I Want To Invest In a Game Project, but I need Information

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Tesla, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Tesla

    Tesla New Member

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    I know at lot of you here are more familiar with the game development process than me. However, I have a bit of money and I know some investors who would be interested in moving into an online game project. There are two games I want you guys to take a look at, and I want you to tell me in your honest opinion which do you think will be more popular.

    There is an online game portal site called www.ijji.com. They have two games which have caught my eye, and these are Gunz: The Duel - http://gunz.ijji.com/
    and a 3D fighting game called Kwonho: http://kwonho.ijji.com/

    Both these games are popular, and Gunz has about 8,000 people playing per day( I'm one of them) These games are absolutely free to play and download. However, if you want to buy premium items to customize your character, you have to pay money, the cheapest is $5.

    My Question is this. I may be able to raise $10,000 to invest in a game that is either like Gunz or Kwonho. I know that the company that develops Gunz is based in Korea, and they are comprised of 11 people. Do you think I would need to outsource, or are there people I can hire here?

    Which game do you guys think will be cheaper, Kwonho or Gunz? Many players have complained that the Quest mode on Gunz is not offering a storyline, so if we could create a game in the genre, we could make a lot of money.

    I think both these genres have a lot of potential, and if I can put together a team to develop either or even both of them, I could be successful. I would just like some advice from you guys. I have a wealthy investor who is interested, but I need to write a bullet proof business plan that can show him the ROI and bottom line.

    Also, how much do you guys think IJJI/MAIET is making per month? Every game on www.ijji.com is like Gunz in the sense that you download and play the game for for free. There are no monthly fees. However, you can buy premium items to enhance your character.

    I have spent $35 so far. Many of the players have parents who want buy them, or they are cheap. Here is my estimates for Gunz alone, not including Kwonho or Soldier Front:

    1. There are at least 7000 people playing Gunz each day. This means there are 7,000 members.

    2. Lets say on 2500 members decide to pay $5, the cheapest amount, to pay for premium items.

    3. 2500 x 5 = $12,500 per month if they buy it every month. Keep in mind this, is the "lowest" amount. You can pay $10 $20 or $50. I believe it is possible to make hundreds of thousands per month. Gunz also has Korea, Brazil, Japan, and India servers.
     
    #1 Tesla, Feb 23, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  2. mrkwang

    mrkwang New Member

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    Not sure this reply could be helpful, anyway even recent Casual Word Game [Bookworm Adventures] cost 700,000$ to be made. And... Korean Online Game costs much more.
     
  3. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    That's not quite the game to measure budgets by. Bookworm Adventures has one of the highest casual game budgets.
     
  4. mrkwang

    mrkwang New Member

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    You are right.

    Just I picked up that expensive casual game for example, to let him know Korean Online Game costs much more.
     
  5. TimS

    Original Member

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    I personally think Gunz would be... but it'd be in competition with some pretty serious folks... like the upcoming Unreal Tournament...

    That figure would probably get you through building the website, designing the logo for the game, and the concept art stage... Then you'd be out of money. Unless you're thinking of doing this beast with an EXTREME indie aesthetic.... i.e. in Torque with volunteer artists and student programmers. In that case you could pull it off, but it would likely die a quick death since the game simply wouldn't look or play very well.

    As for your calculations at the bottom, you're absolutely right -- if they have 8000 people playing daily they are likely making a serious pile of money. It's figures like that that make real investors in the game industry not even blink at proposed budgets of a quarter of a million dollars for a 6-month development project... There's certainly money to be made out there!

    Best of luck. I think I'll try Gunz now... it looks fun.

    -Tim
     
  6. woo

    woo
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    But it doesn't mean mrkwang was inaccurate. It's going to cost a whole lot more than $10,000 to try to create an online game like those mentioned. Hire 11 people, for one week, for $10,000 (and that's a pretty low figure in the US, so don't expect the greatest results/efficiency) and then tell me how much work they can get done in that one week.

