought in more new people. Not much happened in terms of press. RockPaperShotgun and PCGamer wrote articles, both resulting in about $500, which was nice. A handful of small sites picked up the news too. We sent out a press release when Nimbatus reached its funding goal, both to manually picked editors of bigger sites and via gamespress.com. Part 4: Last Days Every person that hit the “Remind me” button on a Kickstarter page receives an email 48 hours before a campaign ends. This helpful reminder caused a flood of new pledges. We reached our last stretch goal a few hours before our campaign ended. Since we had already communicated this goal as the final one we withheld announcing any further stretch goals. We decided to do a Thunderclap 24 hours before the campaign ends. Even after having done quite a few Thunderclaps, we are still unsure how big of an impact they have. A few minutes before the Kickstarter campaign was over we cleaned up our campaign page and added links to our Steam page and website. Note that Kickstarter pages cannot be edited after the campaign ends! The campaign ended on a Tuesday evening (UTC + 1) and raised a total of $75’000, which is 369% of the original funding goal. After finishing up our “Thank you” image and sending it to our backers it was time to rest. Part 5: Conclusion We are very happy with the campaign’s results. It was unexpected to highly surpass our funding goal, even though we didn’t have an engaged community when the campaign started. Thanks to the demo we were able to develop a community for Nimbatus on the go. The demo also allowed us to be less “promoty” when posting on social news sites. This way, interested people could get the demo and discover the Kickstarter from there instead of us having to ask for support directly when posting. This, combined with the ever growing newsletter, turned into a great campaign dynamic. We plan to use this approach again for future campaigns. Growth 300 ------------------> 430 Facebook likes 1300 -----------------> 2120 Twitter followers 1000 -----------------> 50’000 Newsletter signups 3500 -----------------> 10’000 Followers on Steam 0 ---------------------> 320 Readers of subreddit 0 ---------------------> 468 People on Discord 0 ---------------------> 300 Members in our forum More data 23% of our backers came directly from Kickstarter. 76% of our backers came from external sites. For our previous campaign it was 36/64. The average pledge amount of our backers was $26. 94 backers decided to choose the Navigator reward, which gives them access to all games our studio will create in the future. It makes us very happy to see that this kind of reward, which is basically an investment in us as a game company, was popular among backers. Main sources of backers Link inside demo / Newsletter 22’000 Kickstarter 17’000 Youtube 15’000 Google 3000 Reddit 2500 Twitter 2000 Facebook 2000 TLDR: Keymailer is awesome, but also contact big Youtubers/streamers via email. Most money for the Kickstarter came in through the demo. Social news sites (Imgur, 9Gag, Reddit, …) can generate a lot of attention for a game. It’s much easier to offer a demo on social news sites than to ask for Kickstarter support. Collecting newsletter subs from demo downloads is very effective. It’s possible to run a successful Kickstarter without having a big community beforehand. We hope this insight helps you plan your future Kickstarter campaign. We believe you can do it and we wish you all the best. About the author: Philomena Schwab is a game designer from Zurich, Switzerland. She co-founded Stray Fawn Studio together with Micha Stettler. The indie game studio recently released its first game, Niche - a genetics survival game and is now developing its second game Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor. Philomena wrote her master thesis about community building for indie game developers and founded the nature gamedev collective Playful Oasis. As a chair member of the Swiss Game Developers association she helps her local game industry grow. https://www.nimbatus.ch/ https://strayfawnstudio.com/ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strayfawnstudio/nimbatus-the-space-drone-constructor Related Reading: Algo-Bot: Lessons Learned from our Kickstarter failure.
  6. Many developers count breaking even as a success, but without enough income to continue development that success may not be sustainable. Daniel Cook discusses sustainable long term development, and the strategies Spry Fox employ to ensure they can continue making games.
  7. Ann, I made a video with subtitles about game developers who made successful projects and earned millions dollars. Than you are worse than them?
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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/
  11. 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
  12. Vik Bogdanov

    DMarket Releases Product Version 2.0 Beta

    DMarket, the world’s first and only working marketplace on blockchain for in-game items trading, today announced the release of its product version 2.0 Beta. One of the key features of v2.0 is Steam integration. It allows users to trade and exchange Steam-stored in-game items on DMarket, providing a whole new model of assets monetization. The annual turnover of in-game assets trading is over $10 billion, and it has the potential to reach $450 billion. The average monthly trading volume of skins globally exceeds 60 million items. DMarket v2.0 also features an upgraded version of the Blockchain Explorer that has been supplemented with a cold wallet functionality for enhanced user security. The company launched version 1.0 of its marketplace in October 2017. DMarket Founder’s Mark, a unique piece of memorabilia commemorating the marketplace launch, has already risen in price from a few cents to thousands of dollars. To date, the trading volume of DMarket Founder’s Mark is 486,000 DMC. Most recently, DMarket signed a partnership agreement with Unity Technologies, the world’s most widely-used real-time 3D development platform. This will allow any Unity-based game to easily plug into the DMarket API and integrate in-game items into DMarket blockchain for trading and exchange. Under the agreement, DMarket will build a custom SDK for Unity games integration that will be officially certified by Unity and presented and supported in the Unity Asset Store. About DMarket DMarket is the world’s first and only working blockchain-based marketplace for trading in-game items and turning them into real assets. To learn more or test DMarket in action, check out dmarket.com
  13. Vik Bogdanov

