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Author Topic: THE MYSTERY OF COW ISLAND - ANIMATER (PAID)  (Read 1706 times)

bx83

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THE MYSTERY OF COW ISLAND - ANIMATER (PAID)
« on: 18 Jun 2018, 02:38 »

Please go to this post:
http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=56695.msg636598883#msg636598883

Find the updated animation example zip at:
http://redrom.ltd/img/animation_J+DB.zip
« Last Edit: 14 Dec 2018, 22:41 by bx83 »

Mandle

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Best of luck with the project!

I just thought I'd add though that $20 seems quite expensive for a point-and-click adventure game on steam. A $20 price implies an extremely polished and professional product with about 10+ hours of gameplay.

That's the kind of price an established studio might get away with and they'd still get bashed by players and critics if the game didn't live up to the price.

The last thing you want is reviews saying the game doesn't have the content to justify the price. What you do want is reviews saying that the game is very reasonably priced considering the quality of its content.

Another large factor these days for pricing is voice acting. If your game doesn't have professional quality voice acting that is going to cut the price pretty much in half. Very few modern gamers are going to pay over $10 for a game they have to read.

I'm kind of assuming that if you have been working on the project for about a year on your own then it's a medium-length game, maybe around 5 hours long, and no voice acting.

I would say a reasonable price, if this is correct, is around $5 to $8 depending on other quality factors.

This might seem low for the amount of work you have put in but consider that it's better to have, say, 1000 people buy the game at $5, and leave good reviews, than have 100 people buy the game at $20, and leave bad reviews.

I have worked on a few commercial games but am in no way an expert on the market. These are just my estimates based what I have seen.

For expert advice in this matter maybe drop a line to Mark at Screen7 publishing or even Dave Gilbert at WadgetEye. Both are very approachable people with years of experience and would probably be willing to share some of it.

Best of luck, mate!
« Last Edit: 24 Jun 2018, 03:13 by Mandle »

Crimson Wizard

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I just thought I'd add though that $20 seems quite expensive for a point-and-click adventure game on steam. A $20 price implies an extremely polished and professional product with about 10+ hours of gameplay.
<...>
This might seem low for the amount of work you have put in but consider that it's better to have, say, 1000 people buy the game at $5, and leave good reviews, than have 100 people buy the game at $20, and leave bad reviews.

I've seen an interesting opinion on this recently, maybe on this forum, or in article posted on ags discord, regardless, the point was that many indie developers make a mistake by lowering their prices. Since indie P&C are niche games, there won't be too much sells anyway, and those who are interested in the genre will be willing to pay a good sum for a good looking game. But, of course, better consult with experienced publisher on this.

CatPunter

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Hey there!

I'm a bit burnt out on animating right now but I'd love to take a look at what you have for that. What you're asking for, which is hand drawn animations, is going to eat a huge chunk of your budget, whatever it is. If that's an issue you should look into whether you absolutely need all 8 directions and every single bonus animation or if you can cut some. Most professional animators will ask for $50+ a second of animation - myself included. That's something you'd have to discuss more in depth with potential animators, really.

Otherwise, I'd be available asap to do the background resizing and repaint any extra areas as needed. You can see my work in Gurok's thread for Kate and Shelly Stick Together over here:

http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=50343.0

If you need more examples I can get Gurok to approve letting me show you a bit more.
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Snarky

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Another large factor these days for pricing is voice acting. If your game doesn't have professional quality voice acting that is going to cut the price pretty much in half. Very few modern gamers are going to pay over $10 for a game they have to read.

I'm kind of assuming that if you have been working on the project for about a year on your own then it's a medium-length game, maybe around 5 hours long, and no voice acting.

I happen to know that the game does have voice acting (and lip sync, assuming bx83 doesn't give up on it).

Mandle

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I happen to know that the game does have voice acting (and lip sync, assuming bx83 doesn't give up on it).

Okay, good news! Now it just has to be good voice acting or it can be worse than no voice acting. Not trying to be negative on purpose but I have a little bit of personal experience with getting voice acting done for commercial games and, even with a professional studio working on it, it's really, really hard to get just right. I would say it's one of the hardest parts of the game making process actually.

When I saw that Dave Gilbert mentioned a base fee of about $15,000 for an average length voicing at his studio I thought it was expensive but, after going through the process, even in just a QA Consultant kinda role, I can see why it would cost a lot of money to get the level of quality that WadgetEye achieves.

It's really hard!

bx83

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Quote
When I saw that Dave Gilbert mentioned a base fee of about $15,000 for an average length voicing at his studio I thought it was expensive but, after going through the process, even in just a QA Consultant kinda role, I can see why it would cost a lot of money to get the level of quality that WadgetEye achieves.

It's really hard!

I can 100% confirm this expensive, shameful situation. One added fun part to game design is if you're doing the *entire* thing online - testers, coders, voice artists, musician etc. - and you're VA's are all using different studios of varying quality. Most of editing is organising voice clips, processing them (Audition->Remove Sound), saving as multiple formats (everything I have is 16bit 44.1k WAVs, but the game uses OGG's), running Rhubarb over the sound file (this is the utility which generates the lipsync data - and Snarky's custom-made TotalLipSync which runs it) using a .bat file, sending off the sound files to an engineer to get further processing and levelling/normalisation, recording every line in a spreadsheet, describing in detail what you'd like a re-take to sound like and peppering the script with [sad] [happy] [a stage direction] etc, occasionally needing to ask the VA to re-record the *entire script* because it was set to the wrong gain level or whatever, etc.etc.etc.etc.etc. and then you're done.

