American McGee on Publishers: "News Flash: Things Cost Money"

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"Things cost money?" No shit. Next you'll be telling me that there's sand at the beach. That doesn't however justify the bullshit business practices of AAA publishers esp. when they're already making enough money to feed and cloth several 3rd world nations for a year.

If big names keep abusing Kickstarter like this, people will start to lose faith in the idea of crowdfunding, which would be a great shame.

It's not a matter of things costing money, it's a matter of developers looking like they can't manage money. If they tell people X Amount is what they need to make their game, then turning around later and saying they've run out doesn't look good. I doubt anyone seriously believes Double Fine are using the money to snort coke off of a bunch of strippers, but it's perfectly reasonable to be wary of them asking for more. People forget that in spite of all the Kickstarters we've seen, most of them are yet to come to fruition.

The Plunk:
If big names keep abusing Kickstarter like this, people will start to lose faith in the idea of crowdfunding, which would be a great shame.

Nobody is abusing anything(well maybe Paizo with their MMO "tech demo" that you can't even see without pledging $10,000). As the man said, things cost money, and sometimes that's more money than you can get from Kickstarter alone. The site is not called "CompleteProjectFunder."

If you aren't talking about a couple of guys making a game in their bedrooms, you have to hire professionals. One good programmer can cost $90K-$100K per year. That's just for one guy(and you're unlikely to only have a single programmer for a project of any size). Artists aren't cheap either. You'll need some of those. And let's not forget at least one writer, a UI designer(Being a good programmer doesn't make you good at designing user interfaces), and more. Then there's facility costs, utilities, equipment, software licensing costs... it goes on. In any case, it's often more than what you can realistically ask for on Kickstarter.

These developers are putting themselves out there on the tightrope without a safety net because it's the only way these game are getting made. Do you think a AAA publisher would green light Project Eternity? Torment? Star Citizen(without watering it down considerably)? Going with a publisher is safer than developing on your own, but then, the resulting game is safer too. The alternative is full control and full responsibility for funding. So far, the major devs trying their hand are doing a good job of finding money where and how they can to get the job done.

The problem with Kickstarter projects is that it's been put into the mindset that in order to encourage people to fund past the minimum goal, you have to offer rewards and extra content for the game... In other words, they're literally introducing scope creep and external costs into their game development. That is the sort of thing that leeches on that funding, and as a result you get kickstarted games that run out of money because apparently in order to be a success you have to be generous to a fault.

If you really want to help out someone's Kickstarter project, go ahead and donate, but ask them to not give you the reward items or do the extra content yet. Make them understand that they need to focus on getting the core game done first, and if it's a success and makes a profit, then add the extra content and make those reward items. In fact, we should encourage Kickstarter projects to not have reward tiers and unlock goals.

Ultratwinkie:
You set the price on kickstarter low because you CANNOT expect to have 3-5 million dollars. You aren't a fortune teller. If the kickstarter fails, at least you got some money.

Which goes completely against the terms, conditions and POINT of Kickstarter. There's a REASON Kickstarter employ an "all or nothing" model, and that's so backers aren't throwing their money away if you're unable to raise enough cash to complete the project.

amaranth_dru:

Mick P.:
You can make any game with 100k or less. Much much less. If people want more game start a fundraising drive after its finished to upgrade the game cosmetically.

By Kickstarter rules don't these companies forfeit all of their funds if they don't deliver something? I mean you better have a Plan B.

Really? so the dev team salary is cut to mere pennies then? what about office space rental, or electricity? How about Q/A teams?
I don't think you understand what it takes to just run a business, let alone a development team.
This type of ignorance is why there are so many reactionary gamers out there. People who think that development is easy and cheap, but fail to realize things cost money. People who work need a salary, the lights need to stay on for things to get done, development teams need testers to find bugs while the programmers continue to write the game code, voice acting (if applicable) needs to pay its voice actors...
In short, shit adds up.

100k is enough for a 10k salary for 10 developers. If you are begging for money you should be lean and mean or have a budget one. What happens if you you raise millions of dollars but can't finish what you promised, so all of the money is taken away, and you are now millions of dollars in debt? It's either bankruptcy court, or you finish what you started on a budget of 0.

