How long has it been since I've done a post about computer games? I just haven't been moved to post. Now some tasty crpg news moves me (and if you don't know what a crpg is, this post will bore you to tears).
Jeff Vogel, creator and chief designer of the indie gaming company Spiderweb Software, has a new blog, The Bottom Feeder. Jeff and Spiderweb Software have produced about 20 great indie computer role playing games — low-res-graphics but high-quality-gameplay games that take me back to 1983, when I was playing Ultima III around the clock. They're well-known and respected among gamers who favor classic-style crpgs.
Jeff's new blog promises to give us interesting glimpses of life as an indie game designer. Today he's given us some cold, hard facts by discussing how much it cost to produce the late 2006/early 2007 game Geneforge IV (which, if memory serves, our co-blogger Grandy beta-tested) and then comparing that to revenues on the game. It's an eye-opener. Spiderweb is probably the best known indie developer of crpgs, but he developed an ambitious game (albeit one built on an existing engine) for around $120k, with revenue as of now just under that, and presumably more to come.
So you're not going to get filthy rich as an indie game designer, clearly. In fact, you're going to have to be a stand-out like Vogel just to break even. But if you choose that path (and it's on my list, behind opera singer and masked superhero), Vogel's blog should offer good advice.
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