How to discuss pricing?

Lnik3500

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I'm still looking for guides on general guidelines of pricing. Would anyone inform me a bit on how that could work?
Let's say that there is 4 types of request possible, even more but I'll stick to those 4

1. Making a full plugin from ground up with 20+ functions
2. Fixing / adding features of existing plugins
3. Making assets with let's say 20 images for the purpose of this
4. Making music

Now I would be curious on the price ranges that are generally agreed upon. I realize that everybody agress to different prices, but as someone who is making a commercial request for the first time, I prefer to have a bit of knowledge over the price ranges. COuld anybody provide guidelines or link me to the place? Thank you
 

Shaz

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There really aren't any, as it depends entirely on the plugin/resource and who is willing to create it.

There might be a lot of work in creating a new plugin, but I often prefer doing that to modifying an existing plugin created by someone else. And the difficulty depends entirely on what the plugin is for - I probably wouldn't touch anything to do with animations or battles because I don't have a lot of experience with those things - especially if it had to be compatible with someone else's animated battle system.
 

TheoAllen

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1. Making scripts/plugins usually dictated on how complicated it is. Personally, I put a price based on how long I need to think about how to get it done, and how hard I learned it in the past. For example, some of features might seems trivia to be done with my current skill, but I used to struggle a lot in the past, so the price will be up for a bit even though it's easy.

2. Editing script/plugin is depends on the code itself. Some are quite easy that sometimes I don't need to read the entire function, and can just change few methods without knowing the whole program. Some need to understand the whole program like how it structured that way. A menu plugin might not need to understand the entire code, but editing battle system is different story. So, there is no general guide for this, it's up to people who take the commision to decide how much its worth.

3. I have no experience on this matter.

4. Making music from what I've heard usually dictated by how many instruments used and how is the length of the song. Complexity might be matters too.

I won't put the exact number because currencies are different in each country (and mostly I only handled local people request), but at least that's how my general guideline.
 

Poryg

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There's no real guideline for pricing. It always depends on how difficult or complex your request is and how is the person willing to price it. And in the end how much are you willing to pay as well.
My plugin shop pricing works like this:
I work for an hourly rate, which usually is between 7 and 10 usd depending on difficulty and complexity. For extremely easy ones I'm willing to cut the price to five, for extremely difficult I'm willing to ramp it up even to 20 usd per hour. However, I decide the final rate at the end, not at the beginning. The reason is simple. I don't want to overcharge or undercharge the person.
I don't charge for studying MV default engine, but I charge for studying necessary third party plugins in case it's a plugin modification request or the request involves third party plugins.
So, if your request is a simple one, a plugin of 20 functions can cost $20. If it's a really complex one, it may be for $50. Maybe even more. My most expensive request was for around 55 usd, my least expensive one was for 3 usd.
 

Wavelength

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If they haven't already set fixed prices for things in a Shop thread, it's usually a good idea to ask for an upfront ballpark estimate from your potential clients (before you confirm them for the job) on how much they think they will need to charge you. The clearer your request is about the details of what you need, the easier it will be for a client to give you an accurate estimate. Note that estimates will need to change sometimes as the client discovers that something was easier or harder to create than expected, or you discover that you need to add extra requirements to the request (especially with scripting requests). But it's rare for it to go much beyond 50% above the original estimate.

The amount you can expect to be charged depends upon a lot of things (including the client's home country, the client's talent and previous experience, and the nature of the request), but I've found this forum's prices to be pretty low, with averages around:
  • Scripts/Plugins: $10-$20 for a small plugin that only requires a few functions; $30-$60 for medium plugins that are a couple lines long, about $100 per 1000 lines of code for large plugins
  • Modifications to Existing Plugins: Higher than the above since it's odious work for most
  • Music: $20-$30 per song (about 2 minutes in length)
  • Voice Acting: You can usually get it done for free or very cheap unless you want semipro or professional-level talent
  • Graphical Assets: Vary wildly depending on the artist and type of asset. Character sprites, Icons, Logos, and GUI are the cheapest; Abstract Backgrounds, full-size Item sprites, Portraits and Busts (as well as Parallax Maps based on tile work) are somewhat more; Scene art, Tiles and Tilesets (as well as highly original Parallax Maps) are the most expensive in my experience.
 