For big budget things, they should have the product already ready. And just ask to raise funds to make it a little better before the initial release. I'm not saying big budget people shouldn't raise funds on services like Kickstarter, but they shouldn't set the stakes so high if they do.

PS: It's wrong to ask Kickstarter backers to pay for studios. You can work out of a house that someone owns. Or pay for your own studio from another revenue stream. Or make due without. The irony is things don't cost money. It's the digital age.

The Plunk:
If big names keep abusing Kickstarter like this, people will start to lose faith in the idea of crowdfunding, which would be a great shame.

If THIS is how you define "Kickstarter abuse", then you've had faith in a non-existent idea all this time.

As some dude above me said: If it's more involved than FTL, you likely can't get it up and running from Kickstarter alone. Because McGee is right: Things cost money. Specifically, they cost way more money than you seem to think.

Mick P.:

amaranth_dru:

Mick P.:
You can make any game with 100k or less. Much much less. If people want more game start a fundraising drive after its finished to upgrade the game cosmetically.

By Kickstarter rules don't these companies forfeit all of their funds if they don't deliver something? I mean you better have a Plan B.

Really? so the dev team salary is cut to mere pennies then? what about office space rental, or electricity? How about Q/A teams?
I don't think you understand what it takes to just run a business, let alone a development team.
This type of ignorance is why there are so many reactionary gamers out there. People who think that development is easy and cheap, but fail to realize things cost money. People who work need a salary, the lights need to stay on for things to get done, development teams need testers to find bugs while the programmers continue to write the game code, voice acting (if applicable) needs to pay its voice actors...
In short, shit adds up.

100k is enough for a 10k salary for 10 developers. If you are begging for money you should be lean and mean or have a budget one. What happens if you you raise millions of dollars but can't finish what you promised, so all of the money is taken away, and you are now millions of dollars in debt? It's either bankruptcy court, or you finish what you started on a budget of 0.

For big budget things, they should have the product already ready. And just ask to raise funds to make it a little better before the initial release. I'm not saying big budget people shouldn't raise funds on services like Kickstarter, but they shouldn't set the stakes so high if they do.

PS: It's wrong to ask Kickstarter backers to pay for studios. You can work out of a house that someone owns. Or pay for your own studio from another revenue stream. Or make due without. The irony is things don't cost money. It's the digital age.

Ok... 10k salary... Is that 10k for the whole year? Because thats way below poverty level. In fact thats below ENTRY-LEVEL at McDonalds. And after you blow the wad on 10 people who probably don't have a clue what they're doing due to being so stupid as to agree to a 10k/year salary, how are you going to keep the lights on? the water running? Pay for the workstations? Dear god I hope you don't intend to make the EMPLOYEES provide their own hardware to code, test and compile on. Really, sir I think you need to take a look at the average salary of a fresh-out-of-college programmer or graphic artist, then tell me you can make a game on 100k.
Oh yeah, don't even bother marketing the game on 100k either, you won't get beyond printing flyers at Kinkos and hoping someone doesn't tear it up before reading it... or you get slapped with a fine for littering.

If Obsidian's kickstarter, which they began because they wanted to avoid publisher oversight and restrictions, was not enough money to the point where they needed to raise more funds another way or seek publisher intervention, I think I'd ask for my money back.

What Double Fine is doing isn't nearly as alarming as getting a publisher in on it, but it does say they did not manage their shit nearly well enough. If I had backed them I'd be nervous, and nervous people are quick to get snippy, especially on the internet. There's no crime in that.

lacktheknack:

The Plunk:
If big names keep abusing Kickstarter like this, people will start to lose faith in the idea of crowdfunding, which would be a great shame.

If THIS is how you define "Kickstarter abuse", then you've had faith in a non-existent idea all this time.

As some dude above me said: If it's more involved than FTL, you likely can't get it up and running from Kickstarter alone. Because McGee is right: Things cost money. Specifically, they cost way more money than you seem to think.

True, but Star Citizen (which is even bigger than Broken Age) managed to secure additional funding without compromising the game, and without damaging the trust of their original backers.

The Plunk:

lacktheknack:

The Plunk:
If big names keep abusing Kickstarter like this, people will start to lose faith in the idea of crowdfunding, which would be a great shame.

If THIS is how you define "Kickstarter abuse", then you've had faith in a non-existent idea all this time.

