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What makes a game a financial success for the developer?

Aug 4, 2018
49
21
#1
I see there are nice games that dont get lots of money on patreon. And then there are not so amazing games that make $$$$$$ for devs on patreon. Is there any correlation between backers and game quality? How much does marketing matter here?

tldr: what makes you want to be a patreon for a game/developer?
 

Winterfire

Well-Known Member
Game Developer
Sep 27, 2018
630
496
#2
Hmm... I think there is but it is not only that.

Let's take my game/patreon for instance, I knew since the start why it would not succeed: Bad art and complicated/not so clear description of the game, bad quality + unclear/complicated description = little to no backers.

Of course high quality does not translate into many backers either, the game must have also have a good premise and, if you are just starting, you must be willing to update a lot with little to no backers, at that point potential backers will simply follow and see if that project is going anywhere or not before investing their money, rightfully so.

It also depends on whatever the developer appeared out of nowhere or had any following before making their patreon.
 
Aug 4, 2018
49
21
#3
Hmm... I think there is but it is not only that.

Let's take my game/patreon for instance, I knew since the start why it would not succeed: Bad art and complicated/not so clear description of the game, bad quality + unclear/complicated description = little to no backers.

Of course high quality does not translate into many backers either, the game must have also have a good premise and, if you are just starting, you must be willing to update a lot with little to no backers, at that point potential backers will simply follow and see if that project is going anywhere or not before investing their money, rightfully so.

It also depends on whatever the developer appeared out of nowhere or had any following before making their patreon.
What do you mean when you say "good premise"?
 

Winterfire

Well-Known Member
Game Developer
Sep 27, 2018
630
496
#4
By good premise I mean an original idea and a good first release.

If you make a game similar or identical to another but with less content, why should anyone support you?
Of course if you put your own twist and you show right away that it is only similar but headed on a different path, that is a good premise in my opinion.

An example of bad premise would be having a first release that shows only the main menu (it happened) or a release that has way too many grammatical mistakes (also happened) or a developer that is known to abandon his games often (also happened).
 
Jan 13, 2019
40
72
#5
First I'm answering the question on the tittle:

In basic terms for an indie developer financial success mean first that the time invest, and assets purchased to make the game has paid off. (Usually the most expensive thing is time, and wathever the dev pirate, buy or make himself the assets, that's also inversion of time). In second had, finnacial success means that you win enough to make at least a second game.

Let's say someone works full time in the game (8-10 hours a day like myself) and having in consideration that he respect his own time and it's not thinking to eat from the trashcan in even days. That's between 80 and 200$ a day depending on country where he lives (ask for senior programmer/graphic designer salaries). Let's say 150$. So if you work on a game 25 days a month, you have to make 3.750$ monthly to consider it a success. (It, as I said, depens greatly on where you live in and what are your economical neccessites).

Let's say you are on Patreon; It's not like you have to make that money the first month. But the day you make more than 3.750$ monthly, that surplus is only paying for the months that you earned less. It will not be economically successfull until you are paid for all the time invested making the game, when you were earning 20 bucks a month.

Patreon and ungoing games with an unclear delimited end game from design is complicated to calculate when a game had been paid off/ consider it finnacially sucessfull. Furthermore, patreon job may include sharing art that is not technically into the game but uses hours from the artist.

So let's talk about a game with an end that you publishes on Steam, per example.

the game cost you 18 months and you are happy to think that your effort is valued in 2.000$ a month. You made all assets or (god save your soul!) pirated them. That's a game with a production cost of 36.000$. You put in on sale, first month you get 5k, second month 2k, thirs month 300$... But on the long tail and with sales, one day hit the 36k mark. Then the game has just paid itself. As an indie developer you can consider it sucessfull; And from that day on everything is profit;

But if you wanna support yourself and have time to make more games, you need to earn more than just paid the time you invested in.

So... That's answer it. Finnacial success depends partially on what the developer need.