    DMarket Releases Product Version 2.0 Beta

    DMarket, the world’s first and only working marketplace on blockchain for in-game items trading, today announced the release of its product version 2.0 Beta. One of the key features of v2.0 is Steam integration. It allows users to trade and exchange Steam-stored in-game items on DMarket, providing a whole new model of assets monetization. The annual turnover of in-game assets trading is over $10 billion, and it has the potential to reach $450 billion. The average monthly trading volume of skins globally exceeds 60 million items. DMarket v2.0 also features an upgraded version of the Blockchain Explorer that has been supplemented with a cold wallet functionality for enhanced user security. The company launched version 1.0 of its marketplace in October 2017. DMarket Founder’s Mark, a unique piece of memorabilia commemorating the marketplace launch, has already risen in price from a few cents to thousands of dollars. To date, the trading volume of DMarket Founder’s Mark is 486,000 DMC. Most recently, DMarket signed a partnership agreement with Unity Technologies, the world’s most widely-used real-time 3D development platform. This will allow any Unity-based game to easily plug into the DMarket API and integrate in-game items into DMarket blockchain for trading and exchange. Under the agreement, DMarket will build a custom SDK for Unity games integration that will be officially certified by Unity and presented and supported in the Unity Asset Store. About DMarket DMarket is the world’s first and only working blockchain-based marketplace for trading in-game items and turning them into real assets. To learn more or test DMarket in action, check out dmarket.com View full story
  14. Scouting Ninja

    Is adverts in game worth it?

    One thing I have noticed a lot is people complaining about adverts, saying that it's ruining the game experience. Research based on my own statistics from my games; numbers are rounded and from when the game was at peak. Stats: The question I have is should I even bother to add adverts into the game this time? Last time I used the money from the adverts to pay for advertising my own game, this time I have someone for marketing. If this game gets double the players(1000 000 downloads needed) I could be seeing $500- $600 a month from the adverts, that is actually not bad. Without adverts I could also get more happy players, this could mean more sales from micro transactions. Including the adverts later when I have more players is a bad idea, I have seen games crashing down in popularity because of things like this. If I am going to have adverts in game it should be there from the start. All in all, there is as much argument for me to include advertising in my games as against it.
  15. 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:
  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. Been a while since I had the chance to start a topic on here... so I figured it was about time I did: I'm not really one to second guess myself much, but in the interest of not becoming an intolerable human being, I try to gather some feedback from time to time when I feel I may learn from the process and somehow do 'better next time'. Last year, I founded my own C-corp and went full-time. Things have been doing amazingly well since, for which I feel blessed and am very thankful. We've had amazing projects, and we're really getting traction. Suffice it to say that, as far as the 'indie scene' is concerned, we're probably in the top 20-30% right now (studios that actually have a change to survive more than 5 years). We make our own games, and we work with aspiring indies that want to get their games on the market and are not sure where to start. I know how that sounds, but you'd be surprised by the amount of dedicated individuals that turn out to be much MUCH more than the 'idea guys', and what they can bring to the table. That being said, there's a recurring problem I've come across the past... (25 years?) that's refusing to go away, and I know it's a broken record to a lot of people around here. Let me first say that I am not against hobby rev-share projects. I have (and had) my own too. That's fine. What I am deliberately opposed to is people taking their hobby rev-share projects so seriously they feel everyone should agree to these terms. You know, people with a day job that are not taking any significant risk, but somehow expect you/me to. Most times, I just ignore them, as I find it better to do so than to jump in an argument, but today was the 'one-too-many' and I felt like venting (the canadian way, so no cursing!). Here's what this individual actually sent: This is the integral transcript, so apologies for the typos and lack of opening or closure... (the original post didn't have any bold). Here's what the 7-lines short ad he referenced actually had to say about rev-share: I'm sorry, what's that? but surely... you must be ok with rev-share right? Therefore, I went ahead and replied: I'm not seeking validation here and though I feel that reopening the whole 'biz vs hobby' discussion is pointless, I'm actually interested in finding strategies to avoid having to get that sort of mail which, frankly, is kind of insulting when you consider what they're saying: I don't have 10k to spend, and I'm not going to bother to do anything about this, but here's a cool idea, you get to make it and maybe we split it 50/50. I mean, how much more of that crap can a man take? And, where are these people taking this idea from? I remember being green and wanting to make a rev-share game more than once (heck, if you look hard enough, you'll likely find a few of these posts on here!), but I don't recall going straight to people who did this for a living and asking them to do it for rev-share because I didn't have 10k on me... I made it my business' mission to help out aspiring entrepreneurs and indies so that fresh games would get made, so I'm DEFINITELY NOT AGAINST people trying to make it out there. Hopefully that doesn't stir some PR mess... I had to get it out of my system, and if anyone wishes to contribute constructively, I'm all ears.
  18. Thiago Monteiro

