Realistic Budgets

Andar

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Could be because free keys also count as ownership. So it could be 100 sales and 1400 free keys from playtesters or promotions or whatever.
 

bgillisp

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Actually, it could have 1500 owners and 100 sales. The other 1400 could be illegal copies. Stinks, but those will factor in as well.
 

Kes

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Yeah, I know that there are loads of cracked copies of my games floating around. So annoying! At all levels.
 

Vayne88

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Could be because free keys also count as ownership. So it could be 100 sales and 1400 free keys from playtesters or promotions or whatever.
No, he doesnt give out many free keys, and the game is just 1 month old. He said, dont believe steamspy, it isnt accurate
 

onipunk

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...But as mentioned above they could be illegal copies, and Kes himself said that he knew there were tons of cracked copies of his own game floating around. If it exists on Steam it'll end up being cracked and distributed no matter how small-time the game is, that's how pirates work, they do it because they can rather than because the game's worth cracking. SteamSpy is a metric used by professional games media and developers due to its reliability, so I'd rather take their word for it than your one mate with anecdotal evidence.

Let's say, for sake of argument, that it is inaccurate, and every RPG Maker game can only expect to sell 100 copies like your mate did. So, with 100 copies of a game sold (and let's say you're selling the game for £5GBP), your budget would have to be under under £250GBP. Take away roughly £77 for Steam Direct fees, £61 for the cost of RPG Maker MV itself, and your effective development, commissioning and licensing budget is...£112GBP, which is hardly feasible for a commercial game.
 

Vayne88

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...But as mentioned above they could be illegal copies, and Kes himself said that he knew there were tons of cracked copies of his own game floating around. If it exists on Steam it'll end up being cracked and distributed no matter how small-time the game is, that's how pirates work, they do it because they can rather than because the game's worth cracking. SteamSpy is a metric used by professional games media and developers due to its reliability, so I'd rather take their word for it than your one mate with anecdotal evidence.

Let's say, for sake of argument, that it is inaccurate, and every RPG Maker game can only expect to sell 100 copies like your mate did. So, with 100 copies of a game sold (and let's say you're selling the game for £5GBP), your budget would have to be under under £250GBP. Take away roughly £77 for Steam Direct fees, £61 for the cost of RPG Maker MV itself, and your effective development, commissioning and licensing budget is...£112GBP, which is hardly feasible for a commercial game.
Well not all rpg maker games can be succesful. And how steamspy can track cracked copies? They play cracked game without opening steam right? (im not a pirate so its my guess). Even if steamspy can tracked illegal copies, it doesnt matter because developer doesnt get the money .Steam give you the real statistic from your game (official) when you have published your game. My friend didnt lie, he get 65 sales. Well its up you if you want to believe it or not. And he obviously didnt happy, because he spend like 5 years to make it. The reality is harsh sometime

And second is arcane raise, you know on steamspy is like 80k owners(when i asked him around 3 months ago)? The dev for that game is my friend, and he said its way below than 80k, way below.
 
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metronome

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Well not all rpg maker games can be succesful. And how steamspy can track cracked copies? They play cracked game without opening steam right? (im not a pirate so its my guess). Even if steamspy can tracked illegal copies, it doesnt matter because developer doesnt get the money .Steam give you the real statistic from your game (official) when you have published your game. My friend didnt lie, he get 65 sales. Well its up you if you want to believe it or not. And he obviously didnt happy, because he spend like 5 years to make it. The reality is harsh sometime

And second is arcane raise, you know on steamspy is like 80k owners(when i asked him around 3 months ago)? The dev for that game is my friend, and he said its way below than 80k, way below.
About Arcane Raise,
Even if he doesn't get 80k sales, I think he still sells for at least 2500, right?
If my guess is on the mark, then I think he is already making money. I mean the game is priced at 3 USD, and then by looking at the game screenshots, I don't think his budget could go higher than 2500 USD.

2500 sales x 3 USD x 50% cut for steam etc etc (according to bgillisp) = 3750 USD sales.
3750 USD sales - 2500 USD budget = 1250 USD profit = 50% profit!

The game is released by March 2017, and these numbers were coming from 3 months ago(according to your story), so basically he made 50% profit from March 2017 to July 2017.

50% profit is large. I mean. Go put that 3750 USD into bank, and see if it could make you 1250 USD profit in 5 months.....

note: I am just guessing. If I were wrong, I would like to be corrected. It's good to know how well the engine fares in steam anyway.
 

bgillisp

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@Vayne88 : Remember you can buy steam keys not on Steam after all. The Humble Bundle does it all the time. So, all someone has to do is get ahold of a key in the end. It happens all the time in Windows, when I was in school illegal codes for Windows 95 (ok I just dated myself haha) were all over the place. and I imagine it hasn't gotten any better since.

So yes, I still think those 1400 extra copies are all pirated copies.
 

Vayne88

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@Vayne88 : Remember you can buy steam keys not on Steam after all. The Humble Bundle does it all the time. So, all someone has to do is get ahold of a key in the end. It happens all the time in Windows, when I was in school illegal codes for Windows 95 (ok I just dated myself haha) were all over the place. and I imagine it hasn't gotten any better since.

So yes, I still think those 1400 extra copies are all pirated copies.
He only sold it on steam, no humble bundle. Btw how steamspy know 1400 copies are pirated version?
 

bgillisp

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It doesn't. It only knows you have a key for it. Whether or not that key is a LEGAL key is the issue here, and there is no way of checking that I know of.
 

Vayne88

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About Arcane Raise,
Even if he doesn't get 80k sales, I think he still sells for at least 2500, right?
If my guess is on the mark, then I think he is already making money. I mean the game is priced at 3 USD, and then by looking at the game screenshots, I don't think his budget could go higher than 2500 USD.

2500 sales x 3 USD x 50% cut for steam etc etc (according to bgillisp) = 3750 USD sales.
3750 USD sales - 2500 USD budget = 1250 USD profit = 50% profit!

The game is released by March 2017, and these numbers were coming from 3 months ago(according to your story), so basically he made 50% profit from March 2017 to July 2017.

50% profit is large. I mean. Go put that 3750 USD into bank, and see if it could make you 1250 USD profit in 5 months.....

note: I am just guessing. If I were wrong, I would like to be corrected. It's good to know how well the engine fares in steam anyway.
I just want to let you know about steamspy numbers.
 

onipunk

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Not to mention the existence of...certain key resellers illegally acquiring keys and selling them on, where 100% of the profit goes into their own pockets.

Anyway, this surely isn't relevant to the topic of budgets anymore? A separate thread for the reliability of SteamSpy with some screenshots to corroborate what Vayne88 is saying could be useful, but it's taken a diversion from the issue of figuring out a realistic budget. bgillisp's initial post was still useful to get ballpark estimates for budgets but it seems to have taken a bit of a diversion.

EDIT: Just to bring this back onto the topic of budgets again, another consideration is other software outside of RPG Maker. At the very minimum, I'd expect Photoshop and Premiere Pro (and possibly After Effects) to create logos, game icons, screenshots, press kits and a good-looking trailer for your game. If you're a student you can get the Adobe Creative Suite for around £17 per month on a subscription basis, so one year of that will cost you £196 in total. If you're not a student (which is hard to fake since you need an active student email address provided by your institution to get the student deal) it's £50 a month, so that rockets up to £600 per year. Sure, there's free alternatives out there but to create marketing materials you'll want the absolute best possible software to do so since the trailer will be the first impression your game will make on people. And if you can't capture and edit videos yourself, you'll need to pay someone to do that for you because a trailer can honestly make or break your game and you shouldn't skimp on it by any means.
 
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Shaz

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You don't have to buy those things, and I certainly wouldn't purchase them JUST for making a game. Especially considering I have no experience using them and my results would be pathetic. I'd pay someone else to do it at a much higher quality and in a fraction of the time. Although this could end up costing more than buying the software to do it myself.
 

onipunk

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@Shaz - Oh, of course not, but they are something to be considered. If you're serious about a commercial game though, things like a banner, a logo, a unique icon for the .exe, and a trailer should be paid attention to. The point of my post was more that either way, those things will end up costing you, whether you have the ability to do it yourself or you're paying someone to do it, and should be accounted for in your budget. Budgets aren't always about the money needed to make the game itself, after all, if you're serious about commercial viability then budgeting for marketing, distribution and possibly your own website is a wise move in my eyes.
 

Tuomo L

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EDIT: Just to bring this back onto the topic of budgets again, another consideration is other software outside of RPG Maker. At the very minimum, I'd expect Photoshop and Premiere Pro (and possibly After Effects) to create logos, game icons, screenshots, press kits and a good-looking trailer for your game. If you're a student you can get the Adobe Creative Suite for around £17 per month on a subscription basis, so one year of that will cost you £196 in total.
Or, use GIMP.

GIMP is free.
 

onipunk

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Or, use GIMP.

GIMP is free.
Sure, do that if it works for you. I'm not a fan of GIMP at all, but that's personal preference. Can't think of any good free replacement video editor for a trailer though, so to give an idea of comparable software to Premiere and After Effects, Sony Vegas 15 is $454 on Amazon (down from its actual list price of $600) and if you're a Mac user, Final Cut Pro X is $300. A recent thread in this forum highlighted how useful and important a good trailer can be, so whether you make that trailer yourself or pay someone to do it, it's going to cost in one way or another. Again, the point of the post was that there are other costs associated with a game than just the actual game development budget and to give an idea of where those additional costs could be incurred.

Basically, the gist is, put some money aside for marketing cause if you can't present your game in the best light and make people want to buy it, it doesn't matter how much money you've put into the actual development of said game.
 

bgillisp

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@onipunk : You bring up an interesting point here, as I lost track of how often I've seen kickstarter or even greenlight campaigns (when greenlight existed) where the trailer video had www.bandicam.com at the top of the trailer. And can you guess the first thing everyone ripped them for? Yep, you got it, they got ripped for not even shelling out $40 to get the registered version of bandicam for their trailer.
 

Tuomo L

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Sure, do that if it works for you. I'm not a fan of GIMP at all, but that's personal preference. Can't think of any good free replacement video editor for a trailer though, so to give an idea of comparable software to Premiere and After Effects, Sony Vegas 15 is $454 on Amazon (down from its actual list price of $600) and if you're a Mac user, Final Cut Pro X is $300. A recent thread in this forum highlighted how useful and important a good trailer can be, so whether you make that trailer yourself or pay someone to do it, it's going to cost in one way or another. Again, the point of the post was that there are other costs associated with a game than just the actual game development budget and to give an idea of where those additional costs could be incurred.

Basically, the gist is, put some money aside for marketing cause if you can't present your game in the best light and make people want to buy it, it doesn't matter how much money you've put into the actual development of said game.
VSDC. It's good for free.
 

Matseb2611

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Wondershare Filmora is also a good video editing software and it's only $60. What I like most about it is that it manages to be very user-friendly and easy to use despite also providing enough functionality for professional-looking videos. Far too many video editing programs are just too hard and unintuitive to use, so you could be searching for a while.

Edit: For image editing, I use Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8. It should be very cheap by now since that program is over 10 years old. Though there are also newer versions of it. In general, it's very similar to Photoshop, but a lot more affordable.
 
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onipunk

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@onipunk : You bring up an interesting point here, as I lost track of how often I've seen kickstarter or even greenlight campaigns (when greenlight existed) where the trailer video had www.bandicam.com at the top of the trailer. And can you guess the first thing everyone ripped them for? Yep, you got it, they got ripped for not even shelling out $40 to get the registered version of bandicam for their trailer.
The thing that makes Bandicam even more egregious in 2017 is that OBS is totally free, open-source and can record video capture in addition its livestreaming capabilities. No need for Bandicam in this day and age (and it doesn't help that the free version's video quality is just nasty).

And it's good to hear of a few alternatives! I admittedly don't look much outside the Adobe suite because I already have the student license for my college course (since it's an animation course I need to use roughly six of the programs included so it's the best deal possible for me) so the lack of research is totally on me. Maybe a new topic collating some good programs and free alternatives along with descriptions of them could be useful for folks to collaborate on as a community resource?
 

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