    There goes your 10 grand.

    You're going to have to multiply your $10,000 a week x at least 36 weeks, and that would be, as far as I'm concerned, the bare minimum in terms of labor for a game with the kind of quality/capabilities that makes people want to buy all that additional content. That puts your minimum labor at over $350,000 (and don't forget taxes and benefits, overhead, office space, equipment, software licenses, etc.), so that figure is actually going to be a lot higher - at least 50-60% again that number, if not more depending on the technology licensed, location of the team, etc. But expect to have something well in excess of that as I'm sure it took their team of 11 more than 36 weeks.

    Then to get the game running and to keep it running (for your theoretical 7000 users daily), you'll need to have a pretty hefty hardware investment as well. Ka-ching!

    Then you've got to get it into users hands. Who's going to market your game for you? A publisher or maybe even a portal might, though it's a risky proposition for them too, but they'll be reaping the benefits of every sale in return for their risk. You could do it yourself too... but... Ka-ching! Regardless, someone is paying money to market it, so your grand total is going to come out well in excess of 700,000 as mrkwang mentioned.

    The plus side is that those games make a whole lot of money (a lot more than the figures mentioned above), so someone with, say, at least several million or so to spend to get it going properly and market it successfully, could potentially make some serious bank in return. The biggest risk being, there's really not an established market for that type of game in North America (though several have tried or are trying)... at least not anywhere near the market in Asia. If you want to target this at the Asian market, this is probably the wrong forum to be posting in - you're going to want an Asian team that can better cater to the expectations of that market, but it's not really going to cost you significantly less even if labor can be found for less.

    Edit: Darn you Tim! Must. Type. Faster.

    -Andrew Douglas
    http://theoreticalgames.com
     
  7. Tesla

    Tesla New Member

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    I'm a webmaster with a lot of experience. I can build and host a website for $60 per year. The website can be built for pennies on the dollar, and advertising is cheap.

    After reading the responses of a lot of you guys, it seems that some of you are comparing this idea to traditional console or PC games. Unreal Tournament? I'm not at that level yet, and neither are the developers of Gunz or Kwonho.

    Advertising on the net is cheap. I don't care about offline advertising or television. That market is saturated, and only Multinational corporations can compete. I'm talking about advertising via:

    1. YouTube and other popular video sharing sites

    2. Bit Torrent Networks

    3. Gaming Sites

    4. Monthly ads on sites

    The venues mentioned above could bring thousands of visitors to my site quick. You guys are thinking too much like traditional gaming companies. I'm thinking like an entrepreneur who doesn't have a lot to spend. I can cut costs in whatever ways are necessary.

    I want the $10,000 to be spent developing the game. Advertising can be done for almost free. I know that it is impossible to few hire people in either the U.S. or Western hemisphere to work on this project. But what about India, China, Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, or South America?

    $10,000 will go a long way in these places for a game development.

    I'm not sure about that. You must understand that I'm not looking to make a game for the Xbox or Playstation. I'm not looking to develop a game that requires the latest video card to play. Gunz and Kwonho can be run on a system with only 500 megahertz and a 3D video card.

    I don't consider myself to be a salesman, but I'm a master at saving money and cutting expenses. I've been able to do what other people have called impossible. When I tell people how cheap my living expenses are( I live in the U.S) they have told me they don't believe.

    My point is that I firmly believe I can produce either Kwonho or Gunz for $10,000. But here is my most important question. From your experience, which game do you think will be cheaper to produce, Kwonho, or Gunz?

    I can't agree with that. I don't believe I need millions or even hundreds of thousands to produce a game like Gunz or Kwonho. You are talking about Ps3 level games, which is beyond my abilities. As far as there being a market in the U.S., look at the number of people who are playing Gunz right now. Most of them are based in the U.S., since it is on an American server.

