I (Biz) have been getting a lot of questions recently from both fans and from less in-the-loop employees of the CCC on how we will manage ourselves financially when we start getting serious as a business. Though spending 500 dollars on a free game doesn't seem to hint that I can afford future expenses.
Well that's a fair concern, and it's one that I figure is worthwhile taking a post here to address, so here goes:
First off, the goals of me as a developer has never been to see how much dosh I can make from it, nor has it been to support myself financially, I am supported well. My goals as a developer is to share the world with my ideas, my characters and my oddball designs while simultaneously doing what I love doing.
Secondly... I see having a pay to play method good only if you have a demo, but then it still functions as a barrier. I am making games because I want you to get enjoyment out of them, I want you to see what me and my team have done... adding a price tag to even SEE the content seems weird to me. It's a barrier in my eyes, and the thing I've always prided myself and my company on is making games accessible to the masses, since not only are they unusual and thus, don't appeal to everyone, but we also aren't incredibly grounded as developers... so it'd be a gamble for anyone to pay to see what we've done and it's a gamble we'd rather people not have to measure up.
Lastly, there are multiple alternatives to getting money for your work that doesn't hamper the accessibility of your content. There's kickstarters (though i won't be doing one of those for a LONG time yet, it'll have to be when I'm better known and when it's a project I want to really make, but won't have the resources to do so unless I go through it.) and then there's merchandizing.
Having myself a history of reading web-comics which simply HAVE to be accessible, supporting yourself off of the merchandizing you can do is your best bet. I figure I might adopt that strategy with my games some what, for now it'll have to be digital things which can yeah, be redistributed, but that's fine... I think I'll go through my stance on piracy next but for now yeah, merchandizing.
If we ever get a really big surge of people liking what we do, then it might very well be profitable to begin physical item merchandizing. I'm a believer of the peoples support, if people like what we do in large quantities, then they will probably say, "HEY, I WANNA T-SHIRT WITH PEP'S HEAD ON IT. MAKE IT HAPPEN!" or "You know what'd be a sick shirt motif, that Maw dude, who's icy cold and everyone likes for some reason." and they would pay for it because they want to support our efforts.
I think a bit of digital merchandizing at first along with a Donate button would be an ideal way to go.
But for now, costs of developing don't really concern me. It was my choice to spend money on Menagerie and get some sweet art pieces for it (that I can also use for future projects... suckers!) and Exile was released as a demo recently and it cost me the heavy sum of $0, I can make sweet projects without having to break my ass, but it can take longer for less quality.
So with game maker, it's a thing I can use okay and can do everything from scratch if I want, I could definitely make a game for no cost at all outside of things that are regular, but I like commissioning for two reasons.
One: It allows the CCC members who aren't me to flex their muscles and feel like they are contributing, it also gives me something to actually DO with my money and help out those in a much less healthy financial situation.
Two: The game will look much better and won't take as long as it would if I were doing everything.
The chat of the CCC yesterday was my employees lamenting that they were out of work, but I came online and slapped that sadness away, and said, soon guys, you will have a brand new project to help towards!
The Members had right to be worried, After Menagerie I took a two month break due to being exhausted and even when I started going full throttle on Exile that was a project I wanted to do cheaply, because I was moving house (and city), which isn't ever cheap.
But I have shared with them a basic document of our next project and I'll begin working on the mechanics tomorrow.
So yes, I think that should answer any question relating to future plans for profits, if not, feel free to post a comment.
Thursday, 20 March 2014
The CCC Profit Philosophy
To my superiors, I am Robert, to my inferiors... I am Mr. Clark, but to my friends, I am Biz. An almost anarchist who began his grassroots in game design with tabletop games written in MS Word, Modules in Neverwinter Nights, Projects in RPG maker, but now finally, I am moving onto Unity. Feared by many, respected by more. I'm a pretty okay guy, and my story to non-profit aimed success has just been make what I want to make. And make something of it. So I have done just that.