How much money does it take to make indie game a success?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by HarryyyMG, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. HarryyyMG

    HarryyyMG Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Hi there. I would like to know some of your insights regarding this topic. Do you need money (not that huge) in order to make your game a success. Let's say, you are an indie game developer and would not use a publisher, how much you need to make your self made game a success considering the developer registration, ads and other things to make your game known and spread to many people?
  2. Smiechu

    Smiechu Member

    Jul 14, 2017
    First of all make sure your game is good, and people will have fun playing it...

    Without it, even the the biggest money won't do. Even worse, you can make people angry, that they ware "convinced" to buy a game that looks only good in commercials but in reality it's crap.
    ShubhamBansod likes this.
  3. ShubhamBansod

    ShubhamBansod Member

    Jun 20, 2016
    Yes! @Smiechu is right! But its only 75% of making it a success! You have to reach the audience too! And for that, you have to spend money! not too much but still a little amount!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  4. Toque

    Toque Member

    May 25, 2017
    I’m not sure an indi has enough money to make a game a success.

    And of course what does success mean?
    Turn a profit? Make 5000$? Feature on the iTunes Store?

    I agree with others here. Better to put the effort in making a great game.
  5. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

    Jun 26, 2016
    Answer this question for me: How much rope does it take to lead a horse to water and make it drink?

    If you see the problem with this question, you should also see what the problem with yours is.
    Yal and Toque like this.
  6. The-any-Key

    The-any-Key Member

    Feb 2, 2017
    If you are lucky: $0 (ex flappy birds)
    If you are un-lucky: $9999...<null point terminator missing>

    Conclusion: Spend more on audience = get more audience.

    But you can play it smart. Create a good presentation for your game and put in on several platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Imgur...) Involve people in the development. Start to build a group of people that want to play your game. They talk to their friends... and the chain reaction has started.
  7. EvanSki

    EvanSki King of Raccoons

    Apr 17, 2018
    Make your game about entertainment, not trends, references(you can but just do them as jokes not plot points) most importantly make sure when the player plays your game there enjoying it and fell like there money was spent wisely, it doesn't matter how much you pump into your game, if it sucks it wont make anything, if its good you might make a return but when your making the game dont focus on making money, thats where big major companies run into problems and there fans give backlash, focus on fun and entertainment, sell an experience not a thing you put a lot of money into to make it "good". good luck. :)
    Toque likes this.
  8. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

    Jun 20, 2016
    $100, for the Steam registration fee.

    They give it back to you, though, so $0.
    Cantavanda likes this.
  9. Cantavanda

    Cantavanda 〜Flower Prince〜

    Jun 23, 2016
    Almost RHC!
    Money to buy GMS2, and the Steam fee.
    If you have enough talent, time and patience to learn, you can make a good game all by yourself, put it on Steam and it'll blow up and make you rich. Dunderdale is a recent example!
    (I'm not sure if it used GMS2 or not but U get my point... GMS2 would be very capable of making it)
  10. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

    Apr 22, 2016
    Duplicate topics merged from Off Topic and the Game Design forum.
  11. Toque

    Toque Member

    May 25, 2017
    It’s possible but not easy. Keep your day job. Love the process and make a great game! You never know if you don’t try.
  12. mimusic

    mimusic Member

    Nov 24, 2017
    Undertale was made in GMS (1.4, since I don't think GMS2's beta was even out yet). Undertale is actually a very good example to bring up, because it seems a lot of people think the game just showed up and got popular, but this is far from the truth.
    • Undertale was crowd funded on Kickstarter for over 1000% of the original goal (approx. 50,000 USD funding on a 5,000 USD goal). This means that a lot of people already knew and supported the idea of the game before it was properly released. This also meant that gaming news outlets, like Kotaku, were more likely to take notice and keep on eye on key moments in development and release.
    • Toby Fox already had people who knew him through his work on Homestuck, so when he was making Undertale, he already had people following him that he knew would be interested in the game.
    • I don't know this from experience, but apparently Toby sent the demo to some streamers (and possibly YouTubers), where it was received positively by both the streamers and the viewers. This doesn't always work, but when it does, it can be very good for your advertising. Many people who are dedicated to streamers/YT gamers will be greatly influenced by their opinion of a game.
    • Obviously, post-release, the game got huge thanks to the controversy caused by avid fans + the amount of streamers and YT'ers playing it at that point.
    My point in all of this is that even though Undertale is a well made game, there was already a lot of support and interest before the game was even out. This doesn't even include any advertising Toby himself went out of the way to do or pay for. Undertale is a commercial success through its profits, but it's also a personal success for Toby because he had reached a point in his career where people actually knew who he was and what he was capable of.

    Know your audience. If you don't have an audience, find your audience. People love games, but they're terrible at finding them. It's your job to reach them, and no amount of money is going to do that for you. (Sure, money is necessary for ad spots, but even then, an ad is useless if it isn't targeted)

    To summarize:
    • Having a good game should be your baseline; this won't make you money on its own, but will definitely lose you money/profits through its absence.
    • Finding/having an audience and using that to your advantage is key for indie development. You can spend money on ads, sure, but that's the last step of the process. First, you need to know who you should be advertising to, how you should do it, and how much of that you can get either your fans or game streamers to do for you. However, do not expect anything to happen unless you set it in motion yourself.
    Also, as a side note, don't just drop a game on Steam prior to engaging your audience and expect anybody to notice. That's a great way to lose $100 and some self confidence at the same time.
    YanBG and Electros like this.

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