As some dude above me said: If it's more involved than FTL, you likely can't get it up and running from Kickstarter alone. Because McGee is right: Things cost money. Specifically, they cost way more money than you seem to think.

True, but Star Citizen (which is even bigger than Broken Age) managed to secure additional funding without compromising the game, and without damaging the trust of their original backers.

That's because Star Citizen is inexplicably popular (inexplicably to me, anyway).

They aren't accumulating all this extra funding through crafty deals and pure diplomatic prowess, they're getting all this extra money because people won't - stop - donating. Apparently, Spacecraft sims are way more popular than I thought they were.

Double Fine isn't getting millions of dollars in post-Kickstarter donations (because point-and-click is exactly as popular as I think it is), so comparing the two is really unfair.

Mick P.:

amaranth_dru:

Mick P.:
You can make any game with 100k or less. Much much less. If people want more game start a fundraising drive after its finished to upgrade the game cosmetically.

By Kickstarter rules don't these companies forfeit all of their funds if they don't deliver something? I mean you better have a Plan B.

Really? so the dev team salary is cut to mere pennies then? what about office space rental, or electricity? How about Q/A teams?
I don't think you understand what it takes to just run a business, let alone a development team.
This type of ignorance is why there are so many reactionary gamers out there. People who think that development is easy and cheap, but fail to realize things cost money. People who work need a salary, the lights need to stay on for things to get done, development teams need testers to find bugs while the programmers continue to write the game code, voice acting (if applicable) needs to pay its voice actors...
In short, shit adds up.

100k is enough for a 10k salary for 10 developers. If you are begging for money you should be lean and mean or have a budget one. What happens if you you raise millions of dollars but can't finish what you promised, so all of the money is taken away, and you are now millions of dollars in debt? It's either bankruptcy court, or you finish what you started on a budget of 0.

For big budget things, they should have the product already ready. And just ask to raise funds to make it a little better before the initial release. I'm not saying big budget people shouldn't raise funds on services like Kickstarter, but they shouldn't set the stakes so high if they do.

PS: It's wrong to ask Kickstarter backers to pay for studios. You can work out of a house that someone owns. Or pay for your own studio from another revenue stream. Or make due without. The irony is things don't cost money. It's the digital age.

10K a year at full time (not even including crunch time): $10K / 50 weeks (assuming two weeks unpaid vacation to let the money go farther) = $200 a week / 40 hours a week = $5 an hour.

Now, let's look at other.

After carving out the expenses needed for a hell-hole office ($2000 monthly), utilities ($500 a month) and marketing ($0, because this is getting stupid), and assuming the workers are bringing all the tools they need which happen to be magical and need no maintenance or upgrades: $100K - 12 * $2500 = $100K - $30K = $70K. Now, divide that through the ten devs again, and we're down to $7K a year, so... 7K / 50 weeks /40 hours a week = $3.50 an hour.

This assumes you can fart the game out in a year with ten devs not working any overtime with the game actually being good enough to sell with no marketing.

Hey guys! I think we found Gina Rhinehart!

Irridium:
Makes sense. Besides, Double Fine isn't even asking people for more money. They're using their money to finish it and just putting the game on Steam's early access to try and recoup some of it. Basically, they're putting the game up for pre-order. Which they could have just said, and nobody would have been angry.

Besides, Schafer said at the beginning of this whole thing that he had no idea what he wanted to do, that he just wanted people to give him $400,000 to make an adventure game and see what happens, saying succeed or fail, it would be an adventure and would be documented. Kickstarter isn't a pre-order shop, every single project there has a chance that it could burn in flames and never come out, and you'll never get back what you invested. That's part of the risk.

Welcome to the life of an investor. That is what funders are. Sometimes you fund a project and it fails. I don't think a lot of them get that.

If you get over ambitious, make it smaller, if you truly want to be ambitious, you should have asked for more in the beginning, this is no different then any other means of creating a game, stop asking for more and more and either set your shit straight from the start, or compromise and do better next time, this isn't exactly your magnum opus here, this doesn't have to be the greatest it can be so you can retire happy.

lacktheknack:

10K a year at full time (not even including crunch time): $10K / 50 weeks (assuming two weeks unpaid vacation to let the money go farther) = $200 a week / 40 hours a week = $5 an hour.

Now, let's look at other.

After carving out the expenses needed for a hell-hole office ($2000 monthly), utilities ($500 a month) and marketing ($0, because this is getting stupid), and assuming the workers are bringing all the tools they need which happen to be magical and need no maintenance or upgrades: $100K - 12 * $2500 = $100K - $30K = $70K. Now, divide that through the ten devs again, and we're down to $7K a year, so... 7K / 50 weeks /40 hours a week = $3.50 an hour.

This assumes you can fart the game out in a year with ten devs not working any overtime with the game actually being good enough to sell with no marketing.

Hey guys! I think we found Gina Rhinehart!

Pfft, you should stop using logic and math here. Indie developers can make their (more often than not entirely derivative or mechanically terrible) games on like, no budget, so obviously everyone can! Publishers are just greedy evil jerks, and it's not like they're trying to pay hundreds or thousands of people including all of the third-party developers they might be supporting!

Who cares that these guys would be getting paid well below minimum wage and still be expected to work full-time? They should just manage their budgets better!

More and more I'm led to believe that the average gamer knows absolutely nothing about business or economics, which is sad because I never took any courses on this stuff and even I know this basic level crap.

canadamus_prime:
"Things cost money?" No shit. Next you'll be telling me that there's sand at the beach. That doesn't however justify the bullshit business practices of AAA publishers esp. when they're already making enough money to feed and cloth several 3rd world nations for a year.

Thankfully, that's not what he was talking about! He was talking about small studios trying to raise money for their production! So all is well! :D

shrekfan246:
More and more I'm led to believe that the average gamer knows absolutely nothing about business or economics, which is sad because I never took any courses on this stuff and even I know this basic level crap.

When I was twelve, I read one book on economics, and it left me more adept at money-management and understanding of corporate budgeting than a frankly embarrassing number of young adults. Not just gamers, but absolutely everybody. I've taken one course in economics (I got a B) and it's left me absolutely stunned at how terrible people are with money. It's like other people regard it as a amorphous cloud of irrelevant math, and all they can process is "I have money" -> "I want to buy things!"

You kind of get used to it, but there's a reason "'Til Debt Do Us Part" is my favourite TV show right now.

CriticalMiss:
Is making a zombie game based on The Wizard of Oz a risk? Seems like a pretty safe bet to me, then again he's only managed to get about 10% of the money on Kickstarter so perhaps not. Clearly he is blazing a trail unknown to me.

And yeah, Double Fine raised way more money than they apparently needed which mysteriously turned in to not enough money. Just how much bigger did the game suddenly get and why couldn't they see that the changes they were making were going to eat their massive new budget? I'd say people have a legitimate concern there.

1. Yes his KS is a risk. Because everyone reads "zombie" and think L4D or RE when in reality the zombies in OZombie are more along the lines of Romero's - an easy to understand visual stand-in for an abstract societal concept. In other words, he's using a "safe bet" concept and twisting it into something different - and nobody is seeing that twist because news sites just say "it has zombies" and most people leave at that (because zombie games are apparently overdone) while the KS page (that most people don't go to) goes more in depth.

2. I'm with you on the Double Fine issue. Raising 3.3M when you asked for 400K and being unable to finish? I smell something fishy. But then again, I'm assuming all the funds went into the game's development and weren't used to pay the employees' paychecks for 2 years too.

People outraged by this clearly know nothing about the project.
There wasn't even an idea for a game when the kickstarter was launched. It was clearly stated that the game would be developed if people showed interest in a Double Fine point-and-klick. People showed 3.3m worth of interest, thus they're trying to make a 3.3m value game.

Ultratwinkie:

Legion:
I agree with his general sentiment, but the point he makes using Broken Age I partially disagree with. If the developer asks for $400,000 and gets $3,300,000 then there is no excuse for not being able to fund it. They claimed they could do it with around eight times less that amount so if they wanted to expand it they should have done it carefully to remain within budget.

Yes people get far too worked up on the internet, and far too easily. But with Broken Age I believe a lot of people have a point.

snip-a-dee-doo-dah, snip-a-dee-ay

I agree 100% with everything you wrote. People(not just saying ones on The Escapist) seem to have the idea that when developers go with publishers, or worse allow themselves to be bought by the publishers, it is because the publishers are greedy, money-hungry bastards who hate seeing success. Fact is, the developer has to agree to the terms of the contract. Why would they agree to work under a publisher? Hey, they have more money, and can put more money into a budget. Better salaries. Hell yeah.