    Funding strategy

    Hi all, I'm new to the forums and hope this is the correct place to ask this. I've lately been going over some ideas on how to develop a (hopefully) profitable game from beginning to end. I do have a small amount of money to invest on this, and professional experience in programming and project management, although not in programming games. This would be fine for a hobby project, I suppose, but if I want to make a product, I'd say a team and some more funds are required. The way I think, it's either try to find a publisher or go for crowdfunding. Here are some of my thoughts about this and I hope I can get some input from you also: A) The most important point I see at the moment is to prove that giving me money to finish the game is a good idea. The most obvious way I thought was to build a demo of what I intend to build. Not a proof-of-concept, mind you, but really something you could play for a couple to few hours. Then I'd use this demo as a pitch of sorts. B) The publisher path - I don't think publishers would waste so much time evaluating something. I expect then to go with a kind of 'professional gut feeling', to know what to look for very quickly. In this sense, I think investing less in assets and more in, say, video editing and concept art a wiser course. Gameplay length could even be abbreviated for this purpose. (Possibly interesting link relating to this https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/309088/Video_30_things_to_avoid_when_pitching_your_game_to_a_publisher.php) C) Crowdfunding path - I think people are a bit weary of game crowdfunding at the moment. It is very tricky to stand out and it's very important to give confidence that the project will be finished. Here I believe it's very important to give a more or less polished advanced Alpha type of build that would entice people to pledge. I neither plan on making anything near AAA games nor RpgMaker type of game. I'm thinking thinking about a Diablo-like game, with some twists to mechanics and setting. So, what would be your take on this? Feasible?
  19. Japheth Dillman, co-founder and CEO of YetiZen, discusses funding for indie startups. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/japhethdillman
  20. 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
  21. So, you’ve got an aspiration to build a game, but aren’t entirely sure where to start. Have no fear, we’ve got you sorted! 1) Plan & spec First things first, get a plan together. It doesn’t necessarily have to be technical, but planning mechanics, the engine, consoles and whatnot can provide a good platform to launch off of. If you haven’t already, coming up with a name for your game and thinking about how you want to present it can help garner interest when it comes to getting in team members and advertising your pre-development stages. One last thing that’s worth doing is prototyping. If you’ve got the skills required, it may be worth implementing some of the mechanics in a cheap and cheerful way to begin the iterative process of analysing and refactoring core mechanics. 2) Get team members together You’re going to need team members to help you out, and here’s a good starting point for deciding who and what you’ll need most. Programmers Programmers are pretty important to any game, and you’re going to need experienced ones to get down into the nitty-gritty of the codebase that forms your game. Programmers can often help with more than just coding though, by providing debugging support and QA testing. Artists From concept art that sets the feel and direction of the game, through to 3D assets that appear in the final release, artists are key to creating a quality game with an identity. Artists will work with almost all the members of the team to ensure the game’s visuals deliver. You may need more than one artist, splitting up 3D Artists who create the assets used in the game and traditional artists who create concept art or things like 2D backgrounds. It can sometimes help to use open source assets such as those found at OpenGameArt.org. Sounds Designers While you’re free to use open source and free sound assets such as from Freesound.org it’s still always important to get dedicated sound designers in to boost the quality of your production. Sound designers will be responsible for creating all the sound effects in your game, and for the music, you may find it necessary to hire a dedicated composer. Writers It’s a common mistake to leave the writing of scripts, lore and dialogue to team members who have a little free time, but this can doom a game if the quality isn’t there. Afterall, who wants to play a game if the story or dialogue is rubbish? Instead, it’s best to get an experienced individual who knows what they’re doing and won’t let grammatical mistakes slip through to the release version of your game. Want to form a team and build your game for free? Check out Crowdsourcer.io 3) Get to it There’s no time like the present. Once you’ve got your team members together, strike while the iron is hot and get going. Bring together your teammates and your project management tools of choice and get started. If you’re not entirely sure about the project management side of things, check out this article, from which is a short list of tools to get you going. Task management tools Trello Atlassian Jira Basecamp Communication tools Slack Mattermost (Self-hosted) Stride (formerly Hipchat) Hangouts I hope this has been a good quickstart guide to help you get going on your game. If this was useful or if you want to show off what you and your team have managed to achieve, then drop a comment or hit me up! View the full article
  22. 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
  23. 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?
  24. 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...
  25. 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)
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