There are couple different ways that you can make money if you’re in game design, like many people who go into game development as a career, my dream and the main way I thought of making money in this career is directly selling my game directly to customers through avenues such as steam and itch.io. Another way to make through a similar transaction is to work for a company or business that pays you to work on a game that they then sell to the customer.
However there is another way money can be made through game development, and many would argue a more efficient way and low risk way to make money within the games industry is contracting. Contracting is when a company and or person hires you and/or your team to work on a specific game they may/may not have in mind already. If you want to make money in this way which is essentially selling the service of creating a game. There is quite a few points in which this would differ from creating a game just for the point of creating and selling it.
- The first difference would be the amount of freedom you have over the project, when creating your own game you can choose how you want every aspect of your game to work, however when you are creating a game for a client the amount of freedom you have can change from client to client. With each different client wanting different levels on control over the direction of the game.
- Another difference between making your own game and making a game for a client, and that is the way that you will be making your money, for a project that you are just making to sell for the course of the project you won’t be making any money from it unless you have something like kickstarter, and you will start to make money from it once it is already released. However when it comes to working for a client the rate at which you get paid can very a lot depending on how the client and you organise things. But a popular approach is to have various different points throughout the course of working on the project called milestones in which you will hand over what you have so far and receive a payment, some of these milestones may be a prototype, alpha and beta.
- Another large difference is that when you make your own project you own everything you have worked on, however when working for a client you probably won’t own the work you did, as it will be handed over to the client. This would stunt your ability to make a sequel if you are interested in making one, as the client would have to approve making a sequel.
There are also a lot of ethical issues that can start to creep up when working for a client, even though they may be issues already could be there when developing games. But when working for a client they may ask you to implement these things which could be seen as unethical. An example that could of come up in relation to the audio project FL0 that we have been working on recently. Would be that maybe teachers would want to know at what times the students are doing work, and is accessing and tracking the times when students are doing work. Which would be seen as an ethical issue, which my as a person on this project I would have to decide how to deal with those various different issues that may arise. And whether I should continue to work on the different projects assuming the client is unbending in their wanting to get this “feature” in. And whether or not I could even legally stop working on the project depending on the contracts set up.
Not in relation to working with a client or not, but there are other different ethical issues that come up in relation to our project FL0, mainly which is the pricing of the product. Since our product is an educational tool it raises the question of should we charge for this product? and if so how much? Because if you are trying to sell a product that is meant to be used to help students to practice something that they may need to know for their degree is it ethically sound to charge a large amount if any at all for students to use this product. And on the other side of this argument, is it more ethical to charge more if you are selling the educational tool to a school or university as they would already have budgets that they can use to purchase the game. In the end, when thinking about myself personally I know how much money students do or more so don’t have and I would feel that it is inappropriate to charge students and amount over $10 as more then that some many not be able to afford. However if I was able to sell a large amount of keys to a university for them to use I would feel a lot more comfortable with that as universities inherently have an amount of money from enrolment fees etc. That they can use to create budgets for purchasing different tools and other products.