Why does game development cost so much.

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Post: #31
ferum Wrote: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?


Interesting question, the answer of course depends upon how much spare money the dev + spouse have. For instance, if there's no real spare money after general bills, then the dev is going to be limited to web based releases only (and limited amounts of downloads unless the game sells enough to cover bandwidth bills), dev tools would be limited to free stuff and may restrict the dev's capabilities or burn dev time in creation or modification of tools.

On the flip side, if the dev's spouse is rich or way overpaid, then the dev can buy the best equipment, buy any required software and even hire other devs to help. Console development may be limited by the dev being unknown to the console manufacturers (generally they only sell devkits to 'established' games dev companies, but it's not unknown for them to sell kits to smaller dev teams with serious backing + a good project).
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Post: #32
ferum Wrote: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?

Create a AAA title that will sell on three consoles and PC, reach over 1 million units in sales, get placed on every industry magazine cover and web site front page months before the game ships. Oh and get your game prime placement on store shelves.

The money made from sales, at the most, will amount to a minimum wage job annually, with ever decreasing sales each year.

But of course releasing a game = employment opportunity, so that $5,000 you make the first 24 months could turn into $70K a year by giving up the torch of independence for the manacles of wage slavery.
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Post: #33
so, theoretically, if someone had all the software and skills they needed, had enough money to maintain a website, and had their food and bills situation covered, they could make an AAA game and have a web based release?
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Post: #34
ferum Wrote:so, theoretically, if someone had all the software and skills they needed, had enough money to maintain a website, and had their food and bills situation covered, they could make an AAA game and have a web based release?

Possibly, although they'd also be fighting time to do all the programing, art and sound to keep them on a par with the other AAA titles. One of the advantages of a team of 100 artists is that they can get a lot of art done in a relatively short timescale (not 100th of the time of 1 artist though. the law of diminishing returns applies to manpower).
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Post: #35
Remember when halo was going to be mac first... those were the days...

Gameplay is getting very advanced, how many people could fathom creating just the network alone behind something like WoW ,and creating a 3D engine capable of driving anything that people would consider to be AAA.(resident evil 4, wind waker, shadow of the colossus... what about the things to come?). You'd have to be crazy like a fox, and damn motivated to even think of creating something of that scale. It's not impossible, just unlikely.
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