Gunpoint Recouped Its Development Costs in 64 Seconds

josemlopes

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I understand what he says by having a budget of only 30$ but not taking into account the fact that as a developer you enjoy making games (like most budgets are made) that budget would go a lot higher then 30$.


Imagine that he wasnt a good artist and had trouble doing the art, he would have to hire an artist and right there the budget would rocket sky-high in comparision.

I myself am doing a 3D animation and I havent spended any money on it (and wont) so I guess my budget would be 0$ but budgets dont work like that, its kind of weird.
 

Parakeettheprawn

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DVS BSTrD said:
How can that be? They didn't even create a new game engine for it!
And no focus testing dammit! And where's the sex scene? Where's Mark Meer voicing the main protagonist in a strangely metrosexual vibe? Where's the QTEs? Why isn't there DLC to have the ability to brutally punch someone -- you can't just have that in there as-is! Mod tools? What is this man thinking!
 

Parakeettheprawn

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josemlopes said:
I understand what he says by having a budget of only 30$ but not taking into account the fact that as a developer you enjoy making games (like most budgets are made) that budget would go a lot higher then 30$.


Imagine that he wasnt a good artist and had trouble doing the art, he would have to hire an artist and right there the budget would rocket sky-high in comparision.

I myself am doing a 3D animation and I havent spended any money on it (and wont) so I guess my budget would be 0$ but budgets dont work like that, its kind of weird.
...English not your first language, friend?

That said, yeah. Speaking personally as someone who can cover level design and game design but not much else, I'm lucky to have the 3D animator/modeller as a partner that I've got. We're presently looking at finally getting a new coder and a replacement concept artist, and everyone understands we aren't getting paid until the project is done because... well... most if not all of us either put our expenses into RL or are broke in terms of money we could genuinely spend on development. I'm glad to see the Gunpoint dev do well, as it's clear he's got some fantastic talent under his belt and is a funny writer to boot. Who knows, maybe he'll be the next Ken Levine. You can never tell until the time has passed.
 

Gearhead mk2

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See EA, THIS is how you make your money back on a franchise. Keep that in mind next time you add micro transactions and co-op.
 

Arawn

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Good for him. Made a great game. Just after the demo I was hooked. It's simple and addicting. Try it out and you'll find yourself contributing to his growing wealth.
 

shiajun

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After the looming AAA games crash actually happens, I'm glad we have the infrastructure in place to keep these games going, and doing fine and dandy.
 

Waaghpowa

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The guy deserves all the money he gets. The game is brilliant and, in a lot of cases, absolutely hilarious.

Now get that Linux version out :D
 

Ramziez

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I'm glad I helped support this guy, best 10$ I've spent in a good while. Just waiting for workshop support then the custom campaigns will come rolling in.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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That graph is the best laugh I've had all month. Congrats to you, Mr. Francis; you earned it.

Parakeettheprawn said:
DVS BSTrD said:
How can that be? They didn't even create a new game engine for it!
And no focus testing dammit! And where's the sex scene? Where's Mark Meer voicing the main protagonist in a strangely metrosexual vibe? Where's the QTEs? Why isn't there DLC to have the ability to brutally punch someone -- you can't just have that in there as-is! Mod tools? What is this man thinking!
Never mind all that... he didn't even do a promotional thing with Mountain Dew and Doritos! THIS IS INSANITY!
 

theultimateend

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shiajun said:
After the looming AAA games crash actually happens, I'm glad we have the infrastructure in place to keep these games going, and doing fine and dandy.
This is what I've been saying.

Cliffy B and all the dipstick like him will go under but plenty of wonderful people will make plenty of wonderful games.

I'm sure the indie community won't feel a damn thing when the crash hits, I imagine Steam will do fine too.

Edit: I just realized we might not be able to say what I called Cliff B so I changed it to dipstick.

josemlopes said:
I understand what he says by having a budget of only 30$ but not taking into account the fact that as a developer you enjoy making games (like most budgets are made) that budget would go a lot higher then 30$.


Imagine that he wasnt a good artist and had trouble doing the art, he would have to hire an artist and right there the budget would rocket sky-high in comparision.

I myself am doing a 3D animation and I havent spended any money on it (and wont) so I guess my budget would be 0$ but budgets dont work like that, its kind of weird.
Not necessarily :). I have a friend who does art for me pro-bono since he loves drawing and we've been friends for decades now. Which is weird...considering I'm only a few decades old.

Anyways, I'd certainly pay him if I ever used it for something that made money but you don't necessarily need to pay a good artist top dollar if you have connections.

That's a big if I suppose.
 

Living Contradiction

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Nov 8, 2009
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Good for him! I wish him well and I'll probably give him some money too because the game looks and sounds neat.

*a few minutes later*

Huh. Visited his website and he's got a very funny tale about why he released the demo as he did. Seems he went the exact opposite way that standard business logic says you should go: Instead of focusing on maximizing sales in the short term, he chose to sell only to those he knew would enjoy his game while ignoring or actively avoiding potential sales to people who wouldn't like it.