Sharm

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I'm going to quote Pixelation's info on pixel art rates:

hobby-sector - freelance
unprofessional field, which can work out for single commissions, but regarding the income tax laws not for bigger projects.
0-15$/h working for free, first gig, deviantart offers (unprofessional field)
15-20$/h beginners, art students without technical knowledge
20-35$/h experienced hobbyists

professional-sector - freelance
30-60% of that will be costs for taxes, health insurance, etc.
10-25$/h young, talented artists (artschool only, freshmans who are motivated but don't know yet exactly what they do)
25-50$/h junior artists, freelance (school experience, not much real world / industry experience, no to a few small completed projects)
50-100$/h senior artists, freelance (they have been through several projects and know what they do, usually many completed and released projects in their resume)
more: world's top class, freelance (open end, usually those artists make their own prices, have some kind of publicity, are known etc. - by hiring them you also hire advertisement and contacts, which also pays off differently than money)

game-project oriented art direction/art asset planning
40-250$/h (huge responsibility, one wrong decision in the art design process can lead to multiple thousand of dollars budget changes for a whole game project - usually you hire those guys to safe multiple thousands of dollars of wrong investment in a project down the road)

You can expect a 65$/h rate for a project-sized job which includes a week or longer of work,
single hours or less work usually is more expensive, which means the rate goes up.
This is specifically for pixel art, which gets more expensive the bigger the piece is, but to me it looks fairly similar to what you can expect from other types of art too. These things will adjust according to the location of the artist due to cost of living, so keep that in mind. These rates are normal for US based pixel artists.

The prices are significantly cheaper than the norm here, so hiring an artist from here instead of outside the community might be a good idea. But cheaper doesn't necessarily make it a better deal. Experience and style is a huge factor. Sometimes it's cheaper to pay for a more expensive artist, because experienced artists are faster, better, require less revisions, and are more reliable. Sometimes the things an artist shows is the limit of their ability, and asking them to draw something a little different might result in a huge quality drop. For example, if an artist only shows beautiful curvy women they might have a huge problem drawing a wiry old man in the same style. In my opinion, it's best to find an artist whose portfolio includes the things you want in the style you want, or someone who shows proficiency in a large range of styles and subjects.

In the end, game art can be a huge investment. If you're looking into hiring someone to do all your game art, expect it to be very expensive and take a lot of time. This is why most people end up making strategic choices about their art, only commissioning things that will make the most impact for the least amount of money.
 

Geoff Moore

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Music prices range from $0 to $1000s per track, it all depends on who you're hiring and how high quality you want the work to be. Rates can also vary based on things like musical style, exclusivity and soundtrack rights, so even when talking about a specific artist there might not be a 'general rate'. It's best to find someone whose work you enjoy, and then ask them what their quote would be for your project. Good luck!
 

MushroomCake28

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For plugins, I hate to say it, but it depends on the plugin. For a custom menu scene, that would take me 1-2 hours and I would probably charge about 50-100$ for that (of course it is just creating the menu via the code, not creating the visual assets). A custom battle takes a lot more time, and it could go well over 500-1000$.

For music, I charge relatively cheaply considering the time I put in them. I do usually 50-100$ per track that goes between 1-3 minutes. Consider that I always do full orchestral style, or main piano. Here's an example of track I composed. I would charge around 50-100$ for that track (which took me around 6-7 hours):

 

Finnuval

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Best thing you can do to figure it out for yourself (I've done this myself) is look around at the various people who's work you like and want in your game and ask them directly what something would cost, clearly stating that you are only informing. So let's say you want a certain music track you ask Mushroomcake28 if he could and would do it and what his price would be, then you ask 2 or 3 others and this will give you an idea of what the cost is for what you are looking for.

In the end the only question really is : Am I willing to pay 'this' amount for 'this item' I want/need? If the quality and style is to your liking that's all that matters in the end really and if you are unsure wether or not the price is fair you can ask the person why they charge that amount. Just be respectful even if you disagree (and remember they have no obligation to agree to do it and you are not the only one wanting something) and they'll explain it to you. That's my experience anyway.
 

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