Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novels?

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dorne
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Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novels?

#1 Post by dorne » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:32 pm

I am including Visual Novels and professional rpgmaker type games since those seem to be similiar.

Is it possible to earn that much in a company/team?

Is it possible to earn that much doing everything yourself?
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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#2 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:38 pm

Are you kidding? You have to invest a lot of money in resources and marketing. Yes, it's possible to earn a little bit of money making a game if it sells well, but nothing near $5000 a month.
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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#3 Post by papillon » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:42 pm

It's possible to make a lot more than $5000 a month.

However, 'possible' and 'likely' are very different animals. If you start out from scratch with an expectation that you're definitely going to make that sort of money... you're almost certainly going to be sorely disappointed.

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#4 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:56 pm

Well, I asked a friend about this, and there is an example of such a success---the Aveyond series. But that was more a matter of luck than anything, I think.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#5 Post by KomiTsuku » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:18 pm

Everything is possible. However, it is a matter of luck when it comes to the creative arts industries. While there are a lot of things you can do to hedge your bets, you still never know exactly how the audience is going to react. While the ability to turn a profit is higher at the moment, don't expect to get that lucky.
dorne wrote:Is it possible to earn that much in a company/team?
How much money do you have for investment? Your investment capital is going to be important in this equation. You need to get a massive catalog of products out and make sure things are constantly moving. Having several teams under your belt is the key here and that means you need to be able to pony up the money to pay for quality and quantity.

Edit: Wait, do you mean as a member of a team or as the head of the team?
Is it possible to earn that much doing everything yourself?
Are you really, really, really hard-working with a massive breadth of talent? If so, it's possible. Probably easier since you don't have to worry about losing people mid-project. It's going to take a lot longer with this route and a lot more stress trying to promote and run everything yourself. Best get working now.

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#6 Post by papillon » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:26 pm

Mad Harlequin wrote:Well, I asked a friend about this, and there is an example of such a success
Hint - Many indies do not talk too much about the details of our finances publicly. There are more.

But again, possible != likely.

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#7 Post by netravelr » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:21 pm

That's in the same ballpark of someone starting as a programmer in the game industry, but that's working on a AAA mainstream title like Call of Duty with a company that already has a lot of capital that makes multi-million dollar games.

Visual novels are much more of a niche title so it'll be much harder to find someone to pay you that amount when the change to return that investment is very low. However, if you build up a catalog of quality titles that people are willing to pay for; or have one huge mainstream hit then it may be possible to make that much, but that would likely take a number of years to get to that point.

That being said, games is something you go into because you love it, not because you're planning to make a ton of money with it. Hope this helps!
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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#8 Post by Shoko » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:43 pm

Well, the western world is getting more interested in visual novels now than ever before. Something like "Go! Go! Nippon!" got some great success after being released to the public via Steam, although that was from a VN company.

I've got a feeling that if some really high quality, ideally JVN level games came out that they could potentially get a lot of interested paying customers.

Backstage Pass feels like one of those games to me, and that's been made by a team with a decent amount of experience.

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#9 Post by Biomass » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:17 pm

$5k a month seems rather optimistic for a VN developer, and I have never heard of anyone getting into VN development because it made them tons of money.

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#10 Post by SundownKid » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:35 pm

It's possible, but unlikely, depending on your level of skill. It would basically have to not only get on Steam but be some kind of frontpage bestselling game to make that kind of money.

Certainly possible, but for most VN developers it's doubtful they will rake in that kind of cash.

If you are planning to do it yourself you will definitely need to work extremely hard. Not only doing enough marketing to get chosen on Greenlight or published, but being a master of art, design and writing if you aren't hiring someone freelance to do it.

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#11 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:04 pm

papillon wrote:Hint - Many indies do not talk too much about the details of our finances publicly. There are more.

But again, possible != likely.
Of course there are more. But as you said---and as I implied in my first post---it's not something to expect outright.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#12 Post by DaFool » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:16 am

The successful indie VN/RPG-Maker makers today are one or more of the following:

1.) Their SURVIVAL depended on them earning a living making games full-time, so they naturally put everything they had into their projects.
2.) They were successful in some other endeavor (e.g. fan-translations, or casual/browser games) and funneled talent as well as used their connections to find success in EVNs as well, especially Steam.
3.) They became indie darlings through free games that won awards.

If you're just starting out, or a hobbyist, ask yourself:

1.) Do I really want to have no other job except this, especially as the market is becoming saturated and you're more likely to LOSE $5000 per project rather than to earn that same amount?
2.) Do you have connections to the best artists and people in the industry?
3.) Do you have the personality and the right flavor of games to become an indie darling?

Since it takes ridiculously long to make a high quality game, if you're a hobbyist its better to just partner up with one of the successful EVN dev/publishers. I currently feel there's a bit too many brands for the size of the market right now, though of course the market's growing. But it's pointless to have a single company registered website if you're only going to advertise a single game for many years. It's better to be part of an indie library since the full-timers need to keep that library growing for stability.

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#13 Post by Omniknight » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:19 am

...I'll be honest here.
If you're starting out here to make money, you're just not going to get anything done.
Passion comes first. Money follows (maybe, haha.)

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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#14 Post by jack_norton » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:49 am

I am sort of dropping VNs but probably because I don't like making them as much as RPG or dating/life sim :)
Making $5k a month with ONE VN is quite an achievement IMHO. Not impossible but really hard. Ideally in a normal path (ie you don't make a hit game or have super resources available) you need to invest some YEARS to build up your audience.
Aveyond wasn't luck - I know Amanda well and she first built a big following through quality freeware games and then made the jump to commercial.
Is possible, but very very very hard as Hanako said. Just look at Cinders by Moacube. Such a great VN didn't make $5k/month (they posted public sales figures). So, you think you can do better than that? :)
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Re: Is it possible to earn $5000 a month making visual novel

#15 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:29 am

jack_norton wrote:Aveyond wasn't luck - I know Amanda well and she first built a big following through quality freeware games and then made the jump to commercial.
Just to clarify, I'm not dismissing her success at all. Certainly there was hard work involved. But to become that successful using a generic RTP RPG fantasy model requires at least a little luck. Surely there was no telling how consumers outside of the fanbase would react.

I've seen quite a few projects of equal or greater quality (disclaimer: my opinion is just my opinion) be delayed by setbacks or fail completely.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."
— Mark Twain

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