So, he not only produced a great game, he thumbed his nose at the marketing practices of the industry while succeeding beyond his wildest dreams. As if that wasn't enough, he's hiring.

Heh. This is pretty frigging wonderful.
 

Scorpid

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Am I the only one that noticed that this is just Yahtzees old free to play stealth game repackaged?
 

Jandau

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So, you're telling me you can make a game without a massive overbloated budget and then rake in substantial profits even with what are likely modest sales? Wow, EA isn't gonna believe this... :p
 

JudgeGame

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I'm going to say upfront that I have little to no respect for this article.

Where do I even begin?

No one can make a working game on 30$.

Unless he built his PC out of discarded beer cans and powered it with potatoes the cost would be way above 30$.

Unless he sustains himself by sucking the moss off the surface of rocks and saves up rainwater in a bowl made of palm leaves he must have spent more than 30$.

Unless he was born as an all-knowing enlightened being he needed an education which cost more than 30$.

Unless he has the reflexes of a humming bird he must of spent quite a few hours of his life to code this game, hours that were worth more than 30$.

Unless his work as a journalist that he has been doing for many years was in fact volunteer work he wasn't payed for he must have used more than 30$ of the money he earnt towards making his game.

You might think I'm missing the point, that we are supposed to laugh at the absurdity of the statement, but it is a very harmful statement. I don't want kids to think living off of game development is easy. It's hard and it's dangerous and we are in the obligation to make them aware of those risks.

Most people don't have access to all the resources Tom Francis has. Most people can't afford to spend hundreds of hours creating a game. Most people don't have the luxury of a stable, high paying job that allows you to spend your free time designing games. Most people haven't had the chance to be so immersed in the world of gaming for so many years and they haven't learnt what the developer has.

I'm not attacking the developer. I have no idea if he was born into a wealthy family or if he earnt everything he has with sweat and blood. That is completely irrelevant. The reality is that the developer set out to create his game from a very privileged position. As far as making a video game goes, there are a handful of people in the world who had better odds at making a game and earning a living out of it than this man. To gloss over that truth is morally unacceptable in my opinion and not something I would expect from a self-respecting games journalist. I apologize for my bluntness but I feel someone needed to say this.
 

Jamous

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Excellent. Always good to see new games doing well. Probably going to be checking this out when I next happen across some cash... :(
 

Kiya

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JudgeGame said:
Perhaps you missed the part of the article where they stated that he was able to give up his day job

He already had a full time job that paid for his computer, food, bills - he made the game in his spare time. Do you charge yourself by the hour for the hobbies you spend time on that you are passionate about? The article also mentions that his graph is meant to be slightly tongue in cheek. It does however show that he has managed to successfully turn his dreams into a profession and kudos to him for it.
 

JudgeGame

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Kiya said:
JudgeGame said:
Perhaps you missed the part of the article where they stated that he was able to give up his day job

He already had a full time job that paid for his computer, food, bills - he made the game in his spare time. Do you charge yourself by the hour for the hobbies you spend time on that you are passionate about? The article also mentions that his graph is meant to be slightly tongue in cheek. It does however show that he has managed to successfully turn his dreams into a profession and kudos to him for it.
It's obvious you either didn't read my post or the meaning of it was completely lost on you. I don't expect you to try again but I have no interest in talking to someone who doesn't listen.
 

The_Darkness

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JudgeGame said:
I disagree.
XKCD's WhatIf came up with a Space Oddity Music Video [http://what-if.xkcd.com/45/]?

Short version: No. Because the ISS would have existed anyway.

So to respond to your own points:

Tom Francis' PC may have cost more than $30, but he probably already had it before he started working on Gunpoint. Had he never decided to make Gunpoint, he would still have spent whatever amount of money it cost to build the PC.

His food costs will have been higher than £30, yes, but Gunpoint is something that he did in his own free time. Had he done something else with his free time, and continued with his day job, those food costs would still have come up.

The length of time spent making it: It's somewhat difficult to put a price on an hour. Especially if that hour is spent doing something that you enjoy, and that you chose to do. He quite clearly enjoyed making Gunpoint, judging by various blog posts and the trailers and, well, the game itself. Making Gunpoint was its own reward. Yes he could have used that time to earn money, but I don't think of Dark Souls as costing me money when it forces me to redo the past hour of gaming.

The money he was paid by his employer while he was making the game... I'm not actually sure of the point you were making with this one. Yes, he will have been paid more than $30 while working on the game, but that's money going into his account, not out of it, and entirely unrelated to Gunpoint. You say he 'must' have used more than $30 of the money he earned to make Gunpoint. How do you know?

You're right that most people don't have Tom Francis' resources. They may not have a reasonable PC, or enough free time to make something like this, or sufficient background knowledge of coding to have a chance at being successful. But Tom had all those things before deciding to make Gunpoint. Therefore they did not contribute to the cost of making Gunpoint. I'm actually curious what he would include in the $30 price mark.