    I've talked to the gamers, the people who play the game, and they've told me what they want. All we Have to do is give it to them for a nominal fee, and I can succeed.
     
  8. mrkwang

    mrkwang New Member

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    Okay. Let's make it more clear.

    Korean Game Making People salary might be around 2000$ monthly, at least.

    You could hire some people from India, China, Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, or South America. But if so, I think you don't have to ask about that here, right?
     
  9. Tesla

    Tesla New Member

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    I understand very well that Korea is a developed nation like the U.S. I never said I want the game to be developed in Korea. It just so happens that the company that developed Gunz and Kwonho are based in Korea.

    Perhaps I'am in the wrong forum. But, no one has answered the question I asked: Which will be cheaper to produce, a shooter like Gunz or a 3D Fighting game like Kwonho?

    If I had the resources to hire people in Korea or the U.S., I would. Unfortunately, I'm not EA games or Microsoft. Therefore, being an entrepreneur with only a small amount of start capital and few investors, I must do what is logical, and that is outsource.

    Some of you guys probably don't like outsourcing. Neither do I. It takes away innovation from countries like the U.S. and enlarges the pockets of big corporations. Here is the difference betwen me and them.

    1. The corporations have billions, but they outsource to save money and leave more in their pockets.

    2. I outsource because I only have a small amount to start out with, and I don't have any choice. You see the difference now?

    Perhaps some of you can point me in the direction of the right forum?
     
  10. mrkwang

    mrkwang New Member

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    I might write something more about this.

    I think you are under-estimating about Korean Online Game scene.

    Personally, I don't like Korean Gaming Market situation, which is only stick to Online Gaming. But they made TOO MANY online games until now, and they know very well how to Make & Operate it.

    Yeah. Operation is very important.

    For Online Gaming, Making is NOT the end. In fact, it's just the Start.

    Online Game must do UPDATE frequently, or very frequently. Gamer will not purchase only 1 package, and will visit often to purchase something in game or pay monthly. Instead, they need SOMETHING NEW again again & again. Even if game maker started service, they will MAKE SOMETHING MORE, right before they end the service.

    Update is not the end. Some or even Many people must be hired, to do GM. Customer will ask & ask & ask tons of things for in-game things, or report some bad things & even hacking. Somebody must be always there to answer. This is VERY IMPORTANT for online gaming, especially for such Competive Games. Gamer will not like the situation, if they are not dealt properly. And for GM, you can't hire some people from abroad, because GM must answer properly & must use proper language & must know the local culture for local service.

    Real important thing is SERVER MANAGEMENT. You could host 10 or 100 people easily, but how about 1,000 or even 10,000 at once? If server is always okay, everything is fine. But who knows what happens, when such a lot people enters? Some server professional must be there all the time, 24-7. And of course, proper server programming must be done, while making game itself.
     
    #10 mrkwang, Feb 23, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  11. Makaze

    Makaze New Member

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    $10,000 isn't enough. That wouldn't even cover my living expenses during the time it would take me to develop a rendering and network engine. That doesn't even take into consideration art and sound assets. Now admitedly I live in the US and so my expenses are somewhat higher than someone in SE Asia but the point remains.

    You can't develop a game like this on that kind of budget. The reason you see such small budgets being thrown around here all the time is because the creators are "donating" 100s of hours and thus tens of thousands of dollars of their own time into the project. If you actually figure in the average industry cost for someone of their skill even the simplest of casual games (that are quality enough to sell) quickly costs more than $10,000. And a 3D realtime networked game blows that number skyhigh.

    Now if YOU want to make ie. program the whole thing then $10k is an awesome budget to spend on art and sound. But you'll never find anyone that can code something like Gunz for $10k (and have it be good).

    We're not trying to be jerks and we're not giving you inflated figures. Big budget PS3 or AAA PC titles run into many millions. Your average big studio would look at the $350,000 someone mentioned earlier as not even a month of operating budget. But it's a reasonable figure to hire 10 people to crank out a game like the one you want.

