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I'm currently try to make a business plan and was just wondering, how you guys decide the budget for outsourcing tasks. Is there a kind of a reference point? Or does the client decide this mostly by himself, what he want for his work? I speaking specially about tasks like:

  • translation (en->xxx)
  • character artwork
  • tiles/background artwork
  • sprites
  • music (BGM/SE)
  • voice synchronization

Naturally it depends really a lot about content size and requirements - but have any here a generally idea about the neccessary budget for tasks like this? Any link or ressource to this topic would be highly appreciated. Thank you guys,

Edit: Already thank you, for the great answers! Specially I mean also things like: How do you compromise with graphics artists and what kind of "contract" do you use. In which frame I can imagine the payment for i.e. a drawn character artwork or a standard sprite sheet with a few animations? Any experiences? I haven't really an idea, what to offer an artist for such tasks...

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I think it depends on how much money you have available. A simple 'indie' scenario:

Let's say you have a 10k budget for your game, and you plan to work on it for two months. Take out 4k to live on (you'll need to eat, really). That leaves your 6k.

You'll want some 'slack' in your budget for unforseen stuff, reserve 1k: 5k remaining.

What other things do you need to pay out of your budget?

Hosting? 0.5K Ads/PR? 1k, etc.

That leaves you with 3.5k to distribute around the items you named. Distribute them according to 'workload'. E.g. making one animated model takes approx. 15 times more work/time/money than creating a 2d tiles/sprite.

Edit: setting your budget is setting a limitation. This will force you to find creative solutions to stay within your budget. (I mean, you're not Blizzard, are you?)

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Or you could always make a small team (if you find some new grads, or people just wanting to use their skills) you can divide the profits up in a fair way. 50% for programmer, 30% for artist, 20% for audio. But this depends on the content of the game.
Then your budget would mainly be for tools, hosting/blogging, advertising, snacks (the better the snack, the better the game)

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-1 - Those numbers seem to be pulled out of a hat, and I'd definitely not consider that division fair. – user744 Dec 23 '10 at 11:03
@Joe Wreschnig haha what? Thats just an example, i said it depends on your game.I was just saying you can split up the profits in a fair way. Thanks for the down vote though?? – Spooks Dec 24 '10 at 16:02
"Split it up arbitrarily, here's a random example" is not a good answer. My downvote remains. – user744 Dec 24 '10 at 21:15
@Joe Wreschnig and my answer had nothing to do with my random example, the question was about budget, and I replied making a small team, as that way you can save your budget for other things. – Spooks Apr 1 '11 at 19:13

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