Why does game development cost so much.

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Post: #16
Andrew Sage Wrote:Even if you have not spent any money directly there will still have been costs, such as:

* Cost of the computer
* Cost of electricity to power the computer
* Cost of internet connection for research and promoting of software

Now you might be lucky enough to have someone else pick up these costs but your game development has still cost.

and buying software.. like photoshop..
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Post: #17
Danlab Wrote:and buying software.. like photoshop..

It is possible for a 'bedroom' developer to get buy without using commercial software (apart from the OS of course).

However if software purchase costs come into the equation then they can easily run into the tens of thousands for a large development team.

Even a lone developer can run up costs of thousands without much effort if they try.
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Post: #18
let's see

-3 replacement keyboards for the ones covered in cheeto gunk 70 $
-1024 cans of caffeinated pop - 500$
-5 books you can hardly understand - 350$

Not being able to finish a game - priceless
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Post: #19
Byron Clarke Wrote:let's see

-3 replacement keyboards for the ones covered in cheeto gunk 70 $
-1024 cans of caffeinated pop - 500$
-5 books you can hardly understand - 350$

Not being able to finish a game - priceless
LOL
I like that your number of cans of pop is a power of 2. Even more geeky.
LOL
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Post: #20
hmm...... what are the benefits of being a large developer?
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Post: #21
ferum Wrote:hmm...... what are the benefits of being a large developer?

You get a regular paycheck up til the product is cancelled...

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Post: #22
Leisure Suit Lurie Wrote:
ferum Wrote:hmm...... what are the benefits of being a large developer?
You get a regular paycheck up til the product is cancelled...

And you get to blame someone else for it Wink
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Post: #23
ferum Wrote:hmm...... what are the benefits of being a large developer?
It's a matter of scale. If you're a shareware dev and have a hit, you might make a few thousand pounds in profit. If you're a big dev doing a major console release, you might make millions in profits on it (or millions in loss). The actual dev team may or may not see a cut of that profit though (then again, they wouldn't have to pay up for the loss).

Bigger developers are also able to handle the huge scale of development that's seemingly required by the public for AAA titles. If the company has a history of success then there's a level of safety for the staff in working for a big company, although having worked for a large company that hit a slide, that feeling of safety can sometimes be a false one.
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Post: #24
what does AAA stand for?
All Around Awesome?
what does this have to do with the American Automotive Association?
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Post: #25
ferum Wrote:what does AAA stand for?
All Around Awesome?

Pretty much yes. Triple A titles are the ones that shops think will be best sellers, the Harry Potters, Zeldas and Grand Theft Autos of the games world.
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Post: #26
The other thing to remember is how many free/low cost tools and engines are available - how easy it is to find and connect with other talented artists/programmers/designers from all over the world - how much horsepower we have - and how cheap PCs/Macs are now. So gamedev for guys like us has gone down and gotten easier I think. So buck up kiddos!
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Post: #27
The cost of Console and AAA PC titles don't apply to 99% of the people on this site, we don't have the budgets, the personnel, or the market.

Has any Mac only game sold over a million copies?
Console titles are being pumped out to three different consoles plus PC and maybe two years later they get ported to the Mac, for a price.

Lets break down some simple costs per employee, lets make some assumptions,starting with a three year development cycle and one employee.

Bottom Line Employee Annual Salary: $36,000 * 3 = $108,000
Employee Health Insurance per Month $300 * 36 = $10,800
Office space big enough for one employee per month $900 * 36 = $32,400
Marketing in 15 magazines @ $1,000 per page = $15,000
Marketing on 15 websites @ $200 per site = $3,000
Hosting a large video on a high volume web server for a year $1,200
Hosting a large demo on a high volume web server for a year $1,200
Burning 100,000 CD's @ $0.20 each = $20,000
Printing 100,000 Boxes @ $1 each = $100,000
Printing 1,000 Promotional Posters @ $1.50 each = $1,500
Attending E3 to promote the game for 3 years @ $30,000 per year = $90,000

So where are we after three years with one guy impossibly working on a console or AAA title? $381,900 and the game has not even reached the shelf, because only one guy is working on it, and all it has is programmer art and no audio.

Its easy to see, that all you have to do is throw in a
senior programmer ($180,000 over three years),
a beta tester($72,000 for three years),
a graphic designer($150,000 over three years),
and a receptionist ($72,000 over three years)
and your at $855,900,

Oops forgot the health insurance for these people so ad $43,200 and we're at
$899,100 and we haven't even bought computers, software, pencils, telephones or insurance for the office yet.

I just counted the credits in Halo 2: 148 individuals or organizations (thus more than is listed) for a single game. Earlier I estimated nearly a Million dollars for just 3% of that amount of people.

From what I can glean from the web Halo 2's development budget was in the neighborhood of $24 Million. First day sales of the game was $125 Million.
On January 20, 2005 Gamespot reported that Halo 2 had sold 6.4 Million units, with 4.4 Million units sold in the US alone, and four year old Halo sold 1.1 Million for just the 2004 year. A total of 12.8 Million Units for Halo 1 and 2 total.
Lets not forget that from inception of Halo 1 to the day of that report, the total dev/market time for these two games has been about a decade.

It takes money to make money they say, and they are right.
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Post: #28
You missed out license fees for the console titles too. Normally you pay a fee per disc or cartridge duplicated to the console manufacturer that can be quite hefty (Sony's are rumoured to be $10 per disc for instance).
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Post: #29
Zwilnik Wrote:You missed out license fees for the console titles too. Normally you pay a fee per disc or cartridge duplicated to the console manufacturer that can be quite hefty (Sony's are rumoured to be $10 per disc for instance).
Yep that was at the back of my mind, but I didn't know the costs.
There's also the licenses for things like Havoc, Bink Video, etc.
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Post: #30
ok, say that there is a programer who is also proficient in graphics and audio creation. He/she is being supported by their spouse, so their food, health insurence, electricity bill, etc. are all covered. However he/she decides that they will only spend money on marketing and production (production meaning the actual burning and printing of the CDs, boxes, etc.). What would the programer be unable to do because of his/her budget?

(oops, hit wrong button when replying Wink Zwil )
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