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December 21, 2014, 08:56:54 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessIs it wrong not wanting to make money from games dev?
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Author Topic: Is it wrong not wanting to make money from games dev?  (Read 3122 times)
Klaim
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2013, 10:56:42 AM »

to a lesser extent, yes. this is because those who work in the industry have knowledge of a narrow specialty: e.g. *just* programming, or *just* art, or *just* level design, and so on. so while they'll typically be better than the average indie in one part of game dev, in all the other parts they'll still be lacking in. if, for example, you asked any of the most famous game developers in the world to make a game all by themselves (the miyamotos, kojimas, etc. of the world), most of them would, without the support of a company and a team, not only would be unable to make a good game, but be unable to make a game period

so i still think indies who come out of the industry need time to learn *all* aspects of game development. if they were an industry programmer they need time to develop their level design, art, music, sound design, promotion/marketing, bug-testing, customer service, website design, etc., abilities. or at the very least they need to team up with others who have those abilities, because every game requires those to succeed, and nobody starts life out good at any of those, and in the game industry all of those roles are handled by different people.

Interesting. I'm not sure exactly if I fall in the pattern you describe because I have some skills related to graphics (a lot less in audio) but I agree it's harder than working with a team in the industry (I mean assuming you're talking really about a one-man team indie).
I think I would have preferred at least to team up (but I can't for some reasons).
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cplhasse
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2013, 10:58:26 AM »

it might help motivate you to make a better game if you need the money to support yourself, but I think if it's just a hobby, adding that extra extrinsic reward could kill one's motivation to make games. If I remember my intro to psych class correctly, that's what the research supports, but I'm sure it's not always the case.

Well, that wasn't quite what I meant. Of course if you need the money then you need the game to be good, but if you're making a game on the side and you decide you want to charge for it, then you... well I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'm very uncomfortable with charging for something and having people not like it. That would drive me to make the game better, just so I'd feel okay charging money for it.

With a free game there's no accountability, if someone doesn't like your game it doesn't matter as much. I know that many people will produce work just as great even without that external pressure, but I don't think I would. It's easy to let something be finished prematurely and just move on to the next thing.
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Mister Dave
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2013, 01:40:27 PM »

Let's be practical here. If you wouldn't do it for free then you shouldn't do it at all. For most "indies" the monetary rewards are very nearly nothing. Your first game is not likely to be a path to riches, but a path to something better down the road. It's a learning experience that you pay for with your time and often with your own money.

If you have any perceptions/expectations of it other than that, you're in for a big disappointment.

There is one clear advantage to attempting to sell your work. You learn how to do that too, hopefully.
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Klaim
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2013, 03:19:15 PM »

Let's be practical here. If you wouldn't do it for free then you shouldn't do it at all. For most "indies" the monetary rewards are very nearly nothing. Your first game is not likely to be a path to riches, but a path to something better down the road. It's a learning experience that you pay for with your time and often with your own money.

If you have any perceptions/expectations of it other than that, you're in for a big disappointment.

There is one clear advantage to attempting to sell your work. You learn how to do that too, hopefully.

I kind of agree: even if I'm targeting comercial release of my game I don't think it will be a high success even if there is some potential. It's being able to spend the time on making that particular game which motivates me more than anything.
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ericmbernier
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2013, 08:39:31 AM »

Indie Statik had a good article the other day dealing with this exact topic. Check it out here.

One great point raised, however obvious it may be, is that once you charge money for your game your customers expect a certain level of service/support from you. However, when your games are free you may spend your time elsewhere, including making other games. Hope you enjoy the article if you check it out.
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Richard Kain
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« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2013, 09:11:36 AM »

One argument against releasing games for free is that this practice de-values other entries in the medium. The same argument is leveled against app stores where there is constant pressure to release games for very, very cheap. There is some truth to this argument. When you release a game you made for free, it makes it much easier for your game to compete against larger efforts for the time of players.

At the same time, if major developers and publishers with all of their millions of investment capital can't compete with a hobbyist just doing this sort of thing in his free time, then screw them.

How games are sold is a big question mark in this industry going forward. But there is nothing wrong with just wanting to make games as a hobby. Not having to worry about turning a profit takes a lot of the pressure off, and can free a developer up to experiment freely with their design. Game development needs that R&D every bit as much as it needs giant blockbusters. If you just want to develop for the fun of it, then go right ahead. There is nothing wrong with that at all. And if the big commercial entities whine about being challenged, then nuts to them.
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Muz
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2013, 12:15:14 AM »

Everyone has different motivations. I was always at odds with my father (who's a serious MBA guy). His motivations were glory, power, money. But I get motivated by being able to build/invent new things and testing out theories. He never understood why I actually like making games, always thinking that a product is something to be sold.

If you don't want to make money, it's fine, it's what motivates you.

IMO, the highest compliment anyone can give is money. If someone is willing to pay for it, it means that it's improved their life in some way. The issue with games is that the most hardcore gamers - unemployed people and teenagers - don't actually have any money.

It's just bad to trick people into giving you money, with shady pricing schemes (e.g higher prices make people want it more!) or "freemium" models that lie to your face telling you that it's a free game.

