One development takes a month, while the other takes years. You can only find out the cost of creating a game by summing up the team’s expenses, including software, rights to content, and devices used for testing. A game on Android with minimal features will cost about $ 500, and a quest for PS up to $ 300 million.
For small projects, one programmer and handyman designer who knows animation and modeling is enough. As the requirements for the game increase, so does the team, and costs increase. What influences the most?
Factors influencing the cost of the game
- Command type. Creating a game for Android is within the power of one freelance programmer, and some even do it on their own. Whereas an AAA project requires an equivalent workforce. For an average video game, these are three programmers and a manager, while for a serious RPG you need at least 5 people and your own office, or a version of a ready–made team.
- Game design. Team size also correlates with game design. For a small game, the customer, manager, and coder talk about the level, the mechanics of the game, and the look of the characters in words. Whereas a complex project requires a specialized game designer, appropriate documentation and other tools to keep the team in step.
- Development of tools. Visual stories and simple mobile games are developed on ready–made engines. For more complex options, you need to significantly change the engine or even write your own, from scratch. For one project, it takes 2 months to write the code, while it takes a year to build your own engine.
- Service integration. It takes half an hour to integrate one plugin with a mobile platform. Whereas it takes at least a day to connect three plugins. Moreover, some plugins are incompatible with each other and it takes weeks or even months to solve this problem.
- The quality and quantity of graphics. A lot of graphics have to be constantly optimized and compressed. This also applies to quality. High quality graphics require sophisticated optimization techniques on the platform of your choice. It takes much more time and effort than the simplistic approaches used to develop mobile games. Therefore, this kind of development can be considered more profitable in some way. Another question is how much does it cost to make a mobile game. One thing is clear – it will depend on its complexity and its development will cost less than on any other platform.
- Server scaling. Basic functionality is provided by a server or a ready–made solution like GameSpark or PhotonNetwork. In other cases, a separate custom server and scaling option are required.
- More code means more programmers. The more code is written to create the game, the more difficult it becomes. Also, it takes more time to maintain the code during the development of computer games. Build, analytics, optimization and testing systems take this into account when making a new set of changes.
- Quality control and assembly systems. A small project can be manually compiled, run and tested. Whereas the complexity of testing grows proportionally with the growth of the project. We have to create systems to streamline the deployment of the server, libraries, containers, and programs. Automated testing complicates the project and increases its cost.
- Number of platforms. While Unity3D is a cross–platform engine, working on code that is based on Unity3D is worth keeping in mind about other platforms. Sometimes you have to maintain a single codebase by making changes that are not related to the new platform to the old version of the code.
How is game development evaluated in outsourcing companies?
The assessment takes place depending on the actions and ideas of the customer:
- A clear idea of the project. The client came with a ready–made business strategy, design and marketing budget plan. If the design does not need improvement, you can find out the exact cost of the game development service.
- Lack of design and functional description. The customer represents the target audience and knows the genre of the game. Before evaluating such a project, pre–project analytics and prototyping are carried out. Based on the analysis results, the cost is known with an error of 10–15%.
- An approximate description. If the client has no idea about the target audience and proven business hypotheses, only the first stage of work is evaluated – prototyping and pre–project analytics. Only after this stage the evaluation takes place and the creation of the game can be ordered. To this, only a rough estimate of large blocks is possible.
The final cost of the project contains detailing of the customer’s requirements, analytics, engineering, design, coding, testing, promotion and project management. The release is not the end of the work on the game, but only the beginning. The Whimsy team will do everything possible for a pleasant and fruitful cooperation. You can find more info here.