Budget for Games

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Budget for Games

#1 Post by wyverngem » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:15 pm

I’ve been budgeting for a new game and have been looking around for the cost of producing a game. If you’re like me you don't fund raise and have to plan carefully when thinking about making a new game. It’s not uncommon to invest some money into even non-commercial games. In my experience I’ve seen the following;

Hiring a writer for the project could mean 2 cents a word or more depending if you want them to edit it.
Hiring an editor for the game could set you back $500
Character Artist varies, however, a base sprite with one pose, one outfit, and five expression can range from 30-100.
Background Artist start about 100 a basic background and maybe a day and night variance
CG Illustrators vary by artist and background use, but can run you 60-100
GUI/Screen Designs for the game can run anywhere from 40-100
Musician original tracks from 75-100
Script Code can vary I haven’t seen the pricing on these, but the person that puts the writing, art, and music together

This doesn’t include any possible other fees you could be working with, such as application fees for hosting or sound effect licenses. Are these ranges pretty accurate in your experiences? There’s always going to be a difference, but I’m trying to picture how game developers on Kickstarter or other fundraising sites can ask for funding that seems under budget?

I've seen on average people ask from 2,000 to 3,000 in a game. However, that budget seems tight. A simple cast of 10 characters could set you back 1,000 just for art sprites. If you promise 30 CG in a project you’re looking at about 1,800. A writer could well cost your 1,000 if you have 50,000 word story. Are these budgets just filling in resources that they can't produce on their own? What are your thoughts? If you had to organize and fund a game how much could it set you back if you had to pay for everything that goes into making these games?

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Re: Budget for Games

#2 Post by Zylinder » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:53 pm

I think the idea is to fill in whatever you can produce on your own, and try to run with free resources wherever you can. Speaking as an artist myself, I'll probably try to make all the art on my own -- even the ones I'm not used to or fond of -- in order to reduce the cost by a few thousand. Music can be filled in with either CC works, and sound effects are the same. A decent GUI can be pieced together with GIMP and a hammer, and sometimes people forego the editor and proofread things on their own or with volunteers.

If I were to create a game, the only ones I'll have to hire from your list is likely the writer and the programmer, and the former might be negotiable if I decide to bullheadedly hack at the writing on my own, so the total cost would come to under 5k. It's not going to be a great product, but it'll certainly be viable way of working.

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Re: Budget for Games

#3 Post by Scribbles » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:33 am

well, I write and program myself those costs don't come into play in the budget. If I was just putting up the money and paying everyone then I imagine it would cost 5-8K for a somewhat standard project.Art and music seems to be the biggest expense, but I've never had to pay for writing because I am a writer.
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Re: Budget for Games

#4 Post by Steamgirl » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:02 am

For me, I'd be looking at that kind of budget ($2000-$3000) if I did the writing, programming, and character art myself and just had to pay for UI art, backgrounds, music, promo video. I would probably get free sound effects and not pay for voice acting as it's notoriously expensive to get good quality.

It would also depend on the scope of the game, an otome with 3 love interests is a different budget to 7, same again if each path is 30k long or 80k long.

If you write cleverly in terms of locations, you can budget for backgrounds better. Why have the characters go on a date at the cinema if you already have a café and a beach from a different path that you could reuse? You can always say that they went to the café after the cinema to talk about the film, if the watching of a specific film was important.

Some settings are also more expensive than others. You'll probably need more art for a fantasy setting and spend more resources on world building, describing what each thing needs to look like, have more detail in clothes, etc, than in a modern office romance.

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