Costs all the Way

An important thing to keep in mind when working on a game is how much everything’s gonna cost.

Of course, a LOT of people have been failing at just that on Kickstarter, but I digress.

While working on Turtles all the Way, I’m lucky that I don’t have to immediately budget for stuff like concept art, nor the music and (possibly) not SFX. Since I’m doing the story writing and coding on my own, as well as the majority of design work as I go along, those costs are thrown out the window as well. Voicing will also cost me nothing at all, as long as I’m not picky, since there’s no shortage of people online who want to voice for a game, just for the experience.

So, what do I need to pay for? Well, the costs are deeper than my pockets can afford, even with all of the above removed, and I’m in Canada, so I can’t go ask the masses without using non-Kickstarter crowdfunding sites, which nobody visits, so I won’t even waste my time looking into crowdfunding for this.

Unity Pro ($1500)

Amazing engine, by the way.

I’ll say this right off the bat: Unity Pro is not strictly necessary. However, without Pro, I can’t use the plug-ins that are necessary to release on Steam, and probably a few other portals, too. If I need to spend that money or release it on my own site only, I’d rather spend the $1500, just for the chance of releasing it somewhere.

As far as I’m aware, however, I don’t even need any of the other features in Unity Pro.

Miscellaneous 2D Art (~$1000)

While the 2D artist who joined the project is good at line art and can therefore draw characters just fine, he made it clear right from the get-go that backgrounds are not his forte. As such, any CGs and general backgrounds need to be done by another artist. From what I gather, $1000 should be fair-to-low for the amount and quality I’m gonna be looking into.

A Decent Desktop (~$1000)

At the moment, I’ve been using my university’s standard issue laptop for everything. Seeing as it’s low-end and that I have to return it at the end of every summer, I can’t count on that for serious game development.

So I need a computer. A slightly above-average computer. This probably isn’t even enough, but I still need to get something to be able to properly gauge the game’s performance on the average computer as I go along.

3D Character Models and Animations (~$30000)

Upon calculation as to how many different characters I have in the game, accounting for extremely similar characters as lesser costs and generic enemies as one character, I have over 40 characters in the game. Basic character models with generic animations (walk/run/idle) are typically $500 a piece (changing based on complexity), with extra costs for each additional animation.

I don’t even think I need to further clarify where that number came from after saying that. That said I hope I can negotiate a lower price range.

3D Environment Models (~$5000)

Still models would understandably cost far less than the models for characters, which would need to be animated. Still, that would hit a $5000 price tag easily, since I have such a wide array of locations and buildings.

Legal Stuff (>$2000)

I’d elaborate, but I intend to talk about the whole legal process with registering a business, filing trademarks, etcetera, at a later date.

Total: ~$40000

Yup, that’s the budget for the game. At least, the ideal budget. But I can’t even scratch that amount yet, so I’m looking into ways to fund the title.

If you wish to help with that (I doubt you do, but I’ll say it anyway), there’s a page for donations that should be in plain sight at the top of the page at the time of this posting.

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5 thoughts on “Costs all the Way

  1. Yeah, a lot of people underestimate the costs that go into a commercial game.

    I think it’d be worth giving crowdfunding a try, every little helps after all. Theres a website called Indiegogo, an alternative to kickstarter which may be of help.

    Also it’s considerably cheaper to buy a computer in parts and put it together yourself. I spent about £800 for a computer worth well over £1500 (at the time). I’d suggest ebuyer.com for good products at low prices with fast delivery.

    Best of luck to you with this project.

    • Thank you.

      I am actually already aware of IndieGoGo. The problem here is, sadly, that IndieGoGo just doesn’t have the traffic to support gaming projects with goals too far over $15000. I actually checked. And, with Kickstarter not being available, it’s a damn shame, but it’s practically impossible.

  2. When I read this part: “…non-Kickstarter crowdfunding sites, which nobody visits…”

    I thought, “Isn’t this that guy from the Unity forums?”, then I looked at your avatar and I said, Oh.

    If you don’t even have your own PC yet, I advise you get a part-time job if you don’t have one yet. Many indie developers, I’ve read one of their most common advices is, have a day job.

    • I know. I’ve been working on that. Sadly, the distance I have to travel to get to class prevents me for holding one during class time, but summer’s a different story entirely. Sadly, however, the money from part-time work typically all goes to bus tickets, textbooks and the like.

      I *do* have my own computer, though. It just sucks.

      • That’s ok, be patient and just keep your eyes peeled for opportunities. Keep going at your education even if it doesn’t look like it’ll help with your game project, because it *will* help you, as a person, later on.

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