Making Games for a Living?

  • Right. Thanks a lot everyone, for your feedback on this.

    To sum up, I understand there aren't any game makers here making games for a living, even though the general impression is that it IS possible, though not easy (well, if there's something that I'm NOT afraid of, that's HARD WORK lol <img src="smileys/smiley4.gif" border="0" align="middle" />).

    Another thing people seem to agree on is that you either need a team (artist + dev at least), or you need to be some sort of jack of all trades, or you need to buy (expensive) art.

    Arima, you mentioned that there are people making indie games for a living, even as a one-man-show. Who are they? How much do they make? <img src="smileys/smiley4.gif" border="0" align="middle" /> I'd like to get in touch with one such person.

    That said, my next question is: are there any serious wannabes here on this forum?

    Cheers!

  • I started using C2 only a couple weeks back but i am not new to design nor scripting and i have told many a story in my Dungeons and Dragons days being the dungeon master. I aim for making a pretty penny out of game making however i don't think it will be overnight. I do also wonder how many people that are pro's use this program. I was very much doubting this could produce any sort of real fancy game but by now i think that can actually be done. The program is easy to use and fairly powerfull to my surprise BUT is it good enough to create A+ games? I actually do think so and have seen some great examples of slick design here too. We will also have to admit though, that most games will never see the light of day or shouldn't.

    For many reasons illustrated by others in this topic i would still love to see a collaboration section in the forum. People could work together and that way at least have their names on some creditroll and perhaps even they could split any sort of revenue.

    I aim to one day quit my dayjob *nods

  • Being just a games developer is not a reality in my opinion, not unless your Rovio making something like 120 million on a project, they can afford to make only games for the rest of there lives.

    Fortunately, you don't have to be Rovio to "survive" as a game developer! <img src="smileys/smiley3.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    There is a wide range of profits, between 0 and 120 millions...

  • I believe its very possible to make some form of income with CC,C2 or MMF or GM. If you look at most of the major games sitting inside app stores, many of them are possible on software like this. Those snazzy looking graphics are hiding some fairly simplistic stuff.

    For every Angry Birds, theres thousands of bad or ok apps out there. The market is just that big now. Don't expect to make tons of cash right off the bat with your game no matter how good it is. Best bet is to create create multiple good titles and get them on as many platforms as you can in a steady fashion.

    Try and think realistic about it. Aim for what is doable with your current resources and time. Sometimes there are features that yes you could pull off and add into the game, but you don't have the time or manpower to get the game done in a reasonable time.

    Its just that most of the time when someone is that serious about making games for a living or second form of income, they've either gone to school for it or learned to do it from scratch or knew someone to work with to build it up. There is also a good amount of games made with these types of software that never say they do.

    As for platforms, your best bet is pc, FB, ios and droid in that order. Remember that the install base for pc is larger than ios and droid combined. Your selling window is also much longer on pc than mobile. When it comes to Steam, there are some MMF games on there and one gm game i know of. There are many flash games on there too. From what I heard gm and steam don't get along too well so it makes things difficult. Chrome store and windows 7 phone is still growing, but are worth keeping an eye on. Its not worth thinking about xbox indie.

    This has been one of the most exciting times to be an indie dev since the days of Quake and Half Life. With tools like C2, casual gaming, digital stores and mobile markets its once again possible for small team of even just one person to create something fantastic in good time.

  • Isn't an "A+" game really in the eye of the beholder? What makes an A+ game? These days, I feel there's a lot of misconceptions about this issue. Many people get seduced by pretty and smooth graphics, yet, that is the biggest misconception of all.

    Of course any of these game builders are capable of A+ games. You really do not need power to make a good game. Just look at commercial gaming of today, especially console based. It's all eye candy and clone after clone of the same sh*t. I can literally name SNES game better than most XBOX 360/PS3 and Wii games. But this is my eye, I come from old school gaming and I learned to appreciate games for what they are other than the eye candy. However, lots of people look just for eye candy and they literally think the game is 5 stars just cos of that. An A+ game depends on what you are looking for.

  • I intend on making games for a bit of extra money, but by no means as a main source of income.

    I now my limitations (drawing and sound) and my strong points (creativity and story telling). Mixing both, I can't yet make a full complete game on my own and my work doesn't leave me with enough energy to make it at the end of the day on a regular fashion.

    Also, being a fairly new addition to the game making scene (bought GM8.1 August last year), and construct a month ago, I've been trying to find the most suitable tool for me. Having selected (and payed for) them, I can now get down to business.

    My goals are making a game to at least pay for the tools I used to make them. No more, no less. Recoup investment and then make the next game so it makes enough money to pay a bill. <img src="smileys/smiley17.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    That's it, making games to help pay for a bill. Not a too ambitious project now, is it?

  • You can say I'm making a living by selling projects (app/games) made with C2, as I've explained in my postmortem not long ago.

    For the next contract, I'm going to go business licence.

    As I've said, it's possible to sell products made with C2 as an indy, but not right of the start on big mobile stores & markets. If you have some money by your side, it's going to be though, but possible, because you need to make a really good campaign to promote you creation.

    I didn't go that way. As a starting indy, I'm making specific products for specific clients, with contract explaining clearly that some materials for those games/app can be reused (by me) to make games for online platforms later (it's then up to you to see with them of to split the money on those future game, by contract).

    In the end, you need to build a reputation. If no professionnal knows you outside this community, you are not going to make solid money.

    So :

    1) get traction, reputation (hunt for contest with HTML5 games/app, edit a blog, talk in the community)

    2) create a portfolio (with the free stuff and demo you posted here, and some part of you pro work made for the point 3)

    3) work for specific clients at the beginning, to cash some money for future growth.

    ( 4) bonus point : don't start your business in France, you're not going to make it ;))

  • ^^^ What's wrong with France, Ubisoft is from France

  • Yeah, what's that about?

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  • I intend on making money with my games, I had better because I left university degree for it. Maybe it wont be a great amount but I remain optimistic.

  • Thanks everyone for replying and for the new info.

    UberDark: way to go! keep us posted.

    eyeliner: I think it's quite ambitious. My goal is to make $1 <img src="smileys/smiley4.gif" border="0" align="middle" /> then I'll see where I take it from there.

    GenkiGenga: best of luck!

    Pode, Rev, and all the others: Thanks for the tips, much appreciated.

    I'm hoping people will start sharing their success stories (however little) at monetizing games, inspiring others to do the same. I for one will <img src="smileys/smiley17.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    Cheers!

  • I would assume that if someone would be able to create a game that meets high standards, and is visually polished, one way of doing it could be to release it to Chrome Web Store, and monetize it with subtle ads. If the title is good enough, it might end up as featured and gain alot of attention that way.

    In the future when mobile support is better, things could also be monetized by releasing short, well polished games on iPhone/Android, for free with ads, and a paid version for around 1$.

    Furthermore, i intend to make money with the games i release in the future. Me and a few guys are about to start a company, with the main focus being an award-winning concept with a release set towards Steam, and all C2 games being a bonus, which helps build the company portfolio - and may bring in a few coins.

  • Geo I might be wrong about this info, but as I recall:

    Cliff Harris. positech.co.uk IIRC $100k or more a year

    Hanako: hanakogames.com/index.shtml

    Notch of Minecraft fame was solo for a while, millions

    Amanda Fitch: amaranthia.com

    Indinera: aldorlea.org

    And many more. I'm looking to support myself with my games made in construct, too!

  • Nice info. I believe they're all native games ?

  • Again IIRC:

    Cliff Harris: native

    Hanako: miscellaneous and game maker

    Notch: java

    Amanda Fitch: RPG maker and something else for one of her games

    Indinera: RPG maker

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