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Blueprint to an Indie

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Guest lecture at AIE May 2015

Published in: Software

Blueprint to an Indie

  1. 1. BLUEPRINT TO AN INDIE Game Developer’s Collective
  2. 2. INDIE DEVELOPMENT FACTS ▪ Solo indie salaries were down in 2013 ▪ Members of an indie team earned more income ▪ Game sales made up most of indie dev income ▪ Indie crowdfunding is not overtly successful ▪ Most indie game devs didn’t make much Total sales Percentage of developers $500 < 57% $501 - $199,999 41% $200,000 + 2% Gaft, Kris. "6 Key Points from the 2014 Indie Salary Report." Gamasutra Article. Gamasutra, 23 July 2014. Web. 20 May 2015.
  3. 3. INDIE SALES SUCCESS: DUSTFORCE ▪ Game was released on Windows initially (subsequently OSX, Linux, PS3, Vita, XBOX360) ▪ Won $100,000 in an indiepub contest and had Capcom approach about localizing and publishing on console ▪ They had a huge marketing push prior to release and received outstanding reviews (aggregate of 82.3 – Gamerankings) ▪ After one year of sales and development across 5 platforms they only earned $489,000 35 Day 60 101 Day 30 1,079 Day 7 4,796 Day 1 Sales per day (Windows – Steam) Santos, Alexis. "A Game Developer's Guide to Sales." Binpress. Binpress, 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 May 2015.
  4. 4. MOST POPULAR INDIE SALES CHANNELS ▪ Steam ▪ Humble Bundle ▪ Bundle Stars ▪ Groupees ▪ Indie Royale ▪ Sell on your Own ▪ App Store ▪ Play Store ▪ XBOX One Store ▪ PS4 Store
  5. 5. WHAT DOES IT REALLY COST TO ‘INDIE’? (TEAM OF 2 PEOPLE) $3,000 $8,720 $8,220 $14,500 $0 $2,000 $4,000 $6,000 $8,000 $10,000 $12,000 $14,000 Legal (startup) Equipment (startup) Expenses/salaries (monthly) Additional (yearly) Series 1
  6. 6. SAMPLE EXPENSES Equipment $800 per PC $150 per monitor (qty 2/person) $20 per mouse $20 per keyboard $100 per desk $80 per chair $1800 in software licenses $1000 for company laptop $200 for printer/scanner $80 for business cards $3000 for miscellaneous Additional (as needed) $8,000 (Pax) $3,000 (Accountant per year) $150 (per song licensing) $5-10 (per sound effect) $1,000 (per PR campaign) $2,000 (per indie show non Pax) Expenses (monthly) $1000 rent $180 cell phone $20-40 bank fees $250 insurance (per person) $3250 salary (per person)
  7. 7. BACK TO DUSTFORCE … Analysis With Dustforce they paid themselves lower than the figures we used two slides back. Much lower. So they ended up splitting the $295,000 four ways. Still, between that and the small salary they drew, none of them topped $100K. Also, this did not leave room for them to expand. Amount Total Revenue $668,490 Net $489,000 After expenses $295,000
  8. 8. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT FUNDING? Figure out your funding ▪ Most of the groups in Game Developer’s Collective have funding from private investors or are self funded ▪ Of the 50 + teams we spoke with, 85+% were going to use some sort of crowdfunding ▪ Crowdfunding is not a guaranteed success ▪ Physical items are not as easy as people think ▪ T-shirts cost about $12 each. ▪ Stickers about $0.50 ▪ 3D models are about $20 to $25. ▪ This does not include shipping which can vary worldwide ▪ Remember the 3 F’s That $50 tier on Kickstarter with a t-shirt, 3d figure and copy of the game may actually end up COSTING you money. Don’t even get us started on cost of printing art books!
  9. 9. HOW ELSE CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL? ▪ Don’t try to develop a AAA title on a shoe string budget … or at all ▪ Keep overhead low ▪ Don’t needlessly hire friends ▪ Be comfortable telling someone they aren’t working out ▪ Be ok taking jobs on the side to pay bills ▪ Keep focused ▪ Don’t expect you will get a million sales even with a big partner ▪ Utilize incubators and resources ▪ Removes many of the typical financial roadblocks ▪ Will provide you interactions with investors, discounted legal/accounting and everything you need to startup outside of development skills (but even then they will mentor you)
  10. 10. GREAT SEATTLE INDIE RESOURCES ▪ Game Developer’s Collective ▪ www.gamedevcollective.com ▪ Seattle Indies ▪ www.seattleindies.org ▪ IGDA Seattle ▪ https://www.facebook.com/groups/182761 815663/
  11. 11. GAME DEVELOPER’S COLLECTIVE The Game Developer’s Collective provides empowerment to indies through: – Game development mentoring classes – One on one individual mentoring – Team based mentoring – Special events – Amazing co-working spaces – Guest speakers – Service discounts – Discounted legal retainer – Discounted legal as needed services – Discounted accounting services – Marketing assistance – Project management mentoring – Access to investors – Help with presentation skills – Connections to strategic partners – Comprehensive business training programs – Advisory boards and mentors – Help with business etiquette – And much more!
  12. 12. QUESTIONS?
  13. 13. THANK YOU Game Developer’s Collective

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