You are spending too long making your game (Video)

Jake recently did a talk for an online conference called ProIndieDev. The talk was about why you are spending too long making your game with a bunch of fascinating charts of data collected over the past 13 years that reveal hourly earnings from working on our games.

2 Responses to “You are spending too long making your game (Video)”

  1. Geoffrey Sangston Says:

    Hi Jake,

    Thank you for this video and for the “How to Survive in Gamedev for Eleven Years Without a Hit” presentation.
    I found that one of the more inspiring presentations I’ve seen in a long time.

    I was wondering if you could talk a bit about how you go about hiring artists. It seems like one of the more intimidating steps
    to me, even though I’ve realized I’ll never make anything interesting without working with artists.
    I could see myself paying for high quality art that doesn’t fit together in a game, or getting shafted in other ways.
    I guess that you probably just have to go for it and spend a bit of money with no hope of making it back because
    it’s going to be terrible at first, but perhaps you have some advice which mitigates that a bit.

    Thank you, Geoffrey

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Hi Geoffrey, thanks for your comments and question. Well I’ve worked with artists in several ways:
    - For my first game I bought in some cheap stock art and modified it and made some of my own. But that game didn’t do very well. That’s when I concluded I needed decent art.
    - For my second game I worked with a hobbyist pixel artist who made some nice art for a low cost but it was the wrong art for the genre/market and the game didn’t do well.
    - For my third game someone else paid for the art, several thousand dollars, but we made it back.
    - For my forth game I paid more for two artists who made 3D rendered backgrounds and shapes. It didn’t cost too very much and the game did well because it looked good.
    - For my fifth/sixth games Big Fish Games hired the artists so I had no say in it, but it turned out great. They were probably paid decently.
    - For my seventh game I asked on Twitter and Facebook for people to recommend artists and ended up working with a great hobbyist artist from Mexico for part of the game and a team of artists in Ukraine. For both of them I paid an upfront fee to show I was serious and also a revenue share percent for 18 months. I was able to do this due to having a track record.
    - For my 8th/9th/11th games I paid the Ukrainian artists part up front and at the end.
    - My 10th game was a mobile port I made for someone else so there was existing art though we did need a few new things but the artist provided those “for free” as he was part of the company I was doing the port for.

    I’m not sure that answers your question but it shows the various ways in which I have used art in my games.