About how important Marketing is, it's the most important thing, but sadly, the most expensive.

A bad game will big marketing will sell in Steam (or get noticed in patreon and the 0.percentage that pledge) big time more than a good game with low marketing.

Rape day is possible to get x100 more supporters than any very good game in patreon. Why? Because Rape Day is marketed now to thousands of people that wanna play NSFW games and don't even now that patreon exists, or that Patreon allows Adult game to be developed. Is even possible that 70% of players on Steam don't even know Adults games are allowed on Steam. Maybe know after rape day, 5% more of Steam people knows there are uncensored games on Steam.

But not talking about extreme cases of free marketing; It is imperative to make the most marketing one can do with no budget (trailers, going to all forums, having a webpage, etc, because anyone how can dump 5k on any kind of paid publicity will have x1000 more reach than other that cannot put that 5k.
 

recreation

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2018
668
855
#6
Having a game with lots of fetishes and being present on several sites seem to be the best practive for games that get a lot of support, even if the game isn't really good.
 

nZk

「REMEMBER」
Donor
Dec 13, 2016
218
366
#10
I'm a simple being, MILFS and an engaging storyline does it. Exposure is important for any type of game when it comes to H games/VN's and I'd say being featured in f95 is pretty much a must if you want to look for extensive feedback and support.
 
Dec 17, 2018
22
14
#11
Something that I see a surprising amount of patreons fail at is this: you should always have something to show, many patreons you open and see EVERYTHING is behind a paywall, I'll pay if I like what I see, if I can't see any of what the game is about or even what kind of art you're making, then I'm not going to pay for the privilege of finding out (compare it to steam for example, the game description, reviews, discussions, preview screenshots/videos and any updates/changelogs the devs post are all readily available even if you haven't bought the game), keep in mind you're trying to convince non patrons into becoming patrons, so showing something to sell those people on is very important, game updates/changelogs are a good option to make publicly available, since it lets potential new patrons know whether the thing they're considering is still alive and making progress.

Of course there's sites like this, but if the only place where your game info is available is a piracy forum you may have a problem
 
Likes: Nottravis

polywog

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2017
1,451
1,620
#14
Would it surprise you to learn that some adult game developers are paying $1000 per month or more to advertise their games?
Now ask yourself, how much do you have to bring in each month to justify paying that much to try and bring in more customers?
Patreon is chump change, compared to what commercial games are making.

What makes a game a financial success for the developer? What do you consider "successful"?
If making games is your hobby, it's not hard to make a patreon page and beg for change, get a few coins in your pocket.
If you want it to be a profession, you have to be professional, or work together with others who are.
 

HopesGaming

The Godfather
Game Developer
Dec 21, 2017
472
2,691
#16
The days of simply copy paste the big games is gone.
Before you could copy a game as dmd or bb and get a decent success on patreon. Incest was almost a must.
Nowadays, there have been many cases of devs using that template (many times with better graphics even) yet they fail to take off and get abandoned.

The marked is new and is in constant change. People change.
They do not want a repeat.

My game took off from day one (patron wise). The weirdness, character personalities, and my focus area took people a bit by surprise.
That allure is of course not everlasting and like anything, in life, I have to improve my project and keep going and evolving myself.

Point is - be original.
Don't be afraid of failure.
Push the marked.
Don't follow the mass nor the few loud-mouthed guys who demand games made for the exclusive.
 

polywog

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2017
1,451
1,620
#17
There seems to be some confusion about what patreon is, and what it does.
Patreon is not a store, where people walk up and down the aisle tossing games in their cart.
"my game is on the shelf next to this game, so people should buy it too" wrong - there is no shelf. patreon keeps adult games hidden in the closet. "customers" have to ask for your game (with correct spelling) or it will never be seen
You are responsible for promoting your game, you leak your sextape on the web with a link to drop spare change in your piggybank. If people like your sextape, and want you to make more, they support you. they don't buy free sextapes
 

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