Honestly don't mind a good free game killing off other games. That's how the software industry works these days; everything is going open source. But because there's no money in making games, I don't do it anymore... too many other profitable hobbies to go for.
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ericmbernier
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2013, 10:37:40 AM »

@Muz Your conversations with your Dad sound similar to the ones with my MBA friend who lives by the motto "Money is the scoreboard of life". I shudder just typing that sentence.
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PompiPompi
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2013, 11:19:14 AM »

I wouldn't say "money is the score board of life", but I would say "Money DELTA is a pretty good life game score mechanics".
I think part of what motivated me to work on games is the whole business side of selling stuff and making money, even if I didn't need. And eventhough it totally didn't work out.
However, it stopped being fun when I was trying to make casual little Android games for a quick buck.
Now I work at a company in which I see there is a long term future and I can grow, so I get to have a different motivation other than money to work on games.
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 01:38:26 PM »

There are certain ideas I would love to see but it will go to the nerd category. Then there are ideas which I know they have a better mass-appeal. In the near future I can go with the nerd category or with something having more mass-appeal but still being decent. So I am taking this compromise since I don't want to totally ignore the financial aspect and exposure in what I am doing. A healthy compromise is a wise solution, for money and soul.

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Klaim
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 02:04:09 PM »

I wouldn't say "money is the score board of life", but I would say "Money DELTA is a pretty good life game score mechanics".

I don't agree because these last years I have lowered progressively money income but got time on what I think is most valuable in my life instead of spending that time working for money. I am far more happier that way.

Quality time is a far better metric. And obviously, money can help buy it. I guess having both is the top challenge.
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2013, 01:18:06 PM »

Chances are if you are making something truly good and entertaining, you will have the opportunity to make money from it.
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PompiPompi
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« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2013, 08:24:02 AM »

Klaim, I said it's like a game mechanic, not that it will make you happy.
It was fun earning a few hundred of bucks from my early games, even though I already earned more than that with a salary. It's the challenge of earning money from stuff you create.
If I would create something stupid and some insane guy will give me a million dollars for it, it won't feel the same.
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Klaim
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2013, 03:25:10 PM »

Klaim, I said it's like a game mechanic, not that it will make you happy.

Quote from: PompiPompi
I would say "Money DELTA is a pretty good life game score mechanics".

If it's a good life game score mechanics, then you imply that it's a good way to measure your progress in life, which, to me, mean progress toward being happy (I'm not talking about hollywood/american-dream bullshit here).

Maybe you didn't say "good" in the meaning of "good for life" but "efficient" for something I don't see mentioned here?

Anyway I I don't agree either on the mechanic side. Money value is too blurry. It don't represent something specific. That's why income sources have to be mentionned in data to understand it's meaning.

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cynicalsandel
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2013, 04:37:24 PM »

If I won the lottery, I'd most likely only make free games. The only reason I'd consider charging for one would be because some see "free" as a sign of lower quality.

However, I haven't won the lottery and I most likely never will. I also will probably never acquire a large sum of money that removes the need to support myself monetarily. Currently, I have a full-time job unrelated to video games, which saps the creativity and energy right out of me. It leaves me with very little left to try to create even free games. I feel as though if I wanted to make games for a living, I'd need to charge money in order to attempt to support myself.

So, no I don't think there is anything wrong with not wanting to make money. I can only speak for myself, but I'd only want to profit off of games so I could continue working on them without having to have a separate job to support myself like I do currently.
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Oskuro
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« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2013, 02:59:35 AM »

The only reason I'd consider charging for one would be because some see "free" as a sign of lower quality.

That is, sadly, very true. There's a very strong social conditioning towards associating price with quality and viceversa, resulting in good but cheap products being ignored in favor of overpriced ones.

Not sure how this can be overcome, apart from continuing to push out nice free/inexpensive games and hope the audience realizes a price point is not necessarily indicative of quality.


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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2013, 03:02:36 AM »

if someone wants a game for free they pirate it anyway, it's not like charging for a game rather than making it free prevents most people from playing it if they want to play it, so i don't think people should worry about it all that much
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kinglake
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« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2013, 04:28:54 AM »

Nope, it's not wrong to want to make games for free. I'm sure there are people who draw, write, play an instrument, etc who don't want to make money from it and only want to do it for free :-)
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crstngz
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« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2013, 01:01:27 PM »

I always thought that it would be cool to pay for a game after playing it.

For example, Dwarf Fortress became one of my favorite games and it's a free game. After playing it for hours and hours I wanted to give money to Toady(the dev), because I genuinely thought he deserved it.
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Cloudiest Nights
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« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2013, 07:53:46 PM »

I don't really know where I fit in with freeware vs commercial. I've been "programming" for years in GameMaker using D&D, and I've made a few weekend projects, but now I'm working on my first full game that I'm planning to sell to pay for (at least part of) college costs. I kinda feel like I shouldn't be selling this game, since I'm no Notch, Jonathan Blow, or Phil Fish (lol). I'm not an amazing programmer, artist, or musician. I'm not even outta high school yet! Is this feeling normal(ish)?
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