Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

How much game development cost....now and before


#1

The title is clear and lets look at the past how much the game development cost!

Basically saying, if somebody is asking for 300k on KS…its just a tiny starting point…$$$

http://kotaku.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-big-video-game-1501413649

a sample from the article:
Brütal Legend - $24 million
Grim Fandango - $3 million (original one)
Full Throttle - $1.5 million (original one)
The Secret of Monkey Island - $135K (original one)
Day of the Tentacle - $600K (original one)
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - $700K

add more if you know…and guess, how much would cost Monkey Island 3a??


Frequently Asked Questions (about TWP, Monkey Island and other things)
#2

It blows my mind that you could make a game like Monkey Island for so little money. How could that include salaries, office space and playtesting?


#3

I guess, this is just a people budget… (?)


#4

Even if it was just people, it’s still peanuts! I know inflation is a factor, but these days one developer in California could easily cost you $135k/yr, and good luck making a game with one person!


#5

I think it was their tryout with tiny budget and see if that works. Its like with everything. After success they double, tripple their budget.

Fate of Atlantis cost $600K + $100K voice overs.


#6

We are talking of salary in 1990, I suppose…


#7

If Monkey Island 3a would cost money, how much money could Monkey Island 3a cost?


#8

:o) some fun with salary calculations

a year salaries:
$ per artist generalist - 65k
$ per coder - 80k
$ musician & sfx - 10k (flat)
$ producer - 70k
$ writer, story, dialogues - 80k

team of 10 people - 3 artists, 3 coders, 1 producer, 1 musician&sfx, 2 writers =
$195k + $240k + $70k + $10k + $160k = $675K total per year!

and I didnt included Voice Overs, Promo&Marketing and other possible expenses. Does this look possible? or am I from cheap planet? :o)


#9

We’re talking Skywalker Ranch, if I recall correctly. I’d say the offices were already paid for.


#10

But surely not a game developer?[quote=“patrik3dspacek, post:8, topic:679”]
a year salaries:
$ per coder - 80k
[/quote]
Even that sounds too good to be true.

I don’t have actual numbers, but I was always under the impression that being in the games business meant doing long hours for little financial compensation. If that’s not the case, perhaps I should consider a career change :smile:

Mind you, it might just be your dream job, and tremendous amount of fun, and that alone can be worth more than a fat paycheck.


#11

If a 3a would be done, and Disney would let it be done, and Ron would do it… a $million.


#12

Indie team? Any start up team? I think its correct, it might be still a lot :o) and of course, you need to be a fan, and if its your game, you work even harder for that money.


#13

Yeah…with a small team $million should be correct…but it also depends on lenght of the game and how pretty they wanna make it.


#14

True. I based my estimate on TWP, though I guess MI3a wouldn’t be that big.


#15

That figure doesn’t include “overhead”, which is office space, plus supporting marketing, sales, management, etc. Since we didn’t have conventional office space at Lucasfilm (Skywalker ranch), projects leads only had to deal with budgets for stuff they controlled. I don’t know if this changed by the time DotT was budgeted. It’s unfair to compare the other budgets to MI.

Including everything (dev, PR, marketing, etc), TWP will have cost about $1.1M. That’s all in.


#16
<?php
$million = rand(135000, 3000000);
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#17

There different kinds of programmers in games. Game programmers that work in a scripting language like LUA can make from $50K-$75K/year. If you’re a C++ programmer working on engine code, it can be $75K-$100K depending on experience. If you’re a rock-star engine programmer and doing hardcore AI or rendering, it can be up to $150K/year. Of course, this is all for AAA or larger studios. For Indie game devs, it can go to $0.

Here is the 2014 Salary Survey from Gamasutra


#19

That’s very true… you also save money if you pay him hourly and he doesn’t have to work for the whole year.

just for fun, i remember when i had interview at Pixar back in 2005, they were offering 65K $ to modeler. This crap happened, because Ed Catmul f…ked up whole finance system at big companies.

You cannot survive at San Francisco for 65K!! :smile:

2KGames offered me 95K … thats good for 1b+1b apartment :smile: but the advantage is the royalties, that comes with it.


#20

If I was going to do MI3a, I would budget it for $5M. Its going to be a ton of work and expectations will be huge. And that would be after buying it back from Disney, which could easily be many times more than that.


#22

I agree, … I guess we just expected a small set up of people and like 5 years of dev, which is kind of pointless, because I wouldn’t like to make a game for 5 years :smile: but if I think about that twice, especially after I calculated budget per year, $5M is a good starting point :wink: I am sure you would get close to that very easy.

Talking about Disney, … I need to go poop :sunny: