Why do people make a good game for free?

Ronyunderen

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Give me some real and honest explanation why do people make a good game just for free? Why the people do that? What their orientation and motivation?

I ask this because i wanna make a game, a dark fantasy game for free too. Why i give it for free? Because i use many music with legal license that have copyright.
 

Blackfield

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Some people are not in it for the money. In my personal life I'm acting in theatres for free - just for the fun of it. With games it could be the same -> They just do it to make other people happy and like to see them enjoying the game.

Others might think they are not good enough or better, their game is not good enough... which then probably is the case. I see very few "good" games that are for free. When you spend >1.000 hours on your game, you usually don't give it away for free.
 

Allaboutevent

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As you have also already stated, one reason may be that there are useful assets used that do not come with a commercial liscense.

And then there is the saying, you have to speculate to accumulate.

Some clever peeps may release free works in the hope of it becoming popular, gaining a following and then releasing their next game commercially with an established fan base.

Others may do this as a hobby. I do.
 

Andar

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1) some people want their name known for later use in commercial games.
there are many reasons why we suggest for people who plan to sell games to complete a free game first, including that no one can have any idea about the work required without completing a game first.

2) because they develop games for fun and don't want the hassle of going through the loops required to sell games (business licence, tax reports and so on)

3)
Because i use many music with legal license that have copyright.
you might be under a misconception here.
giving away a game with ripped or illegal resources does NOT make the game legal.
it only reduces the payments you have to do and makes it more likely that you are not sued for damages when the copyright holder tells your hoster to take it down.
but it is still illegal and will be taken down when the copyright holder learns of it.

the only reason why some fangames keep online is because they are too obscure and too bad quality to gain the fame that would the original copyright holderdetect them.
 

Philosophus Vagus

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I'm one person making a game in my free time as a hobby. It has taken me five years and cost somewhere around $4500 dollars in personal funding so far to make and I'm still not satisfied that it is polished enough to bother releasing, even for free at this point.

When it is it'll be free though and the number one reason for that is that I have no interest in doing the work necessary to make it a commercial success to be honest. All the assets are owned by me, It isn't a fangame or anything so legally there is absolutely nothing stopping me from monetizing it if I wanted to but practically speaking it just wouldn't be fun for me anymore if I had to open myself up to the social poison that is twitter and be active on social media promoting my hobby as a commercial venture as would be required for such things.

Ultimately that's just not my motivation here, I don't do this for it to become a job, I already have a full time job, an (admittedly easier than most) part time job and another hobby that I've managed to monetize into a job as it is and I neither need or want another.
 

Iron_Brew

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All labour should be remunerated. Creating art is valid labour.
 

Popoto_milk

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Free games can act as a "dry run" for a dev/team. The pressure to deliver a quality product & support isn't as high with free stuff so you can focus on learning from the release. If it's short, a free game can also be a low-commitment way to see how a team works together
 
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People are doing a lot of things without having money as their goal..
I believe mostly because they feel like it..

Personally, I can't afford to spend money on games because i am broke..:kaoswt: So I appreciate people that give their games for free and i plan to make my game free too (if i will ever finish it..)
Also, I do things first of all for myself and then for other people.. Because i have fun doing them.

One thing people are doing and i am supporting it, they put the optional "pay anything you want for the game" option..
Like if you guys have extra money and you want to support me, you can.. But if you still can't, the game is still free! (I see this on a lot of rpg maker games)
 

BenSD

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I don't know about y'all, but my biggest reason for making my game free is that nobody is going to play it if they have to pay for it :p

I'm a professional writer, so I've learned the value of "selling" your work for free. Many (most) publications pay writers of articles/stories/essays/etc. in contributor copies if at all, and it's still worth it just to have the publication history under your belt.

Also, Andar mentioned this, but I thought I'd back him up: distributing copyrighted materials you don't have rights to is illegal whether you get paid or not. Also, it's just ethically icky. Don't do that.
 

ATT_Turan

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Give me some real and honest explanation why do people make a good game just for free? Why the people do that?
Because they feel happy sharing their art. The same reason musicians sometimes play for free or artists give away artwork for free.
Why i give it for free? Because i use many music with legal license that have copyright.
It is illegal to distribute a game that has music you don't have rights to use.
 

BK-tdm

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I've had recent opinions from streamers that i should charge for my project which is not in my plans to be honest for various reasons.

1.I dont think its THAT good to ask people money to play it.
2.Even though im in for the money i want money from a different source, commisions, my game is just a giant playable ad for this purpose.
3.I suck at marketing :kaoswt2:
4.Publishing on big platforms like steam costs money, and its a hefty sum for my economical, adding point 3 i doubt ill make back the investment.
 

HexMozart88

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Yeah, for me it's the same thing as Ben. If I charge for all of my projects, no one will buy them. A good example is Heidi vs. Wakey Wakey. Heidi has had one payment. The rest have been people downloading the demo and not coming back. Total of 8 downloads.
Wakey Wakey was sold as Pay What you Want. 4 payments and 31 downloads. Big difference.
 

2098-Face

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I'm not an expert in this, but here's answers from some people who are: https://gamedev.stackexchange.com/q...ublishing-games-online-without-charging-money

It covers a good deal of the points discussed in this thread, from building a fanbase and advertising your portfolio, to doing things for the art. My favorite part is getting an enthusiastic review from a 7-year-old.

For something that's the opposite of kid stuff: There's a free game years ago that advertised itself as very cutesy and upbeat, but a twist turns it into a psychological horror halfway through.
Doki Doki Literature Club
The main dev was worried people would feel ripped off, and ask for their money back once they reach the surprise horror elements; releasing the base game as freeware meant he was less likely to get in trouble. The game's profit model is merchandise, and the option to pay for extra concept sketches and notes. There's an updated release on consoles that's paid, which advertises itself as a horror game to begin with. Maybe not so much a legal thing as a matter of the creator's personal morals, but there you are.

All labour should be remunerated. Creating art is valid labour.
Absolutely agreed here! I'd argue that there's different forms of remuneration than money; that being said, it's on the creator's own terms. (If someone wants to be paid in exposure or just wants the practice, that's their call, not the consumer(s).)
 
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peq42_

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For fun, for learning, for testing an idea before monetizing it(games sometimes go from free to paid) or simply because "free" sometimes pays more(ads, in-game purchases, in-game paid currency, paid DLCs, etc)
 

Kes

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All labour should be remunerated. Creating art is valid labour.
So, have your parents charged you yet for all the labour involved in bringing you up? Not a snippy reply on my part, but one used to point out that in fact there is nothing in the world which says that all labour should be remunerated. It is a purely optional choice to take that stance, not a law of the universe. At times love can be hard work, so can friendship. Do you really want those monetized? Voluntary charitable work is, by definition, unpaid but is often hard work. People do a a huge range of things for an equally huge range of reasons. I, for one, would be sad to see a world in which everyone expected to be paid for everything.

And I think the same thing applies to game making. Not everyone wants to be paid for doing what they enjoy doing. In fact, being paid for it can change the whole way you relate to an activity to the extent that you'd rather not do it anymore.
 

ATT_Turan

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So, have your parents charged you yet for all the labour involved in bringing you up? Not a snippy reply on my part, but one used to point out that in fact there is nothing in the world which says that all labour should be remunerated.
I agree. I can't speak for Iron_Brew's intentions, but (as a professional musician) I would say "all labor is worthy of being remunerated." There are still a boggling number of people who expect artists of various types to produce work for the love of it/for the experience/for the exposure.
 

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