It's a budget job, and requires you to have experience in many areas (Photoshop, audio engineering etc.), but it's tremendously rewarding. I'd say I've produced music and VO quality on parr with eg. Kathy Rain (WadgitEye), but at a 100th the price. No hiss, no sharp edges, great acting and voices.
...and for only AU$24k! :p

My main character cost about AU$17k, which is for about 2,000 lines, retakes, lines not used, etc.
Most of the others are quite cheap, 100-1000 AUD, but it takes a huge amount of work to find talented VA's - they either 'have it' or don't. Some are actors; aaaaand then some are semi-professional narrators who can do voices. My secret is to pay a little bit extra. Check out: http://voiceacting.boards.net/, it's one of the best place I've found 'hungry', amateur VA's; 'naturalistic' actors (as George Lucas put it) like Mark Hamill. You find the next big thing before it's even a thing :P

Another good way is to put your game on Kickstarter - that's how I met both my musician and female lead VA, as they advertised to prospective employers.

Anyway, where was I?
PM me if you'd like further advice or news on what involved in the steepest learning curve i've ever been up :)

bx83

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ps I must agree with Crimson Wizard - you have to sell your game as if it's a thing of value. In order to do this, you need to have everything *absolutely perfect* for the playthrough - I have a list of todo's and fixes as long as my arm for 1 cluster of rooms.
If you have high standards, and the ability to adapt when the engine is a bit primitive to do this or that - and you can't be bothered learning Unity from it's crappy forums :P - value is the way to go.
But anyway I sound like an executive 'synergizing' :P

Mandle

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Wow, I'm impressed by your post about the VA!!! You really appear to know what you're doing!

Did I read that right?! $17,000 to the main actor?! Did you get Morgan Freeman?! Of course I know he would cost a few more zeros but that's still a ton of money! I hope that includes unlimited callbacks with no time limit?

Any chance we could hear a few samples maybe over in The Critic's Lounge? You just colored me curious!

bx83

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Well 17,000 *AU* - Australian dollars. They're about 1/2-2/3 American. It does have infinite retakes, and the guy is unprofessional (he says he doesn't want to take it too seriously, and just goes to endless comic cons as a guest and is 'internet famous' via youtube), but he sure knows how to charge. Don't know if I'm being taken for a ride, this is the first time I've done this, but the fniished product should be good. Askin my musician/engineer to normalise/level the sounds (he does it bit-by-bit in the soundfile, as opposed to one denoising filter), I'll play some for you then.

For example; Matt Berry (boss from The IT Crowd), who has a very deep and unique voice charges 500 pounds (BSF, basic studio fee for 1 hour recording), and *20,000 pounds* (~26,300 US) on top for a *single read* of a script about 40 lines long. If I need a retake, it's his BSF again, times the hours it takes him. So in order for him to do one character in the game, it would cost me about AU$60,000 or GBP 30,000, about 3 times the value of the game for *all* characters. Now *that's* expensive.

I'll be getting a cheaper lead for my next one I'll tell you that - people at that website I linked (that are actually talented), charge about AU$5,000 for 2000 lines and retakes.
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2018, 09:04 by bx83 »

KyriakosCH

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Good luck with your game!!!!!

If you ever do a horror one, I might be of use as writer (I am published, and also work as literary translator for classic lit) ^_^

(I am beyond useless with comedy, though)
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Dave Gilbert

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When I saw that Dave Gilbert mentioned a base fee of about $15,000 for an average length voicing at his studio I thought it was expensive but, after going through the process, even in just a QA Consultant kinda role, I can see why it would cost a lot of money to get the level of quality that WadgetEye achieves.

Yikes! No, I rarely spend that much. The most I ever "spent" was around $10k for Kathy Rain, and that's only because I had to charge Joel for my own time in addition to everybody else's.

Mandle

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When I saw that Dave Gilbert mentioned a base fee of about $15,000 for an average length voicing at his studio I thought it was expensive but, after going through the process, even in just a QA Consultant kinda role, I can see why it would cost a lot of money to get the level of quality that WadgetEye achieves.

Yikes! No, I rarely spend that much. The most I ever "spent" was around $10k for Kathy Rain, and that's only because I had to charge Joel for my own time in addition to everybody else's.

Oh, sorry then, but I thought I remembered that you charged about $15k for a full-length game voicing when you advertised your studio use for game developers to hire out?

Dave Gilbert

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Nope. It was around $10k total for Kathy Rain. That included the studio fee, the payments to the actors, the fee for the casting director, and payments to myself. Admittedly, I think I may have low-balled myself and I would probably charge more now.

KyriakosCH

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Nope. It was around $10k total for Kathy Rain. That included the studio fee, the payments to the actors, the fee for the casting director, and payments to myself. Admittedly, I think I may have low-balled myself and I would probably charge more now.

Kathy Rain was a cool game 8-)
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Mandle

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Nope. It was around $10k total for Kathy Rain. That included the studio fee, the payments to the actors, the fee for the casting director, and payments to myself. Admittedly, I think I may have low-balled myself and I would probably charge more now.

Cheers! Good to know as a reference point for the future. Thanks for the info! ;-D