    The reason people haven't answered your original question or pointed you to another forum is because it is irrelevant. It doesn't matter which one you choose as you can't afford to develop either one. That's the point people are trying to get across. And it isn't that we're against outsourcing. Heck that's where I get all of my music from.
     
    #11 Makaze, Feb 23, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  12. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm going to agree with the other who are telling you that 10K isn't likely to get you very far. I would be interested in hearing more about your cheap advertising ideas as I haven't found advertising to be cheap enough to make sense.

    BTW, a 1/3 conversion rate is... optimistic. People who download game demos convert around 1%, if they converted at 33% we would all be much happier.
     
  13. sillytuna

    Indie Author

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    All good comments above but $10k is... not a lot to say the least.

    It does help if you do web stuff, but you do need to ensure you deal with endless potential security issues relating to buying content and using it in game, and then also support issues.

    I don't want to put you off because you can create some great little games on no budget, but plan very carefully and don't assume your costs finish when the game appears "done".

    Good luck and do let us know what happens.

    Task for you - name some games and say how much you think they cost. Post here and check the feedback.
     
  14. mrkwang

    mrkwang New Member

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    And 1 more important thing. ADVERTISEMENT.

    You are thinking about some free advertisement, through Youtube or something else. You are partly right.

    I already told you that Korean made too many online games until now. That means, there are already tons of games which gamer could play, and new game must struggle to get the share.

    Not sure you know, even if Gunz & Kwonho are NOT the BEST KNOWN games in Korea, they are still SOMEWHAT WELL KNOWN games. If not has some share in Korean market, they can't be exported at all.

    So... What did Gunz & Kwnoho advertise in Korean scene?

    Not sure you know, we have Ongamenet cable TV channel, which shows us Starcraft league almost 24-7. Well. Starcraft is not the end, and they do some League for other games, or showing instruction for other games. Gunz did some league in Ongamenet months ago for a while. Not sure how long it was, anyway it took for a while. And of course, it's kinda PAID BROADCAST, another kind of Advertisement. Expensive? Not sure exactly, but I guess it's far over your budget.

    For Kwonho, it has done BANNER ADVERTISEMENT in Korean Portal (not gaming portal, but Naver.com. See Alexa result about Naver.com, to know how big they are.) - Korean Game Webzine, for a long time. Well. In Korea, BANNER ADVERTISEMENT could be VERY EXPENSIVE for Portal site as Naver. Not sure exactly about their fee schedule, anyway it could cost almost same as Ongamenet PAID BROADCAST, or even more.
     
  15. electronicStar

    Original Member

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    Yeah 10000$ is not enough. Many casual portal games cost more than that to devellop. Even with a reduced team and cheap fares.
    The games you're talking about use very good graphics, if you want to have the same quality you'd have to pay more than that to a contractor.
    Plus all the other costs (for example online games need a lot of mulitplayer testing).
    Plus as someone else said, if you want to earn the monthly expenses paid by players, you'd have to own and manage the website (a portal would only pay you a flat fee or a small fraction of the royalties), and that's a lot of money (maintenance,servers, advertisement,etc...)

    BTW I think (not sure ) I saw the Gunz game in a CD version somewhere.
     
    #15 electronicStar, Feb 23, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  16. Tesla

    Tesla New Member

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    I disagree. My living expenses would be covered, and I live in the U.S. I've talked to people in India who have a monthly mortgage payment of $250 bucks. How long could 3 grand pay their mortgage?

    I don't think any of you guys are jerks, and you guys have more experience than me in several key areas. However, my entire life, I've been told "I can't." Every day, people are told that, and most give up hope.

    Let me put you in a hypothetical situation. What if someone told you to develop a game like Gunz or Kwonho on $10,000 grand, and they told you if you didn't you were going to die, no matter where you ran? What would you do then?