People are stuck on the "AAA games should cost the same to make as indie games", and it just isn't feasible. I do agree there is a point where that goes out of control (see: Tomb Raider reboot, which failed to profit after being the best selling Tomb Raider game ever), but you can't hand a team of 65 video game developer employees the same amount of money you hand a guy working out of his basement and expect Skyrim.

Ultratwinkie:

Bostur:
He could take a step back and calm down himself. He is blowing things out of proportions.

In the case of Double Fine, they asked for 400,000 - 300,000 for a game 100,000 for a video. They believed they could make a game for that amount, but they got a lot more. So when it turns out they are going over budget it makes sense for the backers to be wary. It wasn't the backers that demanded that DF made a game for 300K, it was Double Fine who believed they could do it.

Sometimes it's not the customers who wants huge pretty games, sometimes it's the developers who get overly ambitious. That is understandable, but don't blame the players for being cautious. There is a big potential for scams in the area of pre-orders, kickstarters and early releases. One reason why people are sceptical is because some of these methods has been heavily abused in the past.

400,000$ isn't what they say was the cost of the game, its the minimum level of funding to be sent to them. Anything below and they don't get shit. You are FORCED to low ball your funding request.

How many people can honestly say they expect millions of dollars of kickstarter funding? hidden under layers of utter shit?

No one, that's who. Gamers can't expect bare minimum to fund a game to fulfill all their expectations from a company like Double Fine.

I'll just quote part of the original kickstarter campaign.

Welcome to the Adventure

The world of video game design is a mysterious one. What really happens behind the closed doors of a development studio is often unknown, unappreciated, or misunderstood. And the bigger the studio, the more tightly shut its door tends to be. With this project, we're taking that door off its hinges and inviting you into the world of Double Fine Productions, the first major studio to fully finance their next game with a Kickstarter campaign and develop it in the public eye.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure

The intention was to fully finance it, and the budget was $300,000 + $100,000 for the documentary. If Double Fine deliberately low-balled it, then their mistake is much worse than simple mismanagement, then it would have been fraud. But I don't think thats the case, I think it was a matter of simple mismanagement due to high ambitions.

The project will also take much longer than originally advertised:

About the Project
Over a six-to-eight month period, a small team under Tim Schafer's supervision will develop Double Fine's next game, a classic point-and-click adventure. Where it goes from there will unfold in real time for all the backers to see.

Six to eight months. I think to many people it sounded reasonable that a small development team could work 6-8 months for 300K. Backers wasn't promised much in terms of the actual game, nothing other than it would be a point and click adventure. But the budget and the time scale was perfectly clear.

Then when backers have recently been told that not only is the game already over time and over budget, but it's not even close to being finished, I think there is cause for some concern. I personally wish DF the best of luck with the project, and I hope that the early access sales will bring in the needed cash. But the project has been mismanaged and Tim Schafer doesn't hide that fact.

lacktheknack:

Mick P.:

amaranth_dru:

Really? so the dev team salary is cut to mere pennies then? what about office space rental, or electricity? How about Q/A teams?
I don't think you understand what it takes to just run a business, let alone a development team.
This type of ignorance is why there are so many reactionary gamers out there. People who think that development is easy and cheap, but fail to realize things cost money. People who work need a salary, the lights need to stay on for things to get done, development teams need testers to find bugs while the programmers continue to write the game code, voice acting (if applicable) needs to pay its voice actors...
In short, shit adds up.

100k is enough for a 10k salary for 10 developers. If you are begging for money you should be lean and mean or have a budget one. What happens if you you raise millions of dollars but can't finish what you promised, so all of the money is taken away, and you are now millions of dollars in debt? It's either bankruptcy court, or you finish what you started on a budget of 0.

For big budget things, they should have the product already ready. And just ask to raise funds to make it a little better before the initial release. I'm not saying big budget people shouldn't raise funds on services like Kickstarter, but they shouldn't set the stakes so high if they do.

PS: It's wrong to ask Kickstarter backers to pay for studios. You can work out of a house that someone owns. Or pay for your own studio from another revenue stream. Or make due without. The irony is things don't cost money. It's the digital age.

