More evidence that I am right…
So how much time goes into making and selling your simple little game? Two to three times as much as you imagine, that’s for sure. As always, it all depends on a multitude of factors, the major ones being the size of the game and your previous experience with doing exactly the things needed to realize it. This can all vary wildly, but let’s get concrete with our example.
I have been making games as a hobby for over 15 years and recently taught classes about it at university, so I’m no stranger to game programming. I also spent the summer making my own iOS framework before going into this project. It would be the same if I took an existing framework and got really familiar with it. What matters is I knew exactly how to make this game. After the guys at Dawn of Play briefed me on the design, it was pure execution.
I had a very good base, in other words. But in spite of that, for a simple, one-screen arcade game with a basic menu, my programming time clocked in at 109 hours. That’s a month and a half of part-time work (three to four effective hours per workday, done alongside my teaching gig). Game Center integration (leaderboards and achievements) were done by an additional programmer and took two extra man-weeks. [Emphasis Mine]
Seed is not salable, I think, though things are bad enough on XBox Live Indie that it might move a few copies. I almost believe I should scrap it.
And maybe I should scrap it as a financial project. But I need to finish it as a program, complete with menus and all those little bits of polish.
Now, back to Seed…