    Would you give up hope? Would you commit suicide? While I'm not in a situation like that, I've put myself in that type of mind set. I believe in do or die. That is the spirit of an entrepreneur. Whether it is an online game, or another money making model, failure is not an option.

    As the saying goes, if you have a big enough "How" you will figure out a "way." I already make money doing a different business online, but I'm looking to expand. I don't have $300,000 grand, but I want to build a game. If I can't succeed with this business or my other business ideas, I will be forced to go back to being a wage slave. That is a fate I'am not willing to accept.

    But I guess I will have to start searching around for the right forums. By the way, what type of game do you guys think I could develop if not Gunz or Kwonho?
     
    #16 Tesla, Feb 23, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  17. mrkwang

    mrkwang New Member

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    If so, hire them to make good Online Game.

    If you succeed, Gamer will be very happy, to play good Online Game not from Korea.
     
  18. Makaze

    Makaze New Member

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    And how long do you think it would take a single programmer to write something like this? I spend all told between rent, food, gas, ect. around $2000 a month. That means I could program for 5 months on your budget which by the way would not get you a fully functional Gunz. And during this time I would make absolutely no profit whatsoever.

    Now my rent is only 1/3 of my monthly expenses so you're Indian guy is going to cost you $750 at cost. You could hire him for a little over a year. Maybe he could actually pull off something as complicated as your asking for in that time period. I doubt it but maybe. Now you've got no art, no sound, no servers, and no money. I think you underestimate the time, effort, and skill it takes to pull something like this off.

    Most of us can come up with $10k, if that was all it took to make a game then there'd be a whole hell of a lot moree games out there.

    And keep in mind 5 programmers does not mean 5 times faster it means maybe 2-3 times faster if you're lucky.

    No one is trying to tell you not to follow your dream. That what we're all here doing. And many of us do believe that if you try hard enough then we can make it happen. But your situation is a bit more grounded in the numbers. You've either got to do some of the work yourself or spend more money.
     
    #18 Makaze, Feb 23, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  19. Tesla

    Tesla New Member

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    I don't know about Korea, but in the United States, the average American owes 10 grand in credit card debt, and our savings rate is negative. I've looked at the statistics, and most Americans have less than $1200 sitting in the bank. Also, since I've worked at a bank, I can vouch for that.

    Having said that, $10,000 is "not" easy to come up with. If it were, most Americans would have it sitting in the bank like 20 bucks. 10 grand may be pocket lint for high end games, but it isn't money that most people have just sitting in the bank ready to toss on a game either.

    The hardest thing about developing a game is the programming, right? Then this is where the bulk of the money will go. I have experience with three things that I know from first hand experience can be done for cheap:

    1. Design/Art: Who said the characters, stages, weapons, or vehicles had to be customed built? There are 3D artists online who sell basic 3D models that can be modified. I hired an artist in Poland to do a comic book project for $70 bucks. A friend of mine hired a Serbian Programmer for $170. Art/ design is easy. I could simply buy 3D models and have them modified.

    2. Advertising - Perhaps the cheapest expense of all. I can get my ads on PR 6 or 7 ranked sites for about $50 bucks a month, and I could use YouTube, Bittorrent networks, and similar sites. Advertising will probably be the cheapest. I could even use offline guerilla marketing tactics.

    3. Sound - Also dirt cheap. Can outsource for pennies, or I could simply purchase sound effects on the net.

    I guess this leaves servers, programming, and maintenance. I can tell you with a certainty that the 3 cheapest things above can be done for $700, guaranteed. That leaves me with $9,300 which will be reserved for animation and programming. By outsouring, 3 programmers should be sufficient, with two animators. I even have a bit of animation experience, so I could pitch in, bringing it to 3 animators. So we have a total team of six so far.

    I also forgot to mention purchasing the servers, but that can be done cheaply. We only need to support 2000 people Start small, then build.
     
    #19 Tesla, Feb 23, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  20. soniCron

    Indie Author

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