10K a year at full time (not even including crunch time): $10K / 50 weeks (assuming two weeks unpaid vacation to let the money go farther) = $200 a week / 40 hours a week = $5 an hour.

Now, let's look at other.

After carving out the expenses needed for a hell-hole office ($2000 monthly), utilities ($500 a month) and marketing ($0, because this is getting stupid), and assuming the workers are bringing all the tools they need which happen to be magical and need no maintenance or upgrades: $100K - 12 * $2500 = $100K - $30K = $70K. Now, divide that through the ten devs again, and we're down to $7K a year, so... 7K / 50 weeks /40 hours a week = $3.50 an hour.

This assumes you can fart the game out in a year with ten devs not working any overtime with the game actually being good enough to sell with no marketing.

Hey guys! I think we found Gina Rhinehart!

Starving artists would love to have 3.50$ an hour. I wouldn't work full time myself. That's plenty to live off of. And it beats 0$ an hour you'll be doing when you run out of your funds. If 3.50$ an hour isn't enough for you to be able to make your game, you're going to be making a shitty uninspired game plain and simple.

You know I am not going to cry over the loss of another commercial game. I have negative faith in anyone with this studio mentality producing a half-decent game. If you want to be rolling in dough make a product that brings in more than it cost to develop. Then next time you won't have to go begging for money.

Mick P.:

lacktheknack:

Mick P.:

100k is enough for a 10k salary for 10 developers. If you are begging for money you should be lean and mean or have a budget one. What happens if you you raise millions of dollars but can't finish what you promised, so all of the money is taken away, and you are now millions of dollars in debt? It's either bankruptcy court, or you finish what you started on a budget of 0.

For big budget things, they should have the product already ready. And just ask to raise funds to make it a little better before the initial release. I'm not saying big budget people shouldn't raise funds on services like Kickstarter, but they shouldn't set the stakes so high if they do.

PS: It's wrong to ask Kickstarter backers to pay for studios. You can work out of a house that someone owns. Or pay for your own studio from another revenue stream. Or make due without. The irony is things don't cost money. It's the digital age.

10K a year at full time (not even including crunch time): $10K / 50 weeks (assuming two weeks unpaid vacation to let the money go farther) = $200 a week / 40 hours a week = $5 an hour.

Now, let's look at other.

After carving out the expenses needed for a hell-hole office ($2000 monthly), utilities ($500 a month) and marketing ($0, because this is getting stupid), and assuming the workers are bringing all the tools they need which happen to be magical and need no maintenance or upgrades: $100K - 12 * $2500 = $100K - $30K = $70K. Now, divide that through the ten devs again, and we're down to $7K a year, so... 7K / 50 weeks /40 hours a week = $3.50 an hour.

This assumes you can fart the game out in a year with ten devs not working any overtime with the game actually being good enough to sell with no marketing.

Hey guys! I think we found Gina Rhinehart!

Starving artists would love to have 3.50$ an hour. I wouldn't work full time myself. That's plenty to live off of. And it beats 0$ an hour you'll be doing when you run out of your funds.

You know I am not going to cry over the loss of another commercial game. I have negative faith in anyone with this studio mentality producing a half-decent game.

What... the... hell...

$3.50... an hour... plenty to... uh...

... and would somehow finish an unmarketed game that would be even noticed in... non-fulltime one year... ajlskjdsalgal...

Nope, you're Gina Rhinehart. Don't feel shy, come out and let us know how you ended up here, you poor dear.

Either that, or you're going to have a truly miserable surprise when you finally move out.

^With edits:

Starving artists would love to have 3.50$ an hour. I wouldn't work full time myself. That's plenty to live off of. And it beats 0$ an hour you'll be doing when you run out of your funds. If 3.50$ an hour isn't enough for you to be able to make your game, you're going to be making a shitty uninspired game plain and simple.

You know I am not going to cry over the loss of another commercial game. I have negative faith in anyone with this studio mentality producing a half-decent game. If you want to be rolling in dough make a product that brings in more than it cost to develop. Then next time you won't have to go begging for money.

PS: @lacktheknack: Your words are not making sense. I'm posting for everyone else. A work ethic never hurts.

Mick P.:
^With edits:

Starving artists would love to have 3.50$ an hour. I wouldn't work full time myself. That's plenty to live off of. And it beats 0$ an hour you'll be doing when you run out of your funds. If 3.50$ an hour isn't enough for you to be able to make your game, you're going to be making a shitty uninspired game plain and simple.

You know I am not going to cry over the loss of another commercial game. I have negative faith in anyone with this studio mentality producing a half-decent game. If you want to be rolling in dough make a product that brings in more than it cost to develop. Then next time you won't have to go begging for money.

PS: @lacktheknack: Your words are not making sense. I'm posting for everyone else. A work ethic never hurts.

Says the man who wouldn't work fulltime himself, at $3.50 an hour. -__-

canadamus_prime:
"Things cost money?" No shit. Next you'll be telling me that there's sand at the beach. That doesn't however justify the bullshit business practices of AAA publishers esp. when they're already making enough money to feed and cloth several 3rd world nations for a year.

That doesn't justify the salaries developers get for their high in demand job and the price point of the licenses for engines and game tools?

Because its a lot of money? That means they don't deserve to be paid? I guess anything above minimum wage is suddenly elitist.

News Flash: Development isn't cheap. In fact there is a huge post ridiculing the idea of "evil game publishing illuminati" to be the "root of all ill."

Mick P.:

lacktheknack:

Mick P.:

100k is enough for a 10k salary for 10 developers. If you are begging for money you should be lean and mean or have a budget one. What happens if you you raise millions of dollars but can't finish what you promised, so all of the money is taken away, and you are now millions of dollars in debt? It's either bankruptcy court, or you finish what you started on a budget of 0.

For big budget things, they should have the product already ready. And just ask to raise funds to make it a little better before the initial release. I'm not saying big budget people shouldn't raise funds on services like Kickstarter, but they shouldn't set the stakes so high if they do.

PS: It's wrong to ask Kickstarter backers to pay for studios. You can work out of a house that someone owns. Or pay for your own studio from another revenue stream. Or make due without. The irony is things don't cost money. It's the digital age.

10K a year at full time (not even including crunch time): $10K / 50 weeks (assuming two weeks unpaid vacation to let the money go farther) = $200 a week / 40 hours a week = $5 an hour.

Now, let's look at other.

After carving out the expenses needed for a hell-hole office ($2000 monthly), utilities ($500 a month) and marketing ($0, because this is getting stupid), and assuming the workers are bringing all the tools they need which happen to be magical and need no maintenance or upgrades: $100K - 12 * $2500 = $100K - $30K = $70K. Now, divide that through the ten devs again, and we're down to $7K a year, so... 7K / 50 weeks /40 hours a week = $3.50 an hour.

This assumes you can fart the game out in a year with ten devs not working any overtime with the game actually being good enough to sell with no marketing.

Hey guys! I think we found Gina Rhinehart!

Starving artists would love to have 3.50$ an hour. I wouldn't work full time myself. That's plenty to live off of. And it beats 0$ an hour you'll be doing when you run out of your funds. If 3.50$ an hour isn't enough for you to be able to make your game, you're going to be making a shitty uninspired game plain and simple.

You know I am not going to cry over the loss of another commercial game. I have negative faith in anyone with this studio mentality producing a half-decent game. If you want to be rolling in dough make a product that brings in more than it cost to develop. Then next time you won't have to go begging for money.

Minimum wage is 6-8$ an hour. That's a living wage to live off of, any lower is exploitation.

Offices for 6 people cost half a million. 10K a year? For four years of computer science and student loans?

The average cost of a single developer salary is 50-85,000$.

News Flash: 3.50 is below what people get paid at mcdonalds. In fact, it won't even be enough to live.

Do you even have a slightest notion of the real world or how salaries work?

In fact, this indie developer takes you through receipts to see how much a 6 man studio costs.

http://elysianonline.com/game-industry/let-s-dispel-the-myth-that-indie-game-development-is-cheap-part-1/

News Flash: Spending money you don't have is a bad idea

If you don't have the budget to make the game, then scale back. Don't blame the consumer for expecting you to stick to the promises you made

I just want to point out one thing here -- it isn't actually the backers of the game who are angry and complaining. All of this was not exactly news to backers who had been following the documentary, as we knew already that the scope was getting much bigger and that additional funding was being acquired.

In the backer forums, while some people are understandably concerned and critical, the overall reaction is pretty calm and collected, and many people actually feel that DF has already delivered by opening up the development process with the documentary and pretty detailed explanations about modeling, programming, what a producer does, etc.

All of this has been blown way out of proportion by "journalists" who took a forum post and put their own spin on it with misleading headlines and selective quoting.

Oh, and the game looks absolutely amazing. The screenshots don't do it justice.

lacktheknack:

canadamus_prime:
"Things cost money?" No shit. Next you'll be telling me that there's sand at the beach. That doesn't however justify the bullshit business practices of AAA publishers esp. when they're already making enough money to feed and cloth several 3rd world nations for a year.

Thankfully, that's not what he was talking about! He was talking about small studios trying to raise money for their production! So all is well! :D

He does mention the "evil publishers." Yes, the majority of what he says is about Kickstarter, but he does mention publishers and their business practices. Personally I don't have a problem with a developer asking for more money for development. It's entirely possible that they miscalculated their funding needs or went over budget and require more to finish the project. Now if they signed on with a publisher on top of using Kickstarter, I might have a problem with that.

Ultratwinkie:

canadamus_prime:
"Things cost money?" No shit. Next you'll be telling me that there's sand at the beach. That doesn't however justify the bullshit business practices of AAA publishers esp. when they're already making enough money to feed and cloth several 3rd world nations for a year.

That doesn't justify the salaries developers get for their high in demand job and the price point of the licenses for engines and game tools?

Because its a lot of money? That means they don't deserve to be paid? I guess anything above minimum wage is suddenly elitist.

News Flash: Development isn't cheap. In fact there is a huge post ridiculing the idea of "evil game publishing illuminati" to be the "root of all ill."

When did I say any of that? Of course salaries have to be paid etc etc. However AAA development doesn't have to be so costly. Besides I will never accept microtransactions in $60-70 dollar games, DRM, and other such bullshit as necessary. Find other ways to make money if you want my custom.

My objection isn't his position on micro-transactions, or even this topic - which it is hard to disagree with [but all he is saying is 'calm down'].
It is his methods and the way he portrays the Chinese gaming industry - which is completely false. He does marketing more than gaming. If you read his articles on how the Chinese gaming industry operates HERE (I am in China you know) it doesn't work at all like that. He says it in a glossy sugar fairy way, probably to attract investment. However The Escapist presents it as fact. THAT is why I call him an idiot.

you go to kickstarter AFTER you know there are no publishers willnig to give you money, not before. you are doing it wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Agayek:

marurder:
The Escapist, why oh why do you persist in putting a megaphone in front of this idiot?

The thing is though, in this case, he's right. Everyone needs to take a step back and calm the fuck down on the internet nerdrage. It's far less productive than a civil conversation.

nerd rage is the only thing that really got anything on the internet done ever. well nerdrage and modders.

Ultratwinkie:

Minimum wage is 6-8$ an hour. That's a living wage to live off of, any lower is exploitation.

News Flash: 3.50 is below what people get paid at mcdonalds. In fact, it won't even be enough to live.

This is true if you live in the land of the wasteful.

lacktheknack:

Mick P.:
^With edits:

Starving artists would love to have 3.50$ an hour. I wouldn't work full time myself. That's plenty to live off of. And it beats 0$ an hour you'll be doing when you run out of your funds. If 3.50$ an hour isn't enough for you to be able to make your game, you're going to be making a shitty uninspired game plain and simple.

You know I am not going to cry over the loss of another commercial game. I have negative faith in anyone with this studio mentality producing a half-decent game. If you want to be rolling in dough make a product that brings in more than it cost to develop. Then next time you won't have to go begging for money.

PS: @lacktheknack: Your words are not making sense. I'm posting for everyone else. A work ethic never hurts.

Says the man who wouldn't work fulltime himself, at $3.50 an hour. -__-

I wouldn't work fulltime (currently 40hrs/wk) for anything short of working on an oil rig or an ocean liner just for the season. That would be selfish, dehumanizing, irresponsible, etc.

Chu Hong Duan McGee made one splendid Alice game more than a decade ago.

He has not repeated this feat since then.

Bad Day L. A. was an insult.

The quality of his Chinese output is... mixed, with a certain schizophrenic quality to it. I am not entirely certain he is aware of this himself. The disconnect seems to be well multilayered.

So... who does he